The two engineers behind the Smart America Challenge will explain what they're up to and take your questions about the Internet of Things in a live Twitter chat this Friday.
If you want to learn more about the challenge they issued recently, or just find out more about where the IoT is going, join us here at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT). To participate in the chat, make sure to end all of your tweets with the hashtag #eetchat.
The two stars of the chat are Sokwoo Rhee and Geoff Mulligan, two veteran IoT entrepreneurs, currently serving one-year terms in the Presidential Innovation Fellows program that issued the Smart America Challenge earlier this year.
Sokwoo founded Millennial Net, one of the early IoT startups and pioneers of low-power mesh networks. Geoff is the former head of the IPSO Alliance, a trade group promoting the use of Internet Protocol in IoT. He also helped define the 6LoWPAN standard and co-founded the Zigbee Alliance.
Here's a little more background:
In early 2012, the Obama Administration created the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program. Its goal was to hire private sector specialists for a variety of specific, one-year assignments, such as making government more efficient in its use of technology.
One of the new assignments was giving the US private sector a boost into the emerging Internet of Things. Sokwoo and Geoff helped come up with the Smart America Challenge as one way of doing it. They are basically taking a page from DARPA, which has galvanized industry efforts with its challenges in areas such as autonomous vehicles and robotics.
Sokwoo and Geoff are currently reviewing proposals as they come in for the Smart America Challenge. So this Twitter chat is a great opportunity to hear about the kinds of things they are seeing and what they want to accomplish.
The challenge is just one of multiple IoT efforts in the US. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is organizing a consortium to identify gaps in standards for what it calls cyber-physical systems (CPS). I am told 10 companies, including AT&T, Cisco Systems, GE, IBM, and Intel, will be among the members when the consortium is launched, probably in January.
The US is not alone. China and the European Union also have initiatives in IoT.
In the Twitter chat I'll ask Sokwoo and Geoff to define CPS and how it is similar and different to IoT, and I'll ask them to talk about the outlook for CPS. Of course, I'll also ask about the challenges, goals, and status.
I hope you find this a useful opportunity and come to listen and ask a few questions of your own. It's not every day you get to meet (even virtually) a presidential fellow.