Article | April 16, 2020
Tech companies are stepping up Internet of Things technologies to protect against COVID-19 and future viruses by using LiDAR and infrared cameras to detect a person’s body temperature from a distance or even handwashing. Keeping the data secure in such detection is also going to be a challenge. One approach is to put a chip inside an IoT device when it is manufactured to enable strong authentication and secure communication, mainly to guard against device counterfeiting. Hitachi Vantara has touted forward looking infrared cameras (FLIR) cameras to detect the temperature of a person from a distance. That way a passenger on a train or a worker or a customer in a store can be non-intrusively screened, according to a blog from Mark Jules, global vice president of smart spaces and video intelligence.
Article | February 19, 2020
Your industry is unique. Chances are, it even has its own language. That’s why you want information geared toward your unique sector. At IBM, we have deep industry expertise that we’ve curated into specialized teams focused to cognitive technology in vertical spaces. This year, we’re proud to host Industry Day at IoT Exchange for the Automotive, Aerospace & Defense and Electronics industries. Industry Day at IoT Exchange 2020 features tailored activities across three industry workgroups. Clients who are under the IBM Feedback Program Agreement (FPA) can meet with IBM leaders to share best practices and experiences, and to help shape the future of IBM industry solutions. These user groups provide you the opportunity to influence the direction for emerging technology. Note: this is not a general admission program. So if you’d like to participate, you’ll want to complete the contact form. A member of our client programs team will contact you.
Article | January 29, 2021
We live in the age of technological advancement and progress is happening at an unprecedented speed. With newer technologies emerging every day, it is unreasonable to not be intrigued by their implications on business. Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are two independent technologies that are changing the face of several industries, one advancement at a time. While Artificial Intelligence promises to automate and simplify everyday tasks for humans, the Internet of Things is rapidly bridging the gap between physical and digital. The convergence of these two technologies promises to simplify lives through connected devices.
This convergence has already been witnessed in several industries and is being hailed as the Artificial Intelligence of Things or AIoT. Experts across industries claim that Artificial Intelligence of Things is set to redefine the future of the industry and mold intelligent and connected systems.
The Artificial Intelligence of Things is a congruence of AI and IoT infrastructures being used to achieve several applications across industries more accurately and efficiently. We already know that IoT generates scores of data, but this data is pretty useless in its raw form, it the organization, analysis, and interpretation of the data that makes it invaluable. Manually parsing through all of that data can take months given the sheer volume of it. This is where AI comes in. Modern AIs are programmed to efficiently handle large amounts of data to turn them into coherent pieces of information. Together, IoT and AI make for a great technological tool for business. Take a look at some other applications of AIoT in business.
Good marketing comes from a series of well informed and well-researched decisions. For example, deciding on where the budget is allotted, what market strategy is put into action, or which campaign is prioritized. While human decisions can be fallible, most businesses today cannot afford to make big mistakes. This is where AIoT turns into a big help. Through the Artificial Internet of Things, marketers can get reports about market trends, probabilities, customer behavior, and more, most of these in real-time. These reports help marketers make informed decisions that are much likely to result in success.
Drones are one of the biggest advancements of IoT technology. In fact, drones are so popular with such varied applications, that drones can be talked of as a separate technology in themselves. These flying machines were originally invented for military purposes such as surveillance or weapon deployment but markets have rapidly found utility in drones for many other purposes. Today, they are being used as delivery bots, nature conservation, surveillance mechanisms, research tools, safety equipment, field substitutes, agriculture, geo-mapping, and a lot more.
With AIoT, drones have become smarter, more adaptable, and way more useful. As Artificial intelligence allows drones to make minor decisions, their applications have gotten wider and more sophisticated. In a brilliant use case of AIoT, a drone enthusiast named Peter Kohler has started the Plastic Tide Project which uses drones to locate plastic on the ocean surfaces. The drones are powered by AI which allows them to locate plastic and not other elements like marine life or corals. These drones then hover over the plastic waste and speed up the ocean cleaning process.
