When most of us think of being involved in an emergency response situation the first thing we’re like to do is dial 9-1-1. A research team lead by Ram Dantu of the University of North Texas and supported by the NSF sees the growth of cell phone and smart phone usage as an opportunity to improve 9-1-1 response.
We all know there are sensors in the phones, and Dantu has taken the relatively simple sensors and applied them to an urgent task.
"With the current smartphone technology now in everyone's hand, we thought we could do a lot better than just audio calls," said Dantu. "We can actually transmit text; we can transmit images or video. We can revamp or transform the existing emergency dispatch protocols with a next generation 9-1-1."
Dantu will demonstrate these apps at this month's 2013 National Emergency Number Association conference, the largest annual gathering of 9-1-1 operators in the United States, to be held in Charlotte, N.C and see what feedback they can provide.
Some of the application examples developed include:
This is just a relatively simple example of using the sensors around us to add value. You could do similar analysis of machines by placing the phone on an appliance, picking up physical vibration as well as sound. It may also be possible to pick up other information like infrared or ultraviolet information that humans can’t perceive and analyze that as well.
Today (right before HP Discover) the availability of the retail sleeve for the ElitePad was announced. By adding this hardware extension, a tablet that runs the full version of Windows 8 now can have additional features specifically designed for use in a retail setting, allowing them to connect to existing store systems and improve customer service.
The extensible nature of the ElitePad is an example the flexibility that needs to be designed into solutions to increase value and the business environment today and in the future. Last month the personal system group within HP announced a whole series of new machines (like the Rove).
The new HP Pro and HP Elite series desktop PCs were also announced, including space-saving commercial all-in-ones (AiOs) with rich multimedia and optional touch screens, act as the hub of enterprise productivity. You can see more about these in the press release.
This week there should be a number of interest announcements… if you're there have fun it should be a great opportunity to answer questions and learn. I couldn't make it this year.
I recently took many of the thoughts I had about gamification (that I’ve written about on this blog) and created a white paper:
It is available for download and described my view on some of the core components of gamification as well as describes an effort I coordinated internally.
HP once a year has a global Technical Innovation conference called Tech Con. I was the leader of this effort for the last couple of years and this year I tried to gamify the review process.
Since the only way to get invited to the conference is to create an abstract that describes the innovation and have it peer reviewed and accepted, ensuring that the review process is done effectively is important to the event.
This year we had about 1900 abstracts submitted and each one had to be reviewed by at least four individual. This means that at least 7600 reviews needed to be completed by a group of about 300 reviewers in a relatively short time frame. The paper provides details about the process and the impact of the relatively simple gamification activity. It definitely had a measurable impact and exceeded all the goals identified.
I was talking with an individual just this morning who was asking about innovative uses of mobility. Gamification instantly came to mind. Gamification is about goal oriented, metric driven, behavior modification.
If you can influence the individual wherever they happen to be, aligning their efforts to corporate goals, that seems to be a pretty innovative and valuable use of mobile devices. One important part of gamification can be to influence the decision at the time it is being made. A whole variety of examples fell out of our discussions, since the mobile device is the computer you have with you all the time.
My view is that the entire services industry is ripe for gamification.
This video describes the visual survey platform app that integrates pictures and analytics into a mobile application that can be used by organizations. In the case of video it is Fundación Paraguaya:
This shows a tool to assist in census like activities to determine levels of poverty and then take action to have real impact quickly.
What is exciting for organizations is that the video shows that some very basic tools can have a profound difference when they are taking mobile and used in context.
Recently the Atlantic had an article where they took a McKinsey report on disruptive technologies and turned it upside down to say which ones were the most overhyped. The Atlantic reporter based their analysis on economic impact vs. number of relevant articles.
The technologies were (in order of least impact to most):
- Renewable energy
- Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery
- Advanced materials
- 3D printing
- Energy storage
- Next-generation genomics
- Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles
- Advanced robotics
- Internet of Things
- Automation of knowledge work
- Mobile Internet
This approach by the Atlantic may be a novel way to look at technologies but not all that accurate or effective from a strategic perspective, especially since I doubt that was the intent of the McKinsey article.
I was also a bit surprised by some of the technologies left out of the McKinsey report. Technologies like User Interface Advances were not really mentioned, and the interplay between technologies was just touched on.
The best example of interplay magnifying impact is the intersection of the mobile internet, the internet of things and automation of knowledge work. Where these intersect, the role of employees change – human augmented automation. An approach that takes advantage of the fact that people are not fungible, as opposed to how many business may look at employees.
A visioning document based on the interplay of technologies is likely worth its own report -- aiding IT leaders in thinking about enabling their business in whole new ways. In any case, the McKinsey report is worth the read.