Killer Innovations with Phil McKinney
An award-winning podcast and nationally syndicated radio show that looks at the innovations that are changing our lives and how their innovators used creativity and design to take their raw idea and create game-changing products or services. Phil McKinney, retired CTO of HP and the creator, and host of Killer Innovations has been credited with forming and leading multiple teams that FastCompany and BusinessWeek list as one of the “50 Most Innovative”. His recognition includes Vanity Fair naming him the “The Innovation Guru”, MSNBC and Fox Business calling him "The Gadget Guy" and the San Jose Mercury News dubbing him the "chief seer".

Today's guest is one that I had the privilege of working alongside during my time at HP. Luca Di Fiore, Head of Products at Xtreme Performance Gear, joins us here at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020, to discuss some game-changing innovation efforts. On this week's show, we will discuss gaming tech innovation and the latest at Xtreme Performance Gear (XPG).

XPG

During my time at HP, I worked alongside Luca in the Innovation Program Office. Luca leads the effort for the carbon fiber laptop known as the Voodoo Envy. He went on to work for Razer, leading the VR efforts over there. Luca says after working on some award-winning products at Razer, he moved on to a new venture known as XPG by ADATA, a memory company. XPG had an exciting plan to push into gaming. Given an innovation budget, Luca has the freedom to innovate. Why would a memory company want to get into gaming? Luca says it's more evident than it looks. The connection is very simple. Memory is the one part that you can really push through the next level with gaming. XPG was able to assemble a team of people passionate about gaming tech innovation from different companies such as Razer, HyperX, Corsair, etc. How big is the group? Luca says he has three teams working in product management, marketing, and RND, totaling almost thirty people. In less than eleven months, we've managed to launch short of twenty products with a relatively low budget. Luca says most of his team is in Taipei, Taiwan, a hub of competitive gaming.

New Products

With XPG, you guys have made a ton of announcements recently. Can you give us the rundown? Luca says the big announcements here at CES are called "Invasion has Begun" and the fact that XPG entered into systems. There aren't many gaming companies that can do accessories, peripherals, and systems at the same time, so this is big for us.

On top of that, we announced a new gaming laptop and a partnership with intel. We also partnered with a U.S startup called Pixeldisplay to create one of the most innovative gaming tech monitors in the market. We looked at how much time tech enthusiasts spend on their monitor and wanted to find a way to preserve their eyesight. We've implemented Pixeldisplay's technology, which offers a better quality of the image that doesn't filter out the blue color, but just the harmful blue LED properties. How big is this display? Luca says it's the same size as any other display with the difference that it does not ship with a stand. On the peripheral side, we have brought in our innovation spearhead called XPG Headshot. In developing this product, we asked the question of how to create an ultra-lightweight mouse. We used 3D printing to create a nicely structured mouse built into one place.

Product Customization

Typically, with mice today, there is a universal set of hand sizes, such as small, medium, and large. With 3D printing, do you customize the mice at XPG? We built this AI application to help in the customization of the mouse. We use an AI algorithm to take a picture of your hand and modify it based on the specific dimension. We even let you choose your grip style and personalize the mouse specifically for your needs. Scalability isn't a problem because our gaming tech innovation allows us to build anywhere in the world with these 3D printers.

What are some other announcements from XPG? We are sponsoring an ESL tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, and we brought a 24-karat gold keyboard, worth $10,000 as the prize. We also have a laptop collaboration with Intel. It is a gaming laptop with a 15" display and is available to ship in Taiwan and Latin America, acting almost like a field trial for the future U.S market.

Idea to Product

Many listeners of the show have ideas. They've come up with but no expertise on how to turn them into a product. What advice would you give to an entrepreneur with a fresh idea? Luca says the first rule of thumb is to do great prototypes and make them as functional as possible. For example, my monitors had a prototype that could turn around in a month's time frame. We have a lot of prototyping housing in Asia, specifically Taiwan, due to the cost-effectiveness of the area. The area also has a lot of companies that help with startups. Having a prototype will get you started in creating your gaming tech innovation products or any other product types.

About our Guest: Luca Di Fiore

Luca Di Fiore is the Head of Products at Xtreme Performance Gear (XPG) at ADATA. Luca is a bleeding-edge technologist with an international mindset and years of experience innovating and solving problems within the ICT industry, looking to make a difference in people's lives through new human-machine paradigms. His previous experience includes Director of R&D at Razer, and Senior R&D Manager, CTO Office-Innovation Programs at Hewlett-Packard.

