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Digital Transformation: “Making sense of the mess we made with it”

 

This article originally appeared on SogetiLabs

 

Digital Transformation

It does not matter how big or small you are. Concepts of innovation are overwhelming your feeds on different social platforms. Over-hyped technology buzz-words and start-up (or whatever) approaches are knocking on our doors… but do they make sense?

 An important thing to remember is to start with your company goals and apply technology to achieve these goals. Not the other way around. A lot of companies are adopting different types of technologies, but have no clue about what they should do with it.

Let us start from the beginning. We are living in a Digital world. Technology is everywhere around us. With Digital going mainstream, we will talk about Digital Transformation.

In a nutshell: 

  “Digital Transformation is the collective noun of the movement, which intertwine the physical and digital world to better determine client, customer and target audience needs to deliver excellent products & services with an excellent digital experience by the use of new technology.”

If you ask me, Digital Transformation is the process that companies follow when applying new technology to reach company goals. It’s about having a strategic mindset of what you want to reach and then applying the fitting technology to get a step (or a few) closer.

Digital Transformation is a new way of developing / working / delivering for you and your company; but it improves those items on various aspects. Think about the possibilities for items like: Visibility, efficiency, effectiveness, value creation, speed, scalability, customer experience, product development, innovation and so on.

An important thing to remember is: Step out of all the rumors and think about your vision. What do you want to reach? Then apply the right technology, which supports that vision.

Another important thing to note is: Be where your target audience is. Let your company be inspired by the way your customers use Digital solutions and facilitate them in using it. Make their lives easier by adding value to the reason of your existence, your products and services.

Of course, Digital Transformation is going to change the way you develop / work and deliver. Of course, your business model will change. But it will change your business model in a way to get closer to the people you serve. Is it a bad thing? No way. It has always been like this and will always be. The only thing that changes is the trend or technology we are talking about. In a few years, you will only remember the following:

“Digital Transformation: The paradigm shift towards business as usual”

If you want to learn more about Digital Transformation and find out answers on questions like:

  • “What is Digital Transformation?”
  • “How can I use Digital Transformation in my advantage?”
  • “How to adapt/ implement a Digital Transformation Strategy”
  • “How can I offer solutions that serves the client/ customer need in 2020?”
  • “What is the relation between Digital Transformation & Digital Customer Experience?”

Click here

SMAC Your Customer with Things & Services – A historic necessity unfolds

This article originally appeared on Capgemini ‘s Expert Connect “Capping IT off” blog in the category: Digital Strategies.

This blog post is a joint effort of SogetiLabs members Jaap Bloem & Rick Bouter.

Services companies nowadays extend the customer journey with products while product brands add services to optimize customer intimacy. Either way, digital does the trick and often sensors and smartphone apps are involved to gather and deliver information and functionality. Nissan has a special smartwatch for car functions, Philips now sells the Hue personal wireless lighting system, insurers offer personalized pricing based on driving behaviour and energy companies let customers profit from smart metering. Microsoft and Nokia specialize in devices and services, from Lumia Windows phones and navigation to XBOX Music and SmartGlass. ParkMe is the largest real-time car parker in the United States delivering physical space though digital information. One of the nicest examples of how a cross-industry ecosystem of digital things and services could function is the Microsoft HealthVault vision. And Motorola makes the case for password pills, adding swallowables to wearables like Google Glass.

PICT: Personal, Intelligent & Calm Things
When Kevin Ashton, director of the MIT Auto-ID Institute, in 1999 operationalized his RFID solution at Procter & Gamble, calling it the Internet of Things, he could only have dreamed of what an adolescent Internet of Things and Services – to quote Bosch – might economically mean. From 2015 on, trillions of dollars are projected by experts from McKinsey and Harbor Research, among many others. This is Bill Buxton’s ‘long nose of innovation’ in action and that has nothing to do with lies. For technological innovation to really take off always lasts a few decades, as we know from the work of Carlota Perez.

Unspecific names are used to denote the impact of digital things and services, ranging from the Internet of Everything (Cisco) to the Industrial Internet (General Electric), the Internet of Sensors and Actuators (Vint Cerf, Google) or the Web of the World (Marc Davis, Microsoft). Germans speak of Industrie 4.0, the new wave after mechanization, electrification and information technology.

