IoT Analytics, a leading provider of market insights & competitive intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, and Industry 4.0, today published a comprehensive Market Report, focusing on sizing the quickly developing market for Connected Streetlights during the period 2018 to 2023. It is estimated that there will be 41 million IoT connected Streetlights installed globally by 2023. The overall streetlights market will surpass US$3.6B in 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 21% from 2018. Deployment of connected streetlights is gaining traction globally as the technology is one of the key pillars for Smart City initiatives. The growth is fueled by government policies and increasing awareness on the benefits of connected Streetlights which go beyond energy savings.
GE recently launched a new book, Industrial Internet of Things for Developers, that explains much of what needs to be understood by those interested in and tasked with developing applications for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Foremost among these is that if you are going to create applications for the IIoT, the development process must change.
Forbes technology contributor Dan Woods provided a review of the book, highlighting how it helps orient developers to the unique elements of IIoT by focusing on four areas:
- Systems at the edge. Developers must understand the different characteristics of edge systems, which may be anywhere: on high-speed rail, under the ocean, in a factory, down a mine shaft, and more. The book shows the differences between OT and IT applications, highlighting how much more static the OT world is. With OT, the top priority is always to keep operations going, rather than embracing rapid change. Developers will have to understand fully how these edge systems function before being able to build effective apps.
- Changes to platform development. The book also suggests that platform development must change. In the traditional world of development, full stack developers build applications from the ground up. But there is a new stack on the edge and if you’re going to build applications on the edge that connect centrally, you need a platform that can communicate from the edge to the cloud. That platform must have a distributed architecture, with end-to-end security and be able to handle the unique types of data edge devices generate. Data must be able to flow from the edge to the platform, where it can be transformed and analyzed. But control of the entire process must be able to flow down from the enterprise level, through the platform, to the edge. Security is important, because edge devices are especially vulnerable.
- Digital twins. To create applications that provide an ability to understand what’s happening with advanced equipment, companies will need to create digital twins. These are electronic doppelgangers of physical equipment that use sensor-generated data from that equipment to create digital replicas. With digital twins, you can monitor the physical world digitally. And you can do so on whole fleets of equipment. In the past, an operator would put his hand on pump and see if its vibrations indicated it was working improperly. With digital twins, you can put a digital hand on every pump at all times to see how everything is operating, and see the relationships between all your equipment and devices. The result is a much improved ability to assess the functioning of your equipment, as well as the ability to optimize your systems, and detect problems proactively, rather than reactively. IIoT applications must be able to incorporate digital twin data.
- New IIoT development teams. The book also highlights the need for companies to create different teams to build IIoT applications than they have had for applications in the past. Instead of creating applications with just an app developer and a business analyst, you need people who are the experts in the edge environment and the many standards and protocols there, full stack developers, domain experts who understand the physics of the equipment and can help create digital twins, and data scientists who can analyze the data generated by it. This brings in a wider range of skill sets. Assembling such a team is only the first step—you have to package their accumulated knowledge into components that can be used over and over again across the business. In addition to using traditional development techniques, these teams will have to be able to knit together applications with low code environments, as not every person involved in application development will have extensive coding skills. Finally, the development process—particularly as it relates to voluminous edge data—will also become more automated and assisted by machine learning.
Back in 2001, I published a white paper under the banner of the SaaS solutions company I cofounded. The white paper, titled Ten Things, addressed ten emerging dynamics that I saw as having significant promise in changing the way people would live and businesses would operate in the not so distant future. One of the “Ten” was my take on the emergence of M2M and IoT. I thought it would be interesting to share here for posterity’s sake.
Somewhere somebody has just purchased the last Caffeine-free Diet Coke from a Coke machine standing next to a building in downtown Chicago. It immediately sends a signal over the Internet to the regional bottling facility and the local distributor informing them of the outage, while also conveying the inventory levels of the other soft drinks in the machine. Simultaneously, it electroni- cally canvases its peer network of other Coke machines in its general geography and shows the availability on an interactive screen on its face to direct the next consumer to the closest machine with inventory.
Transparent machine-to-machine commerce activities such as this will soon become commonplace as the machines that make our lives easier continue to get smarter and more connected. As new technologies make the wires in existing electrical networks capable of transmitting voice and data, the traditional machines and appliances in our homes, workplaces and retail environments will increasingly communicate within private networks. And the more sophisticated machine-to-machine commerce becomes, the more intelligent the systems of business rules that underlie the decision- making will have to be. Refrigerators may not only reorder automatically to restock food and bever- age inventories in the kitchen, but also price compare using the desired market basket among multiple grocery suppliers. The residential home is both a power and compute grid with enormous potential to leverage and share those resources on a neighborhood or global basis. One hundred intelligent homes could potentially be networked together to share power usage information and make peer group decisions on how much power is needed, when it is needed, and how much excess could be sold spot market-style on the open market.
The potential of machine-to-machine commerce is virtually unlimited. The primary constraints are bandwidth, sophisticated software applications, and our own imaginations. Recent history demon- strates that where there is significant upside opportunity, entrepreneurs race in to create the solu- tions. As with all great ideas, the reality of machine-to-machine commerce is only a matter of time.
The world of autonomous driving brings mobility to people who lack easy or practical access to driving, such as the elderly and disabled. It also appeals to the lifestyles and virtues embraced by millennials, such as health, entertainment, and mindfulness. As they technology matures towards the later stages of innovation, A.T. Kearney expects the following benefits to be especially powerful:
Continue reading “The Benefits of Autonomous Driving”
A 2015 article in the Deloitte Review by Tom Davenport and John Lucker provided some much needed context around the quickly expanding conversations on the Internet of Things (IoT). Having written about the IoT often over the past 15 years, I have witnessed the term be applied too often to the mechanics of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications with less thought given to the broader impact of all those devices connecting and sharing information and data.
Continue reading “The True Internet Of Things”