The 2017 IoT Solutions World Congress has kicked off in Barcelona, amid the turbulence of the ongoing Catalan independence referendum, which has resulted in violent protests.

Intel was one of the biggest organisations presenting at the event, addressing a number of challenges facing the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The company also made a critical announcement designed to empower the industry to make the most of the tremendous opportunities ahead.

The company also announced that although earlier reports have claimed the world will see 50 billion connected devices by 2020, the reality is that “we are nowhere close to reaching those numbers”.

According to Intel, recent reports are “far more tempered”, predicting that 30 billion connected devices in the same timeframe is a more realistic prospect. The company said the reason for the scaled-down outlook is because of the real-time issues of scaling deployments and security.

Intel said that the provisioning and management of devices is a huge challenge at present, as IoT devices are added manually. Explaining, the company said it involves co-ordination between installation technicians, IT network operations, and operational technology teams and can typically take more than 20 minutes for a single device to be connected.

Using an example to illustrate the size of the task, Intel encouraged attendees at the event to imagine installing 10,000 smart light bulbs, stating that this could take two years to achieve. This is without considering the effort needed to maintain device security.

Intel said that in order to solve these issues, it would be launching its Secure Device Onboard (SDO). The company said this technology “securely automates and brings IoT devices online within seconds rather than hours”. It added that Intel SDO is being offered to IoT platform providers as a service they can provide to customers who wish to onboard thousands of connected devices.

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