Internet of things edge computing and analytics is a technology on the up, according to the Gartner Hype Cycle, as we’ve mentioned previously at DataIQ. Edge analytics allows connected devices to run data processing and complex computations on-site. Matthias Schorer, lead business development manager of IoT for EMEA at VMware, explains exactly how this technology can be used.
For a number of years now, buildings have been getting smarter with the help of IoT and connected devices. Now the connected devices are themselves getting smarter. IoT with edge analytics means that the data captured by the device can be processed and analysed in-situ as Schorer told an audience at IPExpo Europe. This means that some very clever things can happen.
The European Union's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires all new EU buildings to be nearly zero-energy by the end of 2020 and, every year, governments in EU countries must commit to carrying out energy efficiency renovations in 3% of the buildings they own and occupy. And so, installing devices in those buildings that collect and process data about their surrounding conditions is extremely useful.
VMware is working with the second-largest building automation company in Europe to help the people who run those buildings to meet these requirements. Devices such as thermostats can read information from an Outlook calendar to determine when, where and with how many people a meeting is supposed to take place within a meeting room.
Once it has determined that, it will then adjust the air conditioning in the room in advance of the arrival of the attendees. Schorer mentioned another company that is even more advanced and can install sensors on ceilings that “count” the number of people in a room and modify the temperature accordingly in real-time.
According to Business Insider, 5.6 billion enterprise and government IoT devices will use edge analytics for data collection and processing by 2020, and other sources estimate there will be 8.5 billion connected things in general by the same year.
A manufacturing use case of edge analytics at a company in the US appeared in a recent report by Statistica. The company produced coal and had to meet specific emission limits and so installed machine learning processes directly into the automated control systems of it plants. Those systems now manage emissions spikes and unstable combustion processes, resulting in a marked drop in emissions.
The customers of VMware can see the many upsides to this type of technology, as they revealed in a survey to find out what their drivers and sticking points were for adopting connected devices.
Four drivers were identified: productivity, automation of the business, agility, and improving customer experience. Unsurprisingly, security was named as the biggest obstacle. Analytics may be moving to the edge of IoT, but exposing that data is still making companies edgy.