This week’s top IIoT news takes us from the air to ether to the subterranean. We continue to see the figurative –and literal – rise of the drone, the growth of cybersecurity measures within the IoT and IIoT setting, and the development and application of microgrids across the United States.
The beauty of the Industrial Internet of Things is that its influence extends into so many facets of our everyday world. Connecting “things” requires a focus on several critical pieces: the physical network, the security of that network, and the devices that can utilize that network securely. From an aerial perspective, drones are the hot ticket of the day, for good reason, and they exemplify these multilevel concepts. The security of command and control networks is critical to ensuring that drones cannot be easily hijacked or can be deployed in several commercial settings. From that perspective, the ability of drones to “talk” to each other in these commercial settings means stronger communication device standards, as we’ve seen in several instances.
Microgrids are another interesting facet of the IIoT, as they represent a desire to more effectively manage energy at local and hyperlocal levels, while also enabling smart utility development. The driving force behind microgrids is the rise of utility companies’ ability to monetize in these settings, and we will continue to hear more about the growth of this technology in the next several years.
1) FAA Approves Startup to Operate a Giant Fleet of Drones (Fortune Magazine)
The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved a small drone startup called Measure to fly 324 drones for business purposes. While other companies like Amazon have had trouble getting the necessary approvals for commercial drone applications, Measure was approved for its focus on data collection. The company has been approved to deploy up to 324 drones for applications in vertical IIoT settings such as precision agriculture, oil and gas, and transportation, among others.
2) Microgrids Flourishing in Spite of Regulatory Barriers
Although regulatory considerations have been a barrier for the implementation of microgrids, there has been an uptick in microgrid activity in the United States. Analysts at Greentech Media expect microgrid capacity to exceed 2.8 gigawatts by 2020, but market and regulatory issues could continue to be impediments.
3) Why Internet of Things Will Change Cybersecurity Forever: Gartner (FirstPost)
According to a recent Gartner report, more than 20 percent of enterprises will have digital security services devoted to protecting business initiatives using devices and services in the Internet of Things by 2017. The protection of data in an IoT and IIoT setting extends beyond the “cyber” and into the physical realm, meaning, not only the security of networks, but the security of devices as well.
4) Beware the Hype Around the Internet of Things (Engineering.com)
Jim Anderton, the director of content over at Engineering.com, takes a more skeptical approach to the Industrial Internet of Things’ disruptive potential. He warns against viewing connected industries from an antiquated perspective, rather than taking into account that those industries have been automated and connected for quite some time.
5) Why Industrial IoT Platform is Best Hope for IT and OT Convergence (CIO Magazine)
The transformation of critical industries is affecting not only the hardware, but the operations processes as well, resulting in what industries professionals are terming IT/OT convergence. The author writes, ” … I was always fascinated with SCADAs and PLCs. These are small devices and associated monitoring frameworks that give voices to machines and critical infrastructure. … The principles and decades of learnings from OT can be applied to other emerging IoT areas, such as connected vehicles, smart cities and smart buildings that rely on the perception (sense and respond) layer.”
These were some of our top stories this week, but there are always others we’ve missed. Feel free to share with us in the comments are on social media some of the trends and interesting stories you’ve seen as well!