By Kazutada Kobayashi
With the dawn of IoT, the world has been steering into a futuristic dynamics. Today, there has been a gradual co-dependency on technology to drive social as well as personal lives. As societies familiarize withtechnological advancements, they become qualified to take benefit of Information Technology and enable communication amongst devices without human intervention.
A ‘thing’, in the world of IoT, can be used to refer to a human with a heart monitor implant, an animal with a biochip, or a car that has built-in sensors to communicate with other cars without a driver — or any other natural or man-made thing that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to exchange information over a network. This is because every device connected has its own processing power which can be assigned to process data and perform processing tasks. These tasks are primarily the ones for which the device of IoT product has been fashioned.
Going through cloud computing, the age of big data and the IoT, we are heading towards a hyper-connected version of the Internet, whereby “connected” does not only mean linked within a network, it signifies a complex sharing and exchange relationship between virtual and physical resources and this sharing of processing power through IoT and Virtual Reality is only the beginning.
As a result, the Internet of Things will largely depend on the ‘Imaging of Things’. Every press, front-end device, finishing machine, management system, and computer will be on the Net. It won’t be an overstatement to say that we are at the dawn of an era when anyone can capture and make 3D models of real-world objects and easily share them. In the future nearly everything will be connected through smart devices. These connections or communication devices will operate via built-in cameras or sensors and the data they generate.
The network of sensors, actuators and other mobile communication devices, referred to as the Internet of Things, is poised to revolutionize the functioning of the imaging industry and in my opinion if you reverse this order, it continues to hold relevance, as ‘Imaging Of Things’ is imperative for Internet of Things.
Amongst many advantages of it, basic components of digital imaging such as storage, processing, printing, compression, and display of images, are undergoing a radical change with infusion of internet in the respective spheres. Devices no longer need physical administration for getting a task performed. Without the use of a cumbersome cord, information can be shared swiftly. Cameras or printers are enabled to build a direct wireless connection with a smart phone, tab or a desktop and cloud services over local Wi-Fi connections. For example; a printed document can be easily scanned through smartphones and can be converted into a PDF document because of automation facilitated through IoT.
As a technology enthusiast, I praise the marvels that have come along with the advent of Internet of Things. Users and numerous entities providing imaging solutions are aided from IoT supportedprospects as it eliminates complications and allows for superior automation.
Technology leaders would have heaps of intelligent devices all across the globe. The challenge is to have a system in existence that quickens the billions of transactions all over the world.These organisations across the world are dedicatedly involved in research and development to bring out innovations that can transform the technology industry. And that is not really possible without embedding IoT in the various products being automated. In principle, an IoT printing operation could automatically monitor press status, energy use, maintenance needs, and troubleshooting issues with far less human intervention.
IoT cannot be a standalone property. A fully equipped infrastructure and solution is imperative for a successful implementation of IoT. This requirement gives rise to demand for storage for the big data generation. Security, recovery and accessibility become corner stones to attain a completely operative IoT solution. Organisations hopping on to the IoT bandwagon, must also remember that a new IT implementation also necessitates personnel to be trained.
The progression in digital imaging
We have seen a radical progression in digital imaging. All its components such as processing, compression, storage, printing and display of images have seen an altered dimension with the infusion of internet connectivity. Images can be projected onto desktops and real objects with users enjoying the photos and videos. The new range of internet enabled, IP cameras allows users to upload, share and provide storage solutions directly from the cameras. The amalgamation of IoT with imaging technology gives out an attractive opportunity for a hassle free operational environment.
Imaging technologies are constantly evolving from time to time and it becomes even more difficult to keep pace with unvarying developments, most of the time. Cost involved in the maintenance and upgrade of hardware is a pricey deal. These variations have been influencing the environment surrounding the concerned field, extending from web-cameras, cameras to scanners and printers.The new entrant, ‘Remote Printing’ also works on a similar mechanism, as long as the printer is on and connected over a local network, print-outs can be taken effortlessly.
Distribution of IoT continues to develop, across diverse devices and applications through various domains. There’s a paradigm shift into the way industries are trying to achieve focus on the practical implementations and utilization and IoT is bringing a lot of difference to it. Like any other new technology, however, IoT promises to be disruptive to the digital imaging industry as both new and familiar competitors find innovative ways to leverage the technology and deliver more value to customers. We can conclude that over the years, IoT has become extremely pervasive and the world of technology is incomplete without it. Interestingly in the years to come, nearly everything will be connected through smart devices, as these devices rely on built-in cameras or sensors and the data they generate, IoT will largely depend on the ‘Imaging of Things’.
The author is President and CEO of Canon India.