Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Smart Tech and Adoption

The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village......(Marshall Mcluhan, The Gutenber Galaxy, 1962)

Smart technology and a sustainable framework is a necessity for every modern city

Three main factors are spurring acceleration in the adoption of IoT solutions:

  • Technology. There has been a remarkable advances in technology with affordable sensors that enables deployment of IOT at scale. Sensors now cover the entire spectrum, from visual to sound. Computing is fast enough, storage is bigger; battery power has improved. AI and machine learning are faster for more granular insights for automated decision from sensors.

  • Networks. Telecom companies with fourth-generation (4G) networks have spread to cover more people at higher performance and 5G networks are rapidly being deployed. There is visible improvements matched with connectivity options associated with capacity, speed, latency and reliability.

  • Perceived value proposition. Cities see real value in deploying the IoT, a core enabler of the digital transformations and sustainability drives under way in companies and public institutions around the world. The $1.6 trillion in economic value generated from IoT solutions in 2020/21 exemplifies the technology’s ability to deliver value at scale.

All is not favorable for large-scale adoption IoT solutions. 

Three factors are acting to dampen growth:

  • Interoperability. the IoT landscape contains numerous proprietary ecosystems. Many companies and public-sector bodies are struggling to get to scale without significant IT work to overcome the numerous system barriers.
  • Installation. is one of the biggest cost issues in the deployment of IoT solutions at scale. every at-scale deployment requires customization, if not an entirely bespoke solution. 
  • Privacy. is now the core issue for many consumers. 

Companies are grappling with what customers are willing to give up in return for lower prices or special offers in a retail setting.

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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Perfect Waste of Electronics

Nothing, like Something, happens anywhere..........(Philip Larkin, English Poet, 1955)

Every device ever produced has a carbon footprint and E-waste is now the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. 

E-waste is defined as anything with a plug, electric cord or battery from toothbrushes to laptops that has reached the end of its life, as well as the components that make up these end of-life products. 

E-waste is also called waste electrical or electronic equipment (WEEE)

E-waste is often incinerated or dumped in landfills and sometimes pulled apart by hand or burned by the world’s poorest, to the detriment of health and the environment. E-waste can be toxic, is not biodegradable and accumulates in the environment, in the soil, air, water. 

E-waste may represent only 2% of solid waste streams, yet it can represent 70% of the hazardous waste that ends up in landfill.

One solution is Electronics as a Service;

The process/service called dematerialization, and is happening in many aspects of people’s lives. 

- In the Netherlands, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) sells lighting as a service, 

- In the UK, Rolls Royce sells airplane engine time rather than jet engines. 

Current leasing and rental models can also help with dematerialization;

With monthly contracts for smartphones, televisions, allow global consumers to access the latest technology, particularly products with short lifespans and without high up-front costs. Access to innovation and upgrades continues unabated, while barriers to usership have also lowered. With this new ownership model, the manufacturer has an incentive to ensure that all the resources are used optimally over a device’s lifecycle including recycling. 

There is also an incentive to keep the value in products for as long as possible, extend the life of devices, repair them when necessary, eliminate waste and reduce the impact that electronic products have on the environment.

Instead of a one-off transaction, the business model shifts to one of an ongoing service, and the subscription economy. This builds a much closer and stronger customer relationship. 

The rise of cloud computing has also helped with dematerialization, by moving the capability of devices away from hardware purchase and into remote data centers, hardware capabilities become less important relative to connectivity and services. 

In turn, this would increase product life cycles and decrease waste in the system.

This same e-waste represents a huge opportunity;

There is 100 times more gold in a ton of mobile phones than in a ton of gold ore. 

Furthermore, harvesting the resources from used electronics produces substantially less carbon-dioxide emissions than mining in the earth’s crust. 

Hence, all of the medals presented this summer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were extracted from old phones.

However; Working electronic goods and components are worth more than the materials they contain. Therefore, extending the life of products and re-using components brings an even larger economic benefit (including mining of digital currency). 

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Monday, September 27, 2021

Intangibles of Wealth

The central event of the twentieth century is the overthrow of matter. In technology, economics, and the politics of nations, wealth in the form of physical resources is steadily declining in value and significance. The powers of mind are everywhere ascendant over the brute force of things.............George Gilder

Our economies are getting richer despite using less physical material. Aluminium drinks cans, declined in weight six-fold between 1996 and 2011. A modern mobile phone is smaller lighter and more powerful than 1980s handset. The blockchain crypto currency is being adopted as a store of value over traditional Fiat money

In business, 2011 was the first time for decades that the world’s largest company was not an oil company. By 2016, six firms based on digital technologies – Apple, Tencent, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook – were among the top ten largest on earth.

The breakthroughs in solar and wind power ridding us of the shackles of barrels of oil and tons of coal

Tesla, the electric car company managed to reduce the amount of cobalt, a distressing mineral to acquire, in its batteries by about 60% between 2012 and 2018.

