Last nights Meetup event held at WMG, Warwick University explored 'When IoT Goes Wrong'
Excellent coincidence that this Meetup event occurred as I had just published my latest article on the future development of IoT in Industry on the same day!
This event was over subscribed with people on a waiting list hoping people may drop out at the last minute, luckily I got a ticket to take part in the networking and listen to four excellent presentations across a broad range.
One of the events organisers Scott Crowther first welcomed and introduced us to the four speakers planned for the evening.
I had turned up early to miss the traffic so had a great chat to the first presenter Felix Hovsepian, MD of Blue Manifold, his main field is the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) something I know little of so it was good to learn something new and then talk with Felix about the implications for future industrial developments.
His presentation 'AI, IoT and the Digital Nervous System' covered recent developments, how AI's learning capabilities may be a concern, the connectivity of IoT and AI now and in the future, all eye opening stuff with examples of AI replicating structures from the natural world. The Silk worms eating Graphene coated leaves seemed so obvious when he said it!
They produced extremely strong silk those worms.
Next up was Gethin Roberts from Iterate Design with a piece entitled 'Fantastic IoT Product Design Blunders' that ran through some quirky and dangerous flops.
One was a smart watch backed by Intel that got so hot in use it would burn your wrist, they had to withdraw it from market.
Or what about the wearable personal video monitoring device for kids that couldn't hold enough power for a day and was as heavy as a brick!
My personal favourite was a ring for your forefinger so big that you couldn't close your hand, it was supposed to turn on lights etc in the home with a swift 'hey presto' gesture, unfortunately it only worked about 3% of the time!
The message was for would be developers in the room that not all ideas are fit for market, just because something can be done doesn't mean that we actually want it.
"IoT: Pitfalls for manufacturers, how to avoid them... and what happens if you don't" presented by duo Iain Colville and Pete Maguire, partners at Wright Hassell (Legal) won the prize for the longest title and dryest but important subject.
How to protect your next great idea, what your IP adds up to and what happens if things go wrong with business relationships.
You could tell they were legal guys by the amount of words on the powerpoint!
All great information though and both were very busy afterwards with networking.
Nick Rutter, Chief Product Officer of Sprue Safety Products drew the short straw for the last spot but his presentation without the use of microphone was excellent.
His title alone grabbed our attention straight away with "The nakedness of IoT", great headline, everyone wanted to know more.
Sprue is a safety product design and manufacturer that was new to me but their brands would be well known to thousands if not millions of people, they manufacture devices that we all have at least one of in our homes and workplaces that are sophisticated monitors that we hope never to hear unless smoke is detected.
Nick explained this when he said hopefully all we ever hear from them is that annoying bleep on low battery or going off when we burn the toast!
It was a fascinating presentation looking at a benign device you fit and forget for 10 years to the connected devices they now produce that communicate in groups or more recently report their status back to the manufacturers headquarters.
Nick shared a painful experience of failing battery life on one such product that was a drain on their business, no pun intended!
Thanks the above presenters, Scott Crowther and his colleagues from WMG for the excellent facilities, organisation and refreshments provided.