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

New vision for computing

eye.pngIEEE Spectrum had an article on moving display technology closer to the eye. Whether it is virtual reality goggles or contact lens enabled displays, it appears there is a great effort being applied to move displays closer than ever. The demonstration of a combined contact/glasses based display approach shows the level of innovation that is underway – not that I think that approach will be viable in the marketplace.


If you combine that with speech or gesture recognition, it leads to a technological approach that could be safer and more ubiquitous than what’s been done before. Naturally, there are some people who think that these displays are risky in certain circumstances.


Even as access to networking and computing permeate more of our business and personal lives, the display has been one dimension that has been holding back application in many domains. I can easily see a mechanic or others who hands are typically busy doing work using techniques like this to reference manuals… and facilitate decisions. Who knows if these techniques can be applied in a transparent and effective way, they could lead to the one display that is used by all the devices around us.


It makes me ask questions about how applications would change if this were available? What new business solutions are possible??

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.


Casebook: A view into adaptive case management

I recently coauthored an article in IEEE Internet Computing titled: Casebook: A cloud-based system of engagement for Case Management that focused on the new possibilities for business process  management approaches possible by embracing social and collaborative techniques.


In this age of dynamic and complex work progresses, the traditional rigid approach may no longer be sufficient and the use of intelligent agents to help people adapt are increasingly required. This article examines an approach that can be used.


I’ve been on the road quite a bit lately, so my ability to blog has been significantly decreased. I’ll have to start writing things down more, so I can share them later.

Engineering business?

MB900386081.JPGOne of the things I do when I work out is catch up on podcasts. I only listen to 5-6 a week but one of them is usually from the IEEE. This week they had one on Smart Bridges. Earlier, I’d done a post on the overlap of technologies across industries as big data and other techniques are applied and this seemed like a perfect example.


The Smart Bridges podcast made me wonder about the stress analysis that can be done in businesses today. We have a great deal of measurement systems in place, but can we use their information to greater advantage.


Many industries have seasonality that can put them under stress on a regular basis (e.g., Retail has the Holiday season) as well as scenarios they know they need to prepare for (e.g., Hospitals dealing with a crisis). Can we predict when they are likely to break? Are there efforts taking place in the civil engineering space that we should be applying to IT and business?


I view this as an area where the Enterprise Architecture profession and other parts of Service Science will likely expand in the coming years.

Do telecommuters need a level of unstructured interaction to really be productive?

telecommute.pngSince I’ve been working at home most of the time, I do seem to be very productive and it is definitely more flexible, but it is possible that I am not as innovative or impactful as in a traditional work environment. This is one of the reasons that Marissa Mayer pulled all the Yahoo people back in from telecommuting.


It is the interaction of familiar strangers that can cause chance innovation to take place. The fact that we run into people from a variety of areas just by our proximity can cause cross-pollination of ideas to take place that wouldn’t happen any other way. This underlying level of buzz may actually help ideas spread.


The IEEE spectrum podcast even had a brief post called Telecommuting, Serendipity and Innovation, talking about research performed based on innovation and their relative vicinity.  


It does make me wonder if the telecommuters could use something similar. I’ve tried with a few others to use Google+ Hangouts, but that experiment didn’t last all that long. There are the social groups that most companies have through SharePoint, Jive or other tools, but their asynchronous nature and the degree of self-filtering used makes interaction based less on chance and more on interests.


If you telecommute, how do you increase your sphere of concern and sphere of influence?? It may not be limited to telecommuters either, since any geographically diverse organization has limits for interaction between groups.

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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.