Rather than building a new car, we build a digital model of a new car and run computational simulations of the new car through the power of AI. Less cost and less energy-intensive 

AI also enables researchers to expand quickly by analyzing vast data sources, many diseases and treatments in order to encompass the complexity of biology. One reason for the early vaccine breakthrough for Covid19

AI is not a single technology or product, but rather a set of techniques, mathematical models and algorithms with the ability to extract insights from large datasets, identify patterns and predict the probabilities of potential outcomes of complex, multivariate situations. 

AI is often confused with automation, but the two are distinct but related: automated systems perform repetitive tasks following a programmed set of rules, while AI identifies patterns and insights in data and “learns” to do this more accurately and effectively over time.

AI can also be classified by the forms of input data: audio, speech, images, videos, data gained from sensors, data collected manually or robotically.

In summation; the value of your product is not in its tangible heft, rather it is in the intangibles, the know-how, the design, the engineering, the specification and the brand.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

A Second Life

Improvisation is too good to leave to chance...........Paul Simon (1990)

Preparing for the certainty of uncertainty is a plan for the guaranteed unforeseeable.

Products tend to flow through the path of least resistance, so you want to make the path which goes through formal channels of recycling less resistant

As the production of electric vehicles is expected in rise to combat green house gases, there is a potential environmental timebomb in their batteries.

The plan should start now:

Batteries that are no longer be able run vehicles could have second lives storing excess power generated by solar or windfarms.

The energy company Enel Group is using 90 batteries retired from Nissan Leaf cars in an energy storage facility in Melilla, Spain, which is isolated from the Spanish national grid.

The energy company Powervault partnered with Renault to outfit home energy storage systems with retired batteries in the UK

A data approach could be a digital “passport” – an electronic record for a battery that would contain information about its whole life cycle.

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Cyber Risk Challenge

Terror.......often arises from a pervasive sense of disestablishment; that things are in the unmaking......(Stephen king, American writer, 1981)

Governments and Businesses are struggling to cope with the scale and complexity
of managing cyber risk. Over the last year, remote working, rapid digitalization and
the need for increased connectivity have emphasized the cyber security challenge. 

One tool that has gained traction is cyber insurance. If it can follow the path of
other insurance classes, it could play a significant role in managing digital risk.

However; across government and business they have consistently stated that the positive effects of 
cyber insurance on cyber security have yet to fully materialize. 

If the benefits are to be crystallized, the insurance industry must overcome significant challenges.

Some challenges include: 
  • The industry is struggling to collect and share reliable cyber risk data that can  inform underwriting and risk modelling. 
  • The insurers and reinsurers are unable to accurately assess organization's risk profile or price policy premium.
  •  The number of systemic incidents has limited the availability of capital for cyber insurance markets.

To overcome these challenges, a more coordinated action by government and regulators is necessary to help the industry reach its full potential.

Some coordination's include:
  •     Developing guidance for minimum security standards for underwriting
  •     Expanding data collection and data sharing
  •     Mandating cyber insurance for government suppliers
  •     Creating a new collaborative approach between insurers and law enforcement agencies 

Finally, It is important to note that a good cyber hygiene is still the responsibility of your organization, 
and the primary purpose of cyber insurance is to transfer residual risk

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Tech Train in China

 The world's civilization started from the day on which everyone received reward for labour (Andrew Carnegie Autobiography 1920)

20 years ago 41 of the worlds 100 most valuable companies were in Europe now down to 15 

  • US and China grew by creating big companies (Tech Train) while No new firms emerged in Europe
  • The rich are mostly entrepreneurs in China and US while The rich are mostly Heirs in Europe
  • Policymakers in Europe promote mergers but not competitiveness while R&D is far less than China and US

“Here in China, many are willing to take high risks and live their entrepreneur dream to the fullest. They are working with a ‘try fast and fail fast’ mindset, and function within a more flexible legal environment than in the West in terms of data privacy and security,” said Charles Bark (CEO of Hinounou, a digital healthcare platform trying to help seniors live healthier lives)

• China's transition from manufacturing hub to tech hotbed has largely been driven by government policies.

• Collaboration between industry and academia in Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, has created a nurturing environment for start-ups.

• The country's immense domestic market is an environment in which competition drives success.

With a median age of 38, China is not as young as the other Asian demographic giant, India, whose median age is just under 27. The demographic picture in China is an inverted pyramid caused by China’s one-child policy, launched in 1979.

China has the 4-2-1 crisis: four grandparents for every two parents for every one child.

One child is the recipient of two generations of money, love, attention, dreams — and huge amounts of pressure result in generational spending power that is pretty astounding

According to both McKinsey and Bain, China will account for roughly half of all global luxury spending by 2025

Start a Tech Train

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