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London Tech Week: The Internet of Things isn't about gadgets

It’s hard to avoid the Internet of Things at the moment. Everywhere you go, there’s conferences, talks and seminars on the potential of an internet-connected world. But is there too much focus on the devices and not how companies can make themselves better? “There’s a lot of discussion around the Internet of Things,” says Concirrus CEO Andrew Yeoman. “It’s changing the DNA of business processes.”

But there’s a problem; there’s too many companies creating what are essentially novelty devices or gadgets looking for problems. As an example, we’re told about a device that tells you, in real time, if your house is being flooded. Probably not so useful since flooding would probably knock out the internet and people generally would want to get some warning about impending floods, not told after the fact.

“Everyone is approaching it with a gadget mindset,” explains Yeoman while speaking at London Tech Week’s Making the Internet of Things Affordable discussion, when they should be thinking about how they can change processes. He cited Thermocable as a good example: The company uses sensors within its cable products to detect leaks or damage, thereby making the process of finding and repairing quicker and easier. 

Yeoman admits it’s still early days for the IoT industry, and it’s still facing the traditional barriers of disruption; people being dismissive or aggressive, as seen with protests against Uber, but he’s hopeful for the future. “The incumbents can’t do it,” he says. “The future belongs to startups.”

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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