21.02.2017 //

Connected Living ConnFerence 2017 "Shaping the digital transformation user-friendly"

The digital connectivity offers new opportunities in the areas of security, energy efficiency, health, comfort, entertainment, mobility and urban development. However, an unclear market situation and hard-to-reach technologies often create uncertainties and fears. In order to convince people of the added value, manufacturers and service providers would have to create worlds of experience that communicate the benefits in an understandable manner and create transparency towards data storage and data usage, according to Connected Living chairman Prof. Sahin Albayrak in his opening speech at the 3rd Connected Living ConnFerence 2017.

At the ConnFerence 2017, which was jointly organized by Connected Living and heise events on 15th and 16th of February at the Meliá Hotel in Berlin, representatives from economy, science and politics discussed the potentials of digital transformation and digital connected life. Prof. Albayrak summarized the central findings and demands of Connected Living: Digitization and digital connectivity through the Internet of Things in all areas of life, the "Internet of Everything", has already affected our environment enormously in all areas of life and has led to astonishing social and economic, mostly positive, effects. Living, working, mobility, energy, health and urban development are increasingly fusing into a holistic Connected Life.

According to Dr. Heinrich Arnold, CEO of Detecon International, "the abundance of new technologies [...] currently causes the possibility and necessity for cross-industry partnerships". In addition to cross-organizational partnerships, uniform standards and platforms should be strived for. Connected Living, a national and international operating Innovation Center, has been supporting the establishment of these cross-industry partnerships for the development of solutions for the Smart Home, digital connected life and the Internet of Things since eight years. In Germany's largest open innovation platform for the Connected Life of the future, more than 50 member institutions work together on the development of customer-centric services and intuitively usable technologies.

In the keynotes, the conference theme “The human being in the focus of Digital Transformation” - which is also the strategic orientation of Connected Living – was emphasized again and again. Politics, economy and research should always "inspire the people". "When we start to hurry ahead and develop things that people do not understand, we do not achieve anything", says Rainer Bomba, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Prof. Wolf-Dieter Lukas from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, patron of the event, gave a keynote on the subject of "comprehensible communication": "Hardly anyone would waive assistance systems in a car. However, if we speak of 'autonomous cars', immediate fears are stoked. Users see their self-determination at risk. In this case, the right wording can already be used to reduce reservations."

In addition, the consideration of adequate security and privacy requirements of the systems is of crucial importance. "In the course of the first, second and the third industrial revolution, humans had to be protected from the dangers of technology. Digitization expands this protection mandate: technology must be protected from the dangers of human beings: hackers, cyber criminals and data thieves. This requires the introduction of standardized new protection concepts for IT security and functional product and process security, especially in the Smart Home segment. We as TÜV NORD work on that in cooperation with manufacturers, customers, policy makers and associations", says Dr. Dirk Stenkamp, CEO of TÜV NORD AG. From a technical point of view, the systems should be designed in an open way in order to enable the connectivity or integration of the solutions among each other.

"We are still at the beginning of a truly profound, all-encompassing digital transformation of our world. To enable us to do so, economy, research and politics must work together, and together we must raise awareness for the needs of our society. Connected Living demands the Federal Government to sustain the digital transformation and provide more resources and research programs in order to release the benefits to society and the potential for the economy", said Prof. Albayrak.

"We have to digitize our country". In addition to urban centers, the promotion of rural regions is demanded particularly in order "to enable digitization to be carried out on a comprehensive basis," said State Secretary Rainer Bomba from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Prof. Albayrak also emphasized that the policy "should systematically promote successful initiatives such as Connected Living, to place sustainable market momentum. A clear focus of the initiatives and the avoidance of parallel structures are important."

In addition to the keynotes and workshops, the two-day ConnFerence offered startups the opportunity to present themselves. Seven teams presented their innovative and pragmatic solutions in the areas of voice control, energy and building management, cloud metering, digital real estate management and Connected Cars. The world's first commercially available digital mirror with interactive touch screen has also been presented. At the end of the second conference day, the participants of the Connected Living ConnFerence decided on the winner of the startup pitches. The winner team, Aaron.ai, received a one-week participation in the SAP IoT Accelerator program with the use of a workspace in the newly established SAP data space in Berlin.

The Connected Living ConnFerence is an event, which the Innovation Center Connected Living could already carry out successfully for the third time, this year under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) and the Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller. In 2017 the ConnFerence was organized for the first time with the new partner heise Events. The Connected Living ConnFerence will also be held in its forthcoming edition in Berlin in 2018.

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