Engineering 101

Alibaba Cloud Europe presents a smart city future with data driven IoT applications

At Hardware Pioneers’ event in April ‘Scaling and managing IoT devices: tools and strategies’, Xuan Jin, Lead solutions architect at Alibaba Cloud Europe delivered a presentation on ‘Data driven IoT applications’.

Alibaba Cloud is the largest cloud computing company in China which provides a suite of cloud computing services that covers elastic computing, object storage, relational database, big data analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Jin opened his talk with an analogy: imagine the IoT is a flock of birds. Each bird is a device, together they sense the general direction. The macrocosm is: intelligence working as a group. When all of the devices are connected, they develop intelligence, and the cloud is a general computing platform which collates all of this knowledge.

Alibaba Cloud is a cloud provider which wants to build a platform for IoT connectivity with an Alibaba cloud IoT suite which would provide:

  • Reliable access
  • Thing management (device management)
  • Machine intelligence

It is the Alibaba Cloud vision to build this ecosystem.

Physical data silo → logical data silo → data warehouse → knowledge map → neuron network

The link between the knowledge map and neuron network is the link from knowledge to intelligence, and this is where the benefit lies.

This knowledge could enable smart cities, from smart rubbish bins and collection, to smart street lighting to fire engine networks: connected sensors could make this happen.

“This is happening in China and Alibaba Cloud is helping to build it,” said Jin.

Not just for cities, this ecosystem can be put to industrial use within factory systems. Thousands of terabits of data are collected from the factory line, but the users only look at errors. Alibaba Cloud examine how to make better use of this data, by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze all of this data to optimize the yield rate.

Alibaba Cloud did this in China to help the largest solar panel provider save $1m per year.

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