At this year’s CES, there was plenty to see and do, with a few high profile industry keynotes, 1200 startups, workshops, and over 300 session topics. Moving between several venues on the Las Vegas strip, our team found the show’s free shuttle system extremely convenient.
The Samsung keynote delivered by HS Kim, President, and CEO of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division, focused on changing demands. He reflected on approaches to delivering value in light of the new ways their customers are utilizing spaces. People are taking care of pets, parents, and children all in the same household, and everyone is trying to maximize efficiency. The average kitchen is doing double and triple duty as a living room, office, gym, and art studio. Tomorrow’s solutions start today, and according to Kim, companies driving innovation around consumer needs, rather than the capabilities of the technology itself, will see the most success.
Being a Consumer Electronics Show, it’s easy to overlook the presence of the IoT community. Beyond wearables and smart home products, what role does IoT play for the average consumer? While the B2B and B2C markets have their differences, when it comes to technology and cultural trends, all boats rise and fall by the same tide. Lessons from consumer technology brands at the show did not go unheard. At this years event, many hardware, software, and connectivity providers embraced a change of messaging away from technical details into more user-friendly, client-centered solutions. While CES may not focus primarily on the B2B IoT market, the IoT Pavilion, organized by the IoT M2M Council, brings together IoT service providers, hardware manufacturers, and innovators. Next year the IMC’s IoT pavilion will increase 65% in 2021 to accommodate the growing interest in IoT.
We ran into POD Group, one of our ecosystem partners in the IoT Infrastructure Pavilion. Their eSIM management platform has new features for a more modular design, API integration, and enhanced security.
Our ecosystem partner, Polte, who provides our location positioning received lots of interest during the show and was showcasing our new demo kits at their booth in the IoT Pavilion.
Bringing Massive IoT to the City
Smart cities are choosing IoT technology for the greater good and rethinking the use of public assets and infrastructure. One of the talks was a great panel discussion on Blending New Tech and Aging Infrastructure in Smart Cities. The panelists agreed that it’s not enough to improve one area of a city with one solution. City officials have to think of the future in terms of circular systems that help everyone. They suggested municipalities pool interdepartmental funds and use coordination to make sure there is a balance of benefits to all.
Last year, San Diego turned its street lighting system into 4,200 smart sensors for environmental sensing, traffic, parking, vehicle, and pedestrian counting. Officials intended to use the data for development and city planning. Unfortunately, the city didn’t run a strong enough education campaign alongside the initiative. As a result, local citizens began voicing concerns about transparency and access to public data. Change is still a process, and for it to work, it needs to be an inclusive one.
Luckily, most Smart City solutions are not 5G dependent or even enhanced by the presence of 5G. But Like its predecessors 3G and 4G, 5G will eventually be a hype of the past. At the show, Comcast Cable was already pushing advertisements for its 10G broadband network. The conversations at CES, and elsewhere, around digital transformation IoT and 5G not for the sake of technology itself. Instead, it is about pooling our best efforts to tackle public interests in health, safety, and privacy on a massive scale.