Barcelona: From Mobile World Capital to IoT World Capital?

Since the Spring of 2006, Barcelona has hosted 80,000 thought leaders, corporate giants and entrepreneurs of the mobile world during their annual winter gathering, the Mobile World Congress.

Many faces are familiar, many folks are new, but most participants do recognize a pattern. There is something so obvious this year that one will see the physical influence of this trend and we are not particularly thinking of El Corte Inglès that introduced NFC based payments recently. No, it’s a trend that is about to transform the whole mobile landscape into something bigger and will definitely coin a new era.

What are we talking about?
It’s the transition from Mobile to IoT as the Next Big Thing. The mobile stage of a connected world is by now established and the Internet of Things is beginning to emerge with entries of innovative players. The signs are everywhere starting at online forums and local meetups, to emerging IoT startups and first innovative products or services in the market. Finally the C-Suites of corporate giants changed their perspective on Internet of Things and align resources new. Corporate tech budgets are experiencing a shift considering that Cisco is launching a $100m fund for IoT initiatives or Microsoft is about to catch up with projects like HomeOS and Lab of Things. But the overall prominent example is Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of smart thermostat provider Nest. As if that wasn’t quite enough Google almost simultaneously sold Motorola to Lenovo for $2.9billion. This shift from Mobile to the Internet of Things is happening in Mobile World Capital, Barcelona as well.

Last year in october 800 technology experts and business professionals from all over the world attended the Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona to envision the future of IoT future. Cisco chose Barcelona as a venue to develop and present their IoT future not at least because of an agreement between Xavier Trias, the mayor of Barcelona and John Chambers, CEO of Cisco. Barcelona embraces change and offered Cisco to use the city to test new technologies that improve people’s everyday life. Furthermore a new educational program will develop specific knowledge among young people to prepare and inspire them for scientific or entrepreneurial endeavors in the future.

One good way for these young talented folks to accelerate their entrepreneurial ventures is to join Europe’s leading accelerator program, Startupbootcamp. Startupbootcamp will hold a pitch day for startups of mobile, smart data and IoT projects to select some high quality participants for a new international acceleration program focused on data & IoT in… Barcelona!

Are you interested in building the Next Big Thing?
Join us to explore the Internet of Things and the Personal Data Economy at the 4YFN conference (free pass with MWC14 badge). The conference is aiming at mobile entrepreneurship and innovation. The highly recommendable program contains a lot of loT “Must go” activities. If you visit this hands-on conference you can not just expect keynotes from leading experts but deep dives in special workshops or the chance to contribute by sharing your point of view in many gatherings and discussions.

Here an overview of the hottest IoT related events during MWC14 and 4YFN (events with Claro marked with *):

* IoT Meetup Barcelona: Expect workshops, hackathons, bar talk nights, and a lot of fun. Entrepreneurs, maker, designer, artists are very welcome as well as programmers, academics and business-types. The meetup currently serves a community of 800 members and regularly has 100 attendees. Organizers are the IoT thought leaders Marc Pous and Jiri Vermeulen. To get all folks in town heated up for the MWC14 the next meetup will be on Sun 23 Feb, 18:00, Pangea – La Fosca.

CraftAR – Building Augmented Reality experiences that matter to the mobile user: A Workshop reviewing the latest trends on wearables, industry, and technologies available to create augmented reality experiences that are valuable for the user. Host: David Marimon (Catchoom) Mo 24 Feb, 15:00 – 16:30 – Workshop dome 1.

New interfaces for human-computer interaction: In the workshop several devices will be reviewed that are currently being used and others that are in a prototype phase. Participants are asked to generate new ideas and scenarios based on this devices and get a brief introduction how to push their project with those new devices. Hosts: Paul Vivancos and David Domingo (Plexiq). Mon 24 Feb, 16:30 – 18:00 Workshop dome 3.

* Startupbootcamp Mobility & IoT pitch day: Startups pitch their business models to experienced mentors and get valuable feedback. The focus of this pitch-day is on mobility, IoT and smart uses of data. The pitch day is hosted in collaboration with Startupbootcamp Mobility. Moreover, those who get selected to pitch get free access to 4YFN. Apply here. Tue 25 Feb, 9:00-15:00, Workshop dome 2.

* IoT startups panel: Harald Zapp (relayr), Marc Pous (theThings.io) and Agustín Navarro (Lhings) will discuss and share their thoughts on being an IoT entrepreneur. Moderated by Aldo de Jong, Claro Partners. Tue 25 Feb, 12:00 – 12:45, Agora.

