Category Archives: emerging technologies

Avoid the mouse trap: Old habits wreck new tech

Don’t look now, but your desktop user interface dates back to the Nixon administration. Is it time to upgrade to the next UI?

New technologies revolutionize business. And big shifts like artificial intelligent (AI) virtual assistants and augmented reality seem to have gone from “someday” technologies, to “happening right now.”

These technologies are expected to transform business for the better. And I believe they will — far more than we realize. These new systems come with powerful new user interfaces. There’s just one problem: People don’t like new interfaces — and cling to the old, inefficient ones.

It’s not a theoretical problem. Global business has lost productivity on a galactic scale because of our failure to or inability to switch to the best interface.

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We need virtual assistants that talk to each other

Everybody talks about (and often to) the Big Four virtual assistants — Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant. But many other companies are working on virtual assistants, too.

Huawei is working on a virtual assistant for the Chinese market.

Samsung offers Bixby on its Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphones.

Voice recognition giant Nuance offers an enterprise ready virtual assistant called Nina, which specializes in knowing the limits of A.I. and kicking queries over to a team of human assistants when necessary. Nuance this month announced a Nina “skill” on Amazon’s Alexa platform.

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4 ways blockchain is the new business collaboration tool

While blockchain may have cut its teeth on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the distributed electronic ledger technology is quickly making inroads across a variety of industries.

That’s mainly because of its innate security and its potential for improving systems  operations all while reducing costs and creating new revenue streams.

David Schatsky, a managing director at consultancy Deloitte LLP, believes blockchain’s diversity speaks to its versatility in addressing business needs, but “the impact that blockchain will have on businesses in various industries is not yet fully understood.”

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IDG Contributor Network: How technology is transforming New Orleans

There are a handful of major technological hubs in the United States, where investors and consumers loom to witness the birth of the next revolutionary technology. However, there may be a new city among their ranks, as New Orleans starts to adopt more technological and entrepreneurial resources to reinvent its image and operations.

There’s no shortage of things to do in New Orleans, from steamboat tours to jazz music to ghost-themed walkabouts (and of course, the amazing food). But recently, it’s the innovative, technological spirit of the city that’s been driving its growth.

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It’s time to decide how quantum computing will help your business

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Yes, Apple is building a car

The experts say Apple’s self-driving car project is canceled, delayed or converted into a software play. They’ll also tell you that cars are a weird business for Apple to be in.

The experts have it all wrong.

Apple is going pedal-to-the-metal on building a car and for good reason. Here’s why.

Talk about titans

Steve Jobs wanted Apple to make an “iCar.”

The late Apple founder and CEO wanted more than that, according to J. Crew CEO and chairman Mickey Drexler, who served on the Apple board from 1999 to 2015. Jobs wanted Apple to reinvent the automobile industry.

The idea of an Apple car was considered crazy talk — until word leaked about a secret Apple initiative called “Project Titan,” which reportedly involved more than 1,000 engineers.

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3D printing, married to traditional metal casting, could reshape manufacturing

Autodesk has partnered with a Michigan foundry in a 3D printing proof-of-concept project that resulted in a new magnesium commercial airline seat frame so light it could save an airline more than $200 million in fuel costs.

Autodesk used its Netfabb 3D design software to produce a complex geometric model for a new aircraft passenger seat frame just as strong as a traditional seat, but vastly lighter.

The CAD program created a file used to 3D print in plastic the seat frame, which was then coated in ceramic material and heated to a high temperature to evaporate the inner plastic.

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IDG Contributor Network: 4 key techniques for continuous improvement in corporate innovation

If you’re leading a corporate innovation program for your organization, or you’re part of the core innovation team, one of the key considerations after it’s been up and running for a while is how to continuously improve and refine the program over time.

While there’s a lot of attention paid to how to design and implement corporate innovation programs, as well as how to run ongoing and event-based ideation (i.e., idea generation) sessions with various constituencies, there’s not so much written about how to effectively operate these programs and capabilities on a sustainable, year-over-year basis.

A corporate innovation program clearly needs to evolve and adapt over time to incorporate the latest developments in innovation management theory and practice, and to fine-tune the sights around innovation as customer needs, business needs and overall market conditions dictate.

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Microsoft’s Emma Watch could help people with Parkinson’s

Technology lets us do some pretty amazing things, and every now and then we hear stories about technology making a huge difference in someone’s life.

Microsoft highlighted one such story at their Build 2017 developer conference this week, when they showed the video about a woman with Parkinson’s, and a device developed by one of Microsoft’s researchers that helps with Parkinson’s tremors.

In IT Blogwatch, we love a feel-good story. 

So what is going on? Andy Weir has some background:

This week, Microsoft is hosting its Build 2017 developer conference…where it’s already made a wide range of announcements – from 500 million Windows 10 devices, to Visual Studio for Mac general availability…and the new Azure IoT Edge platform.

But along with all the…big announcements in its day one keynote, Microsoft also showcased [an]…experimental project led by one of its researchers, which began when she met a young woman affected by hand tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease.

And what does this experimental project entail? Brian Fagioli has more details:

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Desktop 3D printer presages the future of multi-layer circuit board design

An Israel-based provider of 3D printing technologies and nano-inks is now shipping a desktop machine to beta customers that can produce multi-layer circuit boards.

Nano Dimension’s Dragonfly 2020 is a desktop 3D printer that can produce circuit board prototypes and small production runs, potentially reducing development time from weeks to hours, according to Amit Dror, co-founder and CEO of the startup.

The Dragonfly 2020 uses an inkjet-like material deposition method followed by a heat-based curing system to create the printed circuit boards (PCBs), and it has no limit to the number of layers beyond the mechanical height of the printer’s z axis.

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