It’s been said that 2015 is going to all about the Internet of Things (IoT), through which the much hyped M2M communications trend will rise to the next level. IoT isn’t all hype though, and the McKinsey Global Institute believes this technology wave could generate anywhere from $2.7 to $6.2 trillion a year globally by 2025. That’s a hefty chunk of change, and the recent IoT World Forum delved deep into what’s on the agenda for IoT this year.
E&T Magazine wrote about the event and based on the enthusiasm on display, IoT is set to transform everything from manufacturing to energy to transportation to technology in our homes. Of course, all of this will be fueled by granular communications among a variety of devices and platforms, and companies like Microsoft, O2 and Cisco were key players at the event, expressing their enthusiasm for all things IoT.
According to these companies, more than two billion devices are slated to be connected to the Internet by 2020, which will pave the way for exciting new business models previously unheard of.
"Some businesses have been uneasy about the IoT as there has not been a very clear definition of it up until now, but it's at an inflection point - the cost of both devices and connectivity is down, the reality and value of how and what it can deliver is clearer, and all of these things combined are acting as a real enabler for business in many sectors," said Steve Dunbar, IoT commercial director at Microsoft. He added that Microsoft has been looking at how IoT can be used to drive business transformation as well as how new data streams can add value and insight. "We're advising our customers to start small and just connect a couple of devices to figure out exactly what they need and how best to deliver it, then grow it all from there."
"At O2 we've been working on M2M communications for 15 years and the difference that the IoT is making is that instead of one machine talking to another machine then the web, we now have lots of different devices talking to one machine then the web," said Vinnett Taylor, head of M2M and IoT specialists for O2 in the U.K.
The result of all these devices communicating with each another has been the generation of massive amounts of data. But being able to parse and analyze that data efficiently and economically to glean insight and intelligence can be a daunting task. Parstream specializes in this area, and the company offers a data analytics platform designed to manage monstrous amounts of data.
Siemens has been using the Parstream solution, which includes geo-distributed analytics, for the past year and a half to analyze and manage data generated by its 5,000 sensors installed in a gas turbine. The sensors generate 100 readings per second, which translates into quite a mountain of data.
"What every business needs to realize is that any IoT project is going to be a continual work in progress as the technology advances, the data available or needed changes, and new and old systems have to find ways of working together," said Tim Taberner, global product manager for advanced IoT gateways at BB.
Edited by Maurice Nagle