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February: Voice Assistants and the Internet of Skills

The Internet of Skills
User trust and security remain hurdles for voice-assistant technology, but the market projections clearly indicate growth ahead. One way the growth of voice assistants will impact society at large is by complementing and enabling the so-called Internet of Skills.
James Moar, lead analyst at Juniper Research, …

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CES 2020 Trends and Wrap up

CES 2020 did not disappoint if you were looking for IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), and almost any connected technologies you could only dream about and perhaps a few you might have never imagined. Toyota announced Woven City, a sort of “living laboratory” at the foot of Japan’s Mt. Fuji that will focus on developing and testing technologies in the realms of robotics, autonomous vehicles, smart construction and manufacturing, and smart homes. There were folding computers, like Intel’s Horseshoe Bend device, a new EV (electric vehicle) in the form of Fisker’s Ocean, and there was even the announcement that plant-based food company Impossible Foods would start making plant-based pork. If you missed the event, here is a more in-depth look at some overall trends and a few more of the highlights.

Overall trends included smart transportation, encompassing autonomous vehicle technologies and EVs, as well as intelligent transportation and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) connectivity platforms. One thought-provoking unveiling in this arena was actually from Sony. Sony shocked many by showing off its Vision-S, an all-electric prototype car that’s meant to prove that many of Sony’s technologies, including sensors and, of course, touchscreen displays could contribute to and enhance the next generation of connected vehicles.

Panasonic demonstrated its CIRRUS intelligent transportation system again. It also showed off electric compact utility vehicles and other smart mobility solutions that also showcase how mobility and transportation contribute to smart cities. Panasonic contributed to another overarching CES trend, smart living spaces, by exhibiting HomeX and its advanced analytics and learning algorithms, as well as a unique security system called HomeHawk FLOOR.

5G was prevalent this year at the show, but it was refreshing to see some companies talking about 5G in the context of anything other than smartphones. For instance, Samsung had part of its 5G booth dedicated to phones and the other part showcasing V2X technologies. Qualcomm announced a 5G PC. Unlike the unbridled enthusiasm companies have shown about 5G during past technology shows, though, there seemed to be a little bit of hype fatigue on the subject. That said, many companies still did come on strong with 5G messaging.

Smart factories, robots, and cobots were also prevalent at CES this year. Smart Robots, a CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree, was there, demonstrating a “robotic colleague” that could be used to support operators in a smart factory. The cobot’s goals include performing quality control functions and achieving intelligent collaboration between humans and machines.

In fact, many interesting robots stole the show, so to speak. Tombot is an electronic puppy that serves as an emotional support device. The robotic animal features interactive sensors, the ability to respond to voice commands, and over-the-air software updates, as well as a companion app. A “cat waiter” robot called BellaBot was one of three intelligent delivery robots debuted at CES from Chinese tech company PuduTech. Charmin made people laugh and scratch their heads, while also getting them to think about the possibilities of robots and their place in future society with its RollBot, a robot that can bring you toilet paper when you’re stuck on the john.

Perhaps most intriguing in the realm of AI was the unveiling of Samsung’s Neon, an AI technology with use cases ranging from customer service to providing simple companionship. These “artificial beings” look and act like real humans, and the demonstration was both captivating and a little bewildering. Samsung says its next step is adding intelligence and learning to its unique tech.

Source: Connected World

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Participating in the Internet for the Future

Have you given much thought about what to expect from the Internet of tomorrow? Candidly, this topic has been foremost on my mind lately after I sat down with executives from Cisco to discuss the company’s vision of the Internet for the Future.

If you missed my interviews with Cisco’s Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM of service provider business, and Bill Gartner, SVP and GM of systems and optical systems and optics group, please check out them out in the archives.

In December, I was sworn to secrecy about its big “Internet for the Future” announcement. Cisco put on an impressive show, and the news was indeed very exciting. For me, perhaps the most interesting takeaway was when Davidson pointed out how Cisco wants to build a new network that is more resilient for customers, as well as making it simple, modern, and trustworthy.

Cisco introduced Silicon One, a new networking silicon architecture designed for universal adaptability. Interestingly, Cisco insists no matter your service provider or market, Silicon One is for you. And with so many customers struggling with capacity, Cisco explained that now is a good time to help customers grow capacity economically. Fortunately, the cost per bit has come down, but to get it even more affordable, companies need to simplify.

With Silicon One, Cisco is hoping the new architecture will deliver that simplification and capacity.

Talking to some non-Cisco people, it seems like Silicon One really nails it. The three pillars of Cisco’s “Internet for the Future” strategy are its investments in silicon, optics, and software.

If you think about it, this is actually a business play and not just a technology play for Cisco. Cisco has set its sights on a whole new business model for selling chips to customers. The company first started this with its optics portfolio, and it’s following suit with Silicon One.

Recognizing a change in how customers want to consume technology and various components of this technology, Cisco came out saying: “you know what, yeah; if you want to pick and choose what components you want. It’s a very adaptable model…

Cisco is letting customers choose whether they want an integrated system or if they want to piece something together on their own. Cisco considers its flexible business model as “changing the economics of the internet.

I think the market needed this kind of solution and Cisco needed a disaggregation business model to compete better in markets like web-scale and 5G.

I think times are a changing and competitors will be blurred. Cisco is saying there used to be a clear boundary between customers and suppliers, but that’s changing, and it’s disruptive.

Instead of seeing this blurring of the line as a threat, you can’t help but love how Cisco in embracing the change that is rapidly occurring and it is truly disrupting itself. Times are a changing, are you ready for the changes?

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Source: Connected World