IoT Council: Three Questions on IoT: Gérald Santucci

When did you hear first of IoT? In what context was that?
I couldn’t say if actually I met IoT or if IoT met me. Probably the two movements happened concurrently. I first learned about IoT at the end of 2004 while considering to draft a communication on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) at European Commission’s DG INFSO (now DG CNECT). The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ caught my mind during conversations with experts from academia (ETH Zürich, Auto-ID Center) and industry (SAP, i.e. “sense and respond”, GS1/EPCglobal). It was the moment when I discovered that British computer scientist Kevin Ashton, MIT’s Executive Director of Auto-ID Labs, coined the phrase “Internet of Things” in 1999, while making a presentation for Procter & Gamble – he believed RFID was a prerequisite for the Internet of Things as an inventory tracking solution.
Few of my colleagues at DG INFSO believed that “IoT” was a real phenomenon – they felt that the phrase was just an unrealistic and useless metaphor, and they preferred to use the phrase “Ambient Intelligence” (AmI), coined by my colleague Ken Ducatel, on the basis of work done at Philips, and heralded by the IST Advisory Board of the Fifth Framework Programme (1998- 2002) and the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006) as a way to promote a vision of consumer electronics, telecommunications and computing. Ducatel’s report was titled “Scenarios for Ambient Intelligence in 2010”.

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