technology

Interviews from CES 2017

What a better way to celebrate CES 2017 than to interview the most stunning companies to find out how they put the WorkTechWork mantra to work for you!

Interview with Legrand/Wattstopper learn more at
http://www.legrand.us/wattstopper.aspx

 

Interview with MB Vans learn more at http://www.mbvans.com/

 

Interview with Honeywell learn more at http://yourhome.honeywell.com/

 

Interview with Ring learn more at http://www.Ring.com

 

Interview with iDevices learn more at http://www.iDevicesinc.com

 

Interview with Ayla Networks learn more at http://www.AylaNetworks.com

 

Interview with Skybell learn more at http://www.skybell.com

 

Interview with WHILL learn more at http://www.WHILL.us

 

Interview with Withings/Kerastase/Loreal learn more at https://www.withings.com/us/en/products/hair-coach

 

Interview with Fitbit learn more at https://www.fitbit.com/

 

Interview with Muse Ring learn more at http://www.musering.com

 

Interview with Kino-mo learn more at http://kino-mo.com/

 

Interview with Hydrao learn more at https://www.hydrao.fr/en/

 

Interview with Beyond Verbal learn more at http://www.beyondverbal.com/

 

Interview with Phonotonic learn more at http://www.phonotonic.net/

 

Interview with June Oven learn more at https://juneoven.com/

 

Interview with Martian learn more at https://www.martianwatches.com/

 

Interview with WiseWear learn more at http://www.WiseWear.com

 

 

RealComm/IBcon 2016 Summary & Videos

JoshJimHoward.jpgThose of you familiar with my background know that it is in real estate technology. Those of you that understand my present passion know that it is in disruptive technologies, most of them enabled by the Internet of things.

June 21-24, 2016 I attended RealComm/IBCon 2016, the world’s largest real estate technology conference.  During the conference I had the opportunity to meet and talk to the most brilliant thought leaders in real estate.  A few of them stepped in front of the lens to share their views and the videos were posted on my Facebook page. Here they are for you to browse.

If you like a video, click through to the clip on Facebook and let me know via the comments on the video. Enjoy!


In this clip I talk with Jim Young, Co-Founder and CEO of Realcomm following the Realcomm 2016 opening session. Topics covered in the opening session included robots, drones, wearable technology, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, Internet of things, big data, intelligent building solutions, the shared economy and much more.

This is a quick peak at the #SmartBuildingshowcase at Realcomm/IBcon 2016. Real value generation. Real ROI. Real impact on asset NOI. All the big names are in this game. Companies represented in the case studies include Intel, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Stanford University, and that’s just the ones with space here in Silicon Valley. Shanghai Tower, multiple buildings in Australia including Barangaroo South in Sydney, are some international buildings. The world is on board with IoT solutions for the building. Are you in the game?

Check out this demo of Microsoft HoloLens by Jordan Lawver from Trimble at RealComm. The future is here: #augmentedreality that creates real value.

The tours following RealComm/IBCon 2016 both impressed and inspired.  I toured the new Stanford University Central Energy Facility and interviewed Gerry Hamilton, Director of Facilities Energy Management at Stanford University’s Department of Sustainability & Energy Management. This is the place that provides the hot and cold water pumped all over campus to heat and cool buildings, labs and the new hospital. Everything is state of the art.  I invite you all to learn more at https://sustainable.stanford.edu/

In this interview I speak with Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen at Realcomm 2016. The Cityzenith solution provides what they call ‘Big data for the built environment’ and Michael and his team won one of this year’s Digie awards. Note: The video got cut, so it jumps from talking about the property to the individual sensor, but you can look at floors too.

In this video I catch up with Eric Stromquist and Kenneth Smyers, the hosts of the ControlTalk podcast and show. It’s the place to hear about the latest in #cretech #smartbuilding and many other related topics in the real estate industry. Check it out at www.controltrends.org

Tonight history will be made as Solar Impulse flies over the Statue of Liberty

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The flight is the most symbolic to date in the Solar Impulse around the world mission, which is to show the world the possibilities of clean energy technologies.

The Statue of Liberty symbolizes American liberty, fought for in a new frontier and enabled by a new form of government created by risk taking pilgrims, colonizers, explorers and pioneers.  Today clean energy is the uncharted frontier and technology is the enabler.

