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IBM has launched the first in a series of cloud-based, industry-specific services for the Internet of Things (IoT), with an offering for the electronics industry. Its debut IoT service will gather data from individual sensors to provide instant analysis of the production processes of electronics manufacturers.

Meanwhile, IBM said it has integrated its IoT system, IBM IoT Foundation, with the firmware of chipmaker ARM, so that all devices driven by ARM chips will be able to release data for analysis. IBM said the fusion will allow ‘huge quantities’ of data from industrial appliances, weather sensors and wearable monitoring devices to be gathered, analysed and acted upon.

The IBM IoT Foundation, a cloud-hosted offering, aims to simplify the complexity of analysing masses of machine to machine (M2M) data. It offers tools for analysing large quantities of fast-moving data and provides access to Bluemix, IBM’s service for managing and prioritising data flows. It also offers to secure confidential financial, IP and strategy information.

During the integration process, products powered by ARM’s ‘mbed-enabled’ chips will automatically register with the IBM IoT Foundation and connect with IBM analytics services. This unification means that information gathered from sensors in any connected device is delivered to the cloud for analysis. The IoT connection also means that commands can be pushed to devices, with actions being taken on the basis of the intelligence gathered.

If an alarm message is triggered on a machine in a manufacturing plant, it can now be automatically shut down and an engineer despatched to trouble shoot the disruption, IBM said. This cost-saving damage limitation is best achieved by combining the knowledge and communications protocols of different vendors at different levels of the ICT stack, according IBM’s General Manager for the Internet of Things, Pat Toole.

“The IoT is now at an inflection point and it needs the big data expertise of IBM and little data expertise of ARM to ensure it reaches its global potential,” said Toole.

Original design manufacturers and OEMs, like Ionics, are already seeing value in the chip level architecture harmonisation, said Krisztian Flautner, the General Manager of ARM’s IoT business. “Deploying IoT technology has to be easy, secure and scalable for it to feel like a natural extension of a company’s business,” said Flautner.

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