Is a smartphone a thing?
The question isn’t as silly as it may sound, at least in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT) and this week’s partnership between Apple and General Electric. According to Apple, the deal calls for the two companies to “deliver powerful industrial apps designed to bring predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial IoT platform, to iPhone and iPad.”
The focus is a new Predix SDK for iOS — due out later in October — designed to let developers build IoT apps that run on iPhones and iPads. Thus, the answer to the question of whether a smartphone a “thing” in the IoT sense seems to be “it’s complicated.”
iPhones mainly used to understand IoT data
Rather than turn iOS devices into internet things, the SDK seems mostly designed to create easy-to-use native iOS apps that work with Predix IoT data from industrial sensors on equipment ranging from wind turbines to power plants and jet engines.