DOTs Define Desired Data Destiny

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

Mobile and cloud are driving network evolution, in public as well as enterprise networks, and access networks are becoming advanced hybrids between fixed and wireless access, with the latter shaping the overall development.This is a rapid acceleration, but the speed of change in telecom and ICT is being matched in Formula 1 auto racing, where engine development has taken huge leaps in rough conjunction with mobile advances. So what can we learn from the evolution of Formula 1 engines when predicting the future of mobile enterprise access?

At business premises, fixed Ethernet LAN was long the only option to connect data services to desktops and laptops. The technology evolution during this time was powerful, with speeds going from 10Mpbs through Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet. This era coincided with a time when F1 cars were powered by 3.0 liter V10 engines, between 1996 and 2005.

As laptop adoption grew and business data usage became more nomadic, Wi-Fi was introduced as a complement to the Ethernet LAN, and network design for business Wi-Fi was soon replaced by a low effort design model, in which Access Points (APs) were simply deployed in a few strategic locations. Mobility was introduced as a value-added complement, but the lion’s share of all network capacity remained in the fixed LAN.

Meanwhile, in F1, the power train shifted during this period to a smaller 2.4 liter V8 engine with an electric power unit capable of delivering 80 extra horsepower during braking.

Today businesses are in the beginning of an implementation cycle in which mobility and cloud are driving the local network needs. Next generation Wi-Fi and LTE small cells are emerging as the primary access technologies, with the role of the Ethernet changing into feeding access points and securing adequate capacity for local as well as cloud-based services.

In F1, the same kind of step happened when F1 engines moved to a 1.6 liter V6 engine with a 10x more powerful electrical power unit that could deliver 160hp for 30 seconds.

But now racecars are making even a greater leap, as Formula E, a circuit of pure electrical racecars, will be introduced later in 2014. So, in that spirit, why can’t we move to a pure mobile enterprise network and skip the LAN altogether?

We can’t yet, and the answer is about maximizing performance. Even with a 200kg battery, a Formula E car can only run for 25 minutes. A pure mobile enterprise would have similar limitations.

My predictions for the future of mobile enterprises are:
• Mobile and cloud represent strategic inflections that are redefining enterprise networks (see my previous post on wireless business environment)
• Ethernet and classic WiFi are table stakes, and the differentiation will come from LTE small cells and next generation WiFi (read this post on small cell deployments).
• Enterprise networks will remain hybrids between fixed and mobile access for the foreseeable future.
• The enterprise application environment will remain a hybrid between on-premise and cloud-based applications for the foreseeable future.

Ring Revolution Reduce Reactions

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

Networked rings represent a new type of technology wearable, emerging as part of the smartphone ecosystem. At Fashion Week 2014 in New York City, Ringblingzintroduced their first ring connected to a smartphone. So what role do we see fashion accessories such as rings playing in the Networked Society?

As I outlined in my blog post on networked watches, most wearables that are connected to a smartphone and are accompanied by an app. A networked ring is a smaller notification device than the phone-watch combination and further exploits the technology miniaturization potential. The screen size takes us back to the early mobile phone days, when 20 characters were visible to the user. Vibration is a vital trigger for the user and short range radios connect the ring to your phone.

These first networked rings are targeting younger user segments. The design of the ring is a key buying criteria since it is as much a fashion statement as it is a communication device. Networked rings belong to one of the 4-5 wearable tech product categories (together with watches, activity bracelets, health monitors and life-logs) with mass market potential.

The primary applications for networked rings are social media notifications and lifestyle trackers. The differentiation in relation to watches and bracelets will be its small size and stylish look. Aggregating data from a variety of sources and screening out the most relevant is an attractive tool for reducing information overload. New smartphone generations, with larger screens, can remain the pocket or purse for basic information tracking.

My predictions for the near-term future of wearable tech are:

* All wearables will be designed as slaves to smartphones, with short haul radio, dedicated smartphone apps and motion sensors as basic ingredients.
* Wearable design will continue to grow in importance and rings are born into a fashion category from start.
* 1-2 wearable devices will gain mass market appeal in 2014, opening up for a breakthrough for networked rings.
* Use will be reactive and triggered by light buzzes, prior to watching the micro screen.

Trucks Trusted To Transport Towards Tough Timelines

66 Trucks trusted to transport towards tough timelines

The consumption of goods, especially in cities, is making urban transport more complex. This is being driven by shorter cycles for seasonal goods, growth in web-based shopping, and higher expectations on short delivery times. Mailboxes serve fewer and fewer letters. Post-offices are closing down and trucks seem to be the worst urban parking violators around.

Transport needs are shifting as internet shopping grows and businesses delivery needs become more and more complex. We now order our weekly groceries online and have them delivered to our door. We pick up parcels at a variety of locations in our neighborhood, depending on the shipping company or the type of goods. The cycles for seasonal goods are getting shorter too as urban retailers push to have as little stock as possible due to expensive floor-space.

Allowing for high-accuracy tracking through networked packages opens up for a number of benefits. Delivery expectations can be set to very specific timing windows. Delivery addresses can be changed en-route without manual intervention. Urban businesses can reduce the inefficiencies from excess waiting times for goods and spare parts. If we know exactly where the package is, we can also make more efficient delivery decisions.

A greater variety of distribution points in cities will lead to smaller vehicles for intracity delivery. The modern postal vehicle is too small and was optimized for the delivery of letters and small packages. They also occupy too much space wherever they stop. Networked vehicles tightly coupled to re-loading centers outside urban centers and package distribution points represent a vital development area.

