Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous is helping baseball maintain its cultural relevance. After the new Braves stadium opens in 2017, Populous will have designed 20 of the 30 active MLB stadiums, while being heavily involved in the renovation of five others. Starting with the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992, the company revolutionized not just how stadiums are built—with closer seating and architecture unique to the characteristics of the ballpark’s home city—but how the game is marketed to fans. No longer would going to the ballpark be just about baseball: now fans could expect there to be games for kids to play, bars where young adults can congregate, and a slew of other entertainment options in the stadium’s immediate vicinity.
The Droplet has something that you don’t—access to real-time data from over 10,000 weather stations, millions of square miles of U.S. soil samples, and comprehensive biological plant information. With all of that goodness, it can decide when, where and how much water to deliver to your lawn. It even knows the proper angle in which to deliver it. The idea is that this type of system can actually conserve water. It can even produce reports on water consumption. Just hook the sprinkler up to a garden hose, power it, and connect the system to your existing WiFi network. You also need to input the types of plants in your yard and where they are located. If you’re even too lazy for that, you can opt to water the entire lawn. It has a range of 30 feet or 2,700 square feet for normal watering, 50 feet or 9,000 square feet for high-pressure watering, and several hundred feet for agriculture watering.
Automobile magazine has 23 reasons why the 2016 7 series is mind blowing in many ways
Here’s just one
A key fob with a color touchscreen (above) allows owners to remotely drive the 2016 BMW 7 Series forward into a garage or narrow parking space and then reverse it out. The system currently works only with forward parking and cannot reverse into a space remotely. U.S. laws prohibit this feature because regulations require the brake pedal to be physically depressed to shift a car out of park. However, BMW is petitioning the U.S. government for a workaround and will offer remote parking here as soon as it is legal.
Entering the US is becoming more digital – and hopefully quicker than waiting in line for Customs and Border Projection officers, thanks to three initiatives:
Global Entry – which requires a fee and a background check, but also qualifies you for a Trusted Traveler number and TSA precheck privileges at most US airports
Automated Passport Control Kiosk – which are free to use and do not need pre-registration, and does away with the paper customs form. It’s available to US and Canadian citizens and those from countries which qualify for Visa Waiver
The Mobile Passport app which can be used today at 4 US airports. You set up your profile with passport and other details and transmit that when you land and get an encrypted barcode to scan at the express lane
Once the gravelly voiced, graybeard face of the retail chain he founded, Mr. Zimmer has been refashioning himself as a technology entrepreneur. On Monday, he will unveil his new company, zTailors, a website and app that connects customers and their frumpy wardrobes with on-demand tailors who are ready to make house calls.
“In the closets of Americans, there is billions of dollars’ worth of apparel that has accumulated over the years,” he said. “It doesn’t all appear on the good side of the closet. It doesn’t all fit. That’s either because it has shrunk, or you have grown.”
“In an effort to look beyond today’s rapidly changing predictions on AV penetration, we interviewed more than 30 experts across Europe, the United States, and Asia and combined these findings with our insights to arrive at ten thought-provoking potential implications of self-driving cars.
The widespread use of AVs could profoundly affect a variety of industry sectors. To explore these implications in depth, we focused on three time horizons of AV diffusion: before such vehicles are commercially available to individual buyers, when they are in the early stage of adoption, and when they become the primary means of transport.”
In the “Technology and my Passion” series, Edgar Moore and Gretchen Lindquist had written about cruises. They are avid cruisers - they have sailed from Galveston numerous times, from San Juan twice, and additionally from Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Los Angeles, and Venice. They are Diamond-level members of the Royal Caribbean loyalty program, the Crown and Anchor Society.
Back from a recent cruise on the Navigator of the Seas, I was delighted when Gretchen emailed me some photos from the ship and details on how she has seen patron technology on cruise boats improve since that column six years ago.
“Royal Caribbean has definitely upgraded the IT on the ships, as their CIO Bill Martin had promised a few years ago. The display above showed our position and weather conditions throughout the cruise.
The WIFI offering was much improved over that available on our previous cruises. Whereas last year I had to book WIFI service by the minute and try to guesstimate how many minutes I would need to do a daily post on Facebook via their sluggish connection, I was pleasantly surprised that I was offered an unlimited WIFI connection for the duration of the cruise, and with my Diamond-level member discount, it was definitely less than what I paid last year for much less time. The service did not have the speed of my connection at home, but it was definitely better, and I did not have to worry about dragging a laptop to a hot spot. I could use my smartphone anywhere on the ship.
We also made good use of the touch screen devices on each deck that showed you where you were standing in relation to the deck plan, the choices of dining venues, and activities on right now and upcoming. The cruise photography service also made use of technology for faster and easier service. On prior cruises, the photographs taken on the ship were all printed out and displayed in a gallery, and finding them was a headache. All you had to go by was signage clues (e.g. Main Seating, First Formal Night), requiring that you paw through all the racks of photographs until you found your own, reviewed them, and decided to either purchase or pitch. None of that waste of time and trees on this cruise! The photographer taking your photo would ask your cabin number; when you went down to the photo gallery, you scanned your Sea Pass card, and all of your photos were displayed on a monitor. You also had a choice of buying prints or digital copies.
I should also mention that the discounts and rewards for the loyalty program were previously printed on booklets, which the cruiser had to remember to carry around, tear out and redeem via presenting the bits of paper. Now they are coded into your account, and to claim a reward, you just present your Sea Pass.
One of the staffers mentioned that more technology improvements were coming; on my next cruise, I should have an app to download to my device that will manage everything, so I am already looking forward to that.”
“As cities become more and more congested, people are becoming increasingly open to new means of mobility, and car sharing is proving to be an appealing model,” says Ken Washington, Vice President of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “A crucial part of delivering effective car-sharing services is to learn alongside these drivers what best meets their needs and expectations, and complements their location and existing transportation infrastructure.”
GoDrive uses a pay-as-you-go approach to pricing and trips are charged by the minute, which includes the cost of the central London congestion charge, insurance and fuel. During the trial phase, cars were primarily located at public transport hubs, like Victoria railway station, but that’s obviously now being widened out to include other parts of the capital.
“To make the numbers, Knight figured that managers would need to deliver 15% annual returns on all new business and capital outlays.
Today the network planning group of 70 analysts oversees this process from cubicles on the 11th floor of Union Pacific’s office tower in Omaha. The “smart guys” are anything but wonks. Many are managers from the field who spend a year or two in the department and blend excellent math skills with rail yard know-how. A case in point is Danny Torres, who spent most of his career working in repair facilities and depots, and now runs a network of 10 terminals in Iowa. “We work with a financial model that says, How much profit will adding this siding or extra track add? Will it slow or increase efficiency in other parts of the network? When it’s all taken together, will the total return reach 15%?”
Knight also built a second financial function that might be called “green, yellow, red.” In each of the big operating businesses—coal, industrial products, chemicals, and so on—Knight installed financial managers to evaluate new business. They enter the proposed pricing on all new contracts, as well as the extra costs in fuel, manpower, and everything else the business will require, into an online operating system that projects the rate of return. If the number is well over 15%, the system flashes green. If it’s on the margin, the signal is yellow. “If it’s red,” says Knight, “and it’s the best pricing we can offer, we let it go.””
Mention “Industry 4.0” to most manufacturing executives and you will raise eyebrows. If they’ve heard of it, they are likely confused about what it is. If they haven’t heard of it, they’re likely to be skeptical of what they see as yet another piece of marketing hype, an empty catchphrase. And yet a closer look at what’s behind Industry 4.0 reveals some powerful emerging currents with strong potential to change the way factories work. It may be too much to say that it is another industrial revolution. But call it whatever you like; the fact is, Industry 4.0 is gathering force, and executives should carefully monitor the coming changes and develop strategies to take advantage of the new opportunities.