5 New Technologies to change your life in 2013

Toronto toyota-20130222-00247My Jan 2011 blog post “11 new technologies to impact our life in 2011” has been my most successful topic in term of audience and traffic, so I thought I will do it again. With the explosion and acceleration of science and technologies, 2 years is already a long time, so here is a short highlight of 10 new technologies that will change your life in 2013:

1- 3D printing

A 3D printer is a device able of outputting physical objects meaning they can create real, solid objects from digital data. They have been in development labs for quite some time but are now hitting our real life and are starting to revolution prototyping and digital manufacturing. There are several technologies enabling 3D printers, such as stereolithography, material jetting, polyjet matrix, DLP projection, Fused Deposition Modelling, Binder Jetting, selective laser sintering or selective laser melting, etc… and a wide range of 3D printers and online services are now available for industrial and manufacturing applications. This is only the first step, in the second step it is already becoming available to the public consumer with Personal 3D Printers or kits ranging between $1.000 to $3,000. We can predict a Desktop 3D printer will cost a few hundred dollars in 2015 …imagine a future where instead of going in a store to buy an object, it will be delivered electronically to your computer and created on your home 3D printer… 3D printing is going mainstream, future is coming to your door!

2- Mobile Payments and Mobile Wallets

Mobile payment or mobile wallet refer to a payment performed via a mobile device and managed by a financial institution (bank, credit card) or service providers (internet providers, wireless communications providers), enabled by technologies as Near Mobile-walletField Communications or NFC. Newcomers are rushing to this huge market too and Paypal (owned by eBay) will be announcing next week it’s new mobile Point-of-Sale (available first in UK) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where Mobile Payment will be a big Buzz. Samsung and Visa are announcing a new global alliance to boost mobile payment and NFC. Technology has been available and secure for quite some time, banks and operators have been preparing for few years, and time has come for wide market adoption by shoppers and end users, as a very convenient alternative payment method to cash, check or credit card, carry digital coupons etc. Adoption has been spreading from Asia to Europe and is starting in North America, slower for regulations and technical reasons. In parallel social Commerce is also growing and American Express customers who link their cards to their Twitter accounts are now able make purchases with a tweet, I like that! A good justification to upgrade my Blackberry Torch to the Blackberry Z10 J

3- In Car Digital connection, Connected-to-Cloud cars and Self Controlled cars

I visited the Toronto Auto Show last week, and ff you have been in the market for a new car, you probably realised that Connected Cars are becoming ubiquitous with increased deployment of telematics and infotainment services. The Connected car is out in the streets, industry targets and predictions are: connected-car

 Over 20% of global vehicle sales in 2015 to include embedded connectivity solutions

 Over 50% of global vehicles sales in 2015 to be connected (either by embedded tethered or smart phone integration)

 Every car to be connected in multiple manners by 2025

As examples, Ford’s Cloud-Connected Car, the Evos Concept was announced at CES 2012, and

AT&T+General Motors are announcing to sell 4G LTE-connected cars, smart-cars with built-in Wi-Fi hot spots.

Leveraging several wireless technologies as Bluetooth, 4G, LTE, Satellite, Wi-Fi, Wimax, and M2M (Machine-to-Machine) embedded technologies, Your car is becoming a mobile device, with constant connectivity. Applications cover safety systems such as intersection collision, avoidance and platooning, emergency services, as well as non-safety systems as local chat room, traffic, weather, music streaming, emails, social media, broadcast, connected games, infotainment…

About Self Controlled cars: US government believes wireless systems could address 81% of all light-vehicle target crashes, this number seems very high to me, and very controversial, specially when most people believe being good drivers, needing automated systems only in extreme situation.

In any case, your next vehicle will do much more than taking you from A to B, it will connect you, direct you and protect you. Are losing control of our cars ???

4- Wearable and Bearable computers

With the advance of miniaturization, new display technologies, sensors, smaller and faster chips are now enabling us to wear computers just like we would wear clotheswearable Google-glass or glasses or watches, and to interact with you based on the context of the situation, this new generation of miniature computers are called Wearable or Bearable computers, they are unobtrusive internet-connected multimedia computers built within clothes, glasses, watches or belt and to become a seamless extension of the body and mind. Wearable or Bearable Computing applications include seeing aids, memory aids, photographic memory, wayfinding, Personal Safety Devices (PSDs), heart and health monitoring, augmented reality, diminished reality, mediated reality, glogging, surveillance, smart badges, language translator, music and video streaming, visual and audio email, social networking, gaming, and overall will replace a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop. Until now most devices are used in the military, commercial, industrial, financial, and medical industries, however it is now coming to the consumer mass market with Google Glasses, Clothing+ sensors, MicroVision displays, Xybernaut Poma optical mobile assistant, Nike+ gear, internet connected shoes, Neptune Pine android SmartWatch, Pebble Wirstwatch, Apple iWatch and many more soon to come. Some may feel reluctant to being assimilated into a cybernetic relationship with computer technology, and but let’s face it, resistance is futile, it will happen.

Wearing computers will make you feel like a SuperHero with ubiquity power !

5- Micro-Networks

Don’t be shy, from 7 to 107 years old, most of us already use Social Networks, but the rise of Micro-Networks is going to change the social game and outreach.micro-networks Path Social networking is about sharing, but sometime there is stuff you don’t want to share with all your social network, and the group or circles functions do not allow you to the full extent of sharing only specific topics of interest to the relevant people. Micro-Networks are the solution, they are more intimate and private communication social networks focusing on a common point of interest or topic, a local community, a political group, a club, a sport, a shared passion or hobby etc.

Social platforms such as Quora and Facebook are already at the top of the micro-network trend, but new platforms such as Path, Change.org, Neighborland, Collective Action Toolkit (Frog), are ramping up and many more will follow.

These micro-social-platforms are the new wave of social networking, go for it and share your passion, or may be just create your own !superhero

In conclusion, those are only a very few 5 of the new technologies impacting our life in the short term, there are so many more, time goes faster and faster, if you don’t surf at the top of the wave, there is no way you will be able to catch-up, The Future Is Now, Embrace it, Ride it !

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11 New Technologies to impact our lives in 2011

welcome to the futureIn this first week end of a new year, just like making new resolutions on new year day, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight new technologies or innovations that will go to market or will get market acceptance in the next 12 months and will have a significant impact on the way we live, therefore here is a list of 11 new technologies to change our life in 2011:

1. 4G wireless technology: Succeeding to 2G & 3G, this fourth generation of cellular wireless standards offer speed at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (in planes, trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (walking or seating users). And provides secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to smart-phones, laptops & any other mobile devices. Current Mobile-WiMAX and LTE as marketed by carriers as Verizon Wireless or Sprint may not fulfill all of the 4G requirements but still will provide fantastic improvement in speed and quality required for new rich content in mobile communications (3D video and 3D games as an example).

2. Mobile 3-D: In 2011 several smart phones manufacturers as LG, Samsung, Nokia,best phone MasterImage 3D etc, will introduce 3D mobile phones and tablets, and here is the best part this is 3D technology WITHOUT GLASSSES – Market adoption will be very quick for 3D glass-free mobile devices.. (I want one for my next Christmas!)

3. 3D TVs and Game Consoles: we can already find 3D TV and Game Consoles today, but in 2011 with more 3D broadcast programs, DVD and games, more competition and cheaper prices, market adoption will come and these devices will invade our homes. Unfortunately we will have to wait few more years to watch glass-free 3D TV in our living room.

gest recognition4. Gesture recognition for hands-free devices: interprets human gestures from faces or hands via mathematical algorithms to interface with the machine (Human Machine Interface) and interact naturally with a computer or machine without any mechanical devices, replacing traditional mouses, keyboards, touch-screens, game controllers and remote controls. To me this technology means FREEDOM.

5. Augmented Reality: this technology enable live view of a physical real-world augmented_realityenvironment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound, text, graphics or video to modify and enhance your perception of reality, by combining real and virtual elements, real time interactive functions and 3D technologies in devices as TV, computer screens, tablets, smart phones, touch screens kiosks, head displays in cars or planes, display in your glasses etc…and even retinal displays (Yes retinal !)

6. Text-to-Speech/Speech-to-Text: Technologies to convert text into MP3, WAV or VOX are already there, as well as Speech-Recognition has been there for some time but it is now reliable and will become common in 2011 and many of us will use it in many ways: listen to your emails and voice message while driving, send email and text message or instant message while driving, read (listen) an eBook, surf and read web pages etc.

hearing7. Real-time translation: By combining voice recognition, language text translation & text-to-speech technologies into a unified voice-to-voice translator system, this technology converts in real-time one language into another quickly enough to allow 2 speakers without a common language to communicate in real time. Which mean I can discuss over my cell phone with a customer, me being in Toronto speaking French, and him being in ShangHai speaking Chinese, the system will translate in real time, and we will understand each-other. Come to see me next month in the IBM stand at GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and I will show you a demo.

