The Things Conference 2022: Featuring the World's Largest Digital Twin

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05 Oct, 2022

Bringing the IoT community together around LoRaWAN® technology

The Things Conference 2022 held at the Kromhouthal in Amsterdam on the 22nd and 23rd of September is one of the flagship events for the LoRaWAN® community. Over 1100 IoT professionals and more than seventy industry players were present as part of a digital transformation community, learning from 80+ select keynotes and workshops. People attended the event both in-person and online.

The World’s Largest Digital Twin

The most anticipated and unusual aspect of the conference was the display of the largest digital twin in the world. Gathering real-time data from over a hundred IoT devices at different locations of the Kromhouthal venue, this digital twin connected an area of at least 4357 square meters. For context, that is over eight times as big as a basketball court!

The world’s largest digital twin represented live data from all the device-makers attending the event, and visitors had the chance to interact with and view all the data elements via an augmented reality (AR) application.

Wienke Giezeman (CEO of The Things Industries) explained that “The Things Stack [LoRaWAN® Network Server] integrates directly with Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twin platform and allows you to connect and visualize data as either a 2D or 3D experience.”

Just imagine the exhilaration that comes from interfacing with a massive digital model that represents a whole live conference as one, interactive system.

The 3D data visualization from the hundreds of sensors was a highly informative way to exhibit digital twins via AR. The conference visitors were able to witness live data transmitted from the numerous sensors all over the conference venue. They could also use the application to interact with the data and learn about the featured products virtually.

The digital twin experience was, as the saying goes, greater than the sum of its parts, especially since this holistic experience gave an additional thrill, the cherry on top of the interaction with the individual LoRaWAN® sensors displayed in the conference.

The Wall of Fame: An Exquisite Display of IoT sensors 

Acting as the cornerstone for LoRaWAN®, The Things Conference exhibited hundreds of LoRaWAN®-enabled devices and gateways side by side on a physical wall. Visitors were able to touch and interact with the devices. Every device was accompanied by a short description and a QR code that enabled viewers to learn more about the corresponding device.

The Wall of Fame OF LoRaWAN® devices at the Things Conference 2022. Image credit: Rebekka Mel

As a low power, wide area networking (LPWAN) protocol, LoRaWAN® allows for bi-directional communication, mobility, end-to-end security, and localization services, all of which are fundamental requirements of IoT. This was evident in the impressive assortment of sensors displayed on the Wall of Fame.

This special showcase featured sensors for temperature and humidity control, GPS tracking, valve control, point-of-care health monitoring, hand hygiene monitoring, workplace occupancy, and much more.

One interesting device was the RhinoEdge Puck rhino horn implant tracker from IRNAS. This high-precision, GPS position tracking device can be embedded into a rhino’s horn via a minimally invasive procedure, with no hindrance or impact on the rhino’s movement or health. Enabled by the LoRaWAN® protocol, this sensor can help conservationists track and protect endangered rhinos from the potential dangers of poachers.

The RhinoEdge device displayed on the Wall of Fame (The Things Conference 2022). Image credit: Wevolver

Another stand-out device was the CO2-Stoplicht from Teneo, an air quality meter that measures the local air’s carbon dioxide content, temperature, and humidity. Just like a traffic light, it simply changes color as soon as the measured carbon content surpasses predefined standards. This LoRaWAN®-enabled device helps alert people to potentially low air quality that may affect their breathing.

The CO2 Stoplicht device displayed on the Wall of Fame (The things Conference 2022). Image Credit: Wevolver

A fan favorite was the eDoctor device from TEKTELIC. This wearable sensor can help doctors monitor their patients’ respiratory conditions by continuously scanning common symptoms of respiratory illnesses, such as breathing rates, body temperature, accelerated heart rate, and unceasing coughs. Using LoRaWAN®-based features like long range and low power, eDoctor provides reliable, constantly online connectivity.

The eDoctor device displayed on the Wall of Fame (The Things Conference 2022). Image Credit: Wevolver 

These are just a handful of the impressive devices featured at this conference. Check out the long list of popular LoRaWAN®-enabled products and explore their amazing features.

IoT is a team game: Connectivity and diversity

The conference hosted a great diversity of people, including researchers, engineers, industry leaders, educators, students, developers, supply chain personnel, and salespeople, to name a few. This allowed for great networking opportunities for all and sparked productive communication between the visitors and the exhibitors, not to mention the insightful talks and workshops that took place.

One of the keynotes at the Things Conference 2022. Image credit: Wevolver

One of the highlights of the conference was the Women in IoT lunch that took place on the second day, hosted by Wienke Giezeman from The Things Industries and Julie McGee from Semtech. This lunch was part of the continuous endeavor to empower and include more and more women in the IoT market.

The exhibitors provided substantial value to their visitors with a great display of solutions and state-of-the-art devices. For instance, Akenza stood out with their IoT platform that facilitates the transition from proof-of-concept solutions to production-ready solutions that can be deployed on a large scale. Edge Impulse, showed how they are empowering developers to use real-world data using machine learning in the process of creating and optimizing their IoT solutions. Arduino also provided an impressive display of the new range of ArduinoPRO™ products and solutions that simplify and improve the integration of hardware and software for developers.

The conference also included a fun networking and music event that brought together 1000+ visitors around a shared interest in LoRaWAN® and music.

A peek into the future

The Things Conference 2022 was a memorable experience for all. Once again, it brought the LoRaWAN® community together and continued nurturing the vision of the LoRaWAN protocol and ecosystem.

If you missed this year’s conference, you needn’t worry. Make sure to grab your ticket for next year’s biggest LoRaWAN® event, The Things Conference 2023, taking place on September 21st and 22nd in Amsterdam.

Visit The Things Conference webpage for more information about the conference, partners, and attendees.

For more information about LoRaWAN® and digital twins, check out the following articles:

About the sponsor: The Things Network

The Things Network is a global community of more than 150000 active members from over 100 countries around the world.  They bring together startups, developers, businesses along with the universities and governments in building a public Internet of Things data network. The Things Network provides a set of open tools and a global, open network to build your next IoT application at low cost, featuring maximum security and ready to scale.

 

More by Samir Jaber

I write about engineering, technology, IoT, materials, and sustainability. I am a digital marketer and a former engineering and scientific researcher.

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