Wearables has a big place in the future of Mobile Computing

As mentioned previously, I am working on a Trend Report on the topic of Wearables.  The more I work on it, the more content I develop….pushing back the publication date further and further.  The report will be similar in look and feel to my other published trend reports.

Mobile computing devices continue to shrink in size and adapt to free up our hands, making it more convenient than ever for users to multitask.  Wearable computing, or wearables, is the buzz of the mobile community in 2014.   Consumers are increasingly buying the fitness bands and trackers as a way to monitor their activities.  And new devices like smart glasses and smart watches are invading the market.  As they do, application developers are beginning to see new opportunities for applications that gather data, perform analysis on that data, and then provide analytics and visualizations back to the user.

Juniper Research says “The retail revenue from smart wearable devices, including smart watches and glasses, will reach $19 billion by 2018.”   Gartner says “The worldwide revenue from wearable electronic devices, apps and services for fitness and personal health is anticipated to be $1.6 billion this year, increasing to $5 billion by 2016”.

While the wearables market still has very much a consumer feel to it, 2014 will be the year leading enterprises are piloting fitness trackers for employee wellness / fitness programs and smart glasses / smart watches for enhancing worker productivity.   Adding further momentum to the growth of the market will be the entry of most of the major platforms into the space, including Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and Apple.

For more on the the future of wearables, check out the following resources:

I hope to have my Trend Report published in the next week or two.  Until then, check out my other Trend Reports at  http://www.slideshare.net/horizonwatching

Friday Gadget: Rapport Device Detects and Reacts to Human Emotions

I’ve decided to bring back the Friday Gadget posts after a very long absence. 

I am not really a gadget guy, but I do like to think about what types of products future generations will have that will make their life easier and think about how emerging technologies will be a part of our lives in the future. When I first started blogging back in 2006, every Friday I would post about a concept for a future technology or gadget.   The series of posts were designed to help us all take a step back on a Friday, have a little fun, and help us all imagine how technology can disrupt the future. 

So I am bringing back the Friday Gadget posts.  I am not sure how long the series will last this time, but we will have fun with it while it lasts…

For this first new post , I found a project team that asked the question:  What if your gadgets knew how you were feeling and could then respond appropriately?   A group of designers developed a device they call Rapport that can observe, analyze and react to your facial expressions in order to select a music playlist that suits you the best.  Once you make eye contact with the device, it leans forward and analyzes your facial expression. Taking into account the time of day, it selects a song that it feels might suit your current mood.   The Rapport device starts the playback of the song at a fairly low volume, but will boost the volume if it sees you smiling or excited.

Under the covers, the team utilized 4 different software programs including Visual Studio (stores the facial recognition library and eye tracking code), Processing (runs the facial recognition library), Max/Msp(controls volume and curates music) and Arduino (drives the stepper motors inside the device).

Potential initial applications could include smart homes, retirement homes, entertainment events, and education.  In the future, application developers will utilize emotion detection systems to design robots that understand how better to interact with humans.   Over time robots could learn to understand how different humans react emotionally and treat each person differently based on both visual and auditory inputs. 

For more, check out these resources:   1) Rapport Introduction (Youtube), 2) Rapport Demonstration (YouTube), 3) Emotional Intelligence (Yanko Design), 4) Feeling the Music;  Gadget Reads Emotions to Choose Songs (Gajitz)

Churchill Club: 13th Annual List Of Top 10 Tech Trends

Last week the Silicon Valley was abuzz as The Churchill Club held their annual Top 10 Tech Trends event in Santa Clara.  The annual event is much anticipated by the Silicon Valley crowd….as well as VC-types as it can provide an interesting perspective on what the future might hold for the software industry. 

As always, I have my radar up to capture any insights I can from events like these. I could not attend the event, but thanks to some bloggers and news articles, I am able to report what was discussed.

As the 10 trends were presented, four leading industry panelists were on stage to debate the worthiness of each trend.

Below is a list of the ten trends on the Churchill Club’s list along with my take on the pace of adoption of each trend.    From sources I’ve read, the panelists themselves only agreed on a couple of the trends. Which ones do you agree on?

