Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things

25. June 2015

Date: 25-06-2015
Source: McKinsey.com/insights

The Internet of Things—sensors and actuators connected by networks to computing systems—has received enormous attention over the past five years. A new McKinsey Global Institute report, The Internet of Things: Mapping the value beyond the hype, attempts to determine exactly how IoT technology can create real economic value. Our central finding is that the hype may actually understate the full potential—but that capturing it will require an understanding of where real value can be created and a successful effort to address a set of systems issues, including interoperability.

To get a broader view of the IoT’s potential benefits and challenges across the global economy, we analyzed more than 150 use cases, ranging from people whose devices monitor health and wellness to manufacturers that utilize sensors to optimize the maintenance of equipment and protect the safety of workers. Our bottom-up analysis for the applications we size estimates that the IoT has a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. At the top end, that level of value—including the consumer surplus—would be equivalent to about 11 percent of the world economy (exhibit). Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015

5. March 2015

Date: 05-03-2015
Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/

From autonomous drones to emergent AI to digital genomes, this year’s list from the World Economic Forum offers its latest glimpse of our fast-approaching technological future

Fuel-cell vehicles have long promised several major advantages over those powered by electricity or hydrocarbons.

SA Forum is an invited essay from experts on topical issues in science and technology.

Editor’s note: Today the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, one of the organization’s networks of expert communities that form the Global Agenda Councils, released its Top 10 List of Emerging Technologies for 2015. Bernard Meyerson, chief innovation officer of IBM and author of the following essay, is chair of the Meta-Council. Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina is serving as vice-chair.

Technology is perhaps the greatest agent of change in the modern world. Although never without risk, technological breakthroughs promise solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time. From zero-emission cars fueled by hydrogen to computer chips modeled on the human brain, this year’s Top 10 Emerging Technologies list—an annual compilation from the World Economic Forum (WEF)—offers a vivid glimpse of the power of innovation to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard our planet. Read the rest of this entry »

When the ‘Internet of Things’ Attacks

30. August 2014

Date: 30-08-2014
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Joe Queenan wonders: What happens when our devices have minds of their own?

Security experts are warning that the more home appliances get linked via the “Internet of Things,” the greater the possibility is of digital mischief or mayhem. If the wireless subwoofers are linked to the voice-activated oven, which is linked to the Lexus, which is linked to the PC’s external drive, then hackers in Moscow could easily break in through your kid’s PlayStation and clean out your 401(k). The same is true if the snowblower is linked to the smoke detector, which is linked to the laptop, which is linked to your cash-strapped grandma’s bank account. A castle is only as strong as its weakest portcullis.

But the most worrisome thing isn’t the possibility of having your short-term bond funds liquidated or your identity stolen. A more terrifying threat is a wave of maddening global nuisance-making carried out by entry-level terrorists or local teens who don’t appreciate your McCain/Palin 2008 car decal. Consider this scenario:
Your fridge is programmed to alert you when you need more milk. It may even be programmed to order the milk and arrange for delivery. Then hackers break in and reprogram the fridge to order thousands of gallons of banana-flavored soy milk every week. Or carloads of coconut water. Or immense quantities of goat cheese. Anything to bust your chops. Or maybe they program the fridge to lie about expiration dates, leaving you with curdled milk, rotten eggs and smelly, decaying asparagus. Thanks, Internet of Things! Thanks a bunch! Read the rest of this entry »

“Wir reden über Schönheit und Sinn”

27. July 2014

Date: 27-07-2014
Source: DIE ZEIT

Der Potsdamer Unternehmensphilosoph Bernhard von Mutius über den kreativen Umgang mit der Digitalrevolution. EIN INTERVIEW VON UWE JEAN HEUSERvon Mutius

DIE ZEIT: Wie stellen wir uns am besten der Roboterrevolution?

Bernhard von Mutius: Digitale Maschinen werden uns zweifellos Arbeit wegnehmen. Die Frage ist nur, welche. Was also ist das Menschliche an den Mensch-Maschine-Kopplungen, die zunehmend die Wirtschaft bestimmen? Eines ist klar: Wenn wir menschliche Intelligenz nur als berechnete Rationalität sehen, werden die Maschinen uns viel mehr wegnehmen als nötig und den Menschen auch da ersetzen, wo er eigentlich unersetzbar ist.

ZEIT: Das heißt, wie wir auf uns schauen, bestimmt die Zukunft der Arbeit?

Von Mutius: Auf uns, auf die Maschinen, auf die Verbindung. Wir müssen uns mit der Frage befassen, was menschliche Intelligenz auszeichnet. Da reden wir über Kreativität, über schöpferisches Denken und Handeln, über Intuition, Mitgefühl, Schönheit und Sinn. Diese Themen gewinnen in Unternehmen längst an Bedeutung.

ZEIT: Wie sollen Unternehmen darauf reagieren?

Von Mutius: Wir brauchen eine Art Zweisprachigkeit. Einerseits müssen wir die Programme der Computer besser verstehen, auf der anderen Seite das Chaotische, das sich gerade nicht in Wiederholungen abbilden lässt – also das wahrhaft Individuelle. Wenn es in dieser digitalen Revolution einen Sinn gibt, dann dass dem Einzelnen eine ganz neue Bedeutung zukommt. Erstmals können wir in der Massenproduktion die Bedürfnisse des Einzelnen erfüllen.

