Ireland’s first National Digital Week was held in Skibbereen, Co. Cork from 3rd – 8th November 2015. In attendance were over 1,600 delegates, a mix of digital entrepreneurs, marketers, technology enthusiast and SMEs, all looking to extend their knowledge and start their journey into the digital world. It also brought together some of the country’s top digital experts to speak at the conference, as well as a number of high profile guests.
The National Digital Week was organised by a steering group of the recently established Ludgate@Skibbereen initiative, which aims to create a digitally enabled rural society in West Cork, allowing innovators to create and expand their businesses in a rural setting while also being able to compete at the larger global scale.
Waterford Institute of Technology Telecommunication Software and Systems Group (TSSG) were invited to talk on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the research they carry out in this space. Following on from this was a panel discussion on how IoT could be of benefit to various industries and individuals.
During the session IoT was introduced from a number of perspectives, depending on the background of the speaker, as well as the opportunities that are possible in their space arising out of the Internet of Things. IoT was seen as a critical stepping stone to providing employment to millions of citizens by becoming global leaders in this new industry. All speaker gave their own impressions on what the future holds for their particular industry or company path, and included discussions on next generation cameras technologies, tree profiling and optimised cutting software as well as some of the difficulties that lay ahead, such as the lack of standards, which will be a huge challenge due to the increase in IoT development. Also up for discussion were the issues surrounding privacy and security and how and where all this big data that is being generated by the IoT devices will be processed.
Outside of our IoT topic discussions there was also high profile talks given by Ronan Harris, Head of Google EMEA, Dr Laurence O’Rourke, Rosetta Mission Science Operations Coordinator at the European Space Agency who discussed who discussed the applications of STEM in a practical way, as well as Anne O’Leary the CEO of Vodafone, Ireland. In addition, there were also discussions around the use of ICT in agriculture, and the link between this and IoT was clear to be seen.
Finally, the overarching message to be taken from the IoT sessions at the event is that even though the IoT is coming and coming fast, there are still a lot of hurdles to be overcome, but everyone seemed to be working from the same understanding so these problems are being worked on and will be overcome.