A partnership between Apple and General Electric has been announced. The partnership will see General Electric’s industrial software made available to Apple’s mobile devices running on iOS. In the near future a software development kit for Predix will be availed to developers so that they can build applications in iOS. This will allow around 77 utilities which collaborate with GE in the management of boiler feed pumps, condensers, turbines, power plants, rail lines and oil rigs from iPhones and iPads.
“Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad,” read a statemement from the chief executive officer of Apple, Tim Cook.
According to General Electric field workers will be able to obtain real-time data and share it when conducting remote operations from their iOS devices. Since sensor-laden industrial machines such as elevators, jet engines and wind turbines are connected to the Predix software, it is possible to analyze streams of information obtained from the machines with a view to assisting in predicting failures and making the machines and equipment more cost-efficient.
By 2020 General Electric expects the Predix software to generate revenues of approximately $12 billion. A month ago General Electric disclosed that the Predix software would be installed at an Atlanta, Georgia-based remote monitoring center where the industrial conglomerate keeps watch on power plant equipment located in over 60 countries.
With a total of one million sensors embedded in the equipment of these power plants, the system receives feedback from each of these sensors and when data that is outside of the preferred parameters is sent owners of the assets can be notified and a solution recommended. Owners of power plants are thus given an advance notice concerning conditions that are likely to turn critical with the hope that the situation can be mitigated early one and reduce downtime or only have downtime when it is planned for.
The partnership between the two firms will also see General Electric make Apple’s mobile devices the standard for all its employees who currently number around 330,000. Mac desktop computers will also be offered as an option for the employees as well. Apple will also assist in promoting the Predix software to its enterprise customers. According to product market vice president at Apple, Susan Prescott, salespeople of the iPhone maker will receive training on the capabilities of Predix in order to promote the software when selling iOS devices.