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technology SkyX Ltd

Technology Breakthrough with SkyOne Drone

SkyX Ltd. recently arrived to share details about its unique industrial drone technology designs. The company’s SkyOne drones take off and land like a helicopter, but fly more like an airplane, with a range of up to 65 miles per charge. For drone industry nerds, this means they have both VTOL and fixed-wing elements.

Cameras and sensors on board enable SkyOne drones to gather data about infrastructure below and send it back to cloud-based applications for analysis. The drones also launch from and land on proprietary charging stations, called xStations, which close a kind of shell over the UAVs when they are not moving, protecting them from theft. The charging stations do not remove and replace the batteries within the drones, but charge them directly, then send the drones on their way.

technology SkyX Ltd

Other companies land their unmanned aerial vehicles on charging stations where their batteries are swapped out for fresh ones. Positioning charging stations along a route can give drones a virtually unlimited range. It’s a design idea we should expect to see until battery tech and other power systems advance significantly.

SkyX founder and CEO Didi Horn spent his earlier career flying for the Israel Air Force. Horn stated, “I always knew I wanted to develop something around drones and aviation for commercial use when I got out. But in consumer there were already great products. There was nothing great for long-range, but that’s where I knew there would be demand. There are millions of kilometers of oil and gas pipelines already built in the world today and they are all at risk of leaks, or terror attacks, you name it.”

The technology company is first focusing on the energy industry, as its drones and charging stations can be configured to cover long distances between pumping stations along oil and gas pipelines. The drones also can be used to cover acres of solar panels installed on vast farms, or wind turbines installed along roads, even in remote areas, Horn explained. The xStations can plug into a typical electric outlet. Or they can be connected to solar panels or other freestanding generators, he noted.

Though SkyX did not have permission to disclose the names of its earliest customers, it is working with several energy companies on safety tests and pilot projects today in the Americas, Horn said. The drones fly autonomously, and the company also has to secure permission in different markets to fly beyond the line of sight of human observers or pilots on the ground.

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formula e

Manufacturers Ready For The All Electric Race; 2018 Formula E Season

Formula E recently announced the nine manufacturers that will race electric cars in seasons five, six, and seven. You may think it’s that big of a deal, but it is. Beginning in season five, each team will race one car per driver for the entire race, instead of two.

formula e

 

Because battery technology fell behind series founder Alejandro Agag’s aspiration for all-electric racing, Formula E teams have fielded two drivers with two cars per driver. That meant four cars in the garage. Usually about halfway through the race the driver would have to pull into pit row, climb out of the first car, and jump into a second car with a charged battery.

The new single-car standard will cover seasons five, six, and seven, which begin in fall 2018. The nine manufacturers who have met this standard are: ABT Formel E, BMW AG, DS Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, Mahindra Racing, NextEV NIO, Penske Autosport, Renault, and Venturi Automobiles.

There are teams currently racing that are not represented on this list, including Faraday Future Dragon Racing and Techeetah. However, other manufacturers are continuing their commitment to electric open-wheel racing, like Renault, Venturi, NextEV, and Mahindra. Jaguar joined the series for 2016-2017, while MS Amlin Andretti seems to be dropping out before the new standards come into play. Mercedes-Benz had been planning to join the fray in season five, but its name is not on this list published by FIA, the series’ governing body.

There will also be a new Formula E car on the track in 2018; Spark Racing Technology will produce identical bodies for each team to paint and cover in stickers however they would like. The new battery that makes single-car racing possible will be supplied to the teams by McLaren Applied Technologies. The Roborace series should be up and running by that time, too.

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technology_ride_sharing

How Will Autonomous Vehicle Sharing Technology Affect Cities?

