The Insider's Guide to the Connected Future

November 15, 2017
Chapter 1: Five Things to Know About the Connected Future
Chapter 2: Seven Ways Your Life Could Change in the Connected Future
Chapter 3: Investigating the Economic Implications of the Connected Future
Chapter 4: Introducing the Industrial Internet
Chapter 5: The Industrial Internet: Opportunities and Challenges
Chapter 6: Lighting— The Way Forward

Welcome to the Connected Future

In today’s business environment, there is a very sudden and very real focus on hyper-connectivity. This transformation— from the convergence of emerging technology and Big Data to advanced analytics and real-time communications—is changing the way people work, live and play. It is an exciting time for business, as this shift presents an opportunity for significant growth and efficiencies. At Current, powered by GE, we are investing our energy into helping people discover and capitalize on these opportunities. Let’s explore the Connected Future together.

The Wake-Up Call

We live in exciting, transformative times. Technology is impacting every aspect of our daily lives. We wake up to sleep-tracking alarms, use GPS to avoid traffic on our commutes, redeem
smartphone coupons at the grocery store and read the news on tablets at bedtime. No matter where we are, we are always connected. And, of course, this constant connectivity is changing the way businesses operate.
Something big is happening. Whether you’re a technology enthusiast traveling to the Consumer Electronics Show, a B2C (business-to consumer) professional checking out Design and Construction Week or an industrial B2B (business to-business) company representative attending relevant tradeshows to find out what’s next for manufacturing, chances are you’re hearing the same thing: connectivity.
Both in the industrial and consumer spheres, the biggest technology-related trend is the explosion of “smart” technology into the market. Every day, more and more items are becoming “connected” to networks, enhancing their functionality and accessibility. Many refer to this phenomenon as the creation of the Internet of Things. We’re seeing the lines of the physical and digital worlds blurring as we begin to transition from the Internet bringing the world to us—to us bringing the world to the Internet.
Whether the devices themselves are wholly new technology or long-standing equipment that is given new meaning through integration of sensors and data-reporting capability, we’re seeing the integration of intelligence into our devices wherever we look.

What Will the Connected Future Mean for Us?

While the idea of a massive increase in connected consumer, business and infrastructure-related devices may seem exciting, with this shift comes significant anxiety for many people who are apprehensive about the uncertainty that comes with a Connected Future. There
are many hurdles that will need to be overcome, surely, and we will take a look more comprehensively at the implications of a Connected Future throughout this piece. Implicit to the Connected Future is also substantial opportunity to change the way we live our lives, becoming more efficient and productive as we take advantage of the huge increase in data volume and accessibility being driven by better systems and technology integration.
Whether you had previously heard of this transformation toward a Connected Future or not, consider this your wake-up call—the kind that comes via a vibrating fitness band on your wrist or a chirping smartphone… not your father’s alarm clock.

The Connected Future is about more than the creation and adoption of intelligent devices; it is also about developing intelligent environments that yield the greatest efficiencies and provide the most useful data.

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