23.06.2015

ICT & Digital Media: erasing the boundaries between the real and the digital world

The IESE Business School hosted in Barcelona the 21st ICT & Digital Media Industry Meeting, a conference which is aimed at pooling the main tendencies and challenges of the digital industry. Taking place on 16th June, the meeting focused on recent developments relating to the Internet of Things and Digital Media.

Oscar Pallarols, Director of the Smart Living programme of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, was one of those responsible for marking the beginning of the conference by participating in the opening session together with Joan Enric Ricart, an IESE Professor, and Julio Navío, the Vice-Dean of the Official Association of Telecommunication Engineers. Their speeches gave rise to the conferences held throughout the morning, which covered new applications that possess the Internet of Things (IoT), and the development of Smart Cities.

The first conference starred Javier Zamora, an IESE Professor, and David de Val, CEO of Telefónica Research and Development, and mainly focused on the IoT and how it can shake up the world as we know it today. It was Javier Zamora who indicated the three basic concepts that define the IoT: the connections, the interactions and the information. Of the percentages of these three elements, the largest is digital density, leading to greater business possibilities surrounding the IoT. Zamora presented various examples of how the IoT is beginning to blur the boundaries between the physical world and the digital world; “we are starting to code the physical world” he stated.

The first of his examples was Automatic, a new device that connects your car’s onboard diagnostic port (a plug that only mechanics have access to in order to analyse the vehicle’s data) with a mobile phone, and collects data on how the car is driven, therefore changing the bad habits of drivers and increasing road safety.

Referring to the connections as an inextricable element of the IoT, Javier Zamora also spoke of other examples such as the device, LG Homechat, which connects people to different household items through Whatsapp conversations, and Amazon dash, which links a mobile phone to household products in order to do the shopping.

In his speech, Javier Zamora emphasised the transmission of information, which allows the IoT to function, and development of the global data stock; “90% of data is digital and connected, we can access it”. Additionally, and looking to the future, he stated that there are new business models on the horizon which are based on the affordance of objects, i.e. the many uses that the Internet of Things offers. Meanwhile, David de Val, CEO of Telefónica Research and Development, stated that this is changing the nature of objects as it is aiding a fundamental change in technology.

The second conference of the morning addressed Smart Cities and how technology can help cities be more efficient, create new business models, reduce energy consumption and emissions, and respond adequately to the increase in urbanisation of future decades. In this conference it was speaker Patrick Gaonach, the Iberia Zone President of Schneider Electric, who affirmed that the productivity of a city should be associated with the quality of life of its inhabitants, setting Boston as an example as it is a very advanced city when it comes to Smart Living. He also stressed that the model for collaboration between multinationals, startups, education and venture capitals, originates from the United States. “We must rethink and change our work models and have the private and public sectors working together for a better world” Gaonach declared. In the same conference, a panel took place involving Jordi Alvinyà, Director of Business Strategy for Cellnex Telecom, Juan Blanco, Southern Europe Director of Business Strategy for Cisco, and Patrick Gaonach.

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Image | 21st ICT & Digital Media Industry Meeting

After a morning focused on the IoT and the Smart Cities, the afternoon conferences examined the Digital Media industry and the growth in networks and platforms thanks to the growth in connections and digital television.