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Roundtable Discussion Featuring Smart Cities

As the image below shows, the size and scale of megacities is growing at a near exponential pace. As cities continue to grow, the importance of connected infrastructure and intelligent building design, i.e. the development of Smart Cities, will become increasingly important. This month the IoTC asked subject matter experts to give us their take on a variety of issues in the Smart Cities space.

Source: Bank of America report on Smart Cities (21st Century Cities: Global Smart Cities Primer)

Source: Bank of America report on Smart Cities (21st Century Cities: Global Smart Cities Primer)

Thomas Walle, CEO & Co-Founder of Unacast

  • How should cities be making the case to its citizens for funding smart city investments?

There is a lot of uncertainty with IoT investments, and now in the early days, it is critical that cities can show projects that provide direct benefits in the short term - rather than 10-15 year projects - if they expect citizens to support the investment. Keeping IoT tangible and real is one of the most important tasks for cities, companies and anyone who wants to build an IoT future.

  • For citizens who are unaware of smart cities, or smart cities initiatives, how can local governments increase public education of the benefits of IoT technology?

The same goes here, build something that is real, tangible and with a short-term benefit, at the same time as the city has to keep its vision and focus on where it wants to be in 10-20 years. It's a challenging balance, but real projects that are being used is key to educate the population. At the same time, to increase education, governments need to look at how different IoT installations can work together in a city. One IoT project alone and in isolation will not release its full potential. It's when the technology is combined that we will see the real results. One example is how IoT sensors in store, cafes, hotels, etc, combined with self-driving cars will make it easier for the car to navigate in the city and find the right venues where people are being dropped off or picked up, rather than using inaccurate GPS signals.

  • What are some early success stories you've seen with smart cities? Any promising results and case studies we should all be aware of?

Singapore has deployed a massive amount of sensors and cameras around the city to analyze traffic congestion and crowd density. This enables the government and officials to reroute buses at rush hour, avert traffic jams and even be able to predict how new buildings may affect wind patterns or communication signals.

Barcelona has also made a lot of investments with their projects. Firstly, they installed wireless LED street lights to reduce energy usage. Secondly, they deployed a network of ground sensors to forecast rainfall estimates and temperature, which the sensors use to adjust the city’s sprinkler systems and fountains for efficiency, saving the city $555,000 annually.

 

Peter Esser, Head of Government Affairs at NXP Semiconductors

  • How should cities make the case to its citizens for funding smart city investments?

Investing in a smart city is not just about technology, it is about improving the lives of citizens. Urban migration has increased the need and demand for public transit options. Transportation connects us to opportunity. Transportation puts people to work and makes us more competitive in the global economy. People want infrastructure that reduces congestion and provides flexibility while protecting the environment. People want high-speed trains that shuttle between cities and light rail systems that connect to jobs. They want bike paths, bike shares, buses, and streetcars that give them the option to leave the car at home. They are looking for flexible car sharing options with less financial and logistical burdens. The proof is in the numbers. People are taking a record number of trips on public transportation. Amtrak ridership has grown more than 40 percent in the last ten years. Over 20 American cities now operate bike shares, and each program has been met with incredible popularity.

Every year, 1.3 million people die in road accidents around the globe. The implementation of V2X and other intelligent transport systems will significantly reduce accidents, hours spent in traffic jams and CO2 emissions.  However, safe and secure mobility can only come to life if there’s a commitment to collaboration, new technology adoption and enhancedinfrastructure.

With the enablement of intelligent traffic systems, roadways will become safer for all of us. It can improve fuel economy for larger vehicles like semis and buses, and allow us to choose routes based on distance, time and environmental impact. Vehicles will communicate with infrastructure to clear a just-in-time path through traffic.  With expanded availability of modern transportation options with bus, light rail, heavy rail, car share, or bike share, that all may be accessed via a common credential, our daily commutes become less tedious and more productive.  ITS and mobility modernization lead to an improved environment for today and tomorrow.

Additionally, our urban environments are populated by more and more connected “Things” equipped with many different sensors for data capture and analytics. A city that invests in smart solutions can kick-start a wider technology ecosystem, enabling innovation in city services to thrive. A simple example like a connected trash dumpster that notifies the city or contractor that it is near full, can enable a city to significantly reduce the number of times dumpsters are emptied simply because that is the routine.  There are also additional examples of intelligent power grids, water, and street lighting that can reduce wasteful resource over-utilization.

  • What role do private partners and businesses play in the realization of smart cities?

The private industry plays an important role in the planning and development of smart cities. By way of example, NXP as a technology leader and application solutions provider, provides city planners and traffic engineers overviews of technology, products, and application solutions such as DSRC for V2V and V2I, intelligent roadside units for V2I, with bicyclist and pedestrian detection, and secure mobile transit fare solutions. The private industry provides further benefit to city officials when they combine their technology and product overviews in-concert with selected ecosystem partners that can deliver complete solutions applicable for smart city planning and implementation including product maintenance support during and post implementation phase. The knowledge and product/service support that the private industry in a partnership can provide is invaluable for city departments lacking the technical knowledge and resources to scout, define and execute to implementation complete solutions.

  • How should policy makers approach the planning of smart cities?

Policy makers need to understand the causes to problems faced by citizens of different urban and suburban corridors in a city.  For example, many cities have aggregated shipping hubs that can benefit from implementing intelligent traffic systems by giving increased priority to larger vehicles while also making thoroughfare safer for pedestrians, lower harmful emissions into the environment and reduce traffic. Impoverished areas may be improved with increased access to mobility options to enable workers to move to and from workplaces, healthcare facilities or social service locations without being reliant on owning a car.

Rather than competing for ever scarcer resources, states and, at a more granular level, cities should work together to learn from best practices, seek synergies, and where possible co-develop solutions with industries for the future.

  • Some argue that, since rebuilding infrastructure is costly, retrofitting is where the design of smart city initiatives may truly shine. Do you agree, and if so, how can companies approach "retrofitting?"

Rebuilding infrastructure on municipal, state, and federal levels may become a self-limiting exercise.  Even with the President’s proposed massive investments in the renewal and buildout of the nation’s infrastructure, there is only so much concrete that can be poured, rebar that can be embedded in that concrete, and structural steel that can be readily sourced before significant funding gaps arise.  The incipient decline in federal motor fuels taxes, which are a major source for transportation-related project funding, is just one cause for the anticipated funding shortfalls.  That said, existing roadways can be made smarter to handle traffic more efficiently and safely.  Pavements and bridge spans can be outfitted with sensor technology to help local departments of public works best manage maintenance and prolong infrastructure lifetime.  It will take close cooperation between industry and government and a series of public-private partnerships, as well as educational campaigns to garner the necessary citizen-stakeholder buy-in to make a new era of smart cities a reality.

  • What do you think of the DOT's Smart Cities challenge?

