Adults adopt actioncameras

© Peter Linder 2015 – All rights reserved
© Peter Linder 2015 – All rights reserved

Global camera sales have gone through a phenomenal transformation the last 10 years. The digital camera market has gone up and come down. People still buy cameras when they need lenses and high-end sensors for top-notch quality. And during the past five years of digital camera decline, we have seen a steady increase in action camera sales. They were initially used by the YouTube generation, who see them as a vital tool in increasing video viewership of their action adventures.

Going forward, their parents are likely to play a bigger role in adopting the technology. While the younger generation exploits new capabilities with 4K resolution and 240fbs slow motion,their parents will try to get the basics right. The first step is selecting a camera, either among available options or inheriting one from your kids. Then you have to figure out what camera-mounting options are most attractive for your videography desires. The advancements in action-camera apps on smartphones even let you control the action camera from your primary screen and see it when filming and taking pictures. This is a great leap forward. Your kids grew up shooting videos with an action camera without a screen for most of their adventures, and first seeing the result when it hit the PC.

Postediting an integral part
Most people skip postediting of pictures and video taken using smartphones, digital cameras and camcorders. However postediting is an integrated part of the action camera experience. Most of what you film will not turn out as planned and needs to be scrapped. You will find great pieces in the middle of longer recordings. When using two cameras on and off, you can create amazing videos when shifting perspectives. And last but not least the sound on action camera videos should be music rather than the natural sounds and spoken words that you usually capture in smartphone and camcorder videos.

So plan to learn the tools that work with action cameras or cloud-based variants of established video-editing programs. It is easier than you think. As an entry point, you might want to start on the editing end by using the video, slow-motion and time-lapse capabilities on your smartphone, as well as phone-based video-editing tools.

The action-camera market is still small, with 5 million units shipped in 2014. The first half of2015 has seen strong growth in Europe and Asia. A big part of the market for action cameras is in accessories. You can see your new action camera as a platform where adding accessories plays the same role as adding new lenses to an SLR camera – they are a way to help you get the most out of it.

My predictions for the future of action camera-enabled videography

  • Adults adopt action cameras in a material way, starting by inheriting gear from their kids
  • Smartphone-controlled action cameras reduce the entry barrier and allow users to control results much better at the point of filming
  • New technologies such as virtual reality and spherical filming are still in their infancy
  • The action camera market is expected to grow at 22 percent CAGR 2014-2019 so this will not be a phenomena with the same mass market appeal as smartphones.

Originally posted on the Ericsson Networked Society blog.

Icehotel inspired industry innovations


Open source software is one of the key building blocks of data centers. It is a vital enabler for the transition to open ecosystems as carriers modernize their networks. But many struggle to get their arms around the real value of open source and if its “free” brand is the key to reducing systems cost.


In order to describe the business dynamics around open source-based platforms, I have found analogies with ice hotels supportive. Ice hotels differ from classic hotels in three main ways. The building material, ice, is free. The hotel opens as soon as the reception and the first few rooms are completed, and the ice hotel then evolves while in operation. And the assets have a short life span, which makes life cycle management very different from a classic hotel. It might have been this analogy the governors of OpenStack thought of when they named the ninth release “Icehouse”.

Open source-based platforms build on free components. The full value of the components are realized when they are integrated together into a platform or solution and when support can be provided for the larger entity. Free components do not mean the broader solution is free. The pace in the development of components is very high, with 400 new features in the Kilo release of OpenStack alone. Platform and solution providers strive to develop a stable foundation and a dynamic ecosystem based on these free components. In other words, just because the ice is free doesn’t mean the cost of building and supporting an ice hotel is zero.

Open source and a dynamic ecosystem are tightly coupled to continuous introduction of new capabilities in the system. New features and capabilities are added to systems in operation, and development and operations are closely coupled. For instance, the DevOps methodology blurs the boundaries between development and operations, and new software components can be introduced in networks weekly or monthly instead of yearly. These also create a new conundrum with regards to what should remain industrialized and tested software components and what should be developed as custom-designed parts. Ice hotels are also in continuous development. They open early. New rooms are added throughout the season. Then the platform can become unstable at the end of the season, calling for a major system upgrade.

Life cycle management in an open source world represents a similar balancing act. The platform evolves with the underlying software releases, for example, every 6 months with OpenStack. Features migrate from custom components into the open source base. Solutions leveraging the platform evolve rapidly, and the migration between releases is faster than in a classic network. The high level of continuous integration activities is a vital part of the life cycle management cost and the economic life span for each release is significantly shorter than for classic network deployments.

My predictions for the introduction of open source software in the network are:

  • The primary value of an open source ecosystem is agile feature introduction and broad industry support.
  • The transition to a DevOps model has the potential to create a software platform with 10x shorter cycles between updates, compared to classic IT and network releases.
  • The total capex for an open source platform is driven by the integration efforts and support of “free” software.
  • Finding a good balance between industrialized blocks and customized components determines overall total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • The operational set-up for open source-based platform and ecosystems is very different from what we are used to in classic broadband and mobile networking.

