Pervasive computing is starting to find a place for itself, outside the consumer realm. Everyday industrial devices and objects–from office heating systems to warehouse pallets–are gaining intelligence through embedded networking chips that enable them to pass along all sorts of data. Different industries can take advantage of the idea in different ways, particularly once networks of devices are connected to corporate computing systems that handle functions such as maintenance or inventory.
While the vision of a hypernetworked world with a trillion interconnected devices is still decades away, the infrastructure to support pervasive computing applications is taking root slowly in the most unglamorous of places: factories, loading docks, oil refineries and the like. Such industrial settings, as opposed to the consumer market, are creating opportunities for a wealth of technologies–including chips, remote sensors, wireless networking setups, operating systems and software applications–that will collect and interpret data remotely and instantaneously.