Thoughtful bits is a monthly summary of technologies and solutions that may have an significant impact on business or society. My hope is this information will help you understand the possibilities of what can be achieved and inspire you to expand your expectations and solve hard problems.

Thoughtful bits is posted on the 8th day of each month. The list of technologies and solutions will be short for two reasons: the focus will be on what’s potentially transformative (there may not be a lot to share); and keeping the list to a minimum will reduce clutter and allow you to think more deeply about the content provided (less is more).

If you have technologies or solutions you would like to share, leave a comment. Your contributions are welcomed!

Enabling Technologies

  1. LTE Direct
  2. MUV Interactive
  3. MIT Transparent Displays (Heads Up Displays)

Potentially Impactful Solutions

  1. Anuta Networks

Thought Provoking Points of View

  1. Harvard Business Review: How Smart, Connected Products are Transforming Competition – HBR discusses the third wave in our technology progression – IT is becoming embedded in all products and how it’s disrupting industries and impacting competition. This article is a must read for business and technology personnel in all industries. Understanding how to leverage technology as a strategic weapon is vital to every organization.
  2. Tim Berners Lee View on Net Neutrality – This is thought provoking because net neutrality is an important issue that all netizens should be aware of and make their opinions known to their government representatives. I’m not going to say if I’m pro or con. I will say the impending FCC may (I stress may) have an impact on innovation going forward. Quite frankly who knows for sure. This may be a situation where innovation brings forward new models to minimize the importance of provider networks and democratize that service – only time will tell.

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Enabling Technologies

1. LTE Direct

What is it? LTE Direct enables device-to-device publishing of services while maintaining a reasonable level of privacy. Imagine having your flight canceled and faced with an all night stay in O’Hare (that’s never happened). Technology such as LTE Direct enables hotels to immediately publish room availability and rates. You don’t have to research nearby hotels and call for availability, the information is just there. Qualcomm is behind LTE Direct. Sure, there are other technologies such as Apple iBeacon, BT-LTE, and Wi-Fi Direct. What separates LTE Direct is its reduced impact on battery, increasing contact distance (~500m), and ubiquity.

What is the value? The technology enables new products and services. For example, stores can target promotions to specific customers, and parents can be notified when children are out of range. There are endless possibilities to notify subscribers of information and events relevant to them.

Where does it apply? LTE Direct is relevant to all industries. In particular, the hospitality and retail industry (any industry that connects with the public) should take note of LTE Direct.

When will it be commercially available? Trials begin Q4 2014. LTE Direct radio will be included in LTE deployments late 2014. Production implementations planned for 2015.

Reference Links:

Non-Technical Reference – MIT Technology Review LTE Direct , LightReading Article , TelecomsTech Article

Technical Reference – Qualcomm Research , LTE Direct Technical Resources ,  Product Information

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2. MUV Interactive

What is it? This ground breaking technology turns any surface into a touch screen. There are two components to the technology: MUV Bird and MUV Sphere. The Bird is a wearable sensor to interact with the interface. Sphere is the technology that transforms any surface into an interactive platform.

What’s the value? These two technologies, when combined, delivery a transformative experience to interactive with systems more naturally. This transformation in human computer interaction makes systems, and thereby information, more accessible. This technology will change how we interact with all things digital.

Where does it apply? The technology applies to all industries.

When will it be commercially available? The Bird sensor will be available shortly. The Sphere remains in product development (no date for release at this time).

Reference Links: MUV Interactive , Bloomberg Video

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3. MIT Transparent Displays (Heads Up Displays)

What is it? Transparent displays enable images to appear on glass while enabling the viewer to see objects behind it. Transparent displays are not new technology. What’s new is the technologies used to create the displays is less expensive and the image displayed can be viewed from all angles. The technology has been commercialized in 2014. This reference is a bit late but this is my first posting of transformative technologies (can’t leave it out).

What’s the value? This technology creates more natural interfaces and makes information more accessible. For example, cars now are equipped with heads up displays to show the driver directions, speed, fuel levels, and other relevant information needed to ensure they arrive at their destination quickly and safely.

Where does it apply? The automotive, retail, and entertainment industry can benefit from transparent displays. All technology users will eventually leverage these displays as the price decreases and gesture-based interfaces are integrated.

When will it be commercially available? Now!

Reference Links: Gigaom Article ,

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Potentially Impactful Solutions

1. Anuta Networks

What is it? Anuta Networks provides a single platform (NCX) to manage network services across multiple vendors (e.g., Cisco, HP, Juniper, etc.). The NCX platform enables Software Defined Network (SDN) to centralize management by separating the control and data plane (see SDDC post for an explanation). Additionally, the platform enables Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to reduce the physical footprint while delivering firewall, routing, and WAN optimization services (list not all inclusive). This platform enables next generation network services.

What’s the value? The NCX solution simplifies network deployment and management, thereby improving operational efficiency and availability of services. It leverages SDN (Software Defined Network) architecture and OpenFlow technologies. There are other products available. What sets Anuta Networks a part from the crowd is its multi-vendor support and scalability.

Where does it apply? Any organization responsible for delivery of large scale networks will benefit greatly from the NCX platform. Service Providers must take note as this solution helps to lower operational cost.

When is it commercially available? The product is available now.

Reference links: Anuta Networks , White Papers , Thoughtful Technology SDDC Introduction (shameful plug)

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Posted by Karl

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