On the eve of IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, it’s fascinating to think that in just the past two years the Internet of Things (IoT) has risen to the point that it is now being called the next frontier of technology. Already, we are starting to see the emergence of some compelling examples of how IoT can improve the way people experience the world around them.
Over the next several days in Barcelona, we will show how the enterprise, OEMs, and consortiums such as the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), are leveraging Intel’s IoT offerings to fuel innovation across industries. We believe in the very near future, as we become better equipped to merge smart, connected things with data analytics, the scope and reach of IoT will become much grander in what it can accomplish.
As we embrace the accelerated IoT development and deployments demonstrated in Intel IoT solutions available today, we are ever mindful of how Moore’s Law helped to pave the way. Here’s how it all began.
Moore’s Law Hits 50 Years
It’s truly fascinating what technologists are able to accomplish with Moore’s Law in the semiconductor industry. Thanks to Moore’s Law, computing capabilities that used to take up an entire floor of a building just a few years ago, can now fit in our desktops, laptops, smart phones, and wearables.
With the emergence of IoT we now have an opportunity to use Moore’s Law to deliver a value model for breakthrough technologies and capabilities that we have before us. Just as Moore’s Law predicted the rapid expansion of the number of transistors that could fit on an integrated circuit, if can now be used to describe the rapid growth of networks supporting IoT.
How Moore’s Law Set Up IoT
The IoT story really began five decades ago, shortly after Moore’s Law was established, when we started embedding computing into more machines. Embedding gave us the ability to control those machines and extract data from them. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was the first step needed for the transformation to IoT.
The second step began a decade ago, as we started to see the emergence of cloud computing. We say that the economics of scalable computing power changed dramatically. Suddenly we could gain access to servers, storage, and networking in a very cost-effective way.
The third step is evolving today. It’s enabling things that are generating data to become connected and to provide previously unavailable information through big data analytics. We can now harness data to extract more information from embedded things in our connected devices. This allows for interconnectivity between different kinds of ecosystems to create compelling new solutions.
Intel, and others in the industry, forecast that 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020. In 2015, 15 billion devices have integrated computing, but 85 percent of those are not connected to each other and they’re not connected to the Internet. That really gives you the scope of the opportunity.
To create IoT solutions, we need devices that connect to a data center or cloud through a network. Those networks need to be flexible. They need to provide some ingrained analytics capability and they have to be very cost effective. That’s beginning to happen now through software-defined networks and network function virtualization. As we start to see that transformation occur, networks are becoming ever more efficient.
Whether it’s a phone, a piece of equipment in a factory, or a device in our home, we need these things to connect to the cloud and give us access to that data. With some data, we’ll do analytics at the edge of the network for insight into what’s happening now, and send other data to the data center or the cloud for longer-term, trend analysis to see what’s happening over time, or across a fleet of tools, or across heterogeneous data types to gain new insights.
In order to do this, we need every device to have secure, interconnected intelligence. As we implement these approaches we’re seeing great progress in areas such as fleet management, retail sales, and office management.
One of the many great examples at Barcelona this week is Yanzi Networks. They’re applying Intel IoT solutions to deliver next-generation smart offices. Solutions from Yanzi Networks and other members of the Intel IoT ecosystem are showing how IoT is improving the way people experience the world around them. With Moore’s Law at our foundation, and the power of collaboration in the Intel IoT ecosystem as our guiding light, we see a better world emerging before us.