M2M and IoT as the fuel for the Third Industrial Revolution

Published by Telefónica m2m Team m2m General, Utilities & Sustainability, Smart Cities

It is not farfetched to claim that the Third Industrial Revolution has not only started but is well underway. And it is being fuelled by the unstoppable advance of machine to machine technology.

At the beginning of 2014 Strategy Analytics published their Top 10 Trends in M2M and the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2014 report. In the summary they open stating that “M2M (Machine to Machine) and the Internet of Things (IoT) have moved a long way since 2013”.

“While some trends are evolutionary in nature, others will have a far more seismic impact, such as the realization of the Third Industrial Revolution, driven by Big Data analytics and the fundamental blurring of boundaries between consumer IoT developments and platforms and M2M, which will see new partnerships emerge as well as disruptive new business models”, summarizes the report.

The Third Industrial Revolution is picking up speed as “Open standards in the Internet of Things (IoT) are challenging closed platform approaches, while wearables and other consumer and lifestyle technology are opening up new ecosystems and opportunities”, claims an extracted press release from the report.

What you need to know about the Third Industrial Revolution

Jeff Barnes, from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, Canada, states in a paper on the Third Industrial Revolution that “the adoption of technology, protocols and functions reinforce how the IoT and Smart Cities can potentially lead to a Third Industrial Revolution”.

Barnes goes on to add that “the deployment and use of technology delivers business value across the facilities, functions and activities comprising the supply chain, such as improved resiliency and efficiency, sustainable energy usage (smart grid), distributed production, and a return to localized manufacturing”.

As Jeremy Rifkin stated in his influential book on the Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that after the 1st and 2nd Industrial Revolutions (which took place in the nineteenth and twentieth century fuelled by steam power engines and internal combustion engines respectively) a Third Revolution is currently in process.

This TIR rises as the Internet of Things converges with renewable energies and “with it a new era of ‘distributed capitalism’ in which millions of existing and new businesses and homeowners become energy players. In the process, it will create millions of green jobs, jump start a new technology revolution, and dramatically increase productivity, as well as mitigate climate change”, says Rifkin.

Rifkin bases the Third Industrial Revolution on five pillars:

  1. Shifting to renewable energy;
  2. Transforming the building stock of every continent into green micro–power plants to collect renewable energy on-site;
  3. Deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energies;
  4. Using Internet technology to transform the power grid of every continent into an energy internet that acts just like the Internet (when millions of buildings are generating a small amount of renewable energy locally, on-site, they can sell surplus green electricity back to the grid and share it with their continental neighbours);
  5. Transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell green electricity on a smart, continental, interactive power grid.

We can say that both Rifkin and Barnes agree that the convergence of energy (Smart Energy) through M2M and the IoT technologies help build Smart Cities where the ‘smartness’ brings improvement to the economy, people, sustainability, mobility and environment.

Telefónica m2m Team

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