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THE NEW PLAYING FIELD

Enabling assets to transact freely, machine-to-machine, in a blockchain-secured professional environment will enable corporations to create new markets by exposing previously untapped sources of supply, such as:

  • “SHARING ECONOMY”: unequivocally identifying assets and monitoring their availability, brings maximum utilization and adjustment to demand in real-time. New distributed economic models evolve to cover tens or even hundreds of millions of assets such as cars or apartments (in the case of the Sharing Economy) or machines (the Internet of Things)
     
  • “DATA TRADING ECONOMY”: assets become owners of their proprietary digital space and in control of who benefits from their digital value creation and how they do, e.g. Selling data about environmental conditions to a meteorological agency, usage of the rail network to an organization specializing in business statistics, etc.

BUSINESS MODELS

THE IDENTITY MANAGEMENT MODEL

Building an identity management platform is a pre-requisite for global IoT. A platform to search for registered digital objects, including a language to talk to these objects and all the required access rights management.

THE USAGE-BASED MODEL

In a world with securely connected devices, we will only pay for the results a product or service provides, shifting ownership, effectiveness, and maintenance responsibilities back to the provider, and aligning customer and provider interests.

For example, car manufacturers will use proprietary plug-in devices to track driving habits, generating vast amounts of critical data which can be sold to insurance companies.

The insurance industry will shift from a subscription business model (uniform monthly car-insurance payments) into usage-based business model, where payment is based on risk, how much you drive and the quality of your driving.

THE SELF-MONITORING MODEL

Monitoring a machine’s condition in real-time, enables brands and manufacturers to shift from a self-service business to a self-monitoring business model, which transcends the need for a customer to manage or even interact at all, as the company assures that the product is always working and usable.

The product not only monitors the situation but takes prenventitative measures by ordering the part or service which is required to have the product in perfect conditions.

For example, a washing-machine manufacturer can now receive an alert when a machine needs servicing and automatically schedule and send an in-house repair person to deal with any needed part replacements or machine failures. The customers, for their part, will automatically be charged for needed repairs.


SMART CITY

What is meant by “smart city”? A city is smart when investments in (i) human and social capital, (ii) traditional infrastructure and (iii) disruptive technologies fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory governance.
— Andrea Caragliu, Chiara Del Bo & Peter Nijkamp (2011): Smart Cities in Europe, Journal of Urban Technology, 18:2, 65-82

Smart cities combine the Internet of Things with almost every aspect of life, and with recent developments in mind, smart cities will become a reality in the near future. Investments by Bill Gates near Phoenix, Arizona, NEOM in the Middle East or development plans for Hangzhou in China, show a universal interest all over the world.

While numerous examples from every aspect of life, including education, health and safety can be cited, particularly the concept of smart mobility and energy as well as smart retail & logistics come to mind when thinking of the combination of IoT and digital twins. With an ever-increasing urban population, congestion and pollution become a major concern for both residents and governments and therefore demand innovative technical solutions.

The City of Los Angeles is working on an automated traffic surveillance and control system, which is scheduled for 2018 and uses IT components in roads and vehicles that provide accurate data with which to anticipate anticipate and reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Smart parking, on the other hand, focuses on real-time information provided by drivers in regards to available parking spots, which are represented as digital twins.

An example of a smart parking solution can be found in Barcelona, where a fully operational system is also scheduled for 2018.

For both scenarios, one can visualize how digital twins, perhaps first as traffic lights, then as street segments and finally as cars and parking spots, sufficiently accurately replicate the real-world environment. Digital twins emerge from digital objects and allow status updates e.g. on location, utilization or temperature in near real-time. This kind of transparency is highly beneficial to emerging IoT ecosystems which typically focus on increasing efficiency and optimization.

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