I had the chance, on Thursday December 4th 2014, to participate to a lunch, organised by a French consulting company named Weave. This lunch was led by Frédéric Simottel from BFM Business and Gilles Babinet invited to the lunch. Gilles Babinet is the Digital Champion, representing France to the European Commission. Gilles was the first president of the National Digital Council, French organization set up by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France at that time. As part of this lunch, Gilles Babinet, developed themes of his book “The digital era, a new age of humanity“.
Indeed, in the 18th century, the invention of the steam engine, starting with prototypes, produced in the 16th century, leads to the first industrial revolution. This revolution is characterized by the mass production of products, more and more sophisticated, and makes possible the industrialization of increasingly complex processes, in all sectors of activity (goods production, transport, …). In the 19th century, mining large quantities of oil, and the invention of internal combustion engines and electric motors using electricity produced from coal, results in the second industrial revolution, with power machines, which completely change the functioning of the economy and boosting the exchanges.
Gilles Babinet says that, in the 20th century, the advent of computers in 80-90 years causes the transition to the digital age, the third industrial revolution. The computer starts at the beginning of the 40s, with the radar and after the transistor in the 50s. But the revolution is actually happening 60 years later, in the 2000s, when every employee has a computer and a smartphone to communicate with his business. Again, all means of production are affected: there are no longer produced well without computers to manage production, to drive robots, to compute the accounts of the company or to boost innovation of them. No sector is spared: producing agricultural crops through computers (in tractors, for the weather forecast, for the accounts …) or producing goods through computers (to control robots, to communicate between people a company, to communicate by producing adverts…). Innovation, exponential, through simulation that allows the digital age, is totally boost by the third industrial revolution; This is why we hear so much of it after this revolution.
All sectors, all company departments, all people are affected. Gilles Babinet is exciting; these analyzes are very interesting. Summarizing the situation, we can estimate that currently there is an industrial revolution emerging each century. And it takes time between the emergence of the new revolution and its application in the industry at every level of the company.
It is interesting to imagine what could be the next industrial revolution. I have my idea about it … I think things will start to emerge within 30 years; and it will take 30 years for the fourth industrial revolution take shape. Until then enjoy the 3rd, transform our businesses to make maximum use of capacity through permissent this 3rd revolution and trying to anticipate the 4th.
IBM’s Watson is a cognitive computing system, one that behaves like our brain, learning through experiences, finding correlations, and remembering — and learning from — the outcomes.
First hitting the spotlight when pitted against two of Jeopardy’s biggest all-time winners Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, IBM’s artificial intelligence machine names Watson threw these two off their throne in quick fashion – showing that artificial intelligence was a real thing and IBM has the technology.
Artificial intelligence is here now. This doesn’t mean that Cylons disguised as humans have infiltrated our societies, or that the processors behind one of the search engines have become sentient and are now making their own plans for world domination. But denying the presence of AI in our society not only takes away from the achievements of science and commerce, but also runs the risk of complacency in a world where more and more of our actions and intentions are being analyzed and influenced by intelligent machines. Not everyone agrees with this way of looking at the issue, though.
First, although Watson includes many forms of text search, it is first and foremost a system capable of responding appropriately in real-time to new inputs. It competed against humans to ring the buzzer first, and Watson couldn’t ring the buzzer until it was confident it had constructed the right sentence. And, in fact, the humans quite often beat Watson to the buzzer even when Watson was on the right track. Watson works by choosing candidate responses, then devoting its processors to several of them at the same time, exploring archived material for further evidence of the quality of the answer. Candidates can be discarded and new ones selected. IBM is currently applying this general question-answering approach to real-world domains like health care and retail.
This is very much how primate brains (like ours) work. Neuroscientists can recognize which brain cells monkeys use to represent different hypotheses about how to solve the current puzzle they are facing. Then, he can watch the different solutions compete for influence in the brain, until the animal finally acts when it is certain enough. If the puzzle has a short time limit, the animals will act for a lower threshold and will be less accurate. Just like us. And it wouldn’t be hard to reprogram Watson to do the same thing—to give its best answer at a fixed time rather than at a fixed level of certainty.
