It’s understandable that parts of IoT will move forward at different rates. But if we assume the advances in IoT will play out as we expect across our five areas of interest (wearables, home, cities, enterprise, environment), then we could be looking at a future where we live longer, we’re fitter and healthier, there’s less pollution, we need to work less, and we’re rarely late. Or are we? To paint a picture of the future as a Logan’s Run-esque utopia (spoiler: the film doesn’t turn out well) would be disingenuous, but to envisage 50 years from now as like the Pixar film WALL-E where humans are inert and ignorant would be taking things to the other extreme too. It’s clear at least that there will be knock-on effects of an automated society that no-one can predict but let’s try some of the easier ones .
One of the only areas of the wearable technology market that has matured to the point where its advocate base is wider than just early adopters, is fitness trackers. Sure, recently we’ve seen Nike release real-life versions of the clothing tech from Back to the Future 2 but coupled with a prohibitively high price tag for most, these are unlikely to go much beyond shares and likes across social media for the few days after the story breaks. But as more tech companies realise the potential of wearable devices and more fashion brands warm to the idea of smart clothing, we’ll see two huge industries that will try – and often combine – to make wearables more than just a sought-after christmas gift for 2016/2017.
Digital twins are the key to achieving smart factories. They will open the door to the manufacturing industry’s cyber-physical future.
Digital twins are cyber clones of physical things. Their use in product design and planning is big news at the moment, and using them to plan entire factories is potentially the next major step toward smart manufacturing.
With digital twins helping to ward off manufacturing defects, maybe product recalls will soon be a thing of the past?
15 September is a date Samsung employees are unlikely to forget anytime soon. It’s the day U.S. safety regulators formally announced a recall of Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in response to an electrical fault that had caused several units to overheat and even catch fire during charging. At that time there were already over a million of the phones in circulation worldwide, making the recall action a hugely expensive exercise.
Cobots are on the rise. How do they differ from conventional industrial robots?
The concept for cobots (collaborative robots) was born in 1995 as part of a research project spearheaded by the General Motors Foundation. The idea was to make robots so safe that they could literally work hand in hand with people. Now, twenty years later, cobots have found a place on many factory floors – and also in public awareness. And yet many don’t really understand how cobots are different from robots.