Internet of Things next big thing for Ottawa, conference told

Ottawa is well-positioned to take advantage of the burgeoning Internet of Things industry, an organization that collaborates on open-source software told a conference on Tuesday.

Eclipse Foundation marketing director Ian Skerrett said the city’s high-tech knowledge base makes it a natural hub for the industry, which is focused on connecting everything from kitchen appliances to factories to the Internet.

In an address to more than 100 registrants who attended IoT Day at Adobe’s Ottawa headquarters, Mr. Skerrett said major companies are taking notice of the industry.

Cisco calls it a $19-trillion opportunity, he said, while GE believes a one percent boost in overall productivity as a result of IoT technology could translate into an economic boost of $10 trillion-$11 trillion worldwide.

Both companies have recently announced major investments in the Internet of Things. In January, Cisco earmarked $100 million to fund IoT startups, and in April, Cisco, IBM, GE and AT&T joined forces to create an Internet of Things consortium aimed at improving integration between the digital and physical worlds.

Tuesday’s conference was designed to bring together university researchers and representatives from startups and larger companies to expand the IoT community and learn from each other.

Mr. Skerrett said the IoT market was huge and diverse. That diversity was on display at Adobe headquarters, where the suit-and-tie crowd mingled with people with piercings wearing T-shirts and jeans. The presentations covered everything from fitness intelligence to the future of the construction industry.