What You Missed If You Missed the Internet of Things Conference

While a universally accepted definition of the IoT may still elude many, the conference did land on some solid examples of how IoT technologies are helping to improve business.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Dan Lohrmann (@govcso), whose long career as an IT security professional included stints at the National Security Agency (NSA) and working for the State of Michigan as its chief security officer, made a lively, impassioned pitch to companies about the importance of putting security considerations ahead of pressures to get an IoT-related product or service out the door and into the marketplace.

Lohrmann stressed the importance of working with third-party security experts before launching an IoT product or service, because outside experts are likely to find potential data-security vulnerabilities that you or your colleagues had never even considered.

In a session that showcased the wide applicability of IoT technology, Vincent Rothier (@vincentrouthier), the chief storyteller at communications agency the SAGA, discussed how the group uses a mix of old and new technologies (such as voice-activated picture books, and teaching music with the help of Bluetooth) to educate and inspire audiences.

For the first time, the RFID Journal LIVE! Awards included an Internet of Things category, and representatives from two of the three finalists talked about how their firms have used the IoT to change how they do business. David Wong, project director at the Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory in Japan, described how his firm uses RFID to authenticate and track pearls. And Steve Hershberger, the CEO of SteadyServ, outlined the ways in which his firm is helping beer distributors and bars track the flow of beer and keep stocks adequate and fresh.

Then it was time for lunch, and with all the talk of beer, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of our attendees tipped back a cold one during the break.

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