By Derrick Harris (courtesy GigaOm)
photo: Shutterstock / Sergey Nivens
Summary:WalmartLabs has acquired a predictive analytics startup called Inkiru to bolster its ability to create better customer experiences through data. The division of Walmart was created in 2011 on a foundation of big data.
Walmart, it seems, will not go gently into that good night when it comes to the company’s fight against e-commerce giant Amazon.
Inkiru has developed an active learning system that combines real-time predictive intelligence, big data analytics and a customizable decision engine to inform and streamline business decisions
Predictive intelligence bought by WalmartLabsInkiru‘s predictive analytics platform will enable us to further accelerate the big data capabilities that @WalmartLabs has propelled forward at scale…including site personalization, search, fraud prevention and marketing. Walmart’s data scientists will now be able to work with big data directly and create impact faster than ever before.
Related VideoWalmart Labs Inkiru - A Funny Name for Serious Analytics (SiliconANGLE)
- WalmartLabs keeps getting smarter with Inkiru acquisition (gigaom.com)
- We Predict Big Data Will Move Much Faster (walmartlabs.blogspot.com)
- New Report Shows How to Turn Big Data into Big Bucks (domo.com)
- Walmart Labs Buys Data Analytics And Predictive Intelligence Startup Inkiru (techcrunch.com)
- Walmart snaps up big data startup Inkiru (zdnet.com)
Despite my early optimism for Windows 8 and its potential for interesting laptop-tablet hybrids, I must make a confession: I haven’t gotten around to buying one yet.
It’s not because I lack the funds or the knowledge of what’s available. For the right machine, I’d be willing to spend $1,000 or more --it would serve the purpose of two devices, after all--and I’ve tested a handful of PCs that fall roughly within that range.
- Windows 8.1 'Transfer Settings' Screenshot Leaked (microsoft-news.com)
- The ASUS Transformer Book Trio: Atom + Haswell, Android + Windows 8 (anandtech.com)
- Big surprise: Bill Gates thinks Windows 8 is great (reviews.cnet.com)
- Asus unveils Transformer Book Trio -- a Windows 8 and Android hybrid (betanews.com)
Atheer company, based in Mountain View, Calif., employs 20 people and is not venture capital funded so far. Atheer hopes to integrate its augmented reality and gestural control platform into existing mobile operating systems, such as Android, iOS, and Xbox.
Atheer’s technology demo at D11
Stealth startup Atheer came out of the shadows at the D: All Things Digital conference here, unveiling its wearable 3D augmented reality platform that works on top of Android and potentially other mobile operating systems.
Atheer’s technology employs stereoscopic glasses and a 3D camera to track hand movements to manipulate virtual objects in real space, similar in concept to the portrayals of gesture control in movies like “Minority Report” and “Avatar.”
“We are the first mobile 3D platform delivering the human interface. We are taking the touch experience on smart devices, getting the Internet out of these monitors and putting it everywhere in physical world around you,” said founder and CEO Sulieman Itani. “In 3D, you can paint in the physical world. For example, you could leave a note to a friend in the air a restaurant, and when the friend walks into the restaurant, only they can see it.”
Another startup: Meta
Another startup, Meta, is making similar claims about commercializing 3D glasses and gestural interfaces with mobile features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, accelerometer and voice control. But unlike Meta, which grew out of a Columbia University project, Atheer doesn’t want to go the route of Apple, creating a new, proprietary device.
More power efficient than SmartPhone
“We are aiming to make it significantly more power efficient than a smartphone,” Itani said. “We want to create a portable device you can put in your pocket and the interface is as big as possible.”
Atheer’s platform, which has been in development for a year and a half, is a bridge between existing mobile apps and games and those purpose-built for 3D augmented reality and gestural control. The platform will work with apps built on the open source Android platform, and could be integrated with Apple’s iOS, Microsoft Xbox, or Windows Mobile if they grant access to Atheer.
For Android apps not optimized for Atheer, users see a virtual tablet in front of them that they can manipulate by touch, just like a physical tablet. “This is important for people moving to a new platform. We reduce the experience gap and keep the critical mass of the ecosystem,” Itani said. “We don’t want to create a new ecosystem to fragment the market more. Everything that runs on Android can be there, from game engines to voice control.”
