IoT: Behind the scenes Smart People 2017

IoT: Smart People 2017
All over the world, brilliant individuals are hard at work creating the technologies and solutions that will one day make the Internet of Things (IoT) come alive. We visited a few of them and listened to their fascinating stories.

The Smart People 2017


Interview: Professor Detlef Zühlke about IoT

The scientifc director of the German Center for Artifcial Intelligence (DFKI) and head of Innovative Factory Systems at the University of Kaiserslautern about IoT.

What, for you, is the most exciting part of being involved in creating the Internet of Things?
I like the way our vision of connecting just about everything will impact the worldwide economy as well as benefting society. In the beginning, people smiled when we talked about smart factories, then they dismissed it as hype. Now everybody is either doing it or starting to think seriously about it.

Which is currently your favorite project?
The whole SmartFactoryKL project. This is essentially a club with seven founding members and a common goal, namely to build a real smart factory from the ground up. Today, we have over 45 members and we have come to be closely identified with what we Germans call Industry 4.0. We have travelled the road from vision to reality in just a few years, and many of our partners are already hard at work in smart factories of their very own.

everybody’s doing it!

Professor Detlef Zühlke

IoT Smart People: Interview with Professor Detlef Zühlke

What’s special about Kaiserslautern and why has it become such a hotbed for IoT development?
The University of Kaiserslautern has a long history of excellence in IT and engineering. The Technical University provides us with a stream of well-trained young professionals that enable us to keep up with some of the fnest scientifc institutions in the world.
Do you believe, as many do, that Germany is falling behind in the race toward digital transformation and IoT?
In terms of Industry 4.0, we are still a world leader, but other countries, especially the US and China, are investing heavily in these areas, and they are often faster at implementing than we are. We will only be able to remain a leader if we fnd ways to turn the results of our scientifc work into products and processes. That’s why institutions like our Industry 4.0 Competence Center are so important. We created the Center with financial help from the German government, especially the Economics Ministry, and it is based at our SmartFactoryKL campus. Its aim is to offer small and medium-sized enterprises a way to engage in the Internet of Things in a practical fashion, thus providing the German economy with an engine to drive progress, strengthening our competitiveness and international leadership.

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