Having a keen interest in the “Internet of Things”(IoT) and how technology can be used to make our daily lives easier, I was really excited when I saw the roadside ads under the Urdu College Bridge, Telenor IoT Expo on November 18th!
As soon as I made it to my home, I made a mental note to keep my schedule free for the 18th. This was the second IoT Expo by Telenor, the first one was conducted in Lahore in May earlier this year. Unable to attend that event, I really wanted to be there for this one and sure enough, I made it this time.
So what is Internet of things?
Internet of things is a concept of connecting devices to the Internet. This includes everything around us starting from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, microwave ovens, headphones, lamps, television and wearable to almost everything you can think of.
By 2020, it is expected that there will be 75 billion devices following the Internet of Things concept. In 2013, 80 things per second were connecting to the internet. By 2014, the number doubled and by 2020 it will be 250 devices per second connecting online and becoming part of Internet of Things.
There has been a lot of skepticism about IoT around the world. People believe that not everything can be connected online and that can affect the lives of human being in contrast to the machine dependability.
Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk have shown agreement on the probable dangers that artificial intelligence can bring. Hawking said that the full development of artificial intelligence (AI) could “spell the end of the human race”
In Pakistan though, we are still very far from the dream of a truly connected world due to the lack of even the basic internet connectivity services for most of Pakistan. But expos like this are essential in keeping the people up to date about the latest technologies and tech trends around the world.
What Is The Telenor IoT Expo About?
The Karachi event was inaugurated by Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, Sindh Senior Minister for Education and Literacy and Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui.
In the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan, Deputy CEO of Telenor Pakistan, said,
“We have always been at the forefront of offering cutting edge technology and next generation solutions to our valued customers. Organizing exhibitions around IoT is yet another testament of Telenor Pakistan’s customer centric approach and building an ecosystem to facilitate mobile internet uptake. Going forward these efforts will only broaden and strengthen and cover wide array aspects that are geared towards enhancement of internet adoption amongst the wider community – in line with our vision to bring internet for all.”
As I walked in, the exhibition hall was filled with the trademark color of blue and white, a combination synonymous with tech expos. The central portion of the hall was dedicated to Telenor and its subsequent IoT products. It was remarkable seeing a mobile telecommunication company displaying systems related to software solutions, home, electrical, banking, vehicles, security and human resource management.
Around the same hall, there were several different companies and startups exhibiting their products and innovations, including every sector of the Information and Communications Technology(ICT) industry.
Among the IoT and Solutions presented under Telenor were,
- Energy Management System for corporate and personal use.
- Apna Daftar, an office desk management system in lines of Office 360.
- A metered electricity usage application which provides packaged solution to the users with home appliances.
- Banking Application for connecting branches.
- Connected Fridge, an inventory management smart application for items stored in a fridge, either in homes or super markets.
- Easypay, an online payment platform similar to PayPal, a subsidiary of EasyPaisa.
- Tracker, a sales and distribution management system that could be used on smartphones.
- HR Shared Services, A complete human resource and recruitment management solution developed by Software Engineering Department of Telenor (SED).
- Real Estate System with Assets, Inventory, and Vendor Management.
- TrackLive, an app for mobile phones to manage sales force, and also used for personal home use.
- Companion, a smart watch which keeps track of family members and is a connected device to your own smartphone.
Nest I/O incubates EjaadTech and Knavix were also among the attendees of the event. EjaadTech provides prototyping, design and development solutions with smart connectivity via mobile devices, Bluetooth, RF, WiFi, 2G and 3G technologies while Knavix provides smart mapping solutions for Telematics(wireless devices and “black box” technologies to transmit data in real time), Machine-to-Machine and vehicle navigation solutions.
Academia side was represented by Computer Science students from NED who were showcasing a kind of sensor application for the management of soil and plantation. One exceptionally unique smart phone application even demonstrated how to identify the occupied space in a room, hall, or a parking lot by using only the normal sensors present inside each smartphone.
A lot of other notable tech companies also showcased their products and solutions regarding Internet of things, digital tracking, security, and sensor technologies at the Exhibition.
From “Ultimo”, a company 3D Localization technology of tracking objects or personnel within a given infrastructure using remote sensors and smart phone application, to Mazik Global, a renowned technology company with prime products related to ERP that exhibited M2M solution regarding machine data, pressure, temperature and other similar sensing inputs, to Convex, a popular digital media agency which exhibited their product authenticating application, where a user can enter the code of a product to identify whether it is original or not, there was no shortage of innovation.
Well-known names like ZTE, a globally recognized solution provider in networking and telecommunication systems and Cybernet, a popular ISP in Pakistan, were also present and demonstrated their latest technologies.
A few other companies that also deserve a mention are Teltonika, a manufacturer of GSM/GPS Technology based products, exhibited their wireless office routers, cameras and smartphone applications; Gemalto, an international digital security company, showcased their Smart Pill Dispenser for people who are on scheduled medication; ClickSat, a provider of satellite internet facility in Pakistan; Falcon – I is a 360 degree vehicle tracking, security, and fleet management solutions provider and E-Ocean, a branded SMS service and marketing company, with solutions such as SMS Marketing, Mobile based advertisements, and other similar mobile solutions.
Telenor has certainly marked itself as the first mover in IoT related developments Pakistan. Not only did they showcase their own solutions and technologies, they also facilitated other companies and young inventors to come forward.
We sure hope to see similar events and exhibitions in Pakistan, as this is the need of the hour!
Edited by Rehan Ahmed and Image by AB photography