Industrial Internet Creating Transformational Business Value

This is the second in a two-part blog series on trends in next-generation digital efficiency. In part one, I wrote about how commercial fleet vehicle management systems can drive efficiency while reducing CO2 emissions. To learn more, check out the eBook we created in partnership with GE Ecomagination titled “Digital Efficiency: Driving Decarbonization and Unlocking Business Value Across Industries.”

One of the most pressing global economic challenges today is the global productivity slowdown. That’s why I’m excited to share how the Industrial Internet has made marked advances resulting in both economic and environmental benefits, demonstrating the potential of what is to come as new solutions are developed, deployed and scaled across industries. There’s never been a more promising time for global, industrial digitization solutions.

 

Improving Digital Efficiency

Numers superimposed on a piece of machinery to represent a smart factory.

For most industrial segments, improving the efficiency of industrial machines by a mere 1 percent used to require a dedicated new technology introduction cycle that can take up to 10 years to develop. Today, thanks to the Industrial Internet, benefits are exceeding far beyond the traditional 1 percent target, without a lengthy technology introduction cycle or replacing hardware.

The industrial sector accounts for the largest share of energy consumption delivered and accounts for more than half of total delivered energy. This is why the Industrial Internet is transformative and opens the door to accelerated resource productivity and reduced environmental impact across global industrial systems such as power generation, oil and gas, aviation and rail transportation.

 

Renewable Energy: GE’s Brilliant Wind Farm

People in T-shirts and hardhats check out a laptop while wind turbines twirl across the landscape.

One of my favorite examples of the transformational change capable with the Industrial Internet is seen in the way GE’s PowerUp Platform has been extended to enable GE Digital Wind Farm. With this solution, GE extends analytics and optimization beyond a single wind turbine to the entire wind farm. GE harnessed the power of the emerging Industrial Internet to create the Digital Wind Farm, a dynamic connected and adaptable wind energy platform that pairs wind turbines in a wind farm with digital infrastructure to optimize efficiency across the entire wind farm. The GE Digital Wind Farm solution generates up to 20 percent more energy output thanks to the GE Predix-ready gateway with Intel technology.

This platform can account for the wind farm’s topology, surrounding geography, wake effects, and other inputs to control individual wind turbines and optimize the operation as a whole. Through these techniques, the Digital Wind Farm technology boosts a wind farm’s energy production by up to 20 percent and could help generate up to an estimated $50 billion value for the wind industry. The Digital Wind Farm uses interconnected digital technology to address a long-standing need for greater flexibility in renewable power.

 

The Future Looks Bright

A woman examines rows of light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

As seen with GE’s Digital Wind Farm solution, Intel processors underline GE’s Predix solutions and provide both high power and flexibility. Powerful processors embedded in machines allow for software developed on Predix to run at the most effective point, embedded either in operations or in the cloud. Scaling out other solutions across industries in this manner, the combination of GE software and Intel hardware will provide the foundation for digital efficiency by enabling the development of Industrial Internet applications that provide the full range of potential economic and environmental benefits.

To be sure, a new world of possibilities is being unlocked through the Industrial Internet and digital solutions currently available and under development are just the tip of the iceberg. At GE and Intel, we are excited about the opportunity to play a role in helping to confront global resource challenges and accelerate the pathway to the low-carbon economy using digital technologies. The future has just begun and the best is yet to come.

To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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Source: Network News

Commercial Fleet Vehicle Management System Drives Efficiency, CO2 Reductions

This is the first in a two-part blog series on trends in next-generation digital efficiency. To learn more, check out the eBook we created in partnership with GE Ecoimagination titled, “Digital Efficiency: Driving Decarbonization and Unlocking Business Value Across Industries.”

Looking out across the vast Internet of Things (IoT) landscape, we’re seeing the emergence of digital technologies ushering in a new era of productivity for business and industrial operations, while also enabling new tools to approach global environmental challenges. Digital solutions, enabled by the Industrial Internet, can now lower operation costs, increase output, use natural resources more efficiently, and lower environmental impact enabling tremendous digital efficiency. The transformational opportunities made possible with digital efficiency as a critical differentiator are enormous.

Let’s look at fleet efficiency, for example. In a scenario where just a handful of digital solutions are scaled across key industries, such as fleet management, we estimate a potential return of $81 billion in annual cost savings to businesses, paired with a reduction of 823 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Let’s take a closer look at one such solution for improved cost-saving and energy efficiency.

 

Driving Fleet Efficiency

Truck wheels roll on, across an endless desert, sensing the future.

