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History of IIoT

When did we start the fire? Back in 1800 nobody would have thought about naming different industry eras. No one could see the developments coming and today we do not know what we will expect the next 50 years.

Anyhow, the development towards the digitalization potential became true thanks to all industrialization phases and many small development steps in the computer and internet era starting with first innovations in 1968.

  • 19th century

    The computer pioneers

    It was a British female mathematician to go the first step on the path to computers back in the 19th century. Ada Lovelace wrote the first program for Charles Babbage‘s analytical engine. Unfortunately, she never could realize this mechanical computer, but she influenced all subsequent programming languages.

  • 1941

    Zuse computer

    Zuse computer 1941

    Zuse computer 1941

    The ideas of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage were the foundation of the first functioning devices. The German engineer Konrad Ernst Otto Zuse developed the first running computer in 1941. It was controlled by programs and fully automatically.

  • 1968

    First PLC

    PLCDick Morley creates the first programmable logic controller, called PLC, an industrial digital computer to control manufacturing processes. First in 1986 they are connected to personal computers.

  • 1973

    Machine to machine

    Theodore Paraskevakos gets a patent for his machine to machine devices combined with telephony and computing he developed five years before.

  • 1983


    EthernetEthernet as computer networking technology is standardized. It enables high bit rates and long link distances. Starting with 2.94 megabits per second data transfer rates now reached 400 gigabits per second.

  • 1989


    The World Wide Web is invented to share research results. In the beginning it is an elite circle to use the first internet.

  • 1994

    Open connectivity

    The OPC Foundation is established as an industry consortium to define standards for open connectivity for industrial automation devices and systems.

  • 1997


    Wireless machine to machine technology spreads within the industry

  • 1999

    Internet of things

    Kevin Ashton introduces the term “Internet of Things” for explaining the connection of the Internet connected to the physical world via ubiquitous sensors. He researched on RFID and other sensors to optimize supply chains.

  • 2002

    Cloud services

    Amazon launches their Amazon Web Services and introduces cloud technologies. The technology changes industrial and company architechtures.

  • 2006

    Unified architecture protocol

    The OPC Foundation publishes the Unified Architecture (UA) Protocol to enable secure communication between devices, data sources and applications.

  • 2010

    Cheaper, smarter, better

    Sensors get cheaper in production, devices become smaller and smarter and batteries and solar power become more powerful and economical.

  • 2016

    Industrial Internet of Things - IIoT


    Industrial Internet of Things

    The vision of an Industrial Internet of Things establishes. Augmented and virtual reality become favorite user interfaces for IIoT and data scientists get more power in management.

Influences for the industrialization level

Industry 1.0

Machines enabled the first mass production around 1800 to start railway construction, the heavy and textile industry and steam navigation. It began with machines run by human power like looms, but soon was accomplished by mechanical production plants powered by water and steam. A lot of new jobs were generated in factory halls.

Industry 2.0

Electricity towards the end of the 19th century was the driving force for the second industrial revolution. With the first mass car production in the beginning of the 20th century work got more and more automated. Production now happened in impressive time at assembly lines. Even in the offices all processes got faster with telecommunication. Globalization got its first impulse with transportation of goods via ship and aircraft from one continent to the other.

Industry 3.0

In the 1970s electronics and information technology gave automation a strong impetus. Personal computers changed work in offices and life at home.

Industry 4.0

Some say we are already at the end of the era if we only look at theories and knowledge. On the other hand it is not fully reality in all industry fields.

Everything is digitalized, we may react on user demands very quickly, production happens just-in-time and individualized. Automation matured to a peek in history. Important enough is the increased freedom to improve safety at work and for the environment.