Machinebook is used and updated by humans and machines

2016-02-23, 10:34 Posted by: Tatu Hautala

A social network for man and machine alike? Exactly! We in Cybercom created Machinebook, a concept where people and intelligent machines use and update a joint social medium.


More and more intelligence is bestowed upon machines as digitalisation leaps forward. Thus their communication capabilities can also be improved. Cybercom took this opportunity a step further and developed Machinebook, a social media concept that establishes a channel of ”inter-species” communication between people and machines.

But why?

To boost the efficiency of our customers´ service business. Today practically every industrial machine manufacturer aims to turn their business from equipment sales to service sales. Most of the revenue in service sales comes from maintenance services.

Social networking between people and the apparatus they have created is the next IoT megatrend. It raises the quality and efficiency of industrial maintenance operations to an entirely new level – as has already happened within the regular social media.


Communication the quick and easy way

Machinebook as a concept is one service that can have multiple user interfaces, like web or mobile, for different roles. The essential facets are usability and accessibility that enable social communication.

Main purpose of the service is to gather and distribute relevant information. Content is produced by people and machines together.

When you have a joint communication channel it is easier to schedule maintenance programs, keep every machine's maintenance history up-to-date and pass on the invaluable tacit knowledge of seasoned professionals.

In practical terms this joint social media means for example that when a machine malfunctions unexpectedly, it updates its status in Machinebook, informs other users that it is no longer performing its designated tasks and even tells the reason for the malfunction. This update is seen by every member of the network from service technicians to spare parts personnel.

But this happens only where the value starts developing. When this information is transparently available for a network of people, they start to collaborate around it enrichening the value of the information. The community takes more responsibility and need for management decreases.


Maintenance-prone machines speak up

In principle any kind of machine can be taken aboard Machinebook. In a sense it’s just an extension of a traditional IoT system. Thus even quite old equipment can be augmented by intelligence and sensors.

Of course it would make no sense to build a social network of toasters, but when the most important machines requiring regular maintenance are incorporated, we shall create major surplus value. The most prominent focus group would be the machinery in industrial production. However the value extends beyond.

Other good examples of Machinebook clients would be mobile industrial and agricultural machinery.

Social media will greatly enhance the industrial maintenance business. As all knowledge is open, members of the network can comment on the status updates and share their work methods.

In Machinebook every connected apparatus receives its own digital identity, an avatar, and a corresponding social network profile. They can acquire information from other members – humans or machines – of the network and learn from the updates they are given.

Another excessive value Machinebook creates is that it forms an exclusive marketing channel of auxiliary services for the machine.

So it’s a concept – What next?

We wanted to publish this early to involve our customers in development as soon as possible. We want to make sure we focus on the most valuable features and that’s something we only can learn from our customers.

Company’s journey to a social network of devices should start with a short analysis of the appropriate business case. Cybercom’s business advisors will help to understand what kinds of business benefits can be achieved with Machinebook in your company.

The first version of the Machinebook is already being developed but to keep it on track we’ll establish a consortium of interested companies around it. 


To learn more of Machinebook, see our White Paper.

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