The big wheels of innovation were turning with a fleet management proof of concept enabled by Intel processors and GE’s Predix solutions for high power and flexibility. In this example, Intel assembled and tested a fleet management system proof of concept that can be customized to easily fit into a wide variety of commercial vehicles including taxis, school buses, and logistic freight vehicles. The architecture features an in-vehicle system based on the Intel Atom processor E3827 and sports data management, telematics, smart surveillance, and mobile applications.

Rather than fleet operators maintaining data manually, this solution collects real-time telematics data from sensors located inside the vehicle and sends it over as an Internet connection to the cloud, where it can be distributed to stakeholders or further processed by the data analytics software. The system gathers data associated with vehicles, terminals, stops, users, and driver schedules, allowing operations to run more efficiently and creating optimized routes.

Additionally, this proof of concept gathers driving pattern data. The occurrences of aggressive acceleration, braking, and turning were reduced by 57 percent, 30 percent, and 17 percent. As a result of the study, the drivers reduced their speed, which improved fuel economy. The application of data-driven insights also helped improve routes and driving behavior, as well as reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Digital Decarbonization

Sensors awaken, a bright car-to-cloud future, autonomous now.

As we’ve seen, the potential benefits of digital fleet management technologies, enabled by the Industrial Internet, to provide global environmental benefits will be dramatic and provide large market opportunities. Our analysis indicates that by 2030, the global gap between individual country carbon dioxide targets and carbon dioxide emissions is expected to grow to 2.6 Gt CO2 per year by 2030. This means that digital solutions alone have the potential to close nearly one-third of the gap between expected carbon dioxide emissions and stated country commitments!

This is a truly exciting time and the digital efficiency journey has just begun. The time is now for businesses around the world to lead their own digital efficiency revolution to increase their competitiveness and better manage the environmental impact of their operations.

To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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Source: Network News

Amazon Echo Show Ushers in Smart Home Transformation

We are closer to having autonomous homes, with advances in video, compute, and data processing capabilities being added to consumer products. This week marks the general availability of the Amazon Echo Show, which is notable not only for its popularity but also for delivering advanced sensing capabilities to a smart speaker. With a touchscreen, video capabilities, and a host of voice-enabled technology, the Echo Show is an evolution of the smart speaker, and it provides a peek into how our homes are evolving to be more perceptive, responsive and autonomous.

 

A family.

 

Computing Together

The silicon running the new Amazon Echo Show is the Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor, which delivers a low-power envelope, while also extending the classic product strengths and performance benefits of Intel technology. Some have questioned why Amazon needed this much horsepower. The answer is data. The Echo Show adds far-field voice, camera and display to the speech recognition processing of the original Echo. Smart Home technologies, such as the Echo Show, will traffic in terabytes of data.

There’s a lot of engineering involved in getting speech recognition at high degrees of speed and accuracy that deliver the best customer experiences. We worked with Amazon on this project for more than two years, and it required a massive team effort from hundreds of engineers and architects from all levels of Intel. We had great collaboration with Amazon and worked closely on the architecture, engineering and even marketing.

Collaboration is not only about bits and bytes, however. Our teams formed a lot of strong relationships and those were key to creating the foundation. As our corporate VP Gregory Bryant put it: “Intel and Amazon share a passion for customer experiences. This product is a reflection of the two companies coming together to drive innovation in the smart home and making these experiences come to life.”

 

Ease of Use is Key

One of the hurdles to smart home adoption has been the complexity. What happens now is someone orders a bunch of devices or buys some things in a big box store, and they plug them all in at home, and then something goes wrong. Their Wi-Fi isn’t efficient enough to support all the devices across the house, or the devices don’t all work together, or the homeowners can’t figure out how to set the network up, and, ultimately, they aren’t blown away by the potential of the smart home.

What the Echo has proven, is that when your devices go beyond answering questions to actually conversing with you and listening and learning your context, then they are proving their value. People are starting to appreciate the benefits from this initial round of speech-enabled products. They like the frictionless interaction through voice, and they are rapidly incorporating devices like the Echo Show into their day-to-day lives. Positive experiences are then encouraging them to take the plunge with other smart home technologies. According to Parks Associates, 53 percent of owners of smart speakers with personal assistants, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, report having a smart home device as well.

 

It’s Only the Beginning…

With the growth of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, Smart Home devices will continue to learn and improve and eventually automate many of the tasks of running the home, provide peace of mind and enrich daily life.

We’re seeing a lot of improvements in home connectivity, for example, which is absolutely critical to delivering excellent experiences. Foundational technologies transform the home from being merely connected to becoming smart — connectivity, speech, vision and cognition — and will bring about new ways for consumers to interact with technology and the world around them. With increasing speed, these and other innovations needed to power the smart home are within reach, and together with partners like Amazon we’re building the future, today.

For more information on connected smart homes, visit intel.com/smarthome. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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Source: Network News

Intel and Rice Electronics Team up on Industrial Worker Safety and Productivity

Energy, manufacturing, utilities, and public safety are just some of the segments challenged by rapidly evolving technological, economic, and social forces. Combine these pressures with opportunities enabled by Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and we can create transformational changes to improve worker safety, accelerate productivity and efficiency, and lower costs. IoT won’t just empower things to perform efficiently—it will also empower workers to better perform their work and improve efficiency, safety, and health.

That’s why I’m so excited about Rice Electronics Connected Worker Solution with Intel IoT technology, designed specifically to increase industrial worker productivity and safety by combining smartphones from Rice Electronics with gas sensors used for toxic gas monitoring. By leveraging IoT devices—including wearables for workers, such as head-mounted displays (e.g., smart glass and smart helmets), devices worn on a wrist, belt, or body suit, smartphones, or tablets—the Intel IoT gateway aggregates information from connected workers for near real-time insights.

 

Creating a Safer Environment

Numers superimposed on a piece of machinery to represent a smart factory.

Connected worker solutions can make a world of difference. Did you know that the U.S. economic cost of worker injuries and illnesses is estimated to be more than $225 billion annually, with the bulk of the expense incurred after the accident happens. Industrial workers are at increased risk for accidents, exposure to environmental hazards, security threats, and even health emergencies. These workers may be found in mines, oil and gas refineries, factories, construction sites, warehouses, and in the field maintaining, inspecting, repairing equipment, and providing services to customers. They often work in settings outside the reach of traditional and cellular communication networks, leaving them without reliable voice or data communication.

 

Reducing Workplace Risks

A person wears connected weables for increased worker safety and productivity.

Intel conducted an extensive study, interviewing workers in the manufacturing, energy, public safety, warehouse, field service, and construction sectors. The resulting insight on key challenges found that many workers within industrial organizations:

  • Are unaware of imminent threats (e.g., toxins, weather risks) to worker health and safety until after safety has been compromised.
  • Lack real-time awareness of man-down situations or other incidents affecting worker well-being, resulting in delays in workers getting necessary help and putting them further at risk.
  • Do not know real-time worker locations (versus where they are expected to be). Companies are often unaware when unauthorized workers enter potentially dangerous areas, compromising security, and risking injuries or fatalities.
  • Lack real-time access to current information, so they may not be working with the latest data or missing key updates, resulting in costly rework or delays.

Whether dealing with threats to personal safety or accessing the latest information to maximize productivity, industrial workers need near-real-time communication and information to keep them productive and safe. Intel works closely with the ecosystem and system integrators (SIs) to deliver an effective, flexible, scalable end-to-end connected worker solution.

Tackling Tough Challenges


The Rice Electronics Connected Worker Solution with Intel IoT technology is already in use by industry. The solution includes an Android-based smartphone from Rice Electronics installed with connected worker applications, and an expert/supervisor online portal. The smartphone is designed to interface with various sensors and relays data to a remote command center via an Intel Atom processor-based gateway. Backend analytics and visualization complement near-real-time local intelligence and alerts from the gateway.

The solution helps significantly improve the productivity and safety of industrial workers. It provides robust two-way communication between workers and remote operation centers, while simultaneously sharing vital near real-time sensor data about the work environment. Data flows between the Rice Electronics smartphones, a sensor hub, the Intel-powered IoT gateway, and the remote command center, using connected worker applications for remote analytics.

 

Capabilities of the Rice Electronics Connected Worker Solution with Intel IoT technology:

  • Predicting imminent threats
  • Responding to potential man down or lone worker emergencies
  • Sending warnings and alerts in cases of gas toxicity
  • Sending notifications when there are imminent weather risks
  • Geo-fencing workers to monitor safety and keep communication lines open
  • Providing near-real-time communication to prevent accidents, support productivity, and offer timely training
  • Tracking worker locations Indoors and outdoors

 

Securing a Safer Tomorrow

A person wears connected glasses for near real-time insights in an industrial environment. With the Rice Electronics Connected Worker Solution with Intel IoT technology, workers are accounted for and their safety monitored with near real-time location tracking. Geo-fencing allows supervisors to help ensure that contract workers or trainees are not inadvertently trespassing into prohibited areas and putting themselves into danger.

In the case of an unconscious or injured worker, a generated alert can help ensure immediate assistance. With toxic gas monitoring capability, workers can be informed when thresholds are exceeded. This near real-time responsive capability is critical to save precious lives, as well as reduce damage in terms of insurance and equipment costs.

