Factory Floor Connectivity of the Future: The Industrial Internet of Things
Google Glass, Fitbit, and Nest are just a few of the names now familiar to consumers in North America. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show featured demonstrations of an Internet-connected tennis racket and many “smart home” products, from smartphone-tethered light bulbs to door locks and washing machines. These are just a few examples of wearable computers, or in-home devices designed to connect to “the Internet of Things.” The idea of the Internet of Things isn’t new, though. The massively interoperating network of devices, meant to simplify new products and service models for consumers, has been discussed by IT industry insiders for years. However, thanks in part to some big-figure prognostications by the likes of Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers, Internet of Things is giving “the cloud” some real competition for media attention. Chambers predicted the market for applications connected to the Internet of Things would be as much as $19 trillion in the not-so-distant future, a projection that some analysts might consider conservative. Venture capitalists have been drawn to startups in this emerging sector, too. As many as 53 deals have brought an estimated $1.1 billion invested in start-ups working on health-care and home automation products. This will be added to Internet-of-Things Resources white paper.