How about understanding? Watson does search text in various Internet sources (like Wikipedia) but didn’t during competition. It had to read the text in advance and remember it in a generalized way so that it could access what it had learned quickly by all different kinds of clues. Jeopardy! questions require understanding jokes and metaphors—what Hofstadter calls “analogical reasoning.” Being able to use the right word in the right context is the definition of understanding language, what linguists call semantics. If someone blind from birth said to you “I’ll look into it” or “See you later,” would you say they didn’t understand what they were saying?
If you’re looking for a thumb in the pie, IBM are now offering up part of Watson – their breakthrough natural language-based cognitive service called Watson Analytics. This analytic service is reported as a powerful predictive and visual analytic tool for businesses and can now be rented through a beta program.
There has already been 22,000 who’ve registered for the beta of this service, with IBM’s official explanation and release reading: “IBM Watson Analytics automates the once time-consuming tasks such as data preparation, predictive analysis, and visual storytelling for business professionals. Offered as a cloud-based freemium service, all business users can now access Watson Analytics from any desktop or mobile device”.
IBM was totally “as been” during the last twenty years (1994 – 2014), going slowly towards the end of the company. But Watson, IBM could revolutionize the management of semantics which is currently lacking treatment ‘Analytics’ and take the lead on a niche again.
For the moment, it is really artificial intelligence but not more, as we can imagine with aware artificial…, for the moment. But it is probably the beginning. Aware artificial will be probably the next disruptive industrial revolution before the end of the 21 century…
Everything you need to know about the Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is the Cupertino firm’s first foray into wearable tech, and will be launched late February.
The Apple Watch features a custom-built UI that proffers a host of wrist-borne apps, as well as a pressure-sensitive touchscreen, ‘taptic’ haptic feedback, and the Digital Crown – Apple’s wristwatch-inspired winder input.
Latest estimates tip the smartwatch to tout sales figures somewhere in the region of 20-30 million with Apple rumoured to have anywhere up to 40 million units ordered in time for day one.
Apple Watch development kit and model types?
Prempting the wearable’s upcoming arrival, Apple made its WatchKit SDK live last month. Giving early play time with the Apple Watch expereince, the wrist-based SDK is allowing eager developers to prep bespoke apps in time for the device’s release.
When the Apple Watch does eventually go on sale, there will be three model options to choose from – each with two display sizes to complement varying wrist sizes.
The standard Apple Watch model comes with a stainless steel silver or space black colour scheme case with the screen protected by sapphire crystal.
If you’re looking for something to keep up with you as you train, the Apple Watch Sport features an anodised aluminium case in silver or space grey with the screen protected with strengthened ion-X glass with colourful, durable band options.
Lastly, the Apple Watch Edition features an 18-carat gold face in yellow or rose, protected by sapphire crystal. It’s the premium edition of the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Specs
To start off with, there will be two different sizes of the Apple Watch to choose from. The smaller option for dainty wrists is 38mm tall, while the larger option is 42mm. That’s something that we haven’t seen from any of the Android or Android Wear alternatives so far. Each Apple Watch is kitted out with a Retina display.
In terms of resolution, the developer kit revealed the smaller Apple Watch will tout a 1.5-inch 272 x 340 display, while the larger variant will boast a 1.65-inch 312 x 390 display.
The Apple Watch display can sense force via a new feature call Force Touch. This will allow the device to distinguish between a tap and a press for more contextually specific controls.
Reacting to that, there’s also the Taptic Engine. The Watch also features a custom built heart rate sensor that uses infrared, visible-light LEDS and photodiodes to detect your pulse and heart rate. Combining this with data from the accelerometer and the GPS and Wi-Fi found in your iPhone, the Apple Watch can track your physical movement.
Under the hood you’ll find the Apple S1 processor. There’s no specific specs for the S1 yet, but it is protected from the elements, wear and impact by resin.
How companies can nurture innovation and motivate their talents to bring innovations forward?
Each company is destined to get the results it gets. What I mean by this is that poor organization, lack of solid and sustainable innovation culture lead to poor results, and more than before, to a company’s trouble or death.
Smart business leaders shape the culture of their company to drive innovation. Success and constant positive results come from the implementation and execution of strategies, business models, structure, processes, technologies and incentive systems that encourage innovation.
