|By Daniel Burrus||
|July 11, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
Most people agree that our technology is getting smarter, but most don't realize just how smart. Sure, they know their smartphones have GPS capability and their smart appliances are capable of improving efficiency, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, smart technology is around us every day. From surveillance cameras to clothing, today's smart technology is watching us, helping us, and getting smarter because of us.
As an example, let's look at in-store surveillance cameras. In the past, the video quality of those cameras was poor. Most of us can remember watching the nightly news and seeing blurry footage of a robbery and not being able to make anything out.
Today we have two things taking place that alleviate that scenario:
- We have software that can clean up the video footage so we can see the detail.
- We have inexpensive cameras that can replace those old, bigger cameras, and that can give us full 1080P HD video resolution at a low cost.
Now you might be thinking, "So, what? That just means the police will be able to better identify who was robbing a store."
Actually, it's a much bigger deal than that. With today's smart technology, companies are tapping into these video streams and, using high-speed computer analytics, are doing shopping analyses within the store, based on the security camera footage. In other words, security cameras are able to expose a wealth of sales and marketing data.
We can see customer movements, what products they stop in front of, and how often they stop in front of them. We can see if that display at the end of the counter is working or not. At the end of each evening, we can get a report on all the traffic patterns in the store without having to watch all the video because it's all automated. The report can show where delays are taking place in the store, where the lines are building up, where people are spending most of the time in the store, where people are not going in the store, what products are the hottest, and which aisles are being browsed and for how long.
That's just information from inside the store! When you take the camera outside the store, its uses are even more amazing.
Increasingly, we're using cameras outside to analyze traffic patterns and to look at high-crime areas. The nation that is most advanced in this practice is Great Britain. They have cameras all over their cities and towns capturing the video of 24/7 life and using high-speed analytics to analyze traffic flows, people movement, crime, etc.
But it doesn't stop at video footage; they're also capturing the audio. That means after a video has been recorded, they can do an audio zoom and listen to the conversation that is happening at an intersection, for example.
You might think, "Who is going to listen to all of those conversations?" The answer: No one. Since it's digital audio, you can search the audio content for keywords and pull up the conversations that are specific to the phrases you're searching for.
This is already happening in Great Britain. Now the question is, will it only be used there, or will other countries, including our own, start using this smart technology in the future? The answer is, of course we will be using it here and in other countries as well. While seeing is believing, seeing and hearing something is undeniable.
Smart Technology You Can Wear
Realize that smart technology isn't always about something you hold in your hand or a device you intentionally manipulate. Now, even the clothes you wear can have a technological component.
For example, there already is a product called "The Helmet Hero." With it, you can take a helmet, such as a bicycle, ski, or motorcycle helmet, and mount a small high-definition camera on it that can record as HD video or capture still photography. Thanks to an SD card, you can record up to 2½ hours on a single charge.
In addition, since one of the hard trends of technology is the ability to make things smaller and smaller, you can create high-quality video or still camera pictures from a very small lens that's clipped to or embedded in your sunglasses, and then upload it directly to Facebook or other social media platforms. For example, if you're walking on the beach or hiking a mountain, you can have that feed go directly to your video Facebook page.
While this might sound great, the newest wearable technology goes even beyond all this. For example, Adidas has created an "intelligent football boot" that can upload performance data, including your maximum speed, minimum speed, the number of sprints you took, the distance you took for each sprint, the distance you went at a high-intensity level, etc. In other words, they've created a true training device that keeps track of your entire training regimen. They started with football, but it will surely spread to other sports.
Going a little further, the US military has developed smart underwear. It looks just like normal underwear, but it has micro sensors that can monitor respiration, heart rate, body posture, and skin temperature. Now we can really see what's happening with troops in the field. Since all the data can be transmitted wirelessly, we can monitor the well-being of all of the people in real time. If someone has a problem or has been wounded, we already have body monitors on them in their underwear.
Now let's take that to the next level. If this technology works for the military, couldn't intelligent underwear work for professional sports too? Of course. It can track hydration levels, heart rate, and other things to help coaches determine when to pull someone from the field.
Going even further, smart underwear has a medical application too. People who are having a medical problem and who need to be monitored over time can wear the smart underwear and the data can be instantly streamed to the doctor's office for analysis. Currently you have to wear expensive monitors and report to the doctor's office to get the information from the monitor read. It's both costly and time consuming. But with the smart underwear, it's quick and much less expensive.