NXP is a proud partner in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. The Challenge was a contest for mid-sized cities to demonstrate how advanced data and intelligent transportation technologies can be used to reduce energy consumption and congestion. Our secure connectivity solutions such as smart parking systems and vulnerable road user safety concepts will bring immediate and tangible results to drivers and pedestrians, cyclists, and non-traditional road users alike. As a technology partner to the USDOT for the Smart Cities Challenge we are excited about the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of everyday Columbus residents.  We look forward to the working with existing and partners to enable solutions that exist today and create innovative solutions for tomorrow.

  • For citizens who are unaware of smart cities, or smart cities initiatives, how can local governments increase public education of the benefits of IoT technology?

City government leaders can bring selected private industry partners together or separately to participate in IoT Technology Fairs open to the public. Such city sponsored events allow their citizens to directly engage and learn from industry experts on IoT technologies that are today and will in the future, transform their lives for the better with safer travel, less congestion and greater convenience. NXP has played a leading role in this area by deploying our IoT truck to a number of urban centers. The IoT truck, essentially a mobile lab stuffed to the rafters with a wide array of NXP’s smart cities and IoT technologies, has served to provide a vision of a new tomorrow characterized by safety and efficiency to policymakers.  Just as importantly, the IoT truck – which is open to all – has exposed younger visitors to the possibilities of technology far beyond what so many of them experience in day to day life. 

  • What are some early success stories you've seen with smart cities? Any promising results and case studies we should all be aware of?

In the mobility space, we have international references where cites have enabled their citizens with a common credential that is capable of accessing multiple modes of transportation, social services, cultural resources, tourist locations, venues as well as universities and schools.

August 2016: Biometric cards to Increase National Security and Enhance Social and Economic eServices in Jordan. The new Jordanian citizen card is a multifunctional form of identification which can be used for conventional citizenship while offering an array of new embedded social and economic applications such as storing travel itinerary, providing access to eBanking services, and secure voting and health insurance verification. The personal data and biometric features, such as the card holder’s photo and fingerprints, are stored securely on the SmartMX chip in digital form. These new cards will also help reduce congestion and process time for renewals, as well as decrease fraud and counterfeiting while increasing security and enhancing a number of government applications.

July 2016: NXP Semiconductors, Tönnjes and Kirpestein B.V. collaborated to complete a field trial with over 100 military vehicles. After 12 months of testing in various weather conditions, with over 100 assorted military vehicles and at different speeds, presented the results of the first field trial with IDePLATEs (license plates). The field trial confirmed the secure, robust, effective, and reliable use of RFID technology for vehicle identification. In this collaboration, NXP provided embedded technology in the license plates, Tönnjes integrated the system and Kirpestein manufactured the license plates and provided project management support. The trial started in 2015 and took place at the military base in Oirschot, the Netherlands. Cars and trucks were equipped with IDePLATEs and IDeSTIXs (windshield labels) with integrated passive RFID chips. Authorized reading units, mounted on a gantry, continuously read the privacy protected unique chip IDs on the license plates and windshield labels of passing vehicles. The successful results of the field trial have already led to large scale implementation of the applied chips in electronic license plates projects in South America.

February 2016: Kenya identifies automobiles by using RFID technology. Almost 47 million people are registered citizens of Kenya. However, the government has no backed record on the total number of car owners on Kenya’s streets. As a consequence, the state misses out on tax revenues that are essential to enhance the country’s traffic infrastructure. The Kenyan National Transport & Safety Authority (NTSA) wants to change this situation. Its aim is to create a nationwide vehicle register. For that reason, the German based company TÖNNJES C.A.R.D. supplies Kenya with about 3.3 million windshield labels that entail an integrated UCODE® DNA RAIN RFID chip from NXP® Semiconductors. The technology allows the secure identification and authentication of vehicles.

June 2015 – The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) and chip specialist NXP announced the launch of intelligent barriers at the HPA site. The was to process the organization’s vehicles more quickly and to enable modern, convenient, and secure parking lot access for HPA employees. Some of the vehicles in the HPA fleet were fitted with license plates containing RFID (radio frequency identification) chips. These chips are able to communicate wirelessly with a reader in the barriers, thus enabling access to be granted automatically and contactlessly – without the need for any further identification

January 2017: Badge provider ITN, utilizing the latest MIFARE DESFire EV2 chip from NXP Semiconductors, along with CEA and NXP Semiconductors enable the CES2017 badge to be the key to a smart city for both CES and Las Vegas Monorail.  CES2017 attendees could pre-purchase their Las Vegas Monorail pass and pick up their badge with both the CES2017 credentials and Las Vegas Monorail pass, or use the AppXplorer application to add their Las Vegas Monorail pass to their CES2017 badge after picking it up.  These options enabled greater flexibility for the more than 170,000 attendees to CES2017 to choose the Las Vegas Monorail, the most convenient and time efficient way to travel to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

 

Chris Rezendes, Founder, Managing Director at IoT IMPACT LABS

  • How should policy makers approach the planning of smart cities? 

There are so many good and different approaches that it is hard to define one above others. And when one thinks about how different cities can be based on geography, geopolitics, solvency, population, and more … this question becomes more challenging than the others.

At LABS, through our work with Sponsors and Partners, we are testing this framework as a way to drive to ‘primitives’ – the fundamentals of what would make a city ‘smarter’ or a community more ‘resilient’.

Start at the top, with the people, and work your way around.

At each step in this progression, we have multiple layers of additional, more detailed alternatives. In Step 2 – Resilient Infrastructure – for example, we elevate these five systems. As you might imagine, each of these 5 systems may have 2/3/5/10 layers within each … it is complicated, but, you have to drive down to something that is specific enough to be actionable.

(a)  Energy

(b)  Communications

(c)  Water/ wastewater/ sanitation

(d)  Public safety

(e)  Transportation

LABS Approach to Planning Developing Resilient Communities

 

  • Some argue that, since rebuilding infrastructure is costly, retrofitting is where the design of smart city initiatives may truly shine. Do you agree, and if so, how can companies approach "retrofitting?"

Increasingly, LABS and its Sponsors and Partners are being called into to help communities with limited resources, and acute/ urgent as well as strategic needs, conceive of steps forward in resilience that are mostly about instrumentation, not concrete/ steel/ asphalt.

The average mid-sized city in the United States has hundreds of miles of pipe. We are not about to rip and replace all that wood, lead, concrete, steel and pvc. But we are in position to layer in additional instrumentation-enabled remote/ real-time monitoring.

Achieving resilience often begins with a conservative approach to capex… and in many cases that means adding intelligence to asset optimization.  

  • What do you think of the DOT's Smart Cities challenge?

Really bright people at all levels of government. Powerful public-private partnerships. Legitimate intentionally disruptive ideas all around.

And yet, I think the Challenge might have been too vehicle transportation focused. Not enough on other modes of transporation. Not enough emphasis on security, resilience and other critical elements of public and private sector responses to the broader challenge and opportunity set we are sifting and sorting.

