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GE's 'Industrial Internet' Revolution Centered in San Ramon

GE is investing big in its San Ramon Global Software Center in hopes of changing the way the Internet is used in the physical world, the New York Times reports.

A technology advancement that could have huge implications on every day life around the world is being created right here in San Ramon.

General Electric, which opened a Global Software Center in Bishop Ranch last year, is investing about $1 billion and hiring hundreds of computer scientists and software engineers to increase the digital intelligence of the physical world.

The New York Times reported on the ambitious project last week.

GE, the nation's largest industrial company, calls the idea "industrial Internet." The goal is to increase efficiency through technology.

For example, the Times reports that GE is currently putting sensors on just about everything they make, from gas turbines to hospital beds. The Times story says:

The mission of the engineers in San Ramon is to design the software for gathering data, and the clever algorithms for sifting through it for cost savings and productivity gains. Across the industries it covers, G.E. estimates such efficiency opportunities at as much as $150 billion.

GE has already seen some initial benefits. Sensors on turbines at two wind farms have made the turbines 3 percent more efficient, which equals $1.2 million dollars of more revenue a year.

“It’s not earthshaking, but it is meaningful,” said Paul Gaynor, chief executive of First Wind and a GE customer. “These are real commercial investments for us that make economic sense now.”

GE is rallying support for the "industrial Internet" this week. They are inviting industry partners, academics, venture capitalists and start-ups to a conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Are you surprised San Ramon is at the epicenter of this important digital transition? Do you think the "industrial Internet" could change the way we live? Do you foresee any potential negative consequences? Let us know in the comments section.

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