Business/economy

Munich innovation forum Internet of things and services – Bosch is ready

  • Three approaches to profitable growth in web 3.0
  • Technological developments foreseeable
  • Security aspects require attention
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  • March 16, 2012
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases

press release

Munich – The Bosch Group sees huge potential in web 3.0, the internet of things and services. At this year’s innovation forum in Munich, the Bosch board of management member Dr. Volkmar Denner said: “We expect the market for such products and services to grow significantly, and are preparing our company for this growth.” The internet of things and services is the next stage in the evolution of web technology. It involves all the things and people connected in the web communicating with each other. Denner sees three main areas in which Bosch can be active and grow profitably on the internet of things and services: technology, applications, and business models based on these applications.

In the area of technology, Bosch will take products such as head units in vehicles or sensors in buildings and heating systems and modify them so that they can connect with the internet. They need to be equipped with IP-enabled components to be able to communicate on the internet.
In addition, Bosch will make infrastructure available, such as the software platforms and technologies supplied by Bosch Software Innovations. These platforms create the basis for the internet of things and services. It is here that the “participants” – products and people, in other words – come together and provide the platform with data that are analyzed. This allows third-party data to be used to develop services or apps. Here too, Bosch already supplies products, such as the navigation app sold by its Car Multimedia division or, in the Thermotechnology division, the iCom app of the Junkers brand. Finally, there are business models on the basis of these applications. In these models, objects are connected and data exchanged on the internet, and this serves as a basis for services.

New technologies poised for breakthrough
All this is possible thanks to new technologies that create connections between the virtual and physical worlds. When it comes to the development of this technological basis, Bosch assumes that
· computing power,
· bandwidth for data transmission, and
· memory capacity
will double roughly every two years. “This exponential growth is the fundamental driving force behind future technological developments. It is very important to remember that this happens on a predictable basis,” Denner said. The rapid increase in computing power and bandwidth allow new web-based services to be created, such as cloud computing. In the future, it will be possible to store even huge amounts of data in the cloud at low cost. The fast and complex analysis of data forms the basis for the spread of the internet of things and services.The decisive factor will be the ability to connect the data gathered with domain-specific know-how. This is why Bosch is working on data mining and algorithms – in telehealth, for example, and robotics. Such work calls for highly sophisticated mathematical methods.

Getting better faster
For Bosch, this move from individual devices to the cloud means that its products have to be modified. “Bosch today is first and foremost a manufacturer of things. In order to open up connected applications such as monitoring and heating systems, vehicles, or sensors, our first task is to make our hardware products web-enabled, wherever this makes sense,” Denner said. The main challenge, he said, was to be fast enough to keep pace with the rapid developments in the market. “It is extremely uncertain and unpredictable which applications and business models will ultimately become established in the market. Our approach has to be an exploratory and agile one.”

The example of the “eMobility platform”
Activities relating to the internet of things and services are an area where Bosch Software Innovations has been able to make a name for itself, in a project in Singapore. The architecture of the e-mobility platform set up there comprises participants such as electric vehicles, charge spots, and the relevant providers and networks and services. These participants log onto the eMobility platform provided by Bosch Software Innovations. From this platform, portals can be opened, from which services are offered. Drivers of electric vehicles can, for example, use their cell phone to call up data that are available on the platform. And other service providers can also open portals on our platform and offer their customers specific services. Further examples of functional Bosch applications on the internet of things and services can be found in the Automotive Aftermarket and Security Systems divisions.

The example of the connected vehicle
Denner explained that connected vehicles are permanently connected with the internet, other vehicles, and satellites via a powerful radio interface. Via manufacturer-specific apps and services, the participant – either the vehicle or the driver – receives apps and services provided by software engineers. At the other end, the participant transmits two classes of data via a radio interface:
· generic data. These can later be processed in a business backbone for customer data management or customer billing.
· domain-specific data. An analysis of these data provides added value for drivers. One example is vehicle diagnosis and preventive maintenance concepts based on it. As a result, drivers themselves will be willing to make more data available, which can then be the basis for new “added value apps.”

Risks
Denner warned his Munich audience that connection via the internet was not just about positive potential. There were also risks: “We have to assume that there will be hackers who will try to infiltrate our systems.” This made it necessary, he said, to use state-of-the-art technology to prevent unauthorized access. For its new-generation control units, Bosch has already developed a hardware security module that protects against external attacks. To quote Denner: “We have also set up a center of competence for security. Its job is to provide internal support and advice on using security-related technologies.”

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI7691 - March 16, 2012

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