* Keynote – Emerging opportunities for business in the Internet of Things landscape: Aldo de Jong from Claro, takes you on a journey along the more interesting value propositions and opportunities in the vast IoT landscape. Tue 25 Feb, 15:45 – 16.45, Agora.

* Mini IoT-Lab: Designing experiences through the Internet of Things. Participants will learn the principles of designing IoT experiences to enhance the user’s life. Aldo de Jong and Jiri Vermeulen, Claro Partners Wed 26 Feb, 09:30 – 11.30, Workshop dome 3.

Internet of Things Panel: Panelists will discuss about new possibilities in sensors, services and the security aspect of the IoT revolution. Further IoT hardware pioneer Banzi will talk about the journey of Arduino. With Jérôme Nadel (Rambus), Massimo Banzi (Arduino), Dr. Genevieve Bell (Intel), Harald Neidhardt (MLOVE), moderator. Wed 26 Feb, 10:45 – 11:45, The Stage.

Maker Movement: will discuss what it takes to become a maker and why it is so important especially nowadays and how the maker’s mentality will become our power tool for the future. With Cecilia Tham, (Fab Cafe, MOB) Tomás Diez, (FabLab) Prof. Reto Wettach, (IXDS). Wed 26 Feb, 11:45 – 12:30, The Stage.

The new challenges of Google Glass and wearables: Attendees to this workshop will have the amazing opportunity to try on Google Glass and experiment the future. Julian Beltran (Droiders). Wed 26 Feb, 11:45 – 13:30, Workshop dome 2.

* Workshop: Designing personal data enabled experiences: Participants will explore how to design personalized digital services from a people-centric view. Aldo de Jong and Jiri Vermeulen, Claro Partners, Wed 26 Feb, 15:00 – 16.30, Workshop dome 3.

MLOVE Future Cube Workshop – Internet of Things: Audience members and speakers will discuss very interactively about trends & innovation and create a vision of the future around a topic, in 4YFN about the Internet of Things. With Jèrôme Nadel (Rambus) and Haraldt Neidhardt (Mlove). Wed 26 Feb, 15:00 – 16:30, Workshop dome 1.

* Inaugural event of “Wearable Wednesday”: Panel about the “State of the Wearable Economy” and live launch of a highly disruptive wearable startup. Rudy De Waele, Wed 26 Feb, 17:00 – 20:00.

Selected IoT related topics and events within the main MWC14 format:

Fitbit Challenge for you personal IoT experience – Mobile World Congress has joined forces with Fitbit, the leader in the fast-growing Connected Health & Fitness category, to offer all Mobile World Congress attendees the chance to see for real the effect of wearable technology.

Exhibition Area:

GSMA presents: Connected City – Journey Through the Connected Life
Mobile innovations in Education, Health, Identity and Security, Retail, Smart Cities and Industry, Transport and more. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, GSMA, KT, Vodafone and their partners showcase the latest developments. The highlights are: IoT Cloud, Predictive Maintenance, Connected Car, Home Automation, Smart Sensing Sportswear; NFC media poles. GSMA Connected City Fira Gran Via, Hall 3, Stand 3A11 & 3A31, Monday and Wednesday 09:00 – 19:00, Tuesday and Thursday 09:00 – 16:00.

Hundreds of amazing companies are presenting their innovations that it is impossible to decide who to showcase here. Just to get a small glimpse of what’s going on, 5 hot examples:

ANT+ produces a revolutionary low power sensor technology – is now integrated into the most popular products/devices on the market today manufactured by industry leading brands in the sport, fitness and health sectors. Hall 7, Stand 7m49.

i’m S.p.A. is the company who created the first smartwatch ever and will present a new wearable geo-location device for the safety of people and pets: a GPS tracker. Hall 8.1, Stand 8.1H22

Brewbot is the world’s smartest personal brewery. It is a smart brewing appliance that is monitored and controlled by a mobile device. It raised 110k on Kickstarter and was covered by Fast Company, New Scientist among others. Hall 8.1,Stand 8.1I51

MyCar Innovations is a French startup providing a turnkey solution to make cars part of the Internet of Things. Hall 8.1D41

TST has created an open modular horizontal IoT platform designed to accelerate the development and implementation of sensing, monitoring and actuation systems using the free tools provided in the product API website. Hall Congress Square Stand CS60

...and many more:

Monday 24 Feb

  • Mobile, Disrupted: Challenging the State of Play – Mon 24 Feb, 11:15 – 12.45, Auditorium 1
  • The Road Ahead for Mobile NFC Services – Mon 24 Feb, 16:00 – 17:30, Auditorium 2

