The Industrial Internet and machine-to-machine intelligence have been trending in the news and among thought leaders this month, both highlighting its potential to grow the global economy and improve our lives.

In a new report exploring disruptive technologies, the McKinsey Global Institute identifies the Internet of Things as one of the most under-hyped technologies with great economic potential – on the scale of $2.7 trillion– $6.2 trillion of estimated economic impact in 2025. More from the report’s executive summary:

MckinseyThe Internet of Things—embedding sensors and actuators in machines and other physical objects to bring them into the connected world—is spreading rapidly. From monitoring the flow of products through a factory to measuring the moisture in a field of crops to tracking the flow of water through utility pipes, the Internet of Things allows businesses and public-sector organizations to manage assets, optimize performance, and create new business models. With remote monitoring, the Internet of Things also has great potential to improve the health of patients with chronic illnesses and attack a major cause of rising health-care costs.

In a recent article, Wired’s Bill Wasik took a fascinating dive into what he terms “the programmable world.” Wasik articulates the stages required to realize this vision and cites the GE Durathon battery as factory evidence that the change is already underway:

For the Programmable World to reach its full potential, we need to pass through three stages. The first is simply the act of getting more devices onto the network—more sensors, more processors in everyday objects, more wireless hookups to extract data from the processors that already exist. The second is to make those devices rely on one another, coordinating their actions to carry out simple tasks without any human intervention. The third and final stage, once connected things become ubiquitous, is to understand them as a system to be programmed, a bona fide platform that can run software in much the same manner that a computer or smartphone can. Once we get there, that system will transform the world of everyday objects into a designable environment, a playground for coders and engineers. It will change the whole way we think about the division between the virtual and the physical.

You can read the full article here.

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