Spotlight on Dr David Pugh
Interview with David Pugh, Technology Analyst at IDTechEx
Tell us about IDTechEx – what was the need you saw?
IDTechEx provide clarity on emerging technology, through our off the shelf research reports and bespoke projects as well as series of global technology events. IDTechEx was founded in 1999 and began focusing on RFID, today we cover 12 topics from new materials to IoT and work with customers around the world on the best ways to embrace innovation.
What technology innovations do you expect to see unfold going into 2018?
2018 will be an exciting year for a number of topics, we see the deployment of LPWAN technologies around the world as a really exciting opportunity for the internet of things and are looking forward to seeing how the LPWAN landscape changes in different territories around the world. We’re also looking forward to the launch of several new areas in renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) will be first sold commercially in 2018. For example, one organisation has placed an order for five 30kW units with Kitemill of Norway. This is wind power with one tenth of the material cost of traditional wind turbines and it can be easily transported for farmers, advancing armies, disaster zones. It works over much more of the land and sea. It consists of tethered drones that can even rise through still air to where the wind is much more consistent and stronger at 200-1000 meters. Other variants are the huge Google Makani 600kW tethered drone and kites that flew this yea. IDTechEx has a new report on the subject, even covering the potential for 1-10MW versions and challenges of structural health monitoring and illumination at night.
The first commercial energy independent pure electric cars are promised in 2018 by Sion Motors of Germany. Thanks to photovoltaic sides and roof, these street legal cars will never plug in or refuel in any way. IDTechEx is staging the world’s first conference on Energy Independent Electric Vehicles at the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands in September this year.
What makes you unique from the competition?
Our team of analysts are well experienced in their disciplines, with years of academic and field experience behind them, this means that in most cases, we’ve been there and done that and makes us very good at cutting through the hype of many technologies, understanding where there are opportunities for growth and when technology will be overtaken by something better or more suited to a particular use case. We invest a huge amount of time and effort in primary research (we conduct more than 1000 hours of informal interviews and visits each year), speaking to key people at companies to understand their technology roadmaps, targets and needs and are highly respected in the industries that we operate.
Share a key lesson you have learnt over the last year?
We’ve seen increasingly that new technologies are a result of synergy between companies large and small, especially in areas such as automotive and the IoT sector. There are no longer ‘big players’ in the automotive industry; multiple players, large and small, are shaping the art of the possible. We see automotive global value chains moving from hierarchical models to something closer to a market model, similar to that seen for smart phones. It’s been well established for a while that IoT is not about the technology, but the value you can gain from data and the relationships that can be built to improve lives; collaboration is therefore becoming key for innovation in all technology areas, requiring industries to work together to drive us all forward.
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