1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
We believe knowledge is power. In order to meet humanity’s coming challenges, whether it’s food production or pollution levels, we will need to have the right information to make decisions that will better our world. That means connecting the physical world to the digital world, making critical data available for analysis.
To make this possible, we have built a nationwide network that allows simple internet of things (IoT) devices to transmit their information to the cloud. This low-power, wide-area network, known as Sigfox, allows devices to transmit small amounts of information without using much power. This opens up a world of new uses for remote monitoring devices that can transmit data from even the most rural locations, while operating for years on battery power.
With the network now nationwide, VT is focusing on building the ecosystem and introducing IoT to Irish companies, including some of the country’s largest insurers, utilities and transport companies.
— Simon Cocking (@SimonCocking) March 3, 2017
How was the last 12 months, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?
Our partnership with 2rn — the engineering arm of RTE — allowed us to get the network up and running rapidly, with sites all across the country. We could not have asked for a better partner. Being partially state owned has given us access to sites and skills that make our network reliable and secure.
Of course, as with any new technology, it can take time for device development and adoption to reach the wider market. We have been working with developers and startups to support them in building IoT solutions that communicate over Sigfox, and are now seeing some excellent devices reaching completion. After working the market for the last 12 months, we are also finalising some major deals, and seeing a strong interest in IoT solutions here in Ireland.
What are your plans for the future?
One of the problems companies have faced is having to go to a number of companies to source different solutions for a variety of problems. VT has a wholly owned subsidiary, Sunbear, that will help to streamline this process for companies of all sizes by assisting with the entire process, from finding the right device to integrating it into existing operations. We believe that simplifying the process of implementing IoT will open up possibilities for businesses.
What will you be talking about at this event?
VT COO Will Ferguson will be talking about what it’s like to be riding the first wave in an emerging market like IoT, and the many startup success stories VT has seen.
— VT IoT (@VT_IoT) May 9, 2017
What inspired you to speak at it?
The future of IoT hinges on collaboration. VT works with developers, manufacturers, system integrators, universities and businesses with problems that need new answers. An event like this one is another opportunity for VT to connect with peers, form partnerships and drive the IoT ecosystem together.
Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?
Ireland is lucky to have a strong tech news scene, and it’s great to have outlets like Irish Tech News, as well as other media and newsletters. We also keep up with what’s being published on platforms like Medium and Linkedin, which can be great places to read about new ideas. Of course, Twitter is a great place to see all these things in one place.
How can people find out more about what you are working on?
— Sigfox (@sigfox) May 17, 2017