Daunting Digital Divide Dilemma

Digital divide daunting dilemma

Discussions on the digital divide and associated challenges have been around as long as internet. The actual definition comes in a variety of forms, the most common being lack of access to the internet. So the question becomes whether the problem is unsolvable or whether the landscape will change with mobile and cloud.

Broadband access was recently redefined in the US to be 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream. With this definition 17 percent of American households are on the wrong side of the digital divide. The number increases to 53 percent if we look at rural households alone. This definition is shaped around the insight that video will play a larger role going forward but assumes traffic patterns will remain asymmetric in nature.

With the introduction of Gigabit fiber access, segments of the market get a symmetric and even more powerful access, which creates a broader divide when looked at from an access speed perspective. The evolution to Gigabit fiber is the service proposition fixed network operators need to offer to meet mobile broadband competition.

Mobile and cloud have the potential to close the digital divide. Smartphones have potential to be the device that bridges the digital divide from a device perspective. If you don’t have broadband or a PC today, you are unlikely to get it anytime soon. According to a recent study by Pew Research, 10 percent of Americans rely on their smartphone as their only Internet access. The second challenge is what to use the smartphone for if you are not already connected. A common response for the non-connected when asked is that there is a lack of relevant applications and content.

The cloud has been instrumental for introducing apps that target a broader audience. Apps on a smartphone are easier to use than a browser on a PC as an entry point for the unconnected. With the low barriers of entry for cloud-based applications and access to crowd funding capital, we can expect to see applications targeting the niches yet to be connected. The combination of mobile and cloud is an even more powerful proposition to close the digital divide in the part of the world with poor fixed networks.

My predictions for the evolution of the digital divide are:

  • The introduction of Gigabit Fiber will create a three-tiered society divide – Gigabit Fiber, powerful copper/coax and inferior fixed access.
  • In addition to the digital consumer divide, we will see the emergence of a business digital divide – where businesses without adequate access will find it harder to thrive in an increasingly digital society.
  • Mobile and cloud will start to close the digital device gap – with a focus on applications rather than raw access speed.

Originally published on the Ericsson Networked Society blog on April 10, 2015

Advanced access, an awesome aspiration

© Peter Linder 2015 – All rights reserved
© Peter Linder 2015 – All rights reserved

The majority of fixed access networks today are upgraded copper and coax networks optimized for uni-directional data, broadcast TV and phone services. The triple-play momentum has peaked, and two-way media distribution access symmetric access is emerging. This is the first in a series of posts outlining the main drivers and access network options for different geographical locations.

The next access wave must be optimized for a world where video- and cloud-centric services shape demand for two-way media distribution access, which will be the target for fixed “broaderband” access going forward. This movement is currently restricted to parts of society and is not a universal trend.

Regulators will shift focus from universal service obligation (USO) for past services, such as plain old telephone service (POTS), TV and one-way-surfing, to universal enablement of future services. Video and cloud services will drive demand for increased upstream, as well as downstream, capabilities. Fiber and radio combinations will be the technologies of choice while business model innovation will play a central part of the access evolution. Operators face a strategic choice in either sticking to legacy access and a valuation as a utility or investing in an awesome access network and becoming valued for the growth potential.

As outlined in a previous series of posts about the future of IP video traffic, the new access networks will be driven by camera/screen equipped devices. And services will be media consumption, production and collaboration intensive.

The two-way media-centric access will emerge in different ways depending on location and network starting point. Fiber-to-the-Home is a given for access coverage build-out in new real estate areas. The reach of the VDSL2 and Fiber overbuild of the legacy copper networks can be extended to new neighborhoods. Fiber has also become the norm for connecting business buildings for Ethernet services, as well as to buildings with small cells.

The installed base of Fiber in The Loop (FITL) systems from the early 1990’s are candidates for upgrades, and the last coax drop in Hybrid Fiber Coax networks is about to be replaced with fiber. Rural/urban copper access in unprofitable areas can be replaced with Fixed Wireless LTE access. The copper networks in villages and small cities can be extended with improved video capabilities. All these access upgrades will be made with the objective of providing the best feasible two-way media distribution access in any given area.

My predictions for the fixed broaderband access network evolution across these areas will be exploited in detail in future posts. My top-level predictions are:

  • The operators that invest in an aggressive access transformation strategy can, should and will be valued for growth potential rather than cash-flow and dividends.
  • In addition to market forces, national broadband plans and regulations play a key role in defining the cornersstones of these new capabilities for the benefit of the whole society.
  • Seven to nine deployment scenarios are required to support the needs of a given country, in order to secure that no digital divide emerges as a societal divider

Major messaging milestone

Blog 100 - lit candles 16x9This post is my 100th contribution to Ericsson’s Networked Society blog. It has been an exciting journey worth a few reflections.

