Home Developers wanted: Must be willing to change the world

Developers wanted: Must be willing to change the world

With the upcoming $10,000 IoT for Cities Hackathon, GE makes Industrial IoT widely available to spark innovative apps for intelligent infrastructure

By 2020, there will be 50 billion “things” connected to the Internet and not just smartphones, tablets, alarm clocks and coffee makers, but the devices that power our world, including core infrastructures like light fixtures, HVAC units, and other operating assets. This evolution in connectivity means digital infrastructure has the growing ability to see, hear, feel and smell (though probably not taste anytime soon).

Data gathered through these digital senses can be a gateway to solving real challenges—but only if the data can be effectively captured, analyzed and turned into actionable outcomes. That’s going to take open infrastructure platforms that bring together the great minds of the world – developers, software engineers, data scientists and ecosystem partners — to innovate and dream up solutions the world hasn’t even thought of yet.

The conduit for that potential is a technology that is all around us every day. Something we wake up to, something that guides us throughout the day and something we really couldn’t operate without. Any guesses? Hint: look up.

John Gordon, Current’s chief digital officer.
Authored by John Gordon, Current’s chief digital officer.

LEDs – The connected device for industry

Once the cell phone added data connectivity, GPS, a camera and a microphone, it became a platform for developers to unleash their creativity and dream up a world of new applications—the ultimate edge device for consumers. LED fixtures with built-in sensors, cameras, and other intelligent components can be that device for the industrial world as THE platform for industry, a nervous system for a city or enterprise.

For one reason, lighting is everywhere. It forms a ubiquitous network for capturing and transmitting data from city streets to high-rise offices to retail stores. In the U.S. alone, there are about 327 million smartphones compared to 7 billion light fixtures! In terms of fixed physical infrastructure, no other technology platform compares to the pervasive nature of lighting and the potential to piggyback intelligent, connected solutions.

Imagine a city where smart street lights direct drivers to open parking spaces, measure air quality for pollen and pollution, detect seismic activity, and report automobile accidents to emergency responders the instant they happen. An intelligent retail building could leverage LEDs with sensors to “talk” to shoppers’ smartphones and send a personalized greeting or special offer based on past purchases.

Elsewhere in a manufacturing plant, lighting could use its bird’s-eye vantage point to track forklifts and foreign objects to reduce accidents and slip-and-fall incidents. Connected fixtures might further collect vibration and force data from machines on the shop floor, sending it back to the plant control system to be used to optimize production processes or improve maintenance practices, and this is only the beginning of the vast potential.

Couple this potential with growing adoption. LED usage is anticipated to expand from 28 percent today to 95 percent by 2025, unlocking tremendous value for the world to reduce energy cost and complexity in commercial enterprises.

A Developer’s Canvas

The pervasiveness of LEDs is real. LEDs as digital infrastructure is real. We’re seeing it unfold and blossom around us every day, and we’re only limited by our imaginations in what it can create and unlock. We’ve entered a new world of data that shows not just what has happened historically, but what is happening now. With that real-time data, entrepreneurs can help create solutions to help with traffic and parking, to find restaurants without long lines, to find a way across the city during a parade (recent problem for me on St. Patrick’s Day!). These are more than services that a City offers its citizens. They are solutions that citizens will create for themselves to make THEIR cities better places to live, work and play.

Ideas are endless. We received 100 from 13 countries in one week when we challenged the developer community to send us their best ideas for sensors and apps built on our LED infrastructure, and we know that’s only the beginning.

The platform is ready. The operating system is open. But, it’s going to take the developer community to innovate the solutions that will leave a lasting impact. It’s going to take the developer community to build the next app economy – the industrial app economy – where changing the world is at our fingertips.

The time to innovate is now. Are you ready to change the world?

IoT for Cities Hackathon

Join Current, powered by GE at the IoT for Cities Hackathon at Internet of Things World in Santa Clara, May 11-12 to get in on the ground floor of revolutionizing intelligent infrastructure.

Now accepting applications, the free, two-day hackathon will give 200 developers, data scientists, makers, and urban experts the opportunity to utilize GE’s Predix platform with real-world data gathered by Current, as well as the latest HDKs, SDKs, and APIs, to solve actual challenges facing cities today around traffic and parking, public health and safety, the environment, economic development, and buildings and structures.

Up for grabs are a $10,000 prize, a one-year Predix Developer Professional license and a meeting with GE Ventures, among other benefits.

For more on the IoT for Cities Hackathon, visit the application page, and check out Current online. This article was produced in partnership with GE.

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