What Is Edge Computing? Benefits, Chellenges, Examples Of Artificial Intelligence On The Edge

As I’m sure you can tell from this list, edge computing requirements can vary quite a bit, with a regional office’s needs quite different from a smart building or a ship. Edge computing is a viable solution for data-driven operations that require lightning-fast results and a high level of flexibility, depending on the current state of things. As a result, the data analysis is more focused, which makes for more efficient service personalization and, furthermore, thorough analytics regarding supply, demand, and overall customer satisfaction. Wearable IoT devices such as smartwatches are capable of monitoring the user’s state of health and even save lives on occasions if necessary.

The concept dates back to the 1990s, when Akamai solved the challenge of Web traffic congestion by introducing Content Delivery Network solutions. The technology involved network nodes storing static cached media information at locations closer to end-users. Edge computing is a relatively new paradigm that aims to bring computational power in close proximity of IoT sensors, smartphones, and connected technologies. In this worst-case world, you wake up in the morning and ask Alexa Siri Cortana Assistant what features your corporate overlords have pushed to your toaster, dishwasher, car, and phone overnight. Almost any technology that’s applicable to the latency problem is applicable to the bandwidth problem. Running AI on a user’s device instead of all in the cloud seems to be a huge focus for Apple and Google right now.

What is meant by edge computing

In addition to organizer features, it is able to check the heart and caloric rates. Both processes rely on data processing on the spot for initial proceedings (i.e. decode the request) and connection to the center to further refinement what is edge computing with example of the model (i.e. send results of the operation). In addition to that, there is “non-time-sensitive” data required for all sorts of data analysis and storage that can be sent straight to the cloud-like any other type of data.

What Is An Edge Network?

While interest in industrial edge computing is on the rise, adoption lags behind significantly. As of February 2021, only 27% of manufacturers had implemented edge computing in their facilities. And while driverless cars are not yet mainstream, companies are preparing. In 2018, The Automotive Edge Computing Consortium announced that it would be launching operations focused on connected car solutions. As the price of sensors and the cost of computing continues to decrease, more “things” will be connected to the internet.

What is meant by edge computing

Edge computing has emerged as a promising technology thanks to the proliferation of smart IoT applications in autonomous vehicles and other computation-sensitive industrial use cases that require low-latency data processing. Gartner predicts that 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed beyond centralized cloud data centers via edge computing by the year 2022. Other research finds that, by 2025, the global IoT installed base will reach over 75.4 billion devices. The ability to process data analytics on an edge network enables features and capabilities that are crucial for advanced digital frameworks, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Fleet Management

The edge device could run a machine learning model to predict if one of the robots will fail . Edge computing can also help use big data, along with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to predict patterns in the spread of deadly diseases. For example, US-based BlueDot is a geofencing software company that is using data from social media, text messages, and other online communications to predict the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Like many autonomous vehicle startups, Recogni is targeting “Level 2” or partially automated vehicles with its computer vision technologies. While there may not be a great deal of distinction between traditional and autonomous vehicles to the layperson, there are 5 levels of vehicular autonomy as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Several vehicle manufacturers, including Cadillac and Volvo, currently offer Level 2 automation, among the most common of which is Advanced Driver Assistance Systems .

Being able to teach machines to toggle between a computation that can be performed at the edge and one that requires the cloud is also a challenge. Retailers are also leveraging edge computing to make shopping a safer experience amid the Covid-19 pandemic. AT&T’s CTO of Network Services, Andre Fuetsch, said at the Wells Fargo 5G Forum in June 2020, these technologies could help retailers comply with social distancing regulations via real-time feedback using cameras with computer vision technology. Companies can use drones or robots to generate real-time insights on the conditions of energy stations, even in remote areas. California-based DroneDeploy uses edge computing to generate real-time thermal maps that can signal issues such as equipment shutdown, solar panel overheating, and gas leaks. Smart farms could use sensors to monitor soil conditions, temperature, and weather conditions.

But I’ve been watching some industry experts on YouTube, listening to some podcasts, and even, on occasion, reading articles on the topic. And I think I’ve come up with a useful definition and some possible applications for this buzzword technology. We also asked other experts to chime in with their particular definitions of edge computing in clear terms to that may prove useful for IT leaders in various discussions – including those with non-technical people.

