Future smart ‘things’ to be co-operative, emotional and lucrative, say CW speakers

The process of providing connectivity and functionality to ‘things’ no longer represents a challenge in the modern digital era.

However, this does not mean that these connected devices are necessarily smart or make smart business sense, according to speakers at last week’s CW (Cambridge Wireless) event at the Shard in London, hosted by Mathys and Squire. Future smart things must be secure and above all else, capable of being monetised.

“Many things can now be made smart either by adding network capability or through interacting with consumers’ smartphones, but the real challenges ahead surround authentication access and monetisation,” said Neil Garner, CEO and founder at Proxama. “Technology like Beacons can be used to generate revenue from advertising and enhancing commerce, plus they can be extended with additional sensors and capabilities that can be valuable for many stakeholders.”

Simon Moffatt, solutions director, ForgeRock
Simon Moffatt, solutions director, ForgeRock

“Today’s mobile phone is a powerful personal computer in your back pocket, capable of impersonating an individual’s identity to a range of different online financial and retail services,” said Simon Moffatt, solutions director at ForgeRock. “Couple with that the interaction with many IoT style devices and the mobile phone becomes a critical digital identity component with many complex access scenarios.”

The same criteria applied for assessing the intelligence of human beings must be applied to smart things. This includes built-in capabilities for cooperation, learning and even emotion.

Andrzej Wieczorek, business development manager at Tieto, told delegates: “We abuse the word ‘smart;’ a phone or wrist band is labelled smart if it has a step counting algorithm but this is not really smart, it’s just functionality. What we should expect from smart things is an ability to learn and interact – in order to adapt to the context or environment in the best possible way. The Internet of Things is now nothing but an internet of isolated islands. Once the things become interoperable and start sharing and using all ‘senses’ to learn the environment the IoT will become concrete.”

“Artificial intelligence represents the future user interface of smart things. Every day hundreds of millions of people already communicate their thoughts, desires and emotions to Google or Siri,” said Patrick Levy Rosenthal, founder & CEO of Emoshape. “These intelligent interfaces communicate to us in a language we understand but how can we consider them to be truly smart if they cannot convey the same emotion back to us? Emotion is as pivotal to language as beauty is to design.” The event was organised by the CW Future Devices SIG, championed by Abhi Naha of CW, Amyas Phillips from ARM, John Roe of Accenture, Charles Sturman of u-blox and Peter Whale of Iotic Labs.

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