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Thoughts on monetising the IoT, plus news from Brussels...

techUK recently attended a conference on 'Monetising the IoT' in Frankfurt where we heard from speakers in the energy and automotive industry as well as from the EU...

One of the big challenges with IoT is how to make money out of it - a challenge also known as 'monetisation.' It's not the prettiest of words, but providers of IoT goods and services are preoccupied with it and understandably so: if the commercial logic for IoT applications can't be defined, success will be unlikely.

Last week I went to a conference on IoT monetisation in Germany . The conference - appropriately hosted in continental Europe's financial capital, Frankfurt – provided a great insight into how different industries are seeking to make IoT-based products and services commercially viable.

Energy retailer, RWE npower, spoke in depth about how they viewed IoT as both a disruptive force as well as a business opportunity. With regards to the former, could companies traditionally associated with broadband/cable TV packages, one day provide energy tariffs? With regards to the latter, will IoT provide utilities with a perfect opportunity to move into the 'smart living' space? The answer to both, in RWE's opinion, is yes. As a result, RWE is just one of a number of traditional utilities seeking to evolve its traditional business model into one with more of a 'smart living' focus. The company is already working with NEST and is trialling various home energy management systems, some tailored for the elderly. Tellingly, RWE have also established an office in Silicon Valley...

Volvo Cars talked about their various connected and autonomous vehicle trials, particularly their plans to trial autonomous vehicles across Stockholm in 2017. As techUK digs deeper into the connected car space, the more fascinating it becomes. One value add service Volvo are exploring is a simple, in-car parking payment app which could mean drivers might never need to leave their cars to use a parking machine ever again.

Away from the specific challenge of monetisation, there was also a presentation from Thibaut Kleiner, Head of Unit, Network Technologies (Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology) at the European Commission. He noted that the IoT market will expand with yearly growth rates of 20% per annum between 2013 and 2020, and provided an introduction to the Commission's IoT vision. Interestingly, Thibault also presented on the recently established Alliance for IoT innovation (AIOTI) –a new alliance aimed at helping the Commission prepare future IoT research and innovation, standardisation and policy. This welcome initiative is currently on the lookout for new members from industry. techUK will organise a briefing session for members with Mr Kleiner in order to find out more about this initiative.  In the meantime, follow this link to find out more.


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