New research from Arcadis, HR&A Advisors and Sam Schwartz Consulting offers advice for city planners who are considering a future that includes autonomous vehicle technology, or AVs. McKinsey (who was not part of this particular study) says that by 2030, autonomous vehicles will account for 15% of auto sales worldwide. The study released recently, “Driverless Future: A Policy Roadmap for City Leaders,” estimates that nearly 8 million people in its three sample cities will choose an AV over a traditional vehicle in the next 15 to 20 years. Those three sample cities were Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York and were selected for the extent of their of density, walkability, and usage of public transportation.

technology ride sharing

The research compared the cost of car ownership to speculated AV ridesharing and AV ridesourcing, and determined when people in those cities were likely to make the move from commuting in their own car to hailing a self-driving car. However, the study’s authors also point out that in order for AV to work, it has to work for everyone. They suggest things like using open data and universal apps so riders can compare prices, travel times, and environmental impact across modes of transportation, and pay using one app. To that extent, the authors also remind cities to keep in mind that not everyone has equal access to technology. People who do not have cell phones or bank accounts need to be able to access the transportation network, including autonomous rideshare or ridesource vehicles, through Dial-a-Ride and smartcard payment options.

It is also worth taking in mind now, as this kind of technology and service is growing worldwide, how to fund accessible services. For example, the study notes that in New York City, there is a 30-cent fee per taxi ride that supports the city’s expansion of wheelchair-accessible transportation options. Ridesourcing services like Uber and Lyft don’t pay that fee. There are potential drawbacks to having fleets of AVs wandering city streets, and the study is aware of these concerns. Mass adoption of AVs could encourage sprawl and increase the number of miles cars travel, and the system could develop in a way that leaves behind anyone without a cell phone and a checking account. AVs also could decrease public transit revenues, which could affect public transportation.

0 11
technology

Nokia’s 17 Year Old 3310 Took Center Stage At MWC

Recent Press conferences from LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony confirmed all attendees seemed to care about at Mobile World Congress was a rebooted, 17 year old device. A candy bar feature phone whose main selling point is its ability to play Snake, surpassing BlackBerry’s KeyOne smartphone. Feature phones never disappeared. You can still purchase them inexpensively. Yet, HMD’s Nokia 3310 seems to have gathered more excitement at the show than any new forerunner, including LG’s G6.

LG noted during its press conference that the future of mobile innovation will be about usability than specs, just before talking up its fancy new aspect ratio. LG was right, the smartphone battle has too often been waged as a war of specs, but the company’s execution was off. One decade after the iPhone transformed the mobile industry, consumers have grown tired of a war over incremental updates like display resolutions and megapixels. After ten years of hard fought redundancy, what is conceivably the most out-of-date phone of the show feels like a breath of fresh air.

You can call it smartphone fatigue if you’d like. The churn of the yearly upgrade cycles and the flood of me-too handsets seems to have hit a breaking point, so much so that the solid gimmick of reviving a feature phone nearly old enough to vote in the US overshadowed a handful of the year’s biggest smartphone announcements. We would like to recommend that the sentiment is symptomatic of some larger trend to return to simpler technological times, that the 3310 in the beginning of a nostalgia movement among smartphone buyers akin the vinyl movement of the last several years. However, the only larger trend the 3310 is ominous of is our need of a break from the seemingly endless parade of minor smartphone upgrades.

0 17

Wristband Technology Monitors Blood Alcohol Level

Evan Strenk, owner of Technology company Milo Sensors, created a technology company around wearable sensors that detects various chemicals in your body. The company is starting off with Proof, a small band that can gauge your blood alcohol level and omit the information to an app. Milo Sensors exhibited the product at CES in Eureka Park recently.

technology

Strenk stated, “There’s a breathalyzer out there but no one uses it because they’re awkward. The use case there is you put our sensor on at 6 pm, you set your alarms for yourself, and everything’s paired with an app. You don’t even know if I’m messaging someone or checking my blood alcohol level. And because it’s continuously tracing, you can set alarms for yourself, like hitting .08 percent. I want to be alerted, maybe if I’m driving home, and you can connect with safety buddies, friends, and family at undesirable levels.”

