Volkswagen's latest vision of the future is a "subtly wedged shaped" electric and autonomous concept vehicle that looks a little like the portable cassette boom box players of the 1980s. Either that or a canister vacuum—minus the attachment.
The fully autonomous concept is called Sedric—a combination of the words self-driving car—and has no pedals or steering wheel. The vehicle can be summoned with the push of a button and shuttle individuals to their destination, just like the human-operated services Uber and Lyft do today.
To use an IQOS, you push a flavored packet of tobacco called a heatstick into the mouth of a tubular, pipelike holder, which is a bit smaller than a kazoo. When you press a button on the holder, it heats up a metal blade inside, which cooks the tobacco to roughly a third of the temperature of a traditional cigarette. Then you puff away. The tobacco is warmed without combusting, so it doesn’t release any fire, smoke, or ash. This, in theory, makes it healthier to inhale when using heat-not-burn gadgets than when smoking, for instance, a run-of-the-mill Parliament.
In between heatsticks, you holster the cyberpipe in a mobile charger, a smooth, palm-size contraption that calls to mind a cigarette pack mated with a smartphone and designed by Apple’s Jony Ive.
Google is partnering with H&M’s Ivyrevel on the Data Dress, a smart couture piece of fashion that is created specifically for a user, based on various criteria that is gathered through the Snapshot API via an app that Google is creating with Ivyrevel. With the app, and the use of the Snapshot API as well as the Awareness API, multiple details like fitness activities, visited places like restaurants and other businesses, the weather in the location of the user and more are collectively used to design and make the dress, making this a unique piece of fashion that is truly tailored to one’s lifestyle.
A new system from ConnectedYard feeds data about the water conditions of your pool over the Internet to your smartphone 24/7, minimizing the chance of under- or over-treating it with chemicals. You can get real time, on the spot reports of the pH, chlorine, alkalinity, hardness, and cyanuric acid levels.
Floating Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled sensors monitor the chemical makeup of the swimming pool and/or hot tub water and send it to a mobile app. The same app can be used to order chemicals and seek advice and schedule cleaning and winterizing, etc. from a pHin network of retailers (a subscription to the service is required).
By combining GE’s lighting knowledge with Intel’s sensor-processing expertise, Current created a full-fledged lighting solution that is as efficient to deploy as it is to operate.
In commercial buildings, Current’s lights can detect ambient temperature, humidity and carbon monoxide levels. They can determine whether a room is full of people, has a just a few occupants or is empty.
Together these measurements provide the information needed to adjust temperature and lighting automatically. Plus, intelligent lights can integrate with conference room scheduling systems to simplify planning and keep energy bills low.
Intelligent lights can “see” a building and its grounds using cameras and motion detectors and “hear” what’s going on with sound sensors. In many cases, the sensors can eliminate the need for single-purpose security cameras and motion detectors, helping cut capital expenditure (because less equipment is needed) and operational expenditure (because there are fewer systems to maintain).
If a window breaks or someone yells for help, those lights can alert owners, police or firefighters. Over time, property managers might spot trends to help with long-range planning and predictive maintenance.
In 2013, we launched a digital analytics capability called PowerUp (see vid below) for wind energy. By optimizing each blade for the wind it was receiving, the software could get 5 percent more electricity out of a wind turbine. That’s profound, because 5 percent more electricity generated equals 20 percent more profit for the wind farm owner. And it’s been improved further — to 20 percent more electricity, with the same hardware.
Similarly, for a North American railroad, we enabled a one mile per hour average increase in locomotive performance. For the railroad, that was equal to US$200 million in added profit each year. You can use similar analytics to boost fuel productivity for an airline or a power utility; this is game-changing for them.
In general, if we can obtain operating information from industrial assets, develop analytics based on our knowledge of how these assets perform, and provide insight on the fly, we think we can get productivity growth in the industrial world back to 4 percent. Maybe higher, because technology like this can get more out of the industrial asset base than anybody ever has.
“Consumer Reports operates the largest and most sophisticated independent automobile testing center devoted to the consumer interest anywhere in the world. Situated on 327 acres in rural Connecticut, the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center is home to about 30 staff members, including automotive engineers, writers, editors, technicians, a statistician, and support staff. Consumer Reports buys, anonymously, all the cars it formally tests, about 70 per year. Our staff drives each vehicle for thousands of miles to get the full experience so it can best serve you, the consumer.
Formal testing is done at the track and on surrounding public roads. The evaluation regimen consists of more than 50 individual tests. Some are objective, instrumented track tests using state-of-the-art electronic gear that yield empirical findings. Some are subjective evaluations—jury tests done by the experienced engineering staff.”
Decades ago, the Vespa scooter changed the way people drive around cities. Now Piaggio Fast Forward--a division of the Piaggio Group, which developed the Vespa--is trying change the way they walk. Once users don a special belt, the Gita can follow them around, carrying as much as 40 lb. of cargo and using stereoscopic and fish-eye cameras to avoid obstacles. In the future, once Gitas have mapped a route, they may even be able to navigate on their own to, say, deliver goods. "We're inventing a new form of mobility," says PFF CEO Jeffrey Schnapp of the Gita, which is slated for commercial release in 2018.
Gill Pratt of Toyota Research Institute presented at CES in Las Vegas about progress and challenges with AI, robotics, material science and other science in coming driverless cars. starting at 14:40 below
In the meantime, Strategy+Business talks about potential impact on the auto insurance industry here