October 23, 2014 — General Electric and Verizon have teamed up to allow GE’s software-enabled machines and devices to connect to Verizon’s machine-to-machine connectivity and cloud platforms for operation on the “Industrial Internet,” according to an announcement made at GE’s third annual Minds + Machines conference, Oct. 9, in New York.
For those not acquainted with the term Industrial Internet, Benedict Evans, partner, Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm in San Francisco, said it is “more helpful in thinking about how these things are likely to work” than the term Internet of Things, which sounds like “it belongs to the New York World’s Fair of 1964.”
“In the future, anything that can be connected, measured, controlled or instrumented in any form will be,” he told an audience during a keynote speech at GE Minds + Machines. “All the benefits of the desktop PC in the past will move out into every aspect of our lives and every aspect of industrial companies.”
The GE/Verizon alliance is intended to provide remote monitoring, diagnostics and the ability to resolve maintenance issues using GE’s Predix platform.
“The potential for transforming industries, including rail, aviation, energy and healthcare, as well as society as we know it is tremendous, and yet the Internet of Things is a nascent, complex and fragmented market,” said Mark Bartolomeo, head of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon. “Driving adoption requires broadening alliances across the ecosystem. We look forward to using the power of our network and cloud platforms to enhance our long-standing relationship with GE so that together we can create new business models across the Industrial Internet.”
First Wave of Predix-ready Devices to Go Online Next Year
GE also announced global alliances with Softbank and Vodafone to provide a wide range of wireless connectivity solutions optimized for Industrial Internet solutions. In addition, GE continues to work with AT&T by connecting its machines and assets such as locomotives, fleet and aircraft engines through the AT&T global network and cloud.
“The rise of the Industrial Internet is taking place through the convergence of advanced computing, analytics, sensors and new levels of connectivity,” said Bill Ruh, vice president and corporate officer, GE Software. “As the center of today’s connected world, Verizon is not only an enabler, but an essential catalyst for delivering compelling solutions for the Industrial Internet that will drive business and societal innovation.”
Cisco is working on enabling the collection and analysis of asset performance and operational data and Intel is developing edge devices.
J. Sharpe Smith is the editor of AGL Small Cell Link and AGL Link. He can be reached at ssmith (at) aglmediagroup.com