1) Age before beauty:  This trend asserts that the Baby boomer generation will dictate the technology trends of the future.  The premise is that this is such a large market that is largely unserved today. 

  • My take: I don’t agree.  Although the retired population is a largely untapped market, it is not one that gets excited about technology trends.  They are not digital natives.  I don’t see my parents flocking to buy the latest Ipad or the latest 3D TV.

2) The doctor is in: The trend is toward complete automation: a combination of artificial intelligence, the Internet, and very low-cost medical instrumentation to provide high-quality diagnostics and advice—including answering patient questions—online to a worldwide audience.  

  • My take:  I see this trend happening, but the focus will be first on specialized medicine.  The trend will be very slow to adopt to a mass market.  Privacy, culture, and behavioral issues will make changing over to online medial practices a long road.  

3) Made for me:   Manufacturing is undergoing a revolution. This trend is about the one-off production of physical goods in widely distributed micro-factories: the ultimate customization of products.  It is becoming technically and economically possible to make products that are unique to the specific needs of individuals.   

  • My take:  Consumers and Businesses are all expecting more and more customization of products and services.  The enabler of this trend for product manufacturing is the 3D printer technology trend.  For services, it is the software and advanced analytics that drive Internet-based services. 

4) Pay me now: The trend is technology and business models based on attracting consumers to share large amounts of information exclusively with service providers.  Why?  Because information can be very valuable. This knowledge is becoming a key asset and a major competitive advantage for the companies that gather it and analyze it.  Businesses will become increasingly smarter and more aggressive in convincing us to share our information with them and not with their competitors  

  • My take:  I am not sure about the name of this trend here, but this all ties into the trends of privacy, cloud computing / storage, and database analytics trends.  Businesses who figure out how to use analytics to make sense of all the information they gather will know better how to target and customize services to individuals that are most likely to buy.

5) Rosie at last: Rosie was the Jetson’s robot who did most everything for the Jetsons and even had a personality anyone could love.  Robots ARE slowly becoming embedded in our environments.  They will take full advantage of the cloud and advanced analytics in order to anticipate, understand and fulfill our needs. 

  • My take:  I do see a future for personal robots. See my post:  A Primer on the Consumer Market for Household Robots.  This will be another long term trend.  We are not going to see explosive growth overnight.  However, there will be a gigantic industry in the future all around the robot and robot Industry … both for consumers and businesses.

6) Social, really: The rise of true social networks, creating real respectful relationships online. 

  • My take:  The key here is the word relationships.  The value of social technology is it can enable better relationships.  If businesses can find ways to leverage social technology to form better relationships, then their sales will benefit.

7) Augmented Reality: Augmented reality will become indistinguishable from actual reality. 

  • My take:  AR will transform how we receive and process information throughout the day.  The AR trend will take another 15-25 years to take hold in the mass market, but it will take allot longer (1-200 years) to get to the point where AR is indistinguishable from actual reality.

8) Engineering by biologists: practical engineered artifacts, devices, and computers based on biology rather than just on silicon. 

  • My take:  This is all about the convergence of computers, biology, chemistry, and nanotechnology.  This is another of the long-term trends that will have profound impacts on human lives over the next 200-300 years, but I don’t see much impact in the next 25 years.  

9) Tis a gift to be simple: Cyber defense through wide spread adoption of simple, low-feature software for consumers and businesses. 

  • My take:  The security industry is secure.  That is, the need for security solutions will only increase as technology becomes embedded in every part of our business and personal lives.  While these solutions may look simple and low-featured, there will be a huge technology capability under the covers.

10) Reverse innovation: the trend for developing countries to turn around the flow of innovation: Silicon Valley will begin to learn more from them about innovative applications than they need to learn from us about underlying technology. 

  • My take:  History has shown us that innovation (agriculture, industrial, military, technology) leads to good things.  The quest for innovation will always be an important part of the human journey.  Successful businesses must ensure they enable innovation daily, whether that innovation happens in America Valley or in BRIC or in other emerging markets.

For more information about the Churchill Club event

Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight

Last Wednesday evening I delivered a keynote presentation at an end of the year student event at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendozza College of Business MBA program (http://business.nd.edu/). 

Mendozza Keynote

The students are all required to take a class in Futures Studies and this was their end of year event.  During the late afternoon Poster Session that was held in the atrium of the Mendozza building, they all assembled and displayed posters that communicated the results of their semester long projects.  The topics covered a wide variety of subjects, from the future of Electric Cars to Solar Technology, to how to solve water irrigation in Africa.   In all there were over 50 projects from teams of 4-5 students.   I was impressed with the students projects and the level of research, analysis and insight generation that went into the poster presentations.   I learned a lot just by walking from poster to poster.

After the poster session was done, we all assembled into the auditorium where I delivered my keynote to the students “Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight”.  The deck has been uploaded to my HorizonWatching account on Slideshare and is also embedded below. 

During the keynote, I discussed how the emergence of online social media and communities is transforming communication around the world.  The shift from traditional institutional-led communications that is relatively controlled by a small number of companies to an era where any individual can create and publish content is a shift that is transforming the way individuals learn, collaborate, and create content.   This has a ripple effect across all business professionals and certainly is impacting the way we research, analyze and develop insights about emerging trends, technologies and issues impacting businesses and individual citizens.

I provide the students with my personal story of how I’ve led an internal IBM community called HorizonWatch since early 2001 and how I started blogging internally in 2006.  I also discussed my public social community effort called HorizonWatching.   Both efforts have helped me do a better job of scanning for emerging trends and then developing insights from those scanning activities.

I ended the talk with some advice to the students on how they could get started leveraging social media in their own careers.  My main advice was that they should all think about taking control of their personal online brand.  As they are soon to turn their attention to job searching, now is the time for them to think hard about what their digital brand looks like to recruiters and potential employers.  But after the job search is over, I believe those who will be successful in their careers are the ones that will figure out ways to leverage social media and communities to build their expertise.

As this was their last day of class, they were all eager to go out and celebrate, so the Q&A session was short and sweet.  However the 5-6 questions raised were smart and right on topic.  I wish all the students good luck and best wishes over the summer and challenge them to begin using social media and communities as a strategy to better understand the future(s).

My presentation is embedded below.

HorizonWatching Newspaper: Daily Recap of Emerging Trends, Technologies, and Business Issues

A few weeks ago I started publishing The HorizonWatching Daily via paper.li.  I thought I’d give it a try and so far I like it.

It takes the links those I am following on Twitter and pulls those stories into a newspaper-like format.   Most of those I am following are professional futurists or have something to do with emerging trends, technologies and business issues. Thanks to all those I am following for their link-sharing and content.

Here’s the URL to the online paper http://paper.li/horizonwatching.   I’ve also embedded the latest issue here.  Take a look.


World Future Society: 2011 Top 10 Forecasts

The World Future Society Outlook 2011 report was released about 6 months ago, but I came across it again today and thought it would be a good post for my readers. 

The video below is 4 minutes long and provides a summary of the top 10 forecasts from the World Future Society.

Every year the WFS Outlook report (published by the The Futurist Magazine) examines the key trends in technology, the environment, the economy, etc and provides a summary of top ten forecasts for the coming year.  You can access these forecasts at http://www.wfs.org/Forecasts_From_The_Futurist_Magazine

The 2011 report provided the following ten forecasts:

1. Physicists could become tomorrow’s leading economic forecasters.

2. Environmentalists may embrace genetically modified crops as a carbon-reduction technology.

3. Search engines will soon include spoken results, not just text.

4. Will there be garbage wars in the future? Trash producers in the developed world will ship much more of their debris to repositories in developing countries.

5. The notion of class time as separate from non-class time will vanish.

6. The future is crowded with PhDs. 

7. Cities in developed countries could learn sustainability from so-called slums in the developing world. Dwellers of "slums," favelas, and ghettos have learned to use and reuse resources and commodities more efficiently than their wealthier counterparts.

