IoT device showcase shows Ireland’s a hub for IoT – Inspirefest 2015

23 Jun 2015

Pictured on stage were Martina Lawlor, senior software engineer, Intel (left) and Anastasia wearing the IoT butterfly dress. Image via Conor McCabe Photography

During a fascinating talk chaired by Intel’s VP of the internet of things (IoT) Philip Moynagh, some of Ireland’s, and the world’s best examples of IoT wearables were showcased ranging from a wristband to a butterfly dress.

If you are familiar with the concept of IoT in Ireland, it’s likely that you heard it from Moynagh who is perhaps one of the most familiar faces, and proponents, of a technology that he has said time and again is the next evolutionary step of the internet.

Chairing a showcase at Inspirefest 2015 today, Moynagh took to the stage with some of Ireland’s brightest innovators in this particular field, to show the audience how the barriers between imagination and putting a product to market are now at their lowest levels thanks to the internet.

But when opening his introduction, Moynagh stepped back from looking into the future, to look at our past and present, particularly with regard to the issue of implicit biases that continually lies in the subconscious of many people.

Highlighting the example of the rapid change in orchestra demographics from all-male in the 19th century, to 25pc in the 1960s and eventually 50/50 today, was changed just with the removal of the ability to create gender bias.

Being aware of implicit biases

Moynagh advised all of those attending to take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) which to-date has shown that 24pc of people had a strong association of men with careers and women with families, followed by 32pc with a moderate bias and 20pc with a slight bias.

Moving on to the topic of IoT, Moynagh spoke of how our childhood imagination is not something limited to just our adolescence, but something that actually continues in other forms, such as a new idea that could be easily applied through IoT, especially in Ireland.

“We left the computer revolution to the Bay area and the US in general, the internet revolution to the US in general and the Bay area and we have the opportunity to leave IoT to others as well. Or we can do something about it, “Moynagh said. “We are not disadvantaged in this country, we have all the same set-up in order to be significant here.”

None more so than his distinguished guests from all ranges of age, all of whom had used taken a basic idea and expanded a business idea from it.

Philip Moynagh, VP IoT, Intel. Photo: Conor McCabe

Philip Moynagh, VP IoT, Intel. Photo: Conor McCabe

Ireland’s got talent

The first group to take to the stage were Oisin O’Sullivan, Alex Casey, Anna Nolan and Lisa Carmel-Spencer who despite only being of Junior Cert age, had developed Remember Me, a wearable device that reminds the user when they have to take their medication.

This was then followed up by Laura Browne and her award-winning concept, PowerScout which uses multiple sensors to tell a person how much electricity they’re consuming in their household and what devices are causing the high bills.

Speaking of the significance of her concept, she told the Inspirefest 2015 crowd: “With my sensor, I was able to see that in four hours, my computer was using more energy than the fridge did for the whole month”.

Closer to home, Intel’s senior research scientist in Ireland Jessica McCarthy showed its application in the real world with their range of developed air quality sensors which, with the help of Dublin City Council, were placed across Dublin to see in real-time how much pollution was being created by traffic.

High-flying concepts

Finally, the crowd were treated to the ‘butterfly dress’ developed by Ezra and Tuba Cetin, two sisters from Istanbul, Turkey who stood back from their world of traditional fashion to develop their dress which was rigged with an Intel Galileo board capable of sensing when a person would come too close to them.

When sensed, the butterflies on the dress would flap their wings, or when feeling threatened would leap from the dress at the person, at least to the amusement of the crowd.

In his final address, Moynagh spoke of how these ideas are not beyond the reach of anyone, once they have the imagination.

“Our core ask of ourselves, and our core ask of you, is don’t explain why we cannot be part of this revolution of the internet of things, just work out what it takes,” he concluded.

This story was originally published at 2.42 pm on 19 June 2015. It has since been updated with a video report.

Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-19 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic