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

The conference wrapped up with sessions by Chuck Evanhoe, the chairman of the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) industry group, who described the evolution that the auto-ID industry has seen in recent years, as sensors become more mature and capable and as costs fall. And Lynn DeRose, GE Research's project leader (@Lynn_DeRose_GE), spoke about the many ways in which General Elecetric is using networked sensors and intelligent fabricating systems to upgrade its manufacturing plants, and how that is leading to more uptime and less wasted energy.

Near the end of the conference, all that stood between attendees and the 70-degree San Diego weather and late afternoon sunshine was yours truly. So I mercifully tried to keep my discussion of how to add value to products and services using IoT technology concise and on point. Most of my presentation focused on what business models end users are employing to integrate the IoT into their business. Citing a number of stories I've written in recent months, I noted that some companies are using IoT-enabled products to engage with customers in new ways, or as part of new revenue models.

For example, Enlighted uses a pay-per-savings business model. Its energy-management system, based on a range of sensors integrated into LED lighting, reduces its customers' energy bill significantly. But rather than paying for the technology outright, a customer pays a percentage of the savings to Enlighted. It's a model that helped the firm land a sizable contract with AT&T, which is expected to bank $8 million annually in lower energy costs.

But if you missed the Internet of Things Conference, worry not. We'll be posting all of the conference slides, along with audio, in about a week. As for all that San Diego sunshine you also missed… well, your loss. But there will likely be plenty more at next year's event, when RFID Journal LIVE! goes to Orlando, Fla., on May 3-5, 2016.

Mary Catherine O'Connor is the editor of Internet of Things Journal and a former staff reporter for RFID Journal. She also writes about technology, as it relates to business and the environment, for a range of consumer magazines and newspapers.

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