Constantly tracking a user’s blood alcohol level is the goal of this technology. By doing that, users can get a sense of how fast the level is going up and know whether or not to decreasing alcohol intake. The band transmits the information to the app, which quickly shows a chart of how high their blood alcohol level is.

Strenk said, “While users can detect their blood alcohol level for now, the technology translates into detecting other things like caffeine as well.” He continued, “The skin ends up being a superhighway of molecules, with the technology being applicable to a different variety of use cases.” For now, monitoring blood alcohol level made sense. The co-founders of the company decided on the concept over a few pitchers of beer. It could have been an earring, but after the round they settled on blood alcohol level and a band.

The owner slots a cartridge into the band before they are planning to go out. The cartridge is disposable and will only cost a few dollars. Strenk stated, “The analogy is, you put a raw piece of meat on the counter, over a few hours it turns brown. Similarly you open a cartridge, it oxidizes. It goes beyond step counting, it goes beyond heart rate, it’s reading bioanalytic through your skin.”

0 18

Quantum Announces Positive Preliminary Fiscal Third Quarter 2017 Results

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Quantum Corp. (QTM) today announced preliminary results for the fiscal third quarter 2017, ended Dec. 31, 2016 that were above the high end of the previously provided guidance range for both total revenue and profitability. The company currently expects:

  • Total revenue of approximately $133 million, up from $128 million in the fiscal third quarter 2016.[1] For the first three quarters of fiscal 2017 (YTD), total revenue grew 8 percent over the same period in fiscal 2016.
  • Scale-out tiered storage revenue[2] (previously referred to as “scale-out storage revenue”) of approximately $40 million, an increase of 12 percent and the 22ndconsecutive quarter of year-over-year growth. Revenue was up 26 percent YTD over the first nine months of fiscal 2016.
  • Total data protection revenue of approximately $83 million, up $2 million.
  • GAAP operating income of approximately $8 million to $9 million and non-GAAP operating income of $9 million to $10 million — an increase of $6 million to $7 million and $2 million to $3 million, respectively.
  • GAAP net income of approximately $6 million to $7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $7 million to $8 million, or $0.03 per diluted share — an increase of $0.02 per diluted share and $0.01 per diluted share, respectively.

“We’re very pleased with our continued strong performance this fiscal year,” said Jon Gacek, president and CEO of Quantum. “For the third straight quarter, we increased total revenue and profit year-over-year, with growth in both scale-out tiered storage and data protection. In addition, comparing the first nine months of fiscal 2017 to the same period a year earlier, we not only grew scale-out tiered storage 26 percent but also increased branded data protection revenue 7 percent and improved our GAAP and non-GAAP bottom-line results by approximately $28 million and $23 million, respectively.

“We ended the quarter with excellent momentum across all product categories, and we start our fiscal fourth quarter with a strong backlog and solid funnel. Therefore, we feel very confident in our ability to deliver year-over-year revenue growth again in the current quarter and exceed our annual revenue and profitability guidance for fiscal 2017.”

Quantum will provide more detailed financial results for the fiscal third quarter and updated guidance for fiscal 2017 in its earnings announcement on Jan. 25, 2017 (see below for conference call information).

Earnings Conference Call and Audio Webcast Notification
Quantum will issue a news release on its fiscal third quarter financial results on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, after the close of the market. The company will also hold a conference call and live audio webcast to discuss these results that same day at 2:00 p.m. PST. Press and industry analysts are invited to attend in listen-only mode.
Dial-in number: +1 (503) 343-6063
Participant passcode: 49870309
Replay number: +1 (404) 537-3406
Replay passcode: 49870309
Replay expiration: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017
Webcast site: www.quantum.com/investors

About Quantum
Quantum is a leading expert in scale-out tiered storage, archive and data protection, providing solutions for capturing, sharing and preserving digital assets over the entire data lifecycle. From small businesses to major enterprises, more than 100,000 customers have trusted Quantum to address their most demanding data workflow challenges. Quantum’s end-to-end, tiered storage foundation enables customers to maximize the value of their data by making it accessible whenever and wherever needed, retaining it indefinitely and reducing total cost and complexity. See how at www.quantum.com/customerstories.

