Flying shoes may be just around the corner, as research released recently by Sony Mobile reveals that 56% of children expect these by 2037, with one in five predicting that they could become a reality in just five years.
The research, conducted for Sony Mobile’s Xperia Touch projector, explores the vivid imagination of 6-12 year olds across few countries, comparing their fun and advanced expectations of the future to that of their parents.
Having grown up in a generation where anything seems possible, it’s the creative expectations of these children that best describes the product’s advanced technology.
Will we be able to communicate with our pets in the future? Apparently so, with seven in ten children dreaming up a reality where technology lets us speak to and understand our pets. With no limits on their vivid imagination, 61% of children expect to be able to see through walls by 2037, and just under half believe we’ll be able to read each other’s minds.
Parents on the other hand have a different outlook on the future, and think some technologies are too far-fetched to become a reality. Three out of five think teleportation and invisibility cloaks could never be a possibility – yet nearly a third of British children expect to see these within the next ten years.
But, whose vision of the future really is more accurate? Ian Pearson, lead Futurologist from Futurizon reveals whether these technologies could soon become a reality:
Ø On flying shoes: “We do have hover-boards that can hover without wheels on special skateboard parks, and self-balancing unicycles too, so if you can get things that hover and self-balance, why not?
Ø On telepathy: “By 2050, direct connections into people’s brains will be so good that your mind will extend into cyberspace and 90% of your thinking will be outside your head – kids also win on thought recognition.”
Ø On teleporting: “A first win for parents. We can already generate exact copies of a photon or a single atom, but it will be many decades or even centuries before we could do that with a human.”
Ø On talking to pets: “Let’s ignore those near useless devices that claim to interpret barks and meows by their tone. Around 2045-2050, you could theoretically get a brain implant in your pet that would enhance their intelligence and enable this sort of interaction, but the regulators might not permit that.”
Hirohito “Henry” Kondo, Senior Manager of Product Planning, Smart Products at Sony Mobile said:
“Xperia Touch is a flagship smart device that can transform any surface into an interactive screen, bringing a glimpse of the future into the home or office.
We commissioned this campaign to delve into the imagination of children and parents alike to help illustrate the advanced technology and experience.
The way children use technology is ever evolving, with 90% of parents in agreement that it has had a positive impact on their children.
Over two thirds also believe that technology and smart products have helped enhance their child’s imagination, with 56% of parents saying that technology has aided their imagination more than school.
Xperia Touch is an interactive projector that can transform any surface into a HD touch screen, recently receiving the Good Design Gold Award. Displaying up to 80” vertically, Xperia Touch introduces a more collaborative experience for users, bringing communication, games and entertainment to life.
IoT sensors are anything from doctor to canary in mines
Industrial IoT is changing the shape of the mining industry and the intelligence of the devices that drive it
The Internet of Things (IoT) has become many things in the mining industry. A canary that uses sensors to monitor underground air quality, a medic that monitors healthcare, a security guard that’s constantly on guard, and underground mobile vehicle control. It has evolved from the simple connectivity of essential sensors to devices into an ecosystem of indispensable tools and solutions that redefine how mining manages people, productivity and compliance. According to Karien Bornheim, CEO of Footprint Africa Business Solutions (FABS), IoT offers an integrated business solution that can deliver long-term, strategic benefits to the mining industry.
“To fully harness the business potential of IoT, the mining sector has to understand precisely how it can add value,” she adds. “IoT needs to be implemented across the entire value chain in order to deliver fully optimised, relevant and turnkey operational solutions. It doesn’t matter how large the project is, or how complex, what matters is that it is done in line with business strategy and with a clear focus.”
Over the past few years, mining organisations have deployed emerging technologies to help bolster flagging profits, manage increasingly weighty compliance requirements, and reduce overheads. These technologies are finding a foothold in an industry that faces far more complexities around employee wellbeing and safety than many others, and that juggles numerous moving parts to achieve output and performance on a par with competitive standards. Already, these technologies have allowed mines to fundamentally change worker safety protocols and improve working conditions. They have also provided mining companies with the ability to embed solutions into legacy platforms, allowing for sensors and IoT to pull them into a connected net that delivers results.
