Resources | LpR Article | Event-Reports | Technologies | Trends | Oct 31, 2017

LpS Gets a Younger Sibling to Foster a Holistic System Approach

For the most part our readers are aware of the fact that the LpS has a strong focus on the component level, but after the 6th event, the Luger Research team realized that it was time to find a way to push the more holistic system approach. After much consideration and careful planning, the Trends in Lighting (TiL) Forum and Show was initiated and took place in conjunction with the LpS 2017. Arno Grabher-Meyer, Editor-in-Chief at LED professional took a close look at both exhibitions and the lectures to find out what the audience thought of the extension and broader outlook.

With about 90 LpS exhibitors and an additional 30 TiL exhibitors, the 2017 event was a great success and has certainly evolved into central Europe’s meeting point for lighting engineers, architects and lighting designers alike. Because of the new approach, which included several new highlights, changes had to be made in the structure processes to allow for a smooth running schedule. This year, in addition to the LpS Scientific Award, two new awards were introduced: The LpS Technology Award and the Trends in Lighting System Award. While the technology award honors the most innovative and market-influencing component, the system award pays tribute to the most innovative, versatile and trendsetting product on a system level. The second day of the events hosted the awards ceremony as well as a panel discussion and the Get Together event in the evening. Different interest groups sharing their views at the Expo Reception on the first day triggered discussions throughout the event.

A broad range of topics was covered again this year in more than 100 lectures and six workshops. While the industry workshops were held in one block at the beginning of the event, the lectures were split into four parallel tracks. One of these tracks, the TiL Forum, covered topics dedicated to themes at the TiL show. Many technicians, who traditionally attend the LpS were enthusiastic about the opportunity to listen to a variety of renowned speakers at the TiL Forum, that they wouldn’t ordinarily get a chance to hear. Because of the extended lecture program, topics ranged from highly scientific talks which included the six Scientific Award nominees and lectures shedding light on complex technologies to strongly application related lectures that gave practical advice and covered artistic-philosophical views, health and perception aspects and future perspectives.

One Established Award and Two New Awards – High Quality Submissions Make Evaluations Difficult

The LpS Scientific Award has established itself over the years and the large number of excellent submissions attest to how coveted it is. In 2017 the LpS Technology Award and the TiL System Award were added because the Luger Research team felt it was time to honor innovative technologies and systems as well. Because of the newness of the awards, the judges weren’t expecting the amazing amount of companies that submitted products and systems with an exceptionally high standard of excellence. Just shortlisting the entries took an enormous amount of time – not to mention trying to pick the winners out of so many outstanding submissions.

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.09.51.pngThe established LED professional Scientific Award is now accompanied by the LED professional Symposium +Expo Technology Award and the Trends in Lighting System Award

The Scientific Award papers were evaluated on the basis of their novelty, scientific work, usability and applicability. The shortlisted papers were all of such a high level that the deciding factor was the novelty of the paper. In the end it was Dr. Ekaterina Nannen, from the Nano-Energie-Technik-Zentrum (NETZ) at the University of Duisburg- Essen’s paper, “Hybrid Quantum Dot – Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells” that had the best score. The paper is concerned with alternative techniques for light generation, combining Light Emitting Electrochemical Cells (LEC) with quantum dots.

Dr. Nannen starts with an introduction to state-of-the-art LECs and then goes on to explain the modification using quantum dots and its effect. The paper discusses the experimental setup and results. The jury’s verdict was, “The work has a notable degree of novelty. Although quantum efficiency is quite low in the current state of fundamental research the paper could have an important impact on further research and development.” The full paper can be read on page 40 of this issue.

The winner of the LpS Technology Award was also a very close competition. The winner was determined based on the three parameters: technical excellence, usability, and potential market impact. Usability was finally the key to success for ams AG with their AS7221 Tunable White IoT Smart Lighting Manager; a controls IC that exhibits various functions in a small footprint - making it highly innovative. The board’s reason for choosing this particular technology was, “The combination of a tri-stimulus sensor with a UART bridge to the IoT infrastructure for building smart lighting systems is an especially unique feature. In combination with its reasonable cost, this IC can have considerable impact on the market; fostering the development of cost effective smart lighting systems.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.11.46.pngThe AS7225 is a close relative to the award winning AS7221

Choosing a winner for the LpS Scientific Award and the LpS technology award were difficult, but the TiL System Awards winner was probably the most difficult of all. The proposed solutions and applications were too diverse. While this award was initiated to honor approaches that go beyond illumination, the jury finally agreed that “volatiles” should be the recipient of the award because, “volatiles displays the combination of diverse technologies such as IT, RGB-W lighting, pixel controls and touch technology in a neat, new lighting system. Due to the novelty of its appearance, operation and control options, the system could provide new impetus to the lighting application market.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.09.59.pngFlorian Nübling demonstrates the capabilities of the volatiles

The prizes were awarded on the second day of the event before the Expert Panel Debate and the Get Together Evening in the electric atmosphere of the Great Hall in the Bregenz Festival House. In the absence of Dr. Ekaterina Nannen who unfortunately wasn’t able to attend, Ms. Julia Frohlikes received the trophy from Dr. Guenther Sejkora, Science Manager at Luger Research. Arno Grabher-Meyer, Technology Manager at Luger Research and LED professional Editor-in-Chief, had the pleasure of handing over the LpS Technology award to ams AG’s Senior Marketing Manager, Tom Griffith. Finally, Siegfried Luger, the organizer of LpS and TiL and Luger Research CEO, presented the TiL System award to the CEO of volatiles, Florian Nübling.

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.10.45.pngScreen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.12.00.pngPresentation of the awards to the winners

Eloquent Speakers - Inspiring Talks

This year’s keynote speakers clearly reflected the new vision and spirit of the event. Helmut Kinzler, Senior Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects and a highly qualified representative of the company, showed modern to avant-garde architecture and the role of light – not just artificial light – in these concepts. Jan Denneman, who represented The Global Lighting Association and Philips Lighting, presented the industry roadmap and depicted a clear view of the future of lighting. CISCO’s Business Development Manager, Akshay Thakur, covered the IoT and network topics that are becoming increasingly more important for anyone that deals with lighting. And finally, Fred Maxik, founder of the Lighting Science Group, inspired the audience with his knowledge of light quality and human centric lighting. The audience was awed by his visions of what else could be done with light in the future.

The complete LpS program once again enjoyed great popularity and was praised for the high quality of the lectures and its versatility. Three parallel tracks covered every topic on people’s minds, from enabling technologies to thermal management, from the light source to the controls, from engineering to system quality, and from system qualification to application. The first TiL program was highly commended, even by those skeptics who couldn’t imagine that the organizers, who are known for their technical expertise, could set up a valuable program for architects, planners and designers. Many hot topics were covered, from case studies to straightforward installation advice, from future outlooks for the lighting business to the challenges and chances of IoT, from emotions to IT.

LpS - latest science and technology comprehensibly presented
While all sessions were chock full of interesting topics and highly qualified speakers, there were a few favorites. Of course everyone was interested in hearing all of the nominees for the scientific award. But besides these six lectures there were some others that deserve to be mentioned.

One of the top runners in regards to attendance was Ki-Bum Nam. After an introduction to the company, Seoul Semiconductor’s CTO went through the different technologies that will drive the company’s future. Some of the slides he showed were especially remarkable because they depicted the idea that LED manufacturers are looking far beyond their original core technology, growing semiconductors. While Dr. Nam sees LED efficacy still growing, he emphasizes the great potential in respect to the ecosystem by limiting the power factor, which he identified as still being an issue in many products. Another important point for customer satisfaction is quality and reliability. CSP, namely SSC’s completely substrate-less WICOP has, in his opinion, big advantages in both fields. The simplification and reduction of the necessary elements promise higher reliability. In addition, this concept offers better homogeneity over the emission angle than packaged LEDs. A factor that accounts for the popularity of this lecture was that attendees could learn directly from the CTO about the recently introduced SunLike product series, developed jointly with Toshiba Materials based on SSC TRI-R technology. While the basic concept was already shown by Toshiba Materials at Light + Building 2016, it has been improved by using SSC’s purple/UV chip. This technology currently outperforms the other approaches in any color metrics. Furthermore, the company claims that it satisfies the often-postulated requirements for health and well being because of the better match with biological functions of the sun-like spectral distribution that should also reduce glare and increase good visibility. At the end of his lecture Dr. Nam identified four key-challenges for the future that also give an idea of SSC’s technology roadmap: Efficiency droop that could be solved by the company’s proprietary nPola technology; achieving 240 lm/W by 2020 in standard products; improving efficacy over 150 lm/W for LEDs with high color quality like the SunLike; and the miniaturization of drivers with over 24 W, very likely to extend the Nano Driver series.

