Connecting my retinal implant to Google Translate

Update: Yes, this is an April’s Fools’ Day joke. But consider that given the increase of adoption of wearables and IoT in general and that research on retinal implants is serious already, it’s not strange that most of the comments I received through various channels indicate that many believed this specific retinal implant experiment to be true. I am not laughing, because eventually we will see these implants in the market.
My opinion regarding implants is that they are irrelevant in the form of NFC or if they serve as authentication vehicles alone. We can solve those challenges without going under the skin. Only when implants actually belong in the body, meaning they add value to the body itself, will adoption be likely. I am sure most agree with me on this standpoint and that’s also why we look forward to improving lives with technology like this. The key to getting there is fundamentally about making it safe and always ensuring that the individual always has full control of data being passed in and out of its body. Health, personal integrity and security take on whole different meanings once we start interacting digitally with our brains. Exciting times ahead!

Original post:
I have just had my latest implant surgery done, and it’s amazing! As you know, I recently experimented with an NFC implant to board an aircraft, and concluded that implants just for the sake of authentication are irrelevant. The chip has to do more than that, to justify the “cost” of putting something under your skin. I therefore went and got myself a retinal implant, a chip that connects to my optical nerves.

I’ll cover this in more depth soon, but in summary the chip is connected over bluetooth to my phone, and it augments digital images into my optical nerve. The benefit is that not only can I “see” through the lens of the phone’s camera, but I can also see what is on the screen of the phone, without looking at it.

Below you can see how I connected to Google Translate to automatically get everything I see translated from one language to another. This weekend I will experiment with map directions and generally how much I can do without actually picking up my phone!

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So, when I look at the cover of the book “The App Effect”, I can have the app translate it into German and augment the translate directly into my optical nerve.

This is what the book cover looks like…

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… and this is what I see!

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Circuit Hacking Mondays at Noisebridge

This week I am San Francisco for meetings at Capgemini Group’s “Applied Innovation Exchange”. It’s a great new venue for us, which we will use to accelerate innovation with our customers.

While being in town, it’s easy to find interesting meetups and just show up to learn and meet really cool people. Yesterday evening, I went to Circuit Hacking Monday at Noisebridge. From their site: “Noisebridge is a hackerspace for technical-creative projects, doocratically run by our members. We are a non-profit educational institution intended for public benefit.”

Inspiring and friendly place. The evening was spent over breadboards, cutting wires, putting together integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors, and LEDs. Some participants were already very knowledgable and others had just begun their hardware hacking journey.

In these times of IoT and sensification, basic electronics is where it all starts. A blinking LED is the new “Hello world”. Thank you Jason and Noisebridge for a great evening!

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Hack for Sweden 2016

Update: I added some photos below from the last hour before submission!

Hack for Sweden 2016 is an exciting 24 hour hackathon that is just under way! The hackathon has 20+ teams and 70+ participants and they compete in creating the most innovative solution using public data and APIs from 23 participating government agencies and organizations. The competition has five awards:

  • Hack for Sweden Award (the best and most creative app/service that clearly shows the benefit of open data)
  • Best use for citizens
  • Best commercialization potential
  • Best visualization
  • Participants Award (voted by all participants)

I am thrilled to be on the jury this year and it’s inspiring to walk around and meet the teams that frantically are getting their ideas implemented.

Below are some photos from the last hour before submission:    Breakfast_Hack4Swe

 

Below are some photos from today’s first few hours!

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Boarding a flight with an NFC implant

Update: This is just an experiment with no plans of actual public implementation. SAS has provided NFC tags to EuroBonus Gold members for a long time. The tag contains only the EuroBonus ID, in an encrypted format. Only SAS can write valid EuroBonus ID data to NFC tags. When traveling, you are always required to provide a valid ID when requested.

A few weeks ago I had an NFC chip implanted into my hand, just beneath the skin. While I am certainly not the first person to have an NFC implant, I am probably one of the first travelers to pass through Stockholm Arlanda airport, through security, at the lounge, and finally through the gate to the aircraft, using only the chip in my hand.

My NFC chip contains my Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus member ID, and since the airport has NFC readers all the way from security to the gate, I can use the chip instead of ordinary boarding passes.

In the video below, you can check out how it went at the airport, and you can also meet Massimo Pascotto, working with innovation at SAS, and listen in on a conversation we had about the experiment. At the end of the video, you can see how the actual procedure went. Viewer discretion is advised.

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The NFC kit I use is from Dangerous Things. Don’t miss the TEDxSFU talk by the founder, Amal Graafstra.

Continue Reading · 6 · Categories: Biohacking, Digital, Innovation, NFC, Video

Top 10 Innovation Lab Best Practices

The topic of innovation is critical in this age of digital disruption and transformation. How do companies and organizations to plan for and deliver innovation, which often seems to be an illusive mirage? The answer is to include innovation in the strategic executive agenda and invest long term in an Innovation Lab.

An Innovation Lab, if setup correctly, enables rapid and business value focused ideation and prototyping. When connected, end-to-end, from the origin of the opportunity/problem to final production, time-to-market is improved, speed-to-volume is accelerated, and more importantly makes it possible to bring that which is radically different to the market.

The term “radically different” is critical in an Innovation Lab-context. Business-as-usual development outside of the Innovation Lab needs to stay relevant and innovative. Innovation is not something that can or should be excluded anywhere, even if an Innovation Lab is implemented. However, an Innovation Lab must be challenged with the primary task: to design and bring to market that which is radically different, since this factor is what is at the heart of disruption and transformation.

