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“Infrastructure issues have to be fixed first for IoT to become a reality” – Srinivas Prasad, VP and Head, Communication and Devices BU, Sasken Technologies Limited

Srinivas Prasad, VP and Head, Communication and Devices BU, Sasken Technologies Limited
Srinivas Prasad, VP and Head, Communication and Devices BU, Sasken Technologies Limited

Internet of things is picking up in a major way. Large organizations are coming up with products consumers to embrace the IoT revolution. In an email chat with Karma Negi of The Red Mark, Srinivas Prasad, VP and Head, Communication and Devices BU, Sasken Technologies Limited, talks about why talking about IoT along with AI and analytics makes sense.

How well is the India market embracing IoT?
India is moving ahead quite fast in the digitization spree and we see this happening in several segments. For example, in the wearable devices market, we are seeing a decent growth quarter-on-quarter for wearable devices. GOQii, Xiaomi, and Fitbit continue to expand their market position in India.

The initiatives by the government related to smart cities and smart meters are going to provide ample opportunities for technology providers who are already preparing themselves for these opportunities. Companies have started dedicated groups focusing on the Indian market in its digitization growth.

Telecom operators along with broadband companies will have a huge role to play in making this region well connected so that initiatives related to smart transportation, e-commerce, connected home, etc. grow at a much faster pace.

Large organizations are coming up with customized connectivity modules for consumers to embrace the IoT revolution. The true success of IoT lies in how well we are using it for our day-to-day lives across segments like healthcare, civic bodies, transportation and others.

Lately, people are talking about artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT in the same breath. How do you think will AI boost IoT or vice versa?
The whole mechanism of AI and IoT is to make businesses and establishments efficient. As said earlier, adoption of IoT will produce tons and tons of data which can be used across every possible segment and umpteen use cases.

This sounds exciting but the issue with this is to implement right systems to analyze this information with high speed and accuracy. Else what could happen is that you have information but would not know what to do.

It’s practically impossible to review all this data for human beings without the help of AI algorithms. Imagine a scenario where your car communicates with another car or a traffic signal but without applying the intelligence on it, it wouldn’t know what to do next.

With AI using machine learning implementations in place, it enables users or machines to figure out what is relevant so that the right decisions are made. We are already seeing this happening in our daily lives. For example, wearable devices are tracking your health parameters all the time and providing critical information on the cloud to your doctor using which precious lives have been saved.

In which all areas do you see a symbiotic relation between AI and IoT playing a major role?
In almost every aspect of the user’s life. It could be while driving your vehicle, your connected home systems or ones work and business. It becomes important to get meaningful information for faster decision making. In connected retail systems, it helps in upselling products and managing the inventory more efficiently. In transportation, it will help in minimizing accidents. For farmers and fisherman providing accurate weather forecasting helps in their day to day lives.

IoT provides a treasure trove of data from the real world and in real-time, what role can analytics play in this context?
If one has to unlock the value of their data it’s only possible by applying analytics on top of it irrespective of the segment or the type of machine. Analytics will provide the fastest path for uncovering the relevant information thereby helping users in making the right decisions at the right time. For example, companies will be able to track and manage their assets in real time more efficiently. Applying Analytics on top of IoT delivered data would result in higher customer satisfaction which will, in turn, result in increase in business growth and efficient ways of doing product and service enhancements

It is said that adoption of IoT is still not as expected. What are the problems that plague IoT adoption?

It’s the initial issues that any technology curve would face. The typical challenges being the security of the data and information, interoperability issues, complex systems trying to talk to each other, evolving standards etc. More importantly, the world is still not a full-fledged connected place; there are infrastructure issues which have to be fixed first for IoT to become a reality. The good news is that the whole industry is working towards addressing these aspects. Just to give you a perspective, I read somewhere that every year there are more than a thousand IoT conferences that happen and all these conferences are spending significant time and energies to resolve these issues.

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