Machine and device sensors aren't new, but devices with their own IP addresses and 24/7 feedback are.

Whether you call it the "Internet of Things" (IoT) or machine-to-machine (M2M), this new industrial revolution offers an unprecedented amount of objective data on your products and how they are used.

The question is to how to harness and analyze the data to improve design, production and warranty operations.

Without analytics, it's just a pile of numbers and letters.

The IoT possibilities in manufacturing are endless.

GE has publicly predicted $1 trillion in opportunity annually by improving how assets are used and how operations and maintenance are performed within industrial industries.

The key is to manage the data streaming from connected devices.

As we've learned with Big Data, the application of statistical methods and analytics will be essential to make sense of the data and unlock insights that can spur action.

While IoT has gotten a lot of press regarding consumer wearables (such as FitBits) and smart homes, the more immediate impact will be in the product quality space.