An edge gateway also interacts with IoT edge devices downstream, telling them when to switch on and off or how to adjust to conditions. In February 2019, for example, telco incumbents Telstra and Ericsson partnered with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to explore use cases for 5G and edge computing in banking services. Several farms across the US have already begun utilizing edge computing and networking technologies to transform their operations. Several companies have already begun offering specialized edge computing tools to healthcare providers. But to truly capture the benefit of the massive amounts of data being collected, real-time analysis may be necessary — and while many wearable devices connect to the cloud directly, others can operate offline.

They may process data using apps or via on-board computing capabilities, and they often include batteries. Today, most data calculations take place in the cloud or at a datacenter. However, as organizations migrate to an edge model with IoT devices, there’s a need to deploy edge servers, gateway devices and other gear that reduce the time and distance required for computing tasks—and connect the entire infrastructure. Part of this infrastructure may include smaller edge data centers located in secondary cities or even rural areas, or cloud containers that can easily be moved across clouds and systems, as needed. By 2026, the market for edge computing infrastructure to support autonomous vehicle systems alone is anticipated to exceed $39B. AI chip maker NVIDIA launched Jetson TX2 in 2017, an AI computing platform for edge devices.

  • It also can reduce the need for more expensive cloud resources, and thus save money.
  • California-based DroneDeploy uses edge computing to generate real-time thermal maps that can signal issues such as equipment shutdown, solar panel overheating, and gas leaks.
  • “Put another way, edge computing brings the data and the compute closest to the point of interaction.”
  • In many cases, application programming interfaces extend the reach of an edge network while automating workflows.
  • In addition to this, Uber and Lyft are testing autonomous driving systems as a service.
  • This makes it possible, for example, to use different programming languages with different attributes and runtimes to achieve specific performance results.
  • The edge device could run a machine learning model to predict if one of the robots will fail .

When less data is sent to the cloud, the likelihood of latency — the delay in data processing that results from the interaction between the cloud and IoT devices — decreases. From wearables to connected kitchen appliances, internet-connected devices are everywhere. As a result, cloud computing — the process by which many of these smart devices connect to the internet to operate — has become an increasingly dominant trend. It might be weird to think of it this way, but the security and privacy features of an iPhone are well accepted as an example of edge computing.

For example, a person may choose to back up her smartphone using Apple’s iCloud. She can then retrieve her smartphone data via another internet-enabled device, such as her desktop computer, by logging into her account and connecting to the cloud. Her information is no longer confined to the capacity of the internal hard drive on her smartphone or desktop. IoT operation combines data processing on the spot and subsequently on the cloud . Internet-of-things devices are extremely helpful when it comes to such healthcare data science tasks as patient monitoring and general health management.

With grid control, sensors could monitor energy produced by everything from electric vehicles to wind farms to help make decisions around reducing cost and make energy generation more efficient. Increasing demands for higher crop yields and greater efficiency are serving as catalysts in the emerging smart agricultural sector. Using yield-monitoring equipment fitted with sensors, robots for spraying and weeding and data analytics about soil conditions can lead to a better harvest. The World Economic Forum estimated in 2018 that if 50% to 75% supply chains in developed countries deployed IoT technologies by 2020, it would lead to food savings of 10M-50M tons.

Cloud Computing Enables A Connected World

In this situation, data processing uses the edge, but it is not always immediate . Using fog computing, short-term analytics can be assessed at a given point in time and do not require full travel back to a centralized cloud. While the bulk of data processing for connected devices across industries now happens in the cloud, sending data back and forth across a central server can take seconds too long — and also requires a ton of expensive infrastructure. By the year 2024, an estimated 149 zettabytes — the equivalent of more than 149T gigabytes —will be created globally every single day. In fact, physical and virtual security can pose a significant challenge for organizations using IoT edge devices and edge computing networks.

What is meant by edge computing

Many prominent companies have also invested in edge computing, including General Electric, Intel, Dell, IBM, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, SAP SE, and AT&T. Scalability – a combination of local data centers and dedicated devices can expand computational resources and enable more consistent performance. At the same time, this expansion doesn’t strain the bandwidth of the central network. Others, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, deliver cloud-based software and services that support IoT and edge functionality—including device management, machine learning and specialized analytics. Still others, such as PTC ThingWorx and Particle, deliver sophisticated platforms that connect and manage large numbers of edge IoT devices. One of the most obvious potential applications of edge computing technology is across transportation — more specifically, autonomous vehicles.