We collaborated with a number of cities and were most impressed with the middle-market cities and the WORK that they have done – the truly innovative approaches to bringing multistakeholder groups together, and the simple ‘get it done’ approach to experimenting. Deploying.

And yet … there is SO much more that needs to be done in technical commercial kitting, last mile deployment M&O training, best practices, DRM, and of course, verifiable impact and accessible private capital markets.

That’s a lot in there … any singular topic could warrant a 3-day workshop.

SCC needs a second life. I know a lot of smart people are working on it. We are making some small contributions. I would look for material announcements, if not progress before the year-end.

And more than anything … look beyond the ‘traditional’ top 10 cities …some of the most innovative work we are doing is coming out of the most disadvantaged/ marginalized communities in the US.  

 

Brian Seitz, VP of Marketing and Communications at Buddy Platform, Inc.

  • How should cities be making the case to its citizens for funding smart city investments?

Governments are starting to realize that just implementing IoT technology is not the ultimate objective for smart city initiatives. Rather, the success of a smart city initiative should be measured by the positive impact it makes on citizens’ quality of life. Whether projects underneath the smart city initiative are designed to improve efficiency of utility services, reduce streetlight power consumption and increase capability within streetlight networks, or provide civic-oriented information, nothing will be perceived as a success unless the benefits become clear to the citizens they serve.

  • What role do private partners and businesses play in the realization of smart cities?

Private/public partnerships can help to accelerate implementation of smart city projects, and help to ensure the right technology is matched with the desired outcome for the citizens. Also, with the rise of government funded open data projects, private business can provide compelling experiences and real innovation utilizing the anonymous data from smart city infrastructure like streets, lighting and environmental sensors.

  • How should policy makers approach the planning of smart cities?

Building smarter cities really comes down to the integration of legacy, and newly installed sensor and device networks that are quantifying a city’s critical infrastructure. Today many of those systems operate independently and in siloes, which makes gaining insights from those systems, let alone automating them, extremely difficult. Therefore, policy makers should take a long-term view when it comes to their city’s data infrastructure, to ensure the backbone of the system is flexible, scalable and secure. With this core piece in place, state of the art sensors and devices can be added to the system as they are approved and procured by civic agencies.

  • Some argue that, since rebuilding infrastructure is costly, retrofitting is where the design of smart city initiatives may truly shine. Do you agree, and if so, how can companies approach "retrofitting?"

Retrofitting is indeed a key piece of the smart cities mix, but the focus should really be on the data ingestion and output. It’s the data from these devices that will bring value to government workers, allow business to build and add new services, and ultimately positively impact the residents of the city. The power of IoT class hardware means Things are getting smaller, cheaper and more connected. That means for retrofits, and new builds measuring systems and events is easier. The big question then quickly shifts to, where is the data going, how is it being managed, and how do I get it into the systems I depend on? Again, devices are important, open data infrastructure is critical.

  • What do you think of the DOT's Smart Cities challenge?

The more formal support government can throw behind smart cities initiatives the better. We have seen in a number cases around the world, when the mandate from government is to innovate to benefit the citizenry, great outcomes can result. In April 2016 the Australian government released a national Smart Cities Plan, which included a Smart Cities and Smart Suburbs Program. The Amsterdam Smart City Plan is driving smart city development in several key areas including Infrastructure and Technology, Energy Water and Waste, Mobility, Circular City, Governance and Education, and Citizens and Living. Formal programs and initiatives from government can help fuel the positive outcomes and benefits for all. 

  • For citizens who are unaware of smart cities, or smart cities initiatives, how can local governments increase public education of the benefits of IoT technology?

Citizen engagement and participation early in the process of developing smart city plans is a crucial element for success. Ultimately, the success of the programs will be determined by how citizens feel their tax dollars were spent, and if it had a positive impact on their lives. Hosting community forums throughout the planning and implementation process, building engaging web and mobile experiences to solicit feedback and ideas, and focusing on the outcomes these projects are expected to achieve will ultimately increase the likelihood these projects will be well received and successful.  

  • What are some early success stories you've seen with smart cities? Any promising results and case studies we should all be aware of?

Around the world smart city projects are moving forward with purpose. The Smart Dubai initiative is a key part of city’s Happiness Agenda, the City Government of Buenos Aries is focused on fielding citizen complaints, smart lighting and flood control, and in Dublin, Ireland they are using public/private partnerships to improve air quality, access to parking and tracking bike theft. A broader look at these and other projects around the world can be found here at Buddy.com.

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IoT Leaders Profile: Jenny Fielding of Techstars

Jenny Fielding, Managing Director at Techstars

Jenny Fielding, Managing Director at Techstars

What was your introduction into the IoT sector?

I was running the venture group at the BBC, investing in digital media, when I had lunch with Beth Comstock at GE. I was considering my next move and she was a huge (and early) proponent of IoT. I immediately started researching and trying to educate myself on the topic. Fast forward a year or so and I ended up joining Techstars to invest in and support early stage IoT startups.  

What are some of your biggest accomplishments in the industry?

I love the idea of supporting and building entrepreneurial ecosystems. When I started my company in 2006 in NYC, the landscape for startups there was grim. Since then, I’ve tried to do my part in providing resources to founders, especially ones based in NYC. I’ve invested in countless companies, teach classes, mentor and host tons of events in an effort to further grow the startup community.   

What's your favorite way to keep up on the latest IoT news and trends?

I think that the best way to stay up to date on trends is to get out from behind the computer and talk to founders building the next generation of IoT companies as well as customers consuming IoT solutions. You can read all you want and get sucked into the hype cycle but customer adoption is the best indicator of the now.

Are there any sites/people/articles or books that have really inspired you lately?

I attended an event with Steve Case late last year and heard his thesis around the The Third Wave. I just got around to reading the book and it's an exciting vision of the Internet of Everything. 

What are you most excited about in IoT?

I’m excited about all the impactful use cases that IoT can pioneer. From healthcare to the Built environment, blockchain to AI. We are going to be seeing some amazing enabling products and services rolled out in the next few years and I feel lucky to be part of it all!

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CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference -- Register by 4/1

New Parks Associates research reveals that 26% of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device, equating to more than 26 million households. The way consumers are purchasing smart home devices has shifted in the past two years. Smart home products are typically sold as standalone devices, as devices bundled with services, or as devices bundled with multiple components. Between 2014 and 2016, the share of sales as standalone devices increased for more than a dozen smart home product categories.  

At the upcoming 21st-annual CONNECTIONS Conference, Parks Associates and other industry experts will address the adoption, purchase channels, and growth strategies for smart home devices and services. The executive conference, held May 23-25, 2017 in San Francisco, examines the use cases and emerging business models to successfully engage consumers and grow revenues in the converging IoT industries, including smart home, connected entertainment, and mobile ecosystems.

A research workshop, “Smart Home and IoT: Growth, Consumer Trends”, will be held on the first day of the event, prior to the opening keynote by IoTC Advisor Sridhar Solur, SVP, Product & Development for Xfinity Home, Internet of Things, and Data Services, Comcast.