There are many reasons to be optimistic about a more connected future. Based on a pilot conducted at a utility company, Intel observed that location tracking and timely weather alerts speed responses to workers and can save lives. With Intel and Rice Electronics, companies have a feasible IoT solution to support, protect, and optimize work for a safer, and more productive, tomorrow.

Learn more about connected worker solutions at intel.com/connectedworker. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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Source: Network News

Why Cities Need to “Get Smart” About Pollution

When we think about protecting the environment, we often think of faraway issues like melting ice caps or dwindling rainforests.

The reality, however, is much closer to home. The World Health Organization estimates that 92 percent of the world’s population doesn’t have access to clean air. This is more than a health problem. The World Bank estimates that in 2013 air pollution was responsible for $225 billion in lost productivity.

Action must be taken by policymakers, the private sector, and citizens like you and me in order to safeguard the air we breathe. It falls to all of us because the conditions are worst in cities, where most of us live. Children are hardest hit by poor air quality, meaning that the pollution in major population centers is already affecting our future.

The good news is that we are building tools to tackle this problem head-on.

Intel worked with Bosch on the Bosch Air Quality Micro Climate Monitoring System (MCMS), an end-to-end solution that collects air quality information across large areas. At a fraction of the cost (and size) of previous systems, it can be deployed throughout a city or industrial zone, radically increasing the precision of air quality data.

While cities might have once paid $150,000-$250,000 for a single unit, the MCMS is affordable enough to be distributed throughout many neighborhoods or industrial areas. This is critical as disparities in traffic, population density, and industrial activity can mean drastically different levels of pollution across a city.

In fact, pollution levels can differ enormously from block to block. A new study used Google Street View cars to measure air quality in Oakland, collecting data every 100 feet. The results shocked researchers, demonstrating enormous variation depending on facts such as proximity to cement plants, auto body shops, and even restaurants. The MCMS offers a permanent solution to collect highly localized air quality levels.

Each device pushes measurements to the cloud, where they are broken down with analytics that are easy to understand. This puts large volumes of high-quality data in the hands of city or industry decision makers, giving them the tools to measure how well clean air policies are working.

In a major step forward, this data can also be shared directly with the public, empowering city inhabitants with real-time information about their surroundings. Knowing that pollution levels are high may lead some people to stay home, for example, or change their running route to avoid lung damage.

Things get even more exciting as we think through ways IoT systems will change the nature of city life. If we integrated an air quality monitoring system with a smart traffic network, we could detect traffic jams with high levels of air pollution as motors idle. It would be possible to redirect the flow of traffic, or instruct drivers to turn off engines as they wait.

This is only one opportunity on the horizon. Given access to large new pools of city data, entrepreneurs can transform issues like congestion into opportunities with traffic management solutions, connected lighting, and smart parking. City planners and developers will integrate connected features into their design process. There is much to be excited about; the rise of such smart cities will bring many positive changes to residents in tomorrow’s urban centers.

Smart cities are becoming a reality thanks to recent advances in technology. In the future our cities will depend on 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence, which offer the speed and compute power to deliver real-time insights to millions of city inhabitants.

This isn’t science fiction. In fact, 5G has already arrived; live demonstrations took place at Mobile World Congress earlier this year in Barcelona. Intel recently launched a residential trial of a 5G connected home in Speedway, Indiana, featuring livestreaming of high-resolution 4K 360-degree video, using VR headsets to showcase activity at the famed raceway nearby.

Before long, 5G  will offer better solutions to commuters as they begin their day, and before long 5G will be powering systems of autonomous vehicles, supporting a $7 trillion “passenger economy” by 2050.

We are ready for this revolution today thanks to the steady rise of processing power. Moore’s Law has brought the cost of powerful chips down to make the mass deployment of IoT devices possible.

Intel co-founder Robert Noyce once said, “Don’t be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful.” The rise of smart cities presents us an opportunity to do just that. Given that the health of our children is at stake, these technologies have arrived just in time.

To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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Source: Network News

Home Connectivity Reimagined

The need to be “connected” at all times and have a “smarter” home is putting a huge stress on our home networks. Think about the typical house today, which has 10 or more connected devices such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, gaming systems, appliances and so on. Forecasts expect this number to grow over the next few years with 35 to 50 or more connected devices in the average home.

Today’s home network infrastructure is struggling to keep pace with the increasing demands for bandwidth. To create the best possible experience for consumers, we must deliver faster broadband connections along with more consistent connectivity that extends to all corners of the home.