8. Radar technology in automobiles with front and rear detection to avoid collisions,audi radar adapt cruise control, monitor blind spot, line change detection and parking assistance. The technology is already there on high end luxury cars but it 2011 it will be included in a wider range of cheaper cars. That’s a short term step, but in the future this technology will take us to the driverless cars on highways.

mobile health9. Mobile Healthcare: after tele-healthcare, there is a now a series of new m-Health hardware and software solutions ready to go to market, and mHealth Regulatory Coalition, an industry group comprised of mobile health and IT companies, is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eventually regulate mobile healthcare hardware and software. Those new technologies and solution will improve our life by receiving diagnostic and treatments (including life threatening urgencies) more quickly and more comfortably, remotely in our home or on the move.

10. Mobile Shopping/Mobile Banking: I have been writing on this topics techn on this blog so I encourage to read it as this will definitively change the way we shop and the way we pay for our purchases and manage our finances in our daily life. “In Store Mobile Shopping will change the way we shop”.

11. The year of the tablets: Apple created the market for tablets by launching its iPad, there were tablets available for quite some time but nobody would buy it before, that is Steve Jobs/Apple’s Magic again at creating new markets. A lot of new tablets are now coming to market from several vendors (RIM, HP, Dell, Google, Sony, Motorola, Samsung etc) in different shapes and size and running different mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, Palm OS, Symbian, Microsoft), over 50Million tablets are expected to be sold in 2010, Apple remaining dominant, followed by RIM, Sony, Google, HP and others…(I want one for my Birthday !!!)

Bonus: Last but not least, as a Green bonus, I had to choose one among all the new Green technologies that will penetrate the market in 2011, here come the Electric Cars, with Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, or Neiborough Electric Vehicules (NEV) as the GEM, Dynasty, ZENN and as GM EN-V personal vehicule or many others ones finally available at your dealership. Still a hype but a radical turn for the future of the auto-industry, slowly but definitively moving to electric. Accelleration of adoption will come with new battery technologies in the work, and building of the infrastructure. In any case in 2011 most of us (Governments, Industries, Companies, Individuals) will demonstrate more Green conscience, saving on energy, whatever fuel, gaz or electricity, and so many green technologies and energy efficient devices, or recyclable materials will invade the market, visible or not, to help us reduce the damage on our planet. (Do you know that a Canadian company, Motive Industries, is building an electric car with Cannabis or hemp, replacing all plastic and carbon fibre parts including its body? Name of the car is Kestrel, look for it! Watch this video)

Do not be surprised if many of these technologies or innovations are relevant to the telecom or mobile communications field, that is because we are entering an age where everything is getting interconnected through wireless networks and through the internet (and because it is one of my areas of expertise), embedded hardware and software making these devices more intelligent and our planet smarter.

Few years from now we may have chips embedded in our body! But be reassured not in 2011 yet…

I have not been selecting social networks and social media because it has already project_natalgrown so much, Facebook growing from 500 to 650 million users in the last few months of 2010, and all major companies using it as a marketing tool, being sufficient proofs.

There is of course many others technologies and innovations, like nanotechnologies in the medical field just to name one, that will also change and improve our lives, and you are more than welcome to add some of yours to this blog.

Happy New Year 2011.

Who is going to win the Mobile OS battle?

We live in an interconnected world, and first we should mention that our communication world is changing in several ways:mobile_os_array_jan2010

– We are using more and more mobile devices,

– We are using phones less for voice and more for data and Apps, or phones are getting smarter,

– On internet, we are moving quickly from “searching” to “getting”, meaning from using a browser or search engine to using Apps.

Therefore mobile Apps are the future, and the impact is huge on the Operating Systems (OS) technologies and market as smart phones OS may be competing or threatening traditional OS.

A recent survey conducted by IDC and Appcelerator about the mobile device market reveals some very interesting facts and opinions, please note this is not about devices shipped but about Apps developers interest as Mobile OS platforms:IDC mobile OS platforms

– Today: Apple iOS leads the way as the platform of choice for Apps developers, followed by Android, and others rivals are far away that order: RIM Blackberry, Windows Phone7, WebOS, Symbian…see chart “Very interested”

– 88 percent believe that Apple offers the best app store

– 74 percent feel that iOS is the least fragmented platform

– Being an open platform is an advantage for Google Android vs Apple iOS (however being Open does seem to be such an advantage for Symbian!)