“The key to achieving results with any IoT or technology project is to partner with service providers, not just shove solutions into identified gaps,” says Bornheim. “You need to start in the conceptual stage and move through the pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility stages before you start the implementation. Work with trained and qualified chemical, metallurgical, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and structural engineers that form a team led by a qualified engineering lead with experience in project management. This is the only way to ensure that every aspect of the project is aligned with the industry and its highly demanding specifications.”
Mining not only has complexities in compliance and health and safety, but the market has become saturated, difficult and mercurial. For organisations to thrive, they must find new revenue streams and innovate the ways in which they do business. This is where the data delivered by IoT sensors and devices can really transform the bottom line. If translated, analysed and used correctly, the data can provide insights that allow for the executive to make informed decisions about sites, investment and potential.
“The cross-pollination of different data sets from across different sites can help shift dynamics in plant operation and maintenance, in the execution of specific tasks, and so much more,” says Bornheim. “In addition, with sensors and connected devices and systems, mining operations can be managed intelligently to ensure the best results from equipment and people.”
The connection of the physical world to the digital is not new. Many of the applications currently being used or presented to the mining industry are not new either. What’s new is how these solutions are being implemented and the ways in which they are defined. It’s more than sticking on sensors. It’s using these sensors to streamline business across buildings, roads, vehicles, equipment, and sites. These sensors and the ways in which they are used or where they are installed can be customised to suit specific business requirements.
“With qualified electronic engineers and software experts, you can design a vast array of solutions to meet the real needs of your business,” says Bornheim. “Our engineers can programme, create, migrate and integrate embedded IoT solutions for microcontrollers, sensors, and processors. They can also develop intuitive dashboards and human-machine interfaces for IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) devices to manage the input and output of a wide range of functionalities.”
The benefits of IoT lie in its ubiquity. It can be used in tandem with artificial intelligence or machine learning systems to enhance analytics, improve the automation of basic processes and monitor systems and equipment for faults. It can be used alongside M2M applications to enhance the results and the outcomes of the systems and their roles. And it can be used to improve collaboration and communication between man, machine and mine.
“You can use IoT platforms to visualise mission-critical data for device monitoring, remote control, alerts, security management, health and safety and healthcare,” concludes Bornheim. “The sky is genuinely the limit, especially now that the cost of sensors has come down and the intelligence of solutions and applications has gone up. From real-time insights to hands-on security and safety alerts to data that changes business direction and focus, IoT brings a myriad of benefits to the table.”
Oracle leads in clash of
Three e-commerce platforms have been awarded “gold medals” for leading the way in customer experience. SoftwareReviews, a division of Info-Tech Research Group, named Oracle Commerce Cloud the leader in its 2020 eCommerce Data Quadrant Awards, followed by Shopify Plus and IBM Digital Commerce. The awards are based on user reviews.
The three vendors received the following citations:
- Oracle Commerce Cloud ranked highest among software users, earning the number-one spot in many of the product feature section areas, shining brightest in reporting and analytics, predictive recommendations, order management, and integrated search.
- Shopify Plus performed consistently well according to users, taking the number-one spot for catalogue management, shopping cart management and ease of customisation.
- IBM Digital Commerce did exceptionally well in business value created, quality of features, and vendor support.
The SoftwareReviews Data Quadrant differentiates itself with insightful survey questions, backed by 22 years of research in IT. The study involves gathering intelligence on user satisfaction with both product features and experience with the vendor. When distilled, the customer’s experience is shaped by both the software interface and relationship with the vendor. Evaluating enterprise software along these two dimensions provides a comprehensive understanding of the product in its entirety and helps identify vendors that can deliver on both for the complete software experience.
“Our recent Data Quadrant in e-commerce solutions provides a compelling snapshot of the most popular enterprise-ready players, and can help you make an informed, data-driven selection of an e-commerce platform that will exceed your expectations,” says Ben Dickie, research director at Info-Tech Research Group.
“Having a dedicated e-commerce platform is where the rubber hits the road in transacting with your customers through digital channels. These platforms provide an indispensable array of features, from product catalog and cart management to payment processing to detailed transaction analytics.”