The ramp up of data is arguably the biggest single defining feature of our age. The rate of growth and the sheer volume of data humanity is generating is astonishing. In 2017, we were creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, a curve that is expected to hit a mind bending 1.7Mb by 2020 – that’s per person, per second. In fact that’s just over 6GB an hour, per head of global population.
It is a fact that dealing with data is one of the biggest ongoing challenges we face, from enterprise-level data management, right down to individual, personal data. Indeed, ‘Big Data’ is increasingly driving all facets of modern business, a quiet revolution that has been occurring at enormous speed. Modelling performance, whether that’s sales of a product or the efficiency of factory machinery, enables companies to make smarter decisions, driving efficiencies right across the supply chain.
Time to Embrace Data
Analyst firm Forrester predicted the global Big Data software market would be worth $31bn in 2018, growing 14% from the previous year. The entire global software market in 2018 was forecast to be worth $628bn in revenue, with $302bn from applications. A separate Accenture study found that 79 percent of enterprise executives agreed that companies that do not embrace Big Data will lose their competitive position and could face extinction.
Big Data is a sweeping term however, and the data it could potentially describe is diversifying each day. There are the vast streams of individual data (including social media, smart home information and purchasing, banking and credit information) that are increasingly vital for retailers seeking training and real-world models for Edge AI implementations. There is also network-related ‘machine to machine’ (m2m) data, which now extends from the factory floor, through the supply chain and right into the end customer’s premises, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).
It is also thanks to the growth of AI that these enormous data streams are usable at all. Enterprises have gone from drowning in terabytes of potentially irrelevant data to being able to slice, dice, segment and extract value from this data in just a few years. Indeed, Big Data and AI projects have become virtually indistinguishable, as machine learning/deep learning approaches gain recognition as cost-effective and powerful solutions that can deal with large volumes of fast-moving data. This partnership has made sense of the oft-mentioned ‘five V’s of big data’: volume, velocity, variety, veracity and value.
The next developmental step in dealing more efficiently with this data is the deployment of Edge AI solutions, powered by technologies like the VIA Edge AI Developer Kit. This versatile hardware enables entire networks to become intelligent; sorting, prioritising and responding to data inputs, rather than simply piping vast data volumes back to a centralised, cloud-hosted AI. The results of this sea change can already be seen, with entire sectors reshaping themselves to take advantage of it. The rising use of Edge AI robotics in warehousing, for example, is changing the expectations of consumers and businesses alike, as well as allowing enterprises of all kinds to scale effectively without being hindered by logistics.
VIA ALTA DS 3 Edge AI System
Similarly, in retail environments, Edge AI is transforming the way in which retailers can do business, removing friction from in-store purchases, and enabling brands to build ongoing relationships with customers. Smart signage and interactive kiosks – often powered by devices such as the VIA ALTA DS 3 Edge AI System, which integrates dual 4K displays and comprehensive neural network model support – are bridging the gap between online and offline retail, with spectacular results.
As we’ve mentioned, IoT is having a transformative effect on Big Data, especially when coupled with Edge AI. Advances in power efficiency for IoT mean that wireless sensors can be installed almost anywhere relatively easily, including in remote locations and on factory floors. At the same time, improved depth-sensing technologies mean that 3D mapping and very accurate plotting can be done with low-power dual cameras (as opposed to power-hungry lasers), enabling the development of a new generation of precision sensors.
Accelerating Your Business
The forthcoming VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit opens up this opportunity to developers of all sizes by embedding Lucid’s advanced 3D Fusion Technology to deliver AI-based depth sensing capabilities in a native, cost effective package.
In short, Big Data is only accelerating in scope and scale, and Edge AI is already firmly established as an essential tool in managing – and gaining value – from these torrents of data. The time for developing new Edge AI strategies and testing better training models is now – because this data genie is not going back into the bottle.