IoT Meetup July 2020/ Report & Videos

IoT has spawned a range of opportunities for companies to capitalise on trends and the development of new products. However, the creation of valuable products turns out to be a failure in almost 50 per cent of cases. The reasons may be that projects are over the budget, delayed, inefficient, they have quality and security pitfalls or lack a market strategy. The following three questions are worth considering when implementing IoT. How to build an IoT product fitting the market? How to ensure an efficient method of product development and production? How to ensure the security and privacy in the IoT network? The July IoT North webinar was aimed at looking into those areas and sharing solutions that may help organisations and IoT enthusiasts overcome challenges in the development of their projects. The webinar was co-hosted, as usual, by Pitch-In Project and sponsored by Newcastle University and The event was joined by Daniel Sexton, a Founding Partner at RedChip Ventures (, Jose Marcelino, Solutions Architect at RAK Wireless ( and Stuart Mitchell, Head of Product at ZARIOT (, who provided their insights into IoT project development and implementation. 

Daniel Sexton has over 15 years of experience leading large-scale, technology solutions for Fortune 500 companies and a number of tech startups. As a founder of RedChip Ventures, Daniel shared his experience as to how to align company executive strategy with product and software development, how to build Edge products that reduce costs, generate profit and produce higher efficiency. He discussed the approach that their company uses to build a successful business in Edge and IoT. The successful business case starts from a market-aware IoT strategy, which considers the company’s motive to utilise IoT (whether it is operational efficiency, new market entry, new product development or the extension of the current business line), the strategy (whether it is customer or technology-driven) and the product life-cycle. The strategic advantage is assessed by analysing the product adoption rate against the costs and ease of product implementation. To find business cases companies need to look at the market share, annual growth rate and the forecasted market size. That helps put things into perspective. When looking at sectors and possible applications of IoT in those sectors, one has to ask what the new things in those areas are which might seem insane now but will disrupt markets in the near future. A temporary event, like COVID-19, may open up opportunities for innovating and redefining the market with new products, as a temporary situation may turn out to be a new normal. 

Jose Marcelino discussed the challenges that can be faced at the IoT product development and implementation stages. Jose is a part of the RAK Wireless team, who have been developing and supplying advanced IoT technology and services to the market, ranging from end node sensors to cloud computing. RAK has been partnering with large ecosystems like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, with a growing pipeline of projects in the consumer and business community. The mission of the company is to help clients solve IoT challenges. One of the challenges is the lack of agility in LoRa device development across its five stages from proof of concept development up until deployment and maintenance. The development of hardware can be tricky when some changes need to be made at a late stage, which requires redesigning the entire board. Therefore, Jose Marcelino and the RAK team came up with a solution enabling agile development of hardware devices. The solution represents cost-efficient small open-source hardware, based on a common set of connectors, modules and sensors. It enables users to change any features of the hardware while still using the modules at any point of the project stage even after its deployment. The product is a good solution for those interested in increasing efficiency and reducing the cost of product development.

Stuart Mitchell provided insight into the vulnerabilities of IoT devices deployed using cellular networks. He delved into IoT security elements and the ways to ensure the security of IoT data transmission, which is the main focus of ZARIOT. The company has had over 15 years of experience in the market, assisting mobile operators with identifying and protecting their networks from attacks by deploying leading-edge capabilities. There are a number of different ways to compromise and attack the security of the core elements of the IoT data transmission network, namely SIM, signalling (the exchange and control of communication between mobile operators through signalling protocols) and the Internet. For example, SIM security risks may include unauthorised use, damage, loss and physical security risks. Signalling security is compromised by interception, privacy issues and denial of service. Internet security risks involve interception, impersonation and denial of service. Based on the ZARIOT approach to ensuring end-to-end security, Stuart Mitchell provided practical recommendations as to how to address SIM, signalling and Internet vulnerabilities using a number of solutions and methods. Those solutions may include a signalling firewall, cell ID Lock (which prevents SIM being used in other locations), IMEI lock (locking sim card to the device being used), service monitoring, APN Lock (an additional level of authentication) and VPN security (encrypting data transmitted through the Internet). They are worth considering when developing IoT solutions using cellular connectivity.

To learn more about the application and impacts that AI and IoT have in social, business and other spheres of life, follow the schedule of events here at the IoT North meetup web site: