Do you remember my PLM and Internet of Things article back in 2009? Four years ago it was a dream. However, everything changed now. Internet of Things (IoT) buzz is in a full swing these days. It gets real and bring lots of attention and real examples these days. CES 2014 brought some very interesting examples of IoT and data points. According to Washington Post article and CISCO CEO, IoT will bring $19 trillion business opportunity.
My attention was caught yesterday by the following Engadget article Sleep Number’s x12 smart bed monitors your sleeping habits. Are you ready for internet connected bed? Here is an interesting passage:
Sleep Number just announced the x12, which packs a variety of sensors to monitor your sleeping habits, movement, heart rate and breathing rate. In particular, the bed has two sections, each of which are independently adjustable, so that once the bed knows your sleeping patterns, it can suggest ways you might want to change, say, the head incline. Additionally — and this is perhaps our favorite feature — a Partner Snore feature allows you raise your partner’s headrest to help ease snoring.
Here is my crazy idea. Can we capture bed performance parameters "as you sleep" and transmit to manufacturing servers in order to monitor and improve the quality of your bed? Think about Windows or Chrome browser that can transmit problems and crashes. Your bed will do exactly the same! Of course, bed will ask for your approval to transmit the data to satisfy all security concerns.
It looks like among PLM vendors, PTC is trying to take a leadership position in IoT by making ThingWorx acquisition just before New Year. If you haven’t had a chance to read PTC press release, it is here. The following PR snippet provides a short description of PTC IoT strategy:
For manufacturers today, it is clear to us that improved service strategies and service delivery is the near-term ‘killer app’ for the Internet of Things and this opportunity has guided our strategy for some time. With this acquisition, PTC now possesses an innovation platform that will allow us to accelerate how we help our customers capitalize on the market opportunity that the IoT presents."
Actually, I found a very good writeup about PLM and IoT by Schnitger Corp – Your dishwasher talkes to the IoT; now what? It provides some interesting business cases.
The IoT isn’t just about consumer “things”. An oil and gas producer can use the IoT to analyze sensor data from the North Sea in the comfort of an office far, far away. Utilities can better monitor their transmission networks. The IoT could connect the SCADA system on a factory floor with demand and supply information to truly optimize production.
What is my conclusion? What was a dream few years ago, becomes a reality now. We are getting into the story of "connected products" very fast. IoT can be a good technological approach to monitor and see product performance "live". Think about Google ability to capture your location and project it to PLM industry. Which can bring us to the next level of customer support. It will be interesting to see other PLM vendors reaction. Is it a time to start another IoT company now? Kidding… As usual, just my thoughts…