General Electric [GE] invested $1 billion in the industrial internet: They predict returns may reach up to $5 billion by 2017. Three years ago, General Electric established their Silicon Valley research facility with engineers from Oracle, Symantec, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. From here they created the means to collect a big-data pool filled with information from over 10 million sensors linked to their clients’ equipment – ranging from wind turbines to medical imaging machines all around the world.
The data is analysed and used to inform decisions regarding improvement in services and productivity, including maintenance, remote monitoring, asset tracking and behavioural patterns. GE’s chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is pushing the idea of intelligent machines and Bill Ruh, vice president of GE’s global software business, says that GE are building an ‘ecosystem’, and GE already have big names alongside them.
As cybersecurity becomes more of a concern following Heartbleed, Shellshock and numerous corporate data-theft cases, GE have acquired Wurldtech, a company that aims ‘to reduce the risks and costs of a cyber attack, maximize system uptime and meet compliance’. Further partnerships with Intel Corp and Cisco Systems aim to extend the availability of the software platform, and Softbank, Verizon and Vodaphone will be providing the wireless connectivity for software to device.
GE are looking forward to the ‘brave new world’ of the big-data driven ‘industrial internet’, sending results to large clients such as airlines, healthcare, oil rigs and rail systems, for them to ‘capture, store, contextualize, and visualize real-time information’, as promoted on their web site. The company also look forward to returns on their investment. From a running cost of $1 billion so far, they predict $1.1 billion sales this year, growing to $4-$5 billion by 2017.
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