Research from Parks Associates on the growth of the smart home includes:

  • More than one-fourth of U.S. broadband households now own a smart home device.
  • Nearly three-fourths U.S. broadband households have an Internet-connected entertainment device.
  • The majority of U.S. broadband households are willing to pay more than $20 per month for a comprehensive smart home system.
  • 95% of U.S. broadband households use one or more mobile phones.
  • 10% of U.S. broadband households are likely to cancel their fixed broadband Internet service over the next 12 months.
  • 8% of U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle in next 12 months.
  • 45% of U.S. broadband households are very concerned about unauthorized access regarding smart home devices.

The industry is in a transformative phase. In the past year, voice control features from products such as Amazon Echo and Google Home have demonstrated new user experiences. Consumers are embracing these innovations and quickly developing new use cases, signaling the beginning of another major shift in technology adoption. Keynote speakers addressing the future of the connected home include:

  • Matt Eyring, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Vivint Smart Home
  • Kristine Faulkner, Senior Vice President / General Manager, COX Homelife, Cox Communications
  • Miles Kingston, GM of Smart Home, Intel
  • IoTC Advisor Sridhar Solur, Senior Vice President, Product & Development for Xfinity Home, Internet of Things and Data Services, Comcast

For more information on CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, visit www.connectionsus.com

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IoT Executive Roundtable: What the Intel-Mobileye Deal Means for the Connected Car Industry

This week’s focus is on the connected car industry and more specifically, the enormous Intel-Mobileye deal.  Here's what our insiders shared:

Kurt Hoppe, Global Head of Innovation, Connected Cars,  General Motors

What does Intel’s $15.3B acquisition of Mobileye mean for the IoT industry at large? Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye confirms the IoT industry continues to permeate mainstream ecosystems and devices, in this case mass-market automotive electronics. Intel is a high-volume, mass-market, semiconductor producer, so this acquisition tells the world that ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are no longer a feature that will be limited to high-end, niche market, luxury cars. Many of the next billion cars to roll off the assembly line over the next decade will incorporate such IoT technologies which enable constantly improving connected consumer (and fleet) services. Intel was clearly ready to increase their exposure to this large and rapidly growing IoT market of Connected Cars, much like Samsung (who recently acquired Harman) and Qualcomm (who acquired NXP) over the past year.
 
Do you expect this to trigger a flurry of M&A activity around autonomous driving technology? Individuals, companies and investors have been recognizing next-gen automotive electronics and services opportunities over the past 6-12 months. I shifted from Smart Home to Connected Car myself in 2016 to help General Motors’ develop more of an IoT perspective on innovation activities.  Autonomous driving is clearly an exciting story that is unfolding rapidly for many players, but in my opinion, the Mobileye acquisition is more of a validation of the larger, immediate, global Connected Car growth opportunity. The underlying automotive software, sensors, and processors will need to be updated over the next 5 years. So, as in any industry, companies with unique technology, talented founders, and large global automotive customers will continue to be M&A targets.
 
Does this accelerate the timeline of when driverless and connected cars become ubiquitous? Connected Cars are increasingly commonplace in North America, as well as many parts of Europe and Asia. Analysts are predicting 50% of new car shipments will be connected within 2 to 3 years, and hundreds of millions of cars will be connected in less than five. This is like Smart TV in 2012 as an industry and product category undergo massive disruption, providing opportunities for new and existing technology players to layer their solutions onto the new platforms. For 1-2 ton devices that can travel at 80 miles per hour, there is a significant interest in leveraging beneficial technologies like Mobileye’s to ubiquitously improve safety features and ADAS. I have been around long enough to know that changes in mass market consumer behavior usually take longer than the early adopters want, but I am thankful to have a front row seat in this adventure.

Linda Bernardi, Founder & CEO, StraTerra Partners, LLC

What does Intel’s $15.3B acquisition of Mobileye mean for the IoT industry at large? The recent acquisition of Mobileye by Intel is definitely a spark in the momentum of the IoT Industry. Intel as a chip manufacturer (the ‘thing’ that goes into all other things) is a natural player in IoT, but for the last few years has taken a back seat in this space. This is not to say Intel does not do a ton with IoT, but has had a hard time establishing a vision and leadership in the space of IoT beyond being a component manufacturer. Let’s add to this that the IoT space is still quite young (despite analyst reports putting the devices in the billions -- in reality we have a way to go). This move by Intel means it is clearly getting in the IoT space.
 
What is not clear at this time is if Mobileye is going to operate as stand-alone autonomous car sensing company or become integrated into the larger Intel space. I had this same question when Intel picked up Nervana in the AI space about 6 months ago. Is Intel going to go into the AI space or is it just stacking the deck to have all options?  With a price tag of $15B (not a normal spend by Intel) one might say this is significant. It's worth noting that the $5B+ portfolio of startups in Intel Capital also is a great place to look at where technologies can integrate. IoT spending is at a rise; perhaps at a hype level at this time. The key pivot point will happen WHEN these IoT devices start integrating and delivering real time essential results to customers, and not just connecting…
 
Do you expect this to trigger a flurry of M&A activity around autonomous driving technology? Yes: driverless cars are coming. Let’s think of this as an advance deposit by Intel -- to get the right to play in this space -- as it has not established this independently prior to this acquisition. So we are going to see more hyped-up investments because investors globally feel this is a hot area (remember the Internet in 2000?!). We will see investors pouring money into (and not asking the right questions about) IoT, AI, driverless vehicles (cars, drones) and all else IoT…. Important to be mindful and not rush into a space that is in the definition stage at this time.
 
Does this accelerate the timeline of when driverless and connected cars become ubiquitous? While no doubt Intel’s investment will spur on some other chain reaction of investment enthusiasm, the fact remains that driverless cars will take time to be introduced at a meaningful scale (i.e., make money). The reason is that unlike the Internet and many other applications on the internet or IoT, driverless cars include considerations such as DoT, legal, insurance, car to car communication, sensor technologies beyond the car, road regulations, traffic lights, car manufacturers coming on board, and tons more. So it's a good idea to think through the broader picture and invest and enable all elements to work -- and not just the car. An autonomous car can only scale and take off when all the other elements are addressed. So it’s a bit puzzling as to why we are ONLY thinking of autonomous cars!

Tim Ritchie, VP of Sales, Buddy Platform, Inc. 

What does Intel’s $15.3B acquisition of Mobileye mean for the IoT industry at large? Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye reflects the importance and increasing reality of ubiquitous connected technology. IoT technologies are disrupting established industries from cars to clothing. Intel brings increased investment opportunity, scale and manufacturing capacity to Mobileye, allowing costs to decrease and the technology to be adopted more broadly. We will continue to see this as a model across the IoT industry as established players look to IoT innovators to energize existing product lines.

