Cities Energy & Green Tech Internet of Things

Before Going Too Jetson, Self-Driving Car Companies Should Ask Two Key Questions

Google's autonomous car project got the industry going, but just about every automaker now is getting in on the act. (photo courtesy Shutterstock)

We are once again in the midst of buzz and hype with regard to an innovative mode of transportation–the self-driving car. To Tesla and Google, Mercedes-Benz and Apple, Nissan and Audi and the myriad other companies looking to get us to take our hands off the wheel, I offer up this yellow light of branding caution: Don’t let your own excitement short-change your assessment of how it will really play in the market.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

Remote Monitoring Lowers Health Costs, Improves Outcomes

Connected Care Network

Smarter telemedicine can help healthcare providers deliver better outcomes to patients at lower cost with less intervention, and using fewer case managers. Qualcomm Life is a new division of the chip company that creates smart cloud-based healthcare systems based on devices around the home. Like Intel’s investing in drones and Apple’s moving into cars, it is part of a larger trend in which traditional tech companies are branching out to new and adjacent areas as core markets mature.   More

Internet of Things

How the Internet of Things Will Make Products Better and More Personal

Xiaomi's fitness tracker, Mi Band. Photo via danupop.m / Shutterstock

As consumers, we expect the world to shape itself around us. Consumer power has been growing for the past several years, and with it, an expectation of products and services that not only meet our particular tastes but also our particular needs over time. But engaging the customer isn’t always straightforward. Even if you’re listening to customers, what if they don’t (or can’t) articulate what they want? What if they have needs they aren’t even aware of yet?   More

Cities Internet of Things

Build It and They Will Drive

(Image via Shutterstock)

The University of Michigan and nearly 50 industry partners including Ford, General Motors, Qualcomm, State Farm Insurance, Toyota, Verizon, and others are betting that if you build it, self-driving cars will come. That take on the classic line from Field of Dreams applies to a gigantic new facility for proving, testing, and promoting such cars. Or, as the facility’s creators put it on their website, “the foundations of a commercially viable ecosystem of connected and automated vehicles for moving people and goods.” The new 32-acre facility, called Mcity, opened this week in Ann Arbor and will serve as an auto industry ecosystem for use by anyone researching autonomous vehicles.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Internet of Things

I Heart This Overlooked Feature of the Apple Watch

(Image via Shutterstock)

One of the features that most intrigues me about the Apple Watch is the one that lets you share heartbeats. It’s the sound you hear when you’re being held by someone you love. It’s something that encapsulates our humanity. It’s one of the first ways an expectant mother connects with her child—the fetal heartbeat heard via ultrasound. This little feature has been overlooked in many of the product reviews. I am fascinated by a technological connection that fosters intimacy between two people physically regardless of where they are. Unlike FaceTime or Skype, which replicate a lesser version of someone’s visual presence, sharing a heartbeat pioneers a new realm of digital intimacy that links our bodies and our devices in a new dance of tactile connectivity.   More

Internet of Things

Preparing Ourselves for a Fully-Automated Future

As technology forges ahead, more of our world is becoming automated, increasingly resembling the futuristic settings that were once only the domain of science fiction. This means a significant change in the way tomorrow’s innovators will design new products: it won’t just be a matter of human users interacting with objects, but also of objects interacting with their users. Moreover, many people have anxieties about robots and other “smart” objects—usually that they’ll gain sentience, turn evil, and try to exterminate the human race.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Internet of Things

Latin American Entrepreneurs Pioneer Healthcare Tech

Conceived during the depths of the economic recession, MassChallenge is a startup accelerator that supports early-stage entrepreneurs. At last month's WEF Latin America event in Mexico, MassChallenge founder and CEO John Harthorne talked with Techonomy partner Hub Culture, explaining the accelerator's work to shift more of the economy toward startup efforts, creating "more pie" for entrepreneurs rather than forcing them to "fight each other over slices of pie."   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare Internet of Things

The IoT of Health: Big Data Can Make Us Healthier

(Image via Shutterstock)

The Internet of Things (IoT) has a lot to offer in the medical realm, but such connectivity lags far behind what's happening with other consumer goods and electronics. A few early glimpses of possibilities in this field show there are tremendous advantages to be had if we can get past these current hurdles and establish a bio-based IoT. (A session entitled "The Internet of (Bio)things" at the upcoming Techonomy Bio conference on March 25 in Mountain View explores this question.)   More

Business Internet of Things

How to Ride the Smart Home Wave

(Image via Shutterstock)

There’s a sizeable "smart home" wave building. The smart home and building technology market was $4.8 billion in 2012 and a report by Allied Market Research predicts it will grow to $35.3 billion by 2020. Not surprisingly, many startups, retailers, and established tech companies hope to ride the wave. Surfing is hard to do. Not everyone will get the timing right. But some strategies will make it a lot less likely that companies will wipe out.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

How the Internet of Things Can Enhance Human Relationships

(Image via Shutterstock)

Technology for capturing patient visits promises to free doctors from the burden of data entry and updating medical records, which consumes more than two hours of the average professional’s workday, according to digital health startup Augmedix. Meanwhile, information fed into a doctor's Google Glass screen could allow physicians to remain present and undistracted during limited patient face time. As digital health options proliferate, technology will free physicians from back-office burdens and reduce inefficiencies.   More

Internet of Things Techonomy Events

Ford’s Ken Washington on the Evolution of Mobility

Young people aren’t the only ones who are starting to think in new ways about car ownership and how they get around. According to Ken Washington, VP of research and advanced engineering at Ford, “the population boom that is happening in mega-cities is leading us to think about mobility differently.” Moving from point A to point B depends increasingly on context, Washington explained during a Techonomy 2014 discussion entitled “Man, Machine, and How the Future Works.”   More

Internet of Things

Will the Internet of Things Force Faster Corporate Innovation?

