When TTN UK announced that there was going to be an official The Things Network conference in the UK, we jumped at the chance to attend.

We've been partners of The Things Network for a while now, and so to meetup and talk about the world's largest community-driven IoT network with all those with whom we've been talking via social media, phone, and email was something we'd been looking forward to.

The Keynote

Wienke Giezeman, co-founder of The Things Network, started the conference by discussing just how far the community had come since he and the others involved launched The Things Network in Amsterdam back in 2016.

The Things network now consists of over 4,500 gateways, 45,000 users, and handles 6m messages a day across 700 towns and cities in over 60 countries - not bad for a network that has predominantly been setup and run by volunteers!

One of the areas Wienke discussed was the new "Version 3" of The Things Network. As TTN Partners we're especially interested in this as it will dramatically improve the services we can offer to our customers, allowing you to switch between public and private versions of The Things Network depending on your data security/availability requirements.

The UK View

Alex Gluhak from Digital Catapult gave a great talk about the work they've undertaken over the past few years, with the case-study on managing NHS infrastructure standing out for us as a great use of retrofitting IoT to monitor existing buildings (something that Julian from Open Data Manchester spoke about in more detail later on in the conference!).

Alex also talked about the reasons behind Things Connected's decision to partner with The Things Network, resulting in a UK-Wide IoT network based on LoRaWAN.

Things Connected are now also running their own endpoint for The Things Network gateways to connect to here in the UK.

There was plenty more to learn over the two days, including monitoring people and bats in the Olympic Park, London, and Mark Stanley asking the question "How do you monitor the levels of a slurry pit on a farm?".

We'll post all of that up here in part 2!