From a consumer perspective the best way to describe what’s going on around the individual would be PICT: Personal, Intelligent & Calm Things based on PICTechnology, or Personal ICT, including Near Field Computing (NFC) rings and bracelets. Three years ago, the Georgia Institute of Technology delivered an article called The Internet of Nano-Things and indeed developments coming from the Manchester UK Graphene Institute will greatly improve what will be possible with digital things and services.

A Matter of Time
Some twenty years ago, back in 1995, MIT Media Lab director Nicholas Negroponte published a book that by its title says it all: ‘Being Digital.’ One major conclusion was already drawn after the first pages:  ‘computing is not about computers anymore, it’s about living.’ Years before, in 1988, Xerox PARC’s chief technologist Mark Weiser had started to talk about Ubiquitous Computing, aka Pervasive Computing, in the slipstream foreseeing pads, tabs and boards as the computers of the 21st century.
In December 1995 Weiser and his boss John Seeley Brown published their article ‘Designing Calm Technology,’ meaning that ‘technology recedes into the background of our lives’ and that it ‘informs but doesn’t demand our focus or attention.’ Technology that is both calm, non-intrusive and pervasive won’t happen as long as we prefer rich-media tools on sensor-packed touch devices with sound recognition and 100 million apps. Smartwatches, digital tattoos or Google Glasses communicating with intelligent things, among them our smartphone and our smartphone-on-wheels – the connected car or favourite exoskeleton – of course won’t mitigate distraction.

Calm technology might well be the greatest paradox, dilemma, impossibility, and naivety on planet earth. Fact is however that ‘we shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us,’ in particular our behaviour. Over time, we get perfectly comfortable with digital things and services aimed at enriching and improving us, yet counter-productivity keeps crawling up from behind. People and their tools, human and machine should organically coexist and every extra may well be a time-consuming threat.

Kiss the competition goodbye with SMAC: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud
From a business perspective it’s all about crying for attention and persuading consumers to buy services and things. Digital arousal – calm in itself, yet very persistent and cheap – effectively leads to excited and timely satisfied customers. This dynamism is the rationale behind BJ Fogg’s Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University. It can however be argued that a well-chosen mix of calmness and persuasiveness yields the most durable customer satisfaction. Embracing your customers that way involves SMAC.

A proper combination of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud intertwines things and services for a splendid customer experience. It’s all a matter of what Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in their 1997 book ‘The Discipline of Market Leaders’ brought under the common denominators of customer intimacy, operational excellence and product leadership. The authors advised executives to focus and choose, but in modern digital times there is no choice: disciplined market leaders do all three and operate on the basis of SMAC. Social is a dominant digital force from 2004 on: Web 2.0, Facebook; Mobile from 2007 on: touch devices, apps, smartphone-on-wheels; Analytics effectively from 2010 on, since the first international workshop on MapReduce and its applications; and Cloud from 2006 on when Amazon Web Services were launched.

Tipping point 2015
The tipping point is now, 2015. This moment has been identified as tipping point in the development of things and services in an unsuspicious ICT Industry Study, belonging to a set of 21 sectorial explorations, published in the Spring of 2012 by The Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the U.S. National Defense University. Their report places the Internet of Things on the following timeline:

0-18 months from Spring 2012 onward – this period now lies behind us
The focus lies on mobile computing, and we will see an explosion of smartphones and tablets. Privacy and security remain tricky issues, especially in the context of cyber security and legislation. This has proven to be correct, including all commotion around covert NSA practices.

18-36 months from Spring 2012 onward – that is the present
Internet connectivity is expanding across the economy. In 2008, there were already more digital things than people connected to the internet. Indeed we see mobile devices assuming the function of intermediary between the current internet and the expanding development of things and services.

3-5 years after Spring 2012 – thus from Spring 2015 onward
The development of the Internet of Things is ongoing, and autonomous machine-to-machine communication, in particular, is evolving rapidly. The so-called Smart Grid (intelligent energy supply through feedback loops) will further develop and internet connectivity is becoming increasingly “ubiquitous” and “pervasive” in the cyber-physical world of people, things, services, apps and websites. After the smartphone and tablet explosion, mashups of intelligent things and services will define the next stage of Being Digital.

