With more than 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2020, an interconnected world of intelligent systems is becoming a reality. From remote health monitoring to smart meters to traffic information on your car's GPS, the ways in which real-time intelligence from remote machines can be used seem endless. And with these new possibilities come great opportunities: Companies can use this data to become more efficient, cut costs, and open up new revenue streams.
Wind River® offers a complete software development environment for customers to jump-start their next-generation connected device development. Device manufacturers can use Wind River Intelligent Device Platform and Wind River software expertise to fuel the rapid innovation and deployment of intelligent connected devices. Our focus is on delivering unparalleled capabilities in three core categories:
- Connectivity: Connecting wireless and wired networks, speeding time-to-market, and reducing expense for device manufacturers
- Manageability: Delivering pre-integrated and supported management software from best-in-class independent software vendors (ISVs), making it much easier to manage remote connected devices and reduce total cost of ownership
- Security: Providing powerful and customizable security capabilities for protecting devices and data
Innovations in network connectivity, mobile and wireless technologies, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, sensor technologies, cloud computing, and data analytics have converged to create an entirely new form of intelligence—and astonishing new capabilities to optimize the productivity of processes and the efficiency of decision making. The challenge will be to minimize complexity while managing the cost of development, implementation, and maintenance.
Managing and updating devices and systems remotely increases a manufacturer's productivity and efficiency, reducing the time and cost it takes to manage a device and making updates possible at any time, from any location. But for remote management to work, devices must be easily monitored for performance from remote locations and manufacturers must have the ability to diagnose issues without a physical inspection.
Security vulnerability is a critical challenge for providers of highly interconnected systems and cloud-based networks. In the past, it was simpler to secure systems or devices when they were isolated and had well-defined boundaries. But in today's world of open and connected devices, the task can be more difficult and costly.
The environment for process control and machine manufacturers is undergoing a revolution. Where functionality once drove innovation, cost efficiency, and time-to-market, now safety and security are the overriding requirements, with snowballing pressure to meet safety requirements based on IEC 61508 and derived standards.
Nearly 70% of the energy grid is more than 30 years old, and the grid infrastructure is consequently stressed and environmentally risky. But the path to more efficient, less costly, cleaner, and safer energy generation, transportation, and distribution poses challenges: to retrofit and modernize the existing grid and to design tomorrow’s energy grid with even more built-in intelligence, communication, and the flexibility to adapt to the future—all at an acceptable cost and without undue complexity.
Medical (Connected Healthcare)
Business realities are driving the need for connectivity in medical devices. For example, to reduce costs and meet consumer demands, seamless connectivity via Bluetooth and wireless local area networks (WLANs) is often required. Interoperable connectivity is important for keeping costs in line and ensuring compliance with safety and security standards and requirements, and the use of open connectivity standards can reduce implementation and life cycle costs. Connectivity also increases efficiency: IT integration with medical device functionality enables preventive monitoring and workflow optimization.
Industrial markets have used machines, robots, and other forms of machine-to-machine (M2M) control devices and systems for many years, but new advancements are creating new opportunities. For example, manufacturing plants can use virtualization to run several "soft" programmable logic controllers (PLCs) on a single-core device. They can also provide security and communications for sensors and networks around the shop floor through a real-time operating system. M2M technology can be used for predictive maintenance; one or more criteria from monitoring data (e.g., vibration or stress) can be analyzed and used to determine when a component may be nearing failure.
Smart buildings represent an opportunity for utilities to generate energy savings by taking advantage of efficiencies based on the schedules of the building’s inhabitants, as consumers receive power from the distribution network and participate in the generation and dissemination of power. Adding intelligence to buildings also allows tighter control of building security. [paragraph break] Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology makes smart buildings possible by enabling consumers to remotely view utility consumption and control usage, and also to remotely control security, including secure access, closed circuit television, and security alarms. M2M functionality also eliminates common Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
Evolving technology across the smart grid is leading to the connected smart home becoming a reality. Machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions allow next-generation electrical appliances to communicate with intelligent power networks. Consumers can remotely view utility consumption and control security, heating, lighting, and even the charging of an electric vehicle. In-home displays show the electricity generated through micro-generated sources, including solar panels or home wind turbines, and how much is fed back into the utility grid.
Smart meters record usage and automate communication between utilities and consumers, allowing utilities to automatically report on usage via wireless networks. Service personnel no longer need to take physical readings, and utilities have better customer data.
Advancements in converging telecommunications and information processing in automotives have made driving safer and drivers more connected. Now, with the advent of the "Internet of Things," where vehicles and devices communicate with each other directly, the role telematics plays will no doubt be even more important.
In the transportation market, one thing is certain: Human lives depend on the quality of safety systems. Everything else seems to be in a constant state of flux: ever-changing government regulations; multiple safety standards that vary by country, region, or even municipality; and multiple variables that impact costs in unpredictable ways.