1. Define your company’s mission around innovation
Many companies don’t have a mission statement, but for those which do, often times statements use generic terms, such as “best product in the world”, “best customer service”… They do not inspire employees to innovate. A strong and inspiring vision should be framed around how the company works to change its customer’s world, for the better.
2. Create the structure to allow employees to experiment new ideas with unstructured time
Successful innovative companies give time to their employees to get away from their daily tasks, to work on personal or company projects not directly related to their work. Then tap into this creative process.
3. Recognize employees’s contribution to the innovation process
Some companies offer monetized incentives. It is hard to assign a $ value to innovation; this is good for sales teams. Some companies give annual innovation awards; it is a good initiative for a short term, but it creates more competition than it encourages collaboration and creates emulation.
4. Return to the past
No new idea is completely original. Some concepts may not have materialized for various reasons, but it is always good to look at the past and understand why it did not work out. You avoid future mistakes, you can find ways to better the products (new technology, new process, new skill…). Start-up companies which by definition don’t have a past can look at what’s be done in the industry, what did not find success, and bounce off this to create something new.
5. Pay attention to culture, not trends
Culture is mass ideology – a system of values and beliefs that runs so deep we don’t question it. There’s an American belief in personal invention and reinvention. You see that in social products like Snapchat and Instagram, which allow us to invent ourselves in the moment. They may seem like a trend. But they reflect a deep underlying value.
6. Continuous education
Self-development is the key to employee’s success. In the same system where company should create a structure for unstructured time, those same companies should create time for continuous education. Allow employees to seek new interests, learn and develop new skills.
7. Allow failure
The essence of innovation is that it takes multiple experiments to successfully create new products, solutions, services. Failure is part of the innovation process. When employees are not afraid of failure, they will feel empowered to take risks and be “crazy”.
Disruptive innovation, a term of art coined by Clayton Christensen, describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.
As companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ needs evolve, most organizations eventually end up producing products or services that are actually too sophisticated, too expensive, and too complicated for many customers in their market.
Companies pursue these “sustaining innovations” at the higher tiers of their markets because this is what has historically helped them succeed: by charging the highest prices to their most demanding and sophisticated customers at the top of the market, companies will achieve the greatest profitability.
However, by doing so, companies unwittingly open the door to “disruptive innovations” at the bottom of the market. An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers at the bottom of a market access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill.
Characteristics of disruptive businesses, at least in their initial stages, can include: lower gross margins, smaller target markets, and simpler products and services that may not appear as attractive as existing solutions when compared against traditional performance metrics. Because these lower tiers of the market offer lower gross margins, they are unattractive to other firms moving upward in the market, creating space at the bottom of the market for new disruptive competitors to emerge.
Four colors pen is too nerdy? Go Scribble and 16 million shades!
What unleash your imagination!
This is a true innovation offers us an American company: the first pen connected. Scribble can take any color and reproduce on paper. This little gem of technology has a color sensor 16-bit RGB, an ARM 9 processor and an internal memory of 1 GB Add the Bluetooth 4.0 and micro-USB port for charging and you get a pen 2.0 tune with the times.
Usage is childish!
Place the sensor on the color you want to remove and press the button! The unit is responsible for storing the color. Thanks to its memory, can store up Scribble 100,000 colors. With its ink cartridge and mixing chamber, the pen offers an exact reproduction of the sampled color.
The Scribble will be offered in two versions, one ink (U.S. $ 149.95), the other version stylus (U.S. $ 79.95). The release date is not yet disclosed, but the company website offers users (in exchange for an email address) to warn when the pen will be available for sale.
See more details: http://getscribblepen.com/blog/
Innovation and research have allowed the Barilla Group, owner of Harrys, resist own brands on the shelves.
For the third time in ten years, the Barilla Group (Italy), owner of Harrys brand, expanding its specialized in bread without crust factory located near Lyon (France). Guido Barilla, chairman of the Italian group, came in person to launch the production line on June 4. This investment of € 14 million will enable the brand leader of bread in France, producing 24 million packages per year of what has become the fastest growing segment of the market: “100% crumb” whose sales rose 15% last year. “Whenever we have increased our production capacity we quickly saturated,” says Giovanni Palopoli, director of operations for Barilla Western Europe.