– Despite being presently the leader in shipping smart-phone units, Symbian OS generate very low interest for developers.

– It is also interesting to note the tight link between the Smartphone and Tablet OS perception and results for a same vendor.

– Recently: During the last six months, developer support for Android and iOS IDC mobile OS opportunityiPhone has been relatively stable, while interest in iOS iPAD has grown sharply, BlackBerry & Windows Phone 7 are recessing, Symbian is lagging.

– Tomorrow: Android appears as the OS with the best potential and is “best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future,”

– Android is also leading the way beyond mobile smart-phones and tablets (i.e. home entertainment platform, Connected TV). See chart “Windows of opportunity”.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the smart-phone market and even more on the tablet market, as new products are being announced but not yet deployed, and new players may be emerging and therfore there is a lot of questions in the air:

1- With Apple and Google clearly leading the way, can RIM keep up the pace ?

With the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, the announcement of Blackberry Advertising Service, its future BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform, and a new web based platform for developers, not to forget RIM’s strong customer base on the large enterprise market, for its security and its integration to corporate applications and middleware, RIM is expanding its strategy but also expanding the battlefield on a mass-market ground, and it will be a hard and challenging fight.

2- Will Symbian survive ?

Once the Eldorado of the Open Source OS platform for mobile devices, attracting developers to develop on a common platform across multiple systems, Symbian Foundation seems to be on its way out, with Samsong and Sony-Ericsson abandoning the sinking ship, leaving only Nokia as a top tier vendor to support it.

One way to survive may be for Nokia to purchase it, which would be a win-win.

Meanwhile Google Android has the support of all major device manufacturers and is now the leading Open Source Mobile platform.

3- Do we want or need a facebook OS ?

With rumours floating around about Facebook working with INQ on the development of two smart-phones supposed to be running on the Android OS , but really customised to integrate closely with Facebook, the questions raise: does it really make sense for Facebook to launch its own smartphone and does the market really needs another mobile OS ?

Certainly developers do not want another mobile OS! And what about you, Facebook fans and me ?

As a Facebook user I can just open an app on my smart-phone and directly contact my friends and social network, and by the way, the more it goes the more I do that instead of calling or sending an email or an SMS…Times are indeed changing.

But in the future Facebook may want to compete with Google Voice, Apple and Microsoft on the Voice and Video over IP, and Location-Based-Services for mobile ads for a more complete offering…which is why they are investigating this option.

What plays in favour of Facebook is their 500Millions+ users (and growing quickly) and the incredibly rich profile information they have on their users as any information they share becomes a component of Facebook database which they can access, analyse and leverage, a dream come thru for any marketer. And that game is all about leveraging user information to target marketing campaigns and sell ads, right. But that’s another story.

Add-on Apps facetime4- Who is leading the “add-on apps” and usage?

A recent study from Zokem shows Android clearly leading the way with 42 minutes per day spent (or face time) on “add-on apps” as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Skype etc Please note Apple iOS was not part of the survey and user still spend more time on core apps than add on apps. See chart.

5- What are the most demanded APIs ?IDC mobile OS APIs

Based on IDC/Appcelerator study:

For Social Networks: Integration of mobile apps with Facebook is THE key priority (65%) , followed by Twitter (60%), way ahead of Foursquare (22%).

For Mobile Advertising: Apple iAd is dominant followed by Google AdMob (36%)

For Mobile payment: Apple iOS (49%) and Paypal (48%) payment are most supported as mobile commerce enablers.

Other trends: Geo Location based services are more demanded than Google Maps, and push notifications more than mobile web browsing.

In conclusion, based on developers feedback and on the way mobile device market is evolving, I see clearly AnMobile-OS-Logosdroid winning the mobile OS market.

However Apple iOS will remain strong, thanks to its loyal “fans” base and its innovative spirit, and RIM will survive, thanks to its enterprise customer base and technology driven culture. Symbian will be out of the race –except if took-over by a manufacturer as Nokia-, and others players as Microsoft, MeGoo, Kindle etc, and others Linux OS will have a hard time grabbing any significant market-share.

 There is no room for more than 3 mobile OS on a mature market.

The remaining question is When?  IDC predict Android will be #2 most popular mobile OS by 2013, I would guess #1 by 2013, but who am I ?

