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IoT at the peak of inflated expectations: Thilak Kumar, Wind River

Saheli Sen Gupta | June 29, 2016
Touted as one of the most hyped technologies of 2015, IoT has created a buzz in the IT industry. Thilak Kumar, Head FAE APAC, Wind River, guides us through the rise of IoT.

A 35-year-old company which started out as an embedded system software company, Wind River was acquired by Intel in 2009 but still operates as an independent subsidiary. Recently, the company has been facilitating several interesting IoT solutions, including a Connected Battlefield and Combat Cloud with the aerospace and defense sector.

Thilak Kumar, Head FAE APAC at Wind River speaks about how the connected battlefield works, how IoT will shine in the healthcare industry and what the future holds for this technology. Edited excerpts:

Has Wind River always focused on Internet of Things?

Primarily, our focused vertical markets includes aerospace and defense, networking and telecom, healthcare, and automotive. Considering the fact that we have been the market leaders for embedded operating systems for over three decades, we are currently present in devices that run across all these market segments - from aerospace defense to networking and then industrial and medical to automotive.

Moving to IoT was a natural progression to connect to those devices because we are already there as an operating system embedded in those devices. We made the logical transition from just using these EDGE devices to bringing back data from them by connecting to the cloud. 

By virtue of being the largest real time OS company globally, we have been designed into around two billion devices including radars, satellites and missile launchers in the aerospace defense market, routers and switches in the networking and telecom market, and vehicle instrument clusters in the automotive market. 

Because of our lineage and our connection with Intel, we bring together a platform which is a combination of hardware and software along with services that can help customers adopt and customize at will.

How are IoT and Wind River positioned to facilitate a connected battlefield?

The idea or the problem that we are trying to solve is what is referred to as a 'limited situational awareness'. Today, when the soldiers are out on the battlefield, there's very limited information that's available in the headquarters in terms of what the situation around the soldier is. In a connected battlefield, one can leverage the vehicles, manned and unmanned, on the battlefield to receive critical data using sensors and cameras. Using analytics, this data could be used to provide valuable information to commanders for a network centric warfare.

In the larger context, IoT can change the fundamental business model and enable one to move from a device centric business model to a more service centric model.

Aerospace and defense would be a big beneficiary from the IoT technology currently being commercialized and brought to a level of maturity that can be easily adopted and deployed. While the market is beginning to build solutions and platforms, it will take a little more time to completely build a connected battlefield.


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