Vodafone and Mango make digital fitting rooms a reality

Vodafone and Mango make digital fitting rooms a reality

Vodafone and Mango make digital fitting rooms a reality

Vodafone announced today that it is working with Mango, the global high street fashion retailer, on a new programme to rollout digital fitting rooms to the company’s top stores worldwide.

The digital fitting room has been designed around a new Internet of Things (IoT) digital mirror designed by Mango, developed by Vodafone in collaboration with Jogotech, which will allow the shopper to scan the clothes tags in the fitting room and then contact shop floor staff directly from the mirror, through a digital watch, to request different sizes or colours. The mirror will also suggest additional clothes to complement the original choice.

Mango’s aim is to extend the digital fitting room to its top stores, from Barcelona to New York and will help to blend the online and real world shopping experiences for the Mango customers. This is the first phase of a digital transformation project for Mango to create new ways for customers to engage and relate to the brand.

Vodafone Director of Internet of Things Stefano Gastaut commented:
“This project helps put more power at the shopper’s fingertips and will bring Mango closer to its fashion conscious shoppers and offer them more options and experiences than a conventional fitting room.”

Mango’s Chief Client Officer Guillermo Corominas added:

“This is a really exciting project for Mango. We see the future of retailing as a blend of the online and the offline. These new fitting rooms are another step in the digital transformation of our stores to create a whole new experience for our customers.”

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IoT Business News

The future of IoT spells blockchain and AI – the reality of blockchain today mainly spells cryptocurrency and hype

The future of IoT spells blockchain and AI – the reality of blockchain today mainly spells cryptocurrency and hype

The future of IoT spells blockchain and AI – the reality of blockchain today mainly spells cryptocurrency and hype

An article by Nicolas Windpassinger**, Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert Partner Program and the author of the IoT book Digitize or Die*.

The future of the Internet of Things (IoT) on various levels is an integrated one. Especially, the mix of IoT, blockchain and cognitive computing will lead to myriad new outcomes.

In my digital transformation and IoT book ‘Digitize or Die‘, blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence are mentioned several times. The standardization of the IoT, for instance will create the conditions for more interoperability, connectivity, “digital trust” with blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) distribution between heterogeneous components and systems.

Blockchain technology, in many cases combined with AI, doesn’t just promise to be the missing link enabling peer to peer contractual behavior without any third party to “certify” the IoT transaction. It also answers the challenge of scalability, single point of failure, time stamping, record, privacy, trust and reliability in a very consistent way.

How the mix of IoT, AI and blockchain is shaping the future of business

I am convinced that blockchain and AI will unlock the promises of IoT. In fact, we already see a lot of this happening in the EcoXpert environment of smart building and energy systems where convergence is the name of the game and existing silos are being replaced by new solutions. IoT ecosystems take center stage in these solutions and inevitably come with advanced data analysis, using AI, to meet changing customer expectations.

In a broader IoT perspective, blockchain is increasingly joining that mix of technologies as well. An example of where it fits, on top of the mentioned ones, and where it is gaining attention is that of IoT, blockchain and security.

Obviously, I don’t stand alone in seeing that convergence of IoT, blockchain and AI becoming ever more important and shaping the foundations of the future of business. According to research firm IDC the future of Enterprise Resource Software (ERP), which it calls Intelligent ERP, even largely consists of a mix of IoT, blockchain and cognitive (with other factors). IDC predicts that by 2021 a fifth of the largest manufacturers will depend on a secure backbone of embedded intelligence, using IoT, blockchain and cognitive, to automate large-scale processes and speed execution times by up to 25%.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies: the different realities and views of the enabling technology of Bitcoin versus cryptocurrencies at the World Economic Forum 2018

Many people confuse blockchain with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While blockchain, as an enabler, is really the technological foundation of these cryptocurrencies, its application areas stretch far beyond. This does not mean that cryptocurrencies have no future. However, that future, is not easy to predict and opinions largely vary.

At the World Economic Forum 2018, cryptocurrencies were a highly discussed topic. In the wake of high fluctuations across virtually all cryptocurrencies, opinions on Bitcoin and others went from high skepticism, calls for regulation and statements that especially the blockchain technology mattered to concerns regarding illicit activity in the crypto world. Yet, there were also forecasts that, after the current state of concern, volatility and, indeed, hype, cryptocurrencies would enter a far more stable stage and be here to stay.

