IVCA Preview: The ‘Internet of Things’ Summit Chicago will Take Place on October 18th and 19th, 2017

IVCA Preview: The ‘Internet of Things’ Summit Chicago will Take Place on October 18th and 19th, 2017

 
The “Internet of Things” [IoT] is a buzz term that has gained traction in the last several  years, despite the vague use of the word “things.” As a legitimate technological ideology, it has both become actionable reality and has investment potential. Chicago has been a cutting edge leader in promoting IoT innovations, and the 5th Annual IoT Summit Chicago, presented by the Illinois Technology Association (ITA), is coming up at the Sheraton Grand on October 18th and 19th, 2017.
 
The IVCA had previously interviewed Don DeLoach, who serves as co-chairman of the Midwest IoT Council. Since that interview, the role of IoT has constantly evolved, especially in the area of driverless cars. Based on that 2015 interview, and from other sources for applications since then, here are FIVE QUESTIONS and ANSWERS about the IoT, and its relationship to how the world will become more reliant on this technology for our everyday lives, with information below those questions on how to access the IoT Summit Chicago.
 
WHAT IS THE ‘INTERNET OF THINGS?’
 
The Internet of Things is the whole notion of connecting physical things together over the internet. The whole element of ‘machine to machine’ has been around for a long time, but since that point the whole idea of using the internet as the backbone for enabling information in the physical world has evolved.
 
And it has evolved to the point – that coupled with the reduction in price and increase on sophistication of  sensor technology, and the reduction of price for the increase of power in communications technology – that it has enabled the application of interaction with devices so we can understand the state of those devices or machines in ways that can inform us with a whole new set of applications. Basically, it’s the wiring of physical things into the internet so you can have much more information, and corresponding applications. [DeLoach]
 
WHERE DID THE IoT TERM ORIGINATE?
 
The actual term ‘The Internet of Things’ was coined by Kevin Ashton, a British entrepreneur who is affiliated with the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]. Interestingly enough, in the last four or five years, there have been a lot of companies who have been marketing variations on this theme. Cisco has ‘The Internet of Everything’, Ericsson has ‘The Networked Society,’ and there are all kinds of variations, which all are coalescing around the term The Internet of Things. [DeLoach]
 
HOW DO DRIVERLESS CARS FIGURE IN THE IoT?
In the Internet of Things (IoT), formerly unconnected devices are wirelessly linked to the Internet so that they can report and collect data or automate systems. It's fairly clear that the IoT will soon be a multitrillion-dollar business, with estimates of its size reaching $11 trillion to $19 trillion a year by 2025, according to McKinsey and Cisco. And one of the most important industries for IoT is the automotive market. Connected cars, autonomous driving systems, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and a host of other technologies are driving huge changes for carmakers, and the IoT has a hand in them all. By 2020, consultancy Gartner estimates that nearly 250 million cars will be connected to the Internet, and PriceWaterhouseCooper forecasts that the connected car market will be worth $149 billion by that year. [What the Internet Means for Car Companies by the The Motley Fool]
 
WHAT ARE OTHER EXAMPLES OF APPLICATIONS FOR THE IoT?
 
Internet of Things examples extend from smart connected homes to wearables to healthcare. In fact, IoT is slowly becoming part of every aspect of our lives. Not only are Internet of Things applications enhancing our comfort, but they also give us more control to simplify routine work life and personal tasks. The recent hype about our IoT future has forced companies to consider the basic building blocks for the Internet of Things – i.e., hardware, software and support – to enable developers to deploy applications that can connect anything within IoT’s scope.

We know the potential of IoT markets is huge, but some domains will mature more quickly than the rest. Here are Internet of Things application areas that have the potential for exponential growth... SMART HOMES, WEARABLE DEVICES, RETAIL APPLICATION, SMART CITIES, HEALTHCARE, AGRICULTURE, TRANSPORTATION and INDUSTRIAL. [IoT Applications are Spanning Across Industries IBM.com/blogs]
 
HOW CAN VC & PE INVESTORS GET INVOLVED IN IoT TECHNOLOGIES?
 
For the Venture investor, there is so much potential in the Internet of Things, probably the greatest technology wave since the internet itself. For the early stage investors, it’s best to get out front with some of these young IT companies, and determine within their investment profile if they’re adopting the Internet of Things. There are going to be a lot of them acting on that opportunity.
 
For Private Equity investors, it’s about leveraging what the Internet of Things represents for changing the game. For example, there may be a large scale company that is generating cash, but are not as efficient or aggressive as they could be. They might be able to change their trajectory by adopting newer technologies that could enhance their business models, or extend into new models using the Internet of Things. [DeLoach]
 
The ITA (Illinois Technology Association) presents the 5th Annual IoT Summit Chicago, October 18th and 19th, 2017, at the Sheraton Grand Chicago (301 East North Water Street, Chicago). For more information, click www.illinoistech.org