Let's connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don't forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

 

Direct download: Bringing_the_Game_to_Gaming_Tech_Innovation_CES2020.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s guest is no stranger to the Killer Innovations Show. John Osborne II, Chairman of the Board of the Zigbee Alliance and General – Manager of Leedarson North America, joins us at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). On this week’s show, we will discuss the growth of IoT devices and the trend of consolidation within IoT. 

 

The Zigbee Alliance 

With the recent scale-up of the device connectivity arena, what’s Zigbee been up to? John says that Zigbee has formed together with Apple, Google, and Amazon, to drive the industry into a common direction. If we can accomplish what we are trying to do with the big four, it will drive the industry towards consolidation. Consumers can go to stores and buy the product they want rather than focusing on specific brands. We don’t want this to be just another standard. Instead, we want to take the top existing technologies and put them together. We’ve seen more and more large companies desiring consolidation.

 

LEEDARSON and IoT

I get a lot of inquiries from listeners on the show with ideas for IoT devices. With your experience, what advice would you give to someone with these ideas? The company I work for, LEEDARSON, specializes in that. Whether one comes with a design ready to be built, or they have an idea, we can walk them through it. We try to educate, as well as walk them through the design process, and occasionally do real-time iterations. We’re happy to help whether they’re a multi-billion-dollar company or someone new to the industry. Sometimes people come in with similar ideas for devices that we already have. We’ll modify their idea, make it compliant, package it, and ship it to them. Others come in with great ideas about different devices, and we’ll test them and possibly do a joint development. We don’t strictly manufacture. We are involved in many different things.

 

Advancing IoT Products

What unique applications of IoT have you seen? John says there are very few significant new ideas. It’s mostly the same products being improved over time. The most changes we’ve seen are on the AI side. We’re trying to get the end device smart enough to operate without the cloud. Recently, I’ve seen some cool new things in the lighting arena. Lighting has been recently tied to entertainment. If you’re playing Fortnite, you want the room around you to emulate what is happening. However, this can often be tricky. In the case of many IoT devices, there is a cost lift to each of these modified products. What is that cost lift? John says people want more functionality at a lower price. For example, people are willing to pay about $5 premium on a smart bulb. That is a target we are all shooting for. Today, it is at around $10 premium. What are the other barriers holding people from buying IoT devices? Most people won’t just throw away their already purchased light bulbs. LED bulbs last a long time, so people get comfortable with them. We need to figure out how to incentivize people to swap out a good bulb for something more connected. 

 

Increasing Consolidation

As Chairman of Zigbee, what else have you been working on? Part of what we have been dealing with is whether we’re a technology or an alliance. We may be changing the name soon. We’ve been partnering with different entities and working to put our differences aside to reach common goals. We have also been working on consolidating internal protocols to gain more flexibility. Some massive changes are coming for Zigbee. With all these groups newly combining, do you see this continuing over the next 4-5 years? These organizations have assigned full-time resources into it, as it is essential to them. I believe we will see this consolidation grow a lot over the next couple of years.

 

If you want to keep up with Zigbee Alliance, check out their website here. Follow John on his Linkedin here and his website here

 

About our Guest: John Osborne II

John Osborne is currently General Manager at LEEDARSON North America and Chairman of the Board of the Zigbee Alliance. In these capacities, he helps educate and grow the IoT market globally. LEEDARSON is a global provider in traditional and connected lighting and sensors. The Zigbee Alliance is the premier Internet of Things (IoT) standards development organization since 2002. John has extensive experience in new product development, rapid product commercialization, systems innovations, and operations improvement. He has demonstrated the ability to manage and inspire multi-cultural, internal-external teams. He is a skilled communicator and presenter and has a sound background in budgeting, resource allocation, and operations efficiency.

 

 

Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com, or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support, go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

 

ES2020 Guest: John E. Osborne II S15 Ep50

Direct download: Where_is_Iot_Going_CES2020.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST

This year at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 (CES), we were joined by another groundbreaking innovation group. E-Novia is an innovation company that inserts robotics and AI into everything they do. Our guests include Ivo Boniolo, Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder of E-Novia, Fabio Todeschini from BluBrake, Roberto Rossi from Smart Robots, and Patrizia Casali from Wahu, all enterprises of E-Novia. We will discuss E-Novia’s product lines and how they are infusing robotics and AI throughout various enterprises.  

