Bank of America is designing bank branches that no longer have onsite staff. Interaction with the bank will be through automated systems and ATMs – with video conferences to remotely located banking staff if you need a live person for assistance.
“We are literally automating every single thing”
Source: Bank of America says it’s testing ‘completely automated’ branches | The Charlotte Observer
Policy makers are oblivious to understanding the technology trends – and that many of their policies have the side effect of accelerating the elimination of labor with automation.
Calls for higher minimum wages and more mandated benefits increase the costs of labor to a point that automation is not only cheaper, but may even deliver improved service quality.
The transition to automation – and loss of jobs – were going to happen anyway. But policy choices have the side effect of accelerating this transition.
FedEx is looking at everything – replacing drivers with autonomous delivery trucks and small robots, integration with Google Echo and Amazon Alexa to request package delivery via voice command, using “platooned” semi-automated truck caravans to reduce the number of drivers and reduce fuel consumption, and more:
The shipping giant is investing in autonomous trucks, and is interested in delivery robots and an Alexa app.
Source: FedEx Bets on Automation as It Prepares to Fend Off Uber and Amazon
Last night I had a bizarre dream. In my dream (really, I had this dream), Amazon had located package warehouses near trauma centers. After helicopters delivered trauma patients, they were then picking up and carrying packages by air on their return trip to their operation base generating a little revenue on the otherwise non revenue part of the flight.
Yes, probably a silly dream, but who knows?
Yet another example of labor saving automation, applied to the restaurant industry:
… today Domino’s Pizza opened its Facebook Messenger bot to allow people to make entire orders.
Source: Domino’s Pizza bot now offers its full menu and custom orders on Facebook Messenger | VentureBeat | Bots | by Khari Johnson
Recent IoT technology partnerships with three global packaging giants will bring connectivity to everyday consumer products.
Source: Packaging Deals Bring IoT to Hairspray and Tomato Paste | Data-Driven Marketing – AdAge
It’s called “Connected Packaging”.
Namely, by using existing bar codes, QR codes and perhaps new coding technology, purchasers of consumer products will be encouraged to interact with the manufacturer or retailer by pointing their smart phone at the package.
In this way, the manufacturer and retailer may gather information about their consumer, product usage and product life cycle.
The virtual reality industry has achieved – again! – that point in in the product life cycle where the media declares it’s death!
Over the past year, evidence has stacked up that VR isn’t as hot as everyone thought it’d be, and it feels poised to go the way of the smartwatch.
Source: What happened to virtual reality? – Business Insider
Per the reporter, Facebook’s Oculus Rift is a failure, the HTV Vive is a failure, Sony PlayStation VR is a failure, Microsoft’s HoloLens might be okay, eventually, and Google is “stumbling”.
There you have it – VR is on its death bed! So say the media talking heads!
This is good news – it means #VR has reached that point in the product life cycle where the media is predicting its eminent demise! That is progress! 🙂
The post this quote is from is primarily about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the new buzzwords “Smart Cities”. The post brings people back from the hype to address the reality of getting stakeholders to agree on initiatives and the necessary steps to make them happen.
The post notes we have gone down this path of hyping the latest technology (many times!) only to collapse later.
“Soon, they claimed, we will be able to walk around a shopping mall and receive personalized messages from retailers to entice into their stores, fundamentally changing the retail industry and customer experience. Sound familiar? No, this is not a quote from a recent article on the Internet of Things (IoT). The year was 2001 and the technology was the soon to be launched 3G mobile networks.
Fast forward 14 years and the same use case is being shamelessly touted, but this time with IoT replacing 3G as the enabler. This is why we should be afraid. Our industry has a track record of overhyping technology as we saw during the dotcom boom and the initial launch of 3G and 4G networks.”
Source: The BUZZ around IoT is taking off in Asia Pacific – this is why we should be scared! | Charles Reed Anderson | LinkedIn
Are we overhyping #IoT?
My view is yes, but also no: IoT will have large impacts but we are making a mistake in trying to predict what those impacts will be.
Promoters are indeed overhyping specific IoT benefits that will likely flop. Hey, that’s the high tech industry!
Yet low cost sensors, microcontrollers and communications networks that are widely deployed to address problems and deliver new kinds of services will deliver genuine benefits – somewhere!
Our mistake is pretending we can predict precisely how this will play out in the future.
Thus the answer to the question – are we overhyping IoT? Absolutely Yes, but the answer is also No!
#IoT has reached that point in the product life cycle when we see the launch of rather silly products:
Beauty giant L’Oreal has launched a “smart” internet-connected hairbrush that analyzes users’ hair type and recommends products accordingly
Source: L’Oreal’s smart brush ‘listens’ to hair, recommends luxury treatments
The product purports to analyze the hair, how often it is brushed, what time of day, whether the hair is dry or frizzy or coarse, wet or dry and so on. And then recommends which products you should be using on your hair.
Which turns your hair brush into an advertisement that you pay for.
Publicly pointing fingers at responsible parties may gain headlines, but it behooves the accuser to be right to retain credibility. In the high-profile attack two years ago on Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), President Obama and the Federal Bureau of Investigation squarely blamed North Korea for the assault that crippled the company’s operations for months. While Mandiant convinced the U.S. government and Sony that North Korea was the culprit, numerous security firms – including Kaspersky Lab and AlienVault, as well as a Novetta-led consortium calling themselves Operation Blockbuster – concluded attribution in this case was inherently unreliable and based on circumstantial evidence.
“While the infrastructure used in the SPE attack overlaps with infrastructure attributed to malicious cyberactivity linked to North Korea, previously malicious IP addresses are not necessarily still used by the same attackers,” the February 2016 Novetta report stated.
“Attribution is never definitive because with enough knowledge and preparation, a sophisticated adversary can masquerade as a different threat actor,” cautions James Scott, senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
Source: The state of nation-state attacks
A related issue is that in many instances, multiple attackers can get inside a network. For example, Wikileaks says their source of leaked John Podesta emails was not affiliated with Russia. Meanwhile, the US government insists that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee systems.
Some in the news media suggest that someone is lying – yet both claims are likely true as it is possible and even likely that multiple hackers entered the system (or as Wikileaks hints, their source was a DNC insider).
Continue reading Attributing “hack attacks” to specific nations is not reliable
I just published a tutorial on linking multiple Arduino boards over Bluetooth to App Inventor apps running on Android devices.
You can see the tutorial at my appinventor.pevest.com web site by clicking here.
Arduino, Bluetooth and Android go hand in hand for the do-it-yourself experimenter working on Internet of Things concepts.
Apple’s main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, is planning to eliminate human workers from its Chinese factories in three phases —something already complete at some locations, a manager with Foxconn’s Automation Technology Development Committee revealed on Friday.
Source: Apple manufacturer Foxconn aiming to fully automate factories in three phases
Automated systems are now cheaper than workers….in China.