The Internet of Things has the potential to greatly change the way manufacturers operate, according to a US technology company.
Lee Smith, a divisional general manager for service lifecycle management at PTC, writes in Design News that the industry is poised to see great impacts from the technology, which was coined in 2009 by Kevin Ashton from MIT’s Auto-ID Center.
Referred to by different names, including the Industrial Internet, IoT is understood as the linking of machines and devices with embedded sensors.
Smith points out that errors could be decreased and flexibility increased within an organisation through the technology, for example by linking the various departments within a company, including design and production.
After the point of sale, however, things “really start to get interesting,” according to Smith.
“When you manufacture that smart, connected product, it can then give you back real-time data to help maintain and service it at optimal levels,” he writes.
"Being able to maintain a product after the point of sale gives manufacturers a “digital umbilical cord,” which allows for remote visibility, where they can interact with products whenever and wherever.”
The IoT has been discussed lately in terms of Google’s acquisition of Nest, a maker of thermostats that “learn” their users habits and can be adjusted via a mobile app.
To read Smith’s Design News comment piece, click here.