Are You Ready To Innovate?


(By Buzz Knight) Every year at CES one of the must-attend events is the Shelly Palmer (pictured here) Innovation Breakfast. Palmer leads the Palmer Group which offers strategic counsel, design and digital engineering services for some of the world’s best-known brands, media, entertainment, tech companies, and trade organizations, and his company always has a laser focus on the leading edge of technology.

The breakfast brings multiple thought leaders together to frame questions like:
How do you see the future?
What do you believe?
How will you invest your time and resources to take maximum advantage of technological innovation?

Shelly starts attacking those questions by laying out “observable techno-facts”:
– We are more dependent on technology than ever.
– We will use more technology tomorrow than we are using today.
– Technology is way ahead of any policy or law that might govern it.
– Social media addiction is real.
– The data rich are getting richer, and the data poor are getting poorer.
– The America-centric duopoly of Google and Facebook will become an America-centric triopoly which will include Amazon.
– Everyone loves everything on-demand.

The Palmer Group prepares an annual analysis for the Innovation Breakfast regarding technology trends like:
– AI — Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Intelligence.
– Human/machine partnerships are the next step in workforce development.
– AI will not replace people but it will put people out of work because of the increased productivity of human/machine partnerships.
– He urges consideration of using AI for visual recognition, speech to text, language translation, voice recognition, photo filtering, automatic workflows, and pattern matching, just to name a few.
– Information technology, hardware and software information is not knowledge and recruiting top talent will get harder.

On Autonomous Vehicles
Palmer predicts by 2020 automated vehicles with sensor fusion, co-pilot, and dependability will be part of a robust and active business. He believes we are a few years away from Level 5 autonomy (no human intervention required).

On Connected Living
Palmer asks “ Are phones even a thing?” We are close to the end of handsets and suggests we have no clear indication of what’s next? Is it eyewear? A wristband or cuff? An implant?

He observes the growth of digital health and the fact that devices and applications will amplify the productivity of health care professionals in the years ahead.

One of the big topics of the event was the importance of open source. Years ago here at CES, I observed that Ford brought an open-source mentality to their in-car dash technology. It jumped out as a way to potentially jump-start innovation. Open source is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to build software and hardware. Jarad Palmer says, “Get involved and support open-source projects.”

One of the things that strikes me this year at CES is the importance of separating fact from hype here at the show.

A1 is a prime example this year. Everyone is touting A1 this but what is the use case? Is it a marketing term or is it a reality for the benefit of the marketplace? As we immerse ourselves in the dizzying pace of CES, it’s important that we realize whether brands and products are ready for prime time and able to capture marketshare.


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