On Tuesday before the Pope shut the town down, I had the pleasure of heading to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a full-day event on, “The Internet of Everything: Data, Networks and Opportunities.” The event brought together a solid lineup of industry, government, non-profit and other thought leaders, from Google to GE, John Deere, Toyota, IBM, NIST, U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and others, who all have one thing in common -- a deep interest in the potential and implications of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Kicking the event off was Maureen Ohlhausen, commissioner of Federal Trade Commission, whose keynote outlined the agency’s efforts and the need for “regulatory humility” when it comes to preserving innovation in IoT and ensuring laws evolve with the technology.
From there, the event went into a number of issues-focused panels including, “The Big Problem Fixers,” which talked about real-life benefits of IoT and common challenges to reaching its full potential including data accuracy and compatibility. In the “Data-Driven Cities” panel, Peter Marx, CTO of the City of Los Angeles, provided a good reminder on something many of us forget when it comes to IoT - that we’re not developing technology for technology’s sake but to improve the lives of individuals (or in his case, citizens). "Cities are for people, not the machines," he said. Later in the event, there was even some nice debate sparked during the “Borderless Global Market” in terms of what governing body, if any, the panelists thought should “own” the global advancement (and interoperability) of the IoT worldwide.
Based on initial audience polling, there is still clear fear and doubt when it comes to what we think IoT will deliver (you can check out my perspective here Hype or Hope – The IoT Marketplace and Today’s World). Security and privacy topped the list of barriers and other topics such as regulation, interoperability and standards were all challenges raised throughout the day’s sessions. However, regardless of these barriers, most were very bullish on not just the technological, but also the macro economic transformation that this next wave of the Internet will usher in.
What do you think the greatest challenges and opportunities we face today with IoT? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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