What is Cooking in the Technology Space
These increasingly interconnected devices help us become better and smarter in measuring and understanding the environment around us. For example, Google Glass adds a new layer to our visual perception of the world. Devices like Nike+ Fuel Band and Basis B1 help us keep track of our movements, sleeping patterns, heart rate, perspiration and skin temperature.There are emerging iBeacon/Bluetooth LE based technologies to measure consumers’ proximity to advertising opportunities – such as billboards or shops – and, consequently, deliver useful and relevant information. Microphones, web cameras and 3D stereo cameras are being used to measure our gestures, gaze direction and emotions.
"Extracting the powerful potential and actionable insights from the data is also one of the biggest challenges today"
Increasingly Serious Applications of Computer Vision Technology
This is being enabled by ever-more powerful hardware and scientific advancements in the field. Just some of the applications include:
• Smarter cities: using CCTV cameras, it is possible to count the number of cars going down a street or the number of people leaving the shop within 10 minutes of entering it
• Automatic identification at border controls: with ePassport and advancements in facial recognition algorithms this technology has become more of a reality in recent years and is being widely installed;
• Targeted advertisement in digital signage: accompanied by significant media coverage, UK retailer Tesco has recently rolled out high-techscreens in its supermarkets to target shoppers based on their age and sex
• More engaging media content: the advertising industry has already tapped into the full-scale use of emotion recognition technology o improve the quality of its video content. Other industries such as education and gaming will follow shortly
Technological Advancements Enabling Deeper and Wider Analytical Insights
This is a field, literally, only limited by one’s imagination. The advancements in insights are based on three key dimensions – storage, analysis and visualization.
Today we have virtually unlimited computational and storage capabilities enabled by cloud computing. There are increasingly streamlined and more easily automated statistical and machine-learning methods to analyze big data. Finally there are smart data visualization techniques that convert the bare numbers into visually compelling stories and advanced insights.
The Increasing Pace of Innovation is the Key Challenge
On one hand, the pressure of competition forces you to be quicker and bolder in the way you innovate. On the other hand, it is intrinsically connected with your ability to embrace the latest innovations yourself. And that is becoming increasingly challenging.
Take the data mining field for example. In days gone by the choice of available technologies was relatively small and stable, typically provided by a number of large commercial vendors but today the situation is rapidly changing. The open source community is becoming increasingly agile at addressing growing data mining and analytics demands, spawning a whole new world of tools and technologies in just the last few years.
Cloud computing is one such technology that helps to cope with growing types and numbers of different technologies that now generate and collect data. However, without being able to embrace the latest data mining and analytics technologies, this data on its own has only limited value. Extracting the powerful potential and actionable insights from this data is also one of the biggest challenges today.
Universities are a great place to look for innovation in the high-tech field and we have been closely collaborating with several top universities since the company was founded. The main challenge here is to identify the most promising ideas within the academic world and adapt and advance these ideas to perform well under real-world conditions.
The value of many modern high-tech companies is concentrated around the products and services they offer, their data acquisition capabilities, their reservoir of historic and real-time data and the capability to analyze it all. It is crucial to understand where the most important intellectual assets of your company are, how they are affected by the increasingly changing world and, the key challenge here being, is where to best focus your attention in the future.
Tips for People Coming into or Moving Higher up the Industry
Developer skills are in greater demand than ever before. However, there is no guarantee of a job simply by learning a particular programming language or framework, especially if your goal is to work in a high-tech environment. You need to be prepared to continuously self-educate and do so at an increasing pace.
The role of a developer is no longer confined just to writing code. Increasingly frequently, developers are expected to manage hardware stacks in the cloud, setup system performance measurements and respective triggers, efficiently hack through large amounts of logging information to investigate possible deficiencies and more.
Math, statistics and machine learning are now in rapidly growing demand due to the advent of Big Data. The profession or role of “Data Scientist” is a new one widely sought-after by many technological companies and I strongly expect this trend to continue. If you have developed both strong data science and programming skills you will be one of the most sought-after candidates.