10 Tech Trends that will drive 2016

In the year 2015, we have seen the true potential of digital revolution unleashed that would impact the whole next decade. We did witness frenzied markets created by a spurt of digital aggregator platforms in businesses such as taxi, shopping, restaurants, retail, etc. On the other hand, we saw the impact of smartphones becoming the centrifugal platform for businesses, with data collection becoming ubiquitous in every walk of life.

Driven by the benefits of personalization, access and analytics, businesses in 2015 were pushed to redefine their strategies from an extended mobile approach to “Mobile First” approach and even in some cases “Mobile Only” approach. In the semiconductor front, low geometry, higher performance and lower power consumption has driven the market in the last few years. Here, we shall look at the technology trends that will drive the product engineering market in 2016.

*This article was reproduced from my blog post at einfochips

1) Rise of Smart Devices and Machines:

01 IoT

The internet of things (IoT) is both an industry vertical and a horizontal enabler. The IoT ecosystem is perfectly poised to accelerate in 2016 and the years ahead. Smart City and Smart Healthcare solutions are already getting a huge push from governments, global. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) powered by Industrial robots will champion the cause of operational efficiencies in factories. The drive for standardization / consolidation of IoT platforms will increase in this year.

2) Not Autonomous but Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS):

02 Driver Assistance Systems

While autonomous / driverless cars are still the carrot for the tech giants, in coming years ahead we are going to see more advancements in sensor driven driver assistance systems, playing a key role in driver safety and ease of driving. ADAS systems will power a virtual 3D model of the environment and provide real-time assistance to drivers from the dashboard. Smartphone and dashboard connected solutions will enable innovations in the automotive segment by connecting car sensors with owners and OEMs for near real-time diagnostics.

3) Real-time Precision and Accuracy to propel the Aviation flight safety:

03 Aviation flight

Untoward incidents like flights missing from the radar and the recent surge in attacks have pushed the Aviation industry to make navigation more real-time. The focus towards multi-constellation/multi-frequency Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) solutions will increase in 2016. GNSS would now display precise results with vehicle positioning maps, 3D navigation etc.

4) Reduced gap between E-commerce and In-store Retail customer analytics:

04 E commerce

Customer analytics will move beyond e-Commerce channels. Insights driven by customer behavior, customer profiling, instore and personal e-commerce shopping patterns will entwine to build a unified and personalized experience for the customers. We will also see more of in-store analytics, similar to Retail Site intelligence, getting deployed in wider circles in this year.

5) Image Based Search will drive E-commerce platforms:

05 Image Based Search

With mobile shopping enhancing the reach of the E-commerce market, we will see more companies deploying Image based product search features as a standard functionality in their Apps. A customer can quickly search and buy a product by just clicking on a picture in the surroundings. Though there are a few existing deployments by some big E-commerce companies, the platforms still lack accuracy. In 2016, we will see the algorithms getting refined and companies increasing adopting Image based search on their app platforms.

6) Drones with High Resolution Cameras:

06 Drones

With the advancement in computing capabilities and reduced form factors, drones are set to become even more powerful and pervasive. FAA predicts that drones will spawn a $90 billion industry within a decade. While the consumer business giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc. are still testing the business cases for drones, these developments in news clearly shadows the real progress made in the drone industry. The ability to capture high resolution imagery using technologies ranging from regular cameras to 4K cameras to laser cameras empowers Drones to be used in mission critical surveillance, disaster monitoring and relief programs. We are going to see more of governments and military using drones for surveillance, riot controls and in natural calamities.

7) Localized and Distributed Intelligence for Sensor Environments:

07 Sensor Environments

Sensors and actuators built across different devices are going to generate a tremendous amount of data from end devices and gateway networks to the cloud. The magnitude is set to grow even more exponentially with growth of connected devices. To enable faster access of relevant data and to reduce the bandwidth occupied in data transmission and storage, we will see more of localized and distributed intelligence built across the gateways and end devices.

8) Contextual Intelligence to Power our Daily Life:

08 Contextual Intelligence

The growth of embedded intelligence and analytics will power businesses to provide alerts, recommendations and analysis in response to the context or surroundings. Analytics will continue crunching the data in the background to provide real-time assistance and feedbacks. We are already witnessing it with improvements in the virtual personal assistance like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana etc. We will see devices behaving more responsive to the environmental situations.

9) Cloud Computing Everywhere:

09 Cloud Computing

The nexus of mobile computing with cloud computing will increase the deployment of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered anytime, anywhere and at any devices. We will see more devices connecting to cloud and SaaS based business models to become even more prominent in 2016. Companies will look for ways to improve inter-device communication through cross-platform integrations.

10) User Experience will be the Key Business Driver:

10 User Experience

With an increase in connected devices and focus towards providing contextual information, user experience will take a prominence in technology adoption. With wearable technologies set to become even more prevalent in 2016, the focus will now shift towards mobilizing the data and synchronizing the experience. User experience will push for invisible analytics with unified, fluid, contextual and personalized experience across smartphones, wearables and other connected devices.