The Next Generation of Smart
Here's the really exciting part of all this: you may remember the old Star Trek television series, where they wore a little piece of jewelry on their shirt that they would touch to communicate with people in other parts of the ship or those who beamed down to a foreboding planet. If you think about Apple's Siri, you'll see that we're actually beyond that piece of science fiction right now. With Siri, we have an ultra-intelligent electronic agent with us at all times. Currently, we need the smartphone to use Siri, but soon we won't.
Imagine wearing a piece of jewelry that you touch to activate. You might say, "Read my voicemails," and then respond to them. You can do that now with Siri, so why not just make it a piece of jewelry rather than a phone? We don't need to have that whole big phone with a touch screen to do this. Imagine walking around hands-free and running your day: "What's my next appointment? Write an email. Read my messages. Where is the nearest Starbucks?"
Yes, that's what we're going to see soon rather than needing a full smartphone. When you have no screen and use voice input only, you could, in reality, have a device small enough to be a Star Trek-like communicator, only better.
Smartness at Your Fingertips
As our processing power, bandwidth, and storage continue to expand, we will definitely see more and more smart technologies in our life. From cameras to clothes, the wealth of information that can be gleaned, stored, and transmitted will grow exponentially, giving us access to new and usable knowledge that can enhance both business and life. The key question for you is: How can you and your company work smarter with these and other types of smart technologies?
While poor system performance occurs for any number of reasons (poor code, understaffed teams, inadequate legacy systems), this week’s post should help you quickly diagnose and fix a few common problems, while setting yourself up for a more stable future at the same time. Modern application frameworks have made it very easy to build not only powerful back-ends, but also rich, web-based user interfaces that are pushed out to the client in real-time. Often this involves a lot of data being transf...
Apr. 1, 2015 04:12 PM EDT Reads: 196
InfoScout in San Francisco gleans new levels of accurate insights into retail buyer behavior by collecting data directly from consumers’ sales receipts. In order to better analyze actual retail behaviors and patterns, InfoScout provides incentives for buyers to share their receipts, but InfoScout is then faced with the daunting task of managing and cleansing that essential data to provide actionable and understandable insights.
Apr. 1, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 299
Best practices for helping DevOps and Test collaborate in ways that make your SDLC leaner and more scalable. The business demand for "more innovative software, faster" is driving a surge of interest in DevOps, Agile and Lean software development practices. However, today's testing processes are typically bogged down by weighty burdens such as the difficulty of 1) accessing complete Dev/Test environments; 2) acquiring complete, sanitized test data; and 3) configuring the behavior of the environm...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:20 PM EDT Reads: 306
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,274
As a group of concepts, DevOps has converged on several prominent themes including continuous software delivery, automation, and configuration management (CM). These integral pieces often form the pillars of an organization’s DevOps efforts, even as other bigger pieces like overarching best practices and guidelines are still being tried and tested. Being that DevOps is a relatively new paradigm - movement - methodology - [insert your own label here], standards around it have yet to be codified a...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 944
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,102
Learn the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation plus a DevOps team approach can address these top API testing challenges. Ensuring API integrity is difficult in today's complex application cloud, on-premises and hybrid environment scenarios. In this interview with TechTarget, Parasoft solution architect manager Spencer Debrosse shares his experiences about the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation and a DevOps team approach can a...
Apr. 1, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 467
Chef and Canonical announced a partnership to integrate and distribute Chef with Ubuntu. Canonical is integrating the Chef automation platform with Canonical's Machine-As-A-Service (MAAS), enabling users to automate the provisioning, configuration and deployment of bare metal compute resources in the data center. Canonical is packaging Chef 12 server in upcoming distributions of its Ubuntu open source operating system and will provide commercial support for Chef within its user base.
Apr. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 556
After what feel like an interminable cycle of media frenzy followed by hype and hysteria cycles, the practical elements of real world cloud implementations are starting to become better documented. But what is really different in the cloud? How do software applications behave, live, interact and interconnect inside the cloud? Where do cloud architectures differ so markedly from their predecessors that we need to learn a new set of mechanics – and, when do we start to refer to software progra...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 525
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,943
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,607
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,475
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,443
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
Apr. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,124
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Apr. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,276
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Apr. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,600
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,311
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Apr. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,389
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,237
Cloud computing is changing the way we look at IT costs, according to industry experts on a recent Cloud Luminary Fireside Chat panel discussion. Enterprise IT, traditionally viewed as a cost center, now plays a central role in the delivery of software-driven goods and services. Therefore, companies need to understand their cloud utilization and resulting costs in order to ensure profitability on their business offerings. Led by Bernard Golden, this fireside chat offers valuable insights on ho...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,011