Faster Broadband Access

Networks need to be faster, smarter and flexible enough to be upgraded without disrupting existing infrastructure. This is why we are expanding the Intel AnyWAN product family with a new G.fast solution. The Intel AnyWAN SoCs, in combination with the new Intel AnyWAN transceiver VRX618, will give telco service providers the ability to harness the speed of the new G.fast standard to bring gigabit access to the home while still maintaining backward compatibility with legacy copper access technologies for smooth migration.

Home Connectivity Hubs

Once we have faster connectivity to the home, the goal is to carry that connectivity to the various devices within the home, with gateways serving as a “hub” or controller. I’m excited about the number of leading OEMs and service providers who are introducing new gateways and routers, including ASUS, Deutsche Telekom, Netgear and Phicomm. These new gateways are using Intel’s unique Wi-Fi offering that allows up to 128 clients — seriously, up to 128 clients — to share the same bandwidth simultaneously and still maintain high-speed connections. As a result, they can scale to accommodate the growing number of connected devices we are bringing into our homes.

For cable networks, we have been investing and leading innovations for many years, including a leading role in the specification and development of the DOCSIS 3.1 standard and, now, Full Duplex DOCSIS. This week during ANGA COM, we showcased with Cisco the first live industry demonstration of Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1, from cloud to client. Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 enables cable providers to offer higher speed connections at lower capex and also faster time to market of more sophisticated services and applications to their customers.

Whole Home Coverage

The challenge with many of today’s home networks is that using a singular connectivity hub doesn’t always provide consistent, reliable connectivity to every corner of a home. As you have probably seen in your own house, Wi-Fi throughput degrades as a connected device gets farther away from that central home gateway. Even with repeaters and extenders, the increased pressure on the infrastructure from more devices and connected activities results in inefficiencies and inconsistent throughput.

To address this challenge, Intel is introducing the Intel Home Wi-Fi Development Kit. Our partners can use this to develop a dynamic, adaptable network of gateways and intelligent range extenders. In addition to providing “coverage,” this type of intelligent network anticipates and adjusts dynamically, ensuring that consistent connectivity is delivered to each client device, regardless of the number of devices or bandwidth demands.

Connectivity is the electricity of the domestic revolution, and it needs to be just as reliable as any utility service in a home. As we embark on our path to a well-connected home, we can start to deliver on the promise of a truly smart home.

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Source: Network News

The Future Is Symmetrical with Full Duplex DOCSIS

This past weekend, while I was attending one of the world’s biggest auto racing events in my hometown of Indianapolis, I couldn’t help but think about the similarities between the race and what I do at Intel. When cars are flying around the track, speed and reliability are absolutely critical. But what sets the winning drivers and teams apart is their intense dedication to continuous improvement that leads to better, more efficient ways of doing things, whether it’s faster pit stops or innovating next-gen technology. And I feel like we at Intel are achieving just that for cable broadband.

Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth states that users’ bandwidth increases 50 percent each year, and, as a result, consumers are seeing continuous improvements in cable bandwidth. These faster speeds support the many smart, connected devices we now have in our homes and enable higher-quality connected experiences — from virtual reality to immersive PC gaming to 4K streaming and more. In fact, the number of connected devices per home is expected to grow to more than 35 by the year 2020. While this is exciting for consumers, it raises several questions for our industry: What does this mean for network infrastructure? And how do we expand its capacity to accommodate increased demand, without disrupting service, yet still provide great experiences?

The current generation of Ultra DOCSIS 3.0 solutions (such as those based on the Intel Puma 6 SoC) ushered in the first generation of 1 Gbps hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) cable networks. The most recent DOCSIS technology (DOCSIS 3.1), developed by Intel in collaboration with its partners, paves the way to multigigabit speeds, meaning it can compete with fiber alternatives. Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 (FDX) is the next step in evolutionary technology advancement that enables simultaneous gigabit upstream and multigigabit downstream, all over the same frequency spectrum.

Ready for prime time

Although not a new idea, full-duplex communication (the transmission and reception of signals at the same frequency at the same time) is a hot topic because of advances in signal processing that now allow actual commercial deployment of Full Duplex DOCSIS networks.

Intel and Cisco gave the industry its first live demonstration of Full Duplex DOCSIS, from cloud to client, at ANGA COM 2017. The specification, which Intel has played a leading role in developing, showed conference attendees how it enables service providers to offer higher speed symmetrical bandwidth. This creates the best experience possible for customers while lowering the total cost of ownership.

Exceeding expectations with technology

Since their first generation, Intel Puma SoCs have delivered DOCSIS technology that drives the advancement of Nielsen’s Law with lower cost compared to new fiber construction costs. Our next generation of Intel Puma SoCs will do the same, and Intel’s Full Duplex DOCSIS innovations will enable cable providers to deliver multigigabit speeds to tens of millions of homes across the country.

