Good points, Elizabeth. Going back even further, Apple got its technology from Xerox. There are arguments about whether Steve Jobs actually "stole" the idea of a mouse and a graphic-user interface. But at any rate, Apple was the executer, not the innovator.
Indeed, Rob, execution is key. Although I think it was Microsoft way back when that taught us that lesson, which I think went a bit pear shaped during the dotcom time. Apple came out with the PC and a great OS idea and Microsoft commoditized it and made it ubiquitous. (I'm talking about Windows, of course.) I think now there is an idea that innovative technologies must prove themselves first rather than just be a great idea.
Yes, I think we're in a healthier environment now when it comes to Internet businesses. Execution -- rather than a great idea -- seems to be the critical factor now. Google search was not a new idea, nor was Facebook, nor most of Apple's products. It was execution that took these companies to the top.
Interesting perspective, Rob, but I think you're right. During that time (the dotcom boom), it seems like a lot of people were more fascinated by the technology itself, geeking out on mere innovation, rather than thinking about the marketing and practicle aspect of it. Things have changed a bit now, as you noted.
I agree, Elizabeth, the technology is now there for the internet of things. Ultimately, though, it will gain traction in as much as it solves problems or provides pleasure. During the dot com boom, these two considerations were not in the forefront.
Yes, Rob, I was writing about technology back then as well and remember execs from Microsoft and the now-defunct Sun Microsystems (part of Oracle now) blathering on about this. It took some time but it finally does seem to becoming a reality. I always knew it was possible but as usual, it just takes technology some time to get there.
I remember predictions of this type of technology 15 years ago during the dot com boom. The go-go folks of the early Internet days saw a home where everything was connected. They saw a fridge where sensors could read expiration dates and place milk on the list of groceries needed through the web-based grocery service.
This is quite an interesting offering to enable this so-called "Internet of Things" and help it go beyond mere industry hype. By building this mini-OS directly to devices as well as eventually providing a cloud-computing back-end for the devices, Thingsquare is trying to provide a key enabling technology to make this vision more of a technology reality.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.