Microsoft has announced that the company will invest US $5 billion in the Internet of Things (IoT) globally over the next 4 years. This increased investment will support continued research and innovation in IoT, which is ultimately evolving to be the new intelligent edge. With Microsoft’s IoT platform spanning cloud, operating system and devices, the company is planning to simplify the IoT journey so any customer—regardless of size, technical expertise, budget, industry or other factors—can create trusted, connected solutions that can improve business and customer experiences.
This will support Microsoft’s technology platform, as well as supporting programs thereby enabling continued research and development in key areas, including securing IoT, creating development tools and intelligent services for IoT and the edge. Customers and partners can expect new products and services, offerings, resources and programs.
IoT gathers momentum in India:
Microsoft in India claims that it is committed to helping everyone in bringing their digital transformation vision to life across every industry. The investment will ensure that the company continues to meet all its customers’ and partners’ needs, both, now and in the future, as they develop new and increasingly sophisticated IoT solutions. IoT is gathering momentum in India and impacting daily lives: saving electricity, resources, predictive healthcare, automobile safety and more. Microsoft Azure is the preferred platform powering a variety of IoT devices.
IoT Monitoring of Water Quality:
Authorities across States have turned to IoT to monitor drinking water quality for its citizens. TechSpan Engineering has implemented a monitoring system built on the Azure IoT platform, using sensors provided by the Austrian firm s::can and their India Partner Aaxis Nano. Using the combination of Microsoft cloud, IoT and data, the solution taps into the sturdy s::can sensors to provide measurements across 17 parameters – from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chloride and Fluoride levels to temperature and colour. The solution is currently being used for monitoring drinking water quality online in cities like Bangalore and New Delhi.
IoT based Smart Lighting:
Microsoft claims that its – Azure IoT is supplying India’s first Smart Street Lighting Project for the pink city of Jaipur, underscoring Microsoft’s mission of transforming public spaces digitally. The Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) operates and maintains over 100,000 public street lights within the city. Microsoft’s partner Samudra LED has now deployed a customised Microsoft IoT-platform-based solution created by ISV Precimetrix to monitor, control and manage smart LED public street lights. The project is supposed to benefit 1.65 million people through improved street lighting and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 36,750 metric tons per year. It will also result in $1 million per year in fiscal savings accrued to the government due to reduced energy consumption.
Researchers at IISc Bangalore are also using a network of IoT sensors coupled with Microsoft Azure analytics to find how cloud technologies can help tackle water scarcity in cities.
IoT in Agriculture:
Microsoft says its FarmBeats is a research project for agriculture to enable data collection from various sensors, cameras and drones. It comprises two broad areas viz., a data-acquisition system consisting of drones and sensors and a data-analysis system consisting of connectivity pieces, cloud storage, and predictive analysis.
IoT in the Automobile Sector:
Earlier last year, Tata Motors announced it will leverage Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies that bring together AI, advanced ML, and IoT capabilities on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, to create a highly personalised, smart and safer driving experience across the digital life of a vehicle owner.
Tyre Express, a startup for lifecycle management for fleet operators, has developed an IoT based Tyre Performance Management Solution. Powered by the Azure IoT Hub, Tyre Express is helping build operational efficiency for commercial vehicle fleet operators by tracking tyre performance. In India, procurement of new tyres for a commercial vehicle approximately costs about Rs 1-1.5 lakhs. Fluctuations in pressure and temperature can have a dramatic effect on their lifespan.
Tyres are one of the largest consumables for fleet operators after fuel. Operating a vehicle with tyre pressure 20 per cent below rated pressure increases fuel consumption by 5-10 per cent and reduces tyre life by 15 per cent to 20 per cent. The new IoT platform helps monitor tyre performance in real time to help customers take suitable action and improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve profitability.
IoT in Manufacturing for Predictive Maintenance:
Tetra Pak is employing new, digital tools that enable its cloud-connected machines to predict when equipment needs maintenance, averting many breakdowns. Sensors on more than 5,000 Tetra Pak filling machines at customers’ sites globally, all connected to Microsoft Azure, feed real-time performance data to the company for monitoring and analysis – nearly 700 million data points each year. As a result, maintenance can be scheduled precisely and efficiently.
Microsoft IoT Central:
IoT will lead to a $1.9 trillion productivity increase and $177 billion in reduced costs by 2020 (A.T. Kearney). This effect will be pervasive, from connected homes and cars to manufacturers to smart cities and utilities—and everything in between. Pre-empting this, Microsoft announced Microsoft IoT Central, the first scalable IoT SaaS solution, that has built-in support for IoT best practices and security along with the reliability, regional availability, and global scale of the Azure cloud. Microsoft IoT Central allows companies to build production-grade IoT applications in hours and allow them to manage all the necessary backend infrastructure or can hire new skill sets to develop the solutions.
Microsoft’s IoT offerings include operating systems for devices, cloud services to control and secure them, advanced analytics to gain insights, and business applications to enable intelligent action. With each implementation, customers and partners are overcoming challenges of building an IoT solution that harnesses massive amounts of data. Whether they’re building products that transform the home, office or factory floor, one thing remains clear: IoT is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort that spans cloud development, machine learning, artificial intelligence, security and privacy.