NZTech urges action on IoT

New research project will bring together major tech users, tech firms, the government, academia and industry groups

The New Zealand Technology Association (NZTech) has launched a national research project to better understand the potential benefits and risks of the Internet of Things (IoT) for the New Zealand economy, saying it will soon become critical to helping New Zealand raise its productivity and prosperity.

NZTech will manage the project, which, it says, will bring together major tech users, tech firms, the government, academia and industry groups such as TUANZ and InternetNZ, all who have an interest in the potential impact of IoT for New Zealand.

According to NZTech chief executive, Graeme Muller, IoT is becoming a growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it and had the potential to impact how Kiwis live but also how they work.

He said much of the current hype around IoT had been derived from consumer IoT such as fitness trackers and intelligent fridges, but its real value would be in enterprise and government applications.

“Fast broadband is becoming more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them, technology costs are dropping, and smartphone penetration is sky-rocketing,” he said.

“Putting all these rapid developments into the mix is creating a perfect platform for IoT to take off. This is why the research project and a better understanding of how to apply IoT are needed.

“While IoT is a rapidly developing technology, understanding of its potential is still relatively limited. By undertaking a collaborative research project with the government, the tech sector and tech users we have an opportunity to raise the profile of IoT and highlight its potential,” Muller said.

IoT across the Tasman

The IT industry in Australia has already made progress in addressing IoT as a result of concerns that the country could become an IoT laggard in the absence of appropriate initiatives.

In mid 2016 the IoT Alliance Australia (IoTAA) was formed with the stated goal to shape the regulatory and collaborative framework to harness for Australian industry the huge opportunities generated by IoT.

At its launch, the shadow communications minister, Jason Clare, warned that Australia was already relatively late to the IoT party.“A lot of countries are already ahead of us when it comes to IoT. If we don’t turn this around we will miss out on a lot of new jobs, more investment and new businesses,” he said.

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