Following our first interview, Meet had the chance to sit down again with Ville Mickelsson after his talk at the Taipei Startup Stadium. An IoT veteran, Mickelsson shared his views on the challenges that need to be overcome before the technology can truly live up to its hype.
Additionally, Mickelsson also shared his views on Taiwan and how the island’s vibrant startup culture can take its business to the next level.
Future tech, but when?
The buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) has been picking up speed over the last years. Originally introduced by Bill Gates in 1995, the concept is being heralded not only as the future tech, but also as foundational to almost all other sectors in the industry.
Currently, the vast majority of governments and industry players is investing heavily into IoT development. For instance,that are expected to establish the country as Asian Silicon Valley.
At the same time, for many an essential question remains: If IoT is the next big thing, what exactly can one expect from this technology? How will the golden era of IoT change our lives to the better? And most importantly, how much longer until then?
Ville Mickelsson, CEO and founder of Finnish startup CyberLightning, has devoted himself to IoT for more than 10 years. Interestingly, for someone so invested in the technology, Mickelsson is quite blunt when asked about its current status.
Going against the grain, the Finnish entrepreneur maintains that IoT will not completely mature unless crucial problems can be resolved.
Roadblocks on the way to true IoT
For Mickelsson, “merging” is a key concept in IoT, be it in regard to bringing together different technologies, hardware and software, or different tech companies. In fact, the founding of his current firm CyberLightning grew out of this insight.
Not only is the company revolutionizing Finland’s energy industry, but also striking strategic alliances with many well-known corporations.
Yet with his many years of experience in the sector, Ville Mickelsson is quick to point out three major problems that are obstructing true IoT.
The first problem is that whereas IoT thrives within a unified environment, still too much data is essentially un- merged. Instead, it remains spread across different databases, platforms, and hardware.
The second problem is related to the first: due to the plethora of broken, incomplete databases, no one can accurately analyze or even forecast the trajectories of IoT development.
Finally, Mickelsson believes that incomplete internet connectivity is further delaying IoT. With so many areas in the civilized world still subject to either a lack of internet or slow connections, the foundational infrastructure required for IoT is oftentimes simply not there yet.
Working on solutions
Painfully aware of these roadblocks, CyberLightning actively seeks to develop new solutions to clear the path towards true IoT.
One aspect of that effort involves the accepted obsolescence of outdated equipment and software. Put simply, Mickelsson calls for a collecting and merging of databases to create one complete IoT matrix.
Based on such a complete database, analyzing IoT- related issues and finding solutions would then be a simple matter of searching, querying, and managing.
More so, such a cohesive infrastructure would allow for more focused development to push IoT.
Lastly, CyberLightning is developing different platform layers for the industrial IoT sector to solve the connectivity dilemma.
Based on the company’s innovative interfaces, IoT would then be able to fully and conveniently connect to our lives.
Taiwan’s Role in IoT
Mickelsson hopes that these problems will be resolved by 2020. With more mature technology, he is optimistic that we can finally enter the age of IoT.
In regard to Taiwan’s role and future in the industry, Mickelsson applauded the island nation for its vibrant startup culture, which embraces IoT-related tech eagerly.
Comparing Taiwan to his home country Finland, Mickelsson thinks that because both are limited by small home markets, their startups need go global to find new opportunities.
In this regard, his own invitation to present a talk at the Taiwan Startup Stadium is a positive sign. Mickelsson believes that these types of international forums allow Taiwanese startups and established companies alike to introduce their innovative ideas to the global market.
If done right, Taiwan’s IoT industry will soon be part of a global vanguard.