“The next phase of all this stuff is increasingly viewed to be the Internet of Things.” That’s how Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick introduced his discussion with Flextronics CMO Michael Mendenhall on the final day of the DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in Munich. Kirkpatrick didn’t feel compelled to define what he meant by “all this stuff” because it implicitly […]   More

Internet of Things

Manufacturing Intelligent Devices That Could Save Your Life

With 200,000 employees across 30 countries, Flextronics is probably the biggest company you’ve never heard of. The American electronics-manufacturing giant is the second largest manufacturer of any kind in the world, after only Taiwan’s Foxconn. At CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick spoke with Flextronics President Mike Dennison about the next phase for manufacturing—it isn’t just for making things, but for driving systemic change in society. As the Internet of Things evolves into a set of systems that will create a new landscape for both business and consumers, the real challenge will be to integrate innovation, networks, and software development. Flextronics partners with its customers not just to build things, but to design and build the systems that those “things” fit into.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

Techonomy’s Third Annual Holiday Gift Guide

The Hello Sense device and app

We’ve recovered from our Thanksgiving-induced food coma, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for the annual Techonomy gift guide to help with your holiday shopping. We scoured the interwebs to bring you this assortment of innovative, fun gift ideas for the tech-loving people on your shopping list.   More

Internet of Things

Baby Wearables: The Next Big Thing in “Smart” Parenting?

The Owlet Smart Sock transmits your baby's vitals to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

With the seemingly endless variety of smart wearables out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, not only by the options available but also by the data produced. What does all the data mean, how is it applied, where does it go, and does it really improve your life? Or just further complicate it? Compound all of these questions with the fact that today’s wearables aren’t just tracking you, they’re also tracking your baby. We’ve already seen Huggies’ TweetPee, a wetness sensor that clips onto diapers and wirelessly connects with an app, Tweeting at parents when a diaper needs changing. And diaper alerts are just the tip of the wearable iceberg.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

How Many Heartbeats Today? Are Patients Ready to Become Tech-empowered Healthcare Consumers?

Illustration by Jonathon Rosen for Techonomy

Technology is driving a fundamental shift in how we think about health. Increasingly, ordinary people can utilize devices, apps, medical tests, and data analysis to take charge of their health in a proactive way. In the past, our whole system focused on patients—sick people who more or less did what they were told by doctors. The big future business opportunity may be in helping consumers store and interpret what they gather from devices, sensors, and tests. We could certainly use tools that pull disparate data together and assemble it into a big picture.   More

Internet of Things

Making Dumb Things Smart

(Image via Shutterstock)

Our physical world is now technology-enabled by the digitization of everything from books to movies to tools—such as the flashlights, cameras, calculators, day planners, music players, and bus schedules that now reside on our smartphones. The Internet and digital technology is most powerful when it is married back into our physical world; when atoms and bytes converge. This intersection also happens to be the source of greatest potential for the Internet of Things (IoT). For the past several years, we’ve heard and talked a lot about how smart things are getting smarter through Moore’s law and the exponential advances in core digital components.   More

Internet of Things

Ten Ways Connected Devices Will Impact Every Organization

(Image via Shutterstock)

This year, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population. To survive the coming decade, most organizations will have to respond in some way to the rise of connected devices. As connected products, connected logistics, and connected phones become ubiquitous, they create value for users and risks for companies. For companies that make durable physical products it’s easy to imagine a digitally connected version. For companies that make consumables, the Internet of Things is slated to revolutionize logistics. For both, ubiquitous connected mobile devices are already changing commerce, workflow, and customer relationships.   More

Internet of Things

Domesticating the Internet of Things

smartthings

In 2012, serial entrepreneur Alex Hawkinson launched SmartThings. The company’s signature product is a WiFi-enabled hub that connects gadgets to sensors, allowing users to monitor their devices, and allowing devices to talk to each another, all with the aim of making homes safer and smarter. If the pipes are leaking in your home, SmartThings technology can alert you via text message before significant damage occurs.   More

Internet of Things

An Affordable Robot for the Home?

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Rapid innovation in smartphone technology has given us a glimpse of how we will interact with digital tools that can understand and adapt to our preferences and tendencies. Now, an MIT professor is betting that people will welcome a more sophisticated digital personal assistant into their homes. Cynthia Breazeal, who has twenty years of experience working with technology that enables robots to respond to social cues, has created Jibo, an innovation that her company claims is the world’s first family robot. Priced at $499, Jibo is significantly more affordable than other similar robots on the market, but can do many of the same tasks, like order takeout, recognize and track faces, and make video calls.   More