Blogs

Meet the Internet of Things

How the Jetsons help us understand IoT solutions

Director, Internet of Things Cloud, IBM

As a father of three, I love watching retro cartoons with my kids on Saturday mornings. It’s a fun way to start our day, and always provides a moment I can use to teach my kids some life lessons. The other day, we caught the Jetsons. Hopefully you know the Jetsons – that futuristic family living in Orbit City with completely automated homes, fantastic transportation systems and holograms for communication.

I’ve often tried to explain my job role to my kids, many times to rolling eye balls and blank stares. But that morning, it became easy: I’m helping the world become like the Jetsons! Now I had their attention.

But how? Let’s think about it this way: the things we use are getting smarter and more frequently include embedded intelligence. Those things are talking to anything that will listen or ask, and when they talk, tremendous amounts and types of data are created. With that data, we can use analytics to uncover new patterns and insights. This all enables optimization of existing systems and business processes, and creates the opportunity to disrupt existing business and supply chains with new products, services and business models.

Fundamentally, these ideas are not new. The Jetsons originally aired in 1962, 37 years before the term “IoT” was coined. What is new is the combination of the big five disruptive technologies: cloud, analytics, social, mobile and security. These technologies, along with market and economic conditions, are fundamental to what is making IoT real, now. Meet the Internet of Things

What do I mean by real?

Organizations are capturing monetary value and disrupting their industries:

  • Continental is jointly developing fully-connected mobile vehicle solutions with IBM for car manufacturers around the world.
     
  • Cummins Inc. collects and transmits real-time performance data of its engines for predictive analysis with IBM IoT solutions to maintain higher operating levels and reduce downtime.
     
  • SilverHook Powerboats is using IBM’s IoT Foundation service to access and analyze telematic and biometric data from their boats and pilots to make real-time racing decisions.
     
  • Whirlpool Corporation is leveraging IBM's IoT and predictive maintenance and quality solutions to improve the performance and reliability of its appliances.

IBM is transforming to better serve the world around us. With years of experience providing IoT solutions (such as asset or facilities management, system and software engineering tools, a vast cadre of analytic solutions and platforms, device connectivity and data capture), both on premise and in the cloud, IBM announced today the formation of a new unit for Internet of Things. This new unit will be focused on everything surrounding:

  • Capturing and securing the streaming data from instrumented devices and assets
     
  • Analyzing data and acting on insights, applying them where they matter most
     
  • Enabling the design of new products and services to take advantage of intelligent systems
     
  • Providing an IoT Platform as a Service to act as digital innovation platform for IoT app creation and enrichment

While new, today’s announcements are truly a continuation of IBM’s heritage of serving and partnering with clients. A great partner isn’t just someone who has remarkable ideas and consistent execution. It’s someone who is willing to listen to clients’ biggest challenges and opportunities, and act in tandem to achieve the same goals.

Today is a big step in the continuation of the IoT journey. There is tremendous promise for our world, our organizations and for each of us individually in these new connected technologies. I, for one, couldn’t be more excited to be part of this transformation.

Oh, and my kids now get what Dad does – that’s pretty cool too.

To learn more, watch the “From Hype to Insight: Transforming industries with insights gained from IoT” livestream replay.