SMACT by Jaap Bloem Vint Sogeti

Digital Transformation: The paradigm shift towards business as usual

Where back in the days technology, techies, were seen as weird people which every office needed for I(C)T development and maintance, this view has changes. We are now looking with respect to all kinds of self-made technology billionars of Sillicon Valley. Compared to the pre 2000’s, technology is a hot topic. There is a lot of noise around different elements and types of new technology. Whether we talk about 3D-printing, Augmented Reality, Big Data, Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, (SMAC) + Internet of Things (SMACT), Wireless Power, Robotics, Computer brain interfaces, Human Augmentation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Customer Experience (DCX), all these topics are in the marketing buzz machines of big industrial leaders or even made on kitchentables by (as Chris Anderson called them) the makers of these days. Lets deepdive in the topic Digital Transformation:

  • “What is Digital Transformation?”
  • “How can I use Digital Transformation in my advantage?”
  • “How to implement a Digital Transformation Strategy”
  • “How can I offer solutions that serves the client/ customer need in 2020?”
  • “What is the relation between Digital Transformation & Digital Customer Experience?”

If you ask me:

“Digital Transformation is the collective noun of the movement which intertwine the physical and digital world to better determine client, customer and target audience needs to deliver excellent products & services with an excellent digital experience by the use of new technology.”

The reason  why I come up with this definition is as follows. Every company exist because it delivers some sort of value, in some sort of way, to some sort of audience. A lot of ‘some sorts’, you might say, and, you are right. But does your company knows, why they deliver what to whom? If you are thinking, on one of those point above I have know idea what I am doing, keep on reading. If you do this already, congratiulations, keep that position. On the other hand, who says that you are doing this already? You, or your client? That is right, keep on reading as well.

Digital Transformation refers to the use of digital tools, new technology to better define customer needs. When companies can define customer/ client needs in a better way, they can provide a better solution. A better solution, whether it is a product or service. Defining customer needs has always been the key activity in marketing. And, even this core activity has changed to ‘hang out’ on digital for some brands, defining needs is key. Because delivering what your audience need is the reason why you exist as a company. To build upon that, customers are getting more and more familiar with digital concepts. Adoption of new technology is increasing by wearable technology and so there is a shift of channel choise on the client side. For that reason companies should make sure that they deliver in the new JIT methode. In the right channel, on the right time, delivering the right solution for the customer need. That it, bottomline, what every new technology is about. Increasing your company to identify B2C/ B2B needs to provide them with better solutions.

The Guardians ‘s Howard King describes in his article called: “What is digital transformation?”  three key drivers of transformation:

“There are three key drivers of transformation: changing consumer demand, changing technology and changing competition. These, of course, are an ecosystem and it is always a convergence of factors that brings about changes in a market.”

There is no such thing as disruption

There is no such thing as overall disruption. The only thing we see today in different market segments all over the world is that companies deliver their belief in a different way then they used to deliver. The Digital way. The reason for this is, that they need to… Customers, clients and target audience groups can no longer be found in traditional channels. Therefor, companies need to change the way they deliver their reason of existance in other, non traditional, channels. And that relates also to another topic where a lot of people are thinking about these days: Digital Customer Experience (DCX).

But, even is Digital Tormation as a fall of business as usual, it tells us something else: “Digital Transformation: The paradigm shift towards business as usual”

Adapt or Die

And that, that is what I call: Digital Transformation. For that reason I will give you the same advice as my Sogeti ViNT colleagues. Design To Disrupt.

“Are you the one who is going to disrupt, or are you going to be disrupted?”

Here is the complete article on Slideshare

This is my point of view on Digital Transformation, now lets see how you can improve your digital journey!

Digital Transformation Strategy Review

Are you interested in the topic: Digital Transformation and how it impacts business and strategy? Take a look at the: “Digital Transformation Strategy Review” community on LinkedIn.

Charline Li: “Leadership in the Digital Era, Giving Up Control.”

“In business today, the need for innovation and rapid decision-making trumps yesterday’s drive for efficiency. How does this influence what it means to be an effective leader? Charlene Li explains that it’s less about control and more about empowerment: enabling employees to acquire the information they need, so they can make their own decisions.”

