Tag Archives: Future Trends

Google Glass Will Become the “Calculators” of the Medical Industry (and Several Others)

Doctor Glass

 

Google Glass is Going to Medical School

The University of California at Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine announced that it’s integrating the iconic wearable tech into its four-year curriculum for medical students.

Glass Finds its First Professional Home

Google has had the #glassexplorers program, which allows individuals to buy #Glass for personal use, but they have also donated pairs of +Google Glass to various industries and professions. 

This was to see which industries found usage of the device beneficial, right out of the box. By “right out of the box,” I mean using the product as it now exists, which is essentially glasses with a built-in camera and a display that projects an Augmented Reality menu to navigate (along with a few basic apps). 

The Future of Glass

Possibilities are endless. Along with releasing the base models of #Glass, Google also released Glass’s API. This means that, as we speak, developers from all over the world are testing out and building Apps made specifically for the device. 

In general, it’s mutually understood that eventually #Glass will be able to (at least):

  • Automatically identify objects and people, using facial recognition and object recognition (remember Google Goggles?).
  • Determine which objects or people are relevant to the user.
  • Present useful data, relevant to the user, about the world around them, in an augmented overlay.

All of this will happen in real-time, and only in ways that will help the user. It will be possible, but horrific, for #Glass to identify everything in view and present information about it. The idea is that #Glass will become smart enough to know when to present what info: 

“Technology that’s there when you need it, and invisible when you don’t.”

This is my paraphrasing of Glass’s original mission statement, and is the entire reason for its existence. The idea is that technology is awesome and helps us in so many ways, but has negatively affected our social behavior. We text and drive, text and walk, text and eat, surf and poop, google while having conversations, and are constantly looking down at a screen.

With glass, we’re accepting that technology is too beneficial and enjoyable to cut from our lives. We’re also accepting that our current set up is not an ideal one. We’re smarter, more globally connected, and more productive, but at the cost of being less social (in life) and less engaged in our surroundings.

Wearable Technology is Born to Bring us the Best of Both Worlds

With wearable tech devices, such as Glass, we do not have to choose either being immersed in technology or being engaged in the real world. We will be able to have our cake and eat it too.

Getting to that point will take a bit of time, advancement of the technology, trial and error, and lots of tweaking (not twerking). However, it is a certainty, since all the foundational building blocks are already there. 

Come back in a decade, and you’ll see a different, improved society.

The Medical Industry has demonstrated the strongest immediate benefit of utilizing this new technology. The video/audio and communication capabilities of Glass are the primary functions being used, now, but more uses will come…

Doctors Using Glass ~2024:

  • A doctor, wearing #Glass, walks into a patients room.
  • Glass automatically identifies the patient, using facial recognition.
  • Glass pulls up the patient’s medical records.
  • Glass displays the most relevant aspects of the records in an augmented overlay being projected directly into the doctor’s eye, so only he can see the info.
  • The doctor says, “OK Glass, let’s do a physical exam.”
  • Glass opens up a medical app for performing physical examinations on patients.
  • The questions that the doctor needs to ask the patient pop up in his display.
  • As he asks the questions, Glass records the patient’s responses, converting speech to text, filling out the exam.
  • After the questions are complete, Glass displays the next steps for the doctor (i.e. Check blood pressure, heart rate, reflexes, temperature, ear check, throat check, etc.).
  • In real-time, the Medical app is not only filling out the forms automatically, it is trained to spot certain patterns.
  • This advanced pattern recognition compares live, incoming data, the patient’s history, and a database of medical knowledge, #Glass pops up a recommended diagnosis of the patient.

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Yes, I know exactly what I’m implying.

This gadget, considered a high-tech, $1,500 novelty-toy by the mainstream, could essentially replace doctors (as we know them) in as soon as a decade. I don’t think doctors will be eliminated, by any means, but I do see a future where Medical school is 2 – 4 years of schooling plus another 2 – 4 years of hands-on training. 

