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Right from the outset of our research into the Internet of Things, it was clear that the city would be the topic of our final and concluding report. The city is the economic heart of society and the biotope in which people prefer to dwell. At home or on the street, on the way to the theatre, or waiting at school for the bus: the Internet of Things will soon be active at all such places. At least, that is the general expectation. Therefore, the city is a logical place to have a closer look at all these developments. Ultimately, the ingredients ought to converge at all these different urban locations: perfectly working technology, the ease with which people like to serve themselves, and all kinds of other extras that Connected Things promise to provide us with.


Wherever we get down to work – on the factory floor, on the railway, or even if the work only involves doing the laundry or brushing our teeth – there is a silent revolution taking place. Thanks to the Internet, sensors and embedded systems, completely new opportunities are opening up for new combinations of mental, physical and mechanical work. The latest phase of what we call “Pervasive Computing” is currently underlying the far-reaching integration of Information Technology (it) and Operational Technology (ot). This integration, which knows many forms, produces profit in three ways that this report explores: by reducing costs as a consequence of predictive maintenance, and in greater speed and intelligence thanks to Machine-to-Machine communication and improved Human-Machine Interaction (hmi). Industry is at the forefront of this development, which is generally regarded as the fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution. To exemplify the range of applications, Computerworld compared Boeing’s extensive use of sensor data in factory operations when building the Dreamliner to the American National Football League’s early stages of sensor use on players, the ball and helmets. Evidently there are differences in the integration – let’s call it maturity – between it and ot.

The Age of Empathic Things

In this second study on Things, vint explores the coming transition toward a more empathic form of computerization. In the past few years, information technology has become increasingly personal and social, and has made its presence very much felt. The emergence of wearable computing and other forms of empathic “things” seems a logical next step: even more intimate, human-oriented and ubiquitous. There are more and more devices that count our steps, take our blood pressure or measure the indoor temperature, track our location or conversations. We are witnessing a computer boom in devices of all kinds, shapes and sizes – around, on or inside the body – that behave increasingly smarter and link up more and more intuitively with mankind’s extremely personal and natural interface.

Internet of Business Opportunities

Business enthusiasm for Internet connected things is related to new opportunities to combat waste in the broadest sense of the term. Lost time and attention, lost energy and money, machines that are shut down for maintenance too quickly, etc. This waste occurs among all parties: clients, suppliers, governmental bodies, service providers and the manufacturing industry. You should direct your things efforts at the triad of combating waste, building autonomous systems, and intensive client interaction: in short, smact. The figures concerning the impact of such intelligent things are dazzling, amounting to many thousands of billions. McKinsey estimates the market to be worth 2,700 to 6,200 billion dollars, Cisco talks about 14,400 billion. These estimates mean that this development is related to the whole economy. This is why notions such as Internet of Everything are currently going around. The value behind these enormous sums is related to all kinds of waste. Whether this concerns a reduction in the cost of healthcare as a result of remote healthcare, or a reduction due to fewer car accidents, a part of the waste is consistently being eroded as intelligent digital things are arriving as a replacement.

Connect | Talk | Think | Act: Developing Internet of Things & Industrial Internet Opportunities

This VINT report explores the internet of things and industrial internet opportunities and presents: GE’s Industrial Internet (of Things and Services that is) What Customers Want and Expect: Connected Service eXperience (CSX) Things and Services from Michelin and Philips IOT with Sogeti