Today I have the honor of kicking off the second Internet of Things World Forum in Chicago.  We first launched the Internet of Things World Forum last year in Barcelona with the goal of accelerating the IoT ecosystem along with our steering committee members. In the second annual World Forum over the next few days attendees will see many great talks and I expect you’ll be hearing quite a few announcements moving the Internet of Things forward.  Our goal was to bring together the best and brightest to enable collaborations and new cross-industry business models.

Over the last year the investments and deployments in IoT solutions have accelerated. From many deployments in cities and industries around the world, the Internet of Things is Here and Now – which is also our theme for this year’s World Forum.  We have also seen the industry mature with quite a few IoT startups being acquired. Cisco has advanced this trend further with our announced innovation fund, opening IoE Innovation centers around the globe, holding Grand Challenges, introducing IOx, and many more.

As an example of this growth, the IoT World Forum 2014 has also more than doubled – in attendees, in sessions, and in sponsors and has expanded in the types of activities happening.  This last weekend we hosted the IoTWF Hackathon at Chicago innovation space 1871 – with over 100 attendees and 15 teams.  They competed through 24 hours using an ISR 819 and APIs from Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), Data in Motion (DMO), and a few other APIs to build something innovative and new, quickly.  Also new this year is a Startup Showcase featuring 20 startups at the event.world deployment map

One of the other additions I’d like to highlight is a touchscreen deployment map – showing over 250 IoT deployments around the globe – an almost overwhelming evidence that IoT as an industry is ‘Here and Now’. Attendees can touch a point on the map to get details about that deployment including the goals for the project, the solutions used, and business results from this deployment and the companies who provided this solution. This map is online and I encourage you to check it out – you can filter by industry and region, and zoom in to see deployments at a granular, city level.  If, for example, we were to look at Chicago and surrounding areas there are 8 mapped deployments.  We hope to see this map grow in density over the coming months and IoT technologies are more rapidly deployed.

Also new this year is a breakout session on Women in IoT – which could really be called “Building the IoT Workforce of the Future”.  While the numbers of women who go into STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields is small and shrinking, the overall number of people who will need to have STEM training to be ready for an IoT related career is quite large.  In this panel we’ll discuss how companies and academic institutions are addressing this – outreach to high schools, mentoring programs, and a new opportunity we’re launching at the World Forum.

Chi Deployment Map Chi Deployment Map Example

Finally, the Smart City Walking Tour for the World Forum promises to be a draw.  This year we have a mobile app that will help tour attendees learn about the city services they’ll be observing during the tour. On this tour, attendees can see how the urban services of a city come together into a single infrastructure.  With the interlink of services like lighting, parking, traffic, location based services, waste management, retail, bicycle systems and city planning, the tour provides a comprehensive view of Cisco’s City Infra-Structure Management solution.

I look forward to the Forum and the announcements, speaking sessions, panels, and connections we will make this week.


Inbar Lasser-Raab

No Longer with Cisco