Machine Design
6 Speakers Who Rocked the IoT Emerge Conference

6 Speakers Who Rocked the IoT Emerge Conference

At the IoT Emerge Conference, an impressive lineup of keynote speakers took the stage to bring the audience up to speed on the IoT world.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging technology field in which the road map is still being developed. While the benefits of the technology are becoming clearer and easier to understand, the method of how to achieve an IoT system or the effects it will have are still unclear. At the recent IoT Emerge Conference held in Chicago, the IoT Institute  presented several prominent keynote speakers to highlight the path of IoT. These individuals are authors, CEOs, corporate vice presidents, and technology developers that have taken the lead and are showing us the way into a world of IoT.

Hacker Pablos Holman

Pablos Holman is a notorious hacker and innovator. At IoT Emerge, he brought the world of hacking to mainstream industrial experts in attendance. He demonstrated how people use free and open platforms to hack our everyday lives, like how a hacker used Google Maps to direct traffic so they could have an easier commute. Holman talked about how to put that innovation and creativity to good use. The IoT world provides us with huge amounts of data. He stressed how we need to move away from small data analytics (think spreadsheets) and head toward large computational modeling. His work at Intellectual Venture Labs is doing just that. For example, they are using the data collected on malaria outbreaks in Madagascar to track, predict, and provide solutions to help control the spread of the disease. These outbreaks depend on the time of year and the weather of the country. By combining large data analytics with action, Holman believes we can change the world.

Cary Eskow, vice president of Avnet

Cary Eskow, vice president of Avnet, shared the real value IoT can provide. Avnet’s work with high-value horticulture illustrates how the principals of IoT can have an effect in all sorts of industries, not just industrial automation. The IoT Smart Greenhouse Avnet developed uses LED sensors to detect the right wavelength for plant growth. The LED light adjusted to a specific wavelength and color can keep a plant in a vegetative state for longer periods, yielding a better crop. The use of IoT systems in horticulture can produce a system that uses 75% less energy and 90% less water.

Vibhu Bhutani, chief strategy officer of Softweb Solutions, spoke about machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Vibhu Bhutani is the chief strategy officer for Softweb Solutions and spoke about how artificial intelligence will run our lives—well, at least eventually. His presentation focused on the different types of computer intelligence. From machine learning to artificial intelligence, machines can not only be smarter but help industry be more proficient in the areas of product design, production, and the supply chain. Vibhu stressed how artificial intelligence provides us with the framework and tools to go beyond real-time decision and automation. By taking the large amount of data that is collected by IoT, smart decision services that involve artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and human analysis and technicians can open doors to a much more productive process.

Timothy Chou, Stanford professor and author of Precision: Principles, Practices, and Solutions for the Internet of Things.

Timothy Chou is a leading expert in the world of IoT, a professor and lecturer at Stanford University, and author of Precision: Principles, Practices, and Solutions for the Internet of Things. He started off his presentation by stating that the last five years can be considered the Internet of People. Technology has connected individuals to the internet and people have provided massive amounts of data in the last five years. The Internet of Things will be more powerful because: there are more connected “things” than people, hence more data; “things” can be in places and situations people cannot be; “things” can say and do more than people; “things” can communicate more frequently; and, lastly, “things” can be programmed. The excess of data provided is known as “digital exhaust.” By using the data, IoT will lead to the creation of new business via “machine as a service.” An example of this is providing machines that can perform a manual task, but also collect data for analytical purposes. Developing economies drive the growth of the world’s industries and there is a large opportunity to build next-generation machines in these developing countries.

Tamara McCleary, founder and CEO of

Sandy Carter, founder and CEO of Silicon-Blitz

Tamara McCleary is the founder and CEO of At IoT Emerge, she brought insight into the big data picture and how that data is owned, protected, and secured. She stressed how IoT is still a world of people and will bring about massive collaboration, especially by asking the right questions when it comes to data: who owns the data; how is the data augmented; how is the data filtered; who controls and sees my data; and how is the data secured. IoT has no unifed language. The individuals that work in IoT will be the ones that determine its future and how the data is used. In her own words, “We are at an inflection point, one defined by IoT and big data. The future demands shifting the way we all live and work. Old and automated business models are being replaced by collaborative management and a culture of innovation. Technology doesn’t create prosperity; people do.”

CEO and founder of Silicon-Blitz Sandy Carter focused on the power of women in the new, innovated world of IoT. Investment into IoT-related startups jumped 31% in the past year compared to Q4 of 2015. Female founders are driving the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurship, and IoT is a natural investment place for them. In the presentation, Sandy states that women entrepreneurs could increase the U.S. GDP by $30 billion. She was able to bring light on how to be a positive influence on young girls who want to be CEOs by mentoring and encouraging them into STEM education. For example, schools in Silicon Valley start earlier with STEM education for young girls, leading to more women in tech industries. Here, the photo highlights some of the top 25 female founders in IoT. 

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