10Fold Perspective: Internet of Things World 2017 – Sayonara Smart Gadgets, Hello Enterprise!

By Katrina Cameron and Anne Stanley

Recently, two members of the 10Fold team ventured down to Santa Clara, California to attend Internet of Things World 2017. The three-day event brought together hundreds of companies and leaders, as well as thousands of attendees, in the IoT space. The showroom featured vendors from both industrial and consumer IoT and was filled with learning, discovery, networking and fun. While roaming the bustling expo halls, we absorbed some top trends and came away with some “aha moments” that we are excited to share.

Event Highlights

Startup City
One section of the conference floor was noticeably different from the rest of the exhibiting space. Startup city was jam packed with more than 100 startups working to disrupt the IoT space.  A panel of judges — featuring top investors and winners from the previous year’s pitch-off — witnessed multiple rounds of pitches which offered startups the opportunity to meet investors and build valuable relationships within the IoT ecosystem. While this section might not feature the most eye-catching booths or interactive displays, the energy and innovative spirit was palpable.

Women in IoT Panel
Featuring representatives from Pillar Technology, the Department of Defense, Equinix, Johnson Controls, and Ovum, this panel discussion focused on the role women are playing in accelerating IoT deployments across industrial, enterprise and consumer markets, as well as what can facilitate more diversity in the industry. While this panel was informative and well attended by men and women alike, it was in direct contrast to the rest of the exhibition which was, you guessed it, predominantly populated by men.

Where are the gadgets?
Consumer tech has traditionally taken over show floors at  previous IoT conventions. This year, however, there was a distinct lack of gadgets and wearables and trackers and buttons and…you get the point. The industry seems to have finally caught on to the fact that the future of IoT and general connectivity lies in industrial and enterprise applications. Companies touting the solutions for smart cities, networking, fleet management, healthcare, and transportation were very much present. With the repercussions of WannaCry still a recent memory, security was also top of mind for all vendors.

Show, Don’t Tell
There was never a dull moment for some vendors, as many curious event attendees wanted to see in-person demonstrations of how IoT products work. Although the speaking sessions and lectures at IoT World appeared to be heavily attended, it seemed attendees had a yearning to see the products in action. Silver Spring Networks was one of the many busy vendor booths that attracted a crowd of visitors who requested demos of their IoT devices, such as smart street lights. From analysts, to journalist, to curious customers — Silver Spring’s booth was packed with attendees watching or waiting for demos.

The Future of IoT
As if current trends in IoT weren’t fascinating enough, the future of IoT took center stage at this event. From smart cars to intelligent transportation, to smart buildings and energy grids—it’s apparent that the Internet of Things will continue to grow in many ways. Speaking sessions focused on what’s next for IoT and how developers can prepare for it. During the “Creating Smart Cities: Future Trends” panel session, industry leaders and visionaries from Silver Spring Networks, Duke Energy and San Mateo County discussed how cities and utilities should have a strong focus on standards when deploying smart city networks. Keynote speaker and Silver Spring CEO Mike Bell contended that the largest IoT networks known today will look miniscule five years from now.

As the Internet of Things continues to evolve, so will its conferences. IoT World is just one of many shows that seeks to showcase IoT at the forefront of innovation and cultivate the startups making their way into the marketplace. If you’re a startup looking to make a splash in this fascinating industry, consider your PR strategy and partnership. Check out 10Fold’s PR services, and drop us a line if you’re interested in learning more.

Disclaimer: Silver Spring Networks is a client of 10Fold