IoT Waikato Meetup provides another opportunity to connect

The second IoT Waikato Meetup saw the discussion expand from sensors, connectivity, and development, to data and incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning to explore real opportunities to enable synergy between the physical and digital worlds.

IoT Waikato October Meetup

We firstly heard from Datacom, our sponsor for the Meetup, around the wider application of the concept of connected devices and the importance of data and analytics in applying IoT with examples such as asset management, planning and logistics, environmental monitoring and to optimise customer experience (CX). The case studies which Nick Pickering, General Manager – Software and Integration, described were interesting and provided a glimpse of the emerging trend in the use of IoT services to solve real world issues. The offer from Datacom to assist new businesses embarking on their IoT journey, presented by Product Manager Will Laugesen, was a welcome move.

Then local IoT developer Peter Bennett provided his take on full stack development with embedded devices and platforms, describing Sigfox and other technologies to the more coding adept in the audience. Peter commented that the Meetups are “important to gain knowledge from the group in order to grow, pivot and challenge the status quo”.

John Heard, Chief Technology Officer, from Smart Parking was our third speaker for the evening. Development of technology for Smart Parking, the brand created in 2013, started out in Cambridge here in the Waikato in 2003 and the company now employees hundreds world wide. John spoke not just about what Smart Parking Limited have developed and implemented to date around the world but how their organisation is using open APIs, streamed data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to truly innovate. John also discussed IoT from a computer science perspective and concepts such as cloud native computing. His statement that the challenges of IoT today are opportunities in disguise, and the pace of change in this space being disruptive was very well received by the audience.

“Real world IoT is alive and well based on talent and innovation from across New Zealand. Already there are world leading IoT solutions that are making a growing global impact. The opportunities for delivering a new horizon of information services is only just beginning” says John.

Our last speaker was Vimal Kumar, a Computer Science Lecturer at Waikato University, who provided some perspective on cyber security, the importance of security by design for IoT and insights into research around blockchain for IoT. “IoT is creating a world where everything and everyone is connected. While this creates a huge opportunity for innovation, it also means that we need to make sure our devices are able to withstand new and sophisticated security attacks which they are inevitably going to face” says Vimal.

Attendees indicated that it was valuable to reconnect with people from the first Meetup and encouraging to see so many people wanting to be part of the IoT in the Waikato. Suzanne Hunt , Senior Systems Engineer at Spark Digital, added that “the discussions around extracting value from IoT were fascinating”.

The November IoT Waikato Meetup is scheduled for Wednesday 29 November. To join visit

For more information regarding IoT Waikato contact the Organiser Jannat Maqbool by email

You can also follow @IoTWaikato on Twitter.

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