Virtual reality and augmented reality, smart cities and smart homes – an increasing number of devices, machines and sensors are connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and they continuously generate large amounts of data. Even the most powerful network sometimes takes too long to transfer data to a data center or cloud for analysis. The solution is called edge computing: Decentralized data processing directly through the robot in production or the IoT device.
Data growth at the edge – the network periphery of the internet – far exceeds WAN bandwidth growth, making it impossible to transfer all data to a data center. Data processing at the point of origin saves time, relieves networks and minimizes latency during data transmission.
Edge computing enables organizations to leverage the results of their data processing and analysis across multiple locations around the globe quickly and easily. Edge computing also plays a major role in the use of augmented reality and virtual reality – be it in the industrial IoT environment or in the gaming sector. The data must be processed directly on site to ensure the smooth use of devices such as VR glasses or augmented reality apps on smartphones.
Edge computing is used, for example, to test drive prototypes of autonomous cars. Sensors, control units and actuators generate large amounts of data, especially when several vehicles are tested in parallel at different locations under different conditions. Sometimes, data in the multi-digit petabyte range accumulates daily for processing. Thanks to local data analysis (code to data) in the mobile mini data center on site, it is only necessary to transmit the results. This means that they can flow directly into the further development of the vehicles, as all development laboratories around the globe have access to the results.