GE aims to power industrial IoT with jet engines

5 Aug 2015

General Electric (GE) has its focus firmly set on industrial-level internet of things (IoT), having announced Predix Cloud, its attempt to move in on Amazon’s territory by providing infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Differing from more familiar IoT technology, GE’s industrial IoT sphere will look to give industry access to the reams of information being generated by the company’s machinery and equipment.

Given the scale of the company as one of the largest in the world, this includes jet engines, wind turbines, MRI scanners and everything else industrial it manufactures.

According to Fortune, GE now wants to support this heavy-duty industrial IoT market with the added incentive that it will now be able to host this information itself, rather than rely on Amazon.

Currently in beta testing, Predix Cloud plans to begin offering this vast amount of industrial data to customers in 2016 through its own IaaS.

The decision by GE to go its own way when it comes to industrial IoT comes following its US$105m investment in the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform two years ago.

Keeping sensitive data in-house

The company has for some time now predicted industrial IoT playing as much a part in the economy as commercial IoT, having estimated that in 20 years’ time it will contribute to a global GDP increase of US$10trn to US$15trn.

Furthermore, given the sensitivity of information such as that coming from jet engines, GE hopes that by keeping this data in-house it will be able to offer a much more secure service rather than leaving it to a third party.

According to GE Software’s CTO, Harel Kodesh, the company’s Predix platform generated more than US$4bn last year and he has spoken of the similarities between the Predix Cloud model and the IBM cloud strategy.

However, he states the difference is that, again, they are working within industrial IoT and know the game, meaning better processing of data for customers to use.

Jet engine image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic