Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Connected World of Physical Assets

This is not science fiction.  The science fact is that networks of low-cost sensors and actuators for data collection, monitoring, decision making, and process optimization have arrived.  These are the "Internet of Things" facts as presented by the McKinsey Global Institute:
  • 300% increase in connected machine-to-machine devices over past 5 years.
  • 80-90% price decline in MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) in last 5 years.
  • One trillion things that could be connected to the Internet across industries such as manufacturing, health-care, and mining.
  • A potential $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion annual global impact by 2025 of connecting our physical assets to the Internet.
Connecting our physical assets to the Internet has the potential to both drive economic impact and be a disruptive force in the near term.  Key issues that engineering should understand - - (1.) The technology is rapidly advancing or experiencing breakthroughs, (2.) The potential scope of the impact is broad, (3.) Significant economic value could be affected, and (4.) Economic impact is potentially disruptive.

Ponder the following paragraph from the May 2013 Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy by McKinsey Global Institute:

"The Internet of Things - embedding sensors and actuators in machines and other physical objects to bring them into the connected world - is spreading rapidly.  From monitoring the flow of products through a factory to measuring the moisture in a field of crops to tracking the flow of water through utility pipes, the Internet of Things allows businesses and public-sector organizations to manage assets, optimize performance, and create new business models.  With remote monitoring, the Internet of Things also has great potential to improve the health of patients and chronic illnesses and attack a major cause of rising health-care assets."

Link to the complete report by McKinsey - - add it to your reading list!!

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