The Other Show

IoT Comes to the Fore at Embedded World 2018

For anyone in the tech arena, especially those close to the enormous mobile phone, mobile operator or mobile network industries, February is dominated by the run-up to Mobile World Congress and the event itself in Barcelona. The conference attracts more than 100,000 people and is characterised by huge, glitzy stands showing off the latest products and services. CCS Insight is sending a small army of analysts to the trade show, and you can read our expectations for it here.

Less well known, but just as important for the areas it serves, is Embedded World in Nuremberg, which is taking place in the same week, from 27 February 2018.

Embedded World covers technologies that run the operations of power stations, aircraft, trains, production lines, cars, traffic lights, industrial robots and so on. The show has been around for a long time, is attended by about 35,000 people, and recent technology trends have led it to become the premier event for the industrial Internet of things (IoT). That's why I'm going to Nuremberg, not Barcelona, this time around.

Embedded World is very different from Mobile World Congress. Its focus is more on the "trade" rather than the "show", and the stands are normally filled with people who are actively involved in buying or researching products for their industrial projects. In 2017, for example, I bumped into someone from Beijing Airport's technical team. There's less attention to hype and buzzwords, and it offers a much more down-to-earth technical atmosphere. Most of the stands highlight this by showing off little circuit boards of their industrial controllers — something you never see in Barcelona.

Of course, Embedded World sees a huge presence from German industrial leaders such as Beckhoff, Bosch and Software AG. It's also important for major chipset players that live or are building up their presence in the market for embedded computing, which include Intel, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, Nvidia, Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics. The event draws a large number of specialist software providers and systems integrators that serve the markets, as well as a rising number of mainstream computing and cloud companies as their products establish a growing role in the market. The latter group includes Canonical for Ubuntu, Microsoft for Azure and Azure IoT, and Dell for its industrial gateways and initiatives in edge computing.

Last year at Mobile World Congress, a huge number of stands carried headlines proclaiming the artificial intelligence credentials of the companies exhibiting. The massive level of hype was clear, because there aren't enough data scientists in the world for all of these claims to have been true. In contrast, at Embedded World, there was little evidence of that, and the event's central themes focused on the security of industrial protocols and how to perform software updates in a well-managed way.

This year, in addition to foundational technologies such as security and connectivity, we're expecting much greater emphasis on how to get good value from data that industrial IoT systems collect. This will include topics such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, processing at the network edge, cloud storage, distributed computing and digital twins.

We also expect lots of discussion about the tension between working with specialist providers, who historically have built industrial systems and relied on a large amount of customisation to fit the operations of customers, and working with technology providers in horizontal markets, such as Dell, Intel and Microsoft, who bring economies of scale as well as modern software and cloud practices.

As we turn embedded computing into industrial IoT, it's clear that software and cloud practices will disrupt the way things have been done in industrial settings. But this will also cut prices, lead to large efficiencies and speed up product cycles — things that management teams in customer organisations want to achieve.

The deep technical nature of Embedded World belies the commercial significance of the subjects it deals with.

This entry was posted on February 13th, 2018 and is filed under Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or you can leave a response.

Posted By Martin Garner On February 13th, 2018

(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Despite only having a sliver of the US market, @comcast's Xfinity Mobile service delivered a noteworthy performance…
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
Want to know what will be the big news at Mobile World Congress 2018? Be sure to follow our analysts at the event a…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Coolpad expanding into wearables in US market. Initially kid watches but more products planned after that. Be inter…
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
@Arm launches Kigen family to provide eUICC integrated SIM and ID server for the cellular #IoT world. If we're head…
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
RT @nickmcquire: Remember China’s State Council $150BN “New Generation #AI Development Plan” launched in July? Well, it’s advancing... FAST…
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
@geoffblaber Technology can be used in a good way or in a bad way. The question is: who decided what is good and what is bad.
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
RBS hires “digital human” Cora on probation > Another #IBMWatson banking customer with big plans to automate ~50% o…
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Another punchy Sky Mobile bundle including Sony Xperia XA2 & PlayStation 4 for £25/month (and Gran Turismo Sport)
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
O2 UK follows Vodafone in launching data roll-over on PAYG. Follows tariff refresh earlier this year in face of str…
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
Nokia doesn’t "see a path" for its Digital Health business. Very sad development for Withings team who make excelle…
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @CCSInsight: Optimization for artificial intelligence defines competitiveness in mobile chipsets in 2019 and beyond #ccspredicts https:/…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
Synthetic biology: Strange medicine via @TheEconomist
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
The First Million Is Always the Hardest Xfinity Mobile Joins the Big Four Carriers in Net Additions ... Read more
Blog Post
Intel's Push to the Edge Xeon D-2100 Brings Data Processing to the Network Edge Inte... Read more
Blog Post
Smart Building Market Gathers Pace in Europe New Forecast Expects Sales of Smart Systems to Triple by 202... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
CCS Insight Forecast Predicts Apple Watch and Hearables to Fuel Growth in Wearables Research firm CCS Insight forecasts 71 million smartwatc... Read more
More news