The world is abuzz with talk of wearables, and they were everywhere at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco this week. From tech-infused bracelets created by fashion brand Fossil to pictures of rhinos wearing smart tracking devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) was front and center. One of the most exciting areas showcased was the development of IoT applications for industrial machines, which Intel CEO Brian Krzanich described as “wearables for machines.”
Here’s what he meant: Industrial companies are outfitting machines with sensors to capture tons of data about performance that can be used to identify maintenance needs before they become issues, increase productivity, and lower costs. Improving asset performance management can have a real business impact, but for the machines to truly join the Internet of Things they will need to be able to talk to each other.
Industrial and technology companies are partnering to enable developers to build the tools to connect devices and gain greater insights that drive efficiency. The vision is to make the world more efficient, safer, and faster to build the Industrial Internet. General Electric, IBM, Cisco, AT&T, and Intel launched the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to define standards that will enable interoperability beyond any one manufacturer and facilitate faster growth. The consortium now has over 80 members.
Representatives from the IIC’s founding organizations took the stage at a breakout session to talk about how the Internet of Things is being extended into industry. The Industrial Internet encompasses a huge breadth of solutions ranging from the basic monitoring of a medical sensor to the complex analytics and optimization powered by thousands of sensors in an oil field. The flexibility to scale across the breadth of IoT implementations while delivering on the core requirements such as end-to-end security is key to successfully developing solutions for customers.
GE is leveraging Intel-based gateways, for example, to tap into data from multiple sources including legacy devices such as those on energy equipment that has been in the ground for more than 20 years. They are building a suite of GE Predictivity™ solutions on the Predix™ software platform to address opportunities where customers need to connect data from both GE and non-GE machines. This powers more flexible solutions that deliver greater value to customers.
“We are collaborating with Intel around how to make machines intelligent and be able to run analytics at the device, at the gateway, and in the cloud,” commented GE Software CMO John Magee. “We are delighted that Intel technology enables Predix and Predicitivity.”
As GE continues rolling out Predictivity solutions, the Industrial Internet is taking shape alongside the Internet of Things. From consumer to workplace to machine wearables and beyond, the convergence of big data and advanced analytics, connectivity, and software is re-dressing the world for new levels of success.