Digital Shock: The 4th Industrial Revolution

The  fourth industrial revolution is rooted in a new technological phenomenon, digitalisation, rather than in the emergence of a new type of energy. This digitalisation enables us to build a new virtual world from which we can steer the physical world. 

The industry of tomorrow aims to connect all production means to enable their interaction in real time. Factories 4.0 make communication among the different players and connected objects in a production line possible thanks to technology such as Cloud, Big Data Analytics and the Industrial Internet of Things.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applies Internet of Things technology to the industrial sector. The industrial internet of things encompasses machine learning (setting up algorithms to obtain predictive analyses) and Big Data by exploiting data sensors and machine to machine communication (between machines without human intervention), which have existed in the industrial sector for many years.

The IIoT is now inevitable and will truly become an integral part of the future. Industries will be able to rely on and use smart objects to improve performance thanks to their numerous functions such as surveillance, control, optimisation and autonomy. 

By integrating this new technology into plants, we will benefit from a plethora of advantages such as increased operational efficiency, improved risk and standard management, access to new economic models or even the possibility to generate new sources of income. Thus, the Manufacturing Plant 4.0 will be ultra-connected and capable of producing more customised goods more efficiently. The Smart City will be fully developed with urban infrastructures such as subways, stadiums and buildings that communicate amongst themselves and with users. 

Green Power will propel renewable energies and alternate energy sources to the forefront at the expense of traditional power sources so that everything can communicate via a smart grid. Connected cars will not only provide GPS and music streaming but will also communicate with road infrastructures and other vehicles and become practically independent.

The applications for the industrial sector are already enormous: predictive maintenance, improved decision-making in real time, anticipating inventory based on production, improved coordination among jobs, etc. 

All these improvements are gradually optimising production tools and revealing endless possibilities for the future of industry 4.0, the crossroads for an interconnected global system. However, this fourth industrial revolution could be the first to deviate from the energy-greed trend, in terms of non-renewable resources, because we have been integrating more and more possibilities to power our production processes with alternative resources. Tomorrow, factories 4.0 will be embedded in smart cities and powered by wind, sun and geothermal energy.

Towards a Third Dimension
The old way of making things involved taking lots of parts and screwing or welding them together. Now a product can be designed on a computer and “printed” on a 3D printer, which creates a solid object by building up successive layers of material. 
Yet like all revolutions, this one is disruptive. 
Digital technology has already rocked the media and retailing industries, just as cotton mills crushed hand looms and the Model T put farriers out of work. Many people will look at the factories of the future and shudder. They will not be full of grimy machines manned by men in oily overalls. The new model actory focuses on mass customisation. Producing objects that specifically relates to particular buyer’s requirements and this is already taking place with some current production systems in Germany with Siemens.

Now the Digital Revolution representing the new Information Age signifying a radical change from mechanical, analog and into the digital technology cyberspace and its fundamental characteristics have changed dramatically over 30 years. 
Today the concept of cyber is used to describe the systems and services directly or indirectly connected to the Internet, telecommunications, electronic, and computer networks. 

Cyberspace can be visualised as an electronic nervous system running through many national and international sectors and systems. 

Digital technology which has already significantly rocked the media and publishing industry. Publishing has been completely changed by digital technology and has allowed readers a far faster electronic engagement with issues, news and analysis. 
It has threatened the commerciality of newspapers, books and magazines and considerably reduced the amount of overall print. The new process has given far more individuals a growing blogging space in which to add real and false news, comment and views globally. 

With the face of the publishing industry set to change, it is digital technologies that emerge as one of the defining factors for future business. 

Computer technology to create, sort and deliver electronic content that will engage and prove useful for the recipient is among the most important trends for the publishing industry between now and 2020 according to a recent study by Smithers Pira.

For television broadcasters the time-shifting function of watching a recorded programme means it is easy to skip the advertisements. Advertisers are trying to develop alternative methods of delivering their message, some overt and some covert, using product placement and ambush advertising.

Smaller, more powerful mobile gadgets catch the public attention and there are armies of content providers broadening the range of applications for consumers. They represent a new and rapidly changing media challenge for publishers: how to supplement and earn revenue from these communication channels.

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