The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding more and more, permeating through all industries in the attempt to fully integrate connectivity through all things we come into contact with. Industrial Internet bridges together the practices of machine learning, big data, IoT, and machine-to-machine communications with the goal of real-time operations to connect us with the inanimate things around us from any device. Industrial internet can help people stay connected to capture and transfer knowledge between each other and entire information systems. General Electric CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, envisions a world of smart machines that will be able to diagnose their own problems and find solutions proactively.
As companies have embraced big data to improve operations, GE has given $1 billion in investment for resources towards industrial Internet and now has 10 million sensors that are actively analyzing data from wind turbines, medical-imaging devices, and other equipment it is sold and used by practitioners. GE offers both hardware and software solutions to make tracking and utilization of big data easier for clients and consumers. Cybersecurity is another main point of interest and has driven GE to expand through a partnership with Cisco Systems and Intel Corporation to make GE’s solutions more accessible.
GE’s annual Minds + Machines conference is in its third year and their goal is to speak about Industrial Internet and reaching milestones to brainstorm solutions to make for new milestones. Predictivity Solutions discussed included the ability to use real-time data to deliver information or equipment to offshore and onshore facilities through mobile devices to easily reduce downtime and lower operational costs. Power Visibility and Performance work to monitor and provide flexibility for power companies to be more accessible and reliable while giving them the ability to anticipate power spikes with the help of analytics.
As Bill Ruh, GE’s software executive, sees it, the digital revolution we’ve witnessed in the consumer arena is now ready to continue growth into the new territory of adding Internet to things. “I believe in this stuff more than you can imagine,” he says, “because I think all machines are going to get smart. They’re going to talk. The technology is there, but we have to get it to work in an industrial way.” He warns that industrial companies who do not invest in data now will be left behind like the consumer companies who did not invest in the Internet.