Arizona: The Connected Place
September 17, 2017
CEO, Arizona Technology Council
Arizona has become a hotspot for the Internet of Things (IoT), the interconnection of computers and devices embedded in everyday objects that send and receive data. This is readily apparent as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has stepped up as a major advocate by launching The Connected Place, an initiative to promote Phoenix as the leader in IoT stewardship, collaboration and education. GPEC has deep insight on our technology community and understands the possibilities that can manifest in Phoenix — from IoT in homes to software applications, cybersecurity, wearable medical devices and driverless vehicles.
According to a study done by Gartner, 8.4 billion things will be connected this year — an increase of 31 percent from 2016. This technology is transforming how we approach typical household tasks by connecting the things inside our homes to the Internet. For many regions, IoT is in its infancy. In Arizona, it’s established and thriving.
The Arizona Technology Council has embraced the strength of our IoT community and is working to accelerate the technology by creating the Council’s IoT Committee. This committee received a great deal of interest from the technology community and already has accepted more than 80 members. The committee’s purpose is to educate and provide a platform for members to learn, collaborate, advocate and disseminate information about how IoT can help organizations create real-time business solutions in a sensor-enabled, analytics-driven world.
The committee’s co-chairs are Curt Cornum, vice president – chief solution architect, Insight; and Vignesh Rajamani, senior associate, electrical engineering & computer science practice, Exponent.
Arizona’s biggest players in this sector include Intel, Avnet, Microchip, NXP and ON Semiconductor. By taking ordinary devices or software and connecting them, these companies are able to add intelligence to devices and systems, which allows problems to be solved faster and more seamlessly. These companies are working to create devices so intelligent that they can function entirely on their own. When devices have the capability to learn from their environments and respond in real time, the potential for innovation becomes unparalleled.
Intel has been working on expanding IoT innovations that soon will be common fixtures in business and homes by integrating them into entire cities. The semiconductor giant has been collaborating with a Singapore-based company called gridComm to develop IoT sensor networks based on the infrastructure of city power lines. This will allow all of a city’s streetlights to connect through sensors that control the brightness of the lights based on incoming traffic. For the average city containing roughly 100,000 streetlights, an annual savings of $10 million can result by installing connected, sensor-controlled streetlights, as stated in Intel’s solution brief.
Uber, Waymo/Google and General Motors have been testing self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. This intuitive technology has the potential to dramatically reduce accidents since, according to GPEC, 94 percent of car accidents are caused by human error. These smart cars have been learning not only to predict human error but also to anticipate how humans will respond.
Specific to IoT in the home, Phoenix-based Avnet is working with NXP to add near field communication (NFC) to smart devices, making it so a user doesn’t have to manage multiple devices across multiple interfaces. This technology can be applied to security systems, home energy systems, smart locks, lighting and several other home applications. NXP is also a leader of gateway applications, creating single, dual and quad core communications processors to allow homeowners to more readily manage all of their connected devices. This technology extends beyond homes to include wearables, IP phones, tablets and more.
Because of the intuitive technology being developed by these companies, the way we’ve come to experience our homes is changing. In April, Cox Communications displayed a smart home that featured 55 connected devices through IoT, including flower pots, dog bowls and even toothbrushes that were interconnected and could be monitored from anywhere through an app. According to Cox, 55 connected devices will be the average number found in homes by 2020, with the consumption of bandwidth doubling every two years. While we commonly think of tools like Amazon Echo or sprinkler systems that can be controlled via smartphone, we can anticipate in-home IoT to extend far beyond that within the coming years.
This year, the Arizona Technology Council is hosting our inaugural Smart City Summit on September 28 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley – Scottsdale, where IoT and transportation will be the focus of two of four event tracks. The purpose of the Summit is to offer an opportunity for sharing current advances in implementation of communication technology in the development of smart cities, smart universities and smart schools. The Summit will present an opportunity for the technology community to learn even more about the latest advancements of IoT, self-driving vehicles and more.
Arizona is leading the IoT revolution as host of the major players responsible for innovation in this sector. Each year companies around our state are creating technologies to make it even easier for devices to communicate, making businesses more efficient, technology more powerful and our communities safer. Arizona possesses the talent, foresight and economic landscape to master the development of a connected world.
Steven G. Zylstra Sc.D. (Hon.) serves as president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, a role he assumed in December of 2007. He is responsible for strategy, operations, all financial matters and accomplishment of policy development for the Council. Steven is a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards in Arizona. Steven has served in numerous technology leadership and advisory roles to the Governor and currently serves on several association, industry and community boards, including being recognized as an Aspen Institute Fellow for his work in workforce development. Between August 2013 and August 2015 he served as the Chairman of the global organization Technology Councils of North American (TECNA). Steven can be reached at 602-343-8324 or at email@example.com.
This year, the Arizona Technology Council is hosting their inaugural Smart City Summit on September 28 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley – Scottsdale, where IoT and transportation will be the focus of two of four event tracks. The purpose of the Summit is to offer an opportunity for sharing current advances in implementation of communication technology in the development of smart cities, smart universities and smart schools. The Summit will present an opportunity for the technology community to learn even more about the latest advancements of IoT, self-driving vehicles and more.