Industry 4.0. Is. Here.

Industry 4.0. Is. Here.

My takeaways from this year’s Bosch Connected World event in Berlin, Germany.

Toby Ruckert |

Bosch Connected World (BCW), hosted by the Bosch Group, is an annual event focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), and more recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI). In just five short years, it has become a critical global IoT event that not only reveals but increasingly defines manufacturers’ IoT priorities for the coming year.

This year’s BCW hosted more than 140 speakers on four stages presenting IoT trends and implementations for almost 4,000 conference and hackathon participants — 10x the size of its first conference in 2014 when only 400 people attended.

The key takeaways from this year’s event show where the industry is heading, how businesses will monetize IoT, and most importantly, what are the most important “next steps” for global device manufacturers like Bosch and the innovative IoT and AI companies helping them on their journeys.

From a device manufacturer’s point of view, the race is for connectivity on all powered devices. While connectivity is job one, it’s the means, not the end goal. We can now see a fully connected ecosystem of devices which enables devices to not only “talk” with their users but to also talk amongst themselves in a cross-divisional ecosystem. We’re increasingly headed to a connected ecosystem where users only have to sign in once, allowing single sign-on/authentication for all of the ecosystem’s different devices — both within and outside of the brand. We are heading towards full interoperability.

One of the event’s focus areas was mobility.

“To change mobility, we have to digitally connect it. The car’s future is on the internet.”

– Dr. Volkmar Denner, Bosch CEO

Automobile manufacturers and suppliers face increasingly complex requirements and dependencies for delivering products and services for mobility. A combination of innovative technologies, extremely low latency connectivity, autonomous driving solutions, and smooth integration with the rest of the IoT environment will be the key to their success.

Having connected devices, a single ecosystem, and their resulting ease of use will lead to more loyal, more involved, and more interactive customers. Actionable insights from these new user experiences will enable companies to more smartly invest their budgets and monetize their former “product” businesses with new services that were previously unthinkable. And each insight gives manufacturers the actionable information to further improve their users’ experience.

Connectivity allows the development of soft services on top of the infrastructure, encouraging people to spend on these services and the valuable information that can be made available. Most importantly, the connected ecosystem will revolutionize the way we process transactions. There is so much opportunity for the sale of new products and services, revenue sharing on third-party products and services that automate shopping (i.e., your refrigerator automatically ordering your favorite brand of milk at the best prices) are just the beginning.

The rush is now on to build the infrastructure. This means building the hardware (i.e., electronics and sensors) and the cloud, with open APIs which enable single sign-on. Infrastructure is the top priority, as it will lead to the ecosystem needed to support these new service-based revenues.

Bosch is forming partnerships which will help the company in its journey and is aggressively pursuing IoT to revolutionize the businesses interests in smart home, Industry 4.0, and mobility.

The biggest takeaway is the realization that the industry is changing faster than ever before, and those who fail to keep pace with this disruptive innovation will see their old business models, and their businesses, put at risk. Industry 4.0 is here, and it’s being powered by IoT and AI!



About the Author

Toby Ruckert is the CEO of Unified Inbox. The company’s UnificationEngine enables apps, devices, and appliances to simply communicate with people and things on the communications channels they already use. It solves IoT developers, makers, and manufacturers’ burning problem of easier, faster, and cheaper integration of all incoming and outgoing communications. You can follow Toby on Linkedin at and on twitter at

About the Author:

Toby Ruckert
UIB CEO and Founder Toby writes about the IoT and AI industry's biggest challenges and opportunities for enterprises, governments, and individuals.