Home5GDell to invest $1 billion in IoT R&D with dedicated division

Dell to invest $1 billion in IoT R&D with dedicated division

Projects emphasize the role of distributing compute power to the network edge, and taking a vertically-focused approach to IoT solutions development

The marriage of the internet of things (IoT) with artificial intelligence-powered data analysis is the animating principle of Dell Technologies’ IoT strategy, which, as of yesterday, has its own dedicated division within the company supported by a three-year, $1 billion R&D investment plan. Company CEO Michael Dell laid out his vision yesterday during the IQT Day event at Center415 in Manhattan.

“We’re grounded in our physical reality,” Dell said. “We can look out the window at the view, we can sit in chairs, we can ride in elevators or stand on the stage. Through our senses, we’re constantly processing enormous amounts of data that we compile into our understanding of the world around us. But today we’re also standing at the beginning of a new reality. This is a reality where sensors act as senses and the processing is done in silicon and software. Soon there will be a perfect digital mirror of our world with every object streaming information. This is the edge, as we call it, and it will be everywhere and everything. That is the internet of things and ultimately it will be the internet of everything. And it’s happening fast.”

He noted the cost of a connected node is “approaching zero dollars,” effectively setting the stage for 100 billion connected devices, then 1 trillion connected devices. As this develops, “We’ll be awash in rich data. But, more importantly, we’ll have the ability to harness that data with unprecedented computing power and fifth generation [5G] connectivity. We can engage massive engines of computer science to analyze that data and drive radical progress through our global society. I believe that AI and machine learning will be the jet engines of human progress, and data, data will be the fuel for that progress.”

Mentioning that Dell Technologies stores more than half of the world’s mission critical data, Dell said his company’s job is to “loop that data into a cycle of continuous innovation and improvement. First, you’ve got software that makes products smarter, like a thermostat or cars or jet engines or wind turbines. Software takes everyday services and puts them online, like taxis and travel and insurance. Those products and services generate massive amounts of data, which, when analyzed, can be used to make the products and services smarter, better, more personalized and predictive. So how do you do that? You write new code, you develop software, and you deploy it and the cycle continues. The true potential of the internet of things and AI can be unlocked when they come together as one complete, interdependent ecosystem. We call this the IQ of things or IQT. This is where every node is additive to the collective intelligence of the whole. We see this as the next evolutionary step in computing, one which will have a profound impact on business, industry, society, all organizations around the world.”

Click here to access a video recording of the programming from IQT Day.

Dell announced a number of projects in support of its IoT strategy:

  • Project Nautilus is focused on creating “a real-time analytics and streaming storage solution, built from the ground up to provide the foundation for reliable streaming applications,” via a combination of open source software, data analytics and edge servers;
  • Project Fire is an IoT platform for “management, local compute, storage and IoT applications,” designed to speed enterprise deployment of IoT solutions;
  • Project IRIS is “currently under development,” and envisions end-to-end provisioning of security and “threat visibility and monitoring.


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