back to top

10 Machines You Probably Didn't Know Were Online

10 billion devices are connected to the Industrial Internet today. And we're not just talking about modems.

Posted on

1. Wind Turbines

GE / youtube.com

The future is here. Wind turbines can now talk to each other online and adjust the pitch of their blades in unison — any way the wind blows — all thanks to thousands of sensors. Unfortunately, they'll blow you off if you try to friend them on Facebook.

2. Hospital Beds

GE / youtube.com

Hospitals from Houston, Texas, to Aventura, Florida, have already hooked up their equipment to the Industrial Internet, even their beds. One hospital in New York used algorithms from this data to forecast demand, clean rooms faster, and cut wait times.

3. CT Scanners

GE / youtube.com

Beds aren't the only thing going online. In Washington state, one hospital connected their CT scanners to the cloud, giving specialists real-time access to images. And with new dose management software, ionized radiation levels continue to drop.

4. Sprinkler Systems

GE / youtube.com

Remember when underground sprinklers were the latest thing? Well, the latest sprinklers are internet-connected and humidity and temperature activated. Maybe someday even the sprinkler dance will become obsolete. We can only hope.

5. Jet Engines

GE / youtube.com

Unplanned repairs cause 10% of all flight delays, but self-learning online software — yes, self-learning — could predict maintenance before things break, and prevent 60,000 delays annually in the U.S. alone. AirAsia is already using software like this.

6. Gas Turbines

GE / youtube.com

If you've ever played SimCity, you know power plants are full of turbines. Today, we can equip every part of those machines with a sensor and from that data, reduce power outages. In time, that data could learn, adapt, and even become intelligent.

7. Locomotives

GE / youtube.com

Your phone runs apps; trains do too. Software can predict which parts will need repair, and track sensors combined with weather data can even adjust rail adhesion. On the network, every train knows where the others are — they're tight-knit like that.

8. Utility Poles

GE / youtube.com

While broadband over power lines is still under development, new grid management systems promise to predict and prevent outages by harvesting Twitter, satellite, and census data. Oh, the technology is also gesture-controlled — à la Minority Report.

9. Ship Propellers

GE / youtube.com

While you won't find them live-tweeting their trip, ship propellers are online too — connected by tiny sensors in the ship's engine, reporting back on performance and power output. Still, it'd be nice if they Instagrammed some dolphins or something.

10. Street Lights

GE / youtube.com

Earlier this year, San Diego became the first city to connect its street lights to the Industrial Internet. That means every light features auto-brightness, and broken lights are fixed immediately. This same technology can even extend to traffic lights.

When machines and minds communicate, the conversation can change the world. Learn more about the next Industrial Revolution at GE.com.

View this video on YouTube