3 trends driving IoT innovation

By | 3 minute read | February 12, 2017

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The Internet of Things is transforming how we work and live in more ways than many of us could have imagined. Connecting things with unique IP addresses has been possible for over a decade, but the commoditization of sensors and processors and emerging technologies that further enable IoT possibilities are making it viable to move beyond being just connected, into an intelligent Internet of Things.

Getting smarter about wiring the IoT

One of the unique challenges of the Internet of Things is stepping into an object oriented world, and understanding how to link together so many disparate objects that speak different languages. The average IoT engineer is not interested in diving into the coding necessary to drive these interactions, they want to quickly be able to pull in operational data and glean new insights from it. This is where a tool that simplifies wiring together the IoT becomes incredibly valuable. There are several emerging development tools that are making plumbing the IoT much simpler and quicker. One that is seeing great traction in the open source community is Node-RED. Tools like Node-RED make it easier to connect devices and plumb the IoT so organizations can spend less time on development and more time getting insight from IoT data.

Transforming transactions and supply chain management

Blockchain is beginning to play a major part in the Internet of Things by enhancing security, enabling inclusion of low-value devices to be increasingly viable and simplifying device management. Blockchain for IoT can optimize supply chains by tracking objects as they traverse the export/import supply chain while enforcing shipping and line of credit contracts and expediting incremental payments. Blockchain technology enables secure traceability of certifications and other salient information in supply chains. Provenance enables every physical product to come with a digital passport that proves authenticity and origin, creating an auditable record of the journey behind all physical products. Blockchain can also help with compliance by allowing companies to track equipment or process history in an indelible record and enable easy sharing of this information with regulatory agencies or insurers. Blockchain has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of operating businesses. It makes it easier to create cost-efficient business networks where virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded, without requiring a central point of control.

Getting started with Blockchain is simple. IBM Blockchain gives you the ability to easily and quickly deploy a permissioned blockchain network to test security, availability and performance. Take your ideas and experiment with transactions and app development on your own blockchain network on Bluemix.

Unlocking the value of IoT data

An exploding amount of IoT data requires a new approach to gather, analyze and makes sense out of all that data. Such a massive amount of information from sensors and devices can be used to enhance existing data and knowledge, uncovering insights capable of transforming industries. But although making sense out of dark data and edge data is paving our way to revolutionary ideas and technologies, it requires a new approach.

Cognitive IoT is just such an approach—a way of deciphering IoT data that can effectively handle increasingly large inputs while generating meaningful output. Programmable systems thrive on prescribed scenarios using predictable data, and their rigidity can limit their usefulness when addressing the ambiguity and uncertainty of IoT data. Cognitive systems, however, are not explicitly programmed. Rather, they learn from interactions with people and from experiences with their environment. In doing so, they become able to keep pace with the complexity of the Internet of things, identifying data correlations that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Cognitive IoT opens up a new realm of opportunities by enabling enterprises to combine streams of data in new ways and get deeper insights as a result. Cognitive IoT will enable us to combine all relevant data sets to solve problems in new ways.

The possibilities around the innovation that will be driven by these technologies is certainly exciting, but what’s even more exciting is what some of our clients are already doing. I’ll be keynoting IoT Grand Slam on December 1 and discussing these trends more in-depth. I’ll also be providing some examples of clients and partners that have implemented successful IoT solutions. I hope you’ll join me!

Find out how we can help you

Do you have questions about how the Internet of Things, Blockchain or how to get value from your data? Contact an IBM representative to find out how we can help.