Internet of Things/ Industry 4.0

Internet of Things/ Industry 4.0

Internet of Things (IoT) connects millions of items from our everyday life including trees, home appliances, street lights, traffic signs, roads and all the other things that are equipped with sensors, processors and communication devices to be able to exchange valuable data over the internet and react if necessary.  

Basically, IoT allows us to understand and manage different items from a distance while giving some items (for example, thermostat) necessary data for self-management. Once the items in the IoT are connected and they get their own voice they are becoming part of a living experience which is formed by interaction between people, places, and objects, among products, nature, and life and they contribute to what stands behind IoT: the Internet of Experiences.


The Internet of Experiences

In the Internet of Things, users are concentrated on individual smart devices unlike the Internet of Experiences which is concentrating on what becomes possible if smart devices begin to communicate and, that way, allow creating innovative services that are meant to simplify and enrich our lives. The idea is, for example, to enable the tree to send a message, if it is being attacked by caterpillars, to the computer which can then send over the drone equipped with necessities that should help him. The other example is that of highway that can send a message, if its capacity is fulfilled, and in that case automatically redirect traffic to alternative routes.

All of this is possible only if the manufacturer imagines, designs and virtual simulates particular devices in order to improve user’s experience using the possibilities of devices made by other manufacturers. Experts agree that customer has to be the main reason for the existence of a solution. Digitalization of products and services is developing so fast that people can hardly follow it. IoT represents a mean of digitalization of experiences and everything that can be digitalized can also be personalized which is of a great importance because every experience is already personal.

Internet merchants used digitalization for personalization. For example, they used it in order to recommend products to the user that he would like considering his earlier choices. The World is full of sensors and IoT is further expanding data about the behavior and contextual data that are helping to format and offer personalized experiences. The company that wants to become a part of Internet of experiences can significantly add value by enabling their devices to share data with other devices on the Internet of Experiences and by adjusting their development to variable customer needs and wishes.


System engineering and systems thinking

With the appropriate use of Internet of things that were sometimes considered complexed are now able to become technologically simple and practical. Nevertheless, combining products, services, program equipment, contents, technologies, cloud and data in a single experience within multi-directional connections inside the Internet of Experiences remains complex. Strategies for addressing such interdependence and complexities are in the domain of system engineering - a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to designing, realizing and managing complex systems that interact to produce behavior no individual element of the system can.

The challenge becomes even bigger when complex systems become a part of the largest system ever created which is known as the IoT. It will include devices from hundreds of thousands of makers, all with different and even conflicting purposes and approaches. Nowadays engineering is ahead of the science: we are building systems that we still don't know how to fully characterize and analyze and whose behavior we cannot fully predict. We can only dream about the Internet of Things if we don't get familiar with its basic factors-already known for decades, which allows us a complete solution for CAD, CAM, CAE and PLM challenges as well as digital simulation of production.


IoT by the numbers


Industry 4.0

It is estimated that there are between 6 to 14 billion different items excluding smartphones, tables, computers and the similar devices connected to the internet and private networks. It is foreseen that will, by the beginning of 2020th, 18 to 50 billion items be connected which means that the IoT could have become world market worth between 300 and 1700 billion American dollars and even more. Smart and connected devices are changing hospitals, homes, offices, companies, agricultural areas, transport, and energy networks all over the world.

Company Tata Consultancy Services take a survey with 3764 executive directors in 2015. They established that 79% of them already use IoT for tracking users, products, offices or supplies. The survey shows that business units inside companies that used IoT had an increase in revenue by 16% in 2014 and in companies that were highlighted, by Tata Consultancy Services, as “best-practice” increase in revenue has even reached 64%.

What distinguishes companies that are identified as “best-practice” from the others? Research has identified seven key characteristics and leading managers highlighted as the main thing to put customers and values that they expect in the center. Research also showed that companies that started using IoT early more often digitally adjust their business and so make a great value, not only for themselves but also for the customers.

Characteristics of leading 8% companies in IoT:

  • 25 times revenue increase in comparison with IoT followers
  • 97% of them adjusted their business to the IoT
  • 48% use information on how customers use products
  • 45% increased their business services because they can monitor usage of their products

Source: COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE magazine