To gather insights for DZone's 2016 Internet of Things (IoT) Research Guide, scheduled for release in June, 2016, we spoke to 18 executives, from 16 companies, who develop IoT devices or help clients do so.
Here's who we talked to:
Craig McNeil, Managing Director of IoT, Accenture | Prathap Dendi, General Manager, AppDynamics | Aaron Lint, Vice President of Research, Arxan | Rod McLane and Justin Ruiz, Marketing, Ayla Networks | Suraj Kumar – General Manager, Digital as a Service, Axway | Paul Hanson, CEO, bbotx, Inc. | Mikko Jarva, CTO, Comptel | Brad Bush, COO, and Jeanette Cajide, VP of Corporate Development, Dialexa | Scott Hilton, Executive Vice President Products, Dyn | Anders Wallgren, CTO, Electric Cloud | Mathieu Baissac, Vice President Product Manager, Flexera | Darren Guccione, CEO, Keeper Security | Tony Paine, CEO, Kepware | Johan den Haan, CTO, Mendix | Joan Wrabetz, CTO, Quali | Tom Hunt, CEO, Windspring
Here’s what they told us when we asked, “What are the real world problems being solved by IoT at your organization or by one of your clients?”
- We have a client using sensor technology to padlock gates at a petroleum storage facility and then using sensors to measure the change in the pressure of the tank and to know how much is being taken from the tank so they can prevent “piggybacking” (another truck following on the heels of the legitimate tanker to "steal" petroleum).
- Automotive software - most cars today have 100 million lines of code. We’re quickly evolving from sensor-driven cars to self-driving cars. The auto industry is not used to the lifecycle of required for updating IoT devices. Most car recalls today are software related. Ultimately software related recalls will be handled remotely.
- Apps are serving as an underlying infrastructure today. There's more monitoring of devices in homes, businesses, gaming, services, and events to collect and provide data that will result in smarter devices with edge computing and machine learning.
- Every company and every industry sector needs password management and encryption. It's is a pain point that doesn’t discriminate. Every security breach puts personal identifiable information (PII) at risk. Data at rest should be encrypted, each layer having its own key. A cloud-based solution is a tremendous security tool that’s reasonably priced and includes all upgrades and product updates. "Big data" doesn’t mean as much any more since everything is now big data and everyone wants to ensure it's secure.
- Three examples: 1) Temperature sensors in medicine packaging show that the average freight company, and hospital are not doing an adequate job keeping medicines at the temperature that ensures efficacy. 2) Airplane maintenance requires very specialized and expensive tools. By putting sensors on the tools the maintenance crew knows where to find the tool they need thereby saving time, improving efficiency, and reducing cost of maintenance. 3) Greenhouses need to control light, temperature and humidity. If the light goes out, all three are affected, as is the crop. Sensors in the light measure the strength of the light and can alert greenhouse maintenance when to change the lightbulb. This has doubled the lifetime of the lightbulbs and improved the crop production and energy efficiency of the greenhouses.
- Given the breadth of IoT solutions, a variety of problems are addressed. At a high level IoT enables “things” or “devices” to communicate and exchange data with each other and with centralized entities. The business applications for this span health monitoring, asset tracking and management of, real-time visibility to machinery status, security, etc. IoT enables us to leverage the collected data to be analyzed, make real-time decisions, and understand usage patterns via analytics.
- Cloud-based offerings enable device carrier prediction. Smart grid companies and partners get "smart visibility" – IoT providing holistic benefits to individuals to improve quality of life. "Smart City Enterprises" – that save at least one hour of every person’s life every day via smart parking, transportation (automobile, bus, rail), refuse management, and more.
- Three examples: 1) An HVAC building vendor who used to put his device under the roof when a building was being built. If the building changed, they would have to change the hardware. Now they can use our product to monitor the HVAC device remotely without changing out the hardware to account for the new building specs. 2) A $40BB hardware vendor is making circuit breakers for industrial applications. We put a sensor inside the circuit breaker to report how much electricity is being used and send that information to the cloud for analysis to help manage electricity costs. It’s a hybrid solution with hardware, software and data. 3) We have a truck vendor using firmware. Updating the firmware manually was inconvenient and expensive. Now, over the air, they can download truck firmware updates. The company can configure a certain truck to know traffic, mileage, speed, or other data to improve safety and economy. We serve as the infrastructure for downloads and updates, back office, and security.
- Remote monitoring and service. We consolidate all types of data and information and integrate into H.R., supply chain, etc. to make for smarter enterprises with the seamless connectivity of information.
- Enable utility companies to communicate with meters remotely, thus saving time and money to collect the data necessary for monitoring and billing.
- Sensor networks on airplanes collect data to make big data decision test changes to improve safety and performance. The value is the data. The same is true for cars and medical devices – collect and analyze the data to make informed decisions.
- An HVAC client manufactures building products for smart home or small industrial devices like air conditioners, thermostats, wall heaters, and ceiling fans. The question for manufacturers is "build versus buy." By buying they get a shorter-time-to-market and increase revenue. Smart home manufacturers are being driven by fear. We've been working with one HVAC manufacturer for four or five years. They're on their third generation of thermostats targeting light commercial with an energy demand management solution. This company started with small high-end thermostats for high-end homeowners to collect the data on how the device operated and how the home owner used the device – what were the most popular features. This enabled them to iterate on the product more quickly.
- In automotive we work with dashboards backed by gateway application software allowing the car to connect with the backend cloud service through application logic connections. In retail we integrate from logistics to point-of-sale to retail gateway on the shop floor to the internet platform. We integrate all of the instrumentation into a single panel for the customer and then quickly and easily back to the warehouse for logistics and inventory management. In smart infrastructures, homes, and stadiums we ensure performance of the software from infrastructure to the backend. A common application logic that used to be on the cloud is now on the device for on the edge computing.
What are some applications of IoT that you are excited about?