Software Critical to Smart-Products Manufacturing

In my previous post, Manufacturers Reshape for Smart-Product Future, I discussed how and why consumers are demanding smarter, connected products. It’s this demand that’s created an explosion of software and networks.

New technologies, applications, and devices are spanning across all types of industries from aerospace and defense, agriculture, and automotive to high-tech, medical devices, and many more.

Did you know that there are 100 million lines of software code in a luxury car and that 20 million of that is in the navigation system of the vehicle? There are 12 million lines of code in an Android phone, which is twice that of a Boeing 787 at 6.5 million.

Here are some key milestones and predictions relating to embedded (connected) software:

  • 1989 the Internet is born marking its 25th year this year.
  • 1993 first browser app launches: a number of browser applications are developed during the first two years of the Web, but it’s Mosaic, available for UNIX, the Commodore Amiga, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, that has the most impact.
  • 2000 the emergence of smart devices: Nextel aggressively expands its reach and product capabilities. By the year 2000 the company has connected to countries around the world and introduced its always-connected wireless data solution.
  • 2013 the number of connected devices increases to 9 Billion. In this McKinsey Insight Report on disruptive technologies it is predicted to jump to 50 Billion by 2020 and to 1 Trillion by 2025.

Over the past decade products have evolved from being purely mechanical with electrical components to complex systems that are software-driven and connected to both public and private networks, and because of this discreet manufacturers are finding new ways to connect their products and transform the way said products are created, operated, and serviced.

Auto manufacturers who are required to comply with myriad safety standards, for instance, are adding more sensors to vehicles to capture or detect when a failure is about to occur. This allows the manufacturer to be proactive in making changes early on in the product lifecycle. An added bonus – they are well-prepared if and when a fix or patch needs to be applied to the final product.

In the very near future, most consumers will be able to download and apply a fix to a car defect instead of the auto-maker having to recall a fleet of vehicles (Tesla already offers this).

View this infographic to see how manufacturers must adapt to the explosion of software and networks or risk losing competitive advantage.

Look for part three of this blog series where we’ll take a look at how manufacturers are uncovering new value from smart, connected products.

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