How Apple is already part of Industry 4.0

Apple has entered manufacturing infrastructure with its products seeing wide deployment as industrial technology moves into what’s called Industry 4.0 – connected systems augmented by AR and mobile solutions.

Smart, connected machines

The introduction of the iPhone and the subsequent debut of other advanced mobile devices acted as a clarion call.

The ability to work remotely doesn’t just apply to humans, but also to machines. Smart, connected industrial infrastructure is the inevitable result. Analysts call this “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” hence, “Industry 4.0”.

What sort of real-world implications do these technologies have? Here’s some ideas:

  • Vending machines that check their own stock levels and order refills when required.
  • Industrial equipment with sensors capable of proactively identifying faults and requesting service before they actually fail.
  • Smart warehousing in which stock levels, location and order batching is highly automated and centrally controlled.
  • Smart farms, where soil and water conditions are remotely monitored, or drones and GPS trackers used to monitor and protect livestock.
  • Extensive deployment across retail.

Of course, when your business is digitized, security becomes a huge problem, and this is why so many industrial implementations choose to use secure mobile platforms to support their work.

No one wants to be the new Target, and see valuable customer data stolen through a security flaw in the air conditioning system.

Ignoring change isn’t an option. Gartner says that by 2022, approximately 70% of all software interactions in the enterprise will be handled by mobile devices.

And that’s why Apple is already part of industry 4.0.

iOS is in the infrastructure

Nowadays, in almost every deployment, you’ll find the applications used to interface with this increasingly smart industrial capacity are also available for iOS.

You also see machine learning applied to the data these smart machines collect, unlocking new productivity and helping enterprises identify new business opportunities they may hitherto have been unaware of.

That’s the theory, at least, though it seems inevitable that as industry becomes more automated, the new for human workers will shrink.

There are arguments that technological advance eventually creates new employment models, but these don’t always extend to those displaced by such change.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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