An IoT comic book for CEOs and politicians

Three years ago we started working on a – then new – European project called the Internet of Things Initiative on a topic that was supposed to find strategically important Internet of Things applications. We wanted to branch out to, well, everybody in order to spread the word and knowledge about how the idea of Internet of Things can and will change the way the world will work and communicate in the future.

To engage the general public, politicians and CEOs that will ultimately be the drivers and end users of the Internet of Things, we needed a new medium to communicate the idea of the Internet of Things, its challenges, its problems and its benefits. We needed to encourage people to think about this new disruptive technology. There are few things better than telling a story with pictures.

And that is why we decided to communicate the knowledge from the project differently: We analysed more than 150 quite diverse Internet of Things scenarios from different sources. After categorization, combining and elimination, we ended up with just fewer than 60 application scenarios. We presented them to the public in a survey to find out what scenarios would be strategically important. About 300 persons, mainly from the ICT community, from over 30 different countries, took the survey. Now this is not bad – but it is staying within the ICT community.

We then visualised the scenarios in a comic book created and published by the Alexandra Institute.


Download the IoT comic book

The comic book touches upon a multitude of IoT applications:

  • Smart Street Lighting: Sensors could not only adjust lighting depending on the presence of people nearby; they could also report and interpret incidents in the street.
  • Smart Urban Waste Management: Full bins could via sensors send notice to influence waste collection scheduling.
  • Smart Urban Planning: Data sources on noise, traffic, crowds, temperature, humidity and pollution levels could aid urban planning.
  • Smart Medication: Hospital patients could be tagged with link to their health record to ensure medication dosages are right
  • Monitoring the Aged: Tracking people with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • Smart Logistics: Sensors enabling lorry drivers on the move to monitor the condition of their loads
  • Continuous Care: Support of patients’ self-monitoring for effective telemedicine
  • Emergency Response: Intelligent interpretation of real-time sensors to identify traffic build-ups and traffic jams
  • Intelligent Shopping: links to RFID readers checking product bar codes to get feedback on contents, with personalised checks relating to calories or allergies and to automatic payments
  • Smart Products: Monitoring customer behaviour and precise product identification
  • Smart Metering: Understanding usage data to reduce personal energy consumption
  • Smart Home Device Management: Collating information about i.e. temperature, air pressure or weather forecast to adjust heating, lighting, etc.
  • Smart Gardening/Farming: Monitoring crop for the amount of sunlight, water, humidity.

The comic book is aimed at everybody. It can be used as a basis for discussions or just as inspiration; agree or disagree and anything in between – but talk about it. We invite you to use the material in the book to communicate and think about the Internet of Things.

On pages 48/49, find an interview with Bosch Software Innovations’ Stefan Ferber who thinks that the IoT story really starts when you sell the product.

Download comic book



About the author

Mirko Presser

Mirko Presser

Mirko Presser is the Head of Research and Innovation for the Smart City Lab at the Alexandra Institute working on Open Data and the Internet of Things in the context of Smart Cities for Citizens. He is also the president of the IoT International Forum since it was founded in June 2013. He has been studying and working in these research areas since 2002, he has published over 20 scientific peer-reviewed papers on the topics and has served on numerous scientific committees and steering boards. He has a Masters degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a Masters degree in Telecommunications and Systems Engineering both from the University of Bristol and received his PhD on the Mobile IoT from the University of Surrey. He has also been strongly involved in the European FP6 and FP7 ICT programmes and has been the Technical Manager of the FP6 IST e- SENSE and FP7 ICT SENSEI projects, both addressing the Internet of Things, amongst many other projects as well as he is the coordinator of the EeB PPP project called URB-Grade. Mirko is a guest author for the Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.