Google Glass will be the Calculators of the Medical Industry (and Several Others):

You can do complicated math problems, manually, but why would you waste the time? Do it quick on the calculator, cut time and errors, and then spend the extra time doing something actually beneficial.

Same as the future of medicine… Keep doctors, but will it be necessary for that much schooling, memorizing hoards of information, to make a diagnosis that a device can do faster and more accurately?

Doctors of the Future

  • Learn the basics of the industry.
  • Become a master of the tools.
  • Reduce education cost and time.
  • Improve ability to diagnose complex illnesses (Some illnesses may be so complex that they now cannot be discovered).

Also, use the exponentially increased productivity to:

  • Personalize treatment.
  • Invest more in research.
  • Provide medical care in places of the world with a shortage of doctors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It All Starts With the Customer…

I started a huge focus on “Customer Experience” about 3 years ago, when I started looking for a new career path. I foresaw “Customer Experience” becoming the main focus of modern business (and also my way of getting into the tech industry).

I didn’t have tech industry experience, but I did have a decade of leadership experience in customer-centric environments, mostly in restaurants. In restaurants, the customer experience happens quickly, which mirrors how almost every business operates now that we live in a “connected world.”

  • A customer reads an advertisement
  • Calls on the phone
  • Visits the host stand
  • Gets walked to the table
  • Gets taken care of by the waiter
  • Drinks are made by the bar
  • Food is made by the kitchen
  • Cleanliness is maintained by the bussers

Every single one of those separate interactions serve as “touch points” where a customer interacts with the business. So, these departments must not be managed individually, but looked at as equally important aspects of a customer’s journey.

If you drop the ball in any of the areas, the customer experience is bad, resulting in an eventual decline of sales. In the “connected world” that we now live in, every single business now has to take this “customer experience” methodology into account:

  • An advertisement that a user clicks on
  • The look, feel, and user-friendliness of the website.
  • All social media engagement.
  • Signing up for a service or buying a product.
  • The quality of the product or service.
  • Any support that a user needs or questions they may have.
  • Any problem that may arise and how it’s dealt with.

All of them are “touch points,” just like in a restaurant. Every single interaction that a customer has with any area of a business contributes to their overall experience. If any of these areas fail to impress the customer, sales will eventually go down.

Online Business’s Customer Experience:

Online Customer Experience

Everything now runs like a restaurant, with multiple areas of specialty converging simultaneously on the customer. Businesses can no longer be managed separately in compartments. Leaders in a business must be cross-functional, look at the big picture, and take into account how each department affects one another and what impact they have on customer experience.

Everything is a Touchpoint:

All the Possible Touch Points of Customer Experience
Department heads can’t just be grouped together once in a while during a staff meeting, either; There needs to be leaders who always look at the individual departments as pieces of a whole.

This means that leaders in a “connected world” should not be extremely specialized in one function, but instead be adaptive generalists who can just as easily talk with developers, designers, engineers, customer support staff, business strategists, marketing specialists, salesmen, or executives.

Generic Customer Experience

More than that, they must be able to communicate the “big picture” to each department in a way that it can identify with. Leaders must inspire the big, shared vision of excellent customer experiences to every employee.

“What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis.”

– W. Edwards Deming

The Connected World

As society continues to evolve, due to connectivity, businesses must also evolve. This may mean changing the organizational structure or looking for leaders with a different set of skills than what has worked in the past.

Connectivity can be good or bad. While people are waiting a long time or receiving bad service, they are equipped with smartphones and can post/ tweet/ text/ etc. their experiences in real-time to hundreds of their connections. Twice as many people talk about bad experiences than good ones, too. However, having a good experience is rewarded with repeat business and referrals.

One thing that is becoming more apparent to those in the tech industry (as well as other industries, such as medical) is the focus on providing exceptional customer experiences. Looking at each and every touchpoint a customer has with a business as one aspect of the customer’s journey. This means breaking down the walls that separate departments and seeing the big picture.

Medical Customer Experience:

Medical Visit Customer Experience

Where was “Customer Experience” a primary focus long before it became a buzzword?

Restaurants.

When managing a high volume restaurant, the lead manager must work together with every department, in real time, to ensure a positive experience for the customer (despite the fact that each department operates fundamentally different). A great restaurant manager must be in constant communication with all departments, despite their differences, to achieve the shared goal of excellent customer experience.

The tech (and every) industry needs those same type of leaders: Someone who floats effortlessly from designers, developers, engineers, marketers, business strategists, and salesman. Someone who can speak the language of each department and inspire the same shared vision: excellent customer experience.

Generic Customer Experiences - Exceptional vs Good

If even one of the departments fail to share the vision, that customer may be lost forever to the competition. In the “connected world” that we live in today, it probably also means the loss of several other customers and tarnishing of the brand name.

Customer Experience - Companies Can No Longer Hide in a Connected World

Polymath

polymath

I am a student of everything. I learn from the world around me. I study the math of the universe, the art of life, and the working of nature. I ponder the reasons behind existence. I stare up at the night sky and am amazed at the vastness of what is. I learn from everyone I meet and anyone who will teach me. I invent, I create, and I build. I am not confined by my career or job or degree. I am more than that. I will not be one thing: I will be everything. I am a POLYMATH.

Driverless Car of The Future

This rough concept, based on mixing driverless car technology, deeply embedded systems, and a radical design concept (that involves rotating front seats) shows what’s possible for the next generation of automobiles.

It’s pretty straightforward:

Driverless Car Technology

The car is completely driverless, using a mix of radar and GPS technology. This technology is already developed and is in the beta testing phase.

googlecar

Embedded Systems

The car has embedded systems (what some now refer to as “The Internet of Things;” They both mean the same thing). It is when technology is seamlessly integrated into everyday objects, so that what you end up with is basically everything being a part of the same massive, connected system. Things like refrigerators, tabletops, or walls are all a part of the system.

Smart_Kitchen

Everything becomes a device, integrating technology to enhance whatever the object is, and since it is all connected, the individual components can be monitored and controlled remotely. There is essentially no difference between your TV, your computer, your smart phone, your wearable technology, a wall on your house with a screen set into it, and eventually, even your (driverless) car.

The_Internet_of_Things

Google (and just about every major tech company) is working on ways to do this and bring prices down. This technology becoming the “mainstream” solution for average consumers will mark a revolutionary shift in the way we experience life.

If you are a Star Trek geek like me, think of on Star Trek: The Next Generation, where people on the ship would just say “computer,” no matter where they were, and could perform any function of the computer — right from that very spot. The computer, built into the ship, demonstrates embedded systems at partial capacity. That’s possible within a decade, if all the major players do their part.

Eventually, everything in society becomes connected. This creates an entirely new Minority Report society (with the good aspects, not the bad).

future-society-internet-of-things

Radical New Design of Automobiles

Combining driverless technology and the embedded systems, this creates options for automakers that were never conceived of. I’m not saying that this is the way all cars will be like in the future, I am merely suggesting one possibility:

The front seats of the car can rotate to face backwards. Obviously, this option has never been considered before, because now someone needs to be driving the car. However, since that will no longer be needed, it opens up a new option available in future automobiles, actually bringing families closer together.

With the front seats of the car rotated to face backwards, and the driving automatic, a central table or console could be used for various purposes:

For example:

  • A centrally located console could double as a table where the family eats lunch at, together.
  • The car drives itself: a legal wine tasting, anyone?
  • A dual-sided screen mounted there, where the family could watch a movie together.
  • The dual-sided screen could be synced up for displaying the same image on both sides for a movie or TV show that passengers want to watch together, or each side could be used independently.
  • The kids in the backseat are playing a video game, while a parent in the front seat uses their side of the screen to look up something on the Internet, or they work on a project that they would today use a laptop PC for (not if they were driving).

Driverless_car_of_the_future

FYI:  I am NOT an artist and this picture is an extremely rough drawing of the concept car. However, I think it gets the point across about what could be possible in cars soon. With a car like this, it won’t matter if the driver has wearable tech or not, since the car will be doing the driving.