ZEIT: Geht das konkreter? Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft CEO: ‘Until we really change culturally, no renewal happens’

15. July 2014

Date: 15-07-2014
Source: Fortune

NadellaMicrosoft chief executive Satya Nadella

The technology giant needs to fight for mobile market share. It needs to extend Windows to all sorts of devices. But none of it will happen without culture change.

Microsoft must change.

Microsoft should focus on its core—and Xbox isn’t it.

Microsoft has to differentiate itself in the marketplace, and productivity is the way to do it.

Microsoft could really do a better job marketing itself.

Microsoft ought to find a way to make Windows as identifiable with wearable technology as it is with the personal computer.

Microsoft needs to be mobile.

Satya Nadella, the chief executive of the Redmond, Wash.-based company, took to the stage here at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference to reiterate the strategy that he outlined in a memo sent to his 127,104 employees last week and otherwise show that he had control of a company that has been criticized as clumsy and directionless. Read the rest of this entry »

Illah Nourbakhsh on the Future of Robotics

9. July 2014

Date: 09-07-2014Strelka
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Carnegie Mellon Professor Says Robots Will Fuse the Physical and Digital Worlds Into One

Dr. Nourbakhsh is a professor of robotics and director of the Create Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, and the author of “Robot Futures.”

Sunday, April 1, 2035. You are house-hunting, driving to an open house showing to meet the owners, and now your car is speaking Esperanto, thanks to your daughter’s April Fools’ antics. Eventually you convince the car to return to your native tongue, and it queries whether you want your usual morning Starbucks cappuccino delivered to your destination. You arrive, jump out, and a Starbot punctually lands to deliver its coffee payload. Consulting the shared family calendar, the car requests permission to leave and fetch your daughter from soccer.

A Realtor bot trundles out to warmly greet you and connects you via telepresence to the homeowners, who are still in Florida. Together, you and the robot-embodied owners tour the apartment. The bot offers to arrange and project your home furnishings into each room, remapping furniture locations and adding several retro 1990s table lamps made available for single-command purchasing. The lamps seem strangely familiar, and you realize why—you glanced at them in a digital storefront last week. The robo-advert must have tracked your gaze direction and, ever since, you have seen digital versions of the lamps cropping up everywhere. The telepresence patch that the owners are using is probably free, sponsored by product placement. By the end of the tour, you’ve decided against the apartment, but you buy the lamp, asking for in-home delivery. It will be 3D-printed on-demand, installed and turned on, waiting for your return home.

The robots are coming. But they won’t all be shiny, Apple-designed C-3PO look-alikes with middle-aged Siri brains. I believe the robot invasion will be a hodgepodge affair, with legs, propellers and wheels; robots that run the gamut from embodied android forms to robotic technologies hidden in the woodwork of our homes. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Tech’s Best Minds Are Very Worried About the Internet of Things

20. May 2014

Date: 20-05-2014
Source: WIRED

The Internet of Things is coming. And the tech cognoscenti aren’t sure that’s a good thing.

For years, the prospect of an online world that extends beyond computers, phones, and tablets and into wearables, thermostats, and other devices has generated plenty of excitement and activity. But now, some of the brightest tech minds are expressing some doubts about the potential impact on everything from security and privacy to human dignity and social inequality.

That’s the conclusion of a new survey from the Pew Research Center. For ten years, the Washington, D.C. think tank has surveyed thousands of technology experts–like founding father Vint Cerf and Microsoft social media scholar danah boyd–about the future of the Internet. But while previous editions have mostly expressed optimism, this year people started expressing more concern. “We had a lot of warnings, a lot of people pushing back,” says Janna Anderson, co-author of the report.

The Internet of Broken Things
The 1,606 respondents said they saw many potential benefits to the Internet of Things. New voice- and gesture-based interfaces could make computers easier to use. Medical devices and health monitoring services could help prevent and treat diseases. Environmental sensors could detect pollution. Salesforce.com chief scientist JP Rangaswami said that improved logistics and planning systems could reduce waste.

But most of the experts warned of downsides as well. Security was one of the most immediate concerns. “Most of the devices exposed on the internet will be vulnerable,” wrote Jerry Michalski, founder of the think tank REX. “They will also be prone to unintended consequences: they will do things nobody designed for beforehand, most of which will be undesirable.”

We’ve already seen security camera DVRs hacked to mine bitcoins as well as a worm that targets internet connected devices like home routers. As more devices come online, we can expect to see an increase in this kind of attack.

Beyond security concerns, there’s the threat of building a world that may be too complex for our own good. If you think error messages and applications crashes are a problem now, just wait until the web is embedded in everything from your car to your sneakers. Like the VCR that forever blinks 12:00, many of the technologies built into the devices of the future may never be used properly. “We will live in a world where many things won’t work and nobody will know how to fix them,” wrote Howard Rheingold. Read the rest of this entry »