Bosch creates virtuous circle, linking IoT with AI

In 2022, the German manufacturer Bosch continues to work towards a “virtuous circle” integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) across a broad range of product categories.

“We are systematically digitalising our core business to increase the benefits for our customers. Going forward, we aim turn the sale of every digital product into services-based revenue as well,” said Tanja Rückert, the Bosch Group’s chief digital officer. To achieve this goal, Bosch is focusing on the connection of IoT with AI – in other words, it is linking the internet of things (IoT) with artificial intelligence (AI).

This creates a virtuous circle in which connected products deliver information that, in turn, is processed by means of AI and incorporated into software updates for these products. At the core of this approach is the benefit for customers, since it allows users to be an integral part of the development process and enables solutions to be tailored precisely to their needs. Furthermore, neither development nor value creation ends with the sale of the products.

“We see the combination of AI and IoT as holding the key to leveraging the most user benefit from both of these technologies,” Rückert says. “Besides enabling us to develop new business models, this approach helps us offer better products and solutions that deliver real added value for individuals and society as a whole.”

Since the beginning of the year, all electronics product classes at Bosch are connectable…

Sales of connected power tools, household appliances, and heating systems alone have grown by 50% within one year – from four million units in 2020 to more than six million in 2021. With the Bosch Centre for Artificial Intelligence (BCAI), the company has established a strong unit in the field of AI that has already contributed some €300m to result.

In addition, the company invests a total of more than €4bn every year in its software expertise, around €3bn of which goes to the mobility business. To shape the software-defined future of mobility, Bosch will also be pooling development activities for application-independent software in one unit as of mid-2022. In the future, under the umbrella of its subsidiary ETAS GmbH, the company will develop and sell basic vehicle software, middleware, cloud services, and development tools for universal application. Bosch is also rapidly advancing connected and automated driving. Over the past five years, Bosch has generated some nine billion euros in sales just with driver assistance systems and the associated sensors.

Bosch Tech Compass: a survey conducted in five countries around the world

The Bosch Tech Compass – a representative survey conducted in five countries – shows what people across the globe expect from new technologies. According to the survey, the majority of respondents (72%) are convinced that technological progress is making the world a better place, for instance as a key to fighting climate change (76%).

At the same time, four out of five people think technology should be more focused on tackling the great challenges of our time rather than serving individual needs. “We at Bosch also believe that technology offers a broad range of benefits,” Rückert says. “When we talk about high-tech, we’re not talking only about pushing the envelope on what’s possible. We use technology as a means to improve people’s lives wherever they are.”

From space to paediatric medicine: the Bosch SoundSee sensor system

Bosch's new AI gas sensor
Bosch’s new gas sensor

One example of the benefit of AI and connectivity is the SoundSee sensor system. Since late 2019, it has been traveling through space to identify unusual sounds on the ISS, using AI algorithms to analyse and indicate when maintenance is required. Now, in collaboration with the non-profit healthcare company Highmark in Pittsburgh (USA), Bosch is pursuing a completely down-to-earth application of this technology: investigating how audio AI can be used as a diagnostic tool in paediatric medicine. 

Specifically, Bosch and Highmark are working to adapt the sensors in a way that will enable them to detect pulmonary conditions such as asthma at an early stage just by listening to children’s breathing patterns.

Bosch’s new gas sensor – the first on the market to contain AI – serves to protect both humans and nature. Part of Dryad’s Silvanet Wildfire Sensor, it is essentially a digital nose that helps detect forest fires early on. Dryad’s sensors are attached to trees, where they continuously monitor the local microclimate to detect incipient fires – and to wirelessly notify the local authorities, long before camera- or satellite-based systems can.

Not only can this protect against devastation by fire, it can also reduce global carbon emissions from forest fires.

High-tech #LikeABosch: new campaign for smart solutions

A new, light-hearted Bosch campaign shows the solutions the company has developed to improve the little things in people’s everyday lives. Called “High tech #LikeABosch – with many connected, intelligent, and sustainable solutions,” its protagonist takes viewers on a tour through her daily routine and uses several Bosch solutions, from smart glasses to a connected e-bike to a digital access pass for work. This makes her teenage son, who at the start of the clip said his mom was “old school,” look pretty out of touch.


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