Whatever you call the trend toward connected devices — the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet, machine-to-machine communications — the shift promises to redefine people’s relationship with their devices, remaking industries like field service in its wake.

The companies that produce these soon-to-be-connected devices are eager to cash in. But there are too many technological challenges for companies to go it alone. General Electric, for example, makes everything from jet engines to medical equipment that could be connected in the near future. To make the connected future a reality in healthcare, GE has partnered with software provider Real-Time Innovations. The company is helping GE to connect next-generation medical equipment and to handle the loads of data these devices will generate. (via Gigaom)

Must Reads This Week From the Field:

Football, Fitbits and Field Techs: Pro sports franchises are increasingly seeing the value of wearable technology products like the Fitbit. The devices allow teams to track athletes’ performance and collect real-time data on their (often multimillion-dollar) investments. That data could also improve the experience for fans in the stands, or watching on TV. Is wearable tech in the field next? (via Upstart)

Higher BYOD Costs: New California legislation could affect how — and how much — companies pay for employees’ mobility costs. A ruling from the California Court of Appeal requires companies to compensate employees for work-related phone calls on their personal devices. (via CIO)

Big Data’s Heavy-Lifting Burden: Data is key for modern service leaders. It brings them closer to customers, opens new performance-based business models and allows them to improve products and employee performance. But that all depends on smart data analysis, which still requires time and attention to detail. (via SmartVan)