Account Manager of Xenex Disinfection Services Desiree LeBoeuf shows off Ripley, a robot used to disinfect hospital rooms. Photo by Scott Ball.
Account Manager of Xenex Disinfection Services Desiree LeBoeuf shows off Ripley, a robot used to disinfect hospital rooms during STEM week. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

By 2020, it’s predicted that there will be more than 24 billion “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices globally. That’s about four IoT devices for every person, according to Business Insider‘s research service BI Intelligence.

Not everyone is familiar with the “Internet of Things” – a network of internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors – but in less than four years, most will be.

EPIcenter will host IoT: A Connected World, the first summit on the Internet of Things (IoT) to be presented in San Antonio. The summit, June 1 at the Pearl Stable, will bring together industry executives, utility experts, “Smart City” leaders, business and technology experts, and communications professionals to discuss the future of doing business in a networked economy. Tickets can be purchased here.

EPIcenter is intended to become a world-class center for energy innovation and entrepreneurial incubation. The EPI stands for energy, partnerships, and innovation. While the center’s location south of downtown is being constructed on the site of a 1909 power plant on the San Antonio River’s Mission Reach, EPIcenter programming such as the IoT Summit is already underway to begin engaging the local business and technology communities.

“The IoT Summit is the first of many hot topics that we will highlight for discussion and learning purposes,” said Kimberly Britton, CEO of EPIcenter. “If you are feeling like you still don’t have a clue and need a crash course in the Internet of Things, this is the place to be.”

Keynote speakers for the summit include U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas); Dan Rhodes, an IoT executive at Deloitte with over 20 years experience changing markets with connected products; and Jay Sexton, chief operating officer at the Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies at Georgia Tech. Other noted experts will round out the day’s presentations on how the IoT works, what businesses should consider when thinking about IoT benefits and challenges, and what Congress is thinking.

Several innovative IoT technologies also will be showcased at the summit. Local biotech firm Xenex will discuss IoT applications in health care, while San Antonio-based WellAware, the only data intelligence and oilfield monitoring service for the oil and gas industry, will examine the benefits of its IoT solution. View Glass will show its dynamic glass which adjusts throughout the day to optimize light levels. Fractal Energy Storage Consultants will talk about its energy storage and renewable energy projects.

María Villagómez, assistant city manager for the City of San Antonio, will be part of a panel exploring smart cities solutions and benefits of an IoT approach for city planning.

Kimberly Britton is CEO of EPIcenter, which is hosting the JUne 1 Internet of Things (IoT) Summit at the Pearl Stable.
Kimberly Britton is CEO of EPIcenter, which is hosting the June 1 Internet of Things (IoT) Summit at the Pearl Stable. Credit: Courtesy photo

“We’re putting our mission into motion to act as a thought leader and convene leaders in energy innovation,” Britton said. “The common thread running through all these innovative trends is IoT.”

With Business Insider projecting the number of all devices connected to the internet more than tripling from 10 billion to 34 billion by 2020, businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions, using IoT to lower operating costs, increase productivity, expand to new markets, or create new product offerings. Governments are thought to be the second-largest adopters, while consumers will be the group least transformed by the IoT.

“We are talking to the business sector to help our audience understand what the many opportunities and challenges are going to be as more and more devices start to join the IoT,” Britton said. “We will discuss what the IoT is, how it enables businesses, and how business leaders can best leverage the potential benefits.”

With EPIcenter’s goal to “drive the conversation toward best practices for the emerging industry and scalable, economically feasible clean energy production and distribution,” according to its website, the IoT Summit will be a good way to start.

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Iris Gonzalez

Iris Gonzalez writes about technology, life science and veteran affairs.