Yesterday we had the pleasure of participating in an MIT event presented by their Industrial Liaison Program on the topic of Internet of Things (IoT). The fast-paced workshop featured participants from across the MIT innovation ecosystem - from faculty and students to startups and big industry. Here are your behind-the-scenes details and photos.
The official description of the event reads: The Internet of Things (IoT) is marching ahead at full speed. No longer theoretical, massive possibilities are emerging from the data streams being collected through connected sensors, devices, and networks. What will this world look like for industry, startups, governments, and consumers?
It's a good question and we had some answers - so did the other participating tech companies representing a fascinating array of IoT use cases.
The IoT Lightning Talks
1) Data-driven trucking
To kick things off, we heard from the CEO and founder of LinkeDrive, Jeff Baer. LinkeDrive addresses the biggest challenges in the trucking industry with (big) data-driven, human-centric solutions. Their solution incentivizes drivers to operate in the most efficient manner and feed that information back to management.
2) IoT for office space
Molly Bales, the CDO and co-founder of Adappt, next gave the audience an overview of how the connected office is showing early and impressive returns on investment for departments charged with facilities and real estate optimization. Check out those stats!
3) Enabling human robotics
We received a sneak peek of microlocation-powered human robotics (you heard me) from Humatics' Director of Business, Development Matt Carey. I may need to do some follow-up reading with founder David Mindell's book: Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy...
4) Industrial internet of things
Tagup is delivering on the IIoT vision we've been hearing about in the IoT space for a long time. CEO and co-founder Jon Garrity walked us through how they monitor any variety of industrial equipment in real time to prevent system failures and cut unplanned downtime.
5) IoT for the factory shop floor
Business Development lead Erik Mirandette presented another promising IIoT company out of MIT, Tulip. They provide intelligent factory shop floor apps that "bring people and machines together to move your manufacturing operation forward". His slide on digitizing analog processes and modernizing antiquated, siloed software certainly resonated with us.
6) Urban design for mobile connectivity
Tim Piccirilli, Strategic Development & Deployment at Soofa, believes that it's time to stop talking about smart cities, and start delivering high-tech urban infrastructure. To kick-start the revolution, Soofa offers solar-powered benches that charge phones and monitor the environment. You can see and sit and plug into them in 65 cities.
7) Cybersecurity for open source
While Lexumo isn't technically an IoT provider in and of itself, they enable continuous code security for IoT and embedded devices through a special sauce of machine learning and advanced analytics. It is a critical offering as security is top of mind for any serious IoT organization.
8) IoT for Scientific R&D
In what was hailed by me as the best presentation of the day, TetraScience COO and co-founder, Sal Savo, discussed the fragmented state of today's R&D ecosystem, and the impact our customers are experiencing by connecting instrumentation, people, and data via the TetraScience platform. After the talk, we were able to have a number of lively conversations with attendees from the biopharma space who were eager to learn more about connecting their lab infrastructure to a single cloud-based mission control.
9) Embedded robotics
Next we learned about Vecna, which to my surprise has been around since 1998 and operate in a range of fields from healthcare to government to material handling. Daniel is also the co-founder of MassRobotics and the principal investor in a humanoid robot called BEAR or Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot. When I saw he had done graduate work in MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1997 it had me wondering (and googling) - how long has MIT had an AI Lab??... since 1959!
10) The new way to wine
The final presentation really won the crowd over. It turns out the MIT innovation ecosystem likes robots, but loves wine. Kuvee co-founder Mike Tomovich explained how they are disrupting the wine industry with an Internet-connected wine bottle. It dispenses one glass at a time, while preventing the rest of the wine in the canister from being exposed to air (the cause for wine to go bad). I will need to ask TetraScience go-to wine R&D expert Ethan Beswick what he thinks about all this...
Thanks to MIT Startup Exchange for having us at yet another stellar day of innovation programming and networking.
For more on IoT for Science check out a recent Science Magazine article featuring TetraScience: Companies in the cloud: Digitizing lab operations