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Next generation of IoT trailblazers revealed at MTN’s IoT Conference & Awards

Yesterday’s premier Internet of Things (IoT) focused conference concluded with the announcement of the winner of the 2018 MTN Business IoT Solution of the Year Award.

The Digital Twin Mine Management solution took top honours. This will see its developers, Mine RP and FlowCentric, travelling to Silicon Valley later this year – the grand prize is valued at R200 000.

The Industrial IoT system, with connectivity that extends down to the mine face, incorporates sensors to monitor factors like air flow, temperature, gas and smoke levels, giving data and context to build a complete picture of the mining environment. It allows for virtual reality walk-throughs of a mine’s digital twin for a complete view of an area.

Mine RP and FlowCentric will join an elite club of previous winners, most notably IoT.nxt. This business has made huge strides in the Internet of Things (IoT) space since taking top honours last year. IoT.nxt, a Pretoria-based company that developed a technology-agnostic platform that allows companies to integrate their IT platforms with IoT devices seamlessly, went on to secure $7.7 million (about R100 million) in funding for business expansion, and recently opened an office in London.

The MTN Business IoT Conference & Awards, which was hosted in Kyalami, Johannesburg, attracted more than 700 delegates, including captains of industry, innovators, entrepreneurs and dignitaries from the private sector.

Said Wanda Matandela, MTN Business’ Chief Enterprise Officer: “We are proud to see the IoT Conference & Awards growing in stature, as this perfectly aligns with our commitment to provide enabling platforms for innovators. This is done with the aim of connecting small business, big business and the private sector. It is also about bringing home-grown innovations closer to the rest of the world.”

The conference featured a number of reputable speakers and covered a broad range of topics on IoT and its impact across key sectors of the economy.

One of the major draw cards was a presentation delivered by Pepper, the humanoid robot. Pepper is fitted with neuromorphic chips that mimic a human’s neurological brain processes. This enables Pepper to process auditory and visual sensory information.

Another highlight was MTN’s announcement that it has been added to the IoT World Alliance, a global collaboration of telecommunication providers dedicated to providing customers with seamless machine-to-machine connectivity.

In addition to taking the top spot overall, the Digital Twin Mine Management solution also won in the Best Industry 4.0 Solution category.  Winners in the other categories were:

  • The Best Commercial IoT Solution: Marc1-POS

This is a cloud-based point of sale solution with integrated location analytics to track foot traffic and repeat customers. The system produces and stores heat maps of customer traffic, integrating this data with point of sale data to deliver insights into customer loyalty and capture rate, and predict future customer patterns.  

  • The Most Disruptive IoT Solution: Technovera’s Pelebox Smart Lockers

This solution overcomes the challenges of dispensing and collecting chronic medication. The system’s smart lockers are equipped with cameras, motion detectors for tamper resistance, digital temperature controls and sensors to track door status. The system sends an SMS and one-time PIN to a patient once his/ her prescription is ready for collection; the PIN is used to unlock the medication.               

  • Best Enterprise Development Solution: Fiyela’s IoT Broom

This enables municipal street sweepers to report illegal dumping, leaking pipes and emergencies, by simply pressing one of three buttons on the device to tag the GPS location of the incident on a map. The buttons can be reprogrammed to log any municipal problems like broken street lights, potholes, fractured pipes and missing manhole covers. The data generated is aimed at helping municipal authorities to identify and map hot-spots.

  • Innovative Hardware in IoT:’s by Sensorit

The aim of this solution is to make cars smarter. The advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technology is a solution that uses blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make driving safer and better. Sensorit delivers intelligent in-car infotainment, Wi-Fi and ADAS, which can be embedded into vehicle mirrors or lights.

Matandela congratulated the winners and thanked all who participated.

“IoT has passed its hype stage – it is already here, right now. What will set companies apart in future-proofing and scaling up their businesses really comes down to how quickly they embrace the ever-evolving IoT ecosystem. In preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, MTN has invested heavily in improving our world-class network.

Bringing the MTN Business IoT Conference & Awards to enterprises and innovators is held up by our firm belief that South Africa has a meaningful role to play in the growth of the IoT ecosystem globally. As the leading telecommunications provider in Africa and the Middle East, we will continue to enable enterprises across key sectors, and to play a pioneering role in driving the growth and uptake of IoT,” concluded Matandela.


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