Do you expect this to trigger a flurry of M&A activity around autonomous driving technology? Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye is an indication, not a trigger, of the increasing pace of consolidation around autonomous driving technologies. I expect we will continue to see the pace increase as technologies mature and niche players strive for a larger footprint and greater market share. As with all technology maturity cycles, single solution providers will acquire solutions adjacent to them until eventually becoming complete solution providers. Ironically, once the market reaches that level of maturity, a new generation of innovators will likely disrupt established players – like what we’re seeing with less expensive, more capable IoT technologies disrupting legacy markets like utilities and healthcare.

Does this accelerate the timeline of when driverless and connected cars become ubiquitous? Regulation, not technology, will be the gating factor for autonomous vehicles. Even with regulators working as quickly as they can, technical capability continues to outstrip regulation. Existing sensor and processing capability could be implemented today into an autonomous vehicle fleet and dramatically improve traffic flow and reduce injuries. However, this won’t become reality until regulators sign off.

How does a deal of this magnitude impact smart city planning and development? Municipal planning for autonomous vehicles is well underway. Planners are designing municipal spaces that contain less parking; smart traffic light systems that adjust patterns based on real time traffic information; narrower lanes; and reduced congestion.
 

Aaron Allsbrook, CTO, ClearBlade

The self-driving car is the trend Intel advanced last week to be the next connected device that will permeate our everyday lives. Mobileye vehicle sensors and vision algorithms dramatically strengthens Intel's ability to position themselves as a technology and solution provider for this next major mobile platform.  The connected self-driving car looms large as part of the digitalization of our society, as it represents more than families commuting to school, soccer practice or work, but rather a whole new economic segment for the delivery and logistics of goods.  Benefits of this technology will include optimization of road infrastructure, improved public safety, along with the additional convenience and increased quality of life.
 
If Intel can integrate their legacy chip business into a seamless autonomous vehicle package, it represents a huge opportunity for them to once again be the technology inside our daily compute and commute.

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#IoTCatSXSW: Members Meeting and IoT Insiders Happy Hour

This past Sunday, the IoTC held our quarterly members meeting & IoT Insiders SXSW Happy Hour in Austin, Texas. To start the jam-packed day, the members meeting was graciously hosted by Mutual Mobile at their headquarters, where our hosts were joined by IoTC members and advisors traveling to Austin for the SXSW Interactive Festival. The day featured a wide variety of networking opportunities, engaging group discussions, and thought provoking presentations.

President & CEO Greg Kahn began the afternoon with a recap of the IoTC’s activities, observations, and trends coming out of CES and Mobile World Congress. Monica Fogg of The Weather Company shared a talk on AI: The Watson Perspective covering the intersection of IBM’s artificial intelligence engine Watson and the latest in IoT technology. Afterward, Aaron Allsbrook, CTO of Clearblade, presented A Revolution: Industry 4.0 & the Third Wave, an in-depth look at the Industrial IoT opportunity supported by some great case studies. Andrew Thomas, Co-Founder of Skybell, spoke to the audience recounting how his company rose to IoT success -- From Crowdfunding to IoT Startup Success Story. Bringing the meeting to a close was Tarun Nimmagadda, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Mutual Mobile, who delivered an inspiring vision of IoT and health entitled Connected Self 2.0: The Future of Fitness and Health Tech.

Lively discussion and networking carried on well into the night in Austin at our IoT Insiders SXSW Happy Hour, co-hosted with Anova. Our IoT executive and entrepreneur guests enjoyed great food, drinks, and conversation against a backdrop of amazing downtown Austin views. In addition, Anova showcased its smart Precision Cooker with a custom demo station for cooking and sampling some delicious sous vide bites. 

With another successful SXSW Festival in the books, it was a wonderful opportunity to form special bonds with the ever-growing IoTC community. As we look ahead, keep an eye out for more information about our next meeting in the coming months.

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IoT Insiders Newsletter: Featuring Leader Kurt Hoppe of General Motors

The latest edition of our IoT Insiders newsletter features our IoT leader profile with Kurt Hoppe, Global Head of Innovation / Connected Car at General Motors and new IoT advisor. In addition, we've covered several important headlines across the IoT sphere along with updates from our member companies. If you or a friend/colleague are exploring promising career opportunities in IoT, be sure to check out our updated IoT job listings in this edition.

All that and more in our newest newsletter (click here to read).

To be added to the subscribers list for future newsletters, sign up here. Or if you know anyone that wants to stay up-to-date on IoT insider news, share this link with your colleagues and network.

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IOT LEADER PROFILE: KURT HOPPE

Our second IoT Leaders profile is of Kurt Hoppe, Global Head of Innovation / Connected Car at General Motors and board adviser to the IoTC.

Kurt brings over 15 years' experience leading connected consumer product and service innovation, new business model creation, and go-to-market initiatives leveraging strategic partners. He's led dedicated and cross-functional matrix teams in ideation, design, development, marketing, and sales with a focus on the intersection of consumer experience, connected IoT devices and cloud-based analytics.

1.      Where did your career start?
 
I joined the military when I was 17 and shipped off to Canada’s equivalent of West Point:  RMC.  In addition to the great Computer Science education and a complimentary (but mandatory) 5:00 am “workout regime”, the military taught me leadership, mentoring and teambuilding skills, as well as discipline and responsibility, all at a young age.  What other job do you know where 21-year olds can lead 500-person, high-intensity projects for 6 months, or run daily operations of a 15-site IT organization spanning 2000 miles?  So, the military is where it all began and I learned a lot during those years, yet I am disappointed that the skills and abilities of our military veterans are typically not recognized when they transition to the private sector.  That’s a worthwhile cause that I would like to dedicate more time towards in the future.

 2.      What was your introduction into the IoT sector?
 
Connected Consumer IoT has resonated with me since my youth. I had all the gadgets of that era. That’s why I studied AI-driven UX at UBC in Vancouver and pushed portable ruggedized communication devices while in the Air Force. After I left the military, and got “free agent” status in the private sector, I started the always stimulating, never-ending pursuit of “the next connected thing”.  Thankfully, that means I’ve been able to collaborate with visionaries for dramatic business shifts like e-commerce, mobile data (5 years before iPhone), broadband home gateways, Internet-connected set-top boxes, IPTV and OTT streaming video, Smart TVs, Smart Home and now Connected Car. So, it sounds like I have been in the “IoT sector” since I was born. (laughs)
 
3.      What are you most excited about in IoT?
 
I am probably most excited about “Automation” or, as some might call it, “Cognition”.  For mass-market consumer adoption, the tech UX must be simple and intuitive. I have been asking my teams for over ten years:  “can my mother in Toronto use this new thing, and can she use it without reading an instruction manual?” I say the same thing today to my colleagues at General Motors, whether they are striving to launch our next-generation in-dash services or update our mobile car apps. That’s why I was such a huge proponent of natural, conversational voice when driving Smart TV and Smart Home Input Technologies at LG Electronics. Now that the awareness of AI Assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri is leading to increased usage and improvement, what’s next?  Is there anything better than voice to turn off your lights or remote start your car?  I think next will be the Invisible or Automatic UX, where everyday life patterns are detected and interpreted and proactive actions are helpfully taken or at least suggested. In spirit, this user modeling is increasingly possible thanks to machine learning and all the sensors. If my user model constantly gets updated by IoT devices I interact with like my Chevy Bolt EV, my Fitbit, my Xfinity Home system and set-top, my iPhone and my Google searches, then I can be pleasantly surprised when my home or car “automatically” welcomes me at the right time, with the right temperature and lighting, and with the right music. That kind of “cognitive future” is what excites me about Connected Consumer IoT.
 
