The Things Conference 2022

TheThingsConference 2022

This week saw the return of face-to-face of The Things Conference after long years of virtual events. The Things Conference is the major LoRaWAN ecosystem event. Not as commercial as LoRa Alliance event (even if the conference is a source of revenue for TheThingsIndustry), thanks to the presence of most of the guy’s who are doing the IoT.

This edition has interesting weak signals like the presence of a team from Unabiz (previously Sigfox), some Helium bashing at some time, even if most of the attendees have been participating on The People Network.

It’s a conference I can place on the maturity rising, many talk about use-cases, less about technologies. Lots of workshops where we have been able to implement / test advanced technologies like Lacuna Space communications or Semtech low power tracker.

Here are my through from the really great edition of TheThingsConference2022

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What is the IIoT transformation ?

The digital transformation of companies officially started in 2012, the year of birth of this term which reflects more the awareness by the company of its delay in its technological adaptation than a real awareness of its difficulties in modernizing its processes. .

Apart from this digital transformation, in society started 20 years earlier when Internet technologies were born and giants were already being built, Google, Amazon, Paypal… There is no need to detail the competitive advantages that the native use of these technologies in the construction of the processes of these current giants have brought, the financial results are before our eyes.

This is what it is all about, increased productive performance, accelerated development, domination of the markets despite a past so recent that the leaders of the large companies in our historic economy have, only rarely, managed to adapt. The most far-sighted will have succeeded in adapting as suppliers, integrating a digital relationship with these giants into their process. Industries have become customers of these essential technology providers, at exorbitant prices and on a recurring basis, so that today any product contains its share of cost for the digital giants.

It is not a question here of making a trial of these companies which have only the merit of having been visionaries, precursors and better than all to invent our digital world, taking considerable risks at their start. On the other hand, it is a question of learning lessons and looking to the future and the opportunities that are available to us.

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What positions for 5G and other wireless technologies in the industrial world?

The industry is changing, digitalizing, let’s call it the industry of the future or industry 4.0, it is increasingly integrating data into decision-making. If data has been driving the industry for a long time, we are now talking about another scale, that of massive data, on which it is possible to make faster, more efficient, more relevant decisions with impactful effects.

The quality and performance of the decision is directly related to the diversity and quantity of data processed for decision making. The industry already produces large volumes of data from production processes which already allow a strong creation of value using industry 4.0 solutions. The capture of industrial data then develops in its diversity component to pass a new stage, bringing a look upstream and ahead of the production chain.

This data collection is made possible through new communication technologies such as 5G, but not only. After having experienced the media campaigns on the impact of 5G in the industry, and elsewhere, at the beginning of 2021, I will try to present where to position this technology by its singularities.

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Is Sigfox finished?

Since yesterday, the microcosm of the IoT has been in turmoil, Sigfox, the Toulouse company, pioneer of the Internet of Objects, the one which had carried out remarkable fundraising for France: 100M then 150M is placed in receivership. But is it really a surprise? Is this the end of this technology?

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TheThingsConference 2021

New year, new edition of TheThingsConference, the main LPWan event now.

As this event is a big community event including industries, silicon providers, service providers, operator, integrator… It’s a big opportunity for all these people to meet altogether. 2021 due to covid-19 pandemic is online as most of the IoT events currently. Question were, how will be the quality, how will be the interaction within the community ?

TheThingsConference already had a virtual event in 2020 some month after the yearly physical conference and basically it has been a success. It also has been a good training or this 2021 event. As a consequence the event quality (platform, keynote video, talk video) have a really good quality. They basically taken benefit of the new capabilities of the recorded video like to play with a 3D device in the middle of the scene. So that really cool.

They have also taken into account the different time-shift and replaying all the conferences on different slots to allows people to follow it on normal hour. That’s great a better than the previous edition (a 24h non stop event… fun but difficult). The conference is taking place on a whole week

Interaction between the community, at least over the chat is really good and this is also a success… I’ll complete that post all along the conference but we can start seing what has been announced during the keynote.

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Did we have a Sigfox Connect in 2020 ?

Sigfox Connect is usually one of the MAIN EVENT for the LPWAN community as the technical solutions provided by Sigfox were, in the last 5 years, the one presenting disruptive innovations around low power radio communications suporting the IoT revolution. I was usually rushing on my blog to communicate and explain how these innovations could transform our markets…

This year in 2020, I’ve made 5 days before starting to write something because, I see nothing really interesting to tell about this event, at least on the technical side. I could fill many pages on the quality of the event, starting by the backgrounds, the phone ringing in background, even on recorded conferences and the number of conferences about the same topic (supply chain). Christophe Fourtet had a great talk… for Sigfox beginner… and my preferred event’s backgrounds. But what about the yellow texts scrolling ?!? WTF !

So, I could write tons of line on this topic, but let’s try to go to the only and main announcement of this year, nothing technical, something like a company business pivot. Basically, after watching Ludovic conference, I had to refer to the only one online press post to understand what it was about. The morning keynote had some of the elements related to it but honestly I give the same to my IoT students on the first 30 minutes, so for the vision I’ve been a bit disappointed. You can check my IoT slidedeck.

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Hacking a thermometer for world health

In a previous post I’ve been presented an idea for creating a kind of satellite solution for watching over pandemic progress over the world using low cost connected thermometers. You can get the details of this idea in my blog post “What IoT can propose against Pandemic“. Basically the proposal is to add an ultra low cost IoT communication feature into a thermometer and report the information when an over heat has been detected. That way we could be able to determine the level of pandemic and its geographical progression over time. So I won’t detail all the business model and financing proposal, you will find all of this in my previous post.

The second step is now to make a prototype of a such device to show how too make it possible. For making this I’ve selected the thermometer you see on the picture above and decided to hack it and connect it to Sigfox network. This thermometer comes from Amazon and cost 14€ but is really like all low cost thermometer we can find.

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