Drones can be used to map farmlands, determine the optimum farming processes and schedules, count the cattle, monitor their health, and even undergo certain physical tasks in agriculture, all thanks to the Artificial Intelligence of Things.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are both heavily data-dependent technologies. There cannot be a convincing virtual reality unless there is data available for creating the said simulation. AR and VR have both found applications in several industries like healthcare, gaming, training, education, design, and manufacturing. Most of these applications fall in the critically important category and therefore, the AR or VR must be accurate to the minutest detail. This can only be achieved with mounds of data from the actual reality. With the help of IoT, this data is not accessible, and AI interprets it in a way that it can be turned into several different formats.
One of the most useful applications of AIoT has been infrastructure. Artificial Intelligence of Things has fuelled innovation and planning for smart cities across the world. With the open data available for urban planning, cities are now becoming safer and more convenient to live in. AIoT has also made it possible to optimize energy consumption and ensure safer roadways through traffic surveillance. With smart energy grids, smart streetlights, and smart public transport, energy consumption and carbon emissions are both controlled.
Moreover, AIoT has given a whole new life to urban design, and now comfort and aesthetics do not have to be sacrificed for convenience.
As we discussed above, Artificial Intelligence of Things is instrumental in optimizing energy consumption in urban areas. However, the applications of AIoT in the energy sector are not limited to smart cities. Many utilities providers across the globe are already gearing up to incorporate AIoT in their process. The expected benefits from the Artificial Intelligence of Things range from improved grid management, power quality, reliability, and restoration resilience to enhanced cybersecurity and better integration of distributed energy.
Most utilities providers have still not adopted the new technology but with the increasing complexity of grid management and higher customer experience demands, there is no denying that they will have to deploy AIoT solutions to tackle these.
In layman’s experience robots are either extremely sophisticated machines from sci-fi that undertake every task humans can and more, or they are these clunky things that can pass you the butter. In practice, however, robotics is a lot more practical than these ideas. Today, robotics is at the forefront of AIoT applications.
The Artificial Intelligence of Things is being used in robotics for several applications such as surgical procedures, manufacturing, and even first aid. In healthcare specifically, AIoT powered robots are taking huge leaps. Robotic surgery eliminates the chance of human error and offers a much more precise surgical experience with minimum invasion. This enhances the success rate of surgery and aids faster recovery in patients.
The convergence of AI and IoT has made a huge impact on logistics as it is now possible to automate the entire process, track the goods, as well as monitor the entire trajectory from deployment to delivery. With the addition of drones and robotics, even the last mile delivery can be automated with zero human intervention. This makes for faster delivery, better customer experience, as well as a well-designed supply chain management system.
As the concept of adding smart sensors to physical objects emerged in the 1980s, a new term was coined a decade later—Industrial Internet of Things. IIoT is now a huge phenomenon of automating and optimizing industrial operation technologies across the globe. As IIoT is deployed in several factions of the industry including manufacturing, supply chain management, human resources, and energy management, these devices and sensors generate a massive amount of data daily. The data generated from even a single process can be dizzying, and this is where AI makes a difference. AI can not only manage this data but also find the relevant points of data and analyze it for business purposes.
Artificial Intelligence has given way for another technology i.e. Edge computing. Edge computing allows a device to process data itself rather than rely on remote data servers to do so. It may seem like a small feat but think of the possibilities it offers—drones don’t have to be connected to find their way, smart appliances can interact with each other without a shared network, and thermostats can change the temperature based on your past preferences automatically.
Edge computing is by no way a new technology but, in the future, it offers huge possibilities like smart automobiles and aircraft, or even robots in every home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the examples of Artificial Intelligence?
Some of the most common examples of Artificial Intelligence are Google Maps and Uber. The AI allows you to find routes to any destination and even hail rides there.
How does AI help IoT?
Artificial Intelligence can comb through millions of data points in seconds to come up with patterns and analyze them. As IoT generates a lot of data continuously, AI is a powerful and complementary technology that helps IoT.
Is IoT related to Artificial Intelligence?
Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are two separate technologies that interact with each other well as their functions aid each other progress. AI helps with the data generated by IoT, and IoT provides relevant data for AI to analyze.
