Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

Uncategorized

Lenovo’s Smart Display Inspires Google to Launch Similar Product

Lenovo is releasing a new UK product in October that is integrated with the Google Assistant voice activated technology, and it is making big waves within the gadget community. This sleek new device offers all the same functionality as Google’s line of voice activated products, but offers a colorful screen display in addition to audio. This, it turns out, is what people really want and it is stirring up a lot of excitement. This new product unveil has inspired Google to create their own version called the Google Home Hub. This will also be released in October and will give tech enthusiasts a tough choice when deciding what their new premier voice technology investment will be. Although both devices use the Google Assistant, Lenovo’s offering is much more expensive than Google’s.

This is an example of disruptive innovation. Lenovo is a new entrant that created a new product, but unlike normal situations, they chose to try to capture the high end of the market with a premium product meant for undershot customers. Google, the incumbent, is releasing a product to combat Lenovo’s. However, they are continuing along the path of sustaining innovation by gradually attempting to increase the performance of their products to capture undershot customers. They already offer lower end Google Assistant technologies for the overshot customers, so they have quite the opportunity to expand their market share with a reliable yet cheaper option to the high performing Lenovo Smart Display. Only time will tell who comes out on top, but the competition within the AI technology world is growing steadily. Will there be a new company we never heard of with most of the market share by 2050? Will voice technology be replaced by something more advanced by 2050? “Hey Google,” give me the answers!

CVS Deal With Aetna Changes Healthcare

After a relatively long amount of time, CVS Health Corp is expected to close it’s purchase of Aetna later this month. The company has only recently won approval to purchase Aetna and is expecting to merge Aetna into it’s existing infrastructure. By merging these two giants, we can expect to see a reshaped healthcare sector as it combines one of the largest pharmaceutical providers with one of the oldest health insurers. After learning about disruptive innovations in class, this article seemed to fit as it is combining two companies in the same general field but not specific sector allowing for a more aligned, over arching company. With the combination, CVS could start offering anything from screenings to preventative care services in it’s clinics for customers with Aetna health insurance. Compared to other healthcare insurances, the combination of convenience and reputation that both bring to the table could disrupt the entire healthcare industry.

AI for Nurse Staffing

AI has a high impact on healthcare. It offers multiple benefits such as identifying new techniques that can prevent diseases, perform clinical diagnoses. AI also has the capability of detecting meaningful relationships in a data set that can be used in meaningful situations. For instance, there are startups like Cerebro that focuses on improving nurse staffing.

Day and night, hospitals require high-quality clinical staff for their patients.  To meet their needs, hospitals increasingly rely on inefficient, insufficient staffing agencies. The agencies rarely find all of the necessary staff or only after a long delay.  At the same time, agencies treat themselves to high margins instead of rewarding the clinicians’ valuable work.

Cerebro is a SaaS enabled marketplace that disrupts the traditional means through which healthcare organizations connect with clinicians for contingent work. It offers a faster, responsive healthcare solution that connects healthcare facilities with verified, ready-to-work clinicians to book appointments, manage prescriptions, tracks patients diet and exercise, post and accept both per diem and contract shifts, without reliance on intermediaries. These activities go directly to the hundreds of nurses on the Cerebro mobile app. Therefore, allowing for immediate responses and shortening time to procurement to nearly zero. The app tracks and delivers quality nurses on time and makes supplemental staffing more capital efficient by better utilizing each dollar of spending from the healthcare organization.

Elon Musk says Telsas will come when you call them (Disruptive Innovation)

Elon Musk has just announced a new feature in Telsa vehicles called Summon. Summon is a parking feature that allows the owner of the vehicle to call it to their phone’s location by using a smartphone. This new feature will be released through a over-the-air software upgrade and will be accessible in vehicles made in the past 2 years. Musk also announced that owners will be able to “drive their car like a big RC car if in line of sight.”

Tesla is widely known for their amazing innovations in auto-piloting vehicles, and this is another step in that direction. The “controlling a car like an RC car” is a little frightening to me at first glance, but it’s only if the car is within a certain range of the smartphone.

We have discussed disruptive innovation in class recently and this is a great example of sustaining innovation. Elon Musk understands that in order to stay profitable, you must continue to innovate your products and provide users with better and better experiences. Even though there aren’t really many competitors in the auto-piloting motor vehicles space, Telsa continues to disrupt.

Tech Giants May Have to be Split Up

According to the inventor of the World Wide Web, Time Berners-Lee, the overbearing dominance of few Tech Giants (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple) is becoming too large. In an interview, Berners-Lee states that, “what naturally happens is you end up with one company dominating the field so through history there is no alternative to really coming in and breaking things up.” Prior to splitting themgiants photo up, Berners-Lee states, that it is important to see whether a small player beats them out of the market, or if the overall shift in interest within the market affects these companies instead. He continues to explain that the overall “individual empowerment” that comes with the Web, has in a way, dissipated.

With excessive market power, these giant prevent the entrance of new innovations because they are established enough to see off their potential rivals. An interesting point that Barners-Lee made was about the potential for a disinterest within the market. However I seem hesitant to believe that with a shift in interest within the market will stop these companies from also shifting alongside it due to their vast amounts of financial resources and dominance over such an omnipresent industry. But you truly never know what the future holds.

