CEO John McDonald of Indianapolis-based Clear Object

By Dawn Marie Yankeelov

The Technology Association of Louisville KY (TALK) will do a deep dive on a growing topic of conversation known as the Internet of Things (IoT) in a half-day, Feb. 21st event entitled The Smart Enterprise, featuring CEO John McDonald of Indianapolis-based Clear Object, as the opening keynote. Clear Object Inc., an IoT systems integration provider, is listed as Inc.’s Magazine’s fastest-growing IT services company in Indiana, and ranked in Deloitte’s Fast 500 in Technology. The TALK event will lay groundwork for understanding just what the IoT space is offering all companies via innovation, collaboration, and analytics that make sense of valuable information.

Targeting all business professionals, the sessions will include a look at new tech in everything from interior design at work to sensors that tell software and hardware what to do. “IoT choices can affect so many aspects of the manufacturing sector, large corporations of all kinds, and even the walls in a normal retail office, it is no longer easy to narrow down the stakeholders.  And, make no mistake, security remains at the heart of tomorrow’s sustainability and smart infrastructure. Security infrastructure will forward operational efficiency,” said Da-Wyone Haynes, Product Owner of Security Event Monitoring for Aegon Global Technology Operations, and a TALK board member.

The IOT is loosely defined as the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. Bain, an international research firm, has issued predictions that the internet of things space will more than double from 2017 levels to $520B in 2021.

Clear Object, McDonald’s firm, with more than 50+ employees, just received dollars for expansion this Jan. 17th from Egis Capital Partners and ABS Capital Partners. The players announced the acquisition of a majority interest in Clear Object. The investments will push the company into a larger global customer base with speed to market. McDonald, author of “Where IoT Is Made,” will remain CEO, bringing his knowledge of today’s IoT lessons to the Louisville conversation.

IoT trends kicking in for commercial and industrial settings

McDonald said that he believes IoT:

  • will push machine learning to be used for general intelligence, allowing machines to operate more like human beings.
  • increase digital transformation in all industries, with sensors and reporting, and,
  • enhance customer experiences , via chatbots and related tech.

New patented technology for commercial spaces saves money

If you think the walls are listening to all of this, you might be right.  Mike Day and Mike Sandefur, founders of Thermal Wall Technologies (TWT) & Sustainable Climate Solutions Inc. will speak at the TALK event on “An New Innovation Spotlight:  Smart Walls Understand.” Sandefur says TWT and its renewable energy components represent significant energy and pollution-reducing, patent-pending technologies.  They will showcase significant advances in the evolution of human shelter. If residential and commercial structures were fully utilizing TWT today, U.S. energy consumption would be reduced by approximately 25 percent, he added.

IOT and healthy living seen in the office

IoT may soon be tracking our movements at the desk, but not “old-school, sit-down with a straight back” desks and chairs. At the TALK Smart Enterprise event, President Tricia Burke of the Office Environment company will also showcase a healthy workspace lab, showing how tech can both assist in everyday well-being, but also be a quiet presence for increasing performance metrics. She will present on, “How To Imagine A Sustainable And Healthy Living Office for Workers Focused on A Screen.” She said standing desk adoption continues to rise. About 44 percent of employers provide or subsidize the cost of replacing a regular desk with a standing desk, according to a recent SHRM’s Employee Benefit Report.

As we step outside the office and manufacturing environments, we will find that even our transportation and fleets are being impacted by smarter enterprise selections, like electric car growth in usage and offerings. Sunny Gulati, Evolve Ky.’s Educational Director, will present on “The Latest in Electric Vehicles for Fleets, Ky.’s Electrical Grid of Support, and What’s Next.”  Evolve KY is Kentucky’s own electric vehicle group with its members of electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts. Gulati, who is works for Slingshot by day as a senior software engineer, says he has enjoyed giving talks on the growing electric car numbers across the state. For electrical car charging stations, he suggests plugshare.com. And hourly rates at the fee-based ones are trending downward, headed to $1/hour, and free in other cases, he said.

The barriers to smart infrastructure, IoT, and more sensor-based analytics tend to fall into three categories: (a) security, (b) integration with existing technology, and (c) uncertain returns on investment for new technology.  “If you think that IoT is not going to impact you and organization, that would be short-sighted. This is bigger than BYOD was at the business level (i.e.,‘bring your own devices.’) This is on a grander scale of impact,” Haynes added.

On Feb. 21st, the morning has been set up for anyone with interest to learn more about what IoT can mean for the enterprise from home and hearth, to the laptop and desk, commercial and industrial connectivity, and more. To learn attend the TALK Smart Enterprise program, go to:  www.talklou.com, and register on Eventbrite. $30 includes lunch. The event will be held at Ormsby III in the East End, off Hurstbourne Parkway at 10200 Forest Green Blvd in the Lower Conference Level. Ample free parking is available.

Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky
Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky (TALK) (www.talklou.com) is a tech council, one of 53 tech councils in North America, including Canada. Member of TECNA (Tech Councils of America and CompTIA) We are an independent, non-profit educational organization. A registered 501C3. Established officially April 22, 2014. First official meetup February 2013. Our mission: workforce development and economic development. We look to create opportunities for job growth, job training, STEAM curriculum, plus public policy and advocacy around technology subjects in DC. In short: Create and identify jobs. Train people.