IoT-Driven Manufacturing Trends to Look for in 2018

Male models pose in a factory run by women.

With Internet of Things (IoT) technology spending forecast to reach $ 772.5 billion this year — an increase of 15 percent over 2017 — the world’s top manufacturers are set to shift into exhilarating overdrive down the path to AI-driven and IoT-enabled automation. So where will 2018 take us on this journey? First and foremost, the year ahead will see manufacturers rapidly connecting the unconnected, consolidating workloads, focusing on data analytics and virtualizing as much as they can on the manufacturing floor. Furthermore, the manufacturing industry will continue its quest to connect to the data halos transmitted by all of the instrumented people, places and things. They will make further sense of this data by applying analytic algorithms to turn data into actionable information, providing better insight into facilities and production.

Shifting Roles and Revealing Value in IoT

While the industry is embracing IoT, they’ll begin to reveal its value in 2018. Unlike the enterprise resource projects (ERPs) of the 1980s and ‘90s, manufacturers understand that there’s tremendous value in IoT. As a result, 2018 will see a growth in pilots that will showcase results to inform further investment and business benefits — from intelligent manufacturing and field service automation to industrial system consolidation and robotic assembly. Industry leaders will emerge and apply these experiments at high-value locations where they see that they can automate functions.

The rapid growth in automation of routine tasks will free up humans to apply their own unique intuition and creativity to infer associations from disassociated objects. That’s where humans are most effective. Manufacturers will increasingly look for places and ways to automate functions while also looking for ways to apply IoT for improving their business processes. This will certainly appear across the supply chain as businesses take a closer look at the quality of the raw materials that arrive, work in progress and quality steps along the way.

As businesses dig in and begin to uncover the value of IoT, they will increasingly deploy analytic solutions where it makes sense. It’s a tremendously exciting time for the industry, at a time when IoT technology is still growing and being developed. There are nuances and new discoveries that need to be made, as with any new major evolution in the industry. While we’re still very early on, everyone is experimenting, learning quickly, failing quickly, and gleaning solid learning objectives out of the pilots they deploy, slowly bringing it on board.

Positive Disruption through Automation

IoT will also disrupt the market in places where technology can enable businesses to provide more personalization for customers. If a customer wants a certain part created from a certain pattern, from a certain material, delivered on a certain date then they should be able to convert that request to a manufacturing line to delight the customer when it shows up at their door. Manufacturing is heading down the path toward personalization, shaped by the increasing amounts of data insights that are streaming from people, places and things. It will give manufacturers the ability to become so much more efficient and safe in how they deliver their product to customers, aided by disruption in automation and controls, virtualization and software-defined machine control.

The Path to a Smarter Factory

As manufacturers continue on their journey with IoT they can start to make sense of industrial data by applying algorithms and analytics. This, in turn, will enable the ability to leverage machine learning that will inform them on normal versus abnormal behaviors. The next phase will be able to make smart machines to use that data in decision-making and the introduction of control logic. As a result, analytics for large, unstructured data sets like video and audio will increasingly occur at the edge, or other places along the network. This will allow manufacturers to detect anomalies for further examination back at the factory command center.

Looking Ahead

From workload consolidation and virtualization to revealing IoT insights and expanding automation, as manufacturers apply analytic algorithms that turn data into actionable information there’s not a place in our lives that won’t be touched by industrial IoT. We are in as transformative a phase right now as when electricity was invented. In 100 years, people will look back at this time and wonder how we ever got along without IoT devices, or solutions invented because of IoT. 2018 is shaping up to be a tremendously transformative year that will usher us forward to a better tomorrow.

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Five Brilliant Innovations from CES for the Smart and Connected Home

A person looks at a laptop.

At CES 2018, the smart home is leveling up. It’s no longer enough to simply connect more devices. Those connections must be fast, reliable and secure. Personal assistants are growing in popularity, bringing more intelligence to the home and adding more advanced capabilities, as proven by the broad range of innovative new devices coming to the marketplace with voice control. But there are still more ways we can innovate to unleash a new era of smart home experiences for consumers.

Intel collaborates with innovators in the smart home industry to deliver breakthrough solutions that make life more convenient, enjoyable and connected. These innovators announced some truly inspiring products at CES this year. Here are five examples that show how the industry is rethinking technology for the smart and connected home.


