What do you see as the big issue for 2018?
Industry 4.0 ( Industrial IoT ) - As factories are becoming more intelligent through advanced automation that includes smarter machines (IoT), cloud computing and Machine Learning / AI, the race is on to make manufacturing processes as efficient as possible. The current thinking around Industrial processes has typically been thought of as the “fourth phase” of the Industrial revolution that started with:
First Industrial revolution: The use of mechanization, steam and engines
Second Industrial revolution: The use of mass production with assembly line and electricity
Third Industrial revolution: Using computer automation and digital processing systems
Companies are now building what are sometimes called "Cyber Physical System". These systems are beginning to show a massive amount of return on investment by using intelligence to connect the manufacturing process, supply chain and inventory in a centralized way.
Smart factories are the future of the Industrial landscape and with many legacy businesses looking to modernize their machines and process, Industry 4.0 / Industrial IoT a big issue for 2018.
What do you see on the horizon?
Augmented & Virtual Reality - Companies today are just starting to think about the ways in which AR/ VR can be used beyond just games and entertainment. The possibilities for product designers and consumers to experience new products in a virtual space without the need to manufacture physical products is a game changer. With computers now becoming powerful enough to allow for this exploration, a company can save not only significant time to market but avoid massive costs as well. Additionally, by augmenting data on top of what a customer or worker might see in the physical world, this technology can give them information to make better and more informed decisions.
Blockchain & Edge Computing - Systems in general are increasingly moving into a more distributed model with computing being spread further to the edge and across multiple nodes. This distribution of computing power allows for intelligence to be pushed "to the edge", but is also allowing technologists like myself to think about why we need centralized cloud-based computing in the first place? If we make an analogy to our everyday lives, we each have the ability to make decisions for ourselves based on the knowledge that we have learned in the real world. This is good in there isn't a central authority telling us what we need to do, but also bad in the case where might need a centralized system of record for authentication and authorization. Blockchain has ability to provide this distributed ledger of activity and is going to be a critical component of security as we see billions of devices coming online in the coming years.
Justin lives at the intersection of emerging technology and leading communities on the Internet of Things. He is a Co-Founder of Lab 651, where he helps companies use machine learning and mobile applications in their IoT products to drive business change. He is the owner of IoT Weekly, a free curated newsletter with industry expert perspectives on the Internet of Things, a co-founder of IoT Fuse, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission to position Minnesota as a leader on the Internet of Things and an adjunct professor at the University of Saint Thomas teaching a graduate level course on the Internet of Things.
A proven leader and builder of technology, Grammens was named one of the 2016 (Real) Power 50 by Minnesota Business Magazine, speaks at countless technology conferences, co-launched Minnesota’s first Internet of Things Hack Day where inventors compete to build the best Internet enabled product in 12 hours and is a mentor to students of all ages through CoderDojo Twin Cities and Macalester College's MacStartups program. Most importantly, he enjoys family movie nights with his wife and two boys. You can keep up to date with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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