IoT Shifts Conference Barcelona shift 2020

Shift 2020 Brain Food #10 – Special #IoTShifts

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Welcome to this week’s shift 2020 Brain Food #10 newsletter with a special edition on the IoT Shifts Conference I’m organising in partnership with Claro Partners at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona on October 19 and 20th.

TIP: don’t wait last minute to book your tickets as we’re heading to a sold out event!

Speakers and Panels
Very diverse topics will be covered at the conference, discerning hype from reality. Check the final program of talks, panels and workshops including speakers from Nike, BMW, Ericsson, Orange, Alcatel-Lucent, Sigfox mixed with some of the best designers, startup founders, and UI/UX experts sharing their experiences and future visions on the IoT.

Workshop directions on day two include sessions by Nuwe, Libelium, Sigfox, VisionMobile, Claro Partners,, Strategy Sherpa, The Dignified Self and our house philosopher Humberto Schwab. After all, it’s us, the people who are in power to design our own future. Come and join us to learn, design and discuss your vision on the Internet of Things.


The two winners of last weeks contest are:

Apoorva Pandey with a link to a letter from an imaginary teenager in 2030, with 11 pointers to help design better connected toys, kitchens and fitness trackers, today. Great post by Martin Meier on how important it is to think long-term when developing for the IoT.

Frank Gaugel with the Internet of Things Toolkit on Postscapes – Tracking the Internet of Things, a great resource with literally +101 Resources to Navigate the #IoT. Check it out! 

This week, I’m giving away another 2 FREE tickets to readers who can point me to their favourite IoT startup. To participate, just reply to this email. I will include the best suggestions with a link in the next newsletter edition. 

For other readers, I have 10 tickets with a 50% discount. Use the VIP_shift2020 code or use this direct link to benefit from this unique promotion.

Thanks to IoT CouncilBarcinnoMobileGrooveUbergizmoM2M NowSmart InsightsIoT/BCN Meetup BCNbetahaus and Barcelona Loves EntrepreneursDoctors 2.0 & You, Startupbootcamp IoT & Data and hub:raum for being such wonderful partners!

And now, let’s have a closer look at some interesting area’s of the conference.

IoT and Renewable Energy
Millennials want a sustainable future: they want to pay extra for sustainable products, they check packaging to ensure a positive environmental impact and want to work for sustainable companies.

One of our biggest challenges the coming decades is to move away from the fossil-fuel economy towards a more renewable energy type of economy and future. IoT will play a key role in this creating better efficiency for existing transport and manufacturing and the potential to analyse all the data generated by the billions of sensors deployed will give us better insights on carbon pollution, water and air quality control, radiation levels, waste management, smart lighting, and so on…

Brands and companies will have to invest heavily into IoT tools to create more trust and a better sustainable image in the future, the ones not doing it right will pay a huge price. Look at the damage caused for Volkswagen in the VW scandal. And this is just starting, governments and the crowds with the help of better measuring and transparency tools will punish brands not complying with the rules. expects the IoT to bubble up environmental data such as air quality, temperature, humidity, light and noise that can be used to adjust HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) in real time, or to aide interior designers in improving the workplace. Location based services coupled with smart energy grid technology will allow fine tuning of energy supply reacting to changes in demand and national grid status (smart grid frequency response).

What we can measure, we can act upon and improve.

Connected Aircraft
Besides the Industrial Internet approach of GE to save billions/year in inefficiency in the aviation industry, almost every airline in the world is now investing as well in IoT solutions to create a major revolution in the passenger experience in the next three years – how we all fly and make our way through airports, shifting from the one-size-fits-all use of IT towards a more personal approach.

86% airline companies expect that the IoT will deliver clear benefits in this period and already more than one third (37%) have allocated budget to it. Investments will be focused in the areas of check-in, bag drop and bag collection. Check thisreport by Sita Labs for a detailed view of the Airline IT Trends in IoT.

