Post #18: The future comes to Olympia - Heptagon Capital – Production

What is billed as the world’s largest Internet of Things conference series came to London last week. Other similar events will be held in Silicon Valley and…

Post #18: The future comes to Olympia

What is billed as the world’s largest Internet of Things conference series came to London last week. Other similar events will be held in Silicon Valley and Amsterdam over the course of the year. Over 2 days, some 300 companies and over 12,000 visitors (including ourselves) descended upon the Olympia conference centre in West London in order to learn about the Internet of Things (or IOT) and its impact on industries including manufacturing, transport, supply chain, insurance, logistics, government, energy and autos.

If there was a consistent message from everyone with whom we spoke, then it was simply that there is no silver bullet. Put another way, any business embracing the Internet of Things (in its various guises) will not find this to be a panacea, or solve-all, for their organisation. This was a refreshingly realistic message and something of a contrast to the hubris that often pervades many similar such events. Nonetheless, a certain fear-of-missing-out continues to drive business decisions and we note the statistic that 84% of businesses are apparently “actively involved with” the Internet of Things at present (per PWC).

On the practical side, we saw clear evidence of IOT implementation in a variety of smart home devices (especially meters) and also for monitoring changes in weather patterns (which would be useful for farmers and many other businesses). However, in discussions we had with various executives, it seems that the real value from IOT will come from combining intelligent devices and the information they generate in order to create new business solutions and/or workforce optimisation tools. In other words, data collection is necessary, but by no means sufficient. 

Elsewhere, on the ‘hype-scale’, we noted that 5G was described as a “gold rush” by at least one executive with whom we spoke. There seemed to be more excitement or relative over-use of this term than almost any other at the conference, even if much of the infrastructure for the next-generation of mobile (data) communications has not yet even been built yet. By contrast, it was refreshingly pleasing to see how little the word ‘bitcoin’ came up in conversations, a marked contrast to last year (when also attended the same event). Let’s what the 2020 conference holds. We will be there next March.

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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