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High class presenters like Dr. Ki-Bum Nam mesmerized the attendees

Dr. Ken T. Shimizu, Lumileds’ Novel Technologies and Devices, Research and Development Director held another remarkable lecture during the same session. Lumileds is researching and working on Quantum Dot LEDs intensely, hoping to kill two birds with one stone; efficiency and light quality. In their current prototypes, they relied on QDs with a reduced amount of Cd that lies far beyond all limits, but as they are committed to environmentally friendly manufacturing and products, they hope to be able to replace them step-by-step. According to Dr. Shimizu, the main advantage of the used colloidal quantum dots is their accurate color tunability in combination with their narrow bandwidth. This is especially important in the red spectrum range of white LEDs. While QDs are basically a little less efficient than conventional phosphors, the narrow bandwidth allows for tuning the white light to a very high CRI, respectively TM-30, without emitting too much light in a spectral range that does not contribute to the visible light quality, namely deep red to near infrared. This leads to a higher system efficacy than pure phosphor converted high CRI LEDs can provide. The presented results are also quite promising in regards to reliability and longevity. For more details on this topic you may want to also read Dr. Shimizu’s article in LpR 63 on page 72 or the Tech-Talks Bregenz on page 34 of this issue with Dr. Shimizu.

For all who were interested in learning what is coming next, the presentation by Pars Mukish, Senior Market and Technology Analyst at Yole Développement, was a must. His sound understanding of both market and technology makes his lectures unique. He explains why the time to make the big bucks with conventional LEDs for lighting is almost over. For LED manufacturers, the future is in application diversification or product diversification. The first is especially automotive where further growth can be expected because of the rollout of the technologies from luxury cars to the premium segment and finally to the medium segment to become the standard. However, the manufacturers must then consider producing OLEDs and lasers. Product diversification means developing UV or IR LEDs for various applications as well as micro-LEDs for display applications. These three technologies are developing especially fast with huge progress being made over the last few years.

From a technical point of view, one highlight was the contribution of Prof. Dr. Fred C. Lee from the Virginia Tech University entitled “GaN Based High Frequency Power Supply with Integrated Magnetics”. While the example was based on a true high power application, a 1 kW server power supply, the approach gives an idea of what this could mean for LED lighting. Using a high frequency design is not new and a logical step for system miniaturization, but this is usually done at the cost of efficiency. GaN power devices are one key element to compensate for this disadvantage but it is, by far, not the only measure. Intelligent product design utilizing the advantages of different technologies as presented, leads to unexpected efficiency in a tiny package. Two of these technologies are zero-voltage switching and transformer structures with shielding embedded in a multi-layer PCB. Another concern in regards to high switching frequencies, EMI, can be reduced below the critical threshold with some simple measures.

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TiL - practical hints and innovative application of the technologies
Targeting planners, architects and lighting designers, the multifaceted TiL Forum is less technical and covers the broader view on a system level. The track also proved to be of interest to sales and marketing people who could learn from technicians and understand the systems better. This counterpart to the technical LpS program was well received by the audience. The following two summaries will give you an idea of the breadth of the lectures:

Martin Woolley, Technical Program Manager at Bluetooth SIG, gave some insights into the recently adopted Bluetooth mesh networking standard and its application. He gave a short introduction to the evolution of Bluetooth and explained the main advantages of wireless systems over wired systems, in general. Then he emphasized that the Bluetooth (BT) technology is a standard that spans all layers of a full protocol stack, and BT mesh was especially designed to satisfy the demands of lighting. He explained that controllers that link sensors and lights are software components without the need for external controller units. Using examples already implemented, Mr. Woolley emphasized that lights could act as beacons and broadcast a unique ID, and therefore allow for ways of finding unexplored applications for use in large buildings. In addition, he presented the steps that need to be taken for provisioning and configuration. “Provisioning” is required to add them to the network and this is achieved by using a smartphone or tablet and an application. A Bluetooth device that has joined a mesh network becomes known as a node that will be configured more. He also explained the publish/subscribe communication model and the mandatory BT mesh security standard that cannot be reduced, consisting of encryption and authentication, separate security for network and each application, area isolation, message obfuscation, protection from replay and trashcan attacks and secure device provisioning. The easy to understand lecture gave a perfect overview of the technology and the application of BT mesh.

