It’s conference time and I need a new car!
Around 15 years or so ago, when the web design game was still in it’s infancy, conferences and conventions were thin on the ground. Mostly attended by small time companies and amateur developers – these little gatherings were held in sad little conference centres and roadside hotels. Now that technology companies have become the dominating force behind every major corporation, our conferences have stepped up somewhat in stature.
I like to attend at least one or two conventions a year and, thankfully, there’s now a huge wealth of options to go to within and outside of the UK. This year, I thought I’d mix it up somewhat and head into the capital for something a little more left field.
What is the Internet of Things?
Although it may seem like one of those things that has just crept into existence, The Internet of Things (or IoT) has actually be knocking around for a good deal of time. It’s a general term given to the concept of physical items sharing data via computer network. Although it might seem a little early to be discussing the idea of your fridge talking to your phone – consider that the first ‘smart’ toaster was revealed at a tech-conference back in the late 80s.
In today’s world the IoT is covering everything from consumer electronics to home heating – however the concept does have larger, grander ideals. Imagine automated refuse services or crops of fields that tell the farmer when they should be harvested. We’ve only just glimpsed the exciting future of the Internet of Things – that’s why I’m heading to the World Forum this November, to get ahead of the game, and see if a ‘smart’ kettle is really the answer to my problems.
Who’s Going To Be There?
IBM, Huawei and AT&T are just a handful of the big players who are making their way to the Millennium Gloucester Hotel for the Forum this year. Unlike the smaller developers conferences that I attend around Europe, these bigger conventions can often come off more like show-boating than anything else. However, at nearly £800 per ticket (the prices rise to the astronomical cost of £1395 if you buy a few weeks later) I’m expecting to be sufficiently dazzled by the technology and speakers on display.
Amongst the telecommunications veterans such as Emmanuel Routier (Vice President of Machine2Machine for Orange) and Deon Newman (Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Wastson Internet of Things) – I’m most looking forward to seeing Mo Nasser, General Manager of Sprint. An innovator in Wireless Communications, he’s well known for his lively stage presentations and tantalising insights into future technologies.
My ticket’s booked – but there’s one thing missing…
I’ve been in this game a while now and, as much as I don’t really need a car for travel, I feel like the time’s come to for me to upgrade my vehicle. There’s a good few hundred miles between myself and the capital – and I don’t quite fancy making the journey in my battered Corsa. Plus, if I’m going to be rocking up to the Millenium Gloucester, a 4-Star Hotel in Kensington where you’d be lucky to find a room for less that £100 a night, I should probably be driving something a little swanky.
Although I’ve always taken a great interest in consumer electronics, cars have never been something that have interested me. I just know that a suave car salesman is going to take advantage of me – but I just don’t care.