IoT World 2018: A Pivotal Point for the Industry

IoT World in Santa Clara is the biggest IoT event in the U.S. and involves the entire market. The event traditionally focuses on networking and bringing different technologies together under the IoT umbrella. Come say hi to Colorfy at Stand 525 next week. 

If you think your Alexa makes you cutting edge, I’m afraid you might be a bit late to the game. IoT technology’s heady days of inaugural innovation are coming to an end, and it’s now becoming ubiquitous. The smart home is already entrenching itself as the norm in the first world. By the end of 2017, 16.3% of homes in the U.S. were smart (here meaning residences that have two or more connected devices that control household functions via an app or hub), and that number’s predicted to rise to 35.6% by the end of 2021. As a result, even traditionally analog companies are branching into IoT, particularly those involved in household goods such as Bosch and Henkel.

IoT devices can’t exist as individual products, they must be able to function within a certain, prerequisite ecosystem of connectivity. This necessity to seamlessly connect with other devices and systems, including those released by competitors, has impelled collaboration between companies and encouraged partnerships like never before.

According to Gavin Whitechurch, founder of IoT world in Santa Clara, these are two reasons for the annual conference’s accelerating popularity. It is now the largest IoT event in the world, with 12,000 attendees and over 300 exhibitors, all there to talk IoT and nothing else.

The expo hall, where Colorfy will be exhibiting, is free to anyone who’s interested (although they will still need a ticket). We’re excited to once again be a part of the Berlin Partner exhibit, which you’ll find at Stand 525, Tuesday 15th May – Thursday 17th May.

The conference hall and its manifold networking events unfortunately aren’t free, however, and are reserved for those in industry. Here, visitors can listen to experts divulge their thoughts on topics such as blockchain, smart cities, self driving cars and how IoT affects the environment (both positively and negatively). The conferences focus particularly on the vertical application of IoT. In terms we can all understand, they discuss to which businesses specific facets of IoT can be best applied. For example, logistics companies such as DHL use multiple IoT scanners and sensors to track delivery, and manufacturing companies use digital twins to digitally monitor production lines.

Although it’s true that all devices must be able to connect to the wider IoT environment, connecting everything to everything is not only unrealistic, it’s simply impractical. Vertical platforms connect similar objects that need to work together, and IoT World conferences will be discussing vertical application tracks such as autonomous cars, smart cities and energy. As aforementioned, IoT is currently going through that pivotal transition from early tests to widespread application, and IoT World is a place where the results from these first trials can be discussed and evaluated amongst industry peers. 

“IoT world pieces together the IoT landscape” founder Mr Whitechurch says in an interview. As IoT is at such a turning point, the event will have an emphasis on encouraging partnerships that take advantage of the potential in these interconnecting technologies, and focus on real, applicable verticals. 2018 has a “mission to provide actionable information rather than a sweeping overview”.

Security will no doubt be a particularly popular topic of discussion given the timing of the event. The EU’s GDPR, after two years of preparation time, becomes enforceable in a just a couple of short weeks. Numerous recent data breaches from names such as Facebook and Equifax have made today’s public cautious of connected services, particularly those that collect as much data as IoT devices do. These issues are hindering the widespread adoption of IoT products, and ways to solve the technology’s enduring security problem and win back the public’s trust will likely be discussed at length next week.

The schedule and our suitcases are already packed, but if you’d like to meet us for a coffee, please feel free to contact our project manager Fabian Tewes at He will be manning Colorfy’s stations in Santa Clara. 

Alexandra Randall works at our Berlin office and can be reached via email here.