On the other hand, Dr. Helena Gentili, lighting designer and professor at the Politecnico di Milano, informed the technicians and industry about the work of designers, how they could contribute to society and how to develop better products. Dr. Gentili emphasized that the designers’ interpretations of the problems and related solutions given should be one of several viewpoints within a multidisciplinary team. She also pointed out that the need to create and understand new forms of innovation in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) leads to new questions and perhaps a redefinition of the designer’s role. She explained that lighting design is both an integrally functional and distinctively aesthetic discipline. Ms. Gentili also recognized new roles for lighting designers; for instance, adopting the role of a facilitator or guide rather than acting as the singular creator. This places the designer in a new mediator role, requiring new skills than were previously evident. Finally, she warned, “Lighting is an innovative tool, but if not applied with regards to the context and related to human perception it can become a threatening weapon.” She went on to say, “Lighting design has a multidisciplinary approach, which crosses the boundaries between art and science, humanities disciplines and technology.”

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The Trends in Lighting Forum turned out to be suitable addition to the LpS. The audience was incited to ask questions of the presenters

Workshops - merging LpS and TiL
The workshops were held in a condensed form on the first and last day. On day one four workshops were held in parallel. The workshops were conducted by OLEDWorks, Bartenbach, Photonics Austria & Fraunhofer, Silvair & Bluetooth SIG, Luger Research with their scientific partners, and EPIC. In “OLEDs - Bring Your Design To Light” basics as well as opportunities and examples for OLED lighting were shown, and the demonstration samples were attentively inspected. A vivid introduction from Wilfried Pohl in the topic “Visual Perception - Theory, Practical Demonstrations, Limitations” was followed by a practical part where the participants could experience the effects of often subtle differences in illumination. The hot topic “Challenges and Opportunities of LiFi” gave a good overview about the status quo of this relatively young technology. “Bluetooth Mesh and IoT/Smart Control” was set up as a panel discussion with participation of the audience, animated and brisky. The last day started with the workshop “Science Meets Application” followed by the last workshop of LpS 2017, “Miniaturization of Solid Stat Lighting Systems” in which all technologies from optics to electronics including manufacturing were covered from the current state to the future prospects.

A special highlight was the “Science Meets Application” workshop. The idea behind it was to bring scientists from universities or other research institutions together, talk about problems or possibilities and therefore to facilitate knowledge transfer from generator to applicant. Luger Research invited its scientific partners to join this workshop: Paul Hartmann from Joanneum Research (Austria), Mehmet Arik from Evateg (Turkey), Nicola Trivellin from University of Padova (Italy), Paola Belloni from Steinbeis Transferzentrum Furtwangen (Germany), Rolando Ferrini from CSEM (Switzerland) and Walter Werner, member of the LpS advisory board (Austria). After introducing themselves and their research areas the scientific experts formed work groups for four technology areas (LED and OLED; driver, thermal management and reliability; optics and light quality; smart lighting and IoT). Everybody from the audience could join one of the groups to get into closer discussion with the experts. Some of the participants started in the discussion with general questions regarding the technologies but some of them also brought their special problem and made use to get specific answers from the scientists. After 60 minutes of intense conversation the workshop ended but some of the discussions will go on even after the end of the conference.

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The LpS workshops were informative, inspiring and hands-on. Many of the discussions started in the workshops continued during the breaks

Sophisticated Components and Fascinating Systems

With the addition of TiL to the LpS exhibition, it became immediately clear how technologies and applications are influencing each other and how they are melting together. There are products and companies that fit equally well in either show concept. This was also apparent with the submissions for the two new awards as well as with the decision of the companies of where to exhibit. From the 24 applications for the two awards, 16 were classified for the LpS Technology Award and 7 qualified for the TiL Systems Award. Although the author would love to do it, it would be impossible to mention every product shown at the events. Therefore, the following two sections have been written to give the reader an impression of the multitude of products that were on display.

LpS - showcasing the key components and materials an engineer needs for his project
Not only were visitors able to renew their acquaintances with well-known manufacturers, service providers and distributors – many of whom are loyal LpS exhibitors, but they also had the chance to get to know new faces. Anything and everything necessary to build a complete luminaire or lighting system could be found at the show. It didn’t matter if you were looking for optics made from polycarbonate, silicone or glass, a standard driver or customized drivers; nothing was missing. Test equipment providers or test services could also be readily found.

