Retrospective: Internet of Things Asia 2015 Conference and Exhibition

In his opening keynote for the year’s Internet of Things (IoT) Asia conference, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment & Water Resources and Minister-in-Charge of Smart Nation, Singapore, defined the Internet of Things (IoT) to be the “tsunami of the IT revolution” — with an estimated 30 billion devices installed by 2020.

On that note, the event took place on the 8th and 9th April 2015, and saw four different tracks catering genres such as Technology, Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Wearables at the Max Atria @ Singapore Expo.

Wearable tech on showcase at the event

There was also a grand exhibition centre with over 30 stalls from industry players such as Bosch and Beckhoff, interactive forums and even midday activities hosted by the ArtScience Museum for the platform of art meets tech.

Dr Balakrishnan added: “Singapore will be the ideal test-bed for proof of concept and prototype solutions for the existential future challenges, just as we did for water. We believe in and will promote open infrastructure, open standards, open source, and open data. This will create a more open society based on trust and collaboration. We will promote innovation by tapping the wisdom of (experts in) the crowd.”

With such massive projections of data, devices and digital interaction, the spread of information from IoT Asia 2015 aimed to transform governments, cities and businesses starting with Singapore, to international societies such as Korea.  This is all based on the IoT core values of convenience, real time and data, and security, where IoT can help humans live better by enhancing the way they live it, like increasing productivity and achieving competitive advantages. Ideas and innovation thrive in this climate, where everyone is ready to take on the next wave of connectivity to propel the IoT epoch forward.

The first day kicked off the blue technology-focused track, which started off with Taiwan’s MediaTek with a session on the semiconductors’ value and roles in shaping and driving the IoT landscape. Demonstrating the aid of the patient’s experience and process in driving most IoT enabled devices, this was backed by insights on security from NXP Semiconductors and an engaging session with Nordic Semiconductor, highlighting IoT with IPv6 technology over the traditional Bluetooth Smart. If you saw anyone drinking coffee out of a blue IPv6 cup, it probably came from the technology onsite.

Over at the green end-user manufacturing track, Bosch got the ball rolling with connected solutions, showcasing prototypes that had the light bulbs switching colours.

While Arcstone, Feinmetall and ARC Advisory Group SEA shared insights on the best adoption practices for the hardware/firmware industry, things were much quirkier over at the pink wearable tech track. Quoting Mark Weiser to “weave themselves into the fabrics of everyday life”, Welspun Global Brands got everyone listening to the potential of smarter wearables. The design panel with the leading figures of innovation, including Creative Innovation, We Are Perspective, Thingful summed the day up.

The rest of the sessions saw the value of IoT being tested down to the cents and dollars, but another factor that comes into the picture is the concept of accessible healthcare. One of the reasons reasoned for Singapore is the threat of aging population, and IoT can become a huge advantage once established for the ease of elderly living. Healthcare was the focus of the orange track, which was lead by USA’s Tagnos, MHC Asia, MyDoc and the Continua Health Alliance Southeast Asia Working Group.

“Smart city is a journey,” said Wilson Deng of Arestone on the second morning of IoT Asia, during his session on transforming traditional manufacturing into factories of the future. It was an ecosystem, not a product or a service, as mentioned from the blue session earlier by AT&T, when they shared their video to capture the reality of IoT through a smart car, that can become your smart home, that can become your smart life.

The idea is that IoT involves everyone, everything and everywhere all at the same time.

An attendee trying out DigiQuin, a 3D Augmented Reality with Human Profile Analytic Digital Mannequin made for the retail industry.

Other highlights include the Pan Asian Smart City Forum, which saw Internet of Things Council (The Netherlands), Cornerstones Technology (Korea) and InfoComm Development Authority (Singapore) share their vision for smart cities under the guide of Schneider Electric. Things got heated once the concept that innovation comes from the willingnesss to fail, bringing around the role of the government in IoT and their perception of failing (albeit for innovation).

The second day of the Pan Asian Smart City Forum

The ending keynote was by Scott Jenson, UX Strategy Chrome Team Google (USA) as he termed the IoT myopia down to the “thin crust of effort” and Kurtzweil’s reasoning of “humans don’t think exponentially”. To him, it is time to take a page not from Apple, and go forward with wider perspectives. At this stage where we use tomorrow’s technology to solve yesterday’s tasks, the idea of IoT is close enough to transform the future of tomorrow for everyone.