The Mansion, Bletchley Park.

Over The Air and the Internet of Things

IoT goes commercial

It was my first visit to Over The Air at the historic Bletchley Park this weekend. Now in it’s 6th year the annual event offers a ‘unique tech-agnostic experience for and by the developer community, featuring technical workshops where attendees can roll up their sleeves and tinker with new mobile and web platforms, operating systems, APIs and open hardware.’

This year the opening keynote was given by product designer and entrepreneur Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and it was all about bringing Internet of Things (IoT) ideas into a commercial space.

The Telegraph described IoT this week as a ‘connected revolution’, which brings together data, technology and everyday objects to solve problems. They report that this market:

could be worth £3bn a year within the next eight years. [Including] non-domestic uses, Cisco Systems estimates the overall “internet of things” could be worth some $14tn (£8.7tn) worldwide.

Alexandra has been busy innovating in this space and has created the Good Night Lamp. A project which she launched on Kickstarter in January this year. This is a ‘family of lamps which allow people to communicate the act of coming back home to their loved ones, remotely.’ I’m in London, say, and my family are in Liverpool, I can give them the smaller lamps whilst keeping the larger one. Then each time I turn on mine the others also illuminate. This could simply communicate to them that I’m home safe, or that I’m available.

Alexandra’s IoT Good Night Lamp [Picture credit:

Alexandra’s work is indicative of the new promise offered by the ever more connected world. She is animating an everyday object with interconnected data.

This list of start-ups in IoT shows new businesses are offering everything from monitoring the energy consumption of your home to tracking the location of items you don’t want to ‘lose’.

The problem faced by these start-ups is not a new one and it surrounds the application of the technology. They need to ensure they’re not trying to solve problems that don’t exist.

Even so, considering that over 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020, it’s clear that IoT is a big space with lots of room for newcomers to establish themselves.