It is an amazing reality that Solar Impulse pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg can fly indefinitely using only the power of the sun if weather and limitations of human endurance allowed.  They, like pilgrims, have taken great risk to try something else.  They, like colonizers, have developed the foundation, this one of clean energy technology, for others to build upon.  They, like explorers, have foraged into the unknown on a mission that literally changes with every shift of the wind.  They, like pioneers, have tirelessly pursued their vision with hard work, passion and optimism.

Lady Liberty’s torch represents progress and her crown is composed of seven sun rays, one for each of the seven seas and continents.  Solar Impulse similarly represents progress and is leveraging the power of the sun to bring the message to the seven seas and continents that the future is clean.

Tune in this evening from wherever you are in the world between 11pm and midnight US Pacific Time (2-3am Eastern) and watch this symbolic flight live at www.SolarImpulse.com. #FutureIsClean

You may also be interested to view these WorkTechWork pieces on Solar Impulse:

June 10, 2016: Note: The Solar Impulse fly over NYC earlier this week was delayed due to weather. They will attempt again tonight, June 10, at approximately on 11pm USA Pacific Time (between 2-3am the morning of June 11 in NYC). Tune in & watch history in the making!

Tech, natural design and much more in this interview with André Borschberg of Solar Impulse

“Each obstacle can lead you to a better path, maybe to an opportunity,” André Borschberg shared with me in this interview on Sunday, the day after Solar Impulse completed the Pacific Crossing and arrived in Silicon Valley.  The camera wasn’t rolling right at the beginning so I added a short intro.  Enjoy!

 

 

Advice for Entrepreneurs from Bertrand Piccard of Solar Impulse

“It is not with what we have learned that we will go further than others. It is with what we have not learned, with what we have not yet done and thought” Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot of Solar Impulse shares in this interview.

 

Solar Impulse is a mission to fly around the world with only the power of the sun and share the message of clean and renewable energy. This is accomplished with a pioneering attitude and by leveraging the best of technology to do what has never been done before.

Piccard is no stranger to breaking records and inspiring the world. In 1999 he completed the first non-stop balloon flight around the world, setting world records for aviation’s longest flight in both distance and duration. When I asked his advice for entrepreneurs he referred to the function of balloons and then explained, “a good entrepreneur is the one who can drop his certitudes, his beliefs, all the common assumptions, to raise to other levels and catch other influences, other visions of the world, other solutions and strategies that will bring him in completely different directions.”

Piccard is not alone in this mission. Solar Impulse is also piloted by André Borschberg, Entrepreneur, Engineer and Explorer. The two are supported by an excellent team and by technology at every level, including monitoring and alerting the pilots and providing global live coverage during each leg of the mission. The Solar Impulse mission exemplifies the WorkTechWork mantra: Don’t work for technology; make technology work for you.

Learn more about Solar Impulse at www.SolarImpulse.com and follow the hashtag #FutureIsClean.

Super Bowl 50 In The World’s Smartest Stadium

Lets talk about why this is really interesting: Money.  The new home of the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, CA is not a smart stadium because it has 2,000 beacons, over 1,200 Wi-Fi hot spots providing wicked fast internet, 90 Kezar digital ticket scanners and a great app with amazing features; Levi’s Stadium is a smart stadium because it leverages data from and solutions possible through these technologies to create real, monetizable value that enables higher profits on games and other events.

When the greatest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies available today are appropriately deployed to make a smart building, they completely disappear.  They become part of an enriched experience, not a technology experience.  This weekend, Levi’s Stadium will become the largest smart building the world has experienced, either live at the stadium or live on television screens world wide. Let me share my first Levi’s Stadium experience with you.

2014 was a tough year.  I returned to Silicon Valley from Australia and gave myself 6 months to figure out what I wanted to do.  I began blogging here on WorkTechWork and dug in to the Silicon Valley technology scene.  During the year I completed a few good projects and built out a great network that includes many new friends.  Later in the year I spent 3 months working at a hardware startup in the connected home space that ran into major problems in November.  All opportunity with the startup was dead and gone by mid-December.  Jobless, without a project and with the holidays to celebrate as if nothing was wrong so as to not dampen the mood of my young kids, I was having a hard time keeping it together.

When the phone rang Saturday morning December 20th, I had no idea I was about to experience the smartest stadium in the world.  Jeff Stevens, who I had worked with volunteering with VLAB and on a couple side projects during the year, was on the line and asked if I wanted to go to a 49ers game that afternoon.  Since the days of Joe Montana and Steve Young I had followed the 49ers but had never been to a game.  That answer was YES!

