Recap of IoT Festival - Melbourne Australia 2018

June 09, 2018

Tags: AI  ArtificialIntelligence  BigData  IoT  IoTEdge 

Iot Festival Melbourne - 2018
Iot Festival Melbourne - 2018

The IoT Festival is a yearly event that takes place in Melbourne, Australia and brings together the best minds and brands of IoT in Australia and New Zealand. I was lucky enough to attend this year’s, which was last Monday. Here’s a summary of what I learnt by attending the festival yesterday.

Augmented Reality is the UI for IIoT
Dr. Leila Alem - Arc Sense

Augmented Reality is the UI for IIoT

Dr. Leila Alem from Arc Sense made this strong statement and it resonates really well when you think of it. Engineers and technicians who are working in Connected Field Services need to see information right there when they need it and as they need it.

Every IoT project is an AI project
Matt Sinclair - Microsoft AU IoT Lead

Every IoT project is an AI project

Matt Sinclair, Microsoft Australia IoT lead made the case that every IoT project is an AI project. The ROIs in installing sensors and gathering data can only be realised by using AI tools and frameworks to predict maintenance, enable remote monitoring & control, and create autonomous systems. All this will require sophisticated AI work. In the end, the IoT work to install and connect sensors will be just plumbing work to enable the real deal which is AI.

Telstra & Vodafone are rolling out IoT networks on their 4G infrastructure

Apparently, I missed these announcements from Telstra and Vodafone in rolling out their own IoT Networks. It’s also possible that many people would dismiss these announcements as not having much significance. However, connectivity is a major challenge to IoT projects. Most IoT projects that I have seen require big investments to establish and maintain connectivity and its infrastructure. What Telstra and Vodafone are providing here is not just 4G network, but they are also providing NB-IoT and Cat-M1 which means that the bulk of the connectivity work can be offloaded to these operators. This is a great development especially when you consider how efficient the supported communication protocols are. This means that your sensors or smart things can connect directly to Telstra (or Vodafone) networks and you do not need to worry about Gateways. If you are interested in more readings about this, here are some readings Telstra and Vodafone.

Adoption of new comms protocol in the field

I came to learn more about the recent development in comms protocols for IoT. I learnt about

Smart Parking

Two companies that have done quite an interesting work when it comes to smart parking. Steve Toal from Database Consultants Australia (DCA) gave a great talk about the challenges and the journey that has taken them to build and deploy sensors for smart parking. They use magnetic fields to infer car parking and he mentioned that they had about 95% accuracy rate, which is quite impressive and better solution than using cameras. ParKam was also an interesting one that approaches the same problem from a different angle. While DCA uses sensors and charges the city council to instal them, ParKam uses cameras and machine learning algorithms to work out availability of parking spaces and traffic.

Utility metering

Sundar Iyer from Freestyle Technology presented the work they have done in Korea and Taiwan around smart metering and it was quite impressive to see a company based in Mount Waverly, Melbourne pioneering the smart metering field. I like their approach as they create a simple electronic boards that can be installed on any meter to upgrade it to a smart meter. Interestingly, they call these small electronic boards NIC, in reference to Network Interface Cards :).

And that’s a wrap. If you were there and you think I missed something, I would love to hear from you. Similarly, if you are working in the field and you think there is also some interesting development in IoT somewhere else, I would also love to have a chat.

If you have a comment, feedback or a question, I would love to hear from you