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September 11, 2014

The car museum just got a new addition! Read on to know more about the exhibit ...

I just made up this catchy headline for some time in the future and if you are still wondering what the exhibit is - IT'S THE DRIVER  ... Now that I have caught your attention, and internal voices clamoring on both sides, I will delve into the subject to provide my perspective. Before that a little bit about the picture below, if you observe closely the "Now" time horizon is between the second and third picture - there's enough evidence where there is assisted driving with the driver having the ability to take back control. The "Later" picture is in black and white to emphasize that futurists have been dreaming about "driverless" cars for decades.

 Then Now Later v3.png
Most of the commentary today is about the technology involved and the millions of sensors, software algorithms that shape autonomous driving. I'd like to take a slightly different yet simple approach to cars without drivers - the critics might brush it off as triviality, but in my opinion simplicity pays off always.

Continue reading "The car museum just got a new addition! Read on to know more about the exhibit ..." »

August 9, 2014

Future of Digital Advertising

Leading online research firm eMarketer's report for 2013, on media time spent by US population, had forecast that, on an average, adults in US would spend close to 5.25 hours daily on online media as compared to 4.5 hours on television. This indicates a shift in consumers' attention span towards online content, despite the extensive reach of television. Advertising dollars appear to have followed the trend as depicted by IAB's internet advertisement revenue report for 2013. As per this report, the online advertising market in US is close to $43 billion. Powered by stupendous CAGR of 123% in mobile, for the last four years, the overall ad revenue has been compounding at 18% per year, over the last decade.

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April 13, 2014

Geneva Motor Show March, 2014 - Who is "calling"?

Among the headline makers this year, at Geneva Motor Show held in March,2014, was launch of CarPlay.

CarPlay, is a system for integrating iPhone5 and its higher versions to the vehicle's entertainment system. Users can then control various phone features like call, text, music and navigation, using in-vehicle controls, such as steering wheel buttons, touchscreen or SIRI from the iPhone.

So, what is the buzz about? Why there is such an anticipation building with analysts, industry honchos and customers at this launch? Haven't we been witnessing increasing footprint of telematics for the last decade or so now?

Here are some of the larger scenarios and ramifications (for both automobile and consumer electronics) being discussed by analysts in various forums:-

 1. Automobiles - A new platform for consumer electronics to expand: With a forecasted one in two new cars (about 50 million) produced being connected by 2020 globally, this presents a relatively unexplored market for the Hi-Tech/Consumer Electronics industry giants to tap into. Potentially, we are looking at millions of cars as iOS and Android platforms for customized Apps and accessories.  

(Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sarwantsingh/2014/03/19/apple-in-cars-what-does-it-mean-for-the-car-industry-and-google/)

Earlier this year, at CES 2014, Google also announced an alliance with leading car manufacturers, that may see infotainment systems running on the open-source operating system this year.

2. Standardization of user interface: Imagine the customers of iPhone and Android smartphones, getting the same user interface and ease of navigation on their in-vehicle entertainment systems, as they are used to on their smartphones. This will translate into a big surge of Apps, services usage for the device manufacturers.

3. Battle for supremacy on multiple fronts, and competition for OEMs: We will witness contest of iOS Maps v/s Google Maps, iTunes Radio v/s other radio/entertainment services, and serious competition for telematics OEMs and suppliers of the likes of Delphi, Harmans and so on.

4. Good news for car companies: The biggest advantage for car companies is that they can focus all their R&D and spend on hardware and car mechanical design and innovation while benefiting from the shorter product release cycles of the consumer devices industry. This also gives them ability for launching quicker upgrades of in-vehicle entertainment software in the vehicles within 1 year timeframe; which is quite unlike the extensive timelines of 4 to 6 years cycle to bring innovation to market.

5. Customers are set to gain and be happy: Every time, any market sees more competition, customers are set to benefit with more feature rich products, quicker upgrades, dropping costs and increasingly better customer service and this in turn feeds into higher demands. And that is what each sector and economy needs to keep growing.

With the Hi-Tech giants descending in the auto industry with all seriousness, we can expect their next battle to be fought in our car consoles.

January 8, 2013

Internet Laws and Regulations in today's extended societies


The internet is not constrained by geographical boundaries and hence localized or nationalized laws cannot apply locally. However, Internet Laws exist in most countries around the world and they deal with issues related to the legal use of the Internet. Considering that the Internet is not a physical space is in itself, there are quite a few challenges around implementation of these laws. Online material that is legal in the country of the hosting location may violate local laws of another country where it is being viewed or downloaded.  However to regulate consumption of material that violate local laws or can potentially cause distress in local societies, individual governments do work out mechanisms that enable regulation of content .Governments  have mechanisms in place that ensure there is regulation on what is being served to users consuming and publishing online content in their countries.

 

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August 30, 2012

The Apple Vs Samsung Verdict - Repercussions

There was high excitement over the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit this week as the battle reached its climax with a US federal jury turning in a decisive verdict in favor of Apple. It had been a monumental task, with the jury having had to deal with a 20 page verdict form that had around 700 specific questions covering every issue at the trial. The form apparently contained a mix of charts, legal language, patent references, and technical jargon. After pouring and deliberating over all the evidence presented, the jury had held that Samsung owed Apple $1.05 billion for copying Apple's intellectual property. Interestingly, on the same day that Samsung lost in the U.S., it partially won a fight in South Korea though the decision seemed to be evenly split between Samsung and Apple. There have been multiple major skirmishes between the two giants in courts in Australia, UK, Germany and other countries while heading into the US courts.

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Smart Grid - Enabling Energy Conservation

It is widely perceived that energy demand is expected to double every 20 years while at the same time, there is going to be a need to halve carbon emissions in the next 20 years, to avoid dramatic climate changes. Key mitigation technologies and practices have been proposed across sectors to enable control over energy usage and atmospheric pollution. Improved energy supply and distribution efficiency, more fuel efficient vehicles, efficient lighting and day lighting in buildings, efficient reuse of electrical equipment and many more policies have been proposed to counter the threat on the planet. The consequence of not arresting the current slide in energy utilization and environment degradation will result in frequent power loss, high energy prices, climatic changes and conflicts over control of natural resources.

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August 16, 2011

The need to build complex systems - smarter

Kristof Kloeckner (General Manager, IBM Software, and Rational) spoke at the IBM Software Innovate Conference at the Infosys campus last week - on the need to drive product/service innovation and ALM practices to be able to manage today's complex systems. Thought leaders in business, government and society are capturing the potential of smarter systems to achieve economic growth, sustainable development and societal progress. IBM's strategy as part of its Smarter Planet initiative is to enable many of the technology and process management capabilities - to help develop complex software systems that collaborate intelligently to solve the planet's pressing problems (water management, green revolution etc)

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