Microsoft has said this week that they want the “Internet of Things” to relate to all things. That is to say that they want the internet to be a fundamental part of the functionality of things as diverse as jet engines, to refrigerators, from factory floors, to child care devices. This is coming in the wake of their partnership announced at the Hannover Messe industrial fair in Germany.
They aim to take advantage of the Microsoft Azure loT suite which will gather data from industrial products and their assembly all the way through when they are disposed of. They hope to find trends and figure out how to improve performance in a big data project on a scale that the world has never seen.
To give some perspective, Rolls-Royce will incorporate these software tools into its total care maintenance package as well as for its aircraft engines. They hope that air traffic control information, and route restrictions and fuel usage can be better understood through this joint venture.
“Our customers are looking for ways to leverage the digital landscape to increase efficiency and improve their operations,” said Tom Palmer of Rolls Royce. He goes on to say that “by working with Microsoft we can really transform our digital services, supporting customers right across engine related aircraft operations to make a real difference to performance.”
It is not obvious to most because you just associate Rolls Royce with their autos, however, their engines power more than 50,000 flights around the world each month and that is really their main source of income.
Jabil is a leading manufacturing company that has unveiled their use of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning platform at their factory mega-site in Malaysia and Mexico. they hope to take this platform worldwide. The hope is that they can know the problems in their manufacturing processes before their people working on them know themselves. Moreover, they want to predict and respond to problems months in advance so they do not have the hiccups of just being slammed by change in an instance. For example by knowing the global prices of their raw materials, to the global weather patterns, all the way though the world socio-political landscape they will have the answers to questions we do not to ask yet.
A Jabil spokesperson says that, “that means ever if there is a mistake made in the first step, they’re able to connect back to the cloud, use machine learning, detect that mistake and correct it before it goes all the way to the end of the production line.”
This is going to be a great tool for their company but we need to wonder what if they data gives up paths to ends that are not themselves the future. What I mean is that we are giving these systems a lot of respect and power, but many times they totally miss the make. For example, when Watson is wrong it is wrong in a way a person would never be, and that is bad when you consider the weight it will have in our world economy here after.