 

E-Novia

 Ivo says that E-Novia came from the desire to bring robotics and AI to Italy’s most recognized fields. E-Novia collaborates with local universities to find and develop products that will have success in the marketplace. Currently, E-Novia has 30 enterprises in their group, while only being a company for five years. Ivo says E-Novia is currently in the process of an IPO to increase capital and qualify its unique model. What is the scale of E-Novia’s enterprises? E-Novia has enterprises that are in every stage, some early, in the middle, and some more advanced. With the huge design market in Milan, E-Novia has been working to create design products infused with robotics. We seek to create products that will welcome and interest the users. How has E-Novia been funded so far? Ivo says that E-Novia has been funded by an Italian family in the Manufacturing Industry as well as through fundraising. We have been working on growing our international relations, as we have a subsidiary in San Francisco, CA, and are currently opening an office in Japan.

 

BluBrake

We are now joined by Fabio Todeschini of BluBrake, an enterprise of E-Novia that develops Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) for e-bikes. Why do e-bikes need ABS technology? Fabio says that the e-bike market is growing a lot. The way we use bikes has changed from strictly cyclists using them to commuters using them as well. Many people using these e-bikes are unfamiliar with how to use them, causing accidents. People panic brake which cause the majority of e-bike accidents. Is Bluebrake’s product being used by bike manufacturers today? Fabio says it is available in Europe and they are working on making it available in the U.S. What is the incremental increase in the cost of adding this product to an e-bike? Around $500 additionally, which has been positive due to our high-end target-market. Are there others out there doing this? Fabio says there one competitor is Bosch, but Blubrake’s product is a bit different that its competitor. With all this traction, what’s next for Blubrake? Fabio says they are in the scale-up phase and wish to expand into the U.S, as they already have customers in Europe. As far as product expansion, Blubrake has a potential interest in motorcycle, scooters, and car braking systems. 

 

Smart Robots

We are now joined by Roberto Rossi from Smart Robots, a system used to support production line operators in factories. Smart Robots emphasize making the human the center of the production process. What does this collaborative robotics really mean? Smart robots put humans first and support them with their two configurations. One guides humans during manual operations to eliminate errors by suggesting feedback. The other configuration works as a co-worker alongside the human. How do you get the workers to accept the robots as a tool? Roberto says that it is a step by step process. You introduce the robot to the workers and they get acquainted with it over time. Eventually, they come to appreciate the robot's help and treat it as a colleague. Where can these robots be useful? Roberto says that there is a lot of interest in different sectors of manufacturing. Wide goods productions such as washing machines and automobiles can use them due to their need of human and digital assistance. Complete automation is an old approach and human use in manufacturing is coming back. What’s next for Smart Robots? We have a big surprise coming into the safety realm of the manufacturing process. Many conditions in manufacturing need extra safety to keep workers protected. Our new product will aid in the safety of these workers. 

 

Wahu

Now joining us is Patrizia Casali of Wahu, a company that offers a shoe sole with the capability to adapt to ground features and environmental conditions. Why is having a sole that changes so important? Patrizia says that if someone wants to go hiking or play golf, they need to use different types of shoes. With this technology, you use the same shoes and they adapt to your environment. How do the shoes auto-detect what’s underneath them? Inside the sole, there is an electronic board with sensors and actuators that take data and analyze it. We offer a lot of different customization options that the user may choose from. 

 

About our Guest: Ivo Boniolo

Ivo Boniolo is a co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of E-Novia, an innovative group that infuses robotics and AI into their ventures. Ivo studied at schools such as the Politecnico di Milano, the Politecnico di Torino, and Alta Scuola Politecnica. The experience gained from his schooling added to his skills in innovation, management, and invention. During his ten years with the E-Novia group, he has spent his time transferring his technical and innovation knowledge and experience to the growth of E-Novia’s many enterprises. 

 

About our Guest: Fabio Todeschini

Fabio Todeschini is from BluBrake, an enterprise of E-Novia. Fabio has a Ph.D. in engineering. He has experience in working on Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) for motorcycles. Fabio has taken his experience in ABS and applied it to e-bikes, the product line of BluBrake. 

 

About our Guest: Roberto Rossi

Roberto Rossi is from Smart Robots, another innovative enterprise of E-Novia. Roberto has a Ph.D. in robotics. After receiving his Ph.D., he helped start Smart Robots, which aids humans in the goods manufacturing process. 