I have some fears about edge computing that are hard to articulate, and possibly unfounded, so I won’t dive into them completely. That said, let’s get out of the word definition game and try to examine what people mean practically when they extoll edge computing. Pressure and humidity sensors, for example, should be closely monitored, and cannot afford a lapse in connectivity, especially as most of these are located in remote areas.

Edge Computing Is Growing Rapidly

Since applications and data are closer to the source, the turnaround is quicker, and the system performance is better. As a result, manufacturing organizations can lower the cost of maintenance, improve operational effectiveness of the machines, and realize higher return on assets. Analyzing the most impactful machine health metrics can allow organizations to prolong the useful life of manufacturing machines.

This data is then worked over by a mesh of different machine learning algorithms. This process requires rapid-fire data processing to gain situational awareness. Particularly for use cases that involve AI voice assistance capabilities, the technology needs go beyond computational power and data transmission speed. The long-term success of voice assistance depends on consumer privacy and data security capabilities of the technology. Sensitive personal information is a treasure trove for underground cybercrime rings and potential network vulnerabilities in voice assistance systems could pose unprecedented security and privacy risks to end-users. Self-driving cars are, as far as I’m aware, the ultimate example of edge computing.

Some Edge Computing Examples

Edge computing could then provide farmers with detailed insight quickly as data will be processed locally. The decreased latency issues of edge computing could lead to faster, more responsive changes in manufacturing workflow, which would be able https://globalcloudteam.com/ to apply insight and action in real-time. In February 2021, California computer vision startup Recogni raised nearly $49M as part of its Series B round. BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures backed Recogni’s $25M Series A round in July 2019.

Edge Computing Definitions

In financial services, for example, traders often need to make real-time decisions based on events or large market shifts, and any lag in data computation can result in an enormous loss of money. To see how VMware hyperconverged infrastructure can help meet edge computing challenges, visit TechZone. Intermediary server processing – when data processing is going through a nearby local server . The main difference between cloud and edge computing is in the mode of infrastructure. BMC works with 86% of the Forbes Global 50 and customers and partners around the world to create their future.

Apple smartwatch is one of the most prominent examples of a versatile wearable IoT. Healthcare is one of those industries that takes the most out of emerging technologies. On the other hand, processing data on the spot, and then sending valuable data to the center, is a far more efficient solution. AI will further facilitate intelligent decision-making capabilities in real-time, allowing cars to react faster than humans in response to abrupt changes in traffic flows.

The Edge Data Center

Recogni says its vision recognition technologies are capable of classifying 92,105 images per second and identifying 833 separate individuals concurrently. The more images a vehicle’s sensors can process, the faster the autonomous vehicle can respond to unexpected obstacles — a scenario in which milliseconds may mean the difference between life and death. Many of the companies mentioned above, including Cisco, Dell, and Microsoft, came together to form the OpenFog Consortium. The OpenFog Consortium merged with the Industrial Internet Consortium in 2019, creating the world’s largest organization dedicated to the advancement of IoT, AI, fog, and edge computing. Edge computing also allows a level of interoperability between emerging connected devices and older, “legacy” devices.

But today’s edge networks are increasingly modular and interconnected—and carry a broad array of data. Today’s software-defined networking tools deliver enormous flexibility, scalability and customization for edge networks. In many cases, application programming interfaces extend the reach of an edge network while automating workflows. Edge IoT devices typically send data over an open systems interconnection framework that unites disparate devices and standards.

But it appears to be gaining more attention, especially as things become more connected. Relying less on the cloud also means certain devices can operate reliably offline. This is especially useful in locations where internet connectivity is limited — whether in specific geographies with little access or remote, often inaccessible sites like oil fields. Another example is running full-scale applications that are accessed through a web or mobile browser.

Stephanie Overby is an award-winning reporter and editor with more than twenty years of professional journalism experience. For the last decade, her work has focused on the intersection of business and technology.

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