The Internet of Things - Even your Work Zone

Today I'd like to talk about IoT. How it can help your work zones get the best data possible that will empower your IWZ to provide you with actionable work zone intelligence.

The Internet of Things is the latest buzz word traveling around the technology space. Many companies are betting big on where it will go in the next 5 years. Its not a terribly descriptive term, and I prefer “Industrial Internet”. It is a bit more helpful in thinking how this will actually work. The way I like to think about the technology industry today, is a phrase coined by Mark Andreessen, he’s a venture capitalist whose investing thesis is Software is eating the world. What I mean by that is that software is all about measurement and analysis, control and precision. So with pertinent data brought into software from the industrial internet, all the benefits the PC brought us in the past will move out into every aspect of our lives, all industries, all companies, all government agencies - every aspect of our lives. The thing that drives that, that comes from all the transistors and semiconductors placed every where, is data.

What the Industrial Internet enables, is the measuring and quantifying of every thing that is measurable and having the ability to transmit all this data in real time to a database for analysis - over the internet of course. For example, having hundreds of sensors on every turbine Boeing creates, sending hundreds of data points each per second. Thus giving engineers the never before seen ability to fine tune that specific engine to the nth degree. Enormous amounts of data.

In a way, work zones have had the Industrial Internet for over a decade. My co-founder Eric Johnson created an IoT device back in 2001. It was a device that connected to the internet, that transmitted real time sensor data back to his software. MNDOT does that today with the loop replacement sensors they put out now for some IWZ applications.

The Industrial Internet is not new, its just a new way of thinking about how we quantify the real world around us, including work zones. We started Salander to provide agencies with Actionable Work Zone Information. Information you act on, that is meaningful. The more pertinent data we have access to, the more useful and valuable our product is to our customers. This wealth of data we work with is enabled almost entirely from the Industrial Internet (the IoT), leading to better data-driven decision at the agency level. So lets all welcome this new buzzword into the world - even in our work zones.