GoT summit: The future of electronics in the cognitive era

By | 4 minute read | February 16, 2017

IBM Munich HQ

This afternoon, IBM joins panellists from Ricoh, Panasonic, Harman International and Bragi GmbH to discuss how IoT and cognitive are shaping the electronics industry, and how to respond to these trends.

Carsten Bruhn, Ricoh' Darko Dragicevic, Bragi, Don Guelich, Panasonic, Kevin Hague, Harman join Bruce Anderson, IBM at the Watson IoT Genius of Things event's electronics panelCarsten Bruhn, Ricoh’ Darko Dragicevic, Bragi, Don Guelich, Panasonic, Kevin Hague, Harman
join Bruce Anderson, IBM at the Watson IoT Genius of Things event’s electronics panel

Setting the scene: a transformational opportunity

Just as the invention of electricity has profoundly affected society, the IoT is similarly on the brink of another tremendous, transformational opportunity.

As electricity became commercially available, it became possible to plug in ‘things’ – everything from streetlights to ovens, and the commoditization of electricity spawned countless industries that would otherwise never have existed.

While the IoT is in relatively early stages, connecting things with unique IP addresses has been possible for over a decade. Now, however, easy availability of sensors, processors and memory make it commercially viable to give everyday objects both connectivity and intelligence.

How IoT and cognitive are shaping the electronics industry

As the IoT becomes ubiquitous and the cost of embedding connectivity decreases, many companies are focusing on how to implement the IoT into their business. The new ‘Business of Things’ is moving beyond selling connected products – even beyond selling new services – and expanding to create valuable experiences instead.

Throughout the electronics industry, executives are focusing on IoT strategies that enable ‘things as agents’ to cooperate through complex, evolving ecosystems in order to deliver valuable experiences, and on establishing a new order of business that aligns their organization with an IoT strategy.

Things as agents: a focus on the human experience

As connected objects become capable of learning and adapting to the way their users interact with them, we can begin to think of them as ‘agents’, acting on behalf of the user. Cognitive devices can help enhance user experiences by learning an individual’s preferences from repeated interactions, discovering new insights and creating a stronger relationship.

Cooperating through complexity: orchestration, not control

The electronics industry is becoming more complex as it is reshaped by the IoT. Industry boundaries are expanding and there is a need to support multiple ecosystems. This expansion drives the need for platforms, like IBM’s Watson IoT Platform, designed to manage this complexity through seamless orchestration of multiple devices and services.

A new order of business: align as you reinvent

Reinvention is inevitable when it comes to implementing IoT challenges and the technological challenges are arguably less pressing than those of reorganising from within the business itself. Aligning the company with its IoT strategy will change how businesses lead and prepare their workforces.

Meeting the panelists: Panasonic, Harman, Ricoh and Gmbh

Our panelists share their experiences of integrating the IoT with their business strategies.


Panasonic has created a Digital Concierge service  with Watson IoT: a whole new experience for guests and consumers able to provide personalized recommendations and information on the weather, entertainment, dining, news and much more.

Bragi GmbH

Next to speak is Darko Dragicevic, Executive Vice President, Partners and Solutions, Bragi GmbH.

Hearables are set to transform the way people work, with huge potential impact on the business processes of the future. Bragi, an early pioneer in the hearables market, is using Watson IoT Platform to tap the language translation and speech-to-text capabilities to transform the way people interact, communicate and collaborate in the workplace.

Bragi has a vision for users to use the headset to receive instructions, interact with co-workers and enable management teams to keep track of the location, operating environment, wellbeing and safety of workers. Bragi is even exploring how head gestures could enable users to respond to instructions or send commands for simple tasks such as turning the page in an instruction manual during hands-on or dangerous tasks.

Harman International

Kevin Hague, Vice President, Technology Strategy, Harman International describes the partnership with IBM Watson and Harman to develop a voice-enabled cognitive solution for hospitals, hotels and conferences.

A visitor to unfamiliar environments like these might not know how to turn on the lights or adjust the temperature. To solve the problem, Harman and IBM developed voice-activated technology which is embedded into sound bars, speakers and clock radios that the user can speak to to alter the room around them.

This solution is already in operation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where patients are using it to adjust their hospital rooms.

Final thoughts

“In general, each company balances two fears: the fear of the new/untried, and the fear of being left behind.”
Dr. Richard Soley, Executive Director, Industrial Internet Consortium.

Pay us a visit and keep up to date with the GoT summit

We’ll be on the scene as the GoT summit progresses, sharing presentations, keynotes and ideas. Keep an eye on the landing page for all the latest news from the conference, or pay us a visit.

Work with us

We’re always looking for new ways to help bring the benefit of the IoT to our clients. Learn more about our cognitive solutions by visiting the IoT website, or speak to a representative to find out how we can help you take the next step in bringing the IoT to your business.