Apple, GE Announce Partnership for Industrial IoT Apps

Apple, GE Announce Partnership for Industrial IoT Apps

IoT, Meet iOS

Apple (AAPL) and General Electric (GE) announced this week that they will team up for a new venture involving Apple smart devices and GE’s Internet of Things (IoT) industrial platform, Predix. The news comes as a relative surprise to many, and the shared interest between the two companies might not be immediately apparent. Let’s take a look at this partnership and what exactly each company is bringing to the table.

GE might not be the first company you think of when considering the latest and greatest in software innovation. Instead, the company tends to be more well-known for its gas plants, jet engines, and even wind turbines. That perception might be changing sooner rather than later, however, thanks to the company’s Predix technology. Predix is a platform that seeks to leverage the industrial IoT and make the data that it read useful to the everyday user. Predix is a platform that promises to connect people, data, and machines in order to drive innovation.

The IoT is a bit confusing to explain. Think of it as a new kind of technology that is used to connect physical objects to the internet. Think of the ads that show someone wearing glasses that place a digital overlay over everything the user sees and offers various interactions. That is, essentially, what the IoT attempts to offer. It seeks to create a solid and useful connection between things like traffic lights or storefronts and things like websites and smart device apps.

Unlike GE, Apple is already fairly well-known amongst the general public for their various “smart” devices and computers. And while they might not have been the first to create and release a smartphone or a tablet, there is no denying that their entries into the market have impacted the way in which many consumers access the internet and interact with the world around them. It might not be any surprise, then, that Apple is seeking to continue this innovation into the IoT, a frontier relatively underexplored.

What Does the Apple-GE Partnership Mean for IoT?

Apple and GE are releasing a Predix toolkit for iOS that can be used to create IoT apps. This will, in effect, begin to offer some of the first user-friendly apps that actually utilize the IoT, including the potential for apps that do things like diagnose equipment issues and record thermal images, making the partnership a useful one for both GE and Apple alike.

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Valerie Stephen