As a company we tend to visit business related fairs, so our booth mainly makes stop at events like the Embedded World or the IoT Tech Expo Europe. However, since we were a bit curious to meet the end users of potential products, we chose to attend the Make Munich 2017: one of the largest Maker Fairs in Europe. We were amongst 130 exhibitors from around the world, and mingled with some 8000 visitors. It didn’t really went as expected, but at the end, we received valuable feedback.
My colleague Stefan drove all the way from our Headquarters in Dortmund. Still, right after arrival we immediately started setting up our booth amidst all kinds of other exhibitors. The original plan was to present once more our smart-vending machine demo, which premiered successfully at the Embedded World in Nuremberg in March: A game of interacting dice that communicate directly with a crisp dispenser. In case you got a lucky hand, it hands out a pack of snacks. A playful way to present Lemonbeat’s approach of direct communication of devices with no gateway or cloud needed.
Saturday was promising, with exceptionally sunny weather – but unfortunately, the buzzer, a part of our demo, didn’t survive the trip from Dortmund and rendered our setup useless right after the opening of the fair. Bummer.
Still, this unfortunate setback didn’t deter the visitors from literally flocking to our booth and asking us about Lemonbeat – which is absolutely awesome, as were all visitors during the Make Munich. We were happy and grateful to answer questions such as “What do you actually do?” (We provide a Software Stack for IoT devices), “Where’s the advantage?” (We make it easy to prototype IoT projects, offer services – including interacting state machines – and cut down costs) and “Would it work for my project?” (most likely yes). Sunday was marked by generally poor weather and nearly constant rain. This probably brought even more visitors to the Make Munich. And as before, we enjoyed the engagement with our visitors. We ran out of our swag relatively fast; but were amazed by the feedback we received.
To find out more about our visitors perception of IoT in general, we ran a little survey. All participiants had the chance to win attractive prices.
Questioned about the biggest concerns for IoT, this is what we got from you (multiple answers were possible):
- 59% are worried about security. – In the aftermath of “Mirai” and “WannaCry” very understandable.
- 41% are concerned by the lack of standards. – We believe Standards will evolve for different use cases.
- 24% think that IoT is too complex. – Agreed.
- Interestingly, only 12% think that IoT devices are too expensive.
We also asked what the makers (89% of the visitors at our booth were makers) expected from a new community board. Multiple answers were possible here as well:
- User-Friendliness is the top score with 59%.
- 41% wish for a lot of connection possibilities, while
- a fast, capable chip as well as Arduino-compability each reach 21%.
Sure, the survey wasn’t representative, but we were glad to receive some sentiment about IoT directly from the maker scene.
Amongst all participants we drew three lucky winners
- Xiansu (Echo Dot)
- Jan Veeh (Raspberry Pi Pack)
- Dominik (Lemonbeat DDK)
Congratulations! We will be in touch very shortly and have your package delivered. It was a pleasure to be part of the Make Munich, and we hope to see you all soon again.