"name": "What are the examples of Artificial Intelligence?",
"text": "Some of the most common examples of Artificial Intelligence are GoogleMaps and Uber. The AI allows you to find routes to any destination and even hail rides there."
"name": "How does AI help IoT?",
"text": "Artificial Intelligence can comb through millions of data points in seconds to come up with patterns and analyze them. As IoT generates a lot of data continuously, AI is a powerful and complementary technology that helps IoT."
"name": "Is IoT related to Artificial Intelligence?",
"text": "Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are two separate technologies that interact with each other well as their functions aid each other progress.AI helps with the data generated by IoT, and IoT provides relevant data for AI to analyze."
Article | April 3, 2020
IoT for manufacturing is disrupting the business process through analytical and cognitive capabilities. Connectivity of systems is allowing quality, operations, warranty and maintenance personnel obtain greater value from the manufacturing processes and assets.
The industrial internet will further disrupt the manufacturing industry as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things will become more interdependent and data-driven throughout the whole product lifecycle. Industry 4.0 of course is one the major buzzwords these days as powerful AI based technologies are looking to transform the manufacturing process.
But as in any industry, a lack of real understanding remains a key obstruction for digital transformation in manufacturing.
Table of Contents:
What is IoT in manufacturing?
What is Smart Factory?
What are the principles that propel us into a new way of thinking about the industry?
How to adopt IoT in your manufacturing business?
What is IoT in manufacturing?
IoT or let’s say connecting devices in manufacturing is nothing new. Yet recent trends such as the rise of the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, and the convergence of the digital and physical worlds including information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) have made the transformation of the supply chain increasingly possible. Adoption of interconnected, open system of supply chain operations known as the digital supply network, couldlay the foundation for how companies compete in the future. For this to happen, manufacturers will be needed to unlock several capabilities: horizontal integration through the myriad operational systems that power the organization; vertical integration through connected manufacturing systems; and end-to-end, holistic integration through the entire value chain.
This integration is known as Smart factory.
What is Smart Factory?
The smart factory is a switch to a fully connected and flexible system— one that can use a constant stream of data from connected operations and production systems to learn and adapt to new demands. A factory that can integrate data from system wide physical, operational, and human assets to drive manufacturing, maintenance, inventory tracking, and digitization of operations through the digital twin, and other types of activities across the entire manufacturing network. The result can be a more efficient and agile system, less production downtime, and a greater ability to predict and adjust to changes in the facility or broader network, possibly leading to better positioning in the competitive marketplace.
READ MORE:Smart manufacturing: don't miss out on the industrial revolution
What are the principles that propel us into a new way of thinking about the industry?
There are four principles:
• Transparent information — it is vital that a virtual copy of the physical world can be created, and this can only be done if data is freely available, from raw sensor data attached to machines all the way up to a higher-value, contextual information.
• Interoperability of components — the Internet of Things (IoT) underpins Industry 4.0 and allows for the various machines, devices, and sensors to communicate effectively with one another.
• Technical assistance — technology should not be invested in just for the sake of it, but rather because it provides clear assistance to humans, either in doing their job or making informed decisions.
• Decentralized decisions — by making information more transparent and readily available, it should move the decision making process closer to the point of action, with only exceptional decisions escalated up the hierarchy.
READ MORE: Transforming manufacturing with edge and IoT solutions
How to adopt IoT in your manufacturing business?
Here are 3 innovation plays along with suitable use cases that will help you clearly understand how to apply IoT in your manufacturing business:
1. Leverage data from a digital ecosystem
As companies build IoT-enabled systems of intelligence, they’re creating ecosystems where partners work together seamlessly in a fluid and ever-changing digital supply chain. Participants gain access to a centralized view of real-time data they can use to fine-tune processes, and analytics to enable predictive decision-making. In addition, automation can help customers reduce sources of waste such as unnecessary resource use.
PCL Construction is a group of independent construction companies that perform work in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia. Recognizing that smart buildings are the future of construction, PCL is partnering with Microsoft to drive smart building innovation and focus implementation efforts.
