The emergence and accessibility of wireless technologies, broadband Internet, smart products and complete software solutions are slashing connectivity costs. More devices are being equipped with WiFi, Blue Tooth and integrated sensors as smartphone penetration skyrockets. All of these factors are brewing a perfect storm for next-gen, connected products, which will play a central role in the way we’ll live over the next decade.
Connected devices are already changing the way we communicate with a particular product. With the Internet of Things (IoT) data, crucial insights on even the smallest of customer requirements have become readily available, enabling manufacturers to track product performance on a real-time basis. In such circumstances, the deployment of high-end connected technology in an existing PLM solution can help manufacturers with enhanced visibility and traceability of product-specific insights throughout the product lifecycle. the deployment of high-end connected technology in an existing PLM solution can help manufacturers with enhanced visibility and traceability of product-specific insights throughout the product lifecycle.
As new disruptive technologies start consolidating, manufacturers without a formal product lifecycle management (PLM) framework will be the first to realize this. The concept of product innovation and development is no longer immune to digital forces. The transformation begins at the base of the value chain and continues throughout the product life cycle. Thanks to the emerging hyper-connected environment, the global PLM market is all set for exponential growth. From $40.26 billion in 2014, revenues are expected to reach a whopping $75.87 billion by 2022 at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1%.
Additionally, connected PLM is ushering new possibilities by enabling manufacturers to integrate multiple incongruent systems and gain insights into the product development process. Companies are compiling this data along with the engineering bill of materials and other supporting documents to provide stakeholders with increased visibility on crucial product information. These transformations are opening the door for enterprises to efficiently configure similar products with multiple variations. Smart, connected products require companies to build and support an entirely new technology infrastructure. This “technology stack” is made up of multiple layers, including new product hardware, embedded software, connectivity, a product cloud consisting of software running on remote servers, a suite of security tools, a gateway for external information sources, and integration with enterprise business systems.
This infrastructure enables extraordinary new product capabilities. First, products can monitor and report on their own condition and environment, helping to generate previously unavailable insights into their performance and use. Second, complex product operations can be controlled by the users, through numerous remote-access options. That gives users the unprecedented ability to customize the function, performance, and interface of products and to operate them in hazardous or hard-to-reach environments. Third, the combination of monitoring data and remote-control capability creates new opportunities for optimization. Algorithms can substantially improve product performance, utilization, and uptime, and how products work with related products in broader systems, such as smart buildings and smart farms. Fourth, the combination of monitoring data, remote control, and optimization algorithms allows autonomy. Products can learn, adapt to the environment and to user preferences, service themselves, and operate on their own.
A connected world :
IoT promises to bring many benefits, including a new generation of smart, connected products. In addition to mechanical and electrical components, these products use digital components such as microprocessors, sensors, data storage, software, and connectivity in a variety of ways. An Internet-connected device can do more than feed data to the cloud and other devices, it can also receive software updates from the manufacturer. The result will be products can actually improve over time rather than becoming increasingly obsolete. For example, a manufacturer can push out an update over Wi-Fi that makes an older dishwasher run as efficiently as the latest model.
The consumer expectation that products will improve over time means that products will increasingly become a way to deliver services. Think about when a consumer buys a piece of hardware like a smartphone. That initial purchase is only the beginning of the relationship – the consumer immediately starts customising and personalising the phone by downloading and purchasing apps and other software utilities. Today consumers still power the internet. Online video accounts for some 70 per cent of the world’s internet traffic, with only small differences across regions.
By 2030, we expect that share to exceed 80 per cent. By some estimates, the world will consume 20 times more data than it does today, with much of this growth driven by new users, more time spent watching video, and higher-definition content. Connectivity will enable businesses to do more in the next decade as well. Enhanced broadband will make streaming, downloads, and data exchange lightning fast. Because they require less power, LPWANs can extend the battery life of the devices and sensors they connect, making it viable for the Internet of Things to scale up like never before. Ultra-low latency and strong security will create the confidence to run mission-critical applications that demand absolute reliability and responsiveness; even in vital infrastructure systems and in matters of life and death.
People will wear devices that connect to the Internet for feedback on activities, health and fitness. Devices will also monitor others – children or employees, for example – who are wearing sensors or moving in and out of sensor-equipped spaces. Homes will also have sensors that alert home-owners to everything from prowlers to broken water pipes. Embedded devices and smartphone apps will provide pollution-level readouts and make transportation more efficient. Smart systems might better deliver electricity and water, as well as alert infrastructure problems before they happen.
Privacy and data sharing concerns will escalate when we’re talking about many billions of devices being connected. Standards, encryption, and new data laws are being put into place to allow this expanding world to grow, safely and securely. As we enter a connected future, the potentials for amazing innovative deployments and concerning hazards increase almost as fast as the connected devices themselves.