Amazon did not kill the retail industry. They did it to itself with bad customer service.
Netflix did not kill Blockbuster. They did it to itself with ridiculous late fees.
Uber did not kill the taxi business. They did it to itself with limited number of taxis and high fare control.
Apple did not kill the music industry. They did it to itself by forcing people to buy full-length albums.
Airbnb did not kill the hotel industry. They did it to itself with limited availability and pricing options.
Technology by itself is not the real disruptor. Being non-customer centric is the biggest threat to any business.
Whilst the above examples are simplistic – consumers will gravitate toward products and services that are more convenient , easy to use and save them money and time.
It’s known that older adults are more susceptible to physical strain, mental stress and fatigue. However, they are usually very skilled, and have an invaluable knowledge that was gathered over the years.
Active@Work project aims to identify work situations that typically cause elderly employees to stop working before retirement age. This will be achieved through a solution designed to proactively assist older adults to continue active at performing their daily tasks without compromising their well-being and simultaneously provide operational intelligence to learn how to improve the work environment.
The project will result in a Virtual Assistant tool to promote and maintain the degree of physical, mental and social well-being of elderly employees. It will be a multi-modal solution, capable at interact with the end-user in a natural and personalized way. It will assist the user to be aware of their physical well-being status at workplace and to prevent any risk derived from fatigue or stress at work.
One of the main characteristics of the solution will be the capability to actively intervene, in response to identified potential threats that could compromise workers well-being or compromise their role within the organization. The solution will provide support for adult workers to engage in new and rewarding activities, where his/her knowledge and experience will be an important and recognized asset. Team management and tutoring of younger colleagues will be some of the social features within the project.
Notes – The project Active@Work nº AAL-2013-6-140 has received funding from AAL JP, co-funded by the European Commission and National Funding Authorities: Ministerio de industria, energía y Turismo of Spain (Minetur); FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia in Portugal, Government agency for Innovation by Science and Technology of Belgium (IWT); and State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) of Switzerland.
The wisdom and expertise of the older people in your stakeholder network can be a valuable untapped resource for many employers as these people want to contribute and will often add value to your organisation for little more than opportunities to get involved in interesting and worthwhile conversations and experiences; for signs that what they have learned over the course of a lifetime still has value; and for opportunities to “give back” to their industry or society.
The Internet of Food & Farm (IoF2020) consortium has been selected for a large subsidy from the European Commission to investigate and foster a large-scale implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) in the European farming and food domain.
IoT is a powerful driver that has the potential to transform the entire farming and food domain into smart webs of connected objects that are context-sensitive and can be identified, sensed and controlled remotely.
IoF2020 consists of 73 partners from 16 countries and is coordinated by Wageningen UR. The project builds around 5 trials, in the areas of fruit, vegetables, meat, arable and dairy, with 19 use cases.
In these use cases technology readiness levels of IoT technologies will be upgraded, whilst at the same time building a societal ecosystem to improve take-up of these technologies.
The subsidy is part of the prestigious Innovation action: Large Scale Pilots (Internet of Things) and further builds on results of the AgriFood projects in the EU FIWARE program. IoF2020 started 1 January 2017 and will run 4 years.
The Good Kitchen, launched last year as Europe’s first accelerator program for social startup businesses tackling food insecurity and food poverty issues, has selected its first five enterprises from an initial intake of more than 100 applicants.
The program offers low-interest loans up to a maximum of €75,000 ($84,000) per business, alongside social investment, business support, access to key markets and mentorship.
London-based The Good Kitchen selected its first five ‘winners’ on the basis that they each offer “highly scalable and sustainable solutions that can reshape our food system and help everyone, everywhere, eat an adequate, healthy and sustainable diet.”
The successful five startups are Bump Mark, a Uk startup developing food freshness checker; Cultivando Futuro, a Colombian agro-commerce platform for smallholder farmers; Entocycle, a UK animal feed developer growing insects with ‘up-cycled’ food waste; Fazla Gida, a Turkish online platform that gives supermarkets a quick, easy and profitable way to offer unsold products online to food banks and humanitarian organisations; and Make Kit, a UK project that provides people with affordable and conveniently distributed recipe kits.
Core funding for Good Kitchen is provided by the UK charity, KellyDeli Foundation. The foundation receives 1% of the profits generated by the KellyDeli business, which is a handmade sushi kiosk business in Europe. Other individuals and businesses, including some from the food sector, who believe in the need to tackle food security and food poverty concerns, have also contributed to the program.
The program’s total first-year investment is estimated to be €250,000, made up of individual loans ranging from €30,000 to €60,000, plus the provision of zero-fee support to the successful applicants. A second program call is scheduled for early next year, although it could take place sooner if sufficient additional funding becomes available.
