Feature

Widening the web

As the internet of things seeks to change business, HCL Technologies is gearing up with a connected portfolio

Illustration by Kishore Das

GH Rao, who heads engineering and R&D services at HCL Technologies, has recently returned from the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. He speaks of a presentation by a telecom networking company at the summit about the possibility of a city with no traffic lights, thanks to all the cars enabled with the internet of things (IoT). “All the cars will have sensors and when they sense another car or person close by, they will slow down automatically and have the ability to take decisions in a split second,” says Rao, president, engineering and R&D services, at HCL Technologies. 

HCL has developed an IoT-based parking solution for one of its customers in San Francisco. “If you have driven in San Francisco, you know how difficult it is to find parking lots there,” says Rao. HCL has ensured that all the customer’s parking lots are IoT-enabled and connected to a smartphone through an app. So once you start looking for a parking slot, not only will the app take you to the closest one, but also change the route map if the slot gets filled before you reach. You can also block your parking slot by paying with your credit card.

Simply put, IoT refers to the concept of connecting devices with each other and connecting them to the internet. This could include anything from your cell phone to your coffee maker to your car. For example, as your phone alarm goes off, it can intimate your coffee maker to start brewing and toaster to get your bread ready and, depending on your schedule, the car can already have the routes programmed before you start.

While conversations about the possibilities around the consumer applications of IoT abound, there is also a huge potential for industrial applications, or industrial IoT, as it is called. In fact, analysts say that business benefits from industrial IoT will be significantly higher, and hence the adoption, though it may take longer, it will be large scale.

“The technology of smart devices will change the business model for several industries and companies and change the way they do business. So, instead of selling, they will be selling outcomes,” says Sukumal Banerjee, senior vice-president, engineering and R&D services, HCL Technologies. “We can help companies grow their revenues and redefine business processes, especially around management of capital assets,” he adds.<

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