The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Fluid.IT – turning BYOD inside out, to focus on me

fluid.jpgOne of the issues with efforts like BYOD and IoT is that it can easily add more complexity for the individual. Attention is one of the scarcest resources we have and these new approaches need to demand less from users not more and more. They need to recognize the context of what’s happening and filter or even act upon it – rather than cry out for attention.

 

There is quite a bit of press related to various approaches recently to shift how email is used, but most of these efforts still remain focused on email. Frankly, email is a conduit and most of us have many of these conduits feeding into our lives. Also, it is just one of many conduits, depending on your role. What I want is a digital butler on steroids that works on any device and makes sense of your e-life, e-work and e-history. It hides the complexities of the systems and provides a unified experience around me.

 

This is exactly the kind of research some of the individuals in HP Labs and PPS showed me the other day. A tool called Fluid.IT that shifts your focus from the various sources (e-mail, CRM systems…) to focusing your attention on what you’re really like to get done – no matter where it needs to happen. With Fluid.IT you don’t need to know where your services are (after the initial setup), you just know it’s doing what you need done. This is sort of like when you put your money in the bank. You know something is happening there with it, but you don’t really care. You just want to be sure you can take it out when you need it. Fluid.IT derives the context and aggregates what is important to me, providing more about what I need and less about the plumbing of addressing that need.

 

It includes concepts like liquid-talk that facilitates collaboration in the ideal method of the receiver not just the sender and allow for both enterprise-level and individual customization. The whole approach is delivered using platform independent techniques that allow you to consume wherever and whenever you need to. It is an examples of providing a customized approach in a standard way leveraging the tools that already exist in your personal and enterprise life.

 

Are there systems where you can see this approach applied? I can see it for sales (as I mentioned with CRM) or in the healthcare provider space where you’re pulling together information from a variety of systems and would like to have situational awareness with minimal distractions. They have implemented gamification techniques to facilitate the behavioral understanding and improvement from across a range of systems.

 

I see these kinds of systems as a stake in the ground for what we’ll all be expecting in the near future for our interactions.

What should be the goal of cognitive computing?

automated decisions.pngSome organizations think that cognitive computing is about getting better answers more quickly, typically using English to form the questions. There is no doubt that there is tremendous appeal to getting the answer to question in natural language, but is that really enough. In a world of data abundance, it can be difficult to know the right question to ask.

 

Unfortunately, many times it is the questions we never knew to ask, that turn into potential big gains or losses. One of my co-workers from HP labs mentioned that:

“It is interesting to note that change detection is a core competency (and survival property) of the visual cortex; it responds quickly because it constantly compares visual input with memories of what the world should look like. Thus, as we build next-generation systems based on large amounts of rapidly changing data, you want the data to self-organize, recognize similarities, detect changes, and help you assess anomalies so that these may be investigated.”

 

In addition to systems, we need services that enable the decision maker (human or machine) to react, respond and investigate based on the context of the information available, so that the entire ecosystem learns and adapts. It could be that having the future approach focus on better questions than better answers and how to display those questions and their answers more effectively should be the goal.

 

When I talk to leaders about where the future of services is headed, this is where my thoughts tend to go and it is going to take different techniques than organizations have deployed today.

What about 'the machine'?

0610_hp_05_630.jpgI came across this Businessweek article: HP May Have Invented a New Kind of Computer – the Machine. This is all too early to be covered by an event like HP Discover, but still very thought provoking. In fact, I was a bit surprised by the level of detail covered in the article.

 

I mentioned last week that we are entering the second half of the current phase of IT technology – the steep part of the S curve, where the real changes take place. An interesting thing to look out for at this stage are the signposts along the journey that will be pointing to the next phase. I wonder if this work by HP labs will be one of those markers -- or will it just be an enabler to generate maximum value within the current phase.

 

Well, I pulled off two presentations yesterday at HP Discover. If the two I am doing today are half as effective as the ones yesterday, I’ll be happy.

A new dimension of sensing for smartphones?

 

molecule2.pngIEEE Spectrum had an interesting article about Tricorder-like Mobile Phones Enabled by Nanotechnology. It the article it describes how spectrometer-like capabilities could be built into it. For some people, it could change the whole view of the value of the smartphone.

 

Similar to phones having special modes for sports or low light photography, they could have modes for sensing the ripeness of fruit based on the gases given off (Ethylene). They may even be useful in detecting illnesses, like diabetes. There is even an Xprize in this space. HP labs did some work on this kind of sensing as well.

 

Now if you only had the battery life to make it through the day.

 

A new approach for addressing reliable and secure desktop computing

firebird.pngEarlier this month, HP SureStart was formally announced.It is an approach created collaborately by HP labs and the personal systems group to redefine the level of security when a personal computer starts up.

 

This new approach guarantees the reliability of the very first piece of code that starts a PC platform, HP SureStart ensures a full chain of trust in a PC’s operation, including security solutions deployed on the platform above the firmware that might otherwise be compromised by a low level firmware attack. It also addresses other issues (like boot up power interruption) corrupting the environment – it just can’t happen – the PC will always be able to rise from the ashes of some BIOS related incident. The software detects the problem and heals the Boot Block before next boot or power cycle transition. This is part of HP’s focus on secure computing.

 

The HP SureStart protection is very different than Intel ® Boot Guard that is built into the 4th Gen processors. It is interesting to me though that there is almost no interest from the consumer space for this level of protection. It is targeted at the commercial grade computers.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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