Last week I was presenting our IoT platform, Lumada to a delegation from one of the Northern states of India. Hitachi’s Lumada IoT platform provides a complete software platform based on Hitachi’s expertise in building both IT systems and OT systems that power many businesses. A core component of the Lumada IoT platform is the asset avatar where an asset avatar is a digital representation of a physical asset. With asset avatars you can drive automation, predict and prevent costly outages, and move to a fully automated business. With the asset avatar, you can get a complete 360 view of a single asset or a view of all your assets at once. In this way, the Lumada IoT platform connects to OT systems and IT systems to access, analyze, and automate machine, human and business data to produce business outcomes.
When I mentioned avatar, there were some puzzled looks and questions from the delegation. They explained that an avatar is a concept in Hinduism that means "descent", and refers to the material appearance or incarnation of a deity on earth. This is somewhat confusing from our view of an avatar as a digital representation of a physical asset.
In addition, avatars are used widely on websites and in gaming as a personalized graphical illustration that represents a computer user. Avatars in a virtual world are interactive characters, which may be customized by the user. They interact within a computerized landscape where they can be acted on by using a keyboard and mouse or today’s virtual reality props. This concept is somewhat opposite from our concept of an asset avatar.
The 2009 film AVATAR is probably the closest example to our asset avatar. In the film, humans in the year 2154 have depleted earth’s natural resources and are looking to mine a valuable mineral unobtanium on a moon called Pandora in the Alpha Centauri star system. Pandora is inhabited by an indigenous humanoid species called the Na’vi. The atmosphere is poisonous to humans, so in order to explore Pandora’s biosphere, scientists create a genetically engineered Na’vi body with the mind of a remotely located human that is used to interact with the natives of Pandora. If you think of Na’vi as physical machines and our asset avatar as a software engineered machine with a remotely located brain, I would say that describes our asset avatar. Lumada’s core asset avatar is a computerized version of a real machine, it can monitor and effect changes on the physical machine.
To help you understand the benefits of asset avatar, Hitachi Vantara has published a short white paper on this concept and how it is used in Lumada. Here is an excerpt from that white paper.
In the Avatar movie, it gets a little messy when the male Avatar starts to interact with a female Na’vi. Not a problem with our asset avatar.
I invite you to read the white paper.