This week, leaders of the new industrial revolution met in Barcelona for the second edition of the Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions World Congress. The event, jointly organized by the Fira of Barcelona and the Industrial Internet Consortium, attracts thousands of delegates and industry leaders from all over the world to evaluate and showcase IoT solutions in professional and industrial areas.
The congress had over 170 companies exhibiting their solutions, and 161 speakers discussed how the industrial internet ecosystem is helping industries to exploit the power of the internet and transform their operations and production, creating new products and becoming more efficient.
To understand better the opportunities for using the IoT in industrial transformation I reached out to Dr. Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). Dr. Soley, who is constantly on the move trying to forge new alliances and partnerships for the IoT ecosystem, spoke to me a before the congress through Skype from Chile.
Soley mentioned that recently the IIC had joined forces with Industrie 4.0 — the German industrial internet initiative — to develop common standards and good practices to unleash the power of connected devices in a global economy. And they also signed an agreement of collaboration with the Industrial Valuechain Initiative (IV-I). Those partnerships between the most important industry associations are important steps, he argues, to ensure the wide adoption of standards and good practices in the entire IoT ecosystem.
The IIC has been working intensively with industry partners to create testbeds for IoT and connectivity in several fields, Soley said. One example he mentioned was the Smart Airline Baggage Management, developed by Infosys in collaboration with GE Digital, Altoros, Oracle and M2Mi. The system uses RFID smart baggage labels that allows checked bags to be continuously tracked as they move through the system, thus helping to reduce the 0.7% of airline bags that are misplaced, lost, or damage every year.
Another testbed Soley is excited about is Commercial Fleet Management, developed by Telefonica and Geotab. The solution will allow better fleet management for transportation companies, enabling them to not only locate their vehicles in real time, but to schedule operations such as maintenance, driver rotations and effective routing.
One of the highlights of the IoT Solutions World Congress is that visitors were able to experience firsthand those, and other IoT solutions in the Testbed Area of the exhibition, where experts from industry partners conducted real life demonstrations.
Soley also mentioned the value of the Congress sessions, which featured top keynote speakers such as Matthias Machnig, Germany’s State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Derek O´Halloran of the World Economic Forum, among others.
The congress had six different conference tracks: Business Transformation, Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics, Healthcare, Energy & Utilities, and Innovation & Technology. A total of 161 different industry experts are expected to participate in the discussion.
At the end of our conversation, Soley emphasized that the new industrial revolution is not something coming in the near future, it is already here, and industries, countries and governments need to embrace the changes to stay competitive. While there are many difficulties to overcome, he argued, collaboration between industrial, technological, and governmental organizations, will transform manufacturing, services and entire society to the advantages of the new industrial revolution.