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IoT changing the face of the nation

IoT changing the face of the nation

May 10, 2017

Future tech realities are beginning to change the face of how New Zealanders operate in their daily lives – at home and work, and coming research results will help shape the nation’s future, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will soon become critical to helping New Zealand raise its productivity and prosperity and a series of events this week, as part of Techweek 2017, will outline how Kiwis will acquire new skills as they leap into the future, he says.

Much of the current hype around IoT has been derived from consumer IoT such as fitness trackers and intelligent fridges. The real value to be had from the Internet of Things is in enterprise and government applications.

Machine learning, augmented reality and the Internet of Things sit in the top three technology trends and the Internet of Things revolutionises technology.

The Future Realities conference in Wellington today is one of several virtual reality and internet of things events this week as part of NZTech’s Techweek 2017 which includes 258 events in 27 centres all over New Zealand from Whangarei to Hokitika. Techweek will include tech and innovation events, conferences, school and business events, Muller says.

“A collaborative national research project is also underway to better understand the potential benefits (and risks) of IoT for the New Zealand economy.

“The project, being managed by NZTech, brings together major tech users, tech firms, the government, academia and industry groups such as the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand and InternetNZ, all who have an interest in the potential impact of IoT for New Zealand.”

Muller says IoT is becoming a growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how Kiwis live but also how they work.

Fast broadband is becoming more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more devices are being created with wi-fi capabilities and sensors built into them, technology costs are dropping, and smartphone penetration is sky-rocketing.

Putting all these rapid developments into the mix is creating a perfect platform for IoT to take off, Muller says, this is why the research project and a better understanding of how to apply IoT are needed.

“While IoT is a rapidly developing technology, understanding of its potential is still relatively limited. By undertaking a collaborative research project with the government, the tech sector and tech users we have an opportunity to raise the profile of IoT and highlight its potential,” Muller says.

“The research will also help us understand opportunities that IoT could create for different sectors, and any barriers or challenges that may need to be addressed to accelerate deployment.

“While the research won’t be completed until next month some initial observations give us cause for optimism. While current uptake is very low, with only around 10 percent of New Zealand businesses having deployed or currently planning to deploy IoT type technologies, New Zealand has all the ingredients for a business environment that will support accelerated growth,” Muller says.

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