287: Charles Reed Anderson – IoT in Asia

287: Charles Reed Anderson – IoT in Asia


 

Podcast highlights:

  • [24:00] You're a recognized IoT expert. In your own day-to-day life, how wired up are you? Do you use these gadgets? -- Just bought first smartwatch. There are drawers full of things that were used once and never used again. One of the best devices for me though was the Muse headband, which is a product designed to track your brain waves. As they developed it though, they turned it into a guided meditation platform that works really well.
  • [29:50] When you look around Asia now, what countries do you find interesting in terms of what's going on with IoT? -- One interesting thing is what's going on with co-called smart cities. Very few of them have gone from having an infrastructure-centric focus to a citizen-centric focus. Taipei seems to have done better than almost everyone else. They've already launched something like 130 proof of concepts all around the city. Maybe 75% of these will fail, but that means 25% will succeed and give other cities new ideas moving forward. Already Taipei has some cool autonomous bus projects. This year they're launching a shared scooter scheme. The next logical path you will see is where cities focus on making the smart city concept viable for businesses. Not everyone will be able to jump down the path like Taipei.
  • [50:20] How would one compare IoT in Asia to the rest of the world right now? Is it even possible to do this? -- Asia is by far the biggest market for IoT in the future. There is a long tail there. It's a fascinating market and the level of innovation coming out of China right now is just amazing. Keep an eye on India over the next 24 months. Tata is coming out with systems at price points that will allow developing markets to get into the game. This is what we need to see.

Podcast notes:

  • [00:05] Welcome Charles Reed Anderson, founder Charles Reed Anderson & Associates, to ATP Stories with host Graham D Brown.
  • [00:55] You are the IoT person in Asia. What gets you excited? What do we need to know about IoT in Asia now? -- One product is a new children's smartwatch from Omate, which is based in Shenzhen. What's cool is they've partnered with Tata Communications to make it with an eSIM. This will give Omate basically global market access on the back of Tata's relationships. The eSIM allows the device to connect to almost any network.
  • [06:45] So what does this mean for telecoms? -- Certainly smart operators will try and create business models to engage this new revenue stream. It could mean handset manufacturers are able to bypass local telecom operators. Imagine a Google or Amazon, with an eSIM, they could launch a new product globally and not have to negotiate with telecom companies in every market they want to enter. Laptop manufacturers are launching new models with eSIMs included.
  • [10:45] What devices do you really see eSIMs making a big impact on? -- One thing about eSIMs is they will empower new startups who have good ideas. With the Omate watch, having the relationship with Tata means the watch's communications are secured in a way that will help companies get past regulators worried about safety and privacy when it comes to products for children. Also in healthcare and medical tech devices where secure connectivity is critical.
  • [18:50] What are some of the areas where you see more of the medical tech coming through? Where will this make an impact? -- In the last five years, there have a been several interesting things. Samsung was doing R&D on a device with a bunch of different medical sensors and testing out which ones were going to work and how to build a platform around it. Now you also see companies like Fitbit not just building devices, but actually bringing in people from the healthcare industry to help advise them on what to do with the data they're generating from users.
  • [24:00] You're a recognized IoT expert. In your own day-to-day life, how wired up are you? Do you use these gadgets? -- Just bought first smartwatch. There are drawers full of things that were used once and never used again. One of the best devices for me though was the Muse headband, which is a product designed to track your brain waves. As they developed it though, they turned it into a guided meditation platform that works really well.
  • [29:50] When you look around Asia now, what countries do you find interesting in terms of what's going on with IoT? -- One interesting thing is what's going on with co-called smart cities. Very few of them have gone from having an infrastructure-centric focus to a citizen-centric focus. Taipei seems to have done better than almost everyone else. They've already launched something like 130 proof of concepts all around the city. Maybe 75% of these will fail, but that means 25% will succeed and give other cities new ideas moving forward. Already Taipei has some cool autonomous bus projects. This year they're launching a shared scooter scheme. The next logical path you will see is where cities focus on making the smart city concept viable for businesses. Not everyone will be able to jump down the path like Taipei.
  • [46:10] What was the recipe for success in Taipei? Why did things work there? -- It's a combination of factors. There are a lot of very good hardware manufacturers there. Lots of IoT vendors are coming out of there already. The city also has excellent infrastructure. It's a good business environment where lots of MNCs have big centers there.
  • [50:20] How would one compare IoT in Asia to the rest of the world right now? Is it even possible to do this? -- Asia is by far the biggest market for IoT in the future. There is a long tail there. It's a fascinating market and the level of innovation coming out of China right now is just amazing. Keep an eye on India over the next 24 months. Tata is coming out with systems at price points that will allow developing markets to get into the game. This is what we need to see.