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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Is ice cream the real reason IoT was invented? | IDG Connect

Marc Ambasna-Jones , UK-based freelance writer and media consultant notes, "Dell EMC sweetens Internet of Things vision with ice cream."

Photo: Susanne Nilsson via Flickr

“Smile, there is nothing ice cream can’t solve.” Despite going to great efforts T-shirt sayings rarely catch the real mood of our times but this one is something special. For one it is true and two, it seems to dovetail neatly as a great example of why one of the biggest technology trends of the past couple of years actually exists.

The internet of things (IoT) has had a lot of hype, some of it justifiable and some of it misdirected. It is still climbing the slope of expectation on Gartner’s Hype Cycle and while numerous analyst reports throw around big-number forecasts about future IoT device market penetration, the reality is that in most sectors it still needs a viable use case.

But things are changing, certainly in the industrial space. At Dell EMC World in Austin, Texas last month, one booth was dedicated to showing how collaboration through IoT can work to make ice cream manufacture more efficient.

Dell EMC’s IoT commercial solutions manager Kevin Terwilliger played host in an attempt to show that IoT is no longer hype but a viable technology solution in use today. Using partners such as Emerson, Software AG, Eigen Innovations and Kepware to help illustrate the point, Terwilliger talked about how connected devices and machines, sensors, data and analytics can play a part in improving the ice cream manufacturing process. Living the ice cream dream? Not quite. While it is a hypothetical solution created for the purposes of the event, each of the parts is, according to Terwilliger already in action in the real world. So what’s the vision?

Ice cream pieces
The solution is broken down into three key areas – ice cream manufacturing inputs (which includes power and energy, ingredients and IT), ice cream manufacturing operations and ice cream manufacturing outputs (including distribution). All, says Terwilliger, can be improved through IoT.

“[That includes] the manufacturing of the ice cream and the energy that has to power the process, everything from automated demand response to valve monitoring but then as it goes out towards retail you need refrigerated trucking and refrigerated warehousing – being able to monitor all that is a huge challenge, for ice cream and other perishable goods,” he says, adding that 33 percent of food in the world is wasted, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization because the supply chain isn’t efficient.

“We want to solve that challenge, which is why we’ve focussed this on ice cream,” adds Terwilliger.
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Source: IDG Connect

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