Loans, advanced on a ‘patient capital’ basis, typically charge 1% APR with repayment to be made over no more than five years. In the positive case of a supported business advancing to its own Series A funding round, it would be expected that the program loan would be repaid immediately.
“We won’t be taking an equity stake in any of the businesses attached to the program,” Joseph Gridley, head of the KellyDeli Foundation, told AgFunderNews. “Because this is a development where social impact comes first, we believe that ideas are the best way to change the world, not organizations. In that context, we also believe it’s important to allow ideas to spread as rapidly as possible, reasoning that if we had an equity stake in these businesses we might, in some way, slow down their rate of growth.”
Good Kitchen opened its first call for applications in February this year, reducing the 100 responses it received to a short-list of 19 real contenders before putting each applicant through a venture capital-style assessment. These survivors were also subjected to detailed examination by a ‘jury’ of 15 specialists, including investment bankers and food sector executives.
“In assessing all the main contenders, we were looking for organizations that had objective proof their solution was capable of delivering social impact related to food security or food poverty,” said Gridley.
“We wanted to find enterprises with a sustainable and strong business model, with traction either in terms of revenue or predicted sales, driven by a great team in which we could place our trust. It was also important that the market opportunity for each selected project, product or service was big enough for it to make a big impact on the food security and food poverty issues on which we are focused.”
Commenting that 30 of the original applications were ‘terrible,’ followed by 30 that could be termed ‘good,’ Gridley said selecting a winning five from about 40 ‘very good’ projects and ideas, was a tough task. Even at the end of the process, at least five potentially supportable enterprises had to be turned away.
“We decided to start small in our first year with the aim of discovering how best to help social businesses achieve their potential,” he said. “Maybe in the future we’ll be able to work with an increased number each year.”
Gridley is very positive about the chosen five. Here are some of his comments on each:
Bump Mark (UK): “The information we use to decide when to throw food away is inaccurate. Conservative expiry dates cost retailers tremendous amounts as they throw away up to 16% of their stock on short-life products. Bump Mark is a food freshness checker that reacts to the environment around it, just like fresh food does and updates itself. The label is checked by touch; when it’s smooth – your food is fresh. If you feel bumps – then it’s time to bin. The label only goes ‘bad’ when your food does too.”
Cultivando Futuro (Colombia): “The team behind Cultivando Futuro traveled thousands of miles across Colombia listening to the stories of farmers, and learning about where the industry isn’t working in their favor. This led them to create the first agro-commerce platform, which improves the efficiency of the food supply chain by connecting all the key actors, opens up new channels for direct trading to farmers so that they can gain access to better market opportunities, and guides the industry through big data analysis and open data visualization.”
Entocycle (UK): “The current farming system is heavily reliant on protein from dwindling fish stocks and land intensive soya to produce the animals we humans eat. Entocycle is harnessing 150 million years of nature’s research and development to produce a solution to feeding the world. They believe that insect protein is the future of farming and are using the Black Soldier Fly to ‘up-cycle’ organic food waste into a sustainable protein feed alternative for aquaculture and livestock, and simultaneously surpassing current waste processing alternatives.”
Fazla Gida (Turkey): “Food waste is a cost not only for producers but also for warehouses, logistics operators and food waste solution providers. To prevent catastrophic levels of food waste, the Turkish government offers a 100% tax deduction incentive to companies donating surplus foods. Through its donation platform, Fazla Gida takes into account the economic, ethical and environmental issues around food waste, and provides professionals in the food industry with the opportunity to offer their unsold but safe-to-eat products online to food banks. Its process also helps food companies to claim their 100% tax deductions, with 50% of the value gained being passed back to Fazla Gida.”
Make Kit (UK): “In the UK, approximately a third of children are obese or overweight by the time they leave primary school. The problem worsens for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Make Kit creates recipe kits, which are partly subsidized, making them affordable for people on a tight budget. They are also building on recipes created for and by the local community and sold at accessible locations such as community centers, doctor surgeries, nurseries, community cooking events, and in areas with high levels of obesity and health inequality.”
Samsung has unveiled its new Samsung Artik Smart IoT platform products with the goal in mind of giving IoT-innovating companies the tools they need to jump into the IoT market. Not only does Samsung boast this product line’s ability to give IoT solutions better communication between one-another, but it features end-to-end security enhancements.
Unveiled at the IoT World 2017 conference, this end-to-end IoT platform includes everything a company needs to develop its technology, collect and manage data, and to go to market with their products.
On the hardware end of Samsung’s Artik platform are the Artik modules. Wi-Fi based IoT modules with built-in hardware security enable product developers to rapidly prototype their ideas and connect their products directly to Samsung’s Artik Cloud.
These modules include the brand new Artik 053, a tiny module a little larger than a quarter and shaped like a stick of gum. It features a 32-bit ARM Cortex R4 running at 320MHz for applications, 29 dedicated GPIO ports, and a robust on-board security subsystem.
