[Interview] éolane’s Regis Lauret “Today the wireless and wired protocols for M2M and IoT are a real jungle”

May 19, 2015
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Hollande-Eolane_pics_809Image: Francois Hollande visits éolane. Source: JDD.

There’s been a lot of discussion about the billions of connected objects which will come on-line over the next five years.  Much of these objects will not be those consumers interact with directly on a daily basis, but rather the in the Industrial IoT space, dramatically improving production processes and, generally, how the world operates.

One key player in helping companies to make the transition to a connected future is industrial professional industrial electronics service provider éolane. Ahead of next week’s Connected Conference, for which they are a sponsor this year, we caught up with their marketing director Regis Lauret to learn more about the trends their seeing and how this industrial internet/IoT shift is impacting the types of projects they’re working on with clients.

From an external perspective, what do you see as the biggest opportunities in the Connected Hardware space? What are the trends, geographies, etc that you’re most bullish about?

In the space of M2M & IoT, the most promising market today is the Industrial IoT domain with two main applications which are the asset indoor/In-situ geolocalization and predictive maintenance. These 2 applications are a subset of what we call today “Factory 4.0” . Thanks to the latest announcements of IoT network deployments by Telco’s, large companies from the CAC40, things are now moving very fast in this direction, with some conducting Proof of Concepts and while others are starting to industrialize IoT products which will improve drastically the industrial process of the plants or their operations. This acceleration is mainly driven today by Europe (Germany/France/ ….)

What are the trends you’re seeing in terms of the types of projects you’re working on? How has this changed over time?

We are facing two types of projects. With startups, projects are mainly focusing on breakthrough innovation with flexible and agile prototyping, a PoC development cycle to refine the products, and value added services before launch and industrialization. With large corporate groups, the projects tend to be at an earlier stage with more in a technico-economical studies to assess the business case before putting products in production in high-volume (massification). During the last year we’ve seen fewer Consumer IoT “gadget products” but more concrete Industrial M2M and IoT solutions which will improve the operation processes of companies.

Any other observations/thoughts you’d like to share about the evolution of Connected Hardware/IoT in France and elsewhere?

At horizon 2020, we announced a big increase from 20 billion to 200 billion in the number of connected objects. However, the majority of IoT apps will not be cellular (2G/3G/4G), but rather Low Power-WAN (LoRa, Sigfox, Neul, Nwave …) and Low Power-LAN (RFID, NFC, Bluetooth, BLE, ZigBee,..) . Nevertheless, today the wireless and wired protocols for M2M and IoT are a real jungle, difficult to understand and to choose with respect to target applications and services. The key challenge for this market to take-off is interoperability. Some initiatives are currently underway in this direction, leveraging ETSI and 3GPP.

Join us May 28th-30th for Connected Conference, where we’ll be showcasing the intersection of Industry & Digital, Hardware & Internet, Old & New.