Innovation and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) Opportunities
The value of IoT
The internet of things (IoT) has been gaining momentum over the last five years. The term is used to describe the ability of any everyday thing (e.g. a TV or a fridge) to be connected to the internet, for the simple purpose of sharing and/or receiving information. Extending this, the Industrial IoT (IIoT) predominately focuses on the Industrial applications of this technology, which will have a major impact on all Industries in the future.
RedFig delegates recently attended the IIoT 2017 Summit in Sydney, which was interesting and sparked much conversation and ideas around innovating with this technology.
There are high expectations for the technology, in that its application can lead to better understanding and control of environments, scenarios, and other human/world conditions.
The true value in this technology, is the ability for devices to collaborate and interact in meaningful ways.
Take the example of an IoT fit-bit like device attached to a human, working in tandem with an IoT device inside a car, as a connected system, they can detect if the person is fatigued while driving. The system could also have the ability to check the car’s speed and alert that person – or someone else – or even let someone else know if the person has had an accident.
Current and Future uses for IIoT
Current uses for IIoT predominately focus on gathering and analysing ‘big data’ to help predict possible negative scenarios and alert/automate some action. With enough warning, the negative scenarios can be prevented.
An example was given by GE around solving the problem of trains derailing in the USA. The system they developed provided real-time monitoring of the trains and the environment, then used the analysis of the tracks and other factors like weather conditions, as well as various historical data.
Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithms on all this data, they started to see patterns and were able to predict, with a high probability, the possible derailment of a train in certain situations, and generate alerts to the driver in real-time to proceed with caution. The system helped save a tremendous amount of money (> $200M) as well as possible lives lost. Other examples included Woodside Gas manufacturing operational process enhancements, Flight path analysis and correction in Queenstown.
Connecting the IoT with systems that have AI and Big Data Science enabled, is key to improving the current uses of the technology and will likely play a large part of the future of IIoT. Industry stands to reap very large process enhancement rewards if they take on this technology.
IIoT and the new Industrial Revolution
It is clear that we are in the middle of an Industrial Revolution, IoT (alongside other awesome technology like AI, VR, Robots etc) is ripe to be used for improving processes, creating new products and enhancing our lifestyle.
In the same way that prior Industrial Revolutions created massive change in world (in terms of changed processes, termination and creation of jobs, development of new and un-thought of products and services) it is inevitable that this one will too.
Some innovative leaders have seen this coming and have opted to embrace and actively guide the changes, instead of being disrupted or dissolved by them, and they have created an IIoT Consortium.
Australia and IIoT
There is a lot of interest in the IoT technology, however, in Australia at least, the conference showed that there seems to be a bit of lag here when compared to the rest of the developed world.
There is a strong sense that while we should be doing something, we don’t know what to do, or that if we start some investment in IoT, that we may be backing the wrong horse.
There are still little or no global benchmarks, communication standards or security standards and the equipment is still costly.
As the cost decreases and standards appear, however, trust will be earned. The IoT technology will see more interest from the Industry.
Australia needs to ensure that we are at the forefront in supporting this technology as a nation, and I am glad to say that the IIoT summit showed that there are many opportunities for Innovation through collaboration and partnerships.
About the Author
Breisi has over 16 years experience in the strategic design, evaluation & improvement of online systems across industries like Health, Education, Government, Telecoms, FMCGs. She has influenced leaders of these areas to tackle and solve problems they’ve faced innovatively and inclusively, delivering amazing results. Using Design Thinking, Lean UX and Agile practices, she is passionate about creating highly performing teams that are motivated, believe in collaboration and always strive to improve user experience (UX) and achieve business goals.