User experience like better than reality
Like other 3D augmented reality pioneers, Atheer, is facing an uphill battle and dependent on partners making the devices low-cost and easy to use. “In the end, it’s all about giving an experience will make their live easier and happier, whether a doctor or someone selling sandwiches,” Itani said.
One of the significant barriers to adoption for the wearable augmented reality glasses is creating an immersive user experience that doesn’t make it feel like a worse version of reality.
About Atheer and Meta
- Atheer bringing 3D augmented reality and gesture control to Android (news.cnet.com)
- Atheer Labs unveils 3D augmented reality mobile platform and a natural human UI (hands-on) (engadget.com)
- Atheer Looks to Add Human Touch to Futuristic Wearable Computers (allthingsd.com)
- Atheer’s Augmented Reality Glasses Tech Looks Cool (techland.time.com)
Underdelivering on expectations
IT and business leaders nearly universally believe in the value of big data, but many current projects are underdelivering on expectations, a survey indicates.
The survey by IDG Research and big data solution provider Kapow Software suggests that companies are having trouble gathering actionable business insights from big data fast enough.
The research also suggests the emergence of a new technology trend – the consumerization of big data.
Hopes and realities
While only one in three respondents have implemented a big data solution at present, nearly nine in ten agree that there’s huge value to be had from big data. And the pace of adoption is expected to double over the next 12 months.
IT leaders agree that the value of big data is its ability to help make intelligent business decisions and foster a data-driven organization.
Around 80% consider big data to be critical or very important for making informed business decisions. Almost as many believe big data is key to increasing competitive advantage, while 68% cite improving customer satisfaction.
Other popular uses for big data include increasing end-user productivity, improving information security and creating new products and services.
But of the companies that have adopted big data, more than 50% report having only lukewarm success.
The research suggests that big data projects are taking too long, costing too much and underdelivering on ROI. Most respondents believe that big data requires a prohibitively expensive investment in infrastructure.
Partly for this reason, big data projects typically take 18 months or more to complete, an eternity in the IT world.
Faced with these delays, employees from multiple parts of the business are taking it on themselves to attempt to mine insights from big data solutions. More than 80% of survey respondents report that manual data aggregation is being conducted in their business, with IT being tasked to try to automate these internal efforts.
Time and money aren’t the only barriers to big data adoption. Nearly half (43%) of IT leaders also report finding it difficult to find, access and integrate the right information among the piles of data needed. The data they require is often unstructured and spread across a wide range of internal and external sources.
A lack of awareness of the technology’s potential is considered the biggest barrier to big data success.
Furthermore, businesses are finding it difficult to wring value from big data without the presence of expensive data scientists or consultants.
Big data is mostly useless without employees with special training, and specialists are in short supply. Business leaders at the forefront of a big data project are often having to wait for their IT teams to extract insight using the complicated tools available today.
Demand is therefore springing up for simple but effective big data tools that can break down the barriers preventing big data from becoming a business rather than IT endeavor.
With consumerization transforming enterprise IT, users want the same user-centric approach to transform the tools they use, to help address the complexity barriers to big data utilization. More than half of IT leaders consider this a chance to become a business partner.
Tools with the ability to deliver insights in an accessible, easy-to-consume format have the potential to be more cost effective, to be deployed more rapidly and to avoid the expense and headache of a lengthy infrastructure rollout.
- Big Data – Helping Businesses Develop Better Perspectives (bigdatacompany.wordpress.com)
- Big Data Infographic | How Big is Big Data? | Domo | Blog (domo.com)
- Big Data – Security Concerns Rob Many Of Huge Benefits (bigdatacompany.wordpress.com)
- How Are You Managing Big Data? Data, Data Everywhere | Domo | Blog (domo.com)
- Big Data – Beyond The Hype, What Will It Do For Us? (bigdatacompany.wordpress.com)
- Infographic: The Physical Size of Big Data (domo.com)
1. Innovation as a corporate function
At a growing number of large organizations, innovation is now an identified organizational group, with a specific mandate, roles and responsibilities, metrics, processes, resources, and governance. According to a 2012 Capgemini study, 43% of large global companies now have a formally accountable innovation executive. Innovation has become a corporate function, and the trend is gaining steam.