Here are my predictions for the future of networked goods delivery:
* Real-time tracking capabilities will emerge for e-commerce goods scheduled for urban delivery
* Intelligent delivery points will support flexible pick-up since the best location can vary from order to delivery
* Smaller connected trucks provide a link between packages and the overall tracking system.

Powerful Personal Productivity Platform

© Peter Linder 2014 – All Rights Reserved
© Peter Linder 2014 – All Rights Reserved

For many people, the latte-paced economy is a reality. Managing a work-life balance today is about combining work at home and in the office. And as the workforce becomes even more mobile, this model will change even further. So what can we learn from global road warriors who fly more often than they take the bus, are constantly juggling their current business, and as they develop, are moving deeper into the Networked Society?

Four fantastic 4G friends have emerged as necessary connectivity companions to ensure that work is about context rather than a specific location. 4G-enabled smartphones and tablets handle the daily information exchange while high-capacity batteries ensure that devices do not run out of energy during the day. Finally a Wi-Fi router guarantees that laptops and Wi-Fi only tablets can be connected en route. These four devices provide a connectivity extension well beyond the laptop and are likely to grow in importance for a broader workforce.

Personal time management has become one of our most valuable skills. So how do you schedule so that your most important task of the day is done when your energy and inspiration levels are at their peak? How do you deal with the daily information flow? If you still think in 8-hour workdays and schedule meetings for a full 60 minutes then you might struggle to handle new priorities. Days divided into 16 half-hour or 32, 15-minute segments might be a new approach to test.

Most of us struggle already with information overload in the form if mail, social media interactions and prioritization. Complex personal file systems and to-do list are growing faster than execution, and the resulting missed news is a symptom that you need better tools. The advancement in mobile productivity applications, such as Right InboxBufferFantastical,Carrot, all open up new opportunities

My predictions for the future of personal productivity are:

* Mobile devices will be central to productivity gains
* Our work will move into tailored mobile applications
* Workdays divided into 32 quarters beat those divided into 10 hours in most professions
* The professional connectivity need will spread to include wearables

Finding Fitness Foresight Formula

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

The wellbeing of ‘cityzens’ is dependent on individuals taking a greater responsibility for being active. Running in the parks or workout sessions at the gym are common in urban areas but what will we demand in the form of measurement when these activities move beyond the fitness freaks and become mainstream in the city?

The ability to measure and track physical exercise is widespread among the most fitness-aware parts of the population. These practitioners track their workouts and running sessions with dedicated devices. They upload results and compare with friends with defined goals and targets. They move in to the exercise, get the job done and move out to their next mission.

There is a potential to leverage our daily movements and open up for the broader population to embrace measuring fitness and their personal lifestyle. By measuring our daily walks we might step off the bus one stop earlier on a good day and add a healthy 5-minute walk. We might select the stairs instead of elevators as we move around in the office. And we might choose restaurants further away to get in a healthy micro-lunch walk. Smart wearables with applications in our smartphones might support this development.

In many physically intensive professions, it is not so much about adding movement as it is about preventing unnecessary ones, or rather to track the intensity of the really hard ones. Location information and connectivity for instant access to employee’s wellbeing is emerging across many sectors. All of these factors is enabling a more health-aware lifestyle where we can measure and improve all areas where we would like to drive personal change.

My predictions for the future of preventive healthcare in cities are:
– Measuring and monitoring physical activities will move from fitness freaks to mainstream for all ‘cityzens’
– Dedicated devices will be complemented by wearables and applications coupled to smartphones
– Data will be stored in the cloud and automatically uploaded without manual intervention.

HSPA Hand Homeless Helping Hand

62. Hand Hungry Homeless Helping Hand - 1610 edited

Life for homeless persons in the city is not getting easier and funding of their basic needs has gone beyond the capabilities of tax-driven efforts. A perspective that has perhaps not been explored as much is what role smartphones and mobile applications can play in assisting homeless people in urban areas?

Homeless people lack a mail address and their ability to be reached is connected to their mobile phone. Their mobile phone is used as their primary connection point and serves as a valuable tool for staying in touch with providers of temporary shelter, meals and activity centers. With the evolution of marketing and payment applications, their mobile phone could now become even more valuable.

Targeted coupons can be offered in exchange for free meals or free food purchases. The funding can come from participating stores or direct from ‘cityzens’ who want to support the homeless in their city. A digital contribution chain could reduce administration costs and increase the value of contributions reaching the people who need it most.

Proactive monitoring is a high-priority healthcare innovation for the growing elderly population. This technology can be adapted to support remote monitoring of health status for homeless as a step towards enhancing basic care. This is another area where tax-subsidized efforts are unlikely to be sufficient and where crowd-funding through targeted social responsibility campaigns can be created.

Staying social and active is vital for the homeless population. Having universal access to the billboard at the activity center might trigger the extra visit to the workshop, drama, painting, music or meeting opportunity being offered.

Here are my predictions for the importance of smartphones for homeless people in the cities:

– Access to a personal smartphone, and support for keeping it charged, is a vital enabler of a better life for homeless persons in the city.
– Targeted applications supporting the homeless and the poor have become a growing focus for private and company-sponsored social responsibility efforts in cities.
– The platform created by smartphones and mobile applications will mean small but important improvements for vulnerable social groups in cities.