Now that the last two weeks (the last week of April and the first week of May) have come to a close, I have some time to catch up. Hannover Messe was especially exhausting—a full week at the largest industrial systems trade fair in the world, just me and a quarter-million of my closest friends. The fair is more than half the size of its host city, Hannover in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Germany, clogging streets and restaurants and even temporarily turning around a major highway twice a day.
The Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC®) has been exhibiting at this lollapalooza for several years, and this year was one of the finest displays of IIC outputs and testbeds. In our own booth, we featured sixteen members, the IIC German Regional Team and 3 testbeds; in a neighboring booth, we ran the Industrie 4.0 Meets the Industrial Internet Forum again this year, in concert with Plattform Industrie 4.0 and two other German organizations. It proved to be the most popular Forum on the floor of the show, with more than 6,000 visitors during the five days (note that's out of some 26 exhibition halls, some 60,000 square meters overall!). At the Forum, we helped demystify the Industrial Internet of Things, focusing on our testbed programs and sterling white papers on architecture, security, connectivity and so forth.
Having our booth right on the central spine of Hall 8, on the "IoT Red Carpet", adjacent to both the Forum and our close Plattform Industrie 4.0 partners, proved to be very successful this year. More than a dozen analysts and press met with us; we had delegations from the governments of Italy, Spain, the USA and Japan visit; and our testbeds throughout the hall.
Back in the USA, my next stop was the nation's capital, Washington DC. Winter over, Washington catapulted almost directly into summer, with daytime temperatures well above 30° (90° Fahrenheit). We had several meetings, but the core event was the Modular Open Systems Approach Summit (MOSA Summit). This much smaller event—about 75 attendees—focused on the moves of the United States Department of Defense (U.S. DoD) into developing software in a more modular, model-based and open-systems fashion—all of which feed into and are broadly supported by key Object Management Group® (OMG®) standards like UML®, SysML® and UAF®. I spoke near the end of the Summit, which was surprisingly gratifying, given that scads of OMG standards had already been mentioned before I gave my talk—besides those listed above, DDS™ and SCA were key standards for not only U.S. DoD weapon and communications systems, but for many allies' systems as well. More than a million radios used throughout NATO, for example, are based on the OMG Software Communications Architecture (SCA) standard already, providing a level of portability and interoperability that simply wasn't in place beforehand. It was interesting to see high-tech approaches like artificial intelligence-based scene understanding and so forth starting to be used in the U.S. DoD.
My last stop was in Wilmington, Delaware a couple hours away from Washington to talk with a brilliant group of engineers and marketing mavens at Dupont, resulting from the merger of the Dupont and the Dow Chemical companies. We discussed both OMG standardization and IIC testbeds. It was fascinating to see how some of our existing standards and testbeds in the discrete manufacturing space might apply to Dupont's continuous manufacturing lines. Stay tuned for more news on that front!
In the middle of the month, I’m jetting off to Helsinki for the IIC Q2 Members Meeting and then in mid-June, I’ll be back in Boston for the OMG Q2 Members Meeting. The Special Events agenda for the Boston meeting is already published. The focus is on retail and healthcare (Boston being the “Hub of Healthcare," with a thriving ecosystem of thought leaders in technology, medicine and research and the epicenter of 300 digital healthcare companies). In the health domain, breaches are rampant. There will be a demo of automated tools to analyze code for security flaws, based on OMG standards and a case study featuring the IIC Connected Care testbed. Our retail speakers, from the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis and International Parking Institute, will discuss innovations in location-based technology and analytics that will enable retailers to make better merchandising decisions.
So, if you are visiting the city next month, come down to the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor Hotel and drop in for any complimentary special event.