4.      Are there any sites/people/articles or books that have really inspired you lately?
 
I enjoy reading biographies, personal development, and business/innovation books, and I am trying to add creative novels to the mix as well.  Recently, I found myself inspired by Brian Jay Jones’ “George Lucas:  A Life”.  The parallels of the late - 60’s - early 70’s SoCal movie makers that were disrupting an established industry resonated with me, given my transition last year to the longstanding automotive industry.  Lucas’ adventures with Spielberg and Coppola were actually Lean Innovation, 50 years before we all came to love that term.  Speaking of Spielberg, he is making a film now of a book that I just finished yesterday:  “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. That one definitely resonates with our tech crowd that grew up in the 80s, while also raising some interesting social questions around VR/AR work and relationships in our near future.  In terms of a person that inspires me consistently, it’s Mary Barra, my CEO at General Motors (GM). Mary’s pragmatic and common-sense approach to decision-making and guiding this massive, 100+ year old, automotive “hardware company” to the forefront of the industry in the most disruptive time ever in personal mobility, is energizing and is a big part of why I personally chose to join the GM team last year.
 

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IoTC and Nestle Present at Mobile World Congress

Can a 150 years old consumer good giant compete with the exponential rate of technology driven change? How is it possible to bring the best of the outside digital innovation inside the company, and “make the elephant dance”?

Greg Kahn, President/CEO of the Internet of Things Consortium, and Filippo Catalano, Chief Digital Operations Officer at Nestlé, will present this Wednesday, March 1st, 2017, at the Mobile World Congress a successful 5 point recipe for driving the organization, solutions and services side of the equation, and deep dive in some examples where digital technology is profoundly impacting business models.

Click here for more information.

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IoT Insiders Newsletter: Doubling Down on Privacy & Security

The latest edition of our IoT Insiders newsletter features the latest, most important headlines in IoT security and the Connected Home -- two central themes from the Consortium's industry taskforces. In addition, we've published the results from our Twitter surveys on a variety of key IoT topics along with updates from our member companies. If you or a friend/colleague are exploring promising career opportunities in IoT, be sure to check out our new IoT job listings in this edition.

All that and more in our newest newsletter (click here to read).

To be added to the subscribers list for future newsletters, sign up here. Or if you know anyone that wants to stay up-to-date on IoT insider news, share this link with your colleagues and network.

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IoTC Member Updates: February 2017

Honeywell is searching for expert software developers at locations across the US. These engineers will work on innovative solutions in the connected home. Visit the careers site to see the roles currently open or send an email to Scott.harkins@honeywell.com. 

Chirp and EDF Energy - the world’s largest nuclear energy and electricity manufacturer - launched its unique Industrial IoT solution to create the first ever “Smart PowerPlant,” using sound instead of radio frequencies to transmit connections between devices. Also, Chirp's technology scores an in-depth profile in The Verge.

Verizon acquired LQD WiFi, a private smart city infrastructure company. Their technology bolsters Verizon's smart city offerings for municipalities, private developers, academic institutions and entertainment venues.

UCIC and McLean, VA based startup Witlingo announced an active joint partnership to deliver fully conversational capabilities to consumer products, including cars, TV sets, humanoid robots, and household appliances. Read the press release.

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Securifi’s Almond 3 is a finalist in the Privacy and Security category for SXSW 2017 innovation awards, and was named a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree.

Cirrent and Comcast announce ZipKey support for Comcast customers. Cirrent's ZipKey technology enables devices to find a Wi-Fi connection instantly out of the box, and will be deployed as part of Comcast's new home networking solution. Read more on CNET.

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Clearblade has been rated as Leading Vendor in MachNation’s 2016 IoT Application Enablement Platform Scorecard. MachNation's ScoreCard is the industry's largest independent evaluation of IoT platforms. Read the press release.

After the completion of their first successful program this year, Techstars IoT is opening applications for their next program which will kick off in July. Read more about it here and apply.

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Belkin has released two new products, the WeMo Mini Smart Plug that connects everyday household items to your Wemo app; and the Linksys Velop, a whole-home WiFi mesh networking solution.

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IoT Leaders Profile: Nate Williams

Beginning this month, we are introducing a new series called IoT Leaders – whereby we pose a short series of questions to a stand-out executive/entrepreneur who specializes in wearables, home automation, connected retail, connected cars or smart cities.

Our first profile is of Nate Williams, the Chief Revenue Officer of August Home, Inc and board advisor to the IoTC.

Nate is one of the most positive, provocative, and connected leaders in IoT -- a rising star well known in Smart Home circles.  He has crafted some of the most progressive deals to date in the IoT sector with a variety of partners that include Verizon, Apple, Airbnb, and Coldwell Banker.  Nate’s experience spans enterprise (Greenwave, Motorola) and consumer IoT (August). 

In addition to being an active angel investor and advisor, Nate can often be found cycling competitively in Northern California and spending quality time with his three young children.

What was your introduction into the IoT sector?

In 2005, fresh out of graduate school at UCLA I was asked to research Home Automation trends in support of our product development planning at Intel Corporation. In addition to assisting Intel Capital on the due diligence of iControl (early pioneer in Smart Home Security), I also analyzed the trends of convergence between Media and Automation. This eventually led me to meet the founding team at 4Home, where I joined as the first “business hire” and ultimately became the #2 in the company. Motorola Mobility acquired 4Home in 2010 and I joined the Management team of their Software & Services group running Marketing and Business Development. Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google in 2011.

Over 10 years and several strategic transactions later, I still feel the sense of awe and enthusiasm about the possibilities of IoT to not only impact industries but also improve lives. I have dedicated my career to being an operator, investor, and cheerleader for the sector and along the way met some great folks!

How did you get affiliated with IoTC? what is your role there?

I became affiliated with the Internet of Things Consortium through Jason Johnson (Founder & CEO of August).  I knew he had been gathering smart minds around SF to discuss opportunities in IoT. Those informal “jam sessions” became some of the early foundations of the IoTC and I volunteered to jump in as a Board Advisor in 2014.

