Finally a new technology to restore sound quality and cure my ears!

Strangely, as technology generally is supposed to improve quality and performance, it has been the opposite in the music/audio industry. death of sound Quality

Sound reproduction quality reduced when technology moved from vinyl to CDs, and again reduced even more dramatically when moving from CDs to mp3 or other compressed digital audio format. Sound quality regular music listeners on most personal users devices, be it smartphone, mp3 player, computers, TV, audio system etc are worst today that it was 50 years ago… mp3 compression or streaming audio loses as much as 80 to 90% of original recorded sound quality…and it seems young generation does not really care, even when they spend more time than any other generation before listening to music, specially on their smartphone. Clearly mobility is more important.
Most young people don’t buy CDs anymore but download compressed digital music or listen to streaming music; Beyonce last album for the holidays was downloaded 2 Millions time in 2 weeks, a new record, but not for long. CDs sales are going down and down and down.
ponoAs I was a sound engineer in a past life, this keeps bothering me… I have been looking for a long time at Neil Young "PONO" project of trying to launch and market for a download service with a new technology reproducing high quality studio recordings, but it has been delayed and delayed, as it seems he did not find the right investor, probably due to a weak business model and a high price point … everybody does not have Steve Jobs Marketing genius.
BUT TIME HAS FINALLY COME! signal doctor
Harman International announced yesterday at CES a software solution "HARMAN Signal Doctor", based on HTML5, Java and CSS, that automatically analyze and upgrade the audio quality of of compressed digital music files to restore the original sounds as it was recorded !
I have not been trying it yet but it seems this doctor is finally going to cure my hears.
Problem is, to be cured by Signal Doctor, you will have to buy a new Harman product for your home or for your car. However I suppose in a short term they may OEM their technology broadly to be embedded on other audio brands, and they even talk about marketing it as a mobile phone app, this could make this company rich, as I suppose everyone is going to want it, finally reuniting  Mobility and Audio Quality, this is THE Solution I was looking for, or am I the lonely  survivor concerned about sound quality ?

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Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies- Hype or Reality?

You probably know about Gartner Hype Cycles, and just in case you don’t it is communicated as an infographic produced regularly by famous IT research and advisory firm, Gartner, “to represent graphically the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies” (wikipedia), in a nutshell the lifecycle of innovations and products in the markets.

I just wanted to share with you theGartner hype-cycle-for emerging technologies 2013 latest Gartner Hype Cycle chart for Emerging Technologies (Image attached- dated August 8, 2013). It is of course a very interesting diagram, including a lot of technologies, and based on the collection of lots of data, which does not mean everything is thru and that we have to drink their coolaid, straight“on the rocks”.

What is predominant this year is the hype around smart machines, machine-to-machine (M2M), cognitive computing and the Internet of Things, all the Human/Machine relationship stuff and it’s impact on the enterprise of the future. There are so many innovations and emerging technologies and growing markets in that space, this is no surprise. (I just want to know more about SmartDust!)

Hype-Cycle-GeneralHowever, and more specifically, based on my focus at my present job,  I am looking with some level of skepticism, with all due respect to Gartner analysts, at two of these technologies: Cloud Computing and Big Data.

Gartner shows Cloud Computing as having passed the Peak of Expectation and already falling way down the Trough of Disillusionment ! I certainly don’t agree with that assessment. In my view Cloud is delivering on premises and on planned schedule, with a steady adoption and with little failure rate and not much negative press and still has with a huge potential growth.

Also Gartner shows Big Data almost at the mastering the hype cyclePeak of Inflated Expectation and again I would not embrace this idea; Big data is still in very early stage, it is transforming if not revolutioning all enterprise information management and business processes, and much more is  to come before it come to this peak.

Where I would agree, however is on the positioning of predictive Analytics, welcome to the Plateau of Productivity, my company should be able to make money out of it in the short term.

 

PlanetHype_1024So Hype or Reality?

I am no Nostradamus… Feel free to comment and provide your own vision, as your real life experience within your company or your customers if you’re a consultant or a technology vendor, may be as valid as Gartner’s survey and interpretation. No offense, we are talking about predictions and there is no such thing as Magic! and as my charming wife would say “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion."

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 !