Over the long haul, there is no single ingredient that steers the global economy more than emerging technology.  Popularity and public opinion leads to short-term spikes and dips.  Policy and regulation can speed or slow progress.  But ultimately, the power to solve problems and create value through the adoption of new technology always wins – when measured across years and decades.

RIoT was launched in 2014 to educate entrepreneurs and companies about how IoT would disrupt every industry.  Since then, we have seen the rise of sensors and smart cities and remote healthcare.  Drones and autonomous vehicles have moved from demonstration to real-world application.  Artificial intelligence, a key component of the IoT technology stack, is inserting into every market vertical.

Twice a year, RIoT holds an internal reflection retreat to prioritize activities for the coming months.  This year, much of our focus was on the next chapter of the 4th Industrial Revolution and how RIoT can continue our mission of service to you, our partners and ecosystem.  As excited as we were about the Internet of Things eight years ago, it is clear today that the term “IoT” is not big enough to capture what is actually happening.

IoT 2.0 is about speed and scale.  Latency is approaching zero at the same time that sensor networks are becoming denser and higher resolution and computing power is strengthening at the edge.  IoT 2.0 is converging into what is tentatively branded the Metaverse.

The Metaverse has a number of key component technologies – including 5G/6G, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFTs, Sensors, Edge Computing, Cybersecurity, AI/ML and Cryptocurrency.  These components are at varying maturity levels, but combined, allow us to create a digital simulation of our world.

As simulations approach real-world accuracy, we gain the ability to try things over and over digitally, to find optimal paths to follow in our physical world.  As those simulations happen in near-real time, and are continually updated with real-world sensor feedback, we can automate those paths.  As we learn to interact in this digital world with tools that allow us to own and transact and moderate, we enable new and exciting business models.

I was so excited about the future in 2014 that I quit my job to help found RIoT.  I’m even more excited today about what the Metaverse and other IoT technologies can bring.  The blending of digital and physical is incredibly powerful – and we’re just getting started.

We look forward to sharing our exciting list of new topics to cover and ideas for how to educate and engage our community.  I hope to see you at a RIoT soon as we participate together in the evolving economy.

Tom Snyder, Executive Director, RIoT