It is fully Wi-Fi compatible and small enough to fit in even the smallest single-function IoT device. Also available are the even smaller Artik 020 and 030 modules, as well as the series 5, 7, and 10 module family for larger and more robust IoT applications.
Related article – Forbes 2016
2017 Flying Kiwi and inductee into the Tait Communications Hi-Tech Hall of Fame
Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award
Winner: Aliesha Staples
Highly commended: Kendall Flutey
Qual IT Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Sector Award
Winner: Orion Health & HealthOne
IBM Innovative Company of the year Award
ATEED Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Creative Sector Award
Winner: Shotover Camera Systems
Callaghan Innovation Hi-Tech Maori Innovation Award
Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Product Award
Winner: RedShield Security
Endace Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product Award
Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Services Award
Winner: RedShield Security Highly commended: Navilluso Medical
NZTE Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Agritech Sector Award
Quick Circuit Most Innovative Hi-Tech Mobile Award
Winner: oDocs EyeCare
New Zealand Venture Investment Fund Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year
Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year
PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award
The NZ Hi-Tech Awards
Now in its 23rd year, the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards celebrate the success of our producers of goods and services from the software, electronics, telecommunications, mobile, agritech, creative and other hi-tech industries.
The Awards are run by the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that supports and promotes the wider industry.
The board is made up of ten trustees: Bennett Medary, Vaughan Rowsell and Erin Wanbrough in Auckland, chair Wayne Norrie, John Fokerd, Kirsty Godfrey-Billy and Jennifer Rutherford in Wellington and South Island-based Owen Scott, Helen Shorthouse and Ian Taylor.
While many AV manufacturers have put an expected deployment rollout around 2021, in order for cities to prepare themselves for this short window, precautions must be taken now.
The report breaks down six major questions, framed as “who, what, when, where, how and why,” that circle the conclusion that autonomous vehicles in their many forms are coming, the only real question is whether cities will be prepared in time.
The report compiled six keys for cities insights for city officials to know about the future of AV integration on city streets.
1. The Window for Action is Closing: Although they may seem like a distant technology, when economies of scale begin to kick in, or the proportionate cost savings is gained by an increased level of production, this technology could rapidly expand. The report predicts that when costs for AVs fall, they will spread more rapidly than traditional automobiles did in the 20th century.
2. AV Deployment Makes Sense in Cities: Cities by their very nature consist of dense populations living and working in a limited geographical space. Traditional vehicles, due to their bulky and often oversized nature, do not often mix with the finite space available. Autonomous vehicles could reduce the need for parking spaces and garages, minimize lane spacing and open up more living space for residents.
3. Highway Testing is So Passé: According to the report, most testing in the AV space has been done on high-speed highways — but this is already obsolete. The greatest impact, and largest market available, will be in revolutionizing intra-city mobility.
4. Change in Mobility Driven by Aging Population: In less than 15 years, the world will have more than 1.4 billion people over the age of 60. While mobility options lessen with aging, autonomous vehicles could keep the elderly moving and more independent.
5. Cities can Leverage Power over Developers: Because the emerging market is brand new, cities have the opportunity to set the rules — if they act quickly. Cities can shape markets to focus private-sector attention and investment on the needs of cities and underserved populations.
6.Cities are Just One Piece of the Puzzle: The best case scenario for the implementation of automated vehicles include reduced congestion, elimination of human-caused crashes, increased mobility and more space devoted to public spaces, among many others. In order to maximize the good and minimize the bad, according to the report, cities must tap all stakeholders and keep them involved. Such a complete transformation of the transportation system will need help from experts across all levels of government, academia, and the private and nonprofit sectors.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is working with the Aspen Institute to bring mayors and senior leaders from several cities together with leading industry and policy experts to help cities explore the questions and hopefully come up with workable solutions.
Snippet from CB Insights – With connected devices like Nest and Sonos breaking into the mainstream, the IoT has become one of the most-discussed tech trends of the last twenty years.
But the IoT extends well beyond the home and consumer-level gadgets. Asset-heavy industries like manufacturing, logistics, mining, oil, utilities and agriculture have also begun to apply IoT systems to improve efficiency and results.
With machines and specialized sensors collecting data at every step of production, the potential gains from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are enormous.
Just in 2016 alone, startups bringing digitization to industry saw more than $2.2B of investment.
The category breakdown is as follows:
Sensors & Connectivity
Connectivity — wireless network providers like SigFox and Ingenu act as the telecoms for the IoT age. Most companies here provide LPWAN (low-power wide area network) connectivity, which is popular radio band for IoT devices because existing cellular systems aren’t power- and bandwidth-efficient enough for systems sending small packets of data. Some, like Senet use the LoRaWAN spectrum, and others like SigFox work with ultra-narrowband specifically for low-power devices.