The Future is Coming Soon

These technologies, individually, are in a mere testing and cost reduction phase, so it is not as if anything is that far off from happening. The technology needed for this radical design of a car is available now, it has just never been considered due to the current need for a driver to drive the vehicle. With the driver out of the equation, this concept and a variety of other radical concepts become a realistic possibility.

Technology Removes the Humanity from Society… and Then Brings it Back Better Than Ever

This example proves a major point that I have pushed for a while now that most people have a tough time believing:

For a time, technology will make society less social, individuals glued to their smartphones checking their Social Network updates or playing games. However, once we reach the next phase of technological innovation, we will be able to use technology to not only bring society back together, but enable us to do things together that were never imagined.

Automatic Technology

This is another concept that will evolve as a result of these devices having technology integrated into them. I call it automatic technology: a device’s ability to “know” where  you are and what you are doing, and it intuitively and automatically switches “command” over from one system to another.

Imagine:

  • You wake up, and check the built-in display in the wall for today’s weather.
  • Your refrigerator let’s you know that the milk you purchased on Tuesday is going to expire soon and automatically sends a reminder to the core system.
  • You grab your Google Glasses, which automatically power on upon being touched,  and shuts down the computer system being used on the wall.
  • As you are walking to your car, your brother calls you on your Google Glasses, and allows you to speak to him via earpiece.
  • Once you enter your car, the call automatically shifts to the car’s large screen for a face-to-face chat.
  • The gasses automatically power down to save battery life.
  • When you exit the vehicle, power is automatically restored to the glasses.
  • When you are driving home from work, a reminder pops up on the car’s display, when you pass by the grocery store, that you need to buy more milk.

Technology is a Tool: It Should Work for You, Not the Other Way Around

The examples and possibilities of this are endless. Everything made so that going through every aspect of life is incredibly intuitive, which will make the entire society more productive.

The Future is Closer Than We Think.

future_world

How to Build Innovative, Next-Generation Products Before Anyone Else Does

Avanade_CustomerJourney_graphic

Put yourself entirely into the mind of a consumer (except slightly in the future):

  • How they will think.
  • How they will feel.
  • What your business will look like from their POV.
  • How your product will seem from their POV.
  • What they truly desire.
  • What would make their life easier, simpler, or more enjoyable?

Completely “become the customer” in your mind. Forget about reports, stocks, the shareholders, the technical limitations, and the cost. For a significant amount of time, try and see everything through their eyes, not through the experienced eyes of an experienced businessman.

Try not to recognize the technical limitations taught to you in engineering school. After all, the customer doesn’t care about those things. They do not exist to a customer.

BECOME THE CUSTOMER

consumer

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

– Steve Jobs

Imagine the product that would make your life easier, better, or more enjoyable in someway. Now take this imaginary device and try your best to explain it to your team. It’s at this point that you may realize certain “impossibilities” of the product you’ve imagined. You may realize at this point that the technology needed to build this product is a decade away, or is still in the experimental phase.

START BUILDING THAT PRODUCT, REGARDLESS

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“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

– Steve Jobs

Then, you simply build the product that you wanted, with all hands-on-deck to push along the development of any aspect of it that is not yet possible. Double the R&D funds to that department, if necessary. They key is to build the product that you imagined, and to do it faster than originally seemed possible.

You imagine first, then you make it possible.

“In the end, for something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

– Steve Jobs

That is how you disruptively innovate an entire culture with a single product. By doing so, you get to the prize (the fully developed product) several years before your nearest competitor. Everything they do will be a rip-off of your invention, or a counter-move to catch up.

The Future of Business

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Most business experts agree on the importance of the customer’s insight, especially as technology makes it easier for them to communicate with one another via social networks, texting, and ratings websites.