 

About our Guest: Patrizia Casali

Patrizia Casali is from Wahu, a company that offers a shoe with a unique sole that adapts to different environments. Patrizia is a biomedical engineer who joined E-Novia to work on innovation after receiving her master’s degree.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about E-Novia and its enterprises, check out their website here

 

Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

Direct download: Innovating_Across_Enterprises_CES2020.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Two outstanding guests joined us while we were at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 (CES). Bob O’Donnell, the President, Founder, and Chief Analyst at TECHnalysis Research, and Greg Johnston from Manta5, a company that offers the world’s first Hydrofoil Bike that replicates the cycling experience on the water. This week on Killer Innovations, we will discuss CES, the PC industry, and Manta5’s new game-changing product.

 

Standing Out at CES

With the size and noise of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), how do companies attract attention? Bob says that flashy press conferences are the key to getting noticed. Panasonic brought out Michael Phelps and showcased Star Wars characters to broadcast their work with Walt Disney Imagineering. Sony rolled out a car prototype known as the Vison-S during a press conference to promote the component technologies they are producing for the automotive industry. Having something that stands out is vital to gaining attention at an event like CES.

 

PC Growth

Bob and I had the pleasure of growing up together. We reconnected many years later through the PC industry. Bob has been a follower and influencer of the PC industry for a long time. With talk about PCs being dead, Bob shared some thoughts on the matter. The PC market has never reached its height. Still very much alive and kicking today, PCs have proved to be relevant even in the days of smartphones. The capabilities offered from PCs such as a larger screen and a physical keyboard are incredibly important. We saw some of the most significant innovations of PCs have been in recent times. AMD came out with their Ryzen 4000 Series parts for desktop and laptops based on their Zen 2 Core. Intel just debuted Tiger Lake, their next-generation intel core processor. On top of that, these guys are also exploring AI and 5G within the PC realm. That is why I partly believe we are in a real renaissance era of the PC market.

If you want to follow Bob’s endeavors, check out his recently started Forbes column here. He writes for Tech.pinions and has the Tech.pinions podcast, so check that out here. If you want to dig in, go to Bob’s website here.

 

Manta5

Here at CES, you will see just about anything and everything under the sun. Joining us is New Zealander Greg Johnston, CEO of Manta5, a company with a unique product. What is Manta5, you might ask? Greg says that Manta5 is the “brain-child” of its founder Guy Howard-Willis, an avid cyclist who had the dream of cycling on the water. Years later, that dream came true when Manta5 created the world’s first Hydrofoil Bike on water. The bike itself has two wings and a propeller, and while the user peddles, the cycle planes on the water.

 

Idea to Product

As an innovator, I know how hard it is to translate an idea into a product. How was the process of turning this idea into a product? Greg said there wasn’t much to go off at first, so they started with a bike frame and a propeller. We used a private pool and experimented with heaps of different prototypes trying to develop the hydrofoils. Once we nailed the rider position relative to the foils, we received a grant from Callaghan to develop the propeller and foils with an engineer. How long was the time frame for this process? It took about seven years to get the product out, and the product has been on the market for about a year now. It is a customized product except for the handlebars, the seat, and the pedals. What was the feedback on the product? Greg says the feedback has been overwhelming. We created an unboxing experience to deliver directly to the customer which they loved.

 

Growing Manta5

What was the learning process for the company with the blow-up of the product? Going from creating a prototype, to designing the product, to producing it on a scale has been a significant challenge. We’ve grown our design team as well as our production and engineering team over time. We’ve also been developing our relationships with suppliers for when we are ready to mass-produce these products. How did you guys catch the attention of manufacturers with this product? Greg says that Manta5 worked with an agent in Taiwan who knew their founders. Building relationships is everything. If manufacturers like you as a person and your vision as a company, that is huge.

 

Vision for the Future

What’s next for Manta5? The vision is to become cycling’s new frontier. We want to create a range of new products in biking while cultivating a sport through our product. When it comes to any game-changing product, copycats always arise. How will Manta5 deal with copycat products? We at Manta5 place importance on establishing ourselves as the leader in Hydrofoil Biking. We support other brands that may pop up in the future, as we want to cultivate a sport out of Hydrofoil Biking.

Follow Manta5 and check out the world’s first Hydrofoil Bike, view their website here, and check out their Facebook here.