The company is using the full range of Azure solutions—Power BI, Azure IoT, advanced analytics, and AI—to develop smart building solutions for multiple use cases, including increasing construction efficiency and workplace safety, improving building efficiency by turning off power and heat in unused rooms, analyzing room utilization to create a more comfortable and productive work environment, and collecting usage information from multiple systems to optimize services at an enterprise level. PCL’s customers benefit with greater control, more efficient buildings, and lower energy consumption and costs.
However, the path forward wasn’t easy.
Cultural transformation was a necessary and a driving factor in PCL’s IoT journey. To drive product, P&L, and a change in approach to partnering, we had to first embrace this change as a leadership team.
- Chris Palmer, Manager of Advanced Technology Services, PCL
2. Develop a managed-services business
Essen, Germany-based Thyssenkrupp Elevator is one of the world’s leading providers of elevators, escalators, and other passenger transportation solutions. The company uses a wide range of Azure services to improve usage of its solutions and streamline maintenance at customers’ sites around the globe.
With business partner Willow, ThyssenKrupp has used the Azure Digital Twin platform to create a virtual replica of its Innovation Test Tower, an 800-foot-tall test laboratory in Rottweill, Germany. The lab is also an active commercial building, with nearly 200,000 square feet of occupied space and IoT sensors that transmit data 24 hours a day. Willow and thyssenkrupp are using IoT to gain new insights into building operations and how space is used to refine products and services.
In addition, ThyssenKrupp has developed MAX, a solution built on the Azure platform that uses IoT, AI, and machine learning to help service more than 120,000 elevators worldwide. Using MAX, building operators can reduce elevator downtime by half and cut the average length of service calls by up to four times, while improving user satisfaction.
The company’s MULTI system uses IoT and AI to make better decisions about where elevators go, providing faster travel times or even scheduling elevator arrival to align with routine passenger arrivals.
We constantly reconfigure the space to test different usage scenarios and see what works best for the people in the [Innovation Test Tower] building. We don’t have to install massive new physical assets for testing because we do it all through the digital replica—with keystrokes rather than sledgehammers. We have this flexibility thanks to Willow Twin and its Azure infrastructure.
- Professor Michael Cesarz, CEO for MULTI, thyssenkrupp
3. Rethink products and services for the digital era
Kohler, a leading manufacturer, is embedding IoT in its products to create smart kitchens and bathrooms, meeting consumer demand for personalization, convenience, and control. Built with the Microsoft Azure IoT platform, the platform responds to voice commands, hand motions, weather, and consumer preset options.
And Kohler innovated fast, using Azure to demo, develop, test, and scale the new solutions. “From zero to demo in two months is incredible. We easily cut our development cycle in half by using Azure platform services while also significantly lowering our startup investment,” says FeiShen, associate director of IoT engineering at Kohler.
The smart bathroom and kitchen products can start a user’s shower, adjust the water temperature to a predetermined level, turn on mirror lights to preferred brightness and color, and share the day’s weather and traffic. They also warn users if water floods their kitchen and bathroom. The smart fixtures provide Kohler with critical insights into how consumers are using their products, which they can use to develop new products and fine-tune existing features.
Kohler is betting that consumer adoption of smart home technology will grow and is pivoting its business to meet new demand. “We’ve been making intelligent products for about 10 years, things like digital faucets and showers, but none have had IoT capability. We want to help people live more graciously, and digitally enabling our products is the next step in doing that,” said Jane Yun, Associate Marketing Manager in Smart Kitchens and Baths at Kohler.
As these examples show, the possibilities for IoT are boundless and success is different for every company. Some firms will leverage IoT only for internal processes, while others will use analytics and automation to empower all the partners in their digital ecosystems. Some companies will wrap data services around physical product offerings to optimize the customer experience and deepen relationships, while still others will rethink their products and services to tap emerging market demand and out-position competitors.
Many would argue that the IoT adoption in the manufacturing industry has fallen short of the expected growth rate but given the benefits of connected devices, its wide adoption is only a matter of time.
What might we be missing right now is the talent or the C-level willingness to bring about IoT transformation and steer us towards Industry 4.0.
READ MORE:Why artificial intelligence will finally unlock IoT.