Category Archives: Digital

Our Top Picks for Must-Attend Wearable Electronics Conferences in 2017

2017 is set to be the biggest year yet for wearable electronics conferences; currently, there are 70 scheduled wearables conferences globally. Many conferences look at the broader innovation happening in wearables, with 41% (28 total) focusing on overall wearable development; this can be in hardware, software, or niche use cases. Conferences focusing solely on software and app development follow closely behind with 33% of the total. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been receiving more attention recently in wearable electronics and similarly in digital health & wellness (client registration required).

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IBM Helps Walmart Leverage Blockchain to Improve Food Safety Outcomes

In October 2016, Walmart began testing blockchain’s capabilities to improve food safety across its complex global food supply chain. The initial proof-of-concept (POC) will track two products: one packaged produce item in the U.S. and pork in China. Using blockchain will enable the array of suppliers and distributors across the supply chain to record information on products in one central repository, rather than across a web of siloed, proprietary systems. In theory, this will increase transparency and create a permanent, traceable record of information as products move from supplier farms to Walmart shelves. Continue reading

Warehouse Robotics: Assistive Tools, or Replacements for Humans?

The e-commerce industry has seen a tremendous rate of growth, as is evident by the continuous increase in the volume of distribution centers around the globe. With this increase in the number of facilities, so too has the complexity and size of these installations grown. Despite this tremendous state of growth, the majority of logistics tasks are still primarily accomplished with manual labor. In order for distribution centers and other logistical operation sites to keep pace with this rate of growth, operation managers must, and indeed they have begun to, look at implementing automation products. Continue reading

Amazon Go Seeks to Break Big-Box Retailers With a Smaller, Smarter Store

Amazon recently announced Amazon Go, aiming to transform the ages-old brick-and-mortar retail experience. The official news broke via multiple channels, including a well-produced YouTube video showing shoppers entering a stylish grocery store. Central to the concept is the absence of any physical checkout system; shoppers check in upon arrival, and browse as they normally would. Amazon says it uses a combination of computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) to track users and items throughout the store. When a shopper picks a product, this array of in-store sensors and back-end analytics automatically tabulate the final bill (deducting it from their Amazon account, of course), allowing shoppers to be on their way − “Just walk out technology.” According to initial reports, Amazon has actually built a 1,800 ft2 test site in one of its Seattle buildings. While today it is only open to Amazon employees, it says it may allow the public to shop in “early 2017.” To put the store’s scope in perspective, it is the size of a modest home, whereas most of the U.S.’s 38,000 supermarkets are 50,000 ft2 or more – more than 25 times the size of Amazon’s store. Continue reading

Why It’s Important That You Can “Take a Ride in a Self-Driving Uber” Now (or Soon)

If you’re in San Francisco, you may have gotten an offer on December 14 to “Experience the future, starting today” as you “Take a ride in a Self-Driving Uber”. What’s remarkable about that? The little local startup announced that its hometown fleet of autonomous vehicles would now be carrying passengers, as they have for the last three months in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (where its Carnegie-Mellon collaboration is based). The cars will still have an “experienced operator” at the wheel, and will cost the same as the same trip in the company’s human-driven UberX service. What’s also remarkable is that Uber’s program was stopped by the California Department of Motor Vehicles on its very first day. Continue reading

What Went Down at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) World Expo

Lux Research recently helped co-chair the Artificial Intelligence (AI) World Executive Summit in San Francisco, CA. During the first day alone, we had the opportunity to hear from a diverse set of speakers, each esteemed in their own right, on their thoughts on artificial intelligence and how some of them were applying such technologies in their respective fields. Two sessions, in particular, did a fantastic job at providing two distinct perspectives on artificial intelligence that serve as sound guidelines for how enterprises should approach the hype surrounding the field. They are each summarized below: Continue reading

Boiling Down the Top IoT Startups in the Water Industry

Water utilities around the world have used smart devices connected to the internet for nearly two decades. Today, the meaning of connectivity in the water industry is drastically changing with the use of better analytics and robust hardware that requires little to no intervention, once deployed. With over 50,000 water utilities in the U.S. itself, the opportunity for internet of things (IoT)-based technology is growing in the water industry. There are some 300-plus large-scale utilities that each have more than 30,000 connections. However, for smaller utilities, budgetary concerns, and issues with scaling systems have been a hurdle for deploying smart meters and emerging technologies. Continue reading

WEBINAR – Beyond Buzzwords: Capitalizing on the Digital Transformation of the Enterprise

The headlines are rife with claims of huge market opportunities highlighted by poorly defined buzzwords such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, and the Digital Thread. While few would quibble with the potentially massive opportunity, the majority of enterprises are unprepared for how the digital transformation of their business will change both the products and services they offer, and the processes they use to generate them.

In this webinar Lux:

  • Explored what emerging technologies will threaten the status quo
  • Provided guidance for sorting through the hype to understand the offerings of players both big and small
  • Suggested a consideration of a cohesive corporate strategy to maximize the roles of disparate functions like IT, product development, and M&A

To view this webinar recording click here.

For the audio recording click here.

By: Kevin See

The Role of a Chief Robotics Officer and the Challenges Facing Enterprises Attempting to Implement Robotics Solutions

Lux recently attended RoboBusiness 2016 and its Chief Robotics Officer (CRO) Summit, where the role of the CRO was presented and discussed from a variety of viewpoints, including the perspective of Poul Martin Møller, CRO to the Region of South Denmark. If one hasn’t heard of the term, that’s because it is quite new and at this point more of a concept than a legitimate position within an organization. An analogy can be drawn to the term “chief information officer” (CIO), which was introduced in the 1980s and 1990s; those that predict the emergence of the CRO look at how the role of CIO, while indispensable today, was nearly unheard of back then, with only a small fraction of IT departments utilizing the title. The title of CRO could be expected to follow a similar trajectory, as well, as it is about structuring a corporate function that is intended to embrace a technology family in support of the rest of the business – robotics and automation, in this case. Today, the hypothetical role of the CRO can be spread across existing roles like the CIO, COO, etc., and really has to do with placing responsibility on a person or group for the implementation and integration of automation solutions across an organization. Continue reading

Industrial Big Data and Analytics in Digital Health

A profusion of patient sensors is joining advances in quantitative medicine and systems biology, giving health care providers more data than they can effectively manage. Focus is growing on prevention and chronic conditions, costs continue to rise, and medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. What these problems have in common is that they are all information problems – not a matter of making big new scientific breakthroughs.

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