MIS4596 SEC 001 Spring 2018

Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Post 4 & 5 McDonald’s New Tech

McDonald’s has been investing in new technology that will change the customer experience and put a lot of McDonald workers out of the job. The digital platform will change ordering by implementing self-service kiosks. While McDonald’s executives were excited about the new changes made, day-to-day workers were less then enthused. Dickerson, a McDonald’s employee, voiced his concerned saying “They added a lot of complicated things,” Dickerson said in an interview. “It makes it harder for the workers.” Turnover in fast food chains have jumped to 150%. The article states that employees constantly switch off between old fashion ordering and the new platform. McDonald’s ordering has gotten 30 seconds slower from 2016.


In MIS 4596, we constantly talk about how automation is the future and will save company’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think a large part of the implementation process that many people tend to ignore is getting employees involved and excited about the technology that will be implemented. If the employees are not excited/on broad about the technology being implemented than the company could lose more then they gain. What are your thoughts on how McDonald’s implemented new kiosks? What do you think McDonald’s could have done better so their employees embraced the new technology?



Patton, L. (2018, March 13). McDonald’s Tech Features Are Pushing Human Workers Out the Door. Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-13/worker-exodus-builds-at-mcdonald-s-as-mobile-app-sows-confusion

IoT on The Farm Could Spell Trouble at Home

You may not think of a farm as a place where technology can be leveraged effectively.  However, IoT on the farm through smart tractors and other farming equipment can help tech-savvy farmers plant and harvest more efficiently than ever.  These devices can provide farmers advice on where, when, and how much to plant and fertilize.  Unfortunately, according to a recent article by Rian Wanstreet at Motherboard, many issues with far-reaching implications have arisen between farmers and Big Agriculture equipment manufacturers.

According to the article, incredibly restrictive End User Licensing Agreements deliver control of the IoT devices and the big data they generate, to the manufacturers instead of the farmers that depend on the data to make important and timely decisions.  These EULAs not only restrict farmers’ access to the data their farms generate, but also heavily restrict how and where farmers can handle their devices themselves.

Big data and IoT is certainly valuable, but the struggle for control and ownership of that data is raising complex problems that can have implications stretching across industries and even into our homes as IoT and similar technologies become more common.


Facial Recognition Sunglasses to Track Citizens

Beijing police are testing out a new security tool, facial recognition glasses, that can identify facial features and car registration plates within milliseconds and match them in real-time with a database of suspects.These AI-powered glasses were built by LLVision Technology Company. They scan the faces of people in the vehicle and the license plates, catching suspects and people traveling under false identities then flagging a red box and a warning sign to the police when a match is found in the “blacklist”. It’s powered by a system called Skynet which is a national database of blacklisted people and is controlled by a connected mobile unit. These sunglasses have been tested and used as extra security for the annual meeting of China’s parliament to extend Xi Jinping’s presidency. The Chinese government has a list of people who are not to be at the meeting and could face additional enforcement actions if they are in attendance. This blacklist includes criminals, journalists, lawyers, political dissidents and more.

The glasses have only been previously tested in Zhengzhou train stations and police are said to have caught seven suspects and 26 travelers using false identities in one day. China leaders are pushing to leverage technology in order to boost security in the country. Surveillance and facial recognition technology are currently on the rise in China with there being 170 million surveillance cameras. The government is looking to triple that number in the next 2 years, eventually being able to identify a person within 3 seconds. Many people are worried about the infringement of privacy and human rights with the high number of surveillance cameras and new facial recognition technologies.

Wu Fei, CEO of LLVision, says people should not be worried about privacy concerns because China authorities use the AI-powered equipment for “noble causes”. What do you think, are citizens privacy being invaded? To what extent do you believe that the facial recognition glasses are producing accurate data? Do you think this is something the US could potentially invest in?




Kuri: an adorable home robot

Kuri is an interesting home robot designed by Mayfield Robotics, a Bosch-owned startup. It is not just functional, but like a virtual member of your family. It responds to voice input and responds with light, robot noises and blinking motions. It can capture moments of life automatically, play music and podcasts wherever you are in the house and have fun with your kids. It learns fast of your home’s floor plan and know which room belongs to whom. It can wake you up in time for work and greet you when you come home. It will patrol the halls and record moments when hearing sounds, like your housekeeper that make your home secure and let you check on your pets when you are away.

Do you feel like you need a robot acts like Kuri? Do you think having a robot at home is useful or annoying?

Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/products/mayfield-robotics-kuri/preview/

Ready for takeoff: Front Door Tech


The one thing that we use every day that hasn’t received a technology upgrade is your front door. New start-ups and big e-commerce giants are trying to change that. We are in the age of on-demand delivery, service providers are looking to leverage technological innovation with doors.