Sensors & Monitoring — some companies in this area are solely sensor or system on chip (SoC) makers like Ineda Systems, but the category also includes more “full stack” (but industry agnostic) sensor and monitoring platforms like Samsara, Helium, and Electric Imp.
M2M / Satellite — sometimes Industrial IoT assets operate in rural and less connected parts of the world. Satellites can be a more effective way for sensors to transmit data, and companies like Kepler Communications offer a space-based communication network. With similar advantages in isolated industrial environments, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is a more decentralized way to pass information between devices, and companies like Filament are applying blockchain architecture to do so with low-power industrial sensors.
Edge Devices & Connected Objects
Inspection Drones — startups offering drone hardware or image analysis services for industrial inspection. Some startups like Skycatch have individual use cases, such as construction. Recently, drone makers famous for their consumer drones like 3D Robotics have moved into the inspection space. While it’s mostly aerial drones for now, the category encompasses all types including underwater drones and pipe inspecting drones such as those made by RedZone Robotics.
3D Printing — leveraging materials science and robotics, companies like Desktop Metal and Carbon 3D are bringing the customization benefits of 3D printing to an industrial scale. 3D printing tech is starting to go beyond just prototyping tools to being production-scale for making parts, which is why corporate venture arms of GE and BMW are investing here.
Universal Platforms — cloud vendors here commonly market themselves as general platform-as-a-service (PaaS) companies that allow other IoT and IIoT companies to manage and maintain the capture of data from their device networks. This includes the mostly industry-agnostic platforms like C3 IoT and Altizon that do cloud analytics for industrial companies.
Fog & Edge Computing — computing done at the “edge” or closer to the sensor is a trending shift occurring within the IIoT architecture. Companies like Saguna Networks do edge computing (close to the point of collection), whereas a company like Foghorn Systems does fog computing (think a lower-hanging cloud that’s done on-site like a LAN). Both methods allow mission-critical devices to operate safely without latency of transmitting all data to a cloud, which can also save big on bandwidth.
Full article – can be found here
According to Larry Alton – When we think about sustainable technology, we tend to think about solar panels, electric cars, and even low-tech concepts like passive solar design. These are all important innovations, but they’re also rather static.
Unlike so much of the technology in our world today, these aren’t things that get smarter through use. To push sustainability further, it’s time to turn to the Internet of Things (IoT).
From powerfully efficient wearables to entire smart cities, the IoT is powerfully positioned to change how we think about the environment, natural and built.
Keep your eyes on these three tools making sustainability smarter.
Small Devices, Big Potential
As a society, we’ve come to love wearables – fitness trackers, smart watches, and even wearables used for sleep. But for such ingenious little devices, they’re highly energy dependent. Forget to plug in your Fitbit and you won’t be able to check the time, never mind measure your heart rate.
Now, a new generation of wearables is making a break from the charger with multi-source energy harvesting technology. These new devices aim to embrace not just solar, an easy solution, but also pressure and temperature-sensitive perovskites. A family of mineral, one type of perovskite is used in solar cells, but others can turn pressure resulting from motion into electricity in much the same way. Since so many wearables are focused on activity tracking, they’re the perfect setting for this energy-friendly tool.
Solar power is a mainstay of the sustainability movement, one of the first examples people think about when environmentalism and alternative energy come up. This is with good reason – as a widely accepted solution, there are financial supports for solar panel installation, a variety of options, and a popular understanding of solar power as a tool, even in domestic settings. Kids do science projects involving solar power; it’s renewable energy 101.
In today’s era, however, we need to start thinking about solar in much more complicated ways as solar becomes intertwined with IoT. IoT is all about data and, suddenly, so is solar. This isn’t just passive energy anymore.
Today’s solar power systems are often tied to much deeper data systems that optimize energy output, something only possible because of IoT. This data then allows the panels to automatically reposition themselves, shifting based on the position of the sun. The same goes for wind turbines and other types of renewables.
The City as Computer
We can add pressure-sensitive cells to wearables and power up our solar panels like never before, but is this enough to mitigate global warming, pollution from drilling, and other environmental concerns? On an individual level, no, but when an entire city adopts sustainable technology integrated with IoT – well, that’s another story.
In Los Angeles, for example, a city known for its traffic and accompanying pollution, the entire city is programmed for sustainability. Across the city, sensors monitor air and water quality and traffic. Other systems determine urban walkability, housing issues, and more, all with the aim of increasing green jobs in the city. All combined, these systems can dramatically reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Imagine if all major cities adopted this technology – well, we may just be headed in that direction.
Renewable technology, on its own, is highly valuable. Yet, when integrated with IoT, it becomes much more powerful. As we deepen the relationship between these tools, we position our society to step away from more harmful energy sources and harness renewables at the next level of efficiency.