The above list is only an indication of some interesting trends that are likely to happen in 2016. Please comment your thoughts on what you think will drive the product engineering market in this year.

Seeing the future from the eyes of Google

ImageGoogle had become the gatekeeper for our Internet house. It had gone so deep into our nerves that sometimes, it even make us feel handicapped when we don’t see Google on our browser homepage .

This post is about looking into the future of Google Search. So if you don’t like Google, I suggest you to not read any further. In my earlier blog on “If passion drives success, what drives passion?” I touched upon Google and its vision to deliver relevant results across all data sources. So let us begin with an analysis on Google past and together let us visualize the future from the vision of Google. 

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Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, in an interview to Charlie Rose sometime in 2005, famously said “When you use Google, do you get more than one answer? Of course you do. Well, that’s a bug. We have more bugs per second in the world. We should be able to give you the right answer just once. We should know what you meant. You should look for information. We should get it exactly right and we should give it to you in your language and we should never be wrong. That’s our challenge.”

This statement makes more sense now, in 2014. Today, Google customizes our search data based on our device, time, location and interest (through Google login in different Google products). With recent additions like Google instant and profile based search algorithms, the company had moved from basic keyword search and is set to deliver the best possible search we can seek for. From endless searching of pages in the early 2000s, we don’t feel the need to look beyond the 3rd page of Google search to find the right content, for most of our recent searches.

The basic search engine which started as a PageRank had evolved into a solution provider for all our search queries. True to the mission of the Google “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, the company is able to explore and integrate most of the digital data available on the online space. It had even gone to the extent of creating new data through products such as Youtube, Android, Google Glass and Internet of things like robots and driverless car etc. The heart of the company lies in the “Google Search” and all the products like Gmail, Google+, Youtube, Google Maps, Books, and Chrome etc form the veins that pump the extra blood to heart. Though each of those can act as independent products on their own, they are either invented / acquired with the very purpose to improve and customize the Google search and to deliver the most relevant possible result.

ImageSo what do you think the future of Google search will be? With the recent acquisition of Motorola mobility, wearable devices and neck tattoo patents, Google is all set to move ahead in the direction to read our mind and to answer queries in dimensions we never thought before. With the possibility of using analytics over bigdata, the possibility of predictions are endless as well. We will soon see a day when Google will tell us what we will search next as a part of the recommendation cycle. We will soon see a day where Google will provide answers even before we frame the question. We will soon see a day when Google will know us more than we know of our-self. Don’t you see the possibility hitting our digital doors?

♠ Be ready to share your data mind in the mind-boggling journey of Google ♠

If you have a bad social avatar, you are not employable – says Bigdata

The term “Big data” is still new and unheard in many organizations, but is rapidly creating eruptions all around the world. So before we begin this blog, for the benefit of the non technology savvy people – what is big data all about? It is an accumulated data set that is collected from both structured (as in traditional databases, tables etc) and unstructured (like the social media, videos, photos, emails etc) forms of data. The recent ability to harness these structured and unstructured data together has created a big vibe in the information industry. Open source technologies like Hadoop and R analytics have made it even more affordable and accessible for the new age organizations.

In this blog, I am not going to talk about the benefits of bigdata for the companies. A simple Google search on bigdata will provide you with millions of topics to read and sleep. I am going to unwind a field where bigdata is rapidly making in-roads and is definitely going to revolutionize the way we perceive social media.

  • What if I say that bigdata is going to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for an academic seat in an institution?
  • What if I say that bigdata is going to determine whether you are employable for an organization?
  • What if I say that bigdata is going to determine whether you are good citizen or not?

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Sounds unbelievable? It is the reality. Some US academic intuitions are exploring bigdata for admission processes. Companies like Google have already started analyzing bigdata for hiring better employees. Government organizations are looking into bigdata for collecting information on non-tax payers and defaulters.

We are going to see a radical shift in the way recruitment is going to happen in future. Resumes will very soon become an outdated process for recruitment. While companies are going to fight it out for the right candidate on a global level, gear yourself and be prepared for a roller coaster ride – a direct message from bigdata!

Is your business not a part of the Mobile Revolution? Seriously?

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It amazes me to discover where we are today in mobile technology. The definition of mobile phone as per Wiki states “A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone, and a hand phone) is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area.” Does this definition still hold true for the current period?

One of the first Mobile Telephone Service (MTS) phones by Bell systems used in 1946 weighed over 36kgs and composed of vacuum tubes and relays. The present day mobile phone hardly weighs 500gms and can be designed to fit even the smallest possible pocket size. Can this alone be called a mobile evolution? NO. The real evolution lies in the capability of the mobile phones to affect our daily life. They are no more seen as devices to just make calls. It is used for all our possible daily activities – from alarm in the morning to calculator, texting, camera, gaming, music, movies, internet, emails and what not. The decreasing average Voice revenue per user (ARPU) worldwide is testimony to the fact the mobile phones are no more seen as a device for telephone calls alone. Service providers now depend on value added services and mobile data for their revenues. Mobile phones became a companion which sleeps and walks with you always. No other device has that privilege.