My current role at IoTC is chairing the membership committee in support of Greg and the IoTC staff.  In my role, I leverage my relationships across the industry to bring new partners into the consortium and perform due diligence on prospective members. What separates the IoTC from many other interest groups (besides not proposing standards!) is that we have an invitation-only membership policy. We screen the prospective companies and members to ensure that they will contribute to the industry, not only maximize their company’s agenda. So many members including Jim Hunter from Greenwave and JP Abello from Nielsen are committed to deliver on the promise of IoT.

Name a big IoT trend that isn't getting enough attention.

The Enterprise IoT sector continues to lag behind Consumer IoT in terms of attention and press. The sheer scope and scale of the Enterprise opportunity is massive and something I believe we’ll see much more attention on in the coming year. The power of IoT to tectonically impact an industry, whether it is transportation, manufacturing, medical, or utilities is unmatched. At one point Cisco had calculated IoT could provide 14 trillion dollars of economic value in the next 10 years.

Because I have the pleasure of leading August’s go-to-market efforts in the consumer space, I have developed a fairly good sense of what opportunities can scale in the B2C or B2B channels. For example, enterprise grade IoT platforms like Greenwave Systems (my former startup) combine the agility of a consumer startup with the deep technical expertise and international footprint of a large Enterprise player.

Are there any sites/people/articles or books that have really inspired you lately?

Site = Twitter, between following IoTC and other main influencers I am getting a firehouse of great data.

People = One of my mentors is the former SVP of Corporate Development at Cisco and Enterprise Angel Investor Dan Scheinman. Dan is involved with some of the most innovative companies in Enterprise right now such as Arista Networks, Zoom, Greenwave, and Sentinel One. It was really inspiring for me to hear about how he developed his vetting process for angel investments and how to be “value add” as an investor. It certainly reinforced how I want to help the startups I advise/invest.

Articles = I absolutely loved Jason Rosenthal’s post “How to Build a Hard Tech Startup” on Medium. Totally insightful around leading hardware teams developing cutting edge technology literally breaking new boundaries along the way. Inspiring!

Books = I blogged about my reading Habits in 2016, but I would say the most inspiring book I’ve read in the past year was “Mans Search for Meaning”. As a father of 3, very important that I can align my vocation with my values.

In 5 years, where will we see you?

Continuing to be associated with the most disruptive entrepreneurs and startups in the Internet of Things industry. Firstly, I love the challenge of taking a new product/service and working across the permutations to find product/market fit. At Greenwave, we found that with a massively impactful and very strategic relationship with Verizon. At August, we used hero integrations with Alexa, Siri, and Google/Nest to make our Smart Lock a hero product in over 5,000 doors in US and Canada. Along the way, I’ve also got to help early stage IoT startups such as Roost, Matterport, Cirrent, and Data Science as an Angel Investor and Advisor. Transitioning from player to coach/cheerleader as I build teams and deploy capital is something that challenges me and I look forward to opportunities where I can increase the global impact of my work.

So in 2022 I would expect to see me back from CES 2022 (possibly) recovering from the annual “show cold” but with (hopefully) another year of IoTC success stories and learning under my belt!

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#IoTCatCES: Happy Hour & IoT Showcase

What better way to celebrate our first anniversary than with a CES Happy Hour & IoT Showcase? The evening reception took place on Friday, January 6th and was centrally located right outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. IoTC member NXP provided an impressive array of hands-on IoT demos for our guests with their Smarter World Tour truck (NXP's traveling "IoT Lab on Wheels"), and their spectacular exhibit tent. Thanks to all the special guests who joined in our birthday celebration with drinks, appetizers, music, and excellent IoT networking. Executives from companies such as Belkin, Canary, Comcast, Indiegogo, Nielsen, Qualcomm, Verizon, and many more were in attendance. 

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#IoTCatCES: Media & Entertainment in the 'Third Wave' with ESPN, Nielsen, Nissan & more

In an event co-hosted with Disney Media Networks, the IoTC convened a panel of experts at CES to explore how media & entertainment will evolve in the Third Wave age of IoT. Held on Thursday, January 5th at the Four Seasons Hotel of Las Vegas, the "Future of Connected Screens" event was comprised of executives from ESPN, Nielsen, Nissan, Parks Associates, Team One, and Brand InnovatorsBrett Sappington from Parks Associates kicked the morning off with some valuable research charting the steady growth of connected device ownership by consumers, along with data on how newer technologies like Virtual Reality, wearables, connected cars, and voice recognition/command are starting to gain traction. 

The panel conversation then delved into some of the most exciting opportunities in connected screens for businesses, including the success of voice-control technology like the Amazon Echo, and the potential for virtual reality to transform entertainment. The group also discussed how data collected from IoT devices can augment storytelling experiences for marketers & advertisers, but that better measurement capabilities would be an important precedent to unlocking advertiser investment, which would in turn subsidize and accelerate consumer adoption of IoT.

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Happy Birthday to the IoTC

The Internet of Things Consortium is celebrating our first anniversary at CES 2017! To prepare for the special occasion, we've been hard at work gearing up for an exciting slate of activities at the biggest show in technology.

Wednesday, January 4th: VR + Brands @ The Palazzo

The IoTC is teaming up with Comcast Ventures to host an executive dinner and roundtable discussion on Virtual Reality. We'll be joined by executives from Pepsico, Hasbro, NextVR, Baobab Studios, and more to lead a conversation on how marketers can collaborate with VR content creators to tell more immersive and more powerful stories for brands.

Thursday, January 5th: The Future of Connected Screens @ Four Seasons Hotel

In partnership with Disney Media Networks, the IoTC will be leading a breakfast panel discussion exploring the future of how media will be consumed in the age of IoT. On the panel will be executives from Nissan, ESPN and more sharing their expert insights on what businesses should anticipate as common household appliances, automobiles and everyday objects all become connected

Thursday, January 5th: Connections Summit at CES by Parks Associates @Venetian

Hosted by our partner Parks Associates, the Connections Summit at CES features discussions analyzing trends in smart homes and IoT for consumers while identifying opportunities for companies. For more information on the conference, visit here. IoTC members receive registration discounts, as well as a limited number of complimentary passes.

Friday, January 6th: CES Happy Hour and IoT Tech Showcase by IoTC & NXP @Las Vegas Convention Center Central Plaza

The IoTC will be co-hosting an evening reception with NXP at the center of all the CES action, the LVCC. Guests will be able to tour NXP's Smarter World Tour truck, a giant traveling showcase of all the latest in IoT technology. It promises to be a fun evening of drinks, appetizers, networking, and interactive hands-on IoT demos.

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Smart Cities: Executive Dinner & Summit

The #IoTCinBoston week continued on Tuesday with our second "Connected Conversations," a series of executive roundtable dinners in partnership with CBS Interactive. The evening's hosts were IoTC CEO Greg Kahn along with Jason Hiner, Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Larry Dignan, Global Editor in Chief of ZDNet. Together they led a guided group discussion exploring the future of Smart Cities over cocktails, appetizers, and dinner. In the spirit of public-private sector partnership, the group of 30 dinner guests included senior executives from local government such as New Haven, Kansas City, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well corporations such as Verizon, GE, Liberty Mutual, NXP, and Autodesk. The conversation varied in Smart Cities topics from government policy and funding to investments in infrastructure and academic institutions, leading to a lively exchange of opinions, ideas, and knowledge.