Just recently Amazon acquired Ring, a smart doorbell developer, for $1.1 billion. The smart locks are attached to camera systems. For Amazon’s goal is to repurpose and leverage this to enable in-home deliveries to customers who don’t want their packages sitting outside. There could be many commercial applications with new front door tech. Such as Airbnb or renters can manage access to home with tech as opposed to having to physically give and take keys. Service providers such as cleaners, plumbers, or installers can leverage this tech also.


  • What kind of compliance/agreement would you require before using front door tech?
  • What else can front door tech be used for?
  • What other areas of our lives/homes with become smarter?



Recent Hacking Experiment Displays Cybersecurity Dangers of Robots and IoT

Over the past year, cybersecurity firm IOActive successfully conducted a ransomware experiment on a popular humanoid robot created by SoftBank Robotics. This robot, titled NAO, is equipped with microphones and cameras and is typically used in classrooms, retail stores, and offices for customer assistance. NAO is capable of connecting to wireless networks and other IoT devices, and leverages artificial intelligence.

In this experiment, IOActive was able to steal stored data, completely control its audio and visual features, and was essentially able to hold the device ransom until the firm received bitcoin. This is alarming for a multitude of reasons, but primarily due to the increasing use of Internet of Things. As individuals and businesses are starting to create more  of these networks in their everyday lives, the more prone they are to these dangerous attacks. These attacks have the ability to devastate a business financially and even halt business operations for smaller companies. Although this research didn’t actually cause harm, it displays the potential dangers that arise with the use of robots and connected devices. Cesar Currdo, CTO of IOActive, believes that the impact of ransomware on robots is “much bigger” than any other type of device and can “directly affects business production and services.”

Do you believe that the security dangers associated with robots and IoT are almost understated? Do you find yourself hesitant at all to implement these technologies in your everyday lives?

Article Link

Facebook Robots Could Become a Household Norm

Facebook just filed a patent for a self balancing robot last week. The current use of the robot is speculative with endless possibilites. The robot could follow you around your home while video calling, automatically take pictures for social media, carry around objects in the house, or televise local or pro events. The current market for robots of this sort is extremely expensive, with most robots costing a couple thousand. If Facebook is able to drive down the costs and complete their vision of household robots, could this revolutionize the robot industry? Do you think this patent has the ability to be a disruptive innovation like the mobile phone was for the computer/phone industry?

facebook robot 1

Article Link

VR: The New Standard for Training Healthcare Professionals?

We are often told that “practice makes perfect”. If this is the case, then our historical reliance on textbooks and manuals to properly educate and prepare people to do real jobs is ineffective and unfounded. Luckily, the rapid development of VR (virtual reality) technologies has created many opportunities for industries to ditch theory, discussion and textbooks while training professionals, and instead adopt VR video games as creative alternatives to traditional training methods. For example, Isobar’s Common Ground VR game simulates what it is like to live with visual disabilities such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. By allowing people without these disabilities to experience the effects that the disability has on them, Isobar expects healthcare professionals gain a better understanding of the conditions with VR assistance than without it. As a result of this newfound understanding, professionals will create better ways of accommodating and treating individuals with the condition.

VR can also help aspiring healthcare professionals practice interactions with patients, and increase the effectiveness of these interactions in the workplace. For example, Kognito’s simulation game allows users to discuss substance abuse with a virtual patient, help a student who suffers from psychological distress navigate their issues, and even allows users to practice responding to patients who doesn’t comply with medication instructions.

VR has many obstacles to overcome before it can achieve rapid mainstream adoption, but it is well on its way. Do you feel that it is only a matter of time before VR takes over as the standard for training all professionals?

For more information see: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/08/28/virtual-reality-vr-is-a-growing-reality-in-health-care/#21bb25854838 

The New Lost and Found

New technology will be able to track all of your items not just electronics in case of misplacement. Ping GPS was created by Josh Lippiner after he could not find his daughter during a game of hide and seek. Ping GPS is a small device that you could attach to your child’s shoes or your wallet. Other companies are trying to adopt this technology into their products as well. This tracking technology could be in your keys, luggage, glasses and any other item.
Would you want all of your items to be tracked online? Do you find this item useful or a breach of privacy? Do you think other companies or the government be able to access this information?


Babel-Fish Earbuds

Google has created a pair of earbuds called Pixel Buds that allow users to get instant translations for the language they speak. They work by one user wearing the earbuds while the person speaking has the Google pixel smartphone. The user with the earbuds simply speaks their language and an application translates the voice which is then played out loud on the phone. When the person with the phone responds, their response is translated, which is heard through the earbuds. An advancement on this type technology could open many doors in terms on communicating in different languages.

How do you see these headphones being used todays society? How do you see these headphones playing out in foreign affairs?  Do you think they pose as a benefit or a burden to, being that now consumers might ignore learning a new language?



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