And the push for innovation doesn’t stop there. Intel is also investing in transforming networks as described recently by Dan Rodriguez, Intel VP of communications infrastructure, in a blog post about how network function virtualization (NFV), including cable access network workloads, will run on virtual machines.

We will continue to support cable operators with faster speeds and cost-effective solutions to roll out multigigabit symmetrical services through the latest Intel innovations: Intel Puma SoCs, FPGAs and Intel Xeon processors. With Full Duplex DOCSIS, the future is symmetrical and full of new, smart and connected experiences.

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Source: Network News

The Intimacy of Autonomous Vehicles

This post was originally published on Core77.

Currently, most of the attention on autonomous vehicles is focused on the technology that lets cars drive themselves. However, in the near future, the industry will need to broaden its focus to include what is arguably just as important: the passenger. At Intel, we’ve been working on technology platforms that will allow cars to actually drive themselves for some time. More recently, our UX team has turned to designing, prototyping, and testing a number of experiences for how passengers will operate autonomous vehicles, how passengers will feel safe and confident during a trip, and how these automated systems will communicate clearly, so passengers will understand what an autonomous vehicle is doing, and why.

Much of this work has led us to spend quite a bit of time inside vehicles—incorporating new technologies and new interactions to understand what should be optimized on our platforms—and in this process, we’ve started thinking about the ways in which the physical interiors of autonomous vehicles may need to change. So I’d like to share a few initial thoughts as we begin to form hypotheses about what will be important in these new physical interiors.

One aspect of car ownership we often take for granted is the relationship between driver and passenger. With the exception of picking up a hitchhiker, a driver knows his or her passengers—family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances—and because of this, there’s a familiarity that lets people share such a small space. And even with taxis and ride hailing services, a front seat/back seat separation exists between driver and passengers, where passengers who share a ride almost always know each other. However, with ride hailing services introducing reduced-rate “pool” options, strangers are now riding in the backs of cars together. And with driverless “mobility-on-demand” services likely to be one of the first ways autonomous vehicles enter the market, we will likely see an increase in the number of passengers who don’t know each other, sharing rides regularly in vehicles without a driver.

Of course, most people have experience sharing rides with strangers. Buses, subways, airplanes, and trains are just some of the ways we travel together. But although we’re often shoulder-to-shoulder, the relatively large interiors, and larger number of people traveling together, make it easy for us to assume a certain degree of anonymity. It’s easier for us to keep to ourselves in the midst of the crowd. But with autonomous vehicles, the interiors are much smaller and hold far fewer people. It’s the closeness of the space—the intimacy— that will be a significant challenge for designers. These interior environments will need to address a number of competing needs. How will they accommodate groups of strangers, and also groups who know each other? How will they provide space for being social and for keeping to oneself? How will they create experiences that promote sharing while also safeguarding individual privacy? And all of these situations will undoubtedly be heightened with no human driver to help set context or mediate interactions.

So, the intimate nature of autonomous vehicles will most likely lead to a significant rethinking of vehicle interiors, prompting car companies to innovate in a variety of ways. But when it comes to designing how people will share these close spaces with each other, we’ve identified three general challenges that seem particularly important for designers to tackle first:

 

Being together & being apart

From one ride to the next, we see an ever-shifting need to be social or private. Some people will want to sit side-by-side, others across from each other, still others will want to sit in a small circle to share or socialize—all while other passengers may want their own more private, personal spaces. All of this means that seating will have to become much more changeable, flexible, and adaptable. How might seats be combined or separated? Can they be brought out or stowed away, to create more or less space? In what ways could seats be reconfigured into individual or shared seating?

 

New ways to create privacy

In such intimate spaces, the pressure to have some sort of social interaction with other passengers, even a brief hello, may be substantial. In some contexts, passengers will want to engage, but in others they may want to keep to themselves. Currently, people use headphones or stay heads-down in a book to signal that they are “unavailable” for conversation, but physical aspects of the interior might also be designed to help create discrete spaces. How might partitioning be incorporated into the environment? Could lighting be used to signal a need for privacy? What interior layouts will let passengers use their mobile devices without someone looking over their shoulder?

 

The ebb and flow of our devices

If one of the main value propositions for autonomous vehicles is to free up driving time for other activities, then passengers will likely use their mobile devices for chatting, texting, watching content, or being productive. This means that vehicle interiors must account for the various needs we have with our mobile devices. What physical areas (device “cup holders”?) will enable us to charge, view, and use our devices hands-free? How will the space accommodate the bags, cases, power cords, stands, headphones, and other peripherals we bring with our devices? And how will the space make it easy for us to remember our devices, so we don’t leave them behind at the end of a trip?

