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The Internet of Things - Will it Change our Lives?

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Tea is served from 6pm

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is a much publicised topic in recent years, but just what is it? Is it simply a communication network? This talk will bring you up to date with the latest thinking. It will explore the relationships between applications, end users, device manufacturers and the communications providers; and look at the requirements that the IoT is likely to place on the communications networks. The presentation will include the current thinking on who will use the IoT, who will gain the most benefit, aand who will make money from it. Hugo will then look into the future and assess how the IoT will mature in time.

In early 2011, Hugo Fiennes, CEO and co-founder of Electric Imp, was remodeling a bathroom in his home and wanted to add a strip of RGB lights under a cabinet to light the floor. His plan was to connect them to WiFi so they could display all sorts of ambient information – the hourly weather forecast, daily calendar, stock prices – all indicated with color changes along the strip that could be seen at a glance.

It turned out to be a bigger project than Hugo imagined and after much frustration with the available tools, he decided that there really should be a better, simpler way to integrate connectivity. Besides the fact that it was pretty tough for any hobbyist to make a useful networked device, the same issues were facing commercial entities. Businesses who tried venturing into Internet connectivity usually ended up reinventing the wheel at great cost, resulting in products that were expensive, fragile and often communicated to nothing more than a smartphone app.

What was needed, Hugo concluded, was to take the best implementations of hardware, firmware and cloud service, consolidate them into a powerful Internet of Things-inspired platform, and let them be applied to any device in the world.

This talk is part of the IET Cambridge Network - Lectures series.

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