Quantum and the Quantum logo are registered trademarks of Quantum Corporation and its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

“Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release contains “forward-looking” statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Specifically, but without limitation, statements relating to: i) our expected financial results for the fiscal third quarter 2017 and for the first three quarters of fiscal 2017; and ii) our confidence in our ability to deliver year-over-year revenue growth again in the current quarter and exceed our annual revenue and profitability guidance for fiscal 2017, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Quantum on the date hereof. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Quantum’s actual results to differ materially from those implied by the forward-looking statements. More detailed information about these risk factors are set forth in Quantum’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties listed in the section entitled “Risk Factors,” in Quantum’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 3, 2016 and in Quantum’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 4, 2016. Quantum expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Quantum believes that the non-GAAP financial measures disclosed above provide useful and supplemental information to investors regarding its quarterly financial performance. Quantum management and Board of Directors use these non-GAAP financial measures internally to understand, manage and evaluate the company’s business results and make operating decisions. For instance, Quantum management often makes decisions regarding staffing, future management priorities and how the company will direct future operating expenses on the basis of non-GAAP financial measures. In addition, compensation of our employees is based in part on the performance of our business based on non-GAAP operating income.

The non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release exclude the impact of the item below for the following reason:

Amortization of Intangible Assets
This includes acquired intangibles such as purchased technology in connection with prior acquisitions. These expenses are not factored into management’s evaluation of potential acquisitions or Quantum’s performance after completion of the acquisitions because they are not related to Quantum’s core operating performance. In addition, the frequency and amount of such charges can vary significantly based on the size and timing of acquisitions and the maturities of the businesses being acquired. Excluding acquisition-related charges from non-GAAP measures provides investors with a basis to compare Quantum against the performance of other companies without the variability caused by purchase accounting.

Share-Based Compensation Expense
Share-based compensation expense relates primarily to equity awards such as stock options and restricted stock units. Share-based compensation is a non-cash expense that varies in amount from period to period and is dependent on market forces that are often beyond Quantum’s control. Management believes that non-GAAP measures adjusted for share-based compensation provide investors with a basis to measure Quantum’s core performance against the performance of other companies without the variability created by share-based compensation as a result of the variety of equity awards used by other companies and the varying methodologies and assumptions used.

Restructuring Charges
Restructuring charges primarily relate to expenses associated with changes to Quantum’s operating structure. Restructuring charges are excluded from non-GAAP financial measures because they are not considered core operating activities. Although Quantum has engaged in various restructuring activities in the past, each has been a discrete event based on a unique set of business objectives. Management believes that it is appropriate to exclude restructuring charges from Quantum’s non-GAAP financial measures, as it enhances the ability of investors to compare Quantum’s period-over-period operating results from continuing operations.

Proxy Contest and Related Costs
Proxy contest and related costs are expenses incurred to respond to activities and inquiries of VIEX Capital Advisors, LLC, including their proxy solicitation. These costs are not considered core operating activities. Management believes that it is appropriate to exclude these costs in order to provide investors the ability to compare Quantum’s period-over-period operating results from continuing operations.

Crossroads Patent Litigation Costs
Crossroads patent litigation costs are expenses incurred to defend ourselves and perform other activities related to a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Crossroads Systems, Inc. These costs are excluded from non-GAAP financial measures because they are not considered core operating activities, and management believes that it is appropriate to exclude these costs in order to provide investors the ability to compare Quantum’s period-over-period operating results from continuing operations.

Loss (Gain) on Debt Extinguishment
The loss (gain) on debt extinguishment relates to specific actions undertaken during the third quarter of fiscal 2017. The loss and gain are excluded from non-GAAP financial measures because they are not considered a core operating activity and management believes that it is appropriate to exclude the loss and gain in order to provide investors the ability to compare Quantum’s period-over-period results from continuing operations.