In the three years since my first post, we have seen a strong acceleration in the development of the Networked Society. Out of the seven areas I initially decided to focus on – society, industries, devices, users, video, networks and business models – I have been most surprised by the society, industry and business model areas. Particularly, the momentum for societal change in urban areas and the role and reach of the ICT industry in creating new city concepts is fascinating.

In fact, the evolution of almost all industries is being driven by a paradigm shift to “smart” concepts, with innovation and a determination to leverage technology developing at a pace we have never seen before. All industries are becoming tech dependent, and only the scarcity of science, technology, engineering and math talent is going to slow the pace of evolution in many industries.

But for all the tech innovation going on, I think the largest and most important innovations are taking place in the business model arena – including the radical change in how we purchase physical and digital products/services. Who expected Uber market capitalization in 2014 to pass that of most of the other rental car companies combined?

This has also been a personal journey. When I started as a Networked Society evangelist, my knowledge of social media for professional use was very limited. I used LinkedIn as an address book, did not have a Twitter account, had never written a professional blog post and had no idea what Klout was all about. Since then, I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with content in different formats in order how to reach and then influence an audience. Blogs are a great way to lay out a short story, but it is hard work to attract readers on a recurring basis. The visual component of a blog is also just as important as the text. On Twitter, tweets with links to great content also work best with a good visual attached. And tweeting in a fun and positive tone is the only way stay out of trouble.

Video is also quickly becoming our new slides, i.e., a universal information bearer. And it is the short video format that captures the most attention in the hyper information society. So consider turning more and more of your stories into short videos. All will not go viral, but they will take your message further than text and pictures will do

To sum up my first three years on the blog, here are my personal favorites from my first 100 Networked Society posts:

10. Seventy seven society sketches & statistics – an experiment with holistic format for describing a broad range of market trends
9. When will wireless WOW world’s workers – guestimates of where the future of the mobile enterprise future is headed
8. Creative capillary connectivity – the new type of connectivity the world is about to explore
7. Mchn-Maaachiiine-Mchn, middle man matters – a reflection about how little society in general knows about the “2” in M2M
6. Fantastic FourK future – a reflection on the future of video provided in a video format
5. Waikiki welcome workation world – changing both work and vacation life, and making them hard to separate
4. Significant society shaping started – the very first post, and still very relevant.
3. Little ladies love laptops & LTE – how the youngest generation is affected by tech development
2. Time to turn to third trajectory – new exciting business models for network connectivity beyond voice and data
1. Nascar nights, not normal network needs – an early one on the networked arena experience. The story was later turned into an extreme project video.

I look forward to continuing to engage with you both here on the Networked Society blog, as well as on the recently started Ericsson Cloud & IP blog.

Lifelogs Log Long Lovely Life

© Peter Linder 2014 – All rights reserved
© Peter Linder 2014 – All rights reserved

Lessons from life logging – my first months with photographic memory – The Networked Society Blog

According to design consultancy Fjord, there are 27 different types of wearables you can be wearing right now. One type of these wearables – a life-log – equips you with a photographic memory – one separate from your smartphone and that works without pushing a button.

Life-logs are used for a new phenomenon called life-logging. A small wearable camera captures your activities during the whole day. Pictures are taken automatically; the one I use takes one every 30 seconds, or around 2000 in a day. Geo-tagging of all the pictures gives you memory about what you saw where. Cloud-based storage of all the pictures helps to merge them into different “contexts” to reflect the activities you were doing. Access to the pictures from a mobile app allows you to post the desired ones to your social media channels. 2014 is the year when Autographer, Lifelogger, Narrative, Parashoot and Sony are introducing their first variants of life-logging cameras, and we can expect variations on the concept outlined above.

Here are some experiences from my first few months with a life-log in my daily life. The overall concept of life logging also includes a variety of parameters captured by fitness trackers and smart watches. This post was deliberately focused on the photography aspect of life logging.

We are still in the early stage of exploring how life-logging will be used for private and professional purposes. I have not yet figured out all the applications for a life log, and I am not even close. But wearing a life log triggers questions from people around you. What is that device? Which privacy rule applies? Will you use it mostly for vacation or in daily life situations? What type of pictures will be easier to take with a life log device than a smartphone or a dedicated digital camera? One clear application area is to capture memories when you’re traveling and exploring either a city or nature, as the collection in this blog picture (all taken with a life log)

During the first week and months, you will learn a few lessons. Life-logs work best outside, since the camera does not come with a flash or adjustments of the ISO levels. It provides the best picture angles when attached to a dress shirt or polo. When using T-shirts, it tends to shoot too much downward. Substantial volumes of pictures are generated daily. Turn it off when when doing the same thing for a long time. Enjoy the movie scroll features that allow you to scan through material quickly, as a library of interesting moments to share or remember.

My predictions for the future of picture life-logging are:
· Life logging has broad private and professional application potential, most of them still to develop as we put the devices in use.
· The cloud synchronization could be simplified greatly when done via Bluetooth through a smartphone on the go. This will be a natural evolution for next generation devices.
· The picture volumes are substantial, and life logs could easily become a substantial driver of traffic from you towards the network/cloud.