  1. Bring the fastest possible Wi-Fi to the home.

802.11ax is the newest IEEE standard for Wi-Fi, and it’s going to be a game changer. Compared with its predecessor, 802.11ax will offer significant improvements in peak data rates, throughput, network efficiency and battery life. Just prior to CES, Intel announced the planned expansion of our home Wi-Fi portfolio with new 802.11ax chipsets for mainstream home routers and gateways. The result will be faster, smoother content streaming, online gaming, video calls and more.


  1. Protect the home network.

The home has more connected devices than ever: smartphones, security systems, gaming consoles and even HVAC controls. Each new device brings with it a potential opening for a hacker. With its new AC2600 Wi-Fi Router Powered by McAfee, D-Link is offering a comprehensive solution that automatically increases security for devices on the home network.

This 802.11ac router with MU-MIMO is designed especially for smart home enthusiasts who want high-performance networking capability without sacrificing security and privacy. McAfee Secure Home Platform automatically protects devices connected to the network, while the Intel Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV500 Series delivers robust Wi-Fi connectivity even as more devices connect to the router.


  1. Turn the router into a piece of modern art.

When routers are tucked away into closets, Wi-Fi suffers. It makes perfect sense that this critical piece of equipment should be stylish enough to set on a shelf. That’s the idea behind the new Blue Cave Wi-Fi router from ASUS. The dual-band router combines powerful Wi-Fi with a cool, modern design that begs to be noticed.

Also equipped with the Intel Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV500 Series, the router can handle the simultaneous demands of many connected devices. It features concurrent dual-band AC2600 Wi-Fi for smooth streaming, advanced parental controls and AiProtection, which offers complete network security that protects privacy on all connected devices. With out-of-the-box support for Amazon Alexa and IFTTT capabilities that let users create automated tasks, this smart router is ready for the smart home.


  1. Offer the choice of touch and voice.

Consumers love voice-enabled personal assistants. But in some cases, a touchscreen may be better suited to the task. A new smart assistant from, the JD DingDong Play, will give consumers in China the best of both worlds with voice capabilities and a large, bright, touch-enabled display that can play video. The advanced flagship product features an Intel Atom processor to provide robust computing power and enable new advanced capabilities, such as facial recognition, on the device. The JD DingDong Play may very well be the next step in the evolution of the personal assistant.


  1. Harness the power of PCs with voice services.

In many homes, people rely on the PC to bring all their digital experiences together, and now they have more choices when it comes to voice services on desktops and notebooks.

With Amazon Alexa for PC, OEMs — including Acer, ASUSHP and Lenovo— are adding hands-free, interactive access to some of the most popular Alexa skills and capabilities for managing smart home tasks. With large displays, stylish form factors and the freedom to choose the voice service that makes sense for the user, the PC is the ideal complement to the smart home. Intel technology enables an improved voice services experience by offering support for hands-free voice control, Intel Smart Sound Technology for crisp, rich audio and Intel Wake on Voice to ensure the PC is ready to hear the “wake” word and start responding.


Intel technology powers the smart home

The solutions above are great examples of how Intel is working with the industry to transform connectivity and give devices the ability to think and act autonomously. We’re excited to help deliver these revolutionary smart home experiences.

Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at

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IoT-Driven Cold Chain Tracking Provides Quality Control on the Go

For some products, maintaining strict temperature controls during shipping is critical. Certain pharmaceuticals and vaccines require an unbroken chain of refrigerated environments to guarantee safety and effectiveness. Frozen foods need low temperatures to prevent bacterial growth, which can cause serious illness if consumed. Fresh produce depends on a specific conditions to maintain shelf life once it reaches market.

From production to storage to shipping, it takes multiple technologies to ensure perishable goods reach their destination without compromise. Not only must these products strictly stay within a specific temperature range, but handlers may also need to maintain other environmental parameters, such as changing weather-related humidity and pressure, equipment maintenance and anticipating rises in theft risk along the way. By tapping into sensors and the data they generate, AI-driven data insights are transforming the industry like never before, monitoring sensitive products during transit, identifying whether a shipment is at risk for damage and taking preventive or corrective action.

A picture of a truck.