8. Cooperatively owned smart cars and roads will replace dumb, individual gas guzzlers.

9. Fighting the global threat of climate change could unite countries—or inflame rivalries.

10. We may not be able to move mountains with our minds, but robots will await our mental commands.

All of these forecasts plus dozens more were included in the report that was published in The Futurist Magazine.  In fact, The Futurist, has also made public the contents from Outlook 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. You can access these forecasts at http://www.wfs.org/Forecasts_From_The_Futurist_Magazine

Cloud Computing Is Enabling The Next Phase Of The Internet Evolution

Carlota Perez wrote a book titled “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital” (2002) that is a real interesting read.  Perez says that there have been five historical waves of economic and social transformation in the developed economies of the world. Each of these waves have what she calls an Installation phase followed by a crash of some sort and then a Deployment period. 

HorizonWatching - Carlota Perz 5 Waves

Perez says that our global economy has now entered the deployment phase of the fifth technology investment cycle, which she says is the Age of Information and Telecommunications (see embedded picture).  Perez says that this will be a period of adjustment when novel business models will exploit the new IT infrastructure that is now being put in place that enable more porous, open, collaborative approaches that seek to leverage the economics and flexibility of global sourcing.  She expects enterprises of all sizes will employ technology to help them transform their business models, processes and operations.

As mentioned, Perez says we are entering this Deployment phase. As we do there are some key characteristics across our global economy that is impacting how this phase develops. The firms that will succeed are the firms that will embrace these characteristics and the change that is happening in order to innovate and leapfrog competition.

Important characteristics of our global economy includes:

  • A level, global economic playing field presents new opportunities, challenges and competitive technologies
  • New technologies, services and skills are emerging…and they are quickly being integrated into every aspect of business and everyday life
  • The pace of change is dramatically compressing “windows of opportunity” for real competitive advantage.
  • Billions of skilled people are entering the world’s economy, fundamentally transforming the mix of the global workforce
  • The interconnected nature of our world’s economy means businesses must be prepared to respond to – and capitalize on – changes in real time, with unprecedented flexibility.

While all this is happening, we are moving into what I believe is the third stage of the Internet. Call it Web 3.0 or whatever you wish, but cloud computing is perhaps the most important technology.  In fact, I believe that cloud computing is the key enabling technology for this next technological wave and the next phase in the evolution of the Internet.

HorizonWatching - Private Clouds Enables Next Wave of the Internet

Back in the mid to late 1990s companies were just concerned with getting websites up so they could have a presence on the Internet. It was all about providing very basic information to the public. But soon the so called e-commerce trend arose and business was being conducted on the Internet. Then Web 2.0 came into play and all users realized that they could share their ideas, create content, and collaborate online.  We are now well into this next phase of the evolution where the enabling technologies will be cloud, analytics, mobile, video, and semantic capabilities.  This so called Web 3.0 phase will provide applications that are much more immersive, social, and collaborative in nature.  Combined that with an explosion of networked sensors and advanced predictive analytic and all the Smarter Planet initiatives will become a reality. 

But the most important enabler will be the combination of private and public cloud computing infrastructures that will be the ‘engine’ of the future Internet.

About HorizonWatching

Profile pic from TwitterWhat is HorizonWatching?:   HorizonWatching was launched in 2006 to encourage sharing information and collaborating about emerging trends, technologies, and business issues that will impact businesses of all sizes in the future.  We’re also interested in discussing how businesses plan for the future.  So what is your vision of the future for the business/technology topic that you are focused on?

About Me: I’m an IBMer who is interested in understanding the potential futures that await us.  I’ve spent most of my career in marketing research and strategy roles.  So, I like to do research on emerging trends, technologies and business issues.  Anything I say or do related to the HorizonWatching effort is my own work and does represent the views of the company I work for (IBM).   I won’t bore you here with my background.  For more on me, see my LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/whchamb

Follow HorizonWatching:

Foresight Method – A Primer on Scenario Planning

Primer on Scenario Planning Introduction To Scenario Planning

Scenario planning is a Foresight technique that can help provide a view into the future in a world of great uncertainty.   Scenarios are carefully crafted stories about the future embodying a wide variety of ideas and integrating them in a way that is communicable and useful.  Using scenario planning techniques, teams can imagine plausible futures with the objective to explore potential surprises and unexpected developments.  It can help manage strategic risks and opportunities. 

