Danny Dicks's blog

The role of energy harvesting is now better understood than ever

Over the last two or three years I have seen a rapid maturing of industry’s understanding of the potential, pitfalls and practicalities of energy harvesting technology. This process has paralleled the development of use cases for the Internet of Things, and this isn’t surprising, as it is largely for IoT applications that energy harvesting will be developed. If millions – or billions – of devices are going to be connected to the Internet, mostly doing pretty basic things like measuring and communicating a value for one or two specific physical characteristics, then it would be hugely helpful if they didn’t all need wiring up, or need their batteries changing every few days or weeks.

You are, virtually, what your smartphone says you eat

If you have a wearable fitness tracker – and there are a lot of people who do (Fitbit, one of the market leaders, had over 50 million registered users at the end of 2016) – then you’ll know that the application associated with the tracker itself also enables logging and analysis of other parameters such as what you weigh, your body fat index, and what you eat and drink (so that your calorie intake can be tracked as well as you calorie usage through exercise).

The twin tracks of innovation in telecoms IT

Twin tracks of telecoms IT innovation TMForum Live is the biggest annual conference and exhibition for suppliers of what we used to call telecoms OSS/BSS (operations support systems / business support systems) – in other words, the network management and IT systems that enable telecom network operators and service providers to run their businesses.

But here’s a strange thing. The TM Forum is increasingly moving away from its telecoms roots and into other areas where it sees an opportunity to do the things it is good at: bringing people together, defining business and industry models and technical architectures, creating or contributing to industry standards, and providing a ...

Cybersecurity and the future of the digital economy

Concerns about a digital economy futureCybersecurity is the biggest concern for businesses preparing for an increasingly digital economic future. Innovation Observatory has found many times in its research among businesses that security is right at the top of companies’ concerns ...

The digital economy is bigger than you think

Innovation Observatory has just concluded a major study of the digital economy for KC, the incumbent provider of telecoms services in Hull, UK. We developed a method for measuring the digital economy that better reflects its value in terms of sales and employment than existing industrial-classification-based methods...


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