So, with that said, here are my top 10 Innovation Lab Best Practices.

1. Define and publish the Innovation Lab charter

The purpose of a charter is to clearly and concisely explain what the Innovation Lab should do and how. The charter could be as short as:

“XYZ Labs delivers innovation to radically improve customer experience and accelerate business operations. The lab lives in an open ecosystem of idea generating forums and prototypes in a failing fast-spirit.”

Linked to the charter, you need to define the Innovation Lab’s governance model, process, location, and budget. Publish the charter. Make it known. Be proud of it.

2. Ask the right questions

An Innovation Lab often tries to do the seemingly impossible: creating a structured approach to what seems to live by randomness and ad-hoc-opportunities. However, by asking the right questions you command the attention to the right topics. Examples of relevant questions include:

“How can we radically improve customer experiences in sales and delivery processes?
How can we delight the customer in unexpectedly helpful ways?
What are the most critical customer problems?”

3. Define the characteristics of a great idea

Guiding innovation principles and desired digital characteristics are not about limiting the scope of relevant ideas or about detailing specific ideas. Instead they serve as helpful markers of the selection process. When these markers are known in advance, the relevance of gathered ideas increase.
Examples of characteristics: contextually smart, real-time connections between customer events and internal operations, radically innovative, differentiating, connects customers/users with each other, omnichannel enabled, unexpectedly digital, enabling third party companies to add value to customers/users, etc.

4. Implement an open ideation process and platform

Great ideas come from everywhere; from both external and internal sources. Limit ideation sources as little as possible. Engage in a planned and structured way with different sources. Implement a capable ideation solution platform from where ideas can be discussed, rated, and fed into the Innovation Lab. Include idea generation at every digital touchpoint, for example through “I have an idea!” widgets.

5. Engage proactively with critical ideation groups

Identify key persons in VIP customer/user groups, and interact frequently with them specifically on the topic of innovation, and give special attention to their ideas.

6. Observe the customer/user

Nothing beats leaving the office and workshop facilities, and going to where the customer/user physically uses your products and services. This is especially true in app and IoT ideation. Observe and interact, with both the customer/user as well as employees at/near the location. The more time you can spend where the actual challenges and opportunities exist, the better you’ll understand what innovation can improve.

7. Select the right ideas to prototype

The single most important aspect of the Innovation Lab process is most likely the step from ideation to prototyping. Why is one idea considered good and another not as good? Why is one idea selected to move forward to prototyping, and another idea is not? As soon as this step is considered ad-hoc, uncontrolled, or prone to purely personal subjective preference, the legitimacy of the Innovation Lab can be questioned. Even though some innovative ideas don’t fit into seemingly simplistic molds of criteria, most actually do.
The answer is: filter ideas through desired characteristics, customer/user desires, technical feasibility, and business value, and keep an updated and visible backlog/roadmap for the Innovation Lab.

8. Smart prototyping using MVP, FF, and Beta

Create prototypes using correctly scoped “Minimum Viable Product” features and fail fast!
Don’t bet the farm on one plant. Many Innovation Lab ideas fail because its entire bandwidth is spent on one single idea. Plan to run multiple idea prototypes simultaneously. This forces you to adopt a “Minimum Viable Product”-scoping, i.e. what can you take out from the idea to actually try it. Mind the common pitfall in cutting scope: don’t keep most of of the functional scope and cut most of the user experience/visual design! Instead, keep just the most critical functional aspects of the idea, and wrap those in as much as visual glory as possible.
“Fail Fast” and stay away from destructive pride. A prototype shouldn’t typically take more than four weeks to design and develop. With the hardware challenges in IoT, allow another four weeks, but consider two months for a prototype to be developed a very long time.
Unless some or even most prototypes fail, for whatever reason, you are not trying hard enough to perform as an Innovation Lab. Therefore, make sure failing is expected in and around the lab, and execute prototypes in a failing fast spirit. Don’t get stuck on one idea too long, especially if it is untried with customers/users.
Don’t invest yourself in one single idea too much, risking feeling too proud to let go of certain ideas. Be patient, that same idea may reappear in other lab contexts.
Make room for prototypes in your production systems. For example, create a place on your site or in your apps to hold “Beta”-features. You can have some beta features available for everyone and if you support customer/user accounts, you can even enable some beta features just for some select groups of customers/users.

9. Leverage the creative nature open innovation ecosystems

Enable third party groups to prototype their own ideas by supplying sandboxed environments with as complete APIs as possible. You’d be surprised how many are intrigued by the creative nature of innovation. Expect partners, startups, students, and other third party groups to be interested in innovating in and around your traditional value chain. Invite to open hackathons and innovation workshops.

10. Take feedback seriously

Prototypes are meant to be tried and tested, not just by Innovation Lab staff, but by customers/users. Be sure to take their feedback seriously. Be prepared to iterate through a handful versions of each prototype, before deciding whether or not to introduce the solution into production.

Finally, the handover from the Innovation Lab to production is critical. Be pragmatic on resourcing in the handover phase. Most likely will Innovation Lab staff need to participate in the first few steps of infusion of the solution into that which is already in production.

If you need assistance in setting up or revitalizing your Innovation Lab, don’t hesitate to contact me. We recently launched a new initiative called “Applied Innovation Exchange” with a robust Innovation Lab-service catalog (and an exciting San Francisco venue to meet at). Together with my Capgemini and SogetiLabs colleagues, I’d love to interact with you on that which is radically different.

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Innovation