 

About our Guest: Bob O’Donnell

Bob O’Donnell is the President, Founder, and Chief Analyst of TECHnalysi Research. The firm's research and O’Donnell’s opinions are also regularly used by major media outlets, including Bloomberg TV, CNBC, CNN, Investor's Business Daily, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, and more. O'Donnell writes regular columns for USAToday and Forbes, as well as a weekly blog for Tech.pinions.com published on TechSpot, SeekingAlpha, and LinkedIn. Before founding TECHnalysis Research, Bob served as Program Vice President, Clients and Displays for industry research firm IDC. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

 

About our Guest: Greg Johnston

Greg Johnston is the CEO of Manta5, the creator of the world’s first Hydrofoil Bike, that replicates the cycling experience on the water. Greg is a driven entrepreneur who’s passionate about high growth startups and innovative social enterprise. He’s currently working alongside the original Torpedo7 founders to commercialize the Manta5 Hydrofoil Bike. Greg enjoys being a part of the Waikato startup and business scene. He’s always keen to meet new people, help connect others, and find ways to collaborate.

 

Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com, or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support, go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation

Direct download: Renaissance_Era_in_Innovation_CES2020.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST

This year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we witnessed a notable trend occurring. Government agencies from all over the nation, as well as foreign government agencies, were seen at the show. This week, Dimitri Kusnezov, the Deputy Under Secretary for AI and Technology at the U.S Dept of Energy, joins us on The Killer Innovations Show. We will discuss what the future of AI looks like from the Department of Energy’s side of things.

The Dept of Energy’s Mission

Typically, people don’t notice much of the DOE’s activity in their everyday lives. In reality, the Department of Energy continuously operates from the shadows fixing our nation’s toughest problems. It works in areas that range from the health industry to electrical grids. At its core, the Dept of Energy exists to fix a wide variety of issues by leveraging its innovative capabilities. Dimitri Kusnezov, says that the DOE is the biggest funder of physical sciences in the U.S. They focus on public-private partnerships to accomplish their many goals. The DOE uses connections, as well as advanced innovative technologies, to keep our nation running efficiently.

 

CES and the Dept of Energy

How does the U.S Department of Energy approach attending a show like CES? Dimitri Kusnezov says that innovation is global. It’s almost anywhere you look, from small and large companies to academia. The DOE needs to identify where the innovation trends are and ask important questions. Who should we talk to? Where should we draw ideas? With the recent “overhype of AI,” the name has been thrown around loosely everywhere. I asked Dimitri where the DOE stands on AI. Due to the recent birth of Artificial Intelligence, the DOE has kept its feelings of AI open. Dimitri says when it comes to the future of AI, only time will tell. The Dept of Energy looks at specific problems and asks what it will take to best solve them. Something like AI can pose other problems if not approached correctly. AI touches areas such as privacy, civil rights, etc., and can sometimes hint at unintended biases. Who is to blame in touchy situations like these? Is it the guy writing the code? Is it the guy collecting the data? The problem with AI is that no one owns it explicitly. Data confidentiality is a big issue in the technology world today. With the growing potential and use of AI, innovators need to explore what the tech is all about thoroughly.

 

The Role of AI at the Dept of Energy

What is the role of AI at the Department of Energy? Dimitri Kusnezov says that Washington D.C has recognized the importance and value of AI increasingly over the past couple of years. The DOE has 17 labs and a workforce of around 90,000 people. They have surfaced more than 600 projects in the areas of nuclear weapons, smart cities, cybersecurity, transportation, farming, cancer research, etc. You’ll be able to see the core of learning and AI technology in many different areas throughout the U.S Department of Energy. With such a large cache of info available, how does the DOE extract actionable data? Dimitri says the DOE focuses on catastrophic events. They use AI and partnering to understand when to make decisions in those high-consequence situations. With such a big organization,  how does the Dept of Energy leverage its tools? Dimitri Kusnezov says that the DOE workforce has many different skillsets and a good knowledge of their assets. The DOE has a unique advantage with the ability to simulate very realistic situations. Dimitri says their ability to handle data is unmatched by anyone else.

 

Advice on AI

What information can you give to other organizations looking into AI? Don’t overthink it, Dimitri says. Currently, AI is in a fragile stage. It is very limited in what it can do. The answer isn’t, “where can I plug in AI?” but rather, “what are the problems you’re trying to solve?”. Which AI methods apply to your problems? Identify what is essential for you and how AI can help you.

 

When it comes to the government, many innovators either avoid working with them or don’t know where to go to get involved. Where can those who are looking to help find you guys? Dimitri Kusnezov says that the Dept of Energy’s doors are always open. Many companies are stopping by our D.C headquarters and talk to us about various things. We have a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) office as well as other resources for innovators to get involved with us. I encourage innovators to get involved in a public-private partnership to solve government problems, advancing their products along the way. If you are working on something that might be useful to a government agency, I encourage you to reach out.