Do you know the first thing I did with Jeff still on the phone?  Download the app.  I didn’t know where the seats were, what the game time was, who they were playing and at that moment I didn’t care.  I had only heard great things about the technology in the stadium and I knew I wanted that app.

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So why is this app wonderful for fans?

  • Instant game replays
  • In-Seat Delivery
    • Order that hot dog and beer and have it delivered to your seat
    • Order and have concessions delivered to a friend’s seat
  • Express Pickup
    • Order and beat the concession lines by picking up in the express line
  • Lines
    • Find the shortest restroom & concession lines
  •  Tickets
    • Check your tickets
    • Email & transfer tickets
    • Check in at the stadium
    • View upcoming events
    • Directions in the stadium
  •  Parking
    • Buy parking
    • Check parking
    • Map & directions to parking location

But it gets better because this app, which is the creation of Venue Next, enables Levi’s Stadium to gather data, fuse it with data from other sources (like those 2,000 Bluetooth beacons) and make data driven decisions that improve the profitability of an event and provide a better experience attendees.  It is an experience they’re willing to pay more for.  Just how much more?  In-seat delivery is available to every seat in the stadium and costs $5.

Is it worth it?  What if you miss the most amazing play of the game?  There is nothing that beats the thrill of a long run and touchdown.  During the game, 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick did just that with this 90-yard run.

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Click to watch

Some moments are best enjoyed not in line, but from the 3rd row at the 20 yard line, or wherever your seat might be.

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Miss this to save $5 and you’ll regret it.  I didn’t miss it and I won’t forget it.  If you’re reading this before heading to Super Bowl 50, download the app now!

The Levi’s Stadium experience isn’t just about the app.  The entire stadium is carefully laid out and you can tell every effort has been made to make it visually appealing.  You don’t see any of the technology because the thousands of antennas for all of that Wi-Fi, the additional cell phone carrier distributed antenna systems to provide cell coverage and all of those beacons are neatly tucked away.  You’re not distracted by cables and wires for speakers, you hear the game and feel how the sound system both amplifies the experience and at the same time balances the crowds energy.

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Some technologies, such as the gigantic displays at both ends of the field, are meant to be seen and enjoyed.  You can see both displays in this panoramic.  Notice how nicely the digital signage on the balcony fits into the scene.  The gigantic displays provide instant replays to the fans.  Advertising opportunities abound for brands who want to reach fans via the gigantic displays and smaller balcony screens.  They are part of the technology enriching the experience and creating monetizable value.

Towards the end of the game, Jeff and I met up with Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica to explore the stadium.  We checked out the different concession areas and watched the kicker kick a field goal right at us.  It was cool.  Everything about the stadium is cool. This includes the cool blue lights on the escalators.

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I get excited about technology working for you, especially when it is creating enriched experiences and real, monetizable value.  Smart Building technology in Levi’s Stadium is no exception.

Whether or not you’re in the stands this Sunday, take the opportunity to learn more about smart building technology on Feb 16th at the San Francisco Bay Area’s chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum.  Tickets and info here.

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Tech Enabled Vehicle Hand Controls Demo Video

Yesterday I sat down with a friend who doesn’t use Facebook at all and has no way of seeing what I’m doing there.  I also did another video and wrote the equivalent of a blog post but on Facebook.  I really prefer Facebook over any social medium thus far (including Medium), but this video and the topic is so interesting I’m copy pasting the post down below.  But, don’t get used to this.  If you’re a Facebook user and want to see more stuff from me, then you can follow me, you don’t have to friend me and I won’t see all the private photos.  I don’t care about food pictures and whether or not you had diarrhea this weekend or whatever else that could be considered TMI for an office water cooler conversation is posted out there.

Ok, the video and post from Facebook:

Earlier today (9/24/15)Dan Berschinski and I took a ride around the Stanford Shopping Center in a Toyota Camry that has been fitted with sensor technology enabled hand controls by Kempf. When the driver pushes in the acceleration ring on the steering column sensors convert the motion into a digital signal that accelerates the vehicle. The hand brake is connected to the foot brake pedal and when the hand brake is pressed the pedal at the floor of the car moves although you can’t quite see it in the video.