About 20% of the exhibitors on the LpS floor applied and qualified for the LpS Technology Award. To qualify you had to be a manufacturer (not a distributor) and you had to have your own booth. Of those sixteen that qualified, four were related to controllers, another four to light sources, three to drivers, two to measurement systems and one each to thermal management and manufacturing equipment and software. One of the contestants, HSI Elektronik, exhibited as a “Start-Up Innovator”. This is a special exhibition category introduced by Luger Research to support young and innovative companies. The shortlisted companies were GL Optic Lichtmesstechnik GmbH, Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. and ams AG (the winner). While all the exhibitors displayed really noteworthy products, because of space constraints and the fact that the winning product was described above, the author will outline the products from just a few of the qualified exhibitors.

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.27.43.pngFrom manufacturing tools for customized flexible LED modules to cutable LED strips, drivers, optics or thermal management, no relevant component was missing

HSI Elektronik’s application concerns Visible Light Communication (VLC) with low data rates to support lighting controls tasks. The technology allows for swarm intelligence solutions and can be applied to different products. One example is floor lamps. The lamps can be placed arbitrarily around a room and the underlying logic controls the brightness dependent on the manually set brightness of the other lamps in the room. The crux of the matter is the use of the common problem of losing data when the receiver is far away from the transmitter. The failure is interpreted as information about how far away the transmitter is. So the weak point is used as the "heart" of this solution.

Nordic Power Converters, who exhibited as a Start-Up Innovator in 2016, came to the show again this year to present the 60 W amendments to 20 W LED drivers they introduced last year. The company’s specialty is the extremely small size in relation to the driver size. This is achieved by zero-voltage switching at ultra-high frequencies. The applied technology still allows very high efficiency over the whole dimming range, which also characterizes the new 60 W driver: 2%-points at 50% and 3%-points at 25% dimming. The driver has a wide output range of 50-1,620 mA allowing it to serve multiple luminaire specifications. The built-in surge protection is 10 kV / 5 kA for differential mode and 8 kV / 4 kA for common mode surge protection. The driver is designed for a lifetime beyond 120,000 hours.

Plessey Semiconductors exhibited, amongst other products, their latest product based on the “Stellar” technology, described in LpR 58 on page 60. The Orion LED modules offer 3000 lm at a thickness of just 5.6 mm. Integrating GaN-on-Si LEDs and optics into a tiny module lead to a narrow beam angle of 25° without secondary optics. This can be achieved without any multi-shadow effect at more than 1-meter distance. Excellent thermal performance and high efficiency allows the use of small heatsinks in the application. Hence the luminaire can be designed much smaller than possible with conventional technology.

GL Optic is one of the most innovative light measurement equipment providers. The company introduced the photobiology safety measurement system GL PSM System 200– 800 nm. Photobiology safety measurement is a very time consuming task and something that only a handful of specially equipped laboratories in Europe have been able to provide up until now. This new system makes testing affordable for most luminaire manufacturers. Besides the wide measurement spectrum, the biggest revolution for the user is the intelligent software, which guides the operator through the measurement process step by step, leading to accurate results being gathered in customized reports. Another key element is the specially designed Irradiance Probe and Radiance Telescope that recreates the properties of the human eye according to the EN 62471:2008 (photobiological safety of lamps and lamp systems) and EN 14255 (Measurement and assessment of personal exposures to incoherent optical radiation) standards.

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Technologies allowing for ultra compact designs, outstanding light quality and photobiology safety measurement were shown

TiL - smart designs and smart controls are shaping the future
With the introduction of TiL, the event was able to offer an area especially dedicated to luminaires, lamps and system manufacturers. With the TiL System award, the most innovative approach was honored. Seven applications were eligible, which is equivalent to 25% of exhibitors. The qualified systems were: one smart retrofit lamp, one configuration software, one smart luminaire, one smart system and one smart controls solution, and two smart modules. The smart retrofit lamp was exhibited by the Start-Up Innovator Blume Labs Ltd. Besides the award winner, volatiles lighting GmbH, LEDON GmbH and Luke Roberts, a 2016 Start-Up Innovator, made it to the shortlist. Similar to the nominated LpS Technology Award products, these three applications were quite different from one another. LEDON GmbH entered innovative configuration software for solar streetlights; Luke Roberts submitted a smart luminaire for human centric lighting; and volatiles’ decorative applied with their smart lighting system.

The Start-Up Innovator Blume Labs showed a futuristic smart replacement lamp. This was a case of design following function. Designed for over 100,000 hours (L80) lifetime due to the unique thermal management, with LED's separated thermally from the driver, the lamps offer a 360-degree light distribution using a patent pending optical design. The design can easily be upgraded with new LEDs or LED Drivers without the need for a soldering iron because they can be dis-assembled with a simple screw. Easy linear or step switch-dimming with Ledotron is provided, and a wall-plug efficacy between 135-150 lumens/watt, depending on the CCT, is achieved.

