Looking beyond industry 4.0
DataQuest|July 2021
While Industry 4.0 is already popular in manufacturing, the concept of Society 5.0 offers untapped opportunities in blending technology with society
Manish Misra

It’s a busy, sultry Monday morning traffic. In a hurry to reach office, you forget to turn off your room’s AC. You don’t fret, insteadyou reach out for your smartphone, while sitting in your car, and turn the AC off. Also, while browsing through your factory operations app, you receive an alert about machine maintenance for your workshop supervisor and control room. This is a LIVE scenario where the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics, and other new-age technologies have become part of our connected world – both at home and in industry – and are now catalysed further, by the pandemic.

Industry 4.0, a decade-old concept, was first introduced by the government in Germany. Today, it has become a regular phenomenon. It entails building ‘intelligent factories’ where machines monitor and take decentralised production and maintenance decisions. This concept has now evolved further to ‘Society 5.0’, which refers to a technology-based human-centered society. Society 5.0 was first conceptualised by Japan and aspires to go beyond industrial transformation and create a ‘Super Smart Society’, where people can resolve various social challenges by incorporating technologies such as IoT, AI/ ML, robotics, and big data into society.

Society 5.0 looks at converging cyberspace (virtual space) and physical space (real space); Japanese companies such as Panasonic and Hitachi, to name a few, is already following this model. Overall, Society 5.0 can be categorised under three broad areas: mobility, home and business.

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