There’s no doubt machines are becoming more and more sophisticated and intelligent. During my keynote at our Connexion event last week, I discussed how machines have evolved the past few decades. Fifty years ago, machines were still mostly mechanical. It wasn’t until the past few decades that software became a major component of machines. Today, product design is just as much about software design as it is hardware design.
Network connectivity also began to make its way into machines the past couple of decades. Recently, we’ve seen remote connectivity being designed into the machine natively. Although the connectivity was typically put in place for diagnostics and remote service, it has enabled machine data to be used in many innovative ways including usage analytics, business system integration and new end-user apps.
So what’s next? Here at Axeda, we’ve identified 9 major characteristics we will see in the machines of the future. A couple of these are already in most machines… they are 1) Connected and 2) Remotely Serviceable. Many now have GPS or some other means to locate them, making them 3) Trackable. The machine data will be available via an agent or gateway that will collect and send data and enable machines to be 4) Informative 5) Self-Healing and 6) Integrated with business systems. This machine data is also being made available via APIs enable them to be 7) App Centric. The green movement will drive machines to be 8) Eco-friendly and Energy Efficient. Lastly, machines will become part of larger systems and be 9) Collaborative.
GE calls it the Industrial Internet with brilliant machines. The Analysts often refer to it as the Internet of Things or Machine-To-Machine with intelligent systems or smart devices. Regardless of what we label this macro trend, most agree we are in the first inning of a new “connected world” order. The machine will be at the heart of it and I welcome the machine of the future… healthy, wise, well-spoken, green and social! Here at Axeda, we are working hard to connect these machines to Axeda’s Machine Cloud… to unleash all that machine data and unlock all the value.
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