Scenario planning has its roots in military strategy studies, but it was transformed into a business tool in the late 1960's and early 1970's, by Pierre Wack of Royal Dutch/Shell.  By applying scenario planning techniques, Shell was better prepared to deal with the oil shock that occurred in late 1973.  As a result, Shell greatly improved its competitive position in the industry during the oil crisis and the oil glut that followed.

Why Should Companies Do Scenario Planning?

Scenario planning is a technique analysts and strategists can use to deal with major, uncertain shifts in a company’s environment.  Scenario planning is particularly useful in emerging markets or when existing markets are gong through rapid changes and disruption.  It is during these times that information is limited and it is hard to predict with certainty what might happen in the future.  In these cases, traditional forecasting techniques often fail to predict significant changes going on in the external environment.  Consequently, important opportunities and serious threats may be overlooked and the very survival of the firm may be at stake.  

Other benefits of scenario planning include:

  • It forces people out of their typical view of the market and therefore can expose blind spots that might have been overlooked in the current long range strategic plans

  • As the future unfolds, we are better able to recognize a scenario in its early stages as it happens, rather than being caught off guard.

It is important to understand that the objective of scenario planning is not to fully predict the future.  Instead, it attempts to help describe what is possible.  The objective of scenario planning is to describe a group of distinct futures, all of which are plausible.  Once those potential futures are developed, the challenge then is how to deal with each of them.

The Basics Of Scenario Planning

Scenario planning usually takes place in a workshop setting.  The workshop can range from a half a day to a number of days, depending on the complexity of the market being studied.  It is best to have a diverse team assembled, including  analysts, strategists, subject matter experts, and industry leaders.  The idea is to bring together a group that has a wide range of viewpoints in order to fully explore alternative scenarios that are outside the current accepted forecasts. 

Any scenario planning workshop should encourage unstructured thinking, therefore, the process itself should not necessarily be too structured.  With that in mind, the following outlines the sequence of actions that may constitute the process of scenario planning.

  1. Form Team.  Identify people who will contribute a wide range of perspectives.
  2. Conduct pre-workshop interviews as appropriate.  Ideally, the process should include pre-workshop interviews with managers who later will formulate and implement strategies based on the scenario analysis.  Without their input the scenarios may leave out important details and not lead to action if they do not address issues important to those who will implement the strategy.
  3. Begin workshop.  Introduce Scenario Planning Exercise.  Define goals/objectives.  Specify the scope/time frame.
  4. Develop a clear understanding of the present situation.  This will serve as a common departure point for each of the scenarios.
  5. Document current trends any future events/elements that are virtually certain to occur.
  6. Understand external environment.  Identify the critical uncertainties in the political, economic, social, and technological factors.
  7. Identify the more important driving forces.  Take into account the potential variation and impact of each driver.  After listing all driving forces, rank the driving forces in order of significance.
  8. For the most important drivers, consider a few possible values for each.  Range between extremes while avoiding highly improbable values.
  9. Understand potential interaction between the driving forces.  One way to do this is to develop a matrix of scenarios using the two most important variables and their possible values.  Each cell in the matrix then represents a single scenario.  Assign names to each scenario and sketch out rough pictures/descriptions of different futures based on these scenarios.  One of these scenarios most likely will reflect the mainstream views of the future, while others will shed light on what else is possible.  At the end of this step, there is not any detail associated with these rough scenarios.  They are simply high level descriptions of a combination of important environmental variables.
  10. Develop Detailed Stories.  During this step further work is needed to develop detailed impact scenarios that explain in more detail how each scenario might affect the corporation.  Specifics can be generated by writing a story to develop each scenario starting from the present.  The story should be internally consistent for the selected scenario so that it describes that particular future as realistically as possible.   Experts in specific fields can be called upon to develop more detail around each story.  The goal of the detailed stories is to transform the analysis from a simple matrix of the obvious range of environmental factors into decision scenarios useful for strategic planning.
  11. Quantify the impact of each scenario on the firm, and formulate appropriate strategies.
  12. At this point, if the team is comfortable doing so, it can be useful to assign a probability to each scenario.
  13. Establish signposts for each scenario.  During this step, the team should identify a set of early warning signals or signposts for each scenario.  These are event that could happen that would indicate to the team that the particular scenario is beginning to unfold.
  14. Finally, the team should establish a process that regularly monitors, evaluates and reviews the scenarios.