Again, these three challenges look at the interiors of autonomous vehicles as shared environments, much like taxis or ride-hailing vehicles, where passengers may or may not know each other. Many in the industry believe that autonomous vehicles will first hit the market as fleets of “robot-taxis”. This is likely because the value propositions of autonomous vehicles seem familiar and well-aligned with the current “anytime, anywhere” promise of ride-hailing services. For personally-owned autonomous vehicles, other interior design needs will arise, and many aspects of the above challenges may not apply at all.

It will be interesting to see all of the ways these interiors will come to be, as the industry marches on and autonomous vehicles become a reality. In a few short years, we might take a ride, if we’re confident they are safe and trustworthy. And we might continue riding in them, if the interiors are designed with our needs, comfort, and privacy in mind.

To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

 

The post The Intimacy of Autonomous Vehicles appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

The Intimacy of Connected Vehicles

This post was originally published on Core77.

Currently, most of the attention on connected vehicles is focused on the technology that lets cars drive themselves. However, in the near future, the industry will need to broaden its focus to include what is arguably just as important: the passenger. At Intel, we’ve been working on technology platforms that will allow cars to actually drive themselves for some time. More recently, our UX team has turned to designing, prototyping, and testing a number of experiences for how passengers will operate connected vehicles, how passengers will feel safe and confident during a trip, and how these connected systems will communicate clearly, so passengers will understand what an connected vehicle is doing, and why.

Much of this work has led us to spend quite a bit of time inside vehicles—incorporating new technologies and new interactions to understand what should be optimized on our platforms—and in this process, we’ve started thinking about the ways in which the physical interiors of connected vehicles may need to change. So I’d like to share a few initial thoughts as we begin to form hypotheses about what will be important in these new physical interiors.

One aspect of car ownership we often take for granted is the relationship between driver and passenger. With the exception of picking up a hitchhiker, a driver knows his or her passengers—family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances—and because of this, there’s a familiarity that lets people share such a small space. And even with taxis and ride hailing services, a front seat/back seat separation exists between driver and passengers, where passengers who share a ride almost always know each other. However, with ride hailing services introducing reduced-rate “pool” options, strangers are now riding in the backs of cars together. And with driverless “mobility-on-demand” services likely to be one of the first ways connected vehicles enter the market, we will likely see an increase in the number of passengers who don’t know each other, sharing rides regularly in vehicles without a driver.

Of course, most people have experience sharing rides with strangers. Buses, subways, airplanes, and trains are just some of the ways we travel together. But although we’re often shoulder-to-shoulder, the relatively large interiors, and larger number of people traveling together, make it easy for us to assume a certain degree of anonymity. It’s easier for us to keep to ourselves in the midst of the crowd. But with connected vehicles, the interiors are much smaller and hold far fewer people. It’s the closeness of the space—the intimacy— that will be a significant challenge for designers. These interior environments will need to address a number of competing needs. How will they accommodate groups of strangers, and also groups who know each other? How will they provide space for being social and for keeping to oneself? How will they create experiences that promote sharing while also safeguarding individual privacy? And all of these situations will undoubtedly be heightened with no human driver to help set context or mediate interactions.

So, the intimate nature of connected vehicles will most likely lead to a significant rethinking of vehicle interiors, prompting car companies to innovate in a variety of ways. But when it comes to designing how people will share these close spaces with each other, we’ve identified three general challenges that seem particularly important for designers to tackle first:

 

Being together & being apart

From one ride to the next, we see an ever-shifting need to be social or private. Some people will want to sit side-by-side, others across from each other, still others will want to sit in a small circle to share or socialize—all while other passengers may want their own more private, personal spaces. All of this means that seating will have to become much more changeable, flexible, and adaptable. How might seats be combined or separated? Can they be brought out or stowed away, to create more or less space? In what ways could seats be reconfigured into individual or shared seating?

 

New ways to create privacy

In such intimate spaces, the pressure to have some sort of social interaction with other passengers, even a brief hello, may be substantial. In some contexts, passengers will want to engage, but in others they may want to keep to themselves. Currently, people use headphones or stay heads-down in a book to signal that they are “unavailable” for conversation, but physical aspects of the interior might also be designed to help create discrete spaces. How might partitioning be incorporated into the environment? Could lighting be used to signal a need for privacy? What interior layouts will let passengers use their mobile devices without someone looking over their shoulder?

