In a recent post I stated that any company should (a) understand their spend on innovation, and (b) devote a portion of their innovation spending on emerging technology. The picture below describes devoting "C%" of innovation spend on emerging tech:
This theory of course means that each company has to decide which emerging technologies to invest in. How does a company prime the pump to survey and select the proper emerging areas?
Emerging tech conferences are one way to accomplish that goal. Last month I viewed the landscape of emerging technology by attending the DEMO Fall 2014 conference in San Jose. DEMO describes itself as "New Tech Solving Big Problems", and their web page had a brief blurb describing their approach:
For over 24 years DEMO has built an unmatched track record of selecting, coaching, promoting and making successful some of the most game-changing products the world has ever seen.
In preparation for the conference I read a good blog post indicating what type of tech would be featured. When I arrived at the conference, I found the agenda contained a good summary of product launches for the following "emerging themes":
- Wearables and Hardware
- Smart Data
- Bitcoin & Personal Finance
- The Work Cloud
- Internet of Things
One of the trends I picked up on at the conference was the overlap between "wearables" and "Internet of Things". In recent months I've talked about how to build data centers for mobile architectures. In these architectures I was viewing the mobile device or tablet as a client of a data center.
What I noticed at the DEMO conference was that the mobile device or tablet is becoming a form of "server", while the sensors connecting to that device are the clients.
For example, the company LikeAGlove demonstrated their smart garments, sensor-filled clothing that transmit data from client sensors to tablet-based servers:
Similarly, Measurance, Inc. has a sensor-based approach to record customer traffic patterns at retail stores as a way of measuring the effectivess of physical layouts:
Watching the product demos and subsequent grilling of the inventors by an expert panel really helped drive home the potential value of the technologies, and allowed me to start considering new forms of infrastructure and intelligent software that can be relevant in these areas.
I hope to dive into some of these ideas in future posts.