Smart Solutions, Smart London

The power and possibilities of innovation was the overarching theme of Smart IoT, London – one of a series of sister events held at the ExCeL last week.

Conversations about cloud solutions, collaborations between companies and sectors, and seminars on security were all part of a jam-packed event schedule trying to cover “every emerging technology [on] one digital transformation journey*”.

It’s not the first time transformational storytelling has been a key theme of technology communications - but this time, the stories in motion centred around smart cities, consumer electronics and industrial IoT.


Smart cities

The development of smart cities to overcome challenges from pollution to congestion is based on a simple concept – create a connected, efficient and positive living experience for local residents. As an emerging concept, with the exception of the early adopters, shaping up cites through technology remains in the planning stage as solution providers search for financial resources and smart city champions.  Keynote speeches made a business case for smart cities and event exhibitors showcased solutions with the potential to revolutionise traffic control, water management and waste disposal. Smart city advocates must now move beyond planning to product development so that at next year’s Smart IoT event they can showcase more than their stories in motion – but products in action.


Consumer electronics

Home is where the hub is. And from that hub, every device is connected via the cloud and controlled by smartphone apps, according to Smart IoT event exhibitors. From a simple solution to open and close a garage door (via an app, because who wants to use a key in 2017?) to remote support through SDK technology (think screen sharing with a customer services representative) – reduced handling time for consumers and lower repeat rates for solution providers were the key technology benefits being upsold at the ExCeL last week. As the battle for consumer attention continues, companies must keep up with an environment and a set of consumer requirements that are constantly changing.


Industrial IoT

Actility was all about infrastructure, Blackberry chose cyber security as its talking point and Cisco waxed lyrical about connectivity… what we saw at Smart IoT were ambitions to totally transform the healthcare, energy and automotive sectors.

It will be interesting to see which of these smart city developers, consumer electronics companies and industrial IoT advocates will be able to keep their transformative storytelling spinning in motion until Smart IoT 2018 and beyond.

What does this mean from a communications point of view? When buying a service or product, consumers are more informed than ever and have an unprecedented amount of choice. Brands need to highlight the human element of their stories when communicating with consumers: how will it solve my problem; how will it save me time and money; and, most importantly of all, why should I choose you?

Source: Smart IoT event guide (print).

March 22, 2017

Katie Appleby