The Quantified Enterprise
The sensorification of the enterprise will create better efficiency, more transparency and a cleaner future for us all.

The research work at Bell Labs on the “Quantified Enterprise” has the ambition to redefine the Future Workspace Experience with network sensing (so without installing dedicated sensors). The company wants to understand and quantify how people interact and work together in the real enterprise for personal, group and larger organisation efficiency.

Using only network signals Bell Labs aim to infer and analyse people-people and people-space interactions to uncover subtle enterprise dynamics, which in turn can be transformed into actionable insights. The research group has designed a number of features such as intensity, diversity, temporal density and regularity of people-people and people-space interactions that are then used to extract behavioural traits such as dwell time, face-to-face interaction, collaboration, personality, and happiness.

The Internet of Touch
With the rise of the use of wearable devices and other things nearby, the digital layer gets a new interface: touch. We will get more tangible digital interfaces. The Internet of Touch is build on these haptic interactions.

According Iskander Smit from, touch is a relatively new and undeveloped interaction form for the IoT. Haptic feedback gives extra sense to information and services. To sense the user’s context, or stress certain messages. Smart products will use haptic feedback to translate the connected data in tangible form. There is a lot to win in using these possibilities.

Research on “mediated touch” and “designing haptic interactions” at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science shows the first contours of broadly understood messages with vibrations. For instance for a digital coach that only communicates via haptic feedback, without a screen.

Design Fiction
The IoT Shifts Conference will be a great place to experience that somebody’s future is somebody else’s present. The IoT offers ways to reimagine an increasingly connected future of people and things, but with many converging and conflicting trends and visions it is often hard for start-ups, companies and public institutions to clarify near future opportunities and challenges. As technologies and networks are getting closer to our skins, social relations and homes,Near Future Laboratory believes the vision and design of innovative IoT products and services needs to pay attention to today’s weak signals of the everyday life in the form of behaviours, new rituals and frictions. They perform “micro” future studies that focus on the everyday life and the standard IoT objects or services that might fill possible futures. This approach called Design Fiction offers ways to feel, touch and understand near future opportunities with convincing material of potential changes of customers, markets, technologies, or competitions. For instance, to help think, evaluate and focus on possible futures of the IoT, they produced TBD, the catalog of the near future’s normal ordinary everyday.

Humanising IoT: It’s the people, stupid!
The IoT will create a very different future, one we can hardly realise, once it’s full potential will be achieved, it will change business dramatically, leaving the ones who can’t follow behind and we will create a future where living as a smart citizen will change the way we work, live and interact with people and things.

The end game is going to be all about the human experiences and opportunities for customers, consumers and citizens, the way we can distil data in a sensible way, the way we’ll interact with things and above all, the new experiences we’ll be able to create with this new “medium of things”.

Will Robotics, AI, Automation and the IoT create more time for us to live instead of work? Will it make us happier? Will it create healthier cities to live in? A better economy?

All questions I won’t resolve here but we’ll get a better picture after the conference :)

NOTE: these are only a couple of highlights of the conference. Check out the full program for all sessions and speakers details.

“Everything you can imagine is real” – Pablo Picasso.

Last chance to join us at #IoT Shifts Transformation Retreat in Peralada the days before the conference using the Socratic Design method led by philosopher, Humberto Schwab. Join this unique and rare opportunity to gain coaching, industry insights and IoT knowledge that can assist your business growth and personal development at a beautiful luxury 5-star resort in the Peralada (near Girona) in the north east of Spain. It will be a small group of about 15 CEOs, CTOs and strategists, IoT startups and leading thinkers in the cross-sections of IoT and Experience.

If you’d like to book one of the last seats left, ping me.

Hope to see you in Barcelona!

One more insight
“What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdad’s of his dreams to rise from the dust.” – Salvador Dali.

I’m delighted and grateful to be able to do what I love and share these wonderful stories and knowledge with you. Thanks for reading this.

Have a great weekend and rest of the week!

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Be kind to yourself and your loved ones.


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