The most popular solution:

Implementation of a CCO

The CEO empowers a Chief Customer Officer (CCO), responsible for ensuring quality of the entire customer experience (the relationship a customer has with a business at every touch point, from advertising all the way through buying and using the product or service). According to these experts, the CCO should be strongly backed by the CEO. This is because some of what the CCO may have to say is contrary to what other board members want to hear, but it needs to be said. It is the voice of the customer.

Personally, I believe in a completely different strategy to ensure incredible customer experiences:

Transformation of the CEO to a CCO

The CEO serves as the “customer with a big imagination.” He remains ignorant to the “technical aspects” of the business, purposefully, to keep him blind to what’s possible and stay focused on what should be.

The customer does not care about “what’s possible.” The customer also does not care about cost-cutting, technical limitations, or mistakes in development. It is department head’s responsibility to constantly innovate and improve to turn the “dream” into a reality. This philosophy was made popular by Steve Jobs, named “the reality distortion field.”

  • The COO interprets the wild ideas of the CEO, turning them into possible, executable steps and delegates them to the various departments. In a sense, the COO “runs” the company, inspired by the CEO.
  • The various departments stay in touch with visits from the CEO, who maintains and inspires the overall vision.
  • The various departments may run into difficulties executing certain aspects, at which time the CEO will serve as a “problem solver” to seek creative solutions to their deadlocks.
  • The CEO also motivates the departments with his passion for the vision, his viewpoint as an average customer, and his unwillingness to accept excuses as an answer. There is always a workaround.
  • The concept flows from dream, to pattern, to design, to strategy, to process, creating a more refined product as it reaches each level.
  • The last level is the outlook, at which point the CEO will see, touch, and feel the product that will hit consumers (as a customer). He will be able to see how the finished product matches up to the original vision… In some cases, it will be an improvement. In some cases, it will be inferior and sent back to a certain, earlier stage in development.

As a “customer,” anything less than a “wow” at this stage, from the CEO, is unacceptable.

After the product release, results from numbers compare with steps in the development. Steps in the development can be refined for further enhancement of future products released.

Why Should the CEO be the CCO?

What shows that customer experience and satisfaction comes first more than by making the top-ranking official responsible for it? I’m not just talking about publicity here, I’m also talking about the message sent to the entire company, internally. Why should a CCO have to be so heavily backed by the CEO to clarify the message of how important customer experience really is?

With the CEO responsible for customer experience, it shows an undeniable devotion to the overall satisfaction of the customer; and that message is coming from the top. The CEO being ignorant to certain knowledge allows his imagination and his desire to build the ideal product unstinted by technical limitations. This is not dissimilar from how Apple ran during its most creative period.

Steve Jobs was a visionary who dreamt up products that customers would want and pushed the individual departments to innovate and improve  to create that vision. He had minimal to no technical skills by the time he was the great innovator we think of him as. Too often, CEO’s become too far removed from what customers want and rely too heavily on metrics and costs, when they need to put themselves in the shoes of the customer.

This strategy requires a different style of CEO than is typically recruited to run multimillion dollar companies, but it is a more effective, long-term strategy to make sure that there is constant innovation and excellent experiences. Since the CEO is ignorant to certain aspects of the details, it also requires that he be surrounded by a strong team that make up for his weaknesses, to allow his strengths to shine. If it is a “Steve Jobs” visionary-type CEO, then it’s prudent to surround himself with very detail-oriented people.

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Google sincerely thinks that Google+ is the future of Google

googlecity-of-the-future

 

A Google and Google+ Future

While I believe this is a definite possibility (and admittedly being a Google+ fan myself), there is much more to ruling the future of the internet than scooping up new, ignorant users. Google+ needs to up its game in terms of features, user-friendliness, intuitiveness, learning curve, and really just a whole makeover. I’ve been patient with Google+, but it has been too long now without any significant updates or improvements.

fofb_infographic

A Facebook Future

Facebook (I hate to say it) now dominates Google+ in features, and they are slowly learning that people would rather connect with like-minded strangers than the people they shared a high school with (that no longer share any interests with them).

Google+ can be the future of Google (and the Internet), but it needs a little push…

future-google