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All types of smart solutions were on display at the TiL show. A cleverly designed replacement lamp and a complete smart lighting system in one lamp are just two examples

In addition to their modular LEDIVA solar street light, LEDON developed the unique LEDON Solar Lighting Configurator, an online tool specifically developed to calculate light levels based on the location of the self-sufficient, solar lights to help customers to obtain a perfectly configured, individual lighting solution. In just a few steps, based on the following parameters, the perfect illumination level is calculated and displayed: location of the luminaire; alignment of the luminaire; object to be illuminated; characteristics of the individual project; behavior of the luminaire and needed light output. This Google-based tool allows you to easily configure the luminaire perfectly before delivery.

The first prototype of the Luke Roberts Smart Lamp was displayed at the LpS 2016. This luminaire is a type of complete HCL fully color tunable lighting system. It is the first luminaire where the light can be directed in any direction by simply painting gestures on a phone. For example, the table can be illuminated for dining and the couch on the other side of the room for reading a book. This pendant lamp supports any setting with direct and indirect light. It also learns from user behavior and automatically supplies perfect lighting whenever it is turned on. After one year of detail development and software updating, the start of mass production is just around the corner.

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Smart mechanical solutions that allow easy installation and smart IoT capable solutions that offer easy commissioning and configuring were also part of the show

The Supporting Program - Exchange of Ideas, Discussions and Culture

As in other years, activities to encourage communication in an informal atmosphere were also provided. On Day One straight after the keynote speeches and the official show opening, drinks and snacks were served at the Networking Reception in the expo area. During the informal reception many discussions were started and new contacts made. It was the perfect end to a long day.

On Day Two, after the Award ceremony and an interesting Expert Panel Debate, the organizer and Dow Corning invited all visitors, attendees, speakers and exhibitors to a Get Together Evening that was held in the Festival House for the first time. After 5 years of boat cruises, the capacity of the boat was exceeded, and opening the Get Together Evening for the whole audience of TiL and LpS alike would not have been possible. Instead, the rotating central part of the stage where the bar was located, led to some random contacts and inspiring discussions. The evening officially ended with an introduction to the opera, Carmen, by Elisabeth Sobotka, the festival director, outside by the floating stage. She told us the story behind the opera, the history of the Festival House and the stage. The spectacular set, props and scenery, and the technology needed to make the “Game on the Lake” possible was explained. Many of the audience were inspired to make a trip to Bregenz next year to watch the unique and breathtaking classic opera performance in impressive costumes, presented on the world’s largest floating stage.

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Networking to a background of live music, an introduction to the opera “Carmen” and the incredible technology that enables the amazing festival on the lake were all included in the Get Together Evening

A Brilliant Highlight to End the Event

One of the hottest topics concerning IoT was at the culmination of the 2017 event. It was carried out in the exhibition hall so that every visitor or attendee could watch. Ken Munro, founder of PenTest Partners, was invited to demonstrate what can go wrong when designing, installing or using IoT suitable products. Ken Munro is an ethical hacker, and he loves to hack any technical product he can get his hands on. Unfortunately, he succeeds all too often. It is important to note that hacking, per se, is not a bad thing. One can do it with one’s own products to change or improve functionality, and that’s nice. One can do it to learn about a product with which one is working – great. But unfortunately, one can also do it to do serious harm to others and that’s terrible! Ethical hackers are the good guys. Like the second group they just want to understand a product in respect to their connectivity. But they go beyond that: They hack things to find design flaws in products and to give feedback to the manufacturers. If manufacturers don’t improve these products, they might also inform the public directly. In a way, it seems like a fun job and Ken presents it in an entertaining way. But even though his performance is funny, some of the security leaks that he showed can wipe the smile off your face in a flash: There can be numerous harrowing deficiencies found where one would not expect them. Some demonstrated mistakes might look condonable, but one needs to be aware that all of them can be critical. From hardware to firmware and apps, there are numerous possibilities to make a product insecure and very often trivialities are crucial in making a product safe or vulnerable. Often it is simply the user or installer. It is hard to believe the things Ken brings to our attention in just a one-hour demonstration.

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In a performance-like presentation, with infectious enthusiasm, Ken Munro informed the audience about security threats of poorly designed IoT products

Although all of the above will be very hard to top, the Luger Research team is already excited about what they believe will be an even better event in 2018. See you there!

(c) Luger Research e.U. - 2017