Alibaba Cloud Speeds Up IoT Strategy at The Computing Conference
With a single voice command, the LoRa Internet of Things (IoT) gateway on an airship hovering over The Computing Conference 2018 was enabled. IoT devices at the conference were then quickly connected through the signal from the airship. Shortly afterwards, an unmanned vehicle by Cainiao delivered a parcel from the airship to a user who was waiting in a warehouse on ground level. The audience at the main forum witnessed the successful unmanned parcel delivery in real time through the data screen in the conference hall.
This futuristic scene took place at The Computing Conference 2018 in Hangzhou. This was Alibaba’s way of announcing its attitude towards IoT technology, dubbed “Alibaba Cloud IoT in the Sky.” This signals Alibaba’s increasing bet on its IoT strategy: from one of Alibaba group’s main tracks, to the SupET industrial Internet platform and the “Darwin Plan” unveiled on the same day.
Alibaba Cloud IoT in the Sky LoRa Station
The airship with the words “Alibaba Cloud IoT in the Sky LoRa Station” could be seen from any direction in Hangzhou’s Cloud Town. The mysterious airship hovered over the conference hall against the quiet blue sky and the buzz of the conference. It was definitely an attention grabber; everyone picked up their mobile phones to take pictures of the airship.
But the questions is, what is the purpose of this airship? This question was answered by Ding Xianfeng, Chief Internet of Things Scientist at Alibaba Cloud, at the main forum. According to Ding, the airship shows both the unlimited potential of IoT as well as the technological capabilities of Alibaba Cloud. During his speech, he disabled all IoT gateways in the exhibition area, and then the scene at the beginning of this article started.
“Alibaba Cloud IoT in the Sky shows the full-covered IoT network from 40,000 meters above the ground to 20 meters below the ground, and will continue to serve the conference in the next few days,” he said.
The airship demonstration was only a concrete aspect of the IoT shown to the public. Alibaba Cloud announced on the same day the launch of its “Darwin Plan”, which aims to deliver a controllable IoT network to enterprises based on a series of whole-link ecological services including platforms, chips, and micro base stations.
To this end, Alibaba Cloud has developed a series of cooperation projects, including the rollout of the industry’s smallest LoRa chip in collaboration with ASR, and a partnership with the broadcasting industry to build an IoT network quickly and at low cost using spectrum resources and IoT whole-link resources.
IoT Is Alibaba Group’s New Main Focus
One of the greatest social transformation in human history was when we created the internet and connected people from across the globe. But what if all physical objects were connected to the Internet? Can we achieve another technological revolution with IoT?
In March 2018, Hu Xiaoming, President of Alibaba Cloud, announced Alibaba’s plan to tap into the IoT field, a new main track of Alibaba Group following e-commerce, finance, logistics, and cloud computing. The IoT strategy will be pushed ahead jointly with cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and other business segments.
Cloud computing, AI, and IoT are considered to be three cornerstones for the so called Internet of Beings (IoB). In cloud computing and AI fields, Alibaba has already gotten a head start through its forward-looking investment and strategic perseverance. Alibaba has been committed to IoT technology R&D since 2014. Today, its efforts have shown early results.
At the Computing Conference 2018, Jack Ma proposed that new manufacturing is a perfect combination of the manufacturing and service industries. Successful manufacturers in the future are all new manufacturing enterprises that make good use of the Internet, cloud computing, IoT, AI, and big data. All these technologies will change today’s production workshops just as steam engines and petroleum oil changed the handicraft industry.
This also coincides with the ET industrial brain that has already helped many enterprises improve yield rate by 1%. For tgc.1688.com, Alibaba Cloud IoT’s industrial Internet platform has helped small- and medium-sized garment factories achieve lean production, with a 6% increase in production scheduling and lead time shortened by 10%.
In Zhejiang, a total of 200 industrial enterprises have moved onto the SupET Industrial Internet. Their silent data has been awakened to greatly optimize the production process and improve the yield rate, thus boosting their profits. The intelligent manufacturing of Hangzhou is becoming a typical sample of new manufacturing.
Alibaba Cloud has also partnered with the Kenyan government to use IoT technology to protect wild animals. The technology can achieve 24-hour monitoring of wildlife information and automatically identify poachers entering protected areas. Xiongan New Area, an economic zone south of Beijing, is developing into a “future city” where transportation, energy, security, and other infrastructure are connected to Alibaba Cloud. All these use cases demonstrate the unlimited potential of the IoB technology.
To learn more about Alibaba Cloud ET Brain family of solutions, visit www.alibabacloud.com/et