“Charlene is the CEO and principal analyst at Altimeter Group, and author of The New York Times bestseller Open Leadership. She is also the co-author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling book Groundswell, named one of 2008’s best business books. She is one of the foremost experts on social media, and a consultant and independent thought-leader on leadership, strategy, social technologies, interactive media and marketing. Fast Company recognized Ms. Li as one of the 100 most creative people in business in 2010, and one of the most influential women in technology in 2009. You can follow her blog at charleneli.com/blog.”

“About the TED Institute: We know that innovative ideas and fresh approaches to challenging problems can be discovered inside visionary companies around the world. The TED Institute helps surface and share these insights. Every year, TED works with a group of select brands to identify internal ideators, inventors, connectors, and creators. Drawing on the same rigorous regimen that has prepared speakers for the TED main stage, TED Institute works closely with each partner, overseeing curation and providing intensive one-on-one talk development to sharpen and fine tune ideas. ”

Source

Ted Institute

http://www.charleneli.com/

Some thoughts on: Artificial Intelligence (AI) – could spell the end of the human race

Last week I published an article called: “Stephan Hawking: “Artificial Intelligence (AI)” – could spell the end of the human race” Below an overview of three articles on AI whith some of them building upon Stephan Hawking’s statement on AI: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) – could spell the end of the human race”

 

Wearing Your Intelligence: How to Apply Artificial Intelligence in Wearables and IoT – appeared on Wired.com

“Wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) may give the impression that it’s all about the sensors, hardware, communication middleware, network and data but the real value (and company valuation) is in insights. In this article, we explore artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that are becoming indispensable tools for insights, views on AI, and a practical playbook on how to make AI part of your organization’s core, defensible strategy.

First Definitions

Before we proceed, let’s first define the terms. Otherwise, we risk commingling marketing terms like “Big Data” and not addressing the actual fields.

Artificial Intelligence: The field of artificial intelligence is the study and design of intelligent agents able to perform tasks that require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making. In order to pass the Turing test, intelligence must be able to reason, represent knowledge, plan, learn, communicate in natural language and integrate all these skills towards a common goal.

Machine Learning: The subfield of machine learning grew out of the effort of building artificial intelligence. Under the “learning” trait of AI, machine learning is the subfield that learns and adapts automatically through experience. It focuses on prediction, based on known properties learned from the training data. The origin of machine learning can be traced back to the development of neural network model and later to the decision tree method. Supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms are used to predict the outcome based on the data.”

 

Sure, Artificial Intelligence May End Our World, But That Is Not the Main Problem – appeared on Wired.com

“The robots will rise, we’re told. The machines will assume control. For decades we have heard these warnings and fears about artificial intelligence taking over and ending humankind.

Such scenarios are not only currency in Hollywood but increasingly find supporters in science and philosophy. For example, Ray Kurzweil wrote that the exponential growth of AI will lead to a technological singularity, a point when machine intelligence will overpower human intelligence. Some think this is the end of the world; others see more positive possibilities. For example, Nick Bostrom thinks that a superintelligence could help us solve issues such as disease, poverty, and environmental destruction, and could help us to “enhance” ourselves.

On Tuesday, leading scientist Stephen Hawking joined the ranks of the singularity prophets, especially the darker ones, as he told the BBC that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” He argues that humans could not compete with an AI which would re-design itself and reach an intelligence that would surpass that of humans.

The problem with such scenarios is not that they are necessarily false—who can predict the future?—or that it does not make sense to reflect on science fiction scenarios. The latter is even mandatory, I think, if we are to better understand and evaluate current technologies. It is important to flesh out the philosophical issues at stake in such scenarios and explore our fears in order to find out what we value most.”

 

Artificial intelligence is here—and it’s nothing to fear (yet) – appeared on qz.com

“Just this week, the world’s most famous living physicist, Stephen Hawking, laid out his worries about artificial intelligence: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” he told the BBC. In October, Elon Musk delivered much the same message, warning that “we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that.”

 “Yet efforts to develop artificial intelligence (AI) continue apace, with all the major (and even many minor) computer science research and development facilities devoting time, energy, and money to making computers behave like humans. Some of them are succeeding: Machines can now understand humans, speak with them, learn from them, and write like them. They will make some jobs obsolete and others easier. But they aren’t—yet—out to get us.”
What do you think?