AI-Driven Traceability

Beyond recognizing better delivery routes, AI can offer real-time assessments of the safety and quality of food and pharma products. By offering those real-time insights, opportunities are created to change the conditions affecting products. Making food and pharma two places where traceability is critical. That traceability extends to consumers’ interactions with cold chain products. AI can help in four categories:

  • Descriptive Analytics can help provide context to analytics, enabling a better understand of the story behind the data, to reduce false positives for a smarter system. It can greatly boost sensor fusion and the integration of combined data from multiple sensors, for example to add vibration alerts corresponding to the higher temperature that occur when a package moving away from the cold chain. If a package falls over in a truck, for example, temperatures won’t rise, preventing false positives for product losses. Examining data post-trip AI can rank the quality of service as well as ranking the service provider.
  • Descriptive Analytics can help provide context to analytics, enabling a better understand of the story behind the data, to reduce false positives for a smarter system. It can greatly boost sensor fusion and the integration of combined data from multiple sensors, for example to add vibration alerts corresponding to the higher temperature that occur when a package moving away from the cold chain. If a package falls over in a truck, for example, temperatures won’t rise, preventing false positives for product losses. Examining data post-trip AI can rank the quality of service as well as ranking the service provider.
  • Diagnostic Analytics enable automated decisions to reduce ping rates if data is running low, or to prioritize certain messages over the others. It can also suppress redundant data, reducing data bandwidth.
  • Predictive Analytics can provide theft forecasting based on data from a combination of sources including combinations of weather plus location, a rainy day plus low visibility day, or a holiday plus time of the day with location. Predictive analytics can rank quality of service in near real-time, even before a trip is over. It can also provide tremendous equipment insights offering everything from battery to sensor failure predictions.
  • Prescriptive Analytics enables maximization of good outcomes. From best mitigation factors to optimizations for the most efficient routs, prescriptive analytics streamline operational efficiency across the cold chain. This includes optimizing green strategies for reduced carbon emissions and lower energy costs.

Blockchain for Cold Chain

There’s never been a more exciting time for those working in the cold chain industry. But what does the future hold? Looking ahead five to 15 years, blockchain promises stronger layers of security for AI-driven networks. With enterprise interest in blockchain heating up, 39 percent of all companies, including 56 percent of companies with more than 20,000 employees, are already looking at blockchain implementation. Linking blockchain solutions to existing product journeys could very well provide even stronger traceability across the entire cold chain — from farm to pharmacy.

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Remote Care! The Great Healthcare Disruptor

In late October in Boston, Mass., the top minds in healthcare and technology came together at the Connected Health Conference to envision how connected healthcare will transform patient care and the systems used to deliver it, making remote care the standard of care. And right after the conference, as if on cue, Medicare published new reimbursement rules for 2018 that promise to greatly accelerate adoption of effective remote care models.

An increasingly connected world is fueling industries from manufacturing to entertainment with the enormous benefits of merging data with technology, thus enabling end-user interaction in better and more personal ways than ever before. Healthcare is no exception. What the Connected Health Conference demonstrated is that we are at a rare inflection point. Healthcare stakeholders are aligned, aided by the indisputable evidence in efficacy, and with technological breakthrough already underway, the remote care revolution is imminent, set to improve patient access and patient outcomes, while creating efficiencies and lowering costs.

A human checks their blood pressure during a connected health conference in 2017.

Distributing the Delivery of Care

Similar to the sea change that occurred in care delivery with the establishment of the institutional hospital system in the 1800s, the path to transformation today lies in taking patient care from the most expensive place, the hospital, to the least expensive, like a person’s residence. In fact, today’s most dramatic improvements in outcomes—both for the patient and for the system at large—result from the use of some form of remote care, the need and benefit for which has already been widely researched and documented in the industry.

One of the biggest problems we face in healthcare today—aside from prohibitive costs and lack of universal access—is the absence of a cohesive data ecosystem that fuses insights seamlessly into assisting the clinician workflow. Healthcare data today flows through numerous disparate channels that don’t speak to each other. As many industry experts agree, we need to build a dataflow ecosystem into the collaborative workflow of care teams, patients and family simultaneously. Giving people this greater access to their care group through clear, efficient data gathered by the devices they already use will not only improve the quality of care, but it can eliminate unnecessary hospital readmissions and provide a reliable, proactive, and connected continuum of care. This will truly rival the revolutionary changes brought about by the first hospital system two centuries ago.