The craze and hype regarding cryptocurrencies and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) indeed is not really helping. January 2018 was probably one of the months that broke all records concerning the volume of opinions and news defending cryptocurrencies, skeptical and fear-mongering opinions and launches of more initiatives.

The cryptocraze: KODAKCoin and how to see your stock price boost

Kodak, the bitcoin effect
One of the most covered and surprising moves was that of Kodak. In my book I cover how Kodak missed the boat of digitalization, whereas its main contender, Japan’s Fujifilm entered the local market of Kodak, rapidly grabbing an increasing share of the market of digital cameras, which were invented at Kodak.

Yet, Fujifilm ended up taking the right decisions while Kodak wasn’t ready to embrace digital photography and, soon after, the smartphone with built-in cameras, two deadly technological disruptions that were dealt with entirely different by both companies.

Kodak is now also – indirectly – entering the crypto-world. With an ICO on January 31st, a company that licensed the Kodak brand kicks off a blockchain for digital rights management for photographers under the Kodak brand (KODAKOne) and a cryptocurrency called KODAKCoin. Moreover, a second brand license partner is launching a Kodak-branded bitcoin miner, Kodak KashMiner, with a wrong ROI model as time and computer power are tightly linked to Bitcoin’s ROI.

While the initiative cannot be compared with that of ‘open cryptocurrencies’ and there is a lot more to it as mentioned in my blog post on the Kodak initiative, the reaction on the news was a clear indication of this current cryptocraze.

After the announcement, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018, the stock price of Kodak skyrocketed. It has continued to be relatively steady with occasional spikes until now. Whether it’s a strategy of Kodak or a side-effect of a brand licensing partnership as the company has several, for now is hard to tell. Whether the initiative(s) will work is even harder to tell.
Chart: Kodak stock price
What is for sure, though is that it seems to suffice to announce a cryptocurrency and an ICO to see your stock price go up in a way that clearly shows an overvaluation of it. Creating a cryptocurrency is not so difficult, just have a look at the list of all the recent ICOs: https://coinmarketcap.com/all/views/all/.

The difficulty is to create an ecosystem that drives value into your currency, making it unique and trustworthy. A cryptocurrency is only worth the trust people put into it. And as far as IoT is concerned, the technology enabling it all, blockchain, looks far more promising.

* About the Book
IoT book: Digitize or Die by Nicolas WindpassingerUnderstand, master, and survive the Internet of Things with one simple and pragmatic methodology broken down into four steps. Digitize or Die is used by front-line business decision makers to digitize their strategy, portfolio, business model, and organization. This book describes what the IoT is, its impacts and consequences, as well as how to leverage the digital transformation to your benefit.

Inside these pages, you will learn:

  • What the IoT means to all businesses
  • Why the IoT and the digital revolution is a threat to your business model and survival
  • What you need to understand to better grasp the problem
  • The four steps your company needs to follow to transform its operations to survive

** About the Author
With 15+ years of computer networking industry experience, Nicolas Windpassinger is the Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program, whose mission is to connect the technologies and expertise of the world’s leading technology providers, pioneer the future of intelligent buildings and the Internet of Things, and deliver smarter, integrated and more efficient services and solutions to customers.
As a result of his work, Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program has been granted a 5-Star rating in the 2017 Partner Program Guide by CRN®, which is part of The Channel Company group. The 5-Star Partner Program Guide rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs.
Nicolas has been recognized by The Channel Company’s Top Midmarket IT Executives list. This annual list honors influential vendor and solution provider executives who have demonstrated an exceptionally strong commitment to the midmarket. The Channel Company, has recognized Nicolas as one of 100 People You Don’t Know But Should in the IT channel for 2017.

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Digitalist Flash Briefing: Making The Smart Hospital A Reality

Today’s briefing looks at how hospitals can become truly “smart” with digital technology.

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Read more on today’s topic


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Making The Smart Hospital A Reality

The business of healthcare is quite literally one of life and death. Yet, for a very long time throughout much of the world, the system of medical care has been fraught with inefficiencies and soaring costs.

The most recent data from World Health Organization (WHO) (stemming from 117 countries) shows that an average of 9.3% of people in each country spend more than 10% of their entire household budget on healthcare – a level of spending that is likely to expose a household to financial hardship.

This status quo is certainly ripe for disruption.

Smart hospitals: Pioneers leading the way

Fortunately, healthcare’s next technological revolution – the exploitation of an unprecedented amount of data, combined with cloud computing services, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) – is heralding a very different model of healthcare: A model that offers expert insights and analysis on a mass scale, at a relatively low cost.

Already, we are witnessing innovative healthcare leaders making strides in this direction. Singapore’s Woodlands Health Campus (WHC), a part of the National Healthcare Group (NHG), is one such pioneering effort that is embracing new technologies to deliver seamless, person-centric, outcomes-based care.

Designed to fully integrate a general hospital, a community hospital, a nursing home, as well as daycare facilities for seniors in a single development, WHC is conceived to incorporate SMART technology, automation, and IT innovations campus-wide. This includes the building design, hospital operations, care delivery, and patient experience. A plethora of services will go online, driving higher productivity and efficiency. Automation of manual work, such as filling in medical information or ordering medications, is also expected to allow healthcare professionals to focus on their core work, devoting more time to their clinical and direct patient-care roles. Technological tools such as data analytics and artificial intelligence will also augment patient care, maximizing outcomes at each touch point.

Rethinking the way hospitals work

But what does all this really mean to the patient or healthcare team? Visualize this.

A patient, John, with a history of heart disease finds himself with an episode of abnormal chest pain and rushes to the hospital. The automated and streamlined admission process shaves precious hours and minutes of waiting time. At the point of admission, John is tagged with an electronic wristband that allows doctors and nurses to track his vital signs – heartbeat, medication times, sleep patterns, rehabilitation sessions, etc. – remotely throughout his stay in the hospital. The tracker also alerts healthcare professionals of any anomalies so that the necessary action can be taken.

John’s condition is stabilized and he is kept as an inpatient for further diagnostic tests and observation. It is past midnight. On a wall of beeping screens, the healthcare team monitors John  and their other charges’ vital signs. They can also zoom in on any patient via a camera at the foot of each bed, which also gathers video data for analytics. Together, the various IoT-enabled devices allow emotion recognition (among other signals), which is integrated with the electronic medical record and shared with the nurses.

A cardiac technician notices a light flashing over John’s chart. His premature ventricular contractions are getting worse. He zooms the camera in on John and observes abnormal behavior, which prompts him to alert a nurse on the ground. The quick action halted John’s condition from deteriorating.

Example of an In-Ward Activity Monitor

Example of an in-ward activity monitor

The next day, John finds that he is able to order meals, select entertainment options, and call for assistance via his digital bedside assistant. After further diagnostic tests, the healthcare team concludes that John can be discharged, but needs to be on regular medication and embark on an activity program as part of disease management. Based on John’s individual profile and preferences, the doctor discusses alternatives and sets up an individualized care plan and health goals with John. As part of his post-hospitalization care plan, John will continue wearing the electronic wristband after discharge to allow the healthcare team to continue monitoring his vitals and activities, and to intervene when required.

With the ability to create closely monitored care plans, hospitals can free up hospital beds quicker – allowing patients to manage diseases from the comfort of their home – in order to provide those beds to new patients who need them. John is discharged via an automated process, which also allows him to order public transport, such as a taxi, or to connect to his family member for a ride home.

Back home, the electronic wristband reminds John to take his medicine and order refills. A week later, the system sends out an alert to the doctor that John is not following the prescription plan. The doctor sends out an invite for a follow-up video consultation to check the reasons for non-adherence. This nips the issue in the bud before it gets more severe.

All of John’s relevant data is also anonymized and made available to digital health networks for secondary scientific usage and clinic trials. This allows continuous learning from each individual case.

It’s about moving forward steadily in the digitization journey

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP said, “There’s nothing that can make a difference in the world more than improving the outcomes of health in society. And, therefore, we are totally dedicated to it.” Picturing what hospitals could be – how much more efficient, cost-effective, as well as patient- and outcome-centric they could become – it becomes clear why he said that.

The fact is that smart hospitals can be a reality. The question is: Has your healthcare organization started and moved forward steadily in its digitization journey?

Discover what other forerunners in digital healthcare is doing. Download exclusive resources on the healthcare industry.

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine