Mass customization has already arrived. Buildings only light rooms when people are present. The farm soil will tell you when it needs water -- in fact, it will water itself. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is exploding with possibilities, and the deployment is now, not is some highly developed future.
Factories can change from one product to another with the simple tap of a touchscreen. If one piece of equipment on the line breaks down, the rest of the line is alerted. Jet engines will tell you when they need maintenance. Highway will alert you when they need snow removal.
Click on the image below to check out these applications for the IIoT. They're happening now, not in a Jetson-esque future.
Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine, Chile Pepper.