IoT-enabled devices can help keep humans healthy.

A Vision for Remote Care

Intel Health Application Platform (HAP) is a new category of technology architected to aid the transformation to remote care. When coupled with the Intel-architecture-based design specification implemented by Flex, this software can help enable healthcare solution providers to securely and reliably deliver distributed healthcare services across an always-connected and ever-expanding healthcare edge and to any cloud. When combined with the Flex IoT Compute Engine, the Intel HAP can empower the healthcare industry to develop novel and exciting products and services at the edge with enterprise-grade stability, security, and longevity.

With Intel HAP, solution providers are working to usher in this new age where devices and data are connected regardless of the environment or records that are used, information can be delivered privately and securely to patient and provider, and adverse health events can be avoided rather than responded to.

At the conference, I was also delighted to once again spend some time with Dr. Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor and one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth, in discussion of the shared belief that technology and healthcare will merge but only when innovators create the new business models that enable remote patient care in the first place.

Indeed, in order to overcome the barriers to remote care adoption, we need a shift in provider and consumer behavior, a change in the economic model, and to ensure access to technology. Hospitals are already innovating and deploying new models, and better business and health outcomes are happening, helping more people live healthier lives. The road ahead will require not just technologies like IoT, but also new legislation and reimbursement frameworks, so that the technological progress can be sustained by a business model that enables doctors and patients to embrace remote care as a new medical standard of care.

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Smart Public Kiosks Enhance Livability, Connect Communities

Cities are busy places, and they’re getting busier. Thankfully, many of them are also getting smarter by enabling smarter parking, better transportation and better air quality management for better citizen experiences. Among the most groundbreaking of innovations contributing to those experiences are smart public kiosks — replacing outdated infrastructure, such as phone booths and static signage, with smart kiosks. From providing environmental sensors and smart lighting to boosting cell reception and serving as a free Wi-Fi hotspot, kiosks enhance quality of life, equity, sustainability and security in a city. They are able to generate new revenue streams for cities through advertising — which can help them to become self-funded —and provide valuable services, such as wayfinding, transit routes, free Wi-Fi, and emergency alerts for more connected experiences between citizens and the services provided by their local governments and businesses.

A person stands in front of a smart public kiosk.

Connecting Citizens to Local Government

Smart public kiosks, such as Intel technology enabled CIVIQ Smartscapes, Intersection and CityBeacon, offer tremendous opportunities to enhance and ease citizens’ quality of life by enabling citizens to more easily access information and connect to the world around them. CityBeacon is an Intel IoT Market Ready Solution — it’s a proven, commercially available today solution that bridges digital and physical worlds providing reliable connectivity and maximum flexibility for smarter city management. For public kiosks, those connections include speakers, large digital signage screens and flashing lights can broadcast public service announcements or missing child alerts. Interactive transit route maps can make navigating public transit easier with wayfinding features. Under the hood, kiosks can also provide powerful Wi-Fi hotspots and strengthen cell phone signals. As kiosks expand their reach, citizens and local governments alike are only beginning to realize the full potential of the technology to empower communities.

A person's finger touches a smart public kiosk.

Enhancing Safety in Public Spaces

From a community health and safety standpoint, kiosks can brighten dark spaces with smart lighting that adjusts to current conditions for better lit, and safer, public spaces. Built-in incident and facial detection features can further enhance safety and enable public safety officers and EMTs to more quickly respond to incidents. Kiosks can even monitor air pollution, helping to contribute to healthier communities.

Growing Local Economies

For local businesses, kiosks are scaling out their digital and interactive display offerings are even more convenient because they have facial detection — they can detect emotions, demographic information and more while maintaining the privacy of consumers. These kinds of cognitive analytics enable the display to engage in a real-time feedback loop, refining messaging in response to the reactions, in order to reach the right consumers with even more precise messaging in the future. From purchasing tours and event tickets, to paying for parking or bus fare, kiosks enable businesses to connect with customers wherever they are, creating amazing experiences along the way.

Engaging and interactive, kiosks support smart city initiatives delivering real-time information, services and alerts to citizens and visitors—quickly and cost-effectively. To learn more, check out the smart kiosk at the village during Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Nov. 14-16, or visit

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