 

Internet of Things: Revealing the secrets of your customer needs

This article originally appeared on Capgemini ‘s: “Capping IT off” blog

A future where we have more interaction with our devices then with our beloved ones? Not that I am looking forward to a future where we are more in contact with our devices then the people we love but… Imagine what insights we will have about human life, the city around us and the world we live upon.  We are trying to track these summed up items already. Just think about movements such as the quantified self, smart cities and so on. Wearable technology around, upon and in us are measuring all kinds of things we do. Cities full of sensors sensing the way people live and how to build a smart system around our lives. The reason why I ask you the question is because devices tell us more than you might think. When we translate these devices into business perspective we are going to see whole other of the customer- and client we ones knew.

“Traditional industry drivers are struggling to hold their Fortune 500 position by not knowing how to really step into the world of the Internet of Things.”

 To really understand our customers & clients we need actionable insights. Even if the IoT is ‘the insight’ promise we all waited for, you might think it is not that easy. On the one hand you are right, on the other hand you are not. The data all these connected objects and devices are giving you about your company, business processes or clients are need to be actionable. If you cannot make data actionable you can have silos full of data but it will not make any sense. To make the data actionable you need a few different elements.
  1. You need devices that monitor the inner state or external environment of the process you want to steer on.
  2. The next step is to collect and store the generated data in the cloud. The cloud is scalable, flexible, it reduces costs on your own technology infrastructure, improved accessibility and so on.
  3. After you have collect and stored the data you need to analyze it. When you analyze the collected data with specialized tools you will find out patterns and you can analyze every relation you want.
  4. Now the data has been analyzed you have actionable data about the inner state or external environment of the object you let sense
So to sum up: Generate it, distribute it, store it, analyze it, make it actionable and create insights where you can, and want to steer on to reach your business goals.And, that is what the future will be like…When re-thing the position of traditional successful companies we talked about at the start of this article it made me think. Let us think the complete opposite of a traditional company who is struggling with IoT and ask an Internet of Things start-up why it does what it does and how they are reacting on today’s market changes.For that reason I had a conversation with Steve Sanders, Director of Strategic Alliances of Buddy Platform, Inc. Buddy just has launched its new platform and I talked with Sanders on how customers of Buddy benefit of their new platform and why companies should enter the era of Internet of Things.

1. Buddy Launches New Platform today, what is it about?
Buddy Platform, Inc., has launched its new platform that hosts and manages data generated by any connected device, enabling measurement of a device from the moment it’s turned on throughout its entire lifecycle. This data, often referred to as “telemetry data,” conveys information about the performance and usage of the device, and is now accessible from any common BI tool.

2. What does this mean for Buddy’s customers?
By giving product management, engineering and support teams access to this data, and the insights that are derived from it, organizations can dramatically increase their ability to build better products and support the customers of these products in-market.

3. Why should companies step into the noisy Internet of Things technology?
Quote from Sanders:

“‘Things’ can tell you a lot about your processes. Obviously, not every company can benefit from Thingification, but many will. Ultimately, not enabling electronics, machinery, automobiles, aircraft, etc. to tell their story will be a mistake.”

 4. Why is it so important for organizations to provide, collect and analyze data?
Organizations that fail to leverage device data are flying blind. Getting IoT data into the right hands, at the right time, then doing the right things with it, can be the difference between success and failure for many business units or businesses.5. How can Buddy help them with that?
Buddy works by hosting a series of regionally sandboxed, global Buddy API endpoints to which devices can send their raw telemetry data. This data is pushed into a secure storage infrastructure called BuddyVault, whereupon it is then managed, queried and exposed back to the customer in any form they wish with BuddyView. This may take the form of integrations into common business intelligence tools, or as raw APIs that can be plugged into any customer or M2M scenario.With the addition of a few lines of code, the Buddy Platform offers the lowest overhead solution for extracting telemetry data from a device, and can make an unprecedented amount of device performance data broadly accessible to an organization, including:
  • How is this device being used? Is it performing like we designed it to, is it working as expected?
  • What error codes is my device reporting, and how is that affecting the customer experience?
  • How many of my devices are being used?
  • Where are they?
  • When are they used and how often?
  • Are they on or off?
  • How are my devices communicating with one another? If not, what’s not working?
  • How are my devices performing with connected ecosystems like smart homes or industrial infrastructure?
6. What tip you would you have for companies which wants to start in the Internet of Things segment?
Work with consultants and software vendors that are willing to “play nice” with one another, and are focused on your solution’s success as the ultimate prize.  Buddy’s CEO David McLauchlan Quote:

“Now that devices as varied as door locks, light bulbs, kiosks and cars are all becoming connected, there’s a huge amount of data that can give manufacturers exactly the information they need to support and improve their products.”

 said David McLauchlan, CEO of Buddy Platform, Inc.

“Device manufacturers are not cloud infrastructure companies. They’ve built technology into their products to control the device, but haven’t built the infrastructure to access and use the device’s telemetry data to improve the product and delight customers. Buddy makes it fast and easy to access those insights and immediately understand more deeply how customers are using these kinds of IoT devices.”

continued McLauchlan.To finish this article I would like to take you to a quote from Buddy Platform Inc. its website: Devices have a story to tell. Are you listening?” When we start listening to the devices, what they see, what they hear, what they sense, we are able to get a more and more 360 degree view of our business processes and customers. And when we really know what is going on, we can really steer on situations, processes and customer needs. When we have that we can provide everything IoT has promised us…

A business model for the Internet of Things for every CXO

A business model for the Internet of Things for every CXO

Inspiration, imagination, Innovation, Invention

This post originally appeared on the Sogeti Labs blog

What started with a marketing buzzword has grown out to a serious question for a lot of CXO’s: “What is the Internet of Things, and how can ‘I’ benefit from it?”

Studies from Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, McKinsey, Gartner, Forrester and other companies are showing us a tremendous growth in several areas in, what we call, the Internet of Things/ the Internet of Everything. The amount of connected devices is only one of the examples which we can use to explain how fast this technology is growing. Consumers are embracing these so called wearable technology in almost every aspect of day life. Small start-ups funded by the crowd are offering all kinds of connected devices on a massive scale.

For companies there is just one question. How can I step in to this market to enhance my profit and gain market share?…

View original post 310 more words

Internet of Things: Keeping the ‘things’ relevant

This blog originally appeared on Sogeti’s technology trendlab called ViNT – Vision Inspiration Navigating Trends

When the Internet of Things arrives in massive volumes we have to review our definition of Big Data. The reason why to review this definition? A massive amount of people, animals, processes and things will be connected to the internet.

A very good question in this stadium is: “What kind of ‘things’ should be connected to make our life easier and our business processes more valuable? For example, Cisco is using the marketing buzzword, Internet of Everything. But when we look to this word in combination to relevance it is not covering the meaning of the phenomenon Internet of Things.

In my eyes, Internet of Things is about adding meaningful scenarios to our lives. Scenarios which will make our lives easier and more efficient. That is when we talk about individuals. When we talk about the industry, I think that every object that can add meaning and value to your company processes and strategy should be connected.

But now my point: “Not everything that can be connected, have to be connected.” To make lives easier, make processes more efficient and to reduce waste, it is not necessary to connect every ‘thing’ on the planet.

When we talk about Internet of Things (or however you would like to describe the phenomenon that people, things, objects and processes connect to each other and to the internet) we should think about adding meaningful scenarios to our lives and companies. When you, as an individual or as a company think about the Internet of Things and what you should connect, think about the following questions:

– “What insight do I really need to realize a future scenario that adds meaning to my company or business process?”

– “What kind of objects, people or other things should I connect to realize this information?”

– “How can these connected things add value that create competitive advantage?”

Internet of Things, once bitten, twice shy?

 This blog originally appeared on Sogeti’s technology trendlab called ViNT – Vision Inspiration Navigating Trends

“In the future (the near future, not the distant future), when you walk down the street in a strange city and stumble upon something interesting, you’ll be able to “bookmark” it for later reference. Or drill down to find out the last time someone you know was here, and whether they noted it, too.”

Do you know the saying: “Once bitten, twice shy?” At the dawn of a whole new technology era you might want to use it while you still can. The Internet of Things has arrived and so have lots of possible scenarios on the future of our interaction with technology and data. Scenario’s that will add meaning to our lives and business processes.

