Driving Dreams: Internet of Me Implications, Today and Tomorrow
Isaac Maw posted on August 03, 2018 |

Management of people is in large part about communication. It’s important to be in touch, up to date and connected with your team, so that you can work together and keep abreast of any issues or opportunities. Increasingly, the Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up avenues for us to begin more effectively managing our devices, machines and data through more effective reporting and data collection. Not only can we talk to our devices and machines; increasingly, our devices can communicate with each other, too.

IoMe marked the second annual Driving Dreams conference, delivered in partnership with Arrow Electronics, RIC Centre and I-CUBE at the University of Toronto Mississauga. At the event, attendees heard from industry leaders and networked with manufacturing, medical and consumer IoT professionals.

This year’s event was a rousing success. Speakers from Microsoft, Arrow Electronics and 26 other companies and groups provided insight into the uses of IoT in Digital Health, Industry 4.0, mobility and the future of materials and electronics and how these industries could contribute to what they called “the new Internet of Me.”

Agricultural IoT

One topic at the Driving Dreams dealt with the agricultural space which, as we learned, is the fastest-growing adopter of IoT. Farmers are increasingly adopting advanced automation and technology to increase their efficiency and output.

FarmersEdge is one company providing solutions for agricultural data analysis and automation. Its FarmCommand platform brings IoT data on soil content, weather and other data points together into a central dashboard, which can be viewed on a mobile device. Armed with this information, farmers can leverage the data to make informed decisions about yields, land use and more.

Smart Mobility

Mobility is an important application for emerging technology, and it was especially emphasized at Driving Dreams through the event’s keynote address, delivered by former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt.

Injured in a wreck in 2000, Schmidt lost the use of his limbs. Over the last few years, Schmidt has worked closely with Arrow Electronics to develop a semi-autonomous car that could be controlled using head movements. A vision system in the car tracks the movement of tracking points fixed on a hat. For the first time in almost twenty years, he has regained his ability to drive a car, and is the first quadriplegic to earn a driver’s license.

“90 percent of the people that have a disability cannot afford a wheelchair, so an autonomous wheelchair that will take people to their kids’ ball game is pretty important,” Schmidt explained.

A panel discussion on smart mobility covered topics ranging from infrastructure to autonomous vehicles, with experts from Innovation Factory and SOTI Inc. weighing in on the technologies and their barriers to adoption.

Chadi Elkadri, chief innovation officer at SOTI Inc., said, “The future of Smart Communities will be reliant on IoT and mobile devices to bridge our connectivity. The data acquired through these devices will be pivotal to create data driven resident experiences.”

Connected Health

While healthcare has seemingly vast potential for IoT technology, it also presents unique privacy and security challenges. Who owns your healthcare data? In many jurisdictions, healthcare involves intense oversight and control by government agencies. A panel on problem-solving collaborations with government resources included experts from Studio 1 Labs, InteraXon, the University of Toronto and the Humber College School of Applied Technology. The panel focused on best ways to utilize government resources in building healthcare technology.

Another panel, which focused on the design of new connected medical devices, featured experts from Cortex design, Mammoth Health and Chipcare Corporation.

Industry 4.0

A discussion on shop floor, industrial applications for IoT included industry experts from Taiga Robotics, Archronix Corp and ABB Robotics. The discussion centred around the idea of, “How big, how much and when?” in dealing with the software and infrastructure investment involved in IIoT. One interesting discussion point was on shifting the focus of manufacturing from simply reducing costs, to increasing the value of the products our economy produces.

Driving Dreams, Driving Innovation

In addition to agriculture and smart mobility, the conference covered topics such as digital health, industry 4.0—and even border security.

Souheil Sabbagh, commercial director of intelligent networks and cybersecurity at SNC-Lavalin, spoke about IoT applications in power generation. “In smart communities and cities, electricity needs to be intelligent and flow both ways using two-way communications. Not like the old days where utilities just pushed electricity to you,” said Souheil.

“Digital technologies can be disruptive, so the backbone infrastructure needs to allow for this kind of transformation. But intelligent networks do have threats,” he warned.

The Importance of Supporting Innovation

Event sponsor Arrow Electronics highlighted the importance of supporting innovation.

“Arrow works with innovators and helps them navigate a complex world, developing practical solutions by connecting them to resources and industry,” stated Trevor Bingham of Arrow Electronics Canada. “We believe in the power of connections and value the partnerships with RIC Centre and I-CUBE to bring thought leaders together and explore applications from digital health, industry, new material and the impact they have on our lives.”

To attend the next Digital Dreams conference, stay connected with the RIC Centre to stay up to date on upcoming events.


RIC Center and IoME have sponsored this post.  All opinions are mine.  --Isaac Maw

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