2. Most leaders see Innovation as distraction
Yet despite the trend, today’s innovation leader has a very difficult mission, for two reasons. First, most corporate warriors in middle management persist in thinking of innovation as a management fad – a distraction from quarterly goals and core objectives. As a result, the innovation leader faces a constant uphill battle for legitimacy – unless he/she demonstrates clear, powerful business results from innovation’s efforts. And there is a limited time window before faith and confidence are lost permanently.
3. Innovation breaks operational excellence
Secondly, innovation has a distinct rhythm from the daily business. Instead of driving to efficiency and operational excellence, successful innovation requires space and time to create, tolerance of failure and a culture of open experimentation. In a corporate setting, individuals with ‘innovative’ personalities have long since learned to hide or downplay them, for the sake of career advancement. So the natural rhythm of innovation inevitably feels strange and foreign within a large organization.
4. Innovation as strategic axis for competition
Yet senior leaders increasingly view innovation as a strategic imperative, allowing the firm to adapt and respond to competitive pressures, customer needs and technology change in a rapidly changing, information-rich 21st century world. Most of the time, a great deal is riding on the success or failure of the Innovation Leader. In some cases, the C-suite has staked the company’s future on it.
5. Innovation Project Outsourcing
In this environment, outsourcing is a critical enabler of success. Experienced innovation firms use proven methods and tools to produce those crucial early-stage results, while also injecting the DNA of innovation process into the organization. Typically this outsourcing takes one of two forms.
When the need for a specific innovation is clear – breakthrough new product designs, for example – the innovation leader may outsource the entirety of an innovation project. This is called Innovation Project Outsourcing – in which an innovation firm acts like a design agency, working independently and producing ready-made innovations as deliverables. These projects can range from R&D and engineering work, product and/or industrial design, to innovation process design.
6. Innovation Process Outsourcing
Ultimately, however, the innovation leader cannot be wholly dependent on an outsourcer to produce innovation. Innovation Process Outsourcing is a critical step in embedding innovation habits into an organisation’s DNA. An experienced innovation firm will be intimately familiar with the difficulties of involving broad sets of enterprise stakeholders in a collaborative process. Working underneath the innovation leader, outsourced programme managers can be embedded into the organization as change agents and campaign managers. Through careful scoping of innovation initiatives, combined with skilful management of the campaigns themselves, dramatic results can be achieved while also socializing the behaviors and rhythms of successful enterprise innovation.
7. Innovation Skill Transfert
The end goal of these outsourcing efforts is innovation skill transfer and discipline-building within the corporation. Over time, the outsourcer trains its client on the core Innovation Management skills and methods, which allows the innovation programme to achieve sustainable scale as an enterprise program. As a result, the organisation begins to treat ideas as valuable intellectual capital – and consistently collect, vet and leverage this capital for business benefit.
8. Permanent home for innovation outsourcing
In the longer term, there is a permanent home for innovation outsourcing in most companies. Innovation strategy is a core competence any organisation needs to build, refine and invest in – it’s the future of the company. But aspects of how innovation is built and executed may be outsourced, as external parties have skills and competencies which the company may not have or even need to be in-house.
- Cloud’s role in the move from outsourcing to smartsourcing (intechnology.co.uk)
- Why Innovation Programs Are A Total Waste Of Time (ceo.com)
- 5 Myths About Innovation And Strategy (ceo.com)
- 2013 Winners: Training Outsourcing Companies Watch List (barebrilliance.wordpress.com)
- Kill Your Innovation Champion (psychologytoday.com)
- Outsourcing Business Processes for Innovation (barebrilliance.wordpress.com)
BCI, what’s that?
BCI means Brain Computer Interfaces. Using sensors, the brain can control computer programs. These man-machine interfaces are developed, and their operation reveals a huge potential.
Emotiv is a neuroengineering company that has brought to market affordable, consumer friendly, high-resolution, multichannel, wireless EEG systems. Their advanced algorithms allow these headsets to detect subconscious emotional states, facial expressions and user-trained mental commands which can control existing and custom applications and games.
This technology utterly transforms the way we interact with computers. Emotiv is revolutionizing human-computer interactions (BCI) by allowing computers to react to your moods and deliberate commands in a more natural way. This capability is available to consumers with a range of new and existing applications. Using their SDK, developers and researchers can integrate Emotiv data directly into new applications, driving an exciting range of novel uses.
Emotiv’s vision is to democratize brain research by enabling access to affordable, user-friendly, high-resolution brain measurement systems; and encourage and catalyze innovation in this field.