The story is like a fairy tale business. In 2005, when redeemed Harrys Barilla brand, created in 1960 by a baker from Châteauroux (Indre, France), the idea of bread without crust was like a joke. A bit like Emmental without holes. But the Italian really believed, because “this was already a success in the Spanish market,” says Miloud Benaouda, CEO of Barilla France. Better, it could allow the brand to take advantage of packaged breads sold under white labels and low price, which nibbled the French market.
Remained in control in manufacturing, because this seemingly innocuous innovation required technical prowess. Indeed, once removed the crust, bread, less rigid, it becomes difficult to decide on the production line. Hence the idea – protected by a patent – to reduce sharply the temperature of the bread after it leaves the oven to stiffen, to better decide.
Success was quick, worn by children, used to cut the strip of fat around the ham or remove the rind before eating. The bread seemed designed for them, and television campaigns, putting children on stage, was confirmed. The brand also invests heavily in communication: it generates for 80% of advertising spending in its market.
Harrys did not stay alone for long in this segment is booming. Jacquet (Limagrain Group, France) has released its free crust, called “Bloody Mie”, which uses a different method of manufacture. “This is a unique process, says does one competitor in the Harrys, without removing the crust and thus without waste. Patent of this invention is applied globally. Helps reduce material losses and the first cooking time. ” The challenger uses a steaming which avoids the formation of a brown crust. For connoisseurs, the “Bloody Mie” Jacquet has a white crust well and can not be considered without a crust. Difficult to decide.
To keep ahead in the race for innovation, Harrys under-segmented bread without crust market by launching the 100% brioche bread, wholemeal bread, bread pudding, 7-grain, long shelf … A fee activism: industrial holds its competitors and white labels at a distance and keep the consumer preference. While the French market classical sandwich bread rose by only 2.4% and is dominated by white labels (44.5%), that of “no crust” grew 15% in volume in twelve months, and Harrys dominates, with nearly 60% of sales.
We have reached an inflection point within information technology (IT) where the conversation is moving from cost to value. IT is no longer focused on back-office infrastructure. In a digital world, the function has transformed to help unearth valuable data insights and define the future of products. Given the historical and deep knowledge with big data, security and infrastructure, the IT function plays an integral role in delivering delightful customer experiences across all digital platforms.
On a panel addressing how the Marketing and IT relationship has been reinvented, the more important one is the convergence between IT and marketing with the ability to take data capabilities in the IT organization and merge it with marketing aspirations. The Marketing and IT partnership is tighter than ever; both functions are working with synergy to implement and manage digital technology and leverage data insights to provide personalized experiences.
It is an exciting time in IT, from the role the function is playing in developing products and solutions to the new partnerships that are being forged to drive business impact. There are a number of fundamental tenets that will help IT leaders capitalize on the golden age of IT innovation:
- Shift to a Services Model: IT leaders need to shift their organization from a delivery model to an end-to-end services model. Move from a project management and back-end infrastructure role to taking on the total cost of ownership in developing services that help drive the profits of a company. With this model IT specialists have an ongoing partnership with the business, product, and marketing organizations and are embedded into those teams.
- Build New Skill Sets: The next generation of IT is re-defining the skill set and competencies of people in the organization. IT Specialists need to have an end-to-end services mindset where they work on smaller teams for longer periods of time and take a “you build it, you run it” approach. IT specialists also need to think more like marketers, as data is deeply embedded in the process of creating, targeting and delivering personalized experiences to customers.
- Think Like a CEO: The CIO is in the unique position to see the entire spectrum of the company’s operation and business. As CIOs’ influence broadens, they must think like a 21st century CEO having a strong acumen around running a business (P&L), anticipating customers’ needs, innovating experiences, and understanding the competitive environment.
- Entrust the Business: Leaders need to ensure they are prioritizing the projects that will truly drive business impact. Entrusting projects/initiatives to other groups or vendors is a very smart and strategic decision. By doing so, resources are freed up to focus on IT innovation and initiatives that help drive business revenue.
We should be energized by the opportunities that lie ahead in IT. Never before, the level of partnership and integration across the organization was higher than today. We are breaking down the barriers and silos and forging a new path for the next generation of IT.