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Who said anything about wireless?

Posted by Andrew Shephard on 12th July 2016

I spent two whole days in June at the Future of Wireless International Conference in London, organised by Cambridge Wireless – I learned a lot, but not about wireless.

The conference committee set out to demonstrate where connectivity is already having the biggest impacts in society and where we should be looking for the next developments. It achieved that for me; retail, healthcare, money, energy, more retail, more money and entertainment all got debate or unbiased exposure where the role of wireless was self-evident but unnecessary to explain in any detail.

It’s refreshing to see that in a conference crammed with so many senior technical minds, there was concentrated interest and discussion in the impact of wireless within vertical markets. One of the most engaging speakers at the top of the event Eileen Burbridge, Chair of Tech City UK, covered ‘vertical innovation’, borrowing developments from parallel industries, and it was quite obvious where that approach is already delivering results for many businesses in both the presentations and the innovation showcase exhibition which gave welcome relief from the lecture theatre.

Paul Stein, Director of R&D at Rolls Royce gave a superb slap-in-the-chops to the connected devices developers before dinner on the first night. If he’s speaking at a dinner near you, pay attention.

On day two the obsessive approach to measurement and simulation taken by McLaren Applied Technologies’ Chief Innovation officer Geoff McGraff was quite staggering – its approach to a racing car as a perpetual prototype which continuously evolves in real time is such an easy thing to describe but I imagine so very hard to make happen in less ahem well-funded environments.

Oh and Kate Stone – most applause of any session I attended by far.

Rory Cellan-Jones from the BBC chairing of the traditional Cambridge Debate round up session was a great way to finish things off, really nice to see some proper opinions aired by David Cleevely and IBM institution Jacqueline Davey.

Anyway well done Cambridge Wireless, excellent IET venue too.

Andrew Shephard

Andrew’s engineering background and ‘fluff-free’ attitude combined with probably the broadest knowledge of technology installed in one PR brain ensures critical insight for Wildfire’s clients. He has driven campaigns for major forces in the semiconductor industry over 18 years including NEC Electronics, Sun Microelectronics and TSMC along with game-changing start-ups like Achronix and Nujira.