LONDON-The IoT World Forum 2014. At this year’s IoT World Forum conference, the projection of connected figures and potential value of the IoT ecosystem in the coming years, was stated in presentations throughout, including one by Dr. Shane Rooney, Executive Director, IoT Networks from the GSMA Connected Living Programme.
The key theme at the conference was the potential of Big Data. Big Data is most widely used to describe the collection of large and complex data sets that are difficult to process using conventional means. For businesses, one of the biggest values of the IoT is the ability to process vast amounts of data in order to understand their customers’ behaviour, which in turn can contribute towards meaningful, effective business decisions.
James Monighan, Head of Products for Connected Homes, British Gas, expressed how Big Data could lead to more efficient energy consumption by households, reducing operating costs for British Gas and minimising costs for the consumer. For example, home motion sensors can be used to determine which parts of the home are occupied, this data is then relayed to the boiler, which consequently heats the right part of the home.
British Gas also noted an increasing number of customers were trialling their products just to experience the benefits of the connected boiler. Another trend they found was that those invested in Hive, the mobile-connected smart thermostat, were also much more likely to buy other British Gas products.
Tele2 highlighted an increasing demand from companies they had partnered with to supply them with real time data. This follows its recent strategic agreement with L & T Technology for the transportation sector. The partnership will enable solutions for the monitoring and relaying of engine performance, and passenger access to real time flight delays and arrivals.
Strategic partnerships and cross-industry cooperation between operators, vendors, manufacturers and sector-specific companies, are now commonplace in the M2M market. They are also a response to the increasingly unorthodox means by which data is being collected; via a vast array of sensors, devices, networks and applications.
Partnerships and cooperation are necessary to finding ways in which this data can be communicated across a variety of platforms and to this end, Orange announced they are in the early stages of developing a data-powered open platform initiative, which will allow companies in the IoT industry to jointly develop applications.
Connected Living’s Dr. Shane Rooney, presented key insights into enabling the growth of the M2M industry to evolve to the IoT. Dr. Rooney also elaborated on the GSMA’s role in ensuring active collaboration within the M2M industry, particularly among mobile network operators in creating common solutions.
In the M2M and IoT market, a significant challenge currently facing businesses is how Big Data can be collected and processed effectively in order to relay as much real time data as possible. Real time data assists with critical, time-sensitive decisions, and in some cases helps to improve the safety of users of M2M and IoT data. This in turn can improve customer retention and save costs.
Throughout the two-day IoT World Forum, speakers talked at length about the many opportunities arising from Big Data, but the unifying message was clear; Big Data is greatly increasing the ease and rapidity with which businesses and consumers can access new types of information, and it is cooperation and partnerships, that will play an important part in facilitating this development.