Apple and GE have united their enterprise resources to offer businesses a wide range of tools and services to help field workers carry out their jobs more effectively.
GE will use Apple's resources to create new, innovative apps for businesses, while Apple's sales team will try and sell the GE Predix platform to its industry customers. GE will also roll out iPhones and iPads for its 330,000 employees and give them the option of using Macs as their work computers.
Apple's iOS SDK will become an integral part of GE's Predix Platform, which has been designed to help industry businesses, such as manufacturing plants, track their equipment and detect failures before it becomes too serious. This is particularly useful for the company's fleet of transportation equipment such as jet engines, turbines and trains.
"For the first time, we're unlocking incredible new potential for industrial workers by giving them access to native apps that tap the functionality of iOS devices in exciting ways. Now employees can make better informed decisions through the native capabilities of the apps right at their fingertips," Susan Prescott, vice president for apps, markets and services at Apple told TechCrunch.
Prescott explained that, for example, a technician at GE could use the iPhone's camera to view a thermal image of a piece of equipment in order to find a fault. They could also use iBeacons or location services to send information to a worker's iPhone or iPad if there is a problem or the engineer needs further information.
We're essentially closing the feedback loop between the employee in the industrial environment and the analytics and data that's stored in the cloud," she said.
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Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.
Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.
As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.