Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Start-Ups chat about IoT/IoE over the NVI

July 24, 2015

As part of Cisco UKI investment in the UK we support the National Virtual Incubator (NVI). This is a virtual network to join up the innovation hubs that exist across the UK.

Yesterday I chaired a session on the “Internet of Things/Internet of Everything” from our IdeaLondon facility. Participants included the Digital Catapult(London) NVI_Wales (Swansea), IdeaLondon (London!), Manchester Science Partnerships and the Innovation Birmingham Campus.

The NVI is there to allow a “peer to peer” conversation on topics of interest. IOT/IOE was right up there in terms of interest. We discussed the challenges, the opportunities and the traction in the marketplace.

There were multiple verticals represented, everything from connected buildings, connected lighting, healthcare solutions, retail and even a connected toothbrush game.

The reality for them was that at the moment the bulk of the solutions are really “internet” of things – rather than the true panacea of “intranet” i.e. solutions they work on are contained within a particular firewall or one building.

They also share some common problems and concerns.

  • All are struggling to process the amount of data that current sensors could generate, so what still needs to be done when sensors are at the 50 billion stage ? There is a need to look for tooling or algorithms to help work through and filter the volumes of data.
  • Privacy concerns and security in general, generated much debate. Leading us to a conclusion as to whether we should ask the question “Should we connect this thing to the internet” – BEFORE doing so.
  • Social concerns about when connected things/data/process causes humans to loose their jobs, what considerations do we need to start to put in process from a country/social/legal perspective.

The session ended with some fun, asking each location to think about one thing that would be cool to be connected that isn’t today. A couple of my favourites included the connected toaster (that has a moisture sensor to keep your toast at the right brownness) and the connected husband/partner (which would track when they are at the pub, and then lock certain doors but turn the electric blanket on in the spare room !).

Some great new working relationships were formed across the different locations, and we certainly got the thought processes going around the opportunities the Internet of Everything gives us – as one attendee described it “IOE – the Auto-pilot for life” !

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