The phenomenon of Internet of Things is moving into top gear. Things that seemed to be impossible just a few years ago, now brightly characterize our era of informatization. We are not far off the time when all devices will be able to interact and exchange data.
The idea itself is not brand new – many enterprises have smart control systems not talking about personal gadgets aimed at making our life more comfortable. But Internet of Things stepped much further.
Such giants as Google, Facebook and Apple became pioneers of mastering new technology. Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google, talks about worries that increasing amount of information going from and to various devices will result in more electricity needed to operate additional data centers.
Mr. Hölzle strives to reassure and explains that benefits from using Internet-connected household devices and self-driving cars will beat extra need of power. He highly evaluates the idea of possible control over heat, light and cooling systems.
Google has done great work recently putting into operation new data centers and information servers. The figures are impressive. According to Hölzle “Google’s servers can now generate three and a half times more computing power with the same amount of money and the same amount of electrical power”.
Companies involved in spheres of logistics are also beginning to see obvious advantages of applying Internet-enabled technologies. Saia LTL Freight Inc., American transportation company with income of $1.30 billion over 2014, has already evaluated benefits of Intel Corp. technology.
It allowed to equip 3,000 trucks with sensors transferring data about fuel supply, driver safety or need of truck repair directly to engineers. Thus there is no need to wait until truck returns to the office to determine the problem. Only for the first year of program usage the company saved 6% of fuel which makes up $15 million.
Bridget Karlin, Intel’s director of Internet of Things group, admits they have far-reaching plans: “About 50 billion devices will be Internet-enabled by 2020”.
Large profit of Internet of Things attracts one more “business shark” – Japan’s $100-billion conglomerate Hitachi consisting of more than 1,100 companies. It plans to get $200 billion just by 2020. Its social innovation business strategy announced recently in Las Vegas is based on the idea of combining technical abilities of Hitachi Data Systems and information provided by sensors installed in industrial equipment. Kevin Eggleston, HDS senior vice president, speaks about expected revenue: “The overall opportunity size for Hitachi in the Internet of Things space is over $2 trillion”.
A topic of Internet of Things was brought up at Cisco Partner Summit 2015 in Montreal. Cisco’s vice president for Industry Solution Group Steve Steinhilber underlined that sale of IoT kit has already helped their partners to get a raise of 40% per year. Lack of skilled specialists remains to be the most urgent problem. Cisco offers a suitable solution by developing educational programmes. So far 38 partners have acquired necessary skills.
Facebook Inc. has also recently launched new software development kits (SDKs) for IoT via Parse, the application platform and mobile infrastructure company owned by Facebook, to let developers incorporate data from Internet-connected devices. The news was officially announced during the Facebook’s developer-oriented F8 conference in San Francisco on March 26, 2015.
Concerning Parse, the company was bought by Facebook in 2013 and over 400,000 developers have created applications using the service of the company. Parse has been expanding on an international level: the number of active applications on Parse in Asia grew by almost 90 percent in the first half of 2014.
There is still a tricky question whether people really want to have all devices connected. Wouldn’t it lead to some kind of dependence? The only thing can be said now for sure – ability to make data work for us lets us create a smarter world.