International Businesses Machines (IBM), an employer of half a million with a yearly revenue of more than $80 billion, has shared an infographic which states that the industrial internet of things is the next economic revolution.
According to the IoT infographic, low-cost sensors, and long range wireless technology have combined to give rise to intelligent machines which will add $20,000 to average U.S. incomes and an estimated gigantic sum of $15 trillion to the world’s economy by 2030.
IBM said in a blog that:
These advances go beyond just manufacturing and will spread into farming, city planning, energy management, and more… It is predicted that this growth will be comparable to the industrial revolution.
Microsoft, Cisco, and other tech giants have likewise announced a raft of new IoT initiatives this year, opening numerous research centers in partnership with world-renown academic institutions as the focus seems to be shifting to what may be the world’s growth engine.
Public Blockchains and IoT
Smart contracts and digital currencies like ethereum may play a key role or at least be a significant subset of IoT depending on how these public blockchains develop. They add a third dimension, combining sensors, wireless tech, cloud computing, data analytics, smart contracts and digital currency, allowing machines to autonomously hold and trade value for the first time in history.
Currently, ethereum especially, is experiencing an incredible amount of activity and interest from developers who are partaking in numerous hackETHons to implement useful smart contracts ranging from the mundane replication of current services and experimentation with adding efficiency to financial applications to the more unique industrial use implementations.
Chronicled, a Silicon Valley startup, is an example of the latter. They have given smart tags, and by association, sneakers, what we can call a highly primitive level of intelligence in that they can read and write through ethereum’s blockchain, solving a serious problem – fake goods trade – in a way that was previously impossible.
Are Blockchains Ready for the Industrial Revolution?
Some suggest that public blockchain technology is very new and not yet ready. Bitcoin’s blockchain has however been operating for almost eight years without any security problems whatever at the protocol level. Likewise, ethereum’s blockchain, which is to a great extent the same as bitcoin’s blockchain, has operated now for almost a year with no problems whatever at the protocol level.
Many of the surrounding failures, as with the DAO and recently Bitfinex, have been due to amateur and careless behavior. Where professionals have been in charge, such as at the long-running Y Combinator incubated Coinbase, progress has been smooth.
Of course, there is much that needs improving, but first blockchain applications, like Windows Paint in the 1990s, or Office Word, or SMTP e-mail, are probably ready to go, with more advanced blockchain applications gradually to follow, until incremental improvements so lead to blockchains’s and IoT’s version of Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and a transformed world.
Featured image from Gil C via Shutterstock.