Journey 2018 ... on the road
Last month I and four fellow Scientific Community members went on the road ... to Glasgow. Actually, on the rails in my case; you can't beat the glorius East Coast mainline up to Edinburgh, en route to our final destination. There we met over 40 representatives from clients, and prospective clients, to discuss some of the topics in our latest publication, Journey 2018.
Thanks go to the BBC who so kindly hosted the event for us at their Pacific Quay facility, overlooking the River Clyde. (Which you may recognise from the Commonwealth Games coverage last year.)
We each took a topic - my colleagues covered the "Economy of Data", "Data Security and Privacy", "New Media" and "Cloud Service Integration". My topic was "The Internet of Everything". The way the morning was structured enabled our guests to circulate around three of the five topics - with the promise of more separately if they so wish.
In our sessions we gave a quick 10 minute overview of our subject, which was followed by another 10 minutes of discussion with a small group of eight to ten people. And then we repeated it twice more.
So what did I cover on the Internet of Everything? Well firstly I pointed out that it's more than just the "Internet of Things" which is itself a very import topic (and which we continue to study in the Scientific Community as part of our "Journey 2020" work). So not just technical devices and sensors connected by new forms of network infrastructure. It's also about the locations, the people and the processes. Putting this all together to create business (and social) value.
Having a technical background I couldn't resist that Internet of Things infrastructure though, so also talked about the new concept of "Fog Computing". It's obviously a bit of a play on words, but I do like the concept of Cloud computing up there far away in the sky doing the computation and analytics on consolidated information, but us now needing something down here close to the ground to pre-process and filter all the vast quantities of data we are collecting before we send it up, through smart gateways, to the cloud. Thankfully my audience hadn't previously heard of this concept, so hopefully they went away feeling that they know something new.
I then provided some real examples of where we've already applied technology in Internet of Everything (and Internet of Things) projects. So from Smart Cities (Birmingham is an example where we've used our MyCity solutions) to connected vehicles and enabling John Deere to change its business propositions from providing tractors to increasing crop yield. I also couldn't help showing off my new smart watch to decribe how this is providing new ways to access and indeed to capture data ... pointing out that we should be careful how this type of information should be handled.
Finally I talked about my team from UCL (University Collage London) that I have been coaching in the Atos IT Challenge this year. This worldwide engineering competition provides the opportunity for students to build solutions on a particular topic with awesome prizes (visit the Olympic Games, trips to Barcelona and the like). With the theme this year being "Connected Living", the team produced an Internet connected doorbell - when someone rings it, it connects them with your smart phone (or watch!), so that even if you're out you can deal with the visitor - be it a friend of perhaps a delivery. In fact we have since learnt that the team was one of the winners, coming third overall in the competition, with a trip to Paris and showered with gifts.
In the obligatory feedback forms I received an average of 4 out of 5, which I thank my reviewers for! I'll work on improving my pitch to see if I can do better next time.
If you spot that we're in your area do please come along to the event, it really does help us bring the topics to life; off the page, out of the blog and together we can find what we can really do for you in the topic areas we cover.