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Vote for YOUR Favorite IoT Innovation Challenge Entry and Help Support Next Generation Technologists Building a Better Planet

2019-06-11  |  6 min read 

Wow, just WOW! I am energized by the nearly 200 entries into the Keysight IoT Innovation Challenge. The entries – proposals by university students worldwide for how to use connected device technologies in smart-land and -water applications – delivered a wide breadth of solutions for positive environmental and social impact. As a technology careerist and a corporate social responsibility evangelist, I am simply awe-inspired by what these next generation technologists have put forth to help build a better planet. The entries represent a true intersection of technology and sustainability, at a time when it is so desperately needed.

Now is the time

Already, more than 90% of people worldwide live in areas exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for healthy air1, and more than 2 billion live in countries experiencing high water stress2. In addition, by 2050, it is expected that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities3, which will further exacerbate urban health conditions.

At the same time, advancements in technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) provide the ability to connect devices, sensors, and data analytics wirelessly in ways never before possible. While some may see such advancements as part of the problem, they can also be part of the solution! The World Economic Forum IoT for Sustainable Development Project, for example, is investigating viable IoT approaches to support positive environmental and social impact. For its part, Keysight created the IoT Innovation Challenge to not only engage great minds in next generation STEM fields, but to provide them a platform for innovative ideas that can help build a better planet for us all. And as I said before, the teams really delivered!  

Breadth in solutions, impact and technology

First and foremost, I am impressed with the breadth of problems the teams looked to solve. Many entries focus on air and water quality but range in application from indoor and outdoor environments and testing, monitoring and/or reporting. In some cases, teams took air and water pollution into the future with predictability concepts, and even water storage approaches for future resource use. But other topics were tackled as well, using IoT to address solutions for:

  • Waste sorting in support of better reuse and recycling
  • Health and human services improvements in areas such as noise pollution, flood level water detection, disease detection, wildfire prevention and even post-disaster support
  • Battery charging using sustainable methods, such as drainage water, to help minimize overall energy impact
  • Improved city energy, water and transportation management through Wi-Fi enabled connected devices

These solutions were offered with various levels of impact as well:

  • At the individual level by utilizing watches and other wearables for air quality monitoring, for example
  • Households were addressed through smart home applications, personal garden watering and even faucet-level water management
  • Community impacts were considered, including air and sound pollution at sporting events, water testing of local riverways, and community garden structures for increased local food production
  • Much broader impacts were viable through concepts in rural area water management and agricultural approaches for large-scale farming

Even the technical approaches were varied. Sensors, lasers, artificial intelligence and blockchain approaches, for example, were considered across the different solutions.

And did I mention the entries were submitted from around the world? In fact, entries came in from more than 20 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Vote for YOUR favorite

While I was amazed by the submittals, don’t just take my word for it, go check them out for yourself! In fact, register to vote for your favorite entry and cast your ballot (by June 21) for the solution that most resonates with you. I’m glad I am not a judge, as the winning selection will be difficult. But I feel super privileged to review and see all the amazing entries.

Now go vote!


  1. State of Global Air/2019
  2. United Nations World Water Development Report 2019
  3. Two-thirds of global population will live in cities by 2050, UN says