Smart Solutions

Column: Marco Giegerich – IoT + AI go hand in hand

In the past, IoT was focused mainly on getting things connected through sensor networks that were capable of collecting huge amounts of data – but the bigger questions remain: What should we do with all this data? How can we use and monetize it?

Increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are becoming the enablers for completely new use cases; ones that are making a ton of difference in all kinds of markets. As we move forward, smart business models will need to bring together very different technologies from very different angles. Together, AI and IoT are only now beginning to show their true potential.

When it comes to AI, most people think about image processing, machine vision, and video surveillance applications. Other uses include object detection and face recognition, and, as everyone knows, AI will be the key technology as autonomous vehicles take to the roads. This is only the tip of the iceberg; AI and ML will take us so much further.

In Industry 4.0 applications, the health of a motor, an electric drive, or a robot determines the reliability of the processes and helps meet productivity targets. The raw data for monitoring the condition of a device is delivered by vibration analysis, infrared imaging, or ultrasound detection. This data, processed with the right machine learning models and algorithms, is the cornerstone of predictive maintenance. Maintenance costs can be reduced by up to 40 percent and extended machine lifetimes will add another three to five percent in savings. The next logical step will be to create new business models based on smart services.

AI and IoT are only now beginning to prove their true potential.

Marco Giegerich
Director Vertical Markets & 3rd Party Management EMEA at Avnet Silica

IoT + AI: Marco Giegerich Avnet Silica


In our homes, the impact of AI and ML-enabled solutions will be even more significant. They will not be limited to condition monitoring and maintenance of things like water pumps, washing machines, refrigerators, or air conditioners, just to name a few. New services based on predictive maintenance will allow us to repair or to replace devices before we even notice something is about to go wrong. The days aren’t far away when we will see people talking to their washing machines, ovens, or microwaves just like they would talk to another human being. The cost of voice control is falling all the time because of advances in hardware – but much more because of improved and widespread AI/ML algorithms. This will dramatically change our relationships with our home appliances and personal devices.

No doubt, when it comes to IoT + AI, the opportunities are tremendous but many questions remain: How do I find the best AI/ML model or algorithm for my project? What are the right technologies to use to collect all data? How can I protect my data? What processing power is required and should it be edge or cloud based? What infrastructure and platform should I use? Developing such complex solutions will require orchestrating technologies and expertise from many disciplines. Hardware, software, and IoT platforms will need to work seamlessly together.

To address these requirements and simplify things, Avnet Silica offers turnkey and system solutions for applications, like condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and AI-accelerated cameras, or platforms addressing end node to cloud applications and more. End-to-end solutions like these, designed for specific use cases and vertical markets, can be deployed relatively simply – and we support the entire ecosystem together with our network of internal and external partners.

The next level of applications in the Internet of Things will be enabled by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The combination brings new, exciting opportunities, and both are key drivers to accelerate innovation. The goal? AI-accelerated IoT.

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