Earlier this week, we attended a conference focused on the intersection of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and the Department of Defense (DoD). We heard from multiple organizations that are actively delivering solutions at this intersection, from traditional engineering firms, to pure software giants like Microsoft, to non-profit entities such as R!oT. Although IoT certainly has its applications in battlefield and warfare scenarios that the DoD ultimately oversees, the content at this particular conference shifted away from combat operations to discuss the ‘Smart Base’ – an extension of the IoT-laden ‘Smart Cities’ movement that has been sweeping the US these last few years.
The conference reminds us that IoT has not only formed the basis of the Smart Cities and Smart Bases movement, but that it is truly the bridge between the digital and physical worlds. To further elaborate, participating in the conference was MC Dean, a company founded in the mid-20th century with an original focus on what we think of as more traditional engineering disciplines when compared with their newer software and information systems counterparts – disciplines falling in the electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering realms. Fast-forward to several decades after MC Dean’s founding, and they’ve developed software and technology-based architectures that enable them to digitally tap into the physical world they’ve been accustomed to operating in.
As for AIC and our nexus to IoT, we view this relationship as twofold:
Our data science expertise can deliver high-value results with an immediate ROI in the IoT ‘backend’: While the information contained in the results of an individual sensor are fairly straightforward, understanding aggregated sensor information requires a particular type of expertise. AIC’s data science capability enables us to discover non-obvious insights from what IoT ‘Big Data’ is trying to tell us. Just as conference presenter Tom Schiller, CEO of FacilityConneX, shared how their adoption of machine learning algorithms saved their hospital clients substantial energy costs, we can apply the same techniques to enable the Smart City or Smart Base to successfully achieve their goals.
Our systems engineering expertise enables us to architect comprehensive IoT solutions, from sensor, to corresponding information system, and everything in-between: At the macro-level, an IoT ‘system’ is comprised of sensor-embedded ‘things’ found in the physical world, an information technology stack to perform various operations on sensor-generated data, and the communications networks that direct the flow of information between sensor and information system. AIC’s systems engineering expertise can help clients develop balanced IoT systems that are tailored to the unique needs of a given IoT initiative.
Just as Microsoft’s Gordon Blackwell, IoT Solution Architect, coined IoT: “The Internet of Things isn’t a technology revolution….IoT is a business revolution, enabled by technology.” If money talks, perhaps there’s something to be said for another talking point shared by Gordon during his presentation – that Microsoft plans to invest $5 Billion into their IoT portfolio.
It is certainly an exciting time to see where IoT takes us – from its intersection with DoD, to its intersection with Smart Cities, to the even larger bridge that IoT has helped create between the physical and digital worlds. Our combined data science and systems engineering expertise make us well-positioned to deliver solutions in the IoT arena – please contact us to learn more about how we can help you with your IoT endeavors.