The Power of Data


As companies focus more on the Internet of Things, they are developing new solutions to drive the industry forward. Major technology firms have been rolling out products and services designed to simplify the Internet of Things and make it more useful for business.

Recently, IBM,, announced a partnership with Semtech Corp.,, a semiconductor provider. The companies have combined Semtech’s hardware with IBM software to offer a connectivity solution. The system can transmit data up to a distance of nine miles, depending on the environment.

The system features IBM’s Mote Runner software and Semtech’s SX127x with LoRa device. It’s designed to work with wireless sensor networks, providing a way for data transfer to occur across longer distances. Mote Runner is a platform used to connect sensor and actuator motes, and the software solution is available on Semtech’s SX1272 RFIC (radio frequency integrated circuit). LoRa provides additional range to the solution, eliminating the need for repeaters in some applications.

The companies say the new sensors use a star-network architecture, allowing each gateway to handle millions of transactions per day. This type of sensor network could be used for applications including smart metering and remote monitoring of train tracks.

With more data than ever available to organizations, businesses are also looking for ways to use information most effectively. To this end, GE,, announced new technologies for its Predix platform. Predix enables what GE calls “industrial Internet predictivity,” or using machine data to make predictions about business performance.

GE says Predix provides a way to connect machines, industrial Big Data, and people. It’s designed to process industrial Big Data, and a total of 24 solutions are now available, enabling functions such as asset optimization and operations optimization. The new Predix solutions integrate with customers’ existing software and data management infrastructure to increase productivity and save money.

Depending on the industry using the solution, results can include minimal unplanned downtime, increased productivity, preventive maintenance, lower fuel costs, and reduced emissions. For instance, GE cites a hospital using the system to manage and analyze patient and equipment data. GE says the hospital was able to attain a 51-minute reduction in bed turnaround time and reduced patient wait times.

In another case, an airline predicts a $90 million savings throughout five years based on using the software to track, analyze, and adapt its flight routes and fuel consumption. By putting data to work, companies are unlocking the benefits promised by M2M technology.

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June/July 2014
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