6-In-store Mobile Shopping will change the way we shop …

With the new mobile technologies, apps and services available now,  and more soon to come, Mobile Shopping from in-store is the new trend and we can expect from it a new interesting, interactive, personalised experience as a consumer in our favourite stores.

New industry standards are being created, new mobile apps are being developed, new mobile commerce offerings are being launched and you will soon be experiencing it yourself.

In-store mobile shoppers, will be able, on their smart phone, to scan a product or take its picture, to see products advertizing, videos, compare products, compare prices in competitive stores, find technical specifications, or ingredients for food, read consumers product reviews, retrieve discount coupons online, receive directly on their phone promotions and coupons based on their purchase history in the store, get loyalty points from the store and much more.

There will be real benefits for the retailers and stores too, by providing more information, better service, improved customer satisfaction, by attracting more customers in their stores and converting them into buyers, and improving customer loyalty, they will increase their sales.

M-Commerce Multichannel Outlook, US, 2010The charts attached show that Mobile-Commerce & Mobile-shopping are still at the  early adoption stage, but you can be sure this will grow quickly and explode sooner than later, as this will be a way for major brands and retailers to differentiate themselves, gain competitive advantage, improve customer experience, retain or gain new customers, and increase their market share.

We are in the information age, smart mobile phones are part of our life and becoming an extension of ourselves, and consumer demand for this shopping experience will grow, as did text messaging, Instant Messaging, streaming video, mobile gaming, mobile TV etc…

As consumers spend increasing time online, are used to shop online from their home, and as they are demanding more and more apps from their mobile phone, mobile will link products and stores to the digital world

Mobile-Commerce and In-store Mobile shopping will change our shopping experience and the way we buy.

Are you ready ?

5- We Need Smarter and Greener Telecommunications Networks

You probably know that the electricity used to power all computing Data Centers in the world generate more CO2 emissions than the Air Transportation industry, despite all these planes burning huge quantities of  jet-fuel in our skies!     

Green Telecom Network Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014

 

 Therefore reducing data center power usage is one of the strategic focus of any CIO or Data Center manager, as well as for all computers, servers, storage vendors, not just for the satisfaction of being  Green but also and first to reduce operating cost as power is one of the major cost of operating a Data Center.     

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) & Operators have a double challenge as they also need to reduce the power consumption of their Network Operation Center (NOC), especially now that fixed and mobile communications are growing fast, the volume of data transmitted is exploding and their network is quickly expanding to satisfy the demand.     

Telecom Networks have become a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and growth, and all CSPs are being challenged to reduce their carbon emissions , to use more energy-efficient hardware to power their network elements (micro-processors, servers, storage, network switches vendors are being challenged to manufacture and sell more energy-efficient equipments), to use new  and more efficient cooling technologies, to optimize their resource with virtualization technologies, to use renewable energy, to Recycle & Reuse, in a nutshell to be Smarter and Greener.     

Most of them today are putting a lot of effort and resources in greener initiatives to meet these challenges, to reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions, which in the end will improve their Capital Expenses (Capex) and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of their network and also dramatically reduce their operating expenses (Opex).     

A recent report from Pike Research, Cleantech Market Intelligence, addresses in much detail all the following questions:     

•             Who are the leading providers, OEMs, and technology companies that are driving green telecom initiatives?     

•              What are some of the best practices being implemented today?     

•              What is the impact of green telecom on emerging markets versus developed markets?     

•              What is the business case for green telecom, and which components have the most impact on ROI?     

•              What is the market opportunity for green telecom in terms of Capex spending?     

•              How large is the opportunity for renewable energy in telecom networks?     

•              What is the potential for carbon emissions reduction through green telecom initiatives?     

I have included in this blog two charts from the Pike Research Report.     

So many new technologies, solutions and best practices are available today to help CSPs meet their challenges, it is also a great market opportunity for vendors and integrators:     

•             Network and data center platforms and designs , More efficient cooling technologies and design     

•              Access network efficiency improvements: DSLAMs, ONTs, BTSs, etc.     

•              Smart processors, controllers, and sensors     

•              Fuel cells and batteries     

•              Remote monitoring solutions (hardware and software)     

•              Solar PV for network power,  Wind energy for network power, Biomass for network power     

•              Improved ASICs,  Low Energy CPUs, IP Softswitches, Reduced Power RF Amplifiers     

•              Hardware, Software and Applications Virtualization     

•              Cloud Computing  etc…     

Mobile Network Green Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014

 

 So it should be a Win-Win for all, reduce cost and increase profitability and competitiveness for CSPs, additional revenue for innovative technology vendors and improved carbon emission for our planet.     