Martine Kempf from Kempf Controls was showing us the car. She also shared with us how her father relied on hand controls because of Polio and patented the use of an accelerator ring in 1955. Over time as cars have changed the Kempf technology has changed and improved and now it is absolutely smooth. I really liked using the ring to hit the gas but reflexes and habits had me braking with my foot. The experience is somewhat like driving a motorcycle except motorcycle handlebars don’t spin around as much as a car steering wheel.

Dan and I met last year where I was speaking at an event and we’ve kept in touch since then. He lost his legs in Afghanistan and lays claim to being only one of two Americans who have lost this much of their legs and still use prosthetic legs to walk. He was my guest at the VLAB – MIT Enterprise Forum, Bay Area event on Human Augmentation that I worked on last year. The video of that event now has over 27,000 views Check it out here if you haven’t seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsKCWlYK9-M

The advances of technology for both restoring and augmenting human capacity are absolutely amazing. I love how technology is making life better for people with disabilities, which are actually different abilities. With those different abilities today’s technology can close so many gaps. Technology infused hand controls that replace metal rods that can be clumsy and dangerous with a far improved product and user experience are one example of technology closing gaps.

But driving is not the only thing technology is impacting. The design and science in Dan’s legs which are by Ottobock is far more advanced than amputees could have used only a few decades ago. Further advancements are being made by researchers including Dr. Hugh Herr, Professor of Biomechatronics at the MIT Media Lab who has created and uses two robotic prosthetic legs.

Dr. Herr will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Gizworld Conference – Wearable Tech & IoT on October 27-28, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Dr. Herr will also serve as panelist on another Human Augmentation panel during the conference alongside the head of robotics from SRI International and the CEO of WHILL Inc (world’s smartest wheelchair see http://whill.us/). It is exciting to see Internet of Things technology accomplishing such amazing things and I invite you to come experience and see it first hand at the conference. Use discount code JOSH20 for a 20% discount at this link:http://gizworldconf.com/san-francisco/

Three Important IoT Sessions

IoTInfluencers2015Here’s what I love about IoT conferences:  There is so much excitement about what is possible.  Each one is like a mini CES and because they are smaller you have a better chance of seeing what is going on and interacting with the creators of products and solutions.

I’ll be at IoT Influencers Summit next Tuesday at the 49ers stadium so today I took the time to go through the agenda.  Here is info on three important sessions I’ll be attending.  I also threw in a couple of notes on a bonus session for you that I, unfortunately, will miss because of a commitment to speak via video conference to EE and CS students at Zhejiang University later that evening.  If you have time to attend the IoT Influencers Summit and haven’t registered, go here to do it and use code JB30 for 30% off.

Important Session #1: Main Stage, 8:15am-Creating Value with the Internet of Things

The first session in the morning starts bright and early and the early bird gets the worm in this case when Bruce Sinclair presents on how to create value with IoT.  If you are not in IoT to make money, then move over and let the rest of the world learn from your mistakes.  As technology lovers sometimes we love technology a little too much and love looking in the mirror to do market research.  We can’t do both of those things all of the time and still create value in IoT.  Sinclair holds a monthly meetup focused on value from IoT and this value-driven IoT addict is a regular attendee.  Sinclair also has a podcast with in-depth interviews of key influencers in the IoT space.  His session promises to be worth getting to Santa Clara early.

Important Session #2: Main Stage, 3pm-Solving Interoperability

I’m really looking forward to hearing from Michael Wolf in person.  I’ve listened to him on The Smart Home Show for what seems like forever in the lifetime of the smart home.  If you’re a smart home fan and haven’t tuned in, do so and enjoy.  Wolf will lead a discussion on interoperability, a HUGE issue in the IoT space.  So many people are trying to solve this problem in different ways.

inHome, the IoT hardware startup I worked at last year, tried to solve the problem by creating a piece of hardware in as many verticals as possible and also do it on a unique platform that wasn’t interoperable with any other platform initially (although it was on the roadmap, this approach was easier given the unsettled platform wars and other issues where control was preferred initially over interoperability).  Its sad when the only proof of a former startup is through a web archive but I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned. Creating hardware for everything isn’t the answer, even if its darn cool to control up to 250 devices of 7 different device types through one app.

