India's first Centre of Excellence
India's first CoE for IoT, a joint initiative between Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Education and Research Network, Nasscom and the government, has been set-up in Bangalore. Backed by multinationals like Accenture, Microsoft, IBM, CISCO and HCL, it provides incubation infrastructure, skill development, technology research, testing facilities, prototype development and standardisation. An initial investment of Rs.22 crore has been made in the facility.
What is 'Internet of Things'?
IoT comprises of connecting any device with an on-off switch to the Internet, and/or to each other. It enables devices, which can be anything, from cellphones, washing machines to vehicles, buildings and people to collect and exchange data, creating a giant network of "connected" objects.
IoT centre launched with 5 startups
The centre, which can house 40 start-ups has initially chosen 5 startups to be a part of India's first Centre for Excellence in Internet of Things- Wireless Controls, Uncanny Vision, LightMetrics, ThingsCloud and SAAR Microsystems.
Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad laid stress on increasing human resource research and training in the specified area. His main concern was developing a good ecosystem through innovation and research to further strengthen the whole architecture of cyber-security. According to him, the success of the IT-initiative lies in the adoption and replication of the products throughout the world.
The important sectors for deployment that have been charted out include heathcare, education and agriculture. The initiative aims to connect 2,50,000 gram panchayats with optical fibre network. A scaling up of common service centres to 2,50,000 is in order. It also includes digitising the post office network which would mean giving out 1.30 lakh hand-held devices to rural postmen ensuring core banking solutions.
Impact on economy
Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that IoT is likely to generate a profit of $2 trillion by 2020. According to CISCO, estimated economic benefit stands around $14 trillion, whereas Gartner estimates it to be $2 trillion. The number of IoT connections are expected to increase to 25 billion by Forbes, whereas for Cisco, the estimate is around 50 billion connections, shooting up the revenue drastically.