Non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. They are limited in value because they exclude charges that have a material impact on the company’s reported financial results and, therefore, should not be relied upon as the sole financial measures to evaluate the company. The non-GAAP financial measures are meant to supplement, and be viewed in conjunction with, GAAP financial measures. Investors are encouraged to review the reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures as provided in the tables accompanying this press release.

Important Information

Quantum Corporation (the “Company”), its directors and certain executive officers will be participants in the solicitation of proxies from stockholders in connection with the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 (the “Annual Meeting”). The Company has received a notice of nominations for the election of directors from VIEX Capital Advisors, LLC in connection with the Annual Meeting and it is possible that there may be a contested solicitation in connection with the Annual Meeting. The Company plans to file a proxy statement (the “Proxy Statement”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in connection with the solicitation of proxies for the Annual Meeting.

The members of the Board of Directors of the Company and Fuad Ahmad, Chief Financial Officer, would be participants in the Company’s solicitation of proxies in connection with the Annual Meeting. As of December 31, 2016, the holdings of the participants in the Company’s common stock were as follows: Robert I. Anderson – 49,277 shares; Paul R. Auvil III – 597,509 shares; Louis DiNardo – 292,871 shares; Fuad Ahmad – 0 shares; Dale L. Fuller – 197,542 shares; Jon W. Gacek – 1,726,628 shares and options to purchase 1,300,000 shares exercisable within 60 days; David A. Krall – 342,354 shares; Gregg J. Powers – 15,423,566 shares, of which 14,594,195 shares are held in managed accounts of Private Capital Management, LLC, of which Mr. Powers is CEO and Portfolio Manager, and as to which Mr. Powers disclaims beneficial ownership; Clifford Press – 0 shares; and David E. Roberson – 329,263 shares. Additional information regarding such participants, including updated information as to their direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be included in the Proxy Statement and other relevant documents to be filed with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting. To the extent that holdings of the Company’s securities change from the amounts reflected in the foregoing, such changes will be reflected on Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC.

Promptly after filing its definitive Proxy Statement with the SEC, the Company will mail the definitive Proxy Statement to each stockholder entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting. STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT THE COMPANY WILL FILE WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Stockholders may obtain, free of charge, the Company’s preliminary proxy statement, any amendments or supplements thereto and any other relevant documents filed by the Company with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting at the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov). Copies of the Company’s definitive proxy statement, any amendments or supplements thereto and any other relevant documents filed by the Company with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting will also be available, free of charge, at the Company’s website (www.quantum.com) or by writing to Investor Relations, Quantum Corporation, 224 Airport Parkway, Suite 550, San Jose, CA 95110.

[1] All comparisons are relative to the fiscal third quarter 2016 unless otherwise noted.
[2] All references to scale-out tiered storage revenue and data protection revenue include related service revenue.

Contact:
Brad Cohen
Public Relations
Quantum Corp.
+1 (408) 944-4044
[email protected]

Brinlea Johnson or Allise Furlani
Investor Relations
The Blueshirt Group
+1 (212) 331-8424 or +1 (212) 331-8433
[email protected] or [email protected]

    0 16

    Toyota’s Concept-i Gets To Know Its Driver

    A new concept vehicle was revealed by Toyota called the Concept-i at CES. The car was built with the CALTY design research group. We spoke to CALTY Project Design Manager William Chergosky about the process of building the Concept-i. He said it was about discovering a new way to bring the thrill people feel about driving now to a potential future in which the experience is much more exciting.

    concept-i

    Chergosky stated, “We’ve been working on this for approximately two years, and we’re trying to create a futuristic vision for the 2030 automobile that’s really fun to drive. As everyone’s moving towards an autonomous future, what’s Toyota’s vision of that? We had a real fundamental belief in this idea of ‘waku-doki’ getting your heart racing. Is that something that dies with this future? I don’t think it is.”

