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Salesforce IoT Cloud Einstein delivers intelligence from sensor data

SAN FRANCISCO -- Salesforce IoT Cloud emerged on the scene last year to give companies a place to store and analyze the massive amount of data derived from devices. Artificial intelligence technology is now part of that platform, adding another dimension to sensor data analysis.

Now IoT Cloud benefits from Salesforce's artificial intelligence (AI) Einstein, streams IoT Cloud data from connected devices, recommends rules, and predicts the next actions. Users will be able to stream sensor data to artificial intelligence (or machine learning) algorithms which can be trained to score data and, in turn, provide information on next actions, such as when a device needs to be upgraded.

One IoT Cloud user interviewed here at Dreamforce 2016, Dror Sharon, CEO and co-founder at Consumer Physics Inc., expects Einstein to allow companies to get more actionable information out of sensor data, in real time. If you have a mobile app used by someone in the field, with the power of machine learning, you can see context of the information to determine what to do next, he explained.

It's an important addition to companies such as Consumer Physics, which makes SCiO -- a small spectrometer with sensors that allows users to get instant information about the chemical makeup of materials, drugs, oil and gas and even to analyze what's in foods.

The data collected by SCiO sensors is sent up to Salesforce IoT cloud, which stores and processes data using Salesforce's real-time processing engine. The sensor data can be integrated with multiple applications. So, for example, agricultural data collected by the SCiO sensor can be combined with analytics, GPS, heat maps, temperature and humidity sensors.

"These types of things will be enabled by machine learning, over time, and it will be powerful to see how people leverage insights from Einstein, IoT Cloud, and sensors," Sharon said.

He likened the processes required before the use of AI to the days before there were mobile weather applications.

"You'd have to take your coat and umbrella, because maybe you'd get stuck in the rain," he said. "Now you open [the weather app] and you know it's going to be a clear day ... It's all very personalized. I think the same thing is going to happen here."

At the same time, Salesforce executives acknowledge that it's still early days for IoT. "We're in early days with IoT," said Dylan Steele, senior director of product marketing, App Cloud and IoT Cloud at Salesforce. Customers are early on in their experimentation ... and they don't know exactly how they're going to get it right."

For more, check out all the Dreamforce 2016 conference coverage here.

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