Tuesday 25 Feb

  • The Connected Lifestyle: Transforming Industries – Tue 25 Feb, 9:00 – 10:45, Auditorium 1. Incl. Key Speaker Timotheus Höttges, CEO Deutsche Telekom
  • Smart Cities: Smarter Living – Tue 25 Feb, 14:00 – 15:30, Auditorium 2. Incl. Antoni Vives, Deputy Mayor of Urban Habitat, City of Barcelona

Wed 26 Feb

  • Connected Living – Mobilising the Internet of Things – Wed 26 Feb, 8:30 – 12:15, GSMA Seminar, Theatre 1 – CC1.
  • Internet of Things – Interoperability and business models (IoT and M2M) – Wed 26 Feb, 12:30 to 14:15 (12:00 for networking) Host: Stuart Revell, ICT KTN.
  • Mobile Innovation 2024: the Future…What’s Next? Wed 26 Feb, 14:00 – 15:30, Auditorium 1. Incl. Genevieve Bell, Director Intel User Experience
  • Spotlight on Business Models for M2M Services – Wed 26 Feb, 16:00 – 17:30, Auditorium 4. Incl. Bob Fox, Global Industry Leader, IBM

Thu 27 Feb

  • Innovation Unleashed – Thu 27 Feb, 9:30 – 11.00, Auditorium 1. Incl. Lance Howarth, CEO Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • Steering the Automotive Industry into the Future with M2M – Thu 27 Feb, 11:30 – 13:00, Auditorium 2.
  • Building the 50-Billionth Connected Device – Thu 27 Feb, 11:30 – 13:00, Auditorium 4. Incl. Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu
  • Rise of the Machines: Enabling the Evolution from M2M to an Internet of Things Future – Thu 27 Feb, 14:30 – 16:00, Auditorium 2. Incl Jürgen Hase, Head of M2M Competence Center, Deutsche Telekom; Alicia Asìn Co-Founder & CEO of Libelium
  • Redefining Reality with Screens, Storage & Wearables – Thu 27 Feb, 14:30 – 16:00, Auditorium 4. Incl. Stephen Baumer, CTO of GoPro; Dylan Boyd, Nike+ Accelerator, Simon Prakash, Sr. Director Hardware in GoogleX

Events mainly in the Conference Village: Hall 4.

Local in Barcelona
In case you got some spare minutes to fill just look out for members of Barcelona’s lively IoT and startup crowd or tweet to them. This innovative and fast growing community is the catalyst for a strong IoT ecosystem here in Barcelona. It hosts ventures, institutions and meetups like for example:

Bicing: Bike sharing pioneer. Service provider since the very beginning. A Leading example for other cities.

The Makers of Barcelona (MOB): Multidisciplinary space & community designed to strengthen and promote the talents of its members through collaboration and creativity. Home to the creative geeks, innovative hipsters and business savvy. Talk to Cecilia Tham.

FabLab: Inspiring centre of production, investigation and education, that uses last generation computer-assisted design software for the creation of prototypes and scale models for Architecture, Construction, Industrial Design and any activity that needs the connection to a computer to manipulate materials according to digital instructions. This year Barcelona is hosting the International Fab Lab conference, Fab 10. Talk to Tomas Diez.

Telefonica Digital – Thinking Things: Transforming the Internet of Things market with a modular end-to-end solution for building intelligent, connected products.

theThings.io: The social network of the Internet of Things. Connects your devices, lets you manage it from the thethings.io dashboard. Talk to Marc Pous.

Lhings: The cloud platform that will let you build and enjoy new Internet of Things applications, particularly those that connect devices and establish relationships among them “easily”. Talk to Agustín Navarro.

Smart Citizen: is a platform to generate participatory processes of the people in the cities. Connecting data, people and knowledge, the objective of the platform is to serve as a node for building productive open indicators and distributed tools, and thereafter the collective construction of the city for its own inhabitants. TEDxTalk of Tomas Diez.

Makers Meetup Barcelona: The people from MOB also host their own meetup for the greater community of Barcelona Makers (600 members): Talk to Cecilia Tham.

What…you can’t make it to the conference?

Well, since the IoT world found its home in Barcelona and is here to stay you are welcome anytime to visit Claro, local events and discover the latest IoT developments in Barcelona.

This article was originally featured on Claro Partners’ Navigating Disruptive Shifts blog.

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  1. says

    We can offer a discounted ticket for 50€ for the 4YFN conference to a limited number of participants for our two workshops *Mini-IoT-Lab and *Designing Personal Data Enabled Experiences . If you like to join us please drop us a line to iot@claropartners.com to get the registration code.

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