The potential of the mobile has thrown wide opportunities for businesses. On the individual level, the easiness of Software and App development had produced more eImagentrepreneurs than the world would have ever imagined. On commercial front, the advent of mobile internet also gave opportunity for the businesses to thrive by occupying the living space of its customers. Customers are constantly engaged and bombarded with alerts and information. Just as “Stay Connected!” became the catch word for mobile companies, “Going Mobile!” has now become the buzz word for all new age organizations.

In the Manufacturing space, mobile phone industry becomes a good example and a case study for any Management or Business Schools to understand forward and backward integration in businesses. It is one of the fields that has been and seen it all. Be it semiconductor vendors like Samsung, LG etc or software industries like Apple, Google etc or laptop manufactures like Lenovo, Dell etc – everyother company wants to compete in Mobile space leaving the specialized mobile manufacturing companies like Motorola and Nokia in lurch.

So where are you and your business in Mobile universe?

The Missing “2” in B2B / B2C Value Discovery

The era when you develop a product and expect to sell purely based on its features is gone forever. Any product you create, produce or innovate, you will soon find plenty of companies selling similar products in the market, sometimes with a price that might be very competitive to match as well. When companies don’t want to compete on price, there came the concept of Value discovery.

value-discovery-400x267So what is this value all about and how do you discover it? A simple answer would be – value is what customer finds useful in your product or service, that can address his/her pain points and that can establish a business for you. Simple definition isn’t it? No, companies spend thousands of dollars to discover value for every product or service they do. In product oriented environment, the process is relatively simple as some of the values are fixed and finding the remaining variables are not often very tough. The services environment provides plenty of challenges as the variables are quite often infinite. Hence picking the right variables that create value for the customer becomes a paramount importance. The concept gets even more interesting when you look from the angle of B2C or B2B. Let us not argue here on which needs greater attention in value discovery. Instead we will find ways to make value discovery a simple and interesting process.

In my earlier post I talked about frameworks and how it helps business. Value discovery becomes simpler if we make it in a visual framework. Companies often believe understanding the pain points of the customer and creating a products or service around it will create value. True in a sense – but most companies often miss a critical element i.e. “consumer” or rather customer’s customer. There are 3 elements to discover value to any business.

3cpyramid

The levels in 3C pyramid gives you steps to discover the value to any product or service. Understanding your company and the principles in which it operates forms the base to any value discovery. Then is the understanding of the pain points of the customer that your company serve and adapting the value proposition of your product or service to address those pain points. This is where most companies stop the process of value discovery, with the thought process that the cycle of B2(B/C) is complete. Most often in business the end customers/consumers are different from the customer you serve. There is a second and an important “2” to most business which is B2(B/C) + 2(B/C).

Toy industry is a classical example where the missing “2” is effectively employed in the business. The toys are produced to attract kids but marketed to parents – B2C2C. They make it attractive for kids but market to parents the advantage the toy brings to the growth of their kids and makes it easy to buy through use of different online and offline channels. Intel a semiconductor vendor for computer manufactures not just found value from its direct customer, instead went to public with the advertisements. The effect of the ads made consumers look for intel symbol in the computers to be assured of its quality. Intel discovered the value quality with the customer’s consumers and hence had a sustained success in the competitive industry (B2B2C).

So keep discovering value and remember not to miss the second “2” element in your discovery process.

Why do we need Frameworks for Businesses?

When you talk of frameworks in business arena, it is often seen as a complicated idea or an MBA jargon used by consultants to attract clients. But as a matter of fact, it has become an indispensable term in the industry. One of the biggest contributions by mathematics to business is geometry. Why do I say that? Geometry has helped us define boundaries. Be it a rectangle, a triangle, a circle and what not – all geometric shapes have definite boundaries. So what is its significance to business? Yes I am getting to that. Business runs in a very complex environment. The variables surrounding any business are numerous and are scattered all over. So unless you set a boundary, there is no chance for you to know and understand “what to consider” and “what not to”. It is like you are in an ocean without a compass or a satellite map. Framework gives you an edge by providing a structure to your business.

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Framework etymologically is frame(n) + work(v). I will base my concept with the three basic geometric shapes (circle, rectangle & triangle) to make it simple and lucid. While a circle with the largest area among the shapes helps capturing as many variables as possible, a rectangle helps defining the axis and a triangle in setting a base and moving towards that one defining variable on the top. There are plenty other geometrical shapes that would help us to customize and define the variables for our business needs. So do the frameworks help in defining boundaries alone? The answer is a clear “NO”. In the fast changing business environment, continuous improvement is the key for the future. Framework works a tool to asses, modify and adapt to the new requirements of the ever-changing business environment. It gives you a sense of focus and a direction towards the road ahead. No wonder renowned consultants are obsessed with frameworks.