At least this time GE is partnering with outfits it doesn't either plan to acquire on the cheap or attempt to render irrelevant soon! Hard to see much future in this since GE's "commercial success" in software is no better than their partner Intel's. GE's primary advantage over their competitors would appear to be that the interfaces are built into the devices they've already sold into the field (like medical diagnostic gear) but that kind of "advantage" has almost always been associated with commercial failure, you don't generally successfully "leverage" connectivity FIRST. If you look at commercially successful software, success comes when the application's functionality is either useful and friendly, or legally mandated (like auto diagnostics), NOT because it "happens" to connect with another machine, THEN a way to connect the data where it needs to go "just shows up". For example spreadsheet management programs didn't become popular because they inherently included connections to networks, that technology came along much later. Rewiring an entire hospital or factory floor JUST because it includes some equipment with GE interfaces just doesn't make any kind of economic sense, but corporations always have these "blind spots" where they convince themselves a certain approach will be successful, like a certain software company redesigning their flaghip OS especially to promote its touchscreen interface even though 90+% of their customers don't have one of those on the target machine, primarily because such an interface is "trendy" and popular on the devices made by their competitors. Oh well.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.