As so much of our life in the future will depend more and more on communications, 

     

We Need Smarter and Greener Telecom Networks!  

    

 

   

 

  

 

 

4- What is the right Business Model for Telecom Service Providers to profit from Femtocells?

First to clarify, a Femtocell is, a wireless access point, a small device attached to a home broadband network router (DSL or cable) in order to increase significantly quality and coverage of your wireless/cellular network for your mobile devices around your home (or small business).  

Femtocell for your Home !

 

Femtocell technology is proven and has been on the market for some time, with high expectations and little success until now, and not much better short term forecast. It seems Service Providers are not convinced on the value of using and selling it, and Users are not willing to pay for it, so demand is low.  

However, in my view Femtocell adoption should be a win-win:  

–          Better coverage & performance, improved customer experience for the consumer, and eventually new services and affordable pricing options  

–          Incremental revenue, improved customer service & experience, reduced churn, reduced cost to deliver mobile data & traffic, competitive advantage, increased profitability for the Service Provider.  

So why are we not there yet? It really is  a question of finding the right business model and marketing messaging.  

It seems the best option is for the Service Provider to give them away to their customers.  

AT&T MicroCell femtocell business model is not working, with the MicroCell device being offered at $150 one time fee, femtocell traffic being billed against broadband caps, and customers complaining to have to pay for leak of AT&T’s network coverage and service.  

But times are changing, and East is moving faster it seems, as Softbank Mobile and Ubiquisys just announced July 1st, they will provide in Japan the Femtocell Hub and its required broadband service access (DSL) for FREE to the consumers, residential, retails or small businesses. And in return, the user will have to share the link with others users of the mobile service.  

“The SOFTBANK MOBILE femtocells will be set to open access mode, meaning all customers will be able to access the devices, increasing coverage for all, offloading traffic from the macro network and adding network capacity.”  

I believe this is the right move and Business Model, and I expect others Service Providers to embrace it, sooner or later, all or in part, for everyone’s benefit.  

If you believe in a better business model, now is the time to share it with us !

Video Conferencing vs. Face-to-Face meetings (including for G20 Summit)

After experiencing myself (live) the G20 Summit in Toronto last week-end, and based on some of the numbers: 

Face-to-Face meeting at the G8

 

$1.2Billion of security cost, over 19,000 police officers, 900 people arrested, 10,000 words in a final agreement with little results as it is so difficult to have 20 global leaders agree in such a short period of time on so important global issues, and different agendas. 

 As collateral damage, not yet included in the cost of the gathering, downtown Toronto was turned into a ghost town for a week and a war zone for 2 days, and devastated by organised groups of violent protesters, who came to get their message out by broking windows & doors of major brand’s stores, destroying cars from the media teams, getting police cruisers in flames, scaring people, and breaking the law, and this goes for any world summit as G8 and G20. 

 Do we learn any lesson? We have to think about others ways to host our leader’s workshops and meetings, using all the fantastic technologies available today, that all businesses use nowadays: Audio and Video conferencing, collaboration tools to share live documents online etc… 

I totally support this idea, especially in time of economic crisis, deficit, expenses cut and insecurity due to international terrorism. On the other side, political leaders keep saying that the face to face meeting of the G20 is the only format to discuss sensitive issues and come to some kind of agreements. 

Indeed, there has been some scientific research done on the effectiveness of face-to-face meetings versus video conferencing and the results show that face-to-face meetings are more effective in producing tangible outcome and more likely to result in agreements than technologies as audio-video conferencing. 

Body language, face expressions, eye contacts, feelings, emotions are important factors, and more than 40% of our intuitive communication comes from non-verbal sources.  Also being together in a room produces a sense of a shared mission which is more difficult to create over the internet. 

Video conferencing offers good capabilities and some effectiveness but is still imperfect: the delay between audio and video feeds can confuse human brain, and can disconnect the words from the intended context. 

In conclusion no technology available today can beat face-to-face meetings in term of effectiveness…but at what price? 

The cost of this G20 meeting was over $1 Million per minute of meeting!!! 

So what do You think? Video Conferencing or Face-to-Face meeting for the next G20 Summit ? 

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