Machines with human facial expressions, networked street furniture that cleans the air of fine dust. And valuable tips for the digital transformation. Innoday2018 had it all.
It felt as if the last notes of the Black Eyed Peas’ closing concert at Digital2018 in Cologne had just faded away, when it was time for the next industry meet-up: Just five days later, Telekom opened the gates to Innoday2018. Start-ups with innovative solutions and numerous prominent speakers took center stage at the in-house trade fair at the IT/telecoms provider's headquarters in Bonn.
"I have no intention of replacing anyone," said the robot Sophia, for example, before she turned her head and smiled at the audience. Sophia is one of the world's most famous humanoid robots. However, the idea is to create superintelligent machines that not only look like humans, but are also perceived as such, her creator David Hanson of Hanson Robotics added. "What used to be science fiction is now becoming reality," Hanson said. But why even build human-like robots? "Quite simply, because humans are the best measure of intelligence.”
The founder of Hanson Robotics went on to outline the appropriate application scenarios. For example, in the future, humanoid robots could act as empathic contact persons to help care for autistic people. Or they could be used as artificial test subjects in medicine, so that trainee doctors could practice on electronic patients that simulate realistic pain complaints based on diseases and their symptoms.
TRANSFORMATION: 14 OUT OF 15 COMPANIES FAIL
This was just one of the many presentations at Innovation Day aimed at showing the enormous potential of digitalization. However, it is important not to see digitalization as an end in itself, said Mats Uddenfeldt from cloud specialist Mesosphere. "93 percent of companies that focus exclusively on this transformation are failing.” It’s a mistake to concentrate on the wrong goal. "It’s important to focus," said Thomas Kicker, Senior Vice President in Group Business Development and Partnering at Deutsche Telekom. In his view, the central question about the digitalization of business models, services and products is: "How can we monetize solutions?
IOT THAT REMOVES FINE DUST FROM THE AIR
At Innovation Day, the start-up Green City Solutions showed how digital innovations can be used not only to increase profits but also to help the environment. The founders – now Telekom partners – help to clean city air of harmful particulate matter. Their invention, called City Tree, is street furniture for sitting on that has a large backside made of special moss. Fans are installed that suck in air through the moss. This process cleans the air, removing an average of 30 percent of the harmful fine dust. The start-up says it has managed to clean around 700,000 cubic meters of air per day with just one of these pieces of furniture. That’s twice the size of Cologne Cathedral. Telekom contributes the sensors and IoT devices that register and report to the cloud whether the moss surface is still being supplied with sufficient moisture or whether it needs to be refilled with water.
TELEKOM CONNECTIVITY: FINDING THE BEST SIGNAL
Also at Innoday 2018, Telekom showed the connectivity solution for automakers that it is currently working on. This will help companies know exactly what the network quality is like at specific locations. With the help of sophisticated software, Telekom will be able to determine the connection speed in every part of the country with an accuracy of up to 60 meters.
In the future, companies will be able to use this information to better plan their networking services. An example would be a manufacturer of an IoT device that would like a firmware update for devices that are currently in circulation. Using a Telekom heatmap, companies will in future only be able to precisely carry out updates on devices that are at that moment in a location with particularly good network quality. Even self-driving cars that depend on an uninterruptible Internet connection will in the future be able to use a network heatmap to orientate themselves – and thus avoid ending up in areas where the network connection is too weak.
INNODAY2018: A COMPLETE SUCCESS
The Innovation Day was a complete success – every seat was occupied during the many lectures and breakout sessions, without exception. More details and some exciting impressions of the day – such as an entertaining conversation between Sophia the robot and Telekom Innovation Board Member Claudia Nemat – can be found on Twitter under the hashtag #innoDay18.
IoT Marketing Communication Manager
Pamela Buchwald has been part of the Telekom cosmos since 2016 and is very familiar with the Internet of Things. From general IoT trends to industry know-how and connected mobility, the blog highlights exciting topics related to connected things.