I’ve chatted many times over the past 18 months with both Muzzley and Yonomi, both app of app control solutions for IoT devices (if inHome were still alive I’d be getting my hardware into their apps and if you’re a hardware maker you should too).  App for apps is a different approach to solving the problem through software.  They are both focused on control for the customer, essentially becoming a universal remote control for the connected home.  Sounds good, but when you get into the nitty gritty, which I hope to see happen at this session, it gets complex-too complex for the average consumer.

Interoperability is a problem we have to solve in the IoT space before the products can go main stream.  We cannot have people feeling like they are working for their IoT devices, their IoT devices need to work for them (gotta throw that WorkTechWork mantra in here…it is super important).

Important Session #3: Main Stage, 3:50pm-The Rise of Intelligent Buildings

With 9 years of real estate technology project management and implementations under my belt, IoT for the building is more than interesting.  There is something special about IoT enabled building automation, management and energy solutions that set them far apart from smart home solutions.  Both buildings and homes benefit from IoT solutions for energy efficiency and security.  But while the home offers relatively little money for the homeowner beyond these two things, smart building solutions also offer savings in the form of operational efficiencies.  You’ve seen what I’ve said about Intel’s smart building solutions Here, about smart apartments Here, and about Telesense Here.  I hope to have good things to say in the future after this session.

PS I’m in the middle of doing a deep dive into smart buildings and building a team for VLAB around the topic.  Want to get involved? Give me a buzz.

Bonus for You: Main Stage, 5:30pm-Postcards From The Edge

Don’t be like me and miss this session.  Robert Scoble is always interesting and has a knack for getting people to talk about technology in ways that make it seem like the world really is going to go around better and faster.  Attending a full day of IoT sessions and then doing nothing different is a waste of time.   Check this session out to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?”

Apple Watch Button vs Apple Watch

Which do you prefer?  I’m testing both.

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One has unlimited battery life, an always-on display and comes with a $20 price tag.

One has many more features and comes with a $400 price tag.

Here is the problem.  I have talked to three people who own the watch this week about their experience.  One occasionally wears it, one wore it for a month, one wore it for a week.  Is there a problem here?  What is it about this device that seems to be turning people off?  I really want to know because I’m starting the experience (now day 3).  I’m not convinced yet whether it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, if it is more like 10 day old stale gluten free bread when all you really want is a steak or if it is something in between.

Is the Apple Watch able to put technology to work for you? Can you persuade me?

You can reach me with your opinion, your experience, or if you just want to vent (or boast) about how the Apple Watch does or doesn’t enrich your life.  Also, if you’d like the button version I can hook you up.

Reach out

On Facebook

On Twitter

On LinkedIn

On the Contact Page

Or call/text me.  My number is (408) 466-xxxx where xxxx = the year I moved to Silicon Valley, 1997.  Good year.  Maybe I’ll answer your call with my watch…

Corporates Participating in the Silicon Valley Ecosystem

No one wants to be the next Kodak, Blockbuster or Borders.  Failing to embrace innovation comes with consequences. “Corporates around the world are worried about getting disrupted by Silicon Valley innovators,” explains Steffen Bartschat, a longtime Silicon Valley tech executive and technology scout for Faurecia, a $20B tier one automotive supplier. To keep up with rapid advances in technology, “they establish listening posts here, to connect with startup entrepreneurs and divine future trends,” Bartschat said.

Those listening posts come in various forms, from partnership with startup accelerators and incubators to creating their own innovation labs following in the footsteps of Citi with its 15 innovation labs around the globe.  Innovation is also outsourced by corporates to innovation consultancies such as HowCanWe, which focuses on helping companies innovate internally, and to organizations such as BCG Digital Ventures, launched by The Boston Consulting Group, whose teams around the globe take an idea or disruption, build businesses and/or products for partners and then bring solutions to market.

With many options for embracing innovation and leveraging the technology of the future, one challenge is knowing which is the best innovation investment decision. “Funding Innovation Labs in Silicon Valley is a similar problem as picking a nice bottle of California wine – sure, that $150 bottle is highly likely to be a better experience, but maybe the $25 bottle is good enough?  There is a vast range of dollars being spent on corporate innovation here in the Valley, and much of it is wasted,” Bartschat explained.

To shed more light on the issue of effectively participating in the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem and generating a valuable return  Bartschat will moderate a panel for the German American Business Association in Palo Alto on June 4th with panelists from Deutsche Telekom, Schneider Electric, SanDisk and Crestlight Venture Productions.  The event is open to GABA members and non-members; tickets and more information can be found here.