Meetup: IoT, epicentre of the cognitive era

On the 9th of April, we celebrated #IoTDay2018, the International day of the Internet of Things. This year, the IOT Consorcium launched a platform for all companies, entities or users who wished to create and register their IoT-related events. This years events had to be focused on the possible applications of IoT in the social context, covering four essential areas; continuous training at work, diversity awareness, accessibility for the elderly and the adaptation and preparation of infrastructure to withstand natural disasters.

As specialists in the subject, we made sure we had front row seats for the “IoT, epicentre of the cognitive era” Meetup organised by MIOTI and Collisions Projects and sponsored by aTSistemas, which, of course, took place at THECUBE Madrid, and saw presentations by Carlos Picazo, partner and cofounder of Unlimiteck, as well as Borja Godoy and Jon Rojí, from Collisions Projects.

The meetup kicked off with an introduction by Manuel Muñiz, CEO of MIOTI, who presented the Madrid Internet of Things Institute as well as the innovation ecosystem,THECUBE Madrid, to all the attendees.

The event’s objective was to discuss the innumerable possibilities that the coupling of IoT & Data Science brings. Carlos Picazo, an expert in both fields, was in charge of exemplifying this through an urban mobility management project with bicycles. The attendees had the chance to actively participate and suggest potential problems that could arise with a service of this character and then try to find solutions to these problems through the use of Data Science.

According to Carlos, 80% of the time spent on a Data Science project is used for analysing data in order to obtain valuable information that can help when making decisions. 

The binomial of IoT and Data Science is used to improve public services, detect and solve problems and prevent them from happening again.

“With Data Science projects, 80% of the time is dedicated to analysing the obtained data”

Carlos was particularly optimistic about the use of Python as the optimal programming language when working with big quantities and different types of data, due to its ease of use, its versatility and its efficiency. The possibilities it offers in terms of the visual representation of data is another determining factor when choosing Python over other programming languages. Being able to present information in a graph is essential in order to efficiently interpret it.

The second part of the meetup saw Borja Godoy and Jon Rojí from the Collisions Projects community as the protagonists.

Borja is a Front-end developer specialised in Java Script and is currently leading the SantanderX project. Jon is head of Front-end development at Barrabés Meaning.

Their presentation, “How to make Google prepare your coffee in the morning”, served as a general review of the history of virtual assistants and how important certain aspects, such as improvements in usability, tactile interfaces or advances in natural interaction, have been for their development. As developers, the most important thing for Borja and Jon is not to think about the user, but the put the user at the centre of the process.

It’s no coincidence that a significant part of company resources within this sector are focused on the development and optimisation of vocal interfaces. Virtual assistants are constantly improving; they’re increasingly more complex and offer a greater number of functionalities. In fact, both developers are currently working on their own virtual assistant, which they’ve named Mozo.

“As developers, we don’t think about the user. We put the user at the centre of the process.”

The user’s voice, tone, pronunciation and identity are all key when designing a voice assistant. The virtual assistant should not only be able to recognise a voice, but also identity who is speaking. Otherwise, the user’s security and privacy remain at risk.

Mozo, of course, was able to make coffee on demand. In order to do such a trivial yet complex demonstration, Borja and Jon used Firebase, a platform used specifically to develop web and mobile applications, DialogFlow, an API for the development of natural languages intended for mobile and IoT devices, a motherboard and, of course, a coffee maker.

"The user’s voice, tone, pronunciation and identity is key when designing a voice assistant"

One of their main objectives was to achieve zero-clock interactions, where the inputs received by the virtual assistant are only through voice commands.

The meetup was a success and the best way possible to celebrate IoTDay; with valuable and informative content. As always, the presentations were followed by a quick Q&A and a networking session in which the speakers and attendees could pick each others brains.

Thanks to MIOTI, Collisions Projects, aTSistemas, THECUBE Madrid and Unlimiteck for their collaboration.