Maybe you think the Internet of Things is nothing more then a new bubble… But it is actually quite tangible already. Bruce Kasanoff author of the book ‘Smart Customers, Stupid Companies’ gives us some examples which of what digital sensors and wired-up objects can already do in our personal lives and businesses

  • Monitor your tire pressure and avoid dangerous blowouts;
  • Analyze the gait of elderly citizens and warn of falls before they occur;
  • Follow the gaze of shoppers and identify which products they examine – but don’t buy – in a store;
  • Monitor which pages readers of a magazine read or skip;
  • Float in the air over a factory and independently monitor the plant’s emissions;
  • Prevent intoxicated drivers from operating a motor vehicle;
  • Warn a person before he or she has a heart attack;
  • Congratulate an athlete when she swings a tennis racquet properly or achieves an efficient stride while running.

As you can see, the examples of Bruce Kasanoff are quit concrete. Think about what will happen, when we place sensors and wired-up objects in our bodies, in our houses, in our companies, in our cities and in our whole society. We will be able to measure every single part of society and business insights which will create competitor advantage on both short and long term.

Companies will be able to monitor every single process. With the Internet of Things we will finally know what a product really costs. Both personal and company decisions will be based on real time information and insights. So the question is: what do you always wanted to know?

Will be the saying: Once bitten, twice shy when in our near future be past time? Read the complete article.

Smart Things need Smart Connectivity

 This blog originally appeared on Sogeti’s technology trendlab called ViNT – Vision Inspiration Navigating Trends

I came across this interview from Stacey Higginbotham on Gigaom with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson and I want to share some highlights.

Alex Hawkinson who has studied at the Carnegie Mellon University achieved his Cognitive Science bachelor in 1994. After that, Hawkinson has worked at different companies and also founded a few. Currently Hawkinson is the chairman and CEO of SmartThings. SmartThings makes the connection from physical objects, ‘things’ to the digital world. When you use SmartThings you can easily monitor, control and automate these ‘things’ from anywhere you want.

SmartThings, as Hawkinson describes it, has three key-pillars.

  1. A platform which realize the connection from that everyday ‘things’ to the internet
  2. SmartApps to monitor, control and automate
  3. A toolkit for makers and developers to create their own smart ‘things’.

I have written up some quotes and highlights from the interview:

On the physical graph and the cloud…

“There are a few different layers to the technology we see needing to exist making the physical graph possible. On the one hand you need to connect the everyday objects in your life and get them connected to the internet and to the cloud. So in order to do that there are a lot of different standards right now for providing connectivity to ‘things’ in the real world. Wi-Fi, (…) Bluetooth and a range of others. And all these different standards have different purposes. (…) As the first layer we needed to create a hub device. (…) And by supporting those open standards we make it possible for consumers to get any of those off the shelve objects and immediately connect them to the smart ‘things’ cloud and control them from anywhere. But on top of that we have made a developer toolkit as well.”

On privacy…

“There is definitely privacy issues. You do not want people watching you or know where you are all times. There is a huge security layer (…) There is the ability to within a household  share information or not. My wife and I are very open about sharing that but it is not available to outsiders but, we foresee privacy controls where individuals user could protect their present information from being exposed to other apps that might be running in the same household or location. (…) The community is giving us a lot of more advice.”

On the internet of things and offline networks…

That off course happens. (…) We are allowing users and developers to define the objects in the connected physical graph in the cloud. An application then, our platform a sort of automatic recognize what components can run locally at hub level. And so it can even it is completely written in the cloud it can push some rules or some of the software down to the hub level. So if the internet connection goes down the hub is still operating all of the local network between the different devices. And so it is going to be possible that for example your presence still trigger the option to unlock the door even if the connection is down at that moment those types of things. And keep in mind that a lot of these object types have a manual interaction as well so, like the light switches they work when the regular light switch. My wife does not carry a smart phone as she walks around the house and everything a sort of works the way she would expect to. And the same goes for the door locks that a sort of code you program from the cloud that it still work even if you are disconnected for a day or something like that.”

These three Q&A’s are only a small part of a great interview. You can listen to the whole podcast here on Gigaom’s website.