What comes out of the scenario planning process is a number of plausible scenarios that can be used to as input into strategic planning discussions.  The point is not to select one scenario as the preferred future and hope for it to become true.  Nor is the point to fund the most probable future and adapt to it.  Rather, the point is to make strategic decisions that will be sound for all plausible futures. 

It should be noted that strategists/executives may not take scenarios seriously if those scenarios deviate too much from their preconceived view of the world.  Many will prefer to rely on forecasts and their judgment, even if they realize that they may miss important changes in the firm's environment.  To broaden their thinking,  it is useful to create "phantom" scenarios that show the adverse results if the firm were to base its decisions on the mainstream view while the reality turned out to be one of the other scenarios.  For each scenario, I always like to ask the question:  What is the worse impact that we can imagine will happen if we do nothing and this scenario comes true?

Summary

 

Scenario planning works by understanding the nature and impact of the most uncertain and important driving forces affecting the company's future.  It is a group process which encourages knowledge exchange and development of mutual deeper understanding of central issues important to the future of the business. 

The goal is to craft a number of diverging stories by extrapolating uncertain and heavily influencing driving forces.  The stories together with the work getting there has the dual purpose of increasing the knowledge of the business environment and widen both the receiver's and participant's perception of possible future events. 

I'd encourage you to try out scenario planning as a way to imagine the potential futures. 

Additional Reading/Resources

IDC Insights: Manufacturing Product Life Cycle Management 2010 Predictions

IDC PLM 2010 Predictions About a week or so ago I attended the IDC Manufacturing Insights conference call where IDC outlined its 2010 Predictions for Product Life Cycle Management.  On the call Joe Barkai, IDC PLM Practice Director and  Benjamin Friedman, IDC PLM Research Manager took the conference call attendees through IDC’s predictions and trends for the Manufacturing PLM market.

Here’s my summary of IDCs top trends in PLM

  1. Innovation and Business Alignment.  In 2010, IDC says there will be an increased focus on aligning PLM innovation with business strategy, making sure innovation is ‘productive’ and is helping the company achieve growth.
  2. Enterprise PLM is Maturing.  IDC is saying that PLM is becoming an important factor in the entire enterprise decision-making discipline, but more progress is needed to integrate all manufacturing systems across the organization.
  3. Socializing” Product Development:   Social computing has had an impact in marketing and support.  In 2010, we should all expect the social computing trend to have an impact on product development. Innovative firms will figure this out in 2010.
  4. Rising Demand for PLM Value:  IDC says that in 2010, PLM vendors need to demonstrate value and relevance.  IDC is encouraging vendors to emphasize integration, interoperability and open source.
  5. Visualization for Better Decision-Making:  Decision makers need to see the information in new and different ways in order to help them make better decisions.  Expect an increasing emphasis on the importance of making sense of all the data collected and stored via advanced analytics and visualization tools. 
  6. Technical Content is Back.   IDC says there will be an effort by companies to introduce new technical related services and improve the quality of existing services as a way to differentiate their products.
  7. Factory of the Future.  Smarter and more intelligent manufacturing is a big trend.  IDC says to expect an increased interest by manufacturing companies in the area of intelligent factory networks that can “design anywhere, build anywhere, sell & service anywhere”. 
  8. Beyond Discrete Manufacturing.  IDC believes that PLM software can and will be implemented in some non-traditional areas, like process manufacturing, retail and consumer goods, and perhaps even financial services.  
  9. PLM in the Cloud.  IDC says adoption of enterprise cloud-based PLM solutions will slowly begin to take off.  All the right drivers are in place and many of the concerns are being resolved.
  10. M&As to Close Gaps.   IDC says that given the economic climate, some firms will take the opportunity to merge and / or acquire other firms in order to build scale and/or access new markets.

