|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 Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 230
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,251
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,163
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jul. 29, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 417
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Jul. 29, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 275
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 28, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,374
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jul. 28, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,753
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jul. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,031
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 27, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,038
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jul. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,020
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Jul. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 310
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jul. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,892
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
Jul. 26, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,559
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jul. 26, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,141
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 380
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Jul. 25, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,945
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 445
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,521
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jul. 25, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,480
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
Jul. 24, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,046