Internet of Things Academy

world-plugged-inIn collaboration with Sony U.K. and the Forum for the Future‘s project FutureScapes, London-based consultancy Superflux Ltd. has created an Internet of Things Academy (IoTA: Phase 1 and Phase 2). IoTA is “An open, educational internet-of-things platform to encourage creativity, collaboration and technological literacy.”

It’s a bold approach to connect with, and nurture, the makers and builders of tomorrow.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock and have little knowledge of what’s happening right now with the Internet of Things (IoT)—and how the U.K. and all of Europe are far beyond the U.S. in knowledge of machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT—then hold on to your hat: The predicted explosion of internet-connected devices is about to transform our world and the economies within it. To suggest you should learn everything you can about IoT NOW and figure out how you can participate—along with helping to drive awareness and encourage teaching and mentoring of our next generation—is an understatement. This IoTA is a phenomenal step on the road to doing just that for the next round of makers and doers.

mckinsey-may2013The global consultancy, McKinsey & Company, released a report in May entitled, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy” that is receiving ALOT of buzz since they, “estimate that, together, applications of the 12 technologies discussed in the report could have a potential economic impact between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year in 2025.”

That’s a pretty big swing and McKinsey does state that their report is “neither predictive nor comprehensive” but after reading it you will begin to understand why Cisco, IBM, HP, Siemens, Sony, Philips and just about every other technology company you can think of is all over IoT like-a-bad-suit. You can download PDFs of either the executive summary (PDF) or the full report (PDF) and see for yourself.

WarningWhy is this Internet of Things Academy moving forward in the U.K. and not here in the U.S.? Why isn’t the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) spearheading something like this IoTA—which promises to get people involved in this new technology marketplace nearly immediately—instead of MHTA’s current focus on a longer-term Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) set of initiatives that might have a payoff a decade or so down the road?

It’s all about awareness. With SmartThings, Digi (and their Etherios company) and Spark Devices here in Minnesota, our state has the opportunity to be one of THE primary hubs for IoT if we embrace it, drive awareness, and teach it. If we wait until a cashier at Office Depot knows about IoT (and this month’s cover story in Wired magazine on the Programmable World is helping to put IoT on everyone’s radar screen) it will be too late and Minnesota will, once again, be an also-ran in the biggest market opportunity since the internet itself went commercial in the mid-1990s.

Here is a video done for Superflux’s Phase 2 of the IoTA for your viewing pleasure:

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