The Industrial Internet of Things

industrialiotThe world is constantly changing. The technology in a factory today is far different from what was there even a decade ago. Today, the industrial internet of things has already had an impact on how effectively a factory is run and how its equipment runs.

With a network of devices directly linked in the industrial internet of things, there are a few benefits. First, there is a local level of intelligence among these devices. Each can communicate with other items in the factory and help production to run more effectively. If there is a jam in machinery, a device connected to the internet of things can halt production around it. A message can be sent to maintenance to address the issue and there is less downtime and a reduction in product loss as a result.

Equipment have a shared API they use. This means they can continue to communicate in other ways also. Scanners can help you to keep track of the number of inventory being produced in seconds. You can also determine production times on specific products and have monthly data downloaded to a spreadsheet and review the statistics it includes.

Because of this, the industrial internet of things is allowing businesses to operate more effectively. There are fewer surprises on the production line and a factory can better utilize their resources in order to supercharge production and deliver better results. In fact, there are fewer limitations on the things you can do with this application.

In the future, the industrial internet of things will continue to evolve. New factory machines will be better equipped to handle the internet as part of operations and to ensure that data is been effortlessly mined. This will include new supply chain integration. In fact, with everything streamlined, we’ll find there are fewer production concerns that we encounter.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t concerns to be had. On the internet, there are security concerns and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. What happens if a malicious application installs or a disgruntled employee makes adjustments to the program? What solutions are there? If there is a global internet outage, how does that impact factory equipment and other items that are attached through the network that is running the industrial internet of things?

While there are some concerns, that doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t consider the industrial internet of things as a solution. However, they should take the time to understand the applications and software they are considering to ensure that it delivers the best results possible for their company.

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Connected Motorcycles and IoT

Connected Motorcycles and IoT The Internet of Things

Connected cars are becoming more common these days, but only in the past few years has the IoT expanded its horizons to other vehicles. A California based company, Zero Motorcycles produced a prototype of its first electric motorcycle in 2006 and began marketing them in 2008. In 2013 the company produced a mobile app enabling communication with the bike using Bluetooth; effectively using the Internet of Things to connect owner, motorcycle, and service facility.

The app allows the rider to configure his or her motorcycle in a number of different ways. For example, it can be configured for a more energy efficient ride or for a higher performance using only the app. One of the rider benefits is that the app can also tell you your current battery capacity as well as an estimation of how far you can travel on the charge.

Another boon to riders is that the motorcycle can communicate directly to the manufacturer, dealer, or repair shop. Most vehicles today can communicate with the mechanic by being plugged into a computer, but it entails a trip to the garage. The available app allows the motorcycle to send that diagnostic information directly to the mechanic over the internet no matter where you are. Anyone who has ever paid to have a vehicle diagnosed via a garage computer can appreciate the value of this particular feature.

In addition, if a rider experiences mechanical problems with the motorcycle, all they need do is to tap the help button located in the app. The information is transmitted and the rider can get troubleshooting advice on location as well as having the company schedule a service appointment if desired. Rather than taking days to get your motorcycle into a mechanic for diagnosis, it is all done in minutes. The company currently has four models of connected motorcycles on the market, including bikes that are designed specifically for law enforcement and military use.

With all of the information being passed back and forth online, many potential users (myself included) will have concerns about security, and rightly so. According to Zero’s director of customer experience, Aaron Cheatham, security is always the company’s top priority. To ensure the privacy of both customer and data, access to the bike is curtailed through the use of a short range Bluetooth connection. In Cheatham’s own words, “A user must have physical access to the motorcycle to pair the mobile device to the bike and enable the communication.” The logs that are taken from the motorcycle are then sent in a format that is proprietary and to review them requires a decoder.

As more of our daily life is handled by computers, it’s easy to dwell on the things that could potentially go wrong. While those things are always possible, you should also think of the benefits that we as a society can reap. This single application of the Internet of Things may provide benefits that range from a reduction in motorcycle fatalities to a more energy efficient future.

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