 

About our Guest: Dimitri Kusnezov

Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov currently serves as Deputy Under Secretary for A.I. and Technology. Dimitri received A.B. degrees in Physics and Pure Mathematics with highest honors from UC Berkeley. Following a year of research at the Institut fur Kernphysik, KFA-Julich, in Germany, he attended Princeton University earning his MS in Physics and Ph.D. in Theoretical Nuclear Physics. At Michigan State University, Dimitri conducted postdoctoral research and then became an instructor. In 1991, he joined the faculty of Yale University as an assistant professor in physics, becoming an associate professor in 1996. He has served as a visiting professor at numerous universities around the world. Dr. Kusnezov has published over 100 articles and a book. He joined federal service at the National Nuclear Security Administration in late 2001 and is a member of the Senior Executive Service and is also a Visiting Researcher at Yale.

If you’re interested in learning more about the U.S Dept of Energy and what they are currently up to, check out their website here. For small businesses interested in working with the DOE, check out their SBIR program here.

Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com, or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support, go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

 

 

Direct download: Dept_of_Energy_on_AI_and_its_Impact_CES2020.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST

This week on Killer Innovations, we are joined by two guests here at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Scott Kim, CEO of NEOFECT USA, an innovative health tech company, and Sarah Brown, the Director of Event Communications for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). On this show, we will be discussing technology in the health industry, as well as what the future of CES looks like.

NEOFECT

NEOFECT has been focused on aiding people in stroke rehabilitation by providing them with top tier health technology. Their products, such as the Smart Glove, run solely on AI technology. This provides a more independent therapy option for users while tracking their progress over time. Scott Kim's passion and vision for the company come from hard life experiences. Scott was born with Spinal Bifida, making him very familiar with the rehabilitation process at a young age. Scott worked through his adversities and created something successful and meaningful. While NEOFECT has established itself as a high-end health tech company, it wasn’t an easy journey. Scott Kim started with a team of eight founders, and only three currently remain with the company. The company started small with limited funding and worked for four years to launch its first product. Today, the company has multiple products to aid stroke patients, as well as products to aid children in dealing with motor challenges.

What’s New

Going forward, NEOFECT is launching an app called NEOFECT Connect. This app will give its users live rehab solutions to aid in recovering from a stroke. It will act similarly to Skype and will provide users with the human relationship aspect of therapy that is desired. To keep up with NEOFECT and what they are currently doing, check out their Facebook page here.

Trends at CES

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest and most influential tech event. Sarah Brown, the Director of Event Communications for CTA, the host of CES, joined us to discuss the growth and future of the event. A new trend is visibly starting up, as non-tech centered companies are attending CES. New industries such as travel and tourism, have been promoting products and services at CES as well. Smart Cities, aimed at making communities better prepared for natural disasters, have been popping up at the event. An array of different companies joined CES to show off their products to the world. CES become the "go-to" show not only for innovators but for policymakers as well. Representatives from the government, such as the Department of Energy, as well as international representatives from the EU, were in attendance.

Growth and Expansion

With all the different companies at CES, there is a magical competition between companies large and small. Startups are trying to gain the attention of investors and larger companies with their products. Hotels are filled up, and more and more companies are attending each year. With this continual growth, some questions come to mind. How much bigger can CES become? Sarah says that if companies want to be at CES, we want them here. Space is running out, but the facilities are being expanded significantly, so even the smallest companies can attend. What is one thing at CES 2020 that wows you? Sarah says flying cars are the coolest. Companies like Hyundai are partnering with Uber to bring flying cars to the people.

About Our Guest: Scott Kim

Scott Kim is the CEO of NEOFECT USA (San Francisco, CA), and Co-founder of NEOFECT, its parent company based in South Korea. The company is a rehabilitation technology company focused on providing vital rehab equipment to those recovering from strokes and suffering from motor challenges. Scott was born with Spinal Bifida, which gave him a unique understanding of the rehabilitation process. His prior work experience includes working in the gaming industry for GREE, Z2Live, and 505 Games.  He received a bachelor’s of Business Administration from Korea University, as well as a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Virginia.

About our Guest: Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown is the Director of Event Communications for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Sarah serves as a spokesperson for CES and leads the media relations strategy for the show. Previously, Brown led the global media strategy for leisure, innovation, and food & beverage for Hilton Worldwide. Before her time at Hilton Worldwide, Brown worked for Ketchum, a global public relations firm. Sarah Brown earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Arizona and a master's in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University. 

Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com, or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support, go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

Direct download: Impact_From_Innovation_Personal_and_