Published on July 5, 2019

There’s no Internet of Things without people

The topic of the Internet of Things is actually refered to a rather varied range of possible applications ranging from business areas up to our daily use at home. In fact, it is nothing more than an evolution of our connected life, started with mobile telephony. Just to be clear, we need to go back to 1994 to identify the first true progenitor of current smartphones. It was IBM Simon Personal Communicator, a mobile device that weighed half a kilo and allowed to manage emails, calendar, fax with a green liquid crystal touch screen and a stylus. Voice calls could also be made from the cellular network. Exactly twenty years before, in 1974, Elem (today VEM Solutions), was founded by the President Domenico Petrone; the first milestone of the Viasat Group which, after 45 years, is based in 11 countries with 18 companies and over 700 employees (at 31/12/2018). A technological company that has always been able to combine innovation with the know-how of people and that, among its many customers, has also included IBM, just to close an ideal circle. Meanwhile, the evolution of mobile communication and so-called location-based services has not been slowing down, supported by people’s desire to communicate at any time and in any place. In a sense, even the history of the Viasat Group has experienced the same transformation. Electronics first, from industrial automation to information technology for telecommunications and automotive, then satellite telematics and, today, the Internet of Things and Big Data. An asset of experiences and knowledge built up over the years, making up a framework of virtuous development, based on the story of genuinely human curiosity. If there is a lesson to be learned in this entrepreneurial story, I believe that is exactly the fact that technology cannot disregard the role that people have and will have in the future in this hyper-connected ecosystem. Moreover, the ability to change and adapt to the evolution of the market has been one of the secrets of the success of the Viasat Group in Italy and, then, at pan- European level. A vision and an approach to innovation that is well suited to an increasingly interdependent and sustainable mobility world of smart roads and smart cities, with all sorts of connected vehicles, right up to our homes with intelligent solutions for the control, monitoring and automation of all domestic functions. Technology makes everything possible, maybe even beyond our imagination, but it could not exist without humanity. If things communicate, they will do it because of a concrete or supposed benefit for people; otherwise it will remain a mere, beautiful exercise of artificial intelligence.

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