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The past several years have seen rapid growth in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and they’re only poised to grow faster in the near future. With 7 billion IoT devices worldwide in 2018, the figure is expected to more than triple to 22 billion by 2025.

At IoT World 2019, North America’s largest IoT event hosted in Silicon Valley last week, we explored the top technologies, strategies, and use cases for implementing IoT. With more than 12,000 leaders in attendance, it was a fantastic opportunity to talk IoT and learn from what others are doing in the industry. In this blog post, we’ll touch on just a few highlights of the event.

IoT-Powered Blood Alcohol Testing Revolutionizes the Journey to Sobriety

Just a decade ago, it was nearly impossible for individuals to measure their own blood alcohol content (BAC). Keith Nothacker, a college student at the time, thought it was unfair that police could test a person’s BAC, but consumers had no way of knowing their levels for themselves. This led him to found BACtrack, a company that went on to develop the world’s first consumer breathalyzer. BACtrack’s breathalyzers are now sold at retail stores across the country, including BestBuy, CVS, and Walgreens.


During a fireside chat between Very’s CEO Ryan Prosser and BACtrack CEO Keith Nothacker, IoT World attendees had the chance to see a prototype of an upcoming product that can measure blood alcohol levels from the skin. The sleek wristband, BACtrack Skyn, will be the world’s first wearable alcohol tracker.


Agile Development Practices Drive Facial Recognition-Powered Beer Kiosk

iot_world2IoT World’s Developer Conference is a two-day technical conference for developers, hardware engineers, and architects working on IoT solutions. In this conference track, technical leaders learned how to lead successful IoT projects.

A theme at the Developer Conference was whether to use agile methodologies for IoT — and if so, how to do it successfully. One talk provided a real-world example of how agile development practices were used to launch a facial recognition-powered beer kiosk for the Las Vegas strip. Speaker Jeff McGehee, director of engineering at Very, went into detail about the people, processes, and technologies used to bring the product to life.

Open Source Technologies Debated

iot-world4Also at the Developer Conference, IoT leaders debated whether or not to use open source technologies. In a panel discussion, Arpit Joshipura, GM Networking & Orchestration + Edge/IOT at the Linux Foundation, and Bill Brock, VP of Engineering at Very, discussed the pros and cons of using open source technology for IoT projects. Arpit detailed the open source technologies supported by the Linux Foundation, and Bill outlined the benefits of using Nerves and Elixir for IoT development projects.

Final Thoughts

Innovators and leaders in the IoT community joined forces for a fantastic week of teaching, learning, and networking. Common themes and challenges emerged, and attendees were able to explore new ideas and solutions to bring IoT to the forefront of their digital transformations.