The death of a dishwasher and the rise of the Internet of Things
A couple weeks ago our dishwasher died. The death was not slow and painful, rather it was swift. On Tuesday night it worked. On Wednesday night it refused to even turn on. There were no signs that our dishwasher was going to die on Wednesday night. In fact, the only indicator that there was a problem with the dishwasher was that it stopped working.
This is what happens with conventional devices- they let us know that there is a problem by ceasing to function. The result is that we are left with a device that needs to be repaired or, as was the case with my dishwasher, the need to purchase a new device.
Repairing a device takes time. Getting a new device takes time. Both at home and in the workplace, downtime can be a problem. The Internet of Things (IoT) can eliminate downtime.
The IoT is broadly defined as the merging of the physical and digital worlds. It is a scenario in which people and/or objects can be uniquely identified with the ability to share information over a network without conscious intervention. Data is automatically transferred, analyzed and used to trigger an event.
Reports by Cisco, IDC, and Gartner predict that the IoT will have a profound impact on how the how supply chains will operate in the future. One of the primary reasons the IoT will impact the future of the supply chain is the exponential growth of real-time data that will be generated by connected devices (more than 50 billion devices are predicted by 2020).
IoT devices can monitor their functions and alert the appropriate person if/when there is an impending issue, thus reducing or eliminating downtime. It is even possible that an IoT device could order itself a replacement part (or replacement for itself). The benefits of this are immense.