Tag Archives: mobile technology

The Essential Eight technologies that matter now

In Tech breakthroughs megatrend: how to prepare for its impact, PwC has evaluated more than 150 technologies globally and developed a methodology for identifying those which are most pertinent to individual companies and whole industries. The result is a guide to the “Essential Eight” technologies that PwC believes will be the most influential on businesses worldwide in the very near future:

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI): Software algorithms that are capable of performing tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation. AI is an “umbrella” concept that is made up of numerous subfields such as machine learning, which focuses on the development of programs that can teach themselves to learn, understand, reason, plan, and act (i.e., become more “intelligent”) when exposed to new data in the right quantities.
  2. Augmented reality (AR): Addition of information or visuals to the physical world, via a graphics and/or audio overlay, to improve the user experience for a task or a product. This “augmentation” of the real world is achieved via supplemental devices that render and display said information. AR is distinct from Virtual Reality (VR); the latter being designed and used to re-create reality within a confined experience.
  3. Blockchain: Distributed electronic ledger that uses software algorithms to record and confirm transactions with reliability and anonymity. The record of events is shared between many parties and information once entered cannot be altered, as the downstream chain reinforces upstream transactions.
  4. Drones: Air or water-based devices and vehicles, for example Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), that fly or move without an on-board human pilot. Drones can operate autonomously (via on-board computers) on a predefined flight plan or be controlled remotely. (Note: This category is distinct from autonomous land-based vehicles.)
  5. Internet of Things (IoT): Network of objects — devices, vehicles, etc. — embedded with sensors, software, network connectivity, and compute capability, that can collect and exchange data over the Internet. IoT enables devices to be connected and remotely monitored or controlled. The term IoT has come to represent any device that is now “connected” and accessible via a network connection. The Industrial IoT (IIoT) is a subset of IoT and refers to its use in manufacturing and industrial sectors.
  6. Robots: Electro-mechanical machines or virtual agents that automate, augment or assist human activities, autonomously or according to set instructions — often a computer program. (Note: Drones are also robots, but we list them as a separate technology.)
  7. Virtual reality (VR): Computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or a complete environment, within a defined and contained space (unlike AR), that viewers can interact with in realistic ways. VR is intended to be an immersive experience and typically requires equipment, most commonly a helmet/headset.
  8. 3D printing: Additive manufacturing techniques used to create three-dimensional objects based on digital models by layering or “printing” successive layers of materials. 3D printing relies on innovative “inks” including plastic, metal, and more recently, glass and wood.

Visit http://www.pwc.com/techmegatrend to download the paper and read related content.

Zero infrastructure – “anything as a service”

For any company embarking on this change journey, where to start – and where to focus – depends on the business’s specific industry, size, business model, and current digital maturity. However, the key components of an ideal cloud-centric operating model remain consistent. So, to help communication service providers (CSPs) – including wireline, wireless, cable, and other/integrated communications carriers – map out and undertake the optimal journey to a cloud – enabled “zero infrastructure” future for their IT, we’ve developed the framework for a cloud-centric operating model.

For CSPs worldwide, cloud presents exciting opportunities to drive speed and agility, and to lower costs throughout their operations. These benefits mean that harnessing the cloud is critical to many parts of the CSPs’ strategic agenda, and make navigating the transition to a cloud-centric operating model an urgent priority for many companies.

The key question is how to get started. The solution lies in combining a methodical approach with a commitment to moving at pace. To help CSPs achieve this, we’ve developed the approach enabling a successful transition managed through a clear five-step process. CSPs that undertake this journey will be well placed to compete and win in tomorrow’s communications services marketplace – and to realize the aspiration of zero infrastructure “anything as a service”.

More details @ http://www.pwc.com/communicationsreview

What can we expect from mobile technology innovation?

I remember when, during the late 90’s, the first cell phone with built-in camera appeared on the market. I wondered if this will make my photo camera useless and I have to say that, during my last holiday, it didn’t. I only took pictures with my mobile phone when the batteries were gone in my photo camera so this expectation did not become reality so far, at least not for me. Indeed here are limitations to the size of the device and lenses but, if I look back, I see tremendous innovations changing the market and our behaviour: the touchscreen, WI-FI access, access to email, internet access, PDA functionalities etc. I published a more detailed timeline on the evolution of mobility in a previous post.

What can we expect next?

PwC anticipates that 4G innovation could spawn new use cases, involving more and better streaming video, including more satisfactory viewing of commercial film and TV content from the cloud and multiplayer mobile gaming with minimal latency. Other use cases are likely to come in mobile video conferencing and voice-over-Internet services that rival or exceed the quality of traditional wire-line offerings; new device form factors better attuned to augmented reality; and other applications involving the movement of large amounts of information.

One may also expect new vertical industry use cases. For example, when paired with improved image sensing, innovative new sensors and artificial intelligence, 4G could support new use cases such as remote medical diagnosis and repair efforts by field service representatives and bring back house calls by the family physician – in virtual form. Some of these applications and use cases are possible even with 3G technology, but 4G will certainly accelerate their adoption by making them more widely available and by improving the user experience through somewhat faster downloads and lower latency.

When can we expect the innovations being released?

By 2015, PwC expects three factors associated with the transition to 4G technology – share of infrastructure investment, share of devices and share of subscribers—to reach levels that could trigger a robust period of 4G innovation. They base this expectation on the pattern observed in the same three factors in the 2G-to-3G transition. As this pattern repeats with 4G it creates the potential for a surge of 4G innovation starting no later than 2015. This 4G innovation should include new business models based on capacity improvements, and new use cases based on better video streaming and other technologies.