Personally, I’d like to see a lot of focus on prediction number 3.  I don’t see many firms leveraging social computing yet as a way to innovate the product development process.

The webinar was recorded and you can check it out by going to IDC Insights Predictions 2010: Manufacturing Product Lifecycle Management (registration required).

For more information,

IBM Weighs in on “The Future of the Consumer Products Industry”

cpbanner_hero IBM recently released a new Institute for Business Value whitepaper titled, "The Future of the Consumer Products Industry" which identifies the powerful macroeconomic, demographic and social trends that are driving deep changes across the CP industry.

For most of the 20th century, the CP industry grew largely by improving its ability to develop and sell products to a relatively affluent, homogenous market of shoppers, who responded in familiar and predictable ways to the traditional 4 Ps of price, product, place(ment) and promotion.

The CP industry of the future will be led by those companies willing to take bold, innovative steps to define the markets they serve, re-imagine the channels they use, and transform current business models, while executing flawlessly against six capabilities:

  • Globalization – Balancing market demands for localization with global/standard operating efficiencies
  • Differentiation – Deploying assets and processes to create sustainable differentiation
  • Integrated information – Integrating information to drive the business through insight
  • Innovation – Create and deliver offerings that go beyond consumer expectations
  • Consumer-centricity – Finding new ways to connect with consumers
  • Corporate responsibility – Integrating corporate responsibility into the organization's DNA.

In conjunction with the release of “The Future of the Consumer Products Industry”, IBM recently released the results of a research study that found Americans at all income levels are refusing to sacrifice quality, value and nutrition to save money on food, despite difficult financial conditions.

The study also revealed that the current economy has led U.S. shoppers to reassess the brands they purchase, the stores they patronize and their preferred packaging – all with an eye toward finding ways to save money. Respondents said that this in-store spending strategy would last beyond the recession.

The study was based on interviews with 4,000 U.S. residents across all income levels. Among the findings:

  • 72 percent of respondents are more concerned with quality than price while food shopping.
  • 90 percent of respondents said that value and nutrition will be of equal or greater importance when the recession ends.
  • 68 percent say nutrition is the most important consideration when food shopping.
  • 49 percent are shopping at multiple stores to get the best deals.
  • 35 percent of respondents said that they have changed grocery stores to save money.
  • 52 percent of consumers are reducing the volume of food they purchase from the grocery store.

For more informatoin

Friday Gadget: Concept for a Harley in 2020

harley davidson concept

What will a Harley look like in 2020?   That’s what designer Miguel Cotto wanted to explore.   His resulting design is sleek and robotic. 

The 2020 Harley design is Cotto’s attempt to fast forward 10 years.   According to Cotto, the 2020 Harley will still have a large 883cc engine, with that solid brand sound of high revs and roars, but the traditional road hog will look entirely different.  Missing are today’s handlebars and spoke wheels.  The wheel hubs are said to be giant bearings.  And you can’t miss thinking that the orange color represents total transformation.

More pictures at Harley Davidson Circa 2020, which is on the Yanko Design website.  Yanko Design is a site that encourages designers to explore designs for the future.  If you spend some time on Yanko’s website, you’ll see there are all sorts of concept designs.

To me, this is more like a 2060 (or maybe even a 2100) design than a 2020 design.  From a technology perspective, I seriously doubt that embedded sensors, robotics, AI, and nanotechnology that looks to be a part of this whole design will be ready by 2020.  And from a brand image perspective, I don’t see Harley making such radical changes to their design over the next ten years…but perhaps you could make a case for 50 years from now. 

Want to get a feel for what it would be like to ride one of these things?  Check out the Official Tron Legacy Trailer and go for a 3 minute ride.