|By Shelly Palmer||
|November 16, 2012 04:00 PM EST||
Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius was born with a congenital defect, and both of his legs were amputated below the knees at the age of 11 months. In 2007, the “Blade Runner,” as Oscar has come to be known, took part in his first international competition for able-bodied athletes. Oscar is a tough guy. He holds the T43 (double amputee below the knee) world record for the 200 and 400-meter distance, and once held the world record for 100 meters.
Pistorious’s power comes from “his blades” – his Flex-Foot Cheetah carbon fiber transtibial prostheses, which were developed by biomedical engineer Van Phillips and manufactured by Össur. They look awesome and, quite obviously, Oscar has more than learned to deal with his disability. I have yet to discuss the Blade Runner with anyone who has not been inspired by his remarkable story. It has certainly inspired me.
If you remember, Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to participate in the “regular” Olympics at the 2012 Summer Games. But it was not without controversy. Some thought that his artificial limbs would give him an unfair advantage over fully organic life forms. This was not a new issue. When Oscar started competing with able-bodied athletes, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) amended its competition rules to ban the use of “any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device.” The rules had to be changed so that Oscar could participate in the Games of the XXX Olympiad. They were, but it did not matter … although he posted several personal best times, he was never in contention for a medal. What would have happened if his carbon fiber transtibial prostheses did give him an advantage?
Fast forward to 2025. Endo-digital knee and muscle-wire enhancements are now common. Carbon fiber knees are 100 times more flexible than organic knee joints, and the addition of muscle wire, which increases speed by 10-15 percent and reduces fatigue by an order of magnitude, are common. Old ACL replacement surgery now seems like a waste of time. Why fix an ACL that will still be at risk, when you can replace the whole knee and add synthetic muscle enhancements that will never need maintenance and literally cannot be broken under even the most extreme athletic conditions?
The big question for the NFL in 2025 … should every player be required to have new endo-digtially enhanced knees? The kit will enable a 6’5,” 275 lb. player to run a 3.3 second 40.
Of course, this is nothing compared to the internal heads-up display that the player’s endo-digitally enhanced eyes provide. The whole team can access the entire playbook in the cloud and scan a full set of offensive and defensive scenarios during the huddle. At the snap, images from game coverage cameras and sensors built into helmets provide video-game-like capabilities.
Human brains are remarkable devices; it only takes about three weeks to fully adjust to sight and sensory enhancement. New apps are appearing everyday that let you access other information in other locations. Driving in a cloud-enabled public roadway is safer by a factor of 10. A trip to a retail environment or a movie theater is not explicable to a non-endo-digitally enhanced human. In truth, they have very little in common with purely organic life forms.
With the adoption and practical requirement of endo-digital enhancements for players – the path to professional football needs to be chosen by parents while the child is practically in utero. Science, technology, math and engineering students need the enhancements too, but they can wait until third grade.
Of course it’s not all fun and games. Endo-digitally enhanced humans are really an interim step toward the evolution of humans into a new species. Having instant access to information in the cloud (simply by thinking about it), hearing sound through bone conduction (so you can also hear ambient sound) and prosthetic enhancements that are mind-controlled by a brainwave to computer interfaces are just the beginning. The next generation won’t have a separation between the interface and the technology – we will simply merge with it.
Does this sound like the Borg (from Star Trek)? It does indeed. Does it scare you? I hope not, because nothing is going to stop this.
We could get into an argument about the morality of endo-digitally enhanced humans, but it would be counterproductive. You can imagine stories of tribes of people who shun technology and decide not to participate. It’s great fodder for Sci-Fi movies. In a very probable future, they will ultimately devolve into an un-trainable, un-educable, underclass of slaves or pets – none of us can imagine how human/machine-connected brains will work. But, you can imagine some wild outcomes when you merge computers (that do iterative calculations well) sensors (that measure instantly and flawlessly) and human brains (which reason at incredible speed). Put it all together and you get something awesome — weird, freaky, sci-fi… but awesome.
How long will this take? Ray Kurzweil says it will happen by 2029. Some say 2049, others say by the end of the century. This is a human-accelerated evolutionary process that has already started. First, we started using our handhelds to outsource our fact-finding and way-finding. Next, we’ll add some exo-digital enhancements to our sight (like PixelOptics’ electronic focusing eyewear).
We’re just a year or two away from endo-digitally lenses that will be surgically implanted to replace our faulty, badly evolved, organic lenses. Add some Wi-Fi capability and heads-up display optics, and things start to get interesting. A few years later, computer-controlled prosthetics will get so good, able-bodied people want them and on, and on, and on until our transformation is complete.
That’s the hardware part of the puzzle, next week the economics of living in an endo-digitally enhanced world will be the focus.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
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15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
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"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 2,023
Some developers believe that monitoring is a function of the operations team. Some operations teams firmly believe that monitoring the systems they maintain is sufficient to run the business successfully. Most of them are wrong. The complexity of today's applications have gone far and beyond the capabilities of "traditional" system-level monitoring tools and approaches and requires much broader knowledge of business and applications as a whole. The goal of DevOps is to connect all aspects of app...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,924
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,443
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
Nov. 27, 2014 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,825
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,850
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 2,095
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,996
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,100
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,166
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,190
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,314
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,198
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,026
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,833
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,014
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:15 AM EST Reads: 1,681
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 2,019
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 2,122