On Wednesday, in partnership with the inaugural launch of the Smart Cities Summit, the IoTC led a panel discussion on Sharing Economies for modern cities. Joseph Tam of the IoTC moderated a conversation examining the impact of services such as Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber on local economies along with what new opportunities they engender for cities making IoT and smart city investments. On the panel were Nichole Mace, VP of Product and Member Experience at Zipcar, Tyler George, General Manager of Lyft, Melanie Nutter, Principal of Nutter Consulting, and David Miller, CEO of RideLeads. Together, the group painted a hopeful vision for the convergence of the sharing economy and smart city initiatives, one where more opportunities are created for the workforce, where cities are more environmentally sustainable, where underserved communities in cities have greater access, and where we're all inspired to build the next generation of jobs.

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IoTC Members Meeting in Boston: Educate. Partner. Inspire.

This Monday, the IoTC kicked off a big week of activities in Boston with our quarterly members meeting. The meeting was graciously hosted by Liberty Mutual at their headquarters, where our hosts were joined by IoTC members traveling from all parts including Tel Aviv, Toronto, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and more. With a theme of "Educate. Partner. Inspire.," the afternoon featured knowledge sharing of best-in-class IoT ideas and solutions, thought provoking presentations, and plenty of engaging discussions.

CEO & President Greg Kahn outlined IoTC's plans for 2017 and also led a discussion on some of the emerging trends and predictions around IoT for the new year. Chris Rezendes, Founder of IoT Impact Labs and advisor to the IoTC, presented the inspiring work of his organization to "instrument the physical world," deploying early stage IoT technology for small businesses, cities, and more. Kwik is one of our newest members and its Founder & CEO, Ofer Klein, discussed how their "Press to Order" button product is uniquely facilitating connected commerce and how its technology empowers brands to sell direct to consumers. Leor Grebler, CEO of fellow IoTC member UCIC, walked us through the recent history and the future of ambient voice technology, an especially hot IoT topic du jour popularized by devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Bringing us to close was Chad Lovell, Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships at Liberty Mutual, who delivered an exclusive inside look at their strategic approach to developing innovative insurance products for smart homes, next-gen vehicles, and the sharing economy.

The lively discussions, networking, and bonding carried on well after the meeting as everyone convened for the IoTC Happy Hour. Capped off with a few rounds of drinks and bites, Monday could not have been a more amazing start to #IoTCinBoston week.

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IoTC at Smart Home Summit and ad:tech

The IoTC went coast-to-coast this week, speaking at the Smart Home Summit in Palo Alto on Tuesday, November 1st, and then again at the ad:tech conference in New York on Thursday, November 3rd. 

At the Smart Home Summit, IoTC CEO & President Greg Kahn was joined by fellow IoTC members Scott Harkins of Honeywell and Nate Williams of August to discuss the critical role of partnerships for companies in the smart home ecosystem and how to best forge successful partnerships. Also on the panel were Anoop Mohan of Comcast and Brett Worthington of SmartThings.

At ad:tech, the leading advertising and marketing technology conference, IoTC Advisor Ohad Zeira of Verizon led a panel discussion on "IoT and the Marketing Revolution." The panel included IoTC member John Burbank of Nielsen along with executives from IBM, Philips, Kiip, and Hiku. Ohad moderated a lively discussion on the hot topic of how advertisers can leverage data from IoT sensors and devices for the targeting of ads, but the panelists also shared some great insights on how IoT can augment brand storytelling and brand experiences for marketers.

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Dyn DDoS Attack: what happened and what we can do to stop future attacks

The IoT Consortium takes IoT security and privacy threats extremely seriously. The Mirai botnet DDoS attack that took down the Dyn DNS service Friday, October 21st affected many of the most popular US web sites, causing massive service disruptions and widespread damage on an unprecedented scale. The simplicity and accessibility of this hack also exposed in a very public manner the extreme vulnerability of the current consumer IoT ecosystem and the urgency of identifying and rapidly deploying robust protective measures across the entire industry.

To that order, the IoT Consortium has formed a Privacy & Security Committee comprised of leading consumer IoT manufacturers to promote and coordinate industry-wide collaboration on this critical issue. Its long term goal is to build and maintain consumer's trust in the connected devices that are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and foster the development an healthy IoT consumer ecosystem that can safely add value to the global Internet economy.

Released just weeks ago as an open source malware, the Mirai botnet continuously scans the Internet for common consumer IoT devices such as web-connected cameras, thermostats, smart TVs and digital video recorders. Leveraging the fact that many consumers neglect to change the default username and password in their rush to setup these devices, it uses a short list of the common default usernames and passwords, (such as "admin", "123" and "password") to break into these relatively unprotected devices. In a very short time, Mirai was able to gain access and recruit hundreds of thousands of connected devices to flood specific targets with traffic requests, effectively forcing them offline. 

Currently the quickest fix is for consumers to reboot their devices and immediately change the default username and password, to prevent them to become re-infected. However its unreasonable to expect that most consumers will do this on their own, and the IoT Consortium recommends that manufacturers commit to pushing firmware updates to all their devices that require changing the default username and password both as part of the initial setup process and as part of the software update. Consumers should also be strongly advised to avoid re-using critically important passwords, such as those of their email or bank accounts and home WiFi routers.

The IoT Consortium welcomes and encourages all IoT device manufacturers to join and participate in this community effort, and help make the IoT into a more secure and trusted place for consumers. For more information, please contact Greg Kahn at greg@iofthings.org or our privacy and security subcommittee co-leaders JP Abello (jeanpierre.abello@nielsen.com) and Jim Hunter (jim.hunter@greenwavereality.com).

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IoTC to present keynote at Chain Store Age's Executive Conference

This Thursday, October 27th, the IoTC's CEO & President, Greg Kahn, will be presenting a Keynote session on the future of Connected Retail at Chain Store Age's X/SPECS Executive Conference. Chain Store Age (CSA) is the leading news publication for the retail industry and X/SPECS is a 3-day exclusive event for executives from top retailers to discuss the evolution of physical stores and the retail experience. Below is a description of the IoTC's keynote presentation, titled "The Internet of Things: What Does it Mean for You?"

By 2026, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be a routine part of consumers’ daily lives, but it has already impacted retail – with more changes on the way. Learn about how customer experience will be elevated, and the store will be enriched, by a next level in personalization – think RFID, beacons, mobile devices, video, connected retail displays and more.

Facilities management will also see transformation as IoT creates “smart” building operations with enhanced facilities intelligence. Systems that control everything from heating and air conditioning to lighting and security will be integrated, changing the way we operate, maintain and manage stores. The future is here.

You may find more information about the event at its website: http://www.xspecsshow.com/

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