Munich Genius of Things summit: It’s a wrap

By | 3 minute read | February 17, 2017

Yesterday our much-anticipated Genius of Things summit took place at our new Headquarters in Munich – a vibrant coming together of IBMers, clients, partners and researchers all committed to the future of the IoT.

Now, the $200 million collaboratory is officially open for business, and it certainly started with a bang.

Harriet Green, GM, Watson Internet of Things, kicked off the festivities with her keynote, and finished the day by sending the punters on their merry way to while away the evening with cocktails and music. Festivities really does seem the right word: the Headquarters are humming with activity and the atmosphere is alight with an air of exploration and possibility that bodes well for the coming months.

The times they are a-changing

In a world that has already begun to accept the IoT, despite its relative newness, there is a growing need for practical guidance for those who would incorporate it into their businesses. Harriet spoke about transformation, outcomes and leadership in the Age of IoT, in a world that has acknowledged its value and is now looking for advice on how to capitalize on the opportunity and manage the ensuing change.

Genius of Things technologies

One of the most exciting aspects of the GoT summit was hearing from companies about the successes they’ve had with IoT technology. Even relatively nascent developments, like blockchain, or digital twin, are already having a significant impact.

Digital twin, for example, brings the physical and digital worlds together in a way that gives people more visibility into things that matter for their business. With a single, powerful interface, multiple views of a physical object can be created for different stakeholders, using the same underlying data streams.

Airbus spoke to the group about how digital twin capabilities have helped address the challenge of designing an aeroplane’s wing – by allowing engineers to think about each design aspect (structural, aerodynamic and aero-elastic) and ensure they are using the right data to support their particular objectives.

The impact of Industrie 4.0

Two of the day’s sessions investigated where Industry 4.0 is leading companies that are ready to incorporate IoT into their business models. Automation on the factory floor, smart instruments and predictive maintenance are changing the face of manufacturing and yielding impressive results.

Foxconn and Vaillant Group, both presenting at the GoT summit, reported reduced cycle time, elimination of downtime, increased output and improved safety thanks to their adoption of IoT technology.

Automotive and mobility

Following up on a big year for Automotive, the IoT team joined IBM’s John Kitchingman as he took us on a journey through the changing auto industry and the role of the connected car in an increasingly urban world.

Food safety and blockchain

Frank Yiannas of Walmart and IBM Fellow John Cohn demonstrated how blockchain can build trust, accelerate transactions and reduce costs, without requiring a central point of control.

Connected workplaces and buildings

Guests from ISS, and Kone shared their insights on how smart buildings promote a more efficient use of space and resources at work and at home.

The future’s bright for start-ups

We heard from new kids on the block who have got the edge on the start-up phenomenon: Slava Rubin of crowdfunder platform Indiegogo and Matt Anderson of Arrow Electronics.

Watson takes a starring turn

IBM’s Neil Postlethwaite took the Watson IoT Platform for a spin and lifted the lid on the Pandora’s box of IoT, revealing the thousands of possibilities and millions of data points therein.

What’s next for the collaboratory?

The Genius of Things summit has been the culmination of many months’ preparation and activity at the Munich IoT Headquarters. But the story is far from over. As the visitors disperse, many will take insights from the day’s thought-provoking sessions into their industries. And many will put down roots here, working with IBM to forge the next steps for the IoT in a future where two heads are, most definitely, better than one.

Join us

If you’re interested in working with IBM, speak to a representative to find out how we can help you. You can look back on the Genius of Things summit by visiting our Watson IoT Headquarters landing page.