The Internet of Things has been around for a while now, and since the beginning, industry was one of its major spheres of application. Although this has been much less obvious to a popular audience than smart home systems and medical devices, its importance is hard to challenge. This technology can (and already does) help to dramatically improve resource management of manufacturers. As industrial IoT continues to develop, the number of changes it is bringing to a wide variety of trades rises every day.
Now that the new year has begun, it is time to sum up the results and achievements of 2018. How productive was 2018 for industrial IoT (IIoT), and which products look the most promising? Let’s find out in detail.
IoT: The State and Trends of the Industry
In the beginning, industrial IoT was all about gathering data. The more info you could get on each stage of your production process, the more you would be able to improve it. However, now this state of affairs has changed. The question of “How to gain more data?” has turned into “What to do with this data?”
This is why the most popular trends in the industry include:
- Development of data analysis software and self-learning algorithms;
- Development of apps to solve focused problems;
- Business processes automation;
- Implementation of the latest technologies (blockchain, AI, AR, VR, voice and face recognition).
Another major challenge modern IIoT experts have to face is security. As with IoT in general, there are some major loopholes in IIoT, and they need to be eliminated as soon as possible – a security breach can lead to catastrophic results, including financial losses.
Now that we have mapped out the basic directions for further industrial IoT product development and noted the focal points for product developers, let us review the most notable projects released in 2018.
The Five Most Notable Industrial IoT Products from 2018
EcoStruxure is an IoT system developed by Schneider Electric. The main goal of this product is not to improve anything in the current state of IIoT but rather to help enterprises join the cause.
The introduction of IoT into an industry can prove to be immensely disruptive. Some processes may need to be completely stopped for a while to be converted into IoT-compatible ones. EcoStruxure makes the whole transition much easier.
What’s great about it is that it’s not a “one size fits all” solution. EcoStruxure employs a targeted approach around each part of the whole system. This goal is achieved using a layered structure, with sensors on the bottom level and AI, clouds, and other high-level technologies on top. All in all, it’s one of the greatest ways to make your business smart.
Salesforce is among the newest players in the IoT industry while being one of the leading e-commerce enterprises. The company made their first IIoT announcements at the Dreamforce conference earlier this year. During the conference, they introduced a number of IIoT products, some in collaboration with other companies including Google, Amazon, and T-Mobile.
A major theme of most of those products is the use of smart speakers. The Einstein Voice assistant is one of the most notable examples of Salesforce work in this direction. As the general public has already embraced smart voice-operated assistants, it’s time for enterprises to consider employing them, too.
Einstein Voice can be used to create voice-controlled bots for a range of uses. It can simply serve as another way to gather data or be utilized for customer service. The choices are limitless.
Although Microsoft Azure is not the newest product on the market, it is among the most helpful for industrial IoT development. Basically, Azure is a cloud service provider. So, what makes it so great, and why does it deserve a place in this list?
Microsoft’s goal with Azure IoT was to make IIoT connections easier. In order to make the developers’ job easier, they’re providing all the necessary tools with the service. The platform also supports various frameworks, has a number of templates to start from, and has an intuitive interface. Furthermore, Microsoft continues to support IoT: it has invested around $5 billion dollars into it in this year alone. (Read more: Top six cloud-based IoT platforms)
Behind this, long and scary name stands a simple concept. This tool was developed by Honeywell to improve the way companies train their new workers. How exactly do they try to achieve that?
The first stage is, of course, data gathering. A number of sensors are used to record each action the workers perform. The data is stored in the cloud. Later, it’s used to create a simulation of different situations that may occur during the working process. New workers then relive these simulations with the help of VR and AR headsets.
Well, how is this tool helpful? Through the use of augmented and virtual reality, people are able to learn the skills they need without the possibility of injury or equipment damage. It also saves a lot of time and effort experienced workers usually spend training new staff. Although it is not a part of IoT in the sense we’re used to, it achieves everything the industry strives for.
Experts predict that the role of industrial AR will increase dramatically in the coming months. It is one of the best ways to visualize the data you get from industrial IoT. New ideas for different specific projects are in active development. This technology, along with VR, has high potential.
Vuforia has been a pioneer of augmented reality software development for quite a while. The product is known for its achievements in mobile app development. So, what about its industrial uses?
The enterprise sphere came to the attention of Vuforia early on. Currently, the company provides an advanced market-leading platform for solution development, but a number of guides on AR development and app implementation are also available on the net. The Vuforia Engine will certainly be one of the reasons for AR to dominate IIoT, and its developers deserve credit for this.
The Industrial Internet of Things is its own branch of technology, completely separate from general IoT. Although they’ve been developing together, there are a lot of differences in both goals and desired outcomes. However, they share some of the same problems and limitations that are not easy to overcome.
While we definitely feel the impact of IoT on our daily lives, the influence of IIoT is not as noticeable. However, unlike IoT, when the time comes, industrial IoT will affect our society as a whole. Not only will it make manufacturers more environment-friendly thanks to minimization of energy consumption, but it is also likely to change the way we think about training and education.
IIoT is changing and evolving impressively fast. However, if you stay in the loop, you can get far ahead of your competitors. Want to equip your production with the most advanced tools, but don’t know how? Contact us today to discuss in detail how Sirin Software can help your company to ensure tech superiority.