IoT is reshaping the electronics industry

By | 4 minute read | March 15, 2017

Electronics and IoT

The enterprise technology market changes at near light speed these days, yet in the Internet of Things market, it seems to be changing even faster and in the electronics industry, possibly the fastest. Within 10 years we’ve gone from an on premise “within my data center only” approach, to an almost fanatical allegiance to the cloud. Today, edge analytics are emerging as the next big thing as new technologies are making it possible for data to be analyzed and acted upon before it’s pulled into the network. The ability to analyze data on the edge and for devices to merge environmental awareness with data will transform what is possible with IoT data.

Pushing computational workloads to the edge of the network

With this in mind, IBM and Cisco have brought to market an offering that pushes computational workloads out of the cloud, to the edge of the network. IBM and Cisco have joined forces to bring the thousands of businesses and organizations that run remote and autonomous operations the combined power of IBM Watson IoT business analytics technology in the cloud and at the edge with Cisco edge analytics capabilities to more deeply understand and act on critical data both in the moment and over time. Edge analytics from Watson IoT will hugely expand what can be accomplished with IoT data.

One size does not fit all

The speed of change in enterprise technology, and our edge analytics offering illustrates a core fact that is as true today as it was 10 years ago – there is no perfect solution, one size does not fit all.

That fact rings particularly true for me each and every day, as I work with clients from industries ranging from the manufacturers of airplanes, elevators, and cars: to the operators of city ports, retail chains and office buildings. These clients all operate in industries with totally different regulatory constraints, different types of supply chains, different cost models, different value associated with their purchased and sold goods and services. Some are incredibly sophisticated when it comes to technology, while others have yet to fully embrace the significant technology advancements we’ve experienced over the last 10 years.

Throw the Internet of Things into the mix and the situation becomes multidimensional, because IoT is disrupting traditional industry borders and realigning long established competitive hierarchies. Industries it seems, are getting a reboot.

The electronics industry stands to gain the most from the IoT

One of the industries that stands to gain the most from the IoT is the electronics industry. Electronics manufacturers have been connecting devices and appliances for years – the now ubiquitous availability of in-home WiFi and connectivity points is creating an environment that enables devices to constantly be connected into the cloud to send operational, warranty and service data. It’s easy to see what a huge opportunity the connected home is creating for the electronics industry.

By far the largest opportunity in the home setting is in automating domestic chores. In the United States alone, household activities (cleaning, washing, preparing food, gardening, caring for pets, and so on) and purchasing home goods and services require 230 billion labor hours per year. McKinsey estimates the value of time spent on domestic chores will be more than $23 trillion in 2025. It’s estimated that devices such as self-guided vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers can cut the time required for household activities by 17 percent.

Home appliances with prediction

With sensors, computing power, and Internet connections, home appliances can do more than offload work from humans; some may even be able to predict what the homeowner needs. Smart home appliances could gather data about daily usage patterns and, with additional data and analytics on the Internet, determine the household’s preferences and begin scheduling their own work routines

The IoT is redefining business boundaries

The key concept here is that IoT redefining business models, relationships with business partners, and possibly what’s most profound, industry boundaries themselves. As a result, I believe our industry focus at Watson IoT is exponentially more than just “good business”, it’s essential business.

Essential business requires essential products and offerings, so take a look at Watson IoT’s essential industry offering on IBM Bluemix, IoT for Electronics and the IoT for Electronics Starter.

IoT for Electronics can be found on IBM Bluemix, and can be utilized by a two-person start up, working from a garage, or by the world’s leading manufacturer of major home appliances. IoT for electronics is based upon the Watson IoT Platform, which means features like device management, analytics and information management will be enhanced by the addition of IoT for Electronics features and capabilities. Users will get the 40+ data center global scale, advanced analytics, and also have a mechanism to engage with the connected product or device end user. We’ve made a consumer electronics mobile application available that can be downloaded today. Once configured, users can set up a profile, preferences, alerts, and assume command over devices and appliances which will enable control functionality at distance.

Continuous release cycles

We’ve committed to a continuous release cycle, so enhancements will be made throughout the months, and we’ve got some very exciting things planned through the year. There’s plenty of information within the documentation sections on IoT for Electronics page that I encourage you to check out for the details. I encourage you to follow that link, sign up for Bluemix and get started on your newest Electronics IoT project.

When you do, I’d love to hear about it. Share your comments below, as much of what we implement is based on user feedback.

We will be talking more about how IoT is shaping the electronics industry at InterConnect, it’s not too late to register, or watch the live streams here.