    According to Chergosky, a large part of accomplishing that comes down to user experience design. That is why the Concept-i pays close attention to how it signals a switch from manual to autonomous mode and how it greets the user. Setting the mood for either method of control, there are LED lights throughout the interior and across the body that cue the driver about their experience.

    Chergosky said, “Our fundamental idea behind it was trying to humanize or warm up the technology, and make it more approachable. The idea of trying to humanize it is to try to narrow that gap between you and the technology.

    They took the concept of “kinetic warmth” as a core protocol in designing the Concept-i, which meant building something that came to life and was technically able. That is why Toyota placed an AI at the center of the in-car experience, nicknaming it ‘Yui.’ This virtual companion is created to get to know you as a person, and as a driver. Yui was also designed to adapt its behavior in order to best provide that driving excitement that Toyota targets

    Communicating with other vehicles and pedestrians are the key areas of focus in this concept. Through Concept-i’s exterior lighting system, Yui can inform others whether it’s in manual or autonomous drive mode and notify drivers behind about upcoming road hazards or turns. It even greets passengers who are approaching the car.

    0 16

    As it continues to try to find a new future for itself in 2017, Twitter is releasing another new product. Taking another step forward into the future, Twitter is now introducing live 360 degree video streaming through Periscope. 2016 has been a difficult year for the company. It saw itself the subject of a potential major acquisition before those talks fell apart. Since then, Twitter has struggled to find exciting and new ways to expand. The company has rarely added any new features or tools.

    Subscribers on Twitter can now watch 360 degree live video (but must have Periscope). This live video is only available for a limited number of Twitter users right now. As live streaming becomes more popular on Facebook it was sure to happen that something similar come out on Twitter.

    With live 360 video, Twitter subscribers can now get a full angle view of what is happening from a broadcaster’s surroundings. Presently this feature is only limited to its partners, however there does not look like there will be a whole lot of live 360 degree video streaming for a some time. Users will surely use this new feature as a playground to explore new use cases. This could be a great plan to engage new subscribers who might otherwise go to different platforms. This would offer new tools to experiment with to continue expanding their audience.

    While not as popular as Facebook (who has over 300 million users worldwide), twitter will continue the effort and make changes to the platform to broaden their audience. The company would like to grow faster. This is not easy but if Twitter is going to find new ways to spark growth the company will need to continue to make big bets, specifically ones in video streaming.

    0 17
    technology

    Pretty much anything could be accessed quickly with 3G. Selfies and social media were made possible from the rapid transfer of data. It is difficult to see how, in the early 2000s, we went on about our day without knowing what restaurant someone was going to for dinner.

    Then came 4G. It delivered Facebook Live and SnapChat. Crowdfunding and free-to-publish video platforms gave everyone the potential of a global reach. With this comes almost virtual reality, giving us the inroads to content that feels tangible.

    This now means that the Internet becomes the backbone for daily life. Intimate and rich personal data becomes predictive: a web of apps accessed via IM, Google Now, Alexa, or Siri predicting our needs.

    To accommodate this, handset manufacturers should open their platforms and data in order to allow services and partnerships to be built on top. Our phones have become more important than we would have ever thought and they will become even more central in our lives.

    The main way in which we consume will be through m-commerce. Our understanding of how media relates to people’s lives need to be reformed. With 5G, technologies now on the horizon will become customary to everyone.

    For each customer a brand carries a constellation of different meanings. Brands need to dig deep into the aspirations and attitudes of consumers in order to identify the meanings that resonate with them the most. The connections based on these insights drive greater involvement and will help to strengthen the relationship with the consumer.

    Alongside 5G, finding ways to connect with consumers through their devices and how they interact with them will be the main goal for innovators. What 5G connectivity really does is it creates a platform for businesses to build upon.

