Lexmark (Lexington, KY) this month announced the latest addition to its Optra IoT Solutions portfolio. The company says its new Optra Edge platform executes AI applications closer to the point of data generation at the edge -- without necessitating the transfer of data to the cloud.
This straightforward approach more directly provides organizations with speedy AI insights to increase efficiency, safety and sustainability, the company contends.
Lexmark says its Optra Edge platform allows organizations to sense, analyze and act on real-time digital and physical data generated by IoT devices such as cameras. The vendor maintains this data harvesting results in cost savings, increased productivity and competitive advantage. The launch of Optra Edge comes as spending on edge is forecast to reach nearly $274 billion in 2025, according to IDC as cited by Lexmark.
Vishal Gupta, SVP, Connected Technology and CITO of Lexmark, explained:
"While the convergence of 5G and IoT is creating greater demand for computing power at the edge to fuel business transformation, it is also exponentially multiplying the amount of data available. We've designed Optra Edge so our customers can run innovative AI applications on the edge while still enjoying enterprise grade management, holistic security, open standards, and ability to leverage their existing infrastructure."
Lexmark further maintains its Optra Edge platform can limit or eliminate latency for data processing, and accelerates AI-driven insights from IoT devices. To that point, AI and machine learning (ML) applications deployed on Optra Edge devices analyze sensory data such as sight, sound, vibration and temperature and enable real-time decisions, without delay. To protect sensitive information, the solution keeps data local and takes advantage of containerized applications. In addition, it uses secure-by-design techniques that protect millions of Lexmark print devices globally.
Key benefits of the Optra Edge platform, as enumerated by Lexmark, include:
- AI/ML Skills: Turns data into action, right at the point of need, with ready-made AI/ML skills, built by Lexmark or developed by customers or partners.
- Vertical Integration: Optra Edge is a unified hardware, software and device management solution for industries like manufacturing, retail, healthcare and transportation – which avoids the need for multiple technology vendors.
- Low Code/No Code Simplicity: The solution is easy to set up and intuitive. AI applications are quickly deployed across multiple devices through a user-friendly portal.
- Open Standards: Operating across customers' existing platforms and connecting to cameras from any provider, Optra Edge reduces the need for costly upgrades and maximizes existing technology investments.
- Microsoft Azure Certification: Optra Edge devices are Level 1 Azure certified – the highest level possible. Pre-installed, certified software allows users to immediately connect the device to Azure simply by adding provisioning details.
- Privacy and Security: Optra Edge incorporates Lexmark's award-winning security with the company's embedded system development, which is billed as secure-by-design and incorporates elements like secure boot.
- Data Computation: Powerful local computation ability enables privacy, security and the ability to process data on premises.
- Protocol Conversion: Acting as a translator between devices, Optra Edge gives non-smart devices "smart" capabilities. Optra Edge can connect native and non-native devices to the IoT platform directly, without cloud or Internet connectivity.
"Lexmark's own success in identifying real-time insights at the edge through advanced analytics and anomaly detection for our core business served as the catalyst and inspiration for Optra Edge," concluded Sudhir Mehta, global VP for Optra Engineering and Product Management at Lexmark. "We can share and relate our own experiences, as we aid other organizations with their edge AI strategy. Manufacturers, in particular, stand to benefit because they often face human or machine errors – leading to critical parts being misplaced or out-of-spec parts making it through the production line. The Optra Edge vision solution vastly enhances quality control on the manufacturing shop-floor. It's a gamechanger that will mitigate business challenges and secure financial goals."