We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg that is the Internet of Things (IOT), according to Fujitsu’s Dr Alex Bazin.
Speaking at Fujitsu Forum in Munich last month, Dr Bazin said the world is becoming increasingly hyper-connected as the costs for sensors, bandwidth, and processing falls at a rapid rate.
However, at a packed breakout session on the first day of the conference, Dr Bazin said the IOT is “less about things” and more “about people and processes.”
These connected devices are only useful when they are connected to these people and processes, and when they deliver value.
Enter enterprise wearables
Wearables are the most visible part of the IOT ecosystem, Dr Bazin argued, but at the moment it is very much seen as something aimed at the everyday consumer.
That could all be set to change. Big businesses are starting to realise the benefits of connecting the workforce, and the huge level of intelligence this connectivity brings with it.
At Fujitsu Forum we got a glimpse of what some of these enterprise wearables could look like – and the potential benefits are huge.
Take a warehouse floor as an example. If you were to put a wearable on every employee, a business can monitor for signs of heatstroke, motion, height, and more, with a central console tracking and visualising all that data.
The device then detects an employee has fallen over, and the system is able to alert health responders immediately. Backed by a really strong algorithm, this makes workers much safer, and more productive. You can also see this becoming prevalent in construction and manufacturing.
Another wearable we saw demonstrated helps haulage drivers stay safe as part of a fleet management system. Worn around the neck, it detects drowsiness in a driver, alerting both them and headquarters when they need to stop and rest.
Duty of care is a big issue for fleet managers, along with compliance with legislation such as the working time directive, so this has real world applications.
Not just that, the system has automatic accident detection, so in the event of a crash the vehicle captures a 360-degree picture of the scene at the moment of impact. Both the driver device, and this crash detection could reap big savings in insurance premiums.
When you consider a Fujitsu study found that 58% of enterprise decision makers believe IOT is strategic to their business it’s clear where the direction of travel is headed.
IOT accelerates into the future
Dr Bazin argued Moore’s Law is not slowing down, and the IOT is only going to get cheaper and more readily available.
Right now, IOT is at the heart of a lot of successful digitisation projects, spawning new business models and new ways of working.
One such example of this is Fujitsu’s Hyperconnected van (see above) – which has the potential to change the way we work in the future. By offering greater levels of insight and intelligence into the tools & equipment in a van (which doubles as a mobile office and Wifi hotspot), technicians and engineers could make as many as two extra visits a day to customers, clients and sites.
Scale that over a year, and that’s a huge productivity boost, while also improving customer experience.
It was great to see this technology first hand and it’s going to be exciting to see how it develops in the coming months and years.
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