Can the Internet of Things technology — which typically is associated with reducing costs and streamlining operations — result in job creation, as well as reduced costs and improved safety? NEC Corp. recently announced it has developed five new solutions for strengthening its business relating to the Internet of Things (IoT), and, as a result, will increase the number of core personnel engaging in IoT-related systems construction from the current level of roughly 100 to nearly 500 within five years. The manufacturer is betting that the IoT can have a positive influence on employment, cost reduction and safety.
According to the company, NEC will use IoT technologies in areas including image processing, sensors and big data analysis. The manufacturer is looking at using IoT in “social infrastructure,” such as water demand forecasting, traffic monitoring, security management for communities and for key facilities and energy management, in addition to the corporate use of IoT by manufacturers, distributors, transport operators and others.
Big data is getting bigger every day. IoT technologies can pave the way for collecting big data from many different areas that previously were not subject to control and not easily monitored or managed. Moving forward, the ability to analyze and use digital data will provide significant value to companies in industries as disparate as retail and transportation.
“In the coming IoT era, the extra value of data found in the digital world will be incorporated swiftly into real society, industry and life. This will create opportunities for new social value, encourage reforms of the industrial structure and promote changes in the knowledge creation process,” said Takaaki Shimizu, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of NEC in a statement.
In addition to NEC’s Industrial IoT for the manufacturing sector, NEC will use IoT in other markets. For example, its Landslide Prediction Solution employs technology for high-precision, real-time calculation of the risk of a mudslide on a slope by analyzing the soil moisture content by installing sensors in a larger area. Another environment-centric solution is NEC’s Water Demand Prediction Solution. Past water consumption records are analyzed to create an accurate and detailed forecast of how much water will be needed in the area served. That helps reduce unnecessary water preparation and pump operation, resulting in reduced power cost for operations.
The retail segment is also part of NEC’s focus. The VIP Detection Solution, which will be available later this year, analyzes image data captured from IP cameras at retail stores and hotels. By using highly accurate face recognition technology, the solution can identify VIP customers visiting stores and hotels, so retailers can better serve them. Conversely, it can also detect “suspicious” visitors to assist store security operations.