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

STEM in space...

raspberry PI.pngI do quite a bit of work with STEM efforts in the spring, so this week when I saw the blog post on the Astro Pi Mission Update it was exciting. For those who are not familiar with the Raspberry Pi, it is a low cost, experimenter’s computer. And now it is going to the International Space Station along with the British astronaut Tim Peake.

 

What is the most exciting though is that UK schools can have the same hardware that will be used for experiments on the space station and incorporated into the classwork! I am sure this is getting a great deal of press in the UK, but I’d not heard about it here.

 

The unit being used is a Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ with a special HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) module. This module will have a collection of sensors specifically designed for use in this mission, and an 8x8 matrix of LEDs. You can even buy your own (when it is soon released).

 

That is exciting in itself but taking it a step further (at least from a gamification perspective) is the Astro Pi competition. UK schools can enter and submit programs, and experiments, and the winning submission will be taken on the mission and performed on the space station, itself.

 

These are the types of activities that generate new scientists and engineers. I am going to be judging the FIRST Robotics Competition in Dallas again next week and it has similar aspirations of impact.

Rethinking User Interfaces

User interface design has gone down some interesting paths in recent months. I just saw this project based on some work out of Purdue that creates 3D designs much like a potter creates pottery. The project is called Handy-Potter.

 

 

The program demonstrates a gesture-based shape modeling, winning the best paper award in ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference. The 3D designs created by this approach is much more intuitive than using traditional CAD tools.

 

Now that computers are starting to have more gesture-based interfaces, some real innovation in business applications and their interface should be possible. It may not be limited to PCs though, with the level of surveillance enabled by the Internet of Things, we may just tap into the sensing that's around us.

 

There are also cases where the interface is the sensor itself. A while back, I purchased the Kinect Interface for windows to enable some 3D scanning (of larger objects). It actually worked fairly well even with just the 3D builder from the Microsoft store.

 

 

Most of the real design heavy lifting (to stitch together a 3D model) is left to the software, so the user interface is intuitive.

 

With these relatively low-cost but high-power capabilities, maybe it will bring the Minority Report style interface into normal business applications.

 

As I said back in 2006 when I saw G-Speak:

“I can't wait to see a BPMN interface defined that allows the movement of work functions and resources around a screen. I can easily see a room of business folks really think about the problem differently when they can physically flail around and reach a common understanding of new and existing business functions.”

HP Matter: Healthcare

Mobile Healthcare.pngEarlier this month HP released a Healthcare industry specific issue of its HP Matter e-magazine that is created in partnership with FastCompany.

 

This joint activity covers a wide range of design, culture, experience and trending issues. For example:

Just to name a few of the articles. This wide-ranging set of material is taking the previous industry specific material to a whole new level from a range of perspectives. Next month will be focused on the Telecom industry.

Data Privacy Day - January 28th

security compromize.pngToday is Data Privacy Day (@DataPrivacyDay) – 7th annual. This occurs on January 28th and its purpose is to raise awareness of privacy concerns and promote data protection best practices.

 

Last year really drove home the issues related to data privacy, with more and bigger issues than ever before.

 

The Christmas Story movie had a scene that stated that the only room in the house a preadolescent boy can have any privacy is the bathroom. In our modern world, with devices and sensors everywhere (for some of us) even that bastion of privacy is fleeting.

 

Having a day emphasizing the need to look at the long-term impact of data collection, use and protection practice (possibly even performing a self-assessment) seems prudent.

Data and decision latency expectations shifting

Analytics time.pngOne of the issues I’ve talked about many times over the year is the need to shift our understanding and expectation of latency and action. I came across this post: Analytics Time Lags Result in Lost Opportunities. It also discusses the fact that the data gathering and analytics that were great a short while ago are now viewed as insufficient, stating that “72% of analytics and business leaders surveyed were dissatisfied with the time it takes to get data-driven results”.

 

Unfortunately, it didn’t really do more than imply that solutions exist. Fact is most solutions deployed today are based on hindsight. There is little doubt that the vast amounts of data available are going to require an exceptional command of information, far beyond just hindsight. It will require a refocusing of skills and perspective that are based on generating value from the abundance of computing and data available. This will require new techniques for computing as well as data gathering and integration. The work going on in HP labs related to The Machine will help address these needs, when this platform is released.

 

We have data coming in from sensors and mobile devices creating an ever increasing amount of Dark Data where value can be generated. We can also build context from the other data about what happened when, who or what was involved or happened at the same time. This derived data or metadata can sometimes be more valuable than the raw data itself, since people don’t really make decisions off the data but the context the data describes. Organizations are recognizing that all this data will provide a depth of understanding about what happened in the past, present and future that we’ve not really taken advantage of before.

 

We can develop a greater depth of understanding about what is happening right now that can enable us to automate decisions or concentrate that rare resource – employee attention - on those areas that really need it. There are relatively new technologies that most teams have not even looked at like software defined networks… that can operate on data on the fly instead of just data at rest. This will eventually enable a more active, organizational approach to tackling opportunities.

 

Finally, over the years we’ve learned that getting to zero response time is very difficult. It may actually be easier to move to a negative response time, where you predict what is likely to happen and adjust to be ready to address it or even shift the outcome. Tools to address all these various perspectives of data and enabling right-time decisions are available to improve your ability to optimize time-to-action are available today.

Search
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Follow Us
Featured
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.
Labels
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.