The Internet of Things

The Council is a formidable, unique network of talents encompassing all skills, experiences and trades, from entrepreneurship to philosophy, public sector and private sector, and it brings together people who beyond their specific knowledge share the same passion of tinkering with technology to put it at the service of individuals, communities, society, and the whole planet. The IoT Day is an irresistible momentum enabling IoT lovers to meet, share, co-create, present solutions, and find new problems to work on ;-)  ...The future is not purely destiny; it is in our hands. - Gérald Santuci

Lacking: a positive story

Although the success of individual Internet of Things (IoT) products is undeniable, the debate in is focused on privacy risks and security challenges.

There is no positive socio-cultural meme driving the potential of the Digital Transition. The Industry 4.0 approach - optimizing efficiency and predictive maintenance in closed environments - while necessary as an integral strategy, cannot bring assurance to a broad population that their data are secure, safe and guaranteed according to privacy by design and an ethics that underlies business models. In addition, the current digital landscape is highly fragmented, with a multitude of non-interoperable vertical solutions, all offering their own set of devices, gateways and platforms, and means of data handling.

This fragmentation also contributes to the unmanageability and lack of data control for end users. It arises from the impossibility for many SMEs and startups of seeing a clear value proposition in offering horizontal, interoperable components of complete IoT solutions.

"Clearly, no company has the capabilities and resources to do it all in the IoT. Instead, businesses targeting this opportunity will always be part of an ecosystem. This means that ecosystems are ultimately the competitive unit in the IoT – and that the battle will be between these ecosystems, not between individual companies. Moreover, there will not be single but many interlinked ecosystems. An ecosystem of ecosystems  if you will."

What you need: someone to build your ecoystem or tells you how to do it yourself

In his text Key Elements and Enablers for Developing an IoT Ecosystem Omar Valdez-de-Leon states: “In the battle to establish leadership in the IoT, ecosystem will ultimately be the competitive unit.” An ecosysttem can not be launched, created or build. It has to be nurtured structurally over time. You need to know when to build strong links and when to facilitate weak ties. You need to learn how to develop a real conversation with each and every one of your known stakeholders in the chain and how to find and be seen by the new actors. 

Council is currently operating as Ecosystem Manager of the Horizion 2020 Project Tagitsmart, working with companies such as Unilever, Siemens, Durst, Fujitsu, Thinfilm, UPC and Dunavnet. Before that is acted as Community Manager in two of the most wired EU cities Smart Santander and Novi Sad. Council was Stakeholder Coordinator of the IoT Flagship Project IoT-A working with partners such as Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, Hitachi Europe Ltd, IBM Research GmbH CH, NEC Europe Ltd, NXP, AP, Siemens AG, and Telefonica.


What is the Internet of Things?

In 1999 Kevin Ashton, then at P&G, coined the term ‘Internet of Things’. It was a new term, but not a new operation. It was known as pervasive computing, ubicomp, and ambient intelligence. The 90s database storage was too expensive. It is the Cloud, operational from 2000s, that enables #IoT.

Buildings, cars, consumer products, and people become information spaces. We were entering a land where the environment became the interface, where we must learn anew how to make sense. Making sense is the ability to read data as data and not noise. Still this is the challenge we face today. 

Why would we want an Internet of Things? We want it because it can offer us the best possible feedback on physical and mental health, the best possible resource allocation based on real time monitoring, best possible decision making on mobility patterns and the best possible alignments of local providers with global potential. Operationally this means that we can define Internet of Things as the seamless flow between the

  • BAN (body area network): wearables,
  • LAN (local area network): smart home,
  • WAN (wide area network): connected car, and
  • VWAN (very wide area network): the smart city.

Key to this flow is having control of the data. That is why Google is offering a Glass and a Lens so you can synchronize your health data into the NEST and the Google Car throughout the smart city applications of google.org. The idea is that in consumer applications and services you never have to leave the Google Cloud. The products are gateways linking up the networks.

Internet of Things is a new beginning.

In our current architectures we are used to dealing with three groups of actors:

  • citizens/end-users;
  • industry/subject matter experts (SMEs); and
  • those involved in governance/legal matters.

These all are characterized by certain qualities. In our current models and architectures we build from and with these actors as entities in mind. The data flow of IoT will bring forth new entities consisting of different qualities taken from the former three groups diminishing the power of the traditional entities.

Council guides you through this process and helps you to identify these new entities in your domain early, so you can act.



Council position text : Europe's IoT

The Internet of Things Council defines Europe’s involvement in the smart technology of tomorrow, its effect on everyday life and the development of a new world order

Europe can take pride in having coined the phrase ‘internet of things’ (IoT), for making a reference to it in the first public sector official document, and for pointing the way towards a more competitive, inclusive and sustainable IoT-driven economy. Over the period of 2007-2012, the EU invested around €100m in IoT collaborative projects, worked closely with EU member states to encourage and create synergy with national initiatives and managed a group of about 40 international experts from civil society, private sector, academia, governments and international organisations to devise an ambitious EU policy covering identification, architectures, data protection and privacy, ethics, security and standards.

However, in only three years the geostrategic IoT landscape has changed profoundly with the emergence of players from many worldwide countries, and the increasing globalisation of the key issues. Today the IoT is the main force driving change in industries and society. This explains why the European Commission and EU member states are committed to developing strategies to support experiments and the deployment of IoT technologies and services.

Yet the large number of national initiatives, if not properly co-ordinated around a shared vision and smart objectives, might degenerate into a fragmentation of the EU market, thus jeopardising the effective and sustainable implementation of the digital single market, and an ossification of industrial silos/applications.

See the pdf published in Pan European Networks, PEN: Government Issue 18

Pan European Networks: Government has been designed specifically, with its extensive distribution, to make sure that the ‘people in the know’ remain ‘in the know’.