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New Zealand IoT Alliance

NZ IoT Newsletter April 2024 | Working together to solve the complex problems of our time

If you’ve followed my work for a while, you know that I wear many hats. From IoT to Blockchain, I love seeing the intersection of technologies that are multi-faceted and can contribute to creating significant impact across multiple industries and society as a whole.

In the context of wearing my Blockchain hat, I was recently asked in an email “What is IoT anyway?”. It made me chuckle but also made me realise that other industries and technology vertices are working in their silos, often sheltered from the interconnectedness that not only exists but is crucial for the next leap in our technological evolution.

This email got me thinking – how often do we, as specialists or enthusiasts in one field, forget to look up from our work to see the broader picture? It’s like looking through a keyhole, seeing only a fraction of the potential that a fully opened door offers.

In the tech world, silos can be both a strength and a weakness. Specialisation allows for deep understanding, leading to breakthroughs and innovations. However, when technologies such as IoT, Blockchain, and AI are viewed as separate entities rather than parts of a holistic system, we miss out on opportunities to create more integrated, efficient, and impactful solutions.

Imagine a future where these technologies are no longer seen as separate verticals but as integral pieces of a larger puzzle. In this, IoT devices don’t just collect data; they use Blockchain to secure it and AI to analyse it, making decisions in real time that can help manage everything from smart homes to smart cities, and even smart economies. 

This integration is not just a pipe dream but a necessity as we move towards more complex systems and challenges. For instance, in the realm of sustainability and climate change, IoT sensors can monitor environmental conditions, Blockchain can ensure the integrity and traceability of green assets, and AI can optimise energy use and reduce waste.

Or consider the healthcare sector, where wearable IoT devices monitor patient health, Blockchain secures patient data sharing between institutions, and AI provides personalised treatment plans. These are not futuristic fantasies but the direction in which technology is moving.

The key to unlocking this future is to start seeing these technologies, such as IoT, Blockchain and AI not as competitors for resources or attention but as collaborators in building a more connected, efficient, and innovative world. This means not only technological integration but also a cultural shift in how we approach innovation. To illustrate this point, I often give homework to watch the 2013 film ‘Her’, starring Joaquin Phoenix. I ask to consider how the integration of IoT, Blockchain and AI could manifest in this world, thinking about the mechanics as well as the potential obstacles that may arise. 

Thinking back to what sparked this thought, the question we should ask ourselves is not “what is IoT?” but rather, “How can IoT, along with Blockchain, AI, and other technologies, work together to solve the complex problems of our time?” 

I’m interested to hear what you’re currently working on when it comes to IoT and what other technologies you are utilising to push the limits of innovation, as well as any thoughts of inspiration that you may have had if you watched ‘Her’. My emails are always open and if you aren’t a member but you’d like to be, simply join here.

Ngā mihi 
Alison Mackie
Executive Director, NZ IoT Alliance

NZ IoT April 2023 newsletter

Working together to solve the complex problems of our time

New Zealand IoT Alliance The New Zealand IoT Alliance is an association of organisations and individuals that have come together to take a key role in growing our country's capability to maximize the Internet of Things to generate economic growth while addressing any challenges.