Investigating the industrial Internet

We're working with GE to explore the coming internet of very big things.

Consumer networks have revolutionized the way companies understand and reach their customers, making possible intricate measurement and accurate prediction at every step of every transaction. The same revolution is underway in our infrastructure, where new generations of sensor-laden power plants, cars and medical devices will generate vast quantities of data that could bring about improvements in quality, reliability and cost. Big machines will enter the modern era of big data, where they’ll be subject to constant analysis and optimization.

We’ve teamed up with General Electric to explore the industrial Internet and convene a series of conversations that we hope will accelerate its development. GE’s strong presence in many industries has given it a great deal of insight into the ways that industrial data might be gathered, distributed and linked together.

Linking together big smart devices into a true industrial Internet presents enormous challenges: standards need to be developed with the full engagement of the technology industry. Software innovators will need to develop tools that can handle vast quantities of sensor data under tight security constraints, sharing information that can improve the performance of systems that have many operators — without leaking anything important to malicious groups.

Launching the industrial Internet will require big investment on the part of those who will operate each of its nodes, so in addition to looking at the concept’s technical aspects we’ll also explore its promise as a business revolution in ways that are both practical and already in use (like remote operation of mining equipment) and promising but largely conceptual (like mobile health and big data in diagnostics).

GE won’t be the only voice in this conversation: other companies have developed their own visions for the industrial Internet and we’ll be exploring those as well, looking for commonalities and engaging as many voices as we can from our neutral place in the technology industry.

The promise of the industrial Internet is that it will bring intelligence to industries that are hugely capital-intensive and create broad value that all of the industrial Internet’s participants will share. We’ll look for stories that illustrate that future.

tags: , , , ,
  • Hi, Jon.

    As one of the innovators in the internet of things, we at ThingWorx are probably further ahead than most in the realization of an industrial internet of things. In fact, I spent some time with Tim before Web 2.0 a couple years ago sharing our plans and swapping ideas on what it would take to mainstream the IoT. That discussion has been influential on our plans and actions since then. I’d be delighted to share with you our approach to solving the challenges you’ve outlined and how our customers are innovating with our technology each and every day.

    It’s great to see O’Reilly re-engaging with the topic, and I look forward to a continued dialog!


    Rick Bullotta

  • ComplyAnt

    Where this could have one major “reveal-loot-ion” for business is in the Supply Chain. Crates of parts or products able to tell us where they are – and, more importantly, the big data analytics to tell us there are delays such as a ship held up in port or travelling more slowly than expected.
    For customers, as we increasingly move to internet shopping, exactly where is their order in the Supply Chain? Is it on the container ship or arrived in the warehouse or at the post office waiting to be delivered (no more waiting in for the postal worker who may or may not come).