We Will Live Again

WE WILL LIVE AGAIN looks inside the unusual and extraordinary operations of the Cryonics Institute. The film follows Ben Best and Andy Zawacki, the caretakers of 99 deceased human bodies stored at below freezing temperatures in cryopreservation. The Institute and Cryonics Movement were founded by Robert Ettinger who, in his nineties and long retired from running the facility, still self-publishes books on cryonics, awaiting the end of his life and eagerly anticipating the next.

Foggy interfaces and other human machine interactions

hci
It’s probably the most important conference on Human-Computer Interfaces: The CHI2014. A short promo of what can be expected this years on conference.

One of the projects that will be presented is from the University of Bristol and is called “MisTable”. The project is headed by Professor Sriram Subramanian and Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia, from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, and contains a tabletop system that combines a conventional interactive table with personal screens built using fog, between the user and the tabletop surface. [Read more...]

The Future Of Ownership: How The Sharing Economy Will Change The Way We Live

Scrolling on Twitter, I came across a presentation called the Future of Ownership. This slidedeck tracks and traces the evolution of the collaborative economy and it’s one of the best I’ve seen so far.

Reasons to share stuff instead of owning stuff is obvious most of the time: the average car gets used one hour a day, there are 80 million power drills in America who only get used an average 13 minutes, and an average NYC Airbnb host makes $21,000 a year sharing his apartment.

In the slides the collaborative economy is defined as:

The traditional narrative of amassing material goods and personal ownership is changing. Driven by economics, a desire for experiences, the dematerialization of reality and the collapse of traditional power structures, people are looking to share objects and experiences while working together to create a better future.

[Read more...]

From the Hanover Fair 2014′s Digital Factory Hall

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the world’s biggest industrial fair in Hanover. All should definitely check out the Hannover Messe 2014 website to get a quick overview of what you have missed.

The Netherlands – my home country – had mounted a high-power Partner Country showcase themed “Global Challenges, Smart Solutions.”  I myself was mainly attracted by the Digital Factory Hall, where SAP, Dassault Systemes, IBM, PTC and many others from all over the globe were intensely discussing their offering and the future.

To pay homage to partner country Holland, Sogeti partner Dassault Systemes presented as an eyecatcher the roadster from their Dutch customer Donkervoort.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I learned so many new things during my stay in Hanover, I just wouldn’t know where to start. Luckily, there always is a lot of background material. For instance:

1 – Do you want to know what’s behind PTC’s acquisition of ThingWorx?

2  – Learn about the 10 predictions by Machina Research for the IoT and M2M world, e.g. the dawning realization of the evolution from M2M to IoT.

3 –  Provocative insight: the Big Data Analytics star will rise . . . and fall. The value of data is in having a monopoly on the right kind of data. Or in being able to use it in some clever way. But the market will come to realize that there isn’t much value in the actual analytic part of Big Data Analytics.

Read all this and more in the first 2014 issue of the M2M Journal, and download the PDF.

The New Rules of Robot/Human Society

Two weeks back I kicked off what has become a small series of posts on robots. The first post was about if robots will take your job, a study from Oxford University last year found that 47% of U.S. jobs are potentially at risk. The second post kicked of with the following line: “Hey, it’s friday, so why not think about a future in which I for one will obey my robotic overlords”. In this post I shared a small experiment that was aimed to find out how far people would go in obeying the commands of a robot.

Today I want to close the series with a video produced by one of my favorite YouTube Channels called PBSoffbook. They produce awesome video’s on a whole range of topics. This video deals with a society in which robots and humans live side by side. 3 interesting questions: How should robots be programmed to interact with us? How should we treat robots? And who is responsible for a robot’s actions?

Pitch: How a World of Smart, Connected Things is Transforming Manufacturers

Schermafbeelding 2014-04-09 om 10.11.061. Capabilities of Connected Things:
- Personalize/Customize: Products can be efficiently tailored by the end user or manufacturer before or after a product is sold.
- Monitor Condition/Operation: Products can assess their own condition, performance, and the operator’s inputs and status.
- Monitor Environment: Products can assess the external environment through sensors and data sources.
- Remote Control: Products can be operated remotely in real time.
- Service/Upgrade: Products can be serviced, upgraded and enhanced instantly and from anywhere.
- Autonomous: Products are capable of self-operating, learning, updating, and correcting by analyzing real-time data.

2. Impact of Connected “Things” on Manufacturers:
- Value is Shifting from Hardware to Software.
- Value is Shifting from Product to Cloud.
- Value is Shifting from Product to Service.

3. The Response:
- Transform How Products are Created.
- Transform How Products are Serviced.
- Transform Business Models.

4. The 7 Forces of Transformation:
- Digitization
- Globalization
- Regulation
- Personalization
- Software-Intensive Products
- Servitization
- Connectivity

Source: PTC 2014 

Wearable Intelligence: Glass in Healthcare and Energy

One of my thoughts on Google Glass is that it might not be a consumer product after all. Glass is perfect for people working in the field who need information on the go and also need to keep their hands free.

A company called Wearable Intelligence is focused on bringing Glass to some parts of the workforce. They provide a modified version of Glass and have set up pilots in Healthcare and Energy. Check out the video’s.

Diversity in Mobile: So What About The Rest of the Wearables market

A lot of firms are stacking up numbers and graphs to show you how big the wearables market is going to be. Market analysis is pretty optimistic. According to IMS Research, the wearables market is poised to grow from 14 million devices shipped in 2011 to as many as 171 million units shipped by 2016. In a more recent estimate, ABI Research pegs the wearables market at 485 million annual device shipments by 2018. Others say the global annual wearable device unit shipments will cross the 100 million milestone in 2014, and reaching 300 million units five years from now.

This slide by Business Insider sums it all up and it clearly shows two dominant form factors: the smartwatch and activity trackers.

What I think is the most interesting thing about this slide is the part dubbed Rest of Wearables market. As I have noticed before, wearables are a very diverse product category. This weekend I came across an infographic illustrating this argument very well. It shows just how diverse this new mobile form factor actually is, both in hardware shape and size and on the application side as well. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Feel like something is missing? Please share your thought in the comments.

Is Big Data a Failure?

In 2013 Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier published the book “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think”. In the first chapter they warned for the backlash that Big Data will encounter in the coming years: “Like so many new technologies, big data will surely a victim of Silicon Valley’s notorious hype cycle: after being feted on the cover of magazines and at industry conferences, the trend will be dismissed and many of the data-smitten startups will flounder.”

In the last week several articles have caught my attention:

1. Harford, Tim “Big Data: are we making a big mistake?”, Financial Times, March 28, 2014
2. Lohr, Steve, “Google Flu Trends: The Limits of Big Data”, New York Times, March 28, 2014
3. Marcus, Gary and Ernest Davis, “Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data“, New York Times, April 6, 2014

So the question is, has Big Data reached it’s moment of Peak Attention and are we entering the next phase of the hype cycle or is Big Data really a failure? To answer this question I suggest you read our book “No More Secrets with Big Data Analytics“.

A little experiment: Will you obey your robot boss?

Hey, it’s friday, so why not think about a future in which I for one will obey my robotic overlords. Researchers at the University of Manitoba designed an experiment to see how far people would go in obeying the commands of a robot. The test borrows from Stanley Milgram’s infamous obedience studies, in which many participants obeyed an authority figure who told them to administer painful electrical shocks to strangers.

Half the people sort of do what the robot says. Interesting question in the end: “This is just naming files. … What about morally objectionable tasks?