Head of Communications
As great numbers of devices are connected to the internet of things, a new domain is being created – one that touches on nearly every facet of our lives. New customer-centric business models are taking shape. At many levels, Bosch is taking advantage of the opportunities that arise.
Stuttgart, 02/06/2014 -
The future is connected. The internet allows objects and devices, entire homes, and even power plants or cities to communicate with each other. By interacting in this way they create what is known as the internet of things, bringing independent components together to form a new domain – and linking together different aspects of life such as energy, the home, mobility, and work. From February 5–6 in Berlin, the Bosch ConnectedWorld conference will showcase some of the many possibilities generated by this connectivity megatrend. The conference is being organized by Bosch Software Innovations, the Bosch Group's software and systems unit, which brings all the group's activities in this arena under one roof.
Sensors - software - business models
This new connectivity is based on sensors that record data from objects and electrical devices, passing it on via wireless internet connections. A dedicated software program analyzes and combines this data according to different criteria - and this data interplay gives rise to new business models. For instance, owners of electric vehicles can use an app to reserve a charge spot, while buildings can calculate their energy consumption autonomously and source the electricity they need from a range of suppliers in the most cost-efficient and sustainable way possible.
All components available
Bosch is a world leader when it comes to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors. Bosch Software Innovations' products have already proved their worth in 600 international projects. Wireless networks and energy-saving transmission technology are already widespread. For Denner, one thing is certain: "It isn't a question of whether the objects will become internet-capable, but when."
Example of a Bosch application
Bosch has developed a telematics solution that is already helping insurers and leasing companies today, Denner says: "The solution can be used to operate vehicle fleets spread over several locations. Because the system collects data on the condition of the vehicles, repairs can be planned before any damage occurs. Meanwhile, it lets insurance companies offer better rates to people who always drive their vehicle carefully – because that's also something the sensors can register."
Four key elements brought together
This application already brings together the four key elements of the connected world: cars (the physical assets), their drivers (private or commercial end users), an enterprise (the fleet operator), and an entire ecosystem of other parties that render the services (auto repair shops, insurers, and other service providers).
Driven by collaboration
"This interaction of sensors, software, and services is the basis of the internet of things," Denner says. "We are not creating technology for its own sake, but developing new business models whose main concern is customer benefit. That is why the main force driving the connectivity trend is collaboration between companies that have never before had business dealings with each other. All of us – industry, retail, service providers, and tradespeople – have to fully comprehend the possibilities. And we have to cultivate a more 'connected' mindset."
Bosch and the internet of things
Bosch is well positioned to meet this challenge. Bosch Software Innovations develops software and system solutions for the internet of things. Its core product is a software suite that delivers the technical underpinnings for the required networks, enabling companies to Page 3 of 4 implement their new business models straight away. The focus is on fields such as connected mobility, connected energy, smart homes, and smart factories.
In addition, Bosch recently founded a separate company dedicated entirely to the internet of things. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH offers the compact electronic products and the software know-how needed to make devices and objects internet-capable in a wide range of application areas. The company will initially concentrate on sensor-based applications for households ("smart home") as well as for the transportation, traffic, and logistics segments. Bosch Sensortec is a world leader in micromechanical sensors for the internet of things, with some three million of these tiny components being produced every day at the company¿s state-of-the-art wafer fab in Reutlingen, Germany.
Bosch has announced that it is to set up a consortium with ABB, Cisco, and LG to develop a joint "smart home" data standard. What is more, in the "Monaco 3.0" pilot project, which kicked off in November 2013, Bosch has been testing the technologies required to digitally interconnect an entire city. As Denner emphasizes: "Our broad footprint and technological expertise give us a clear innovative advantage on these projects."