Commentary “ Possibility and challenges of IoT ” 2 (First published in Japanese in July, 2015)

  IoT refers to the state in which everything around us is connected to the Internet. There are virtually infinite addresses to identify things on the net, and with the advancement of digital technology and lower device prices, we are ready to move on. By integrating the digital world that spreads on the Internet and the real world where people live, a world that has never been imagined will come. “Industry 4.0 ” promoted by the German government as a national policy has attracted a lot of attention due to the exciting naming of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, even though it can be understood that automation and network technology can make more diverse productions more efficient than it is now, it is only a step-by-step comparison with the present. Is it really revolutionary?

  The keyword to avoid mistaken essence is “service”. Here, “Koto” that can be economically traded is called a service. Japan’s gross domestic product ( GDP ) of 7 service industry, which accounts for percent is, literally dealing with this service. In recent years, the manufacturing industry is said to have become a service industry, and the manufacturing industry that sold “things” has started selling “Koto”. The background is that the expansion of physical goods transactions alone can no longer support corporate growth.

  In general, service productivity is relatively low because of its simultaneity and inseparability. In other words, the person who provides the service and the person who receives the service need to be in the same place at the same time in principle. The service could not be mass-produced, stocked, and transported to the required location when needed. The world that IoT brings is amazing because it has the potential to break the basic constraints of such services all at once.