GrandPad- A low-end, sustaining innovation for older tech users

In “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant,” authors W. C. Kim and R. Mauborgne present a strategic sequence for evaluating innovations, similar to the framework we use in MIS4596. Using this sequence, I will examine how the product GrandPad, a low-tech, easy-to-use, wifi-connected tablet is a low-end, sustaining innovation that taps into a new market of nonconsumers.

First, the sequence looks at six buyer utility levers. GrandPad touches on four of these levers. GrandPad increases utility in the simplicity category by limiting the number of apps tablet photoand features to only those users use regularly. It increases convenience by using larger icons and an intuitive interface, meaning no training or assistance is required. It increases utility in the risk category by providing seniors with a private family network, eliminating concerns regarding internet scams and risky browsing. Finally, because it’s focused on the family, it has greater utility to seniors in the fun and image category.

After establishing exceptional utility, the next step is to price the product strategically. Because the GrandPad innovation lacks excludability, rivals can take the idea and customers along with it. Therefore the price must be set low to retain customers. At $200 for the tablet, plus accessories and support, and $40 per month service fee, this product is at the low-end of the tablet and cellular service markets. This matches the price-sensitivity of seniors as well.

The next step is ensuring costs are low enough to hit the company’s profit target. The levers the authors of “Blue Ocean Strategy” reference are streamlining operations, partnering, or changing the pricing model of the industry. GrandPad uses the latter two options in its strategic costing. GrandPad is a product of Consumer Cellular who partners with large cellular companies like T-Mobile by buying their unused capacity at a reduced cost. Their pricing model is unusual in that they bundle cellular and tablet costs which reduces marketing costs for the cellular arm of the company.

The final step is to address anything that would limit users from adopting the product. The GrandPad could face user adoption issues if seniors had to buy a lot of additional components or call their families every time they needed help using the product. GrandPad solves these issues by providing complementary products like stylus pens, charging stations, protective covers, and specialized user support in the product’s bottom-line price. One user adoption issue they still need to revisit is coverage. The cellular coverage in rural areas, where many older people choose to retire, is not as good as in dense, urban centers. Despite this, the product is making waves in the tech industry: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-07/an-ipad-for-80-year-olds-senior-citizen-carrier-bets-on-tablets

ABB building robotics “factory of the future” in China

A plant is slated to open in China in 2020 that is being labeled as “A factory where robots will build robots”. Swiss firm ABB Group plans to build a $150 million “Factory of the Future” in Shanghai, it said in a recent statement. It will become the most high-tech robotics manufacturing site on the planet, the company said. The Shanghai factory will host artificial intelligence research, and humans will work alongside robots. Autopiloted carts will be following robots around the factory, carting necessary supplies. The new Shanghai factory will feature a number of machine learning, digital and collaborative solutions to make it the most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the The new Shanghai factory will feature a number of machine learning, digital and collaborative solutions to make it the most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the robotics industry. (Photo: Business Wire)
robotics industry, and an onsite R&D center will help accelerate innovations in artificial intelligence. Even though the main purpose of this factory is to make better use of manufacturing space, it may start a trend of completely eliminating factory workers and replacing them with robots and automated machines, leaving many people unemployed.

AI Lie Detector

In Hungary, Latvia, and Greece boarders will be met with new security – AI. The new systems called IBorderCTRL is AI developed in the UK. Its main focus is security of borders and will replace the traditional man in the box security.

The AI will analyze facial features typically unnoticeable to the blind eye. Through micro-expressions (elevated eyes or mouth twitch) this AI will be likely to pick up on signals of liars. If it detects a lie, it will become more aggressive and  eventually escalate to human security. Right now it is in its trivial stages of development, but this is the next step in global security.

Personally, I have mixed feelings on this type of system. I think security is necessary, but there is a fine line between excess security and freedom.

 

https://gizmodo.com/an-ai-lie-detector-is-going-to-start-questioning-travel-1830126881

The Downside to Social Media


After the recent tragedies that have happened throughout the world, people have come to blame social media and technology for the lack of security and surveillance of these platforms. Social media has become a place for people to express themselves, which means that while people are innocently talking about their own life and use it as entertainment, others are using it as a place to spew their hate and find likeminded individuals like them. Social media tech companies are now trying to find a way on how to limit what certain people say without destroying the very fundamentals of their company.

With the AI and machine learning of these companies not being able to pick out the troubling tweets and posts, they have to find a new way on how to keep a hold of them. The solution to this problem may just be developing better tools and adding to what they already have. With social media platforms having billions of customers worldwide, there has to be some way to monitor what is happening throughout the platform. This shows how the risks with technology can be a big problem to solve, with the solution not being invented yet, and there needs to be innovation to do this.

source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/29/tech/social-media-hate-speech/index.html

5G

The federal Communication Commission is looking to auction US licenses that will allow 5G services. 5G will allow speeds to be about 100 times faster than the current cellular speeds we experience now. There are a few more benefits as well. It can increase the responsiveness and allow more people being on the same network without any delay or lagging. Having less delay and response time can help other technology improve dramatically such as VR, drones, self driving vehicles, and social media apps. Self Driving vehicles can allow accelerated information such as finding out the location and speeds more effectively. VR devices would be able to display a much more advanced experience that consumers would enjoy. Social media apps, such as Facebook Live would be able to have more clear live videos of everyone. Drones are similar to the self driving vehicles that would give us more data and footage needed. 5G is coming soon and will impact all of our lives dramatically. What features are you looking for most that will be impacted by 5G networks?

 

https://www.cnet.com/news/a-look-at-5gs-most-promising-applications-for-now/