Home Events How Can Policymakers Help Build the Internet of Things?

How Can Policymakers Help Build the Internet of Things?

by Daniel Castro

Special guests Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Washington) to provide remarks.

The Internet of Things represents the idea that ordinary objects—from thermostats and shoes to cars and lamp posts—will be embedded with sensors and connected to the Internet. Many of these changes will be subtle and go unnoticed by consumers, but the long-term effect could ultimately have an enormously positive impact on individuals and society. For example, efforts to reduce unnecessary energy usage will be accelerated by devices that automatically regulate energy usage in the home and office, while health care costs and outcomes can be improved with wearable medical technologies that help individuals track their health and monitor chronic conditions. Over the long term, the Internet of Things offers solutions to major social problems from improving transportation to reducing pollution, but achieving this vision of a fully-connected world will not happen without the cooperation of policymakers.

Join the Center for Data Innovation for an afternoon of conversation about the future of smart devices, smart communities, and the smart policies that will enable the Internet of Things.

Date and Time:

  • Thursday, December 4, 2014 from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT


  • The Knight Studio at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

Panel 1: Smart Homes and Smart Devices
From reducing home energy bills to keeping families safe, the Internet of Things is poised to improve the life of consumers. Automated home systems can monitor and control energy use to cut down on bills, alert the police or fire department during an emergency when nobody is home, and help make consumers more comfortable. Wearable technologies, ranging from smart watches to smart onesies, can help track calories, monitor sleep habits, and even treat medical conditions. This panel will explore the opportunities for consumers to benefit from the Internet of Things, and how policymakers can enable these changes.

Panelists: Neil Chilson (Attorney-Advisor to Commissioner Ohlhausen, FTC), Chris Irwin (Smart Grid Standards & Interoperability Coordinator, DOE), Vineet Shahani (Head of Commercial & Product Legal, Nest Labs), Ohad Zeira (Director of Global Product Management, Belkin)

Panel 2: Smart Cities and Smart Infrastructure
From smart trash cans to smart street lamps, integrating city infrastructure and public services into the Internet of Things has the potential address problems such as crime, traffic, and pollution. Smart roads can help reduce congestion, sensor-equipped bridges can help improve public safety, and smart buildings can help reduce the city’s environmental impact. This panel will explore the future of smart cities, how they will benefit citizens, and what opportunities exist to leverage smart infrastructure to build more resilient communities.

Panelists: Hilary Cain, (Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, Toyota), Dan Hoffman (Chief Innovation Officer, Montgomery County, Maryland), Alan Roth (Senior Executive Vice President, US Telecom), Tonnetta Oubari (Business Development and Strategy Manager, Verizon)

Panel 3: Smart Industry
From sensor-laden assembly lines to networked fleets, many businesses are beginning to invest in the Internet of Things to become more efficient, deliver better products and services, and increase sustainability. Smart factories allow for quantification and real-time monitoring of every step of the manufacturing process; networked supply chains can make international shipping and trade easier and more accountable, and ensure transparency in the sourcing of materials; and wearables can help businesses improve the health and safety of their workforce. This panel will explore how the Internet of Things will help unleash a new wave of industrial innovation and build new economic opportunities.

Panelists: Kate Jackson (Knowledge Expert, McKinsey Center for Government), Alexa Marrero (Deputy Staff Director, House Energy & Commerce Committee), Eric Miller (Vice President, Policy, Innovation, and Competitiveness, Canadian Council of Chief Executives), Sokwoo Rhee (Associate Director, Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems, NIST)

Agenda and Materials:


  • Many thanks to Intel, Toyota, Verizon, and U.S. Telecom for their support of this conference.

Webcast and Social Media:

  • This event will be recorded and live streamed. Return to this page on the day of the event to watch.
  • Follow the discussion on Twitter #datainnovation

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