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The Fourth Revolution: The Internet of Things and Predictive Industrial Analytics

The Industrial Revolution began around the middle of the 18th century and was a major turning point in the history of the world.  Larry Steffann, C0-organizer of the Regional Internet of Things or RIOT in Raleigh, N.C., claimed that we are now in the midst of a Fourth Revolution, another major turning point in history, brought about by the advent of The Internet of Things or IoT, and Predictive Industrial Analytics.

Presentation Held at University of North Carolina at Greensboro Sponsored by IBM and Meridian IT

I am a computer science student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and I was lucky to have the opportunity of attending this presentation on such a wide gamut of fascinating topics.  Also in attendance was Paul Blaser, founder of Well Groomed Data and a member of the spring 2016 class of entrepreneurs in the Triad Startup Lab.  I was not surprised to see Paul, as his company is on the cutting edge of Predictive Analytics for Business.the-internet-of-things-designing-for-magical-moments-of-truth-3-638

Several speakers were on the panel, some from corporations in the area, including TEK Systems, Meridian IT, and IBM, whose Watson platform(famous for its victorious stint on Jeopardy) is now deployed to analyze data mined from the Internet of Things.  The presentation began with an introduction by the aforementioned Larry Steffann, who explained the mission of the Regional Internet of Things(RIOT), which was to advance the integration of IoT in every aspect of industry while proving North Carolina’s prowess against the likes of Austin, Boston and Silicon Valley.

Jim Fletcher, IBM Distinguished Engineer and  John Ward,  IBM Industrial Solutions Leader in Predictive Analytics, gave presentations on the primary topic of the influence of the Internet of Things on Predictive Industrial Analytics.  The correlation between the connectivity of IoT and it’s data mining power gave a clear testament to how useful it could be in every industry from automobiles and jet engines to washing machines.  Jim Fletcher used an example of the washing machine to illustrate his point, “Imagine your washing machine breaks down, in the past you would have to call a technician to come to your home and try to fix the machine.  How often did they fix it on the first trip?  Generally they would come out, diagnose the problem, then have to order a part, return and fix the problem at a later date.  Now with the internet of things, your washing machine can tell you when a part is going to fail, and can even schedule it’s own repairs”.  This advance has obvious benefits to industrial production.  Inexpensive sensors can be placed on machines which report helpful data back to supervisors who can then analyze and improve their systems, lowering production costs and building better products.

The Internet of Things is a fantastic development, when paired with Analytics it becomes a tool with boundless benefits to producers and consumers.  The Regional Internet of Things, IBM and startups like Paul Blaser’s Well Groomed Data are driving the revolution, and as a North Carolinian I’m proud to be close to the action.  Will we call this the Internet of Things Revolution and compare it to the Industrial Revolution relative to its impact on history? Just ask your Amazon Echo that’s connected to your Smart Home, and your Tesla, and your toaster.

Written by Jeremy Hutton

Jeremy Hutton

Computer Science Student at University of Greensboro, intern with Triad Startup Lab

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