 

The ebb and flow of our devices

If one of the main value propositions for connected vehicles is to free up driving time for other activities, then passengers will likely use their mobile devices for chatting, texting, watching content, or being productive. This means that vehicle interiors must account for the various needs we have with our mobile devices. What physical areas (device “cup holders”?) will enable us to charge, view, and use our devices hands-free? How will the space accommodate the bags, cases, power cords, stands, headphones, and other peripherals we bring with our devices? And how will the space make it easy for us to remember our devices, so we don’t leave them behind at the end of a trip?

Again, these three challenges look at the interiors of connected vehicles as shared environments, much like taxis or ride-hailing vehicles, where passengers may or may not know each other. Many in the industry believe that connected vehicles will first hit the market as fleets of “robot-taxis”. This is likely because the value propositions of connected vehicles seem familiar and well-aligned with the current “anytime, anywhere” promise of ride-hailing services. For personally-owned connected vehicles, other interior design needs will arise, and many aspects of the above challenges may not apply at all.

It will be interesting to see all of the ways these interiors will come to be, as the industry marches on and connected vehicles become a reality. In a few short years, we might take a ride, if we’re confident they are safe and trustworthy. And we might continue riding in them, if the interiors are designed with our needs, comfort, and privacy in mind.

To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

 

The post The Intimacy of Connected Vehicles appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

Smart Factory Solutions and Demos in Full Gear at Hannover Messe

The Factory of the Future, Industrial 4.0, and the smart and connected factory: Regardless of what it is called, the transformation of how companies are accelerating innovation represents a dramatic change in process based on new technologies. Among the catalysts are artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G, enabling the next turning point in modern industrial history. We need only look to the rapid growth springing forth from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to become aware of the tremendous potential that lies before us.

Recently, I wrote about how connecting machines is a bridge to the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). What’s exciting is how that bridge can enable the factory of the future, creating a dynamic workplace, where machines are networked together for smarter production. As we approach Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair, I’m excited to share a sneak peek at a couple of the demos we have planned for our booth in the Digital Factory Exhibition, Hall 7, D12.

 

Industrial Wearables: Smart and Connected Workers

Recon Jet Pro glasses

Every manufacturer strives to make workers more productive and safer. Now, with connected wearable technology, you can provide them with the right data at the right time in order to improve efficiency and avoid safety hazards. Want warehouse workers to pick faster and with fewer errors? IoT-enabled smart glasses and headsets allow workers to access an inventory list, locate items, validate pics, and track progress – entirely hands-free. These wearable devices can also help other types of workers, like field service engineers sent out to repair equipment.

At Hannover Messe, visit the Intel booth to explore connected worker wearables like Recon Jet Pro smart glasses and consider how augmenting worker capabilities in the field can streamline and may even eliminate the need to send additional support to a site.

 

Automated Factory: Miniaturizing the Smart Factory with FPGAs

Cobots team up on some awesome manufacturing equipment.

Like other manufacturing scenarios, factory automation has helped Intel increase throughput and the precision of its factory processes. In the future, higher levels of automation are expected to enable autonomous manufacturing, which will eliminate nearly all manual steps needed to operate and reconfigure production lines. Internet of Things (IoT) is a key enabler for many automated factory imperatives, such as open standards-based automation solutions, information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT) convergence, business intelligence, and dynamic collaboration.

Intrigued? At Hannover Messe, we’re teaming up with Exor to show how smart factory solutions can employ reconfigurable FPGAs that can adapt to changing protocol standards like time-sensitive networking. Join us to see how this can enable industrial solutions that are quick to assemble, robust, complete, and flexible.

 

Predictive Maintenance: Managing and Visualizing Factory Data

A cobot gets a little fine tuning before springing into action on the smart factory floor.

Unplanned downtime can bring production to a grinding halt, which is why situation operations managers do a lot of preventative maintenance in order to avoid equipment breakdowns. At regular intervals, whether needed or not, service engineers run diagnostics, great parts, and swap out components, even if they’re still good. Predictive maintenance is a potentially lower cost alternative that continuously monitors equipment health using IoT sensors to measure temperature, vibration, throughput, and more. Meanwhile, machine learning algorithms differentiate normal wear from problematic behavior for individual pieces of equipment. The result is that warnings can be sent when equipment maintenance needs are imminent.

At Hannover Messe, we’ll be showing a Fujitsu manufacturing solution that can monitor factory data in near real-time using a dashboard that consolidates, manages, and visualizes large amounts of data to make the manufacturing space more efficient.

 

Make Intelligent Connections at the Intel Booth

Join us at the Intel booth at Hannover Messe (D12, Hall 7) in Hannover, Germany, April 24- 28, 2017 and discover how Intel is powering the new IoT-enabled industrial revolution. We look forward to seeing you in Hannover.

To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Smart Factory Solutions and Demos in Full Gear at Hannover Messe appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News