NEC Corporation of Malaysia recently held its Innovative Solutions Fair 2015 in Kuala Lumpur. The event showcased future technology, such as portable DNA Analyzer, to barcode-free POS system, to smarter transit systems. At the event, we had the pleasure to sit down with Shinya Kukita, Chief Engineer of Global Business Unit at NEC Corporation, and talk about the ubiquitous, but seldom understood topic of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Kukita explained that IoT, like many of the buzzwords that came before it, are actually synergistic technology. For example, he said that Big Data would not be possible without crowd computing, and that IoT is an expansion of Big Data. He splits IoT into three categories: Industry IoT, Consumer IoT, Open IoT. Industry IoT is said to be the most mature. Here, big machine manufacturers install various sensors throughout the lifetime of their products for various purposes, including maintenance and monitoring. These implementations tend to be proprietary and closed looped.
Consumer IoT includes smart wearables, intelligent refrigerators, and consumer products of that nature. It is driven by how much consumers are willing to pay, and is more often than not, a commercial endeavor.
Open IoT, on the other hand, is the technology that is used to build smart cities.
Kukita explained that Open IoT is the technology that is used to add social value to solutions. In this version of IoT, the sensors are connected to an IoT network and goes through Big Data analysis. The wisdom gained will then be used to enhance the various social solutions that include utilities like electricity and water, transportation systems, security, or social inclusion types of activities such as healthcare or other applications.
When talking about the future of IoT, he said that the demand for IoT will drive the need for new network technologies. This is because IoT will need a new communication technology to reach its full potential. He speculated that 5G could very well be this technology; nevertheless, the solution must be dedicated to IoT.
IoT will also drive the demand for not only data scientists but also domain experts. These professionals are needed and are highly desirable as IoT matures.
Building a new city with a smart infrastructure, said Kukita, is an attractive prospect. It would be a much easier task. However, turning a living city such as Kuala Lumpur, an inhabited and well-established city into a smart city would be more beneficial. At the same time, this will require a lot of effort on all fronts and that a lot of the old structures of the city must first be maintained and improved.
Shinya Kukita, Chief Engineer of Global Business Unit at NEC Corporation.
Kukita addresses a packed hall on the subject of IoT.