The Internet of Things (IoT) is a 21st century technology. So what does it mean that the September 21-22 Smart Summit London—which brings together decision makers to discuss the impact of IoT on homes, cities and industries—is weaving its Smart Summit: After Hours “smart pub crawl” through a bunch of mostly 19th century buildings? As participants walk from pub to pub in London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, raising toasts and networking with other Smart Summit attendees, they might ponder how the latest IoT, wireless and beacon technologies are taking root and becoming a regular part of life—even in historic cities like London.

The Smart Summit: After Hours smart pub crawl begins on the evening of September 21 at Hand and Flower, a pub founded by Edwin Hand, born in London in 1822 and the son of an east end barrow boy. "Barrow boys" commonly sold fruit and vegetables from a wheelbarrow. In this century, barrow boys have given way to mega retailers such as Tesco, which is employing a wide range of IoT technologies that include:

  • Electronic shelf label systems, which display current prices to customers and can be updated automatically via connection to a wireless network
  • Handheld ‘Scan as You Shop’ devices that let shoppers scan their items as they walk through the store
  • An RFID-scanning ‘Broccoli Cam’ that monitors the produce section and send a notice to store employees if a tray is empty
  • Robots that patrol the store checking on inventory

The Scarsdale Tavern was a regular star of the small screen during the ‘70s, appearing in many episodes of the British television series "The Professionals" as the watering hole of choice for Bodie and Doyle, top agents for Britain's (fictional) CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5). In the spot where they would have downed their Guinness and jumped into a Rolls Royce, their newer counterparts might be drinking from a smart glass, which transmits information about individual drinkers to pub and restaurant managers. It can also call you a cab after you've had one too many.

As you make your way to The Hansom Club pub, consider its namesake, the Hansom Cab, which was the early 19th century precursor to our cabs and taxis. "Cab" is short for ‘cabriolet’ meaning a light two-wheeled carriage pulled by a single horse. This design made them faster and cheaper than more bulky carriages, agile enough to steer their way around horse-drawn delivery vehicles in the notorious traffic jams of nineteenth-century London. Today, not only is The Hansom Club pub refurbished and modern, London black cabs themselves have been equipped with beacon technology that enables marketers to reach the passengers with targeted messages delivered straight to their smartphones.

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As a newcomer to the neighborhood, with a mere 17 years under its belt, The Abingdon Restaurant and Wine Bar might find it easier to adopt many of the new technologies that will transform their business. Options to future proof pubs and restaurants range from:

  • Cashless ordering
  • Self-serve walls of craft beers on tap
  • Interactive tables
  • Robot bartenders
  • Social media messages sent to your friends, letting them know you've just been served a pint and inviting them to join you

The Britannia pub traces its origin to 1834, when the original Britannia Brewery was on one side with 'The Brewery Tap' on the other side. Their long history in providing freshly brewed beer might encourage them to embrace the latest brewpub technologies, such as:

  • Automated systems for beer brewing using Wi-Fi, temperature control and fermentation technology
  • Keg monitoring systems using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to track date and delivery information, with sensors that monitor the rate at which the beer is consumed


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Of course, there’s a lot more to the Smart Summit London show than the smart pub crawl. With the theme “The Impact of IoT on Homes, Cities and Industries,” the show features three leading summits in one location: Smart Cities Summit, Smart Home Summit and Industrial Internet Summit. All three will take place simultaneously on September 21-22, 2016, in Olympia, London.

Ayla Networks will be there, too—showcasing its IoT platform technology at the Smart Home Summit in Stand 15. Ayla Vice President of Marketing Wendy Toth will be a speaker on a panel entitled “Product or the app: which determines the user experience” on September 21 at 4pm – 4:40pm.

Manufacturers interested in discovering the best ways to design and build their connected IoT products—for smart home, smart building, smart hospitality or any other market—can find additional IoT resources on the Ayla Networks website.