Essential takeaways from the 2016 AT&T Developer Summit Keynote
The announcements made at this year’s Keynote demonstrate how AT&T views the future: Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, and a powerful network that does more than just connect two points. With the acquisition of DIRECTV and Iusacell and Nextel Mexico, the company is adding even more subscribers and users around the globe. AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions President and CEO Ralph de la Vega set the stage for the company’s vision when he said in opening remarks, “This is the new AT&T.” Indeed, with the announcements that followed, you could see why.
New Developer Tools for IoT
Last year, AT&T unveiled M2X and Flow Designer. These tools made connecting items in the cloud a breeze and provided the ability to manage and analyze the data collected from those devices. Building on the success of Flow Designer and M2X, the company announced two new developer tools:
- AT&T Flow Edge – Apps built in AT&T Flow Designer can now run at the edge of the network. For example, gas companies often need fast, near real-time information on pipeline conditions. The developer can use AT&T Flow Edge to process only the near real-time data, rather than losing valuable time waiting for instructions from an app running in the cloud.
- AT&T M2X Context – Customers can control how data reaches different user groups based on rules. A motorized equipment manufacturing company may want to publish maintenance information solely to its supply chain partners and dealers while publishing environmental data only to regulators.
We’ll be providing more information about these tools on the blog. Be sure to check back periodically.
The Next Level of the Connected Car
AT&T is no stranger to working with automobile companies; currently, the company is involved in connecting 9 of the top car manufacturers. Raj Nair, Executive Vice President and CTO of Ford, joined the stage to announce the company is going to be bringing AT&T 4G LTE connectivity to all new Ford vehicles in the US and Canada. Nair also discussed the next evolution of SYNC, called SYNC Connect.
With SYNC Connect, Ford customers will be able to use their smartphone to remotely lock and unlock doors, use GPS to locate a parked car, view useful information (fuel, battery, and tire pressure), and even remotely start the automobile. Sync Connect will initially be available in the new Ford Escape this spring. Ford plans on adding the functionality to 10 million Ford cars by 2020.
Tech Experts Talk Smart Cities
Glenn Lurie, CEO AT&T Mobility, assembled a panel of experts to discuss the next big opportunity: smart cities. When developing smart cities, there are many things to consider, such as energy efficiency, transportation and traffic flow, reducing operation costs, infrastructure, economic development, and citizen engagement. Cities that run more efficiently can transform people’s lives.
Lurie rolled out the smart city framework that includes highly secure connectivity, platforms for building apps, vertical solutions, and strategic alliances. AT&T announced new company alliances (Cisco, IBM, Deloitte, Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and GE) and initial spotlight cities (Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas) that will be using the smart city framework.
Ericsson’s CEO Hans Vestberg, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich, and Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed joined Lurie on stage to define a smart city and what it will look like. The conversation included takeaways about where to start and how to be successful. Initial smart city efforts are focusing on public safety, transportation, and energy and utilities. An essential element of creating a successful smart city is turning near real-time data into something that is useful for people.
Which Team Won the Hackathon
As is the tradition with the AT&T Developer Summit Keynote, the main Hackathon winners are announced on stage after presenting a two-minute pitch of their app. This year, it was easy to see the significance of the acquisition of DIRECTV and the mobile companies in Mexico. It was the first time that two AT&T Hackathons were held simultaneously: one in Las Vegas and the other in Guadalajara, Mexico. Additionally, one of the final apps, QuizTV, combined the mobile and DIRECTV experience.
The app demos began with a thank you video from the winning team in Mexico that built a medical monitoring app. Here is a recap of the finalists that presented their app during the keynote:
Team KineticCare: This team brings the concept of medical monitoring technology to the home. Using a SmartHub for the home, the app captures the vital stats of a user (for example, monitoring similar cardiac information as would a hospital). In the event of an emergency (cardiac episode), the system automatically alerts the appropriate emergency personnel. If the person felt well enough, they could hit the 911 button themselves or stop the call. Another element provides the data to the city so that they can better manage emergency vehicles.
Team LevelUp: With this app, kids must complete chores to earn points to unlock rewards in the connected home. For example, a child wants to enter the game room, but the door is locked. As the child completes a certain amount of chores in the home and earns rewards, the game room door will automatically unlock.
Team QuizTV: Parental controls that help reduce how much TV kids watch. This app is designed to make TV more interactive and more educational. Parents can pause TV by activating quizzes any time of day. The quizzes must be completed and answered correctly before the TV will continue broadcasting a show.
The audience cast their vote for their favorite app and picked Team KineticCare as the grand prize winner of the $25,000 and GenZe Scooter. To learn more about the top 20 apps presented at the Hackathon in Las Vegas, check out this post.
What did you think of the announcements made at the Keynote? Let us know in the comments below. If you didn’t get a chance to see the Keynote, you can still watch the recorded Livestream video.