IBM has rolled out a new appliance designed to help organizations manage and communicate with the billions of mobile devices and sensors in automobiles, traffic management systems, smart buildings, household appliances and beyond. It's called MessageSight, and it's Big Blue's response to the emerging Internet of Things trend.
Over the next 15 years, the number of machines and sensors connected to the Internet will explode. According to IMS Research, there will be more than 22 billion Web-connected devices by 2020. These new devices will generate more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data every day, while every hour enough information is consumed by Internet traffic to fill 7 million DVDs.
IBM MessageSight is capable of supporting 1 million concurrent sensors or smart devices and can scale up to 13 million messages per second. This makes possible large volumes of events to be processed in near real time, the company said, and allows organizations to consolidate all of the information in one place to glean insights to make better business decisions.
IBM is targeting MessageSight for governments and organizations looking to connect and infuse intelligence into cities and across industries such as automotive, healthcare and finance. IBM offered an example of an automotive manufacturer, which could use MessageSight to help manage the features and services of its automobiles.
With thousands of sensors in each car, a dealer can now be notified when a "check engine" light turns on in a specific car. Based on the information transmitted by the engine sensor, the dealer could then notify the owner that there is a critical problem and they should get their car serviced immediately.
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, said there was no question we are moving into a world where everything is connected. The question is: How will these things connect?
"With MessageSight, IBM has built a lighter protocol to allow lots and lots of connections to happen without overloading the network," Kerravala told us. "IBM has some good partners, with TIBCO and Cisco and Red Hat backing the standard. Cisco alone is three-quarters of the world's network. That does give it some credibility."
MessageSight is designed to complement IBM's MobileFirst offerings. MobileFirst helps companies create mobile solutions, and manage and monitor those mobile devices in real time. Essentially, it's a collection of mobile enterprise software, services, cloud and analytics capabilities.
According to IDC, the market for mobile enterprise infrastructure software and services was $14.5 billion in 2012, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3%. IDC expects this market to reach $30.9 billion in 2016.
With that opportunity in mind, IBM has extended its MobileFirst portfolio with new
mobile analytics capabilities and cloud services so that mobile apps can now be constantly tailored to meet the needs of the specific audience they are trying to reach. One of the new features is geolocation services for developers. Geolocation triggers can be used to extend applications to take contextual action based on a user's location to provide personalized service.