    0 15

    The days of Hewlett, Packard, Jobs and Wozniak are long gone. The days when technology was pretty simple and all you needed was some tech know-how; a few transistors, a soldering iron and a garage. This was a time of amazing opportunity.

    Hardware became so sophisticated that it got to the point where you could not do much without a multimillion dollar facility. Hackers were forced to move to software and the internet relocated them out of garages and into their bedrooms. The possibilities were endless with just a laptop and a little bit of coding knowledge.

    These days hardware and software have both become incredibly advanced. It is so rare to find an expert in artificial intelligence; that when found, they are being paid like sports stars. Ironically; in this day and age, tech giants such as: Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and Google are making resources available to anyone who desires to access some of the world’s most advanced technology.

    A Plumber’s Dream

    If you own a building; you may share a common fear with other building owners that can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs. The fear of an undetected water leak. It can, at times, be difficult to detect the exact source of water leaks by plumbers.

    AquaSeca is a startup that believes it has found a solution to this problem by creating a small “wearable for pipes” that can monitor water flow within a building. When there is any sort of abnormal water flow it can identify the problem and notify the owner of the building. This in turn can save the building owner a lot of money through early detection and identification.

    This of course involves sophisticated technology. Once scaled, it will monitor thousands of sensors, connect them to customer’s devices and integrate complex analytics and machine learning algorithms. Something that just 10 years back would have been impossible for even major tech companies. Today a startup like AquaSeca can get all the resources it needs to make this possible from the library of machine learning tools that Google has outsourced.

    Any Car Can Be A Smart Car

    Smart Cars: Automobiles and the internet have assisted fleet managers in lowering costs and improving service. Artificial intelligence including GPS’ have given dispatchers the capability of accessing a “vehicle health report” if drivers on the road run into problems and give them the ability to send help if necessary.

    ActiveScaler is a startup that transforms everyday cars into smart cars. Their technology includes voice recognition, video analytics and even facial recognition. They presently support more than 20,000 cars on four continents. It runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform as well as its CNTK library of machine learning tools and HDInsight, its advanced cloud analytical package.

    Google Glass For Factories

    In January 2015 Google stopped production of its “Google Glass” which was announced in April, 2012. Google glass would have given individuals the ability to walk around recognizing people through facial recognition; pull up data on them, then take pictures and video without being noticed. This raised serious concerns.

    Although Google stopped production; the potential of the technology for specialized uses is still intriguing. For example: In an industrial environment a field service employee may use the product to recognize a specific model of machine to be repaired, pull up a service manual and be guided through a service call with graphics.

    The startup SeToOS has built a prototype. They did not disclose specifically how their technology was built. It is obvious; however, there are many resources to draw from. Visual recognition, the Internet of Things and advanced analytics are all easily accessible to just about anybody with an idea for an application.

    The New Competitive Advantage

    AquaSeca, ActiveScaler and SeToOS are all early stage startups which are still in their “garage mode” days, so to speak. Although they do not have billion dollar research budgets or industrial labs they are still able to access technology that would have been impossible to access just ten years ago. Tech giants like Microsoft and IBM would have never shared their proprietary assets in such a manner back in the day. Ironically, today IBM and Microsoft freely share their intellectual property with anyone who has an idea and so do newer companies such as Google and Facebook.

    Mendix is a company that offers a platform to help mid-size and large enterprises, (who would otherwise not have had the ability to do so) connect to resources like these. The platform is so user friendly that even marketing managers can participate in developing applications. As a result Mendix is growing at a rate of 100% annually.

    You may wonder why the tech giants are so generously sharing their technology. It was not that long ago that they would have made it impossible for anyone to access this information and would have sought to destroy anyone trying to compete with them. Yet now they are allowing everyone to see what their best minds produce. Why?

    The answer lies in the fact that collaboration is the new competitive advantage. They earn huge revenues by offering their technology as a service in addition to offering it as a product. Their technology improves the wider it is used. The bottom line is that now a days; power resides in the center of networks rather than the top of value chains.

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