Applications for the Emotiv technology and interface span an amazing variety of industries – from gaming to interactive television, everyday computer interactions, hands-free control systems, smart adaptive environments, art, music, accessibility design, market research, psychology, medicine, robotics, toys, automotive, transport safety, education, self-improvement, defense and security.
Emotiv is established with developers and researchers in over 90 countries already working with the technology.
More Information about Emotiv
Control by thought
Using sensors, the brain can control computer programs. These man-machine interfaces are developed, and their operation reveals a huge potential.
Control games by thought, be able to walk in a virtual world just by imagining his movements make clear the blurred image of a screen just by focusing: it is no longer science fiction but the real science today. And perhaps these brain-computer (or BCI for “Brain Computer Interfaces”) interfaces become commonplace tomorrow.
How to control a computer by thought? For simplicity, it is necessary to capture the brain activity and translate it into computer program.
An electrode encased helmet charge capture electrical signals in the brain, as in the case of electroencephalography. Software will then translate these signals into computer commands. This is precisely what the Open Source software performs OpenVibe, developed by a team at INRIA, french research institute (France).
The accuracy of helmets clad electrode
This software can be downloaded free and ready to use, will specifically be responsible to acquire the signal, but also clean and classify before translating. “The fewer sensors have less signal quality will be good. Because there may be noise will interfere with the signal. Other electrical signals can indeed come face or the outside …” said Anatole Lecuyer, director of research at the Inria in charge of OpenVibe project. Helmets with few electrodes will be less accurate and their potential clamped.
This does not prevent some companies currently developing simple bands, barely visible as Google Glass, supposed to allow control by thought.
Under the control of thought, another limitation may appear during the learning phase because the software requires calibration. It is comparable to that of voice recognition technology learning, requiring the user speaks before recognize and understand his voice. Here it is, for example, start making hand movements, so that the corresponding electrical signals in the brain can be recorded before being recognized.
Consequence: it is then possible to make the same movement of the hand, or … simply imagine. This is why some people may not exercise such control “imaginary activity” because they will not be able to “imagine” the movements correctly.
Like buttons on a controller of video game
For others, an imagined movement may therefore correspond to a command. Thus, it is possible to combine one, two or all three orders of imaginary movements. As if it were a joystick buttons. The OpenVibe technology has also demonstrated several years ago that it was possible in a virtual world, to move in several directions only by thought, although exercise can be tiring in the long run.
OpenVibe team was also able to work with the video game industry to develop more games, and even a serious game. This “serious game” worked through a slightly different process: the more the player is focused on a fuzzy screen, the image of the screen became clear. “This game can therefore quite used to learn to focus and channel attention. What, for example, help children with hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder,” said Anatole Lécuyer.
In this serious game based on OpenVibe, when the player is focused, the image and sound of the video projected on the far right become sharper.
The medical sector is also one of the outlets OpenVibe project, in addition to the gaming industry. A sapling after Inria Mensia Technology , has already launched in medical applications enables the OpenVibe technology. The latter can indeed be used for therapeutic purposes but also for the well-being it provides or the brain training, to resolve tensions, sleep disorders, or learning to relax …
Today and tomorrow
OpenVibe code is available as open source. Therefore difficult to know the purpose, but it is now possible to find on the Internet helmets fifteen sensors for less than 200 euros. There are also games already available on the Web working with such helmets. Moreover, the principle of Open Source, open Open Vibe code has external contributions, which allows him especially today being enriched the necessary drivers for new helmets coming on the market.
And tomorrow? The technology will she one day mature enough, for example, replace a computer mouse? “We’re not there yet, the mouse movements on the screen are not accurate enough,” slice clearly Anatole Lecuyer, who admits that the scientific research and publications in this area are experiencing exponential growth in recent years.
1. Openvibe software from INRIA: http://openvibe.inria.fr/
- The Brain Computer Interface (biodaher.wordpress.com)
- Samsung Demos a Tablet Controlled by Your Brain (technologyreview.com)
- NYTimes Bits Blog: Brain-computer interfaces moving closer to the mainstream (hunscher.typepad.com)
- Re: Radio Frequency Hearing Effect by Mark Dice (forum.prisonplanet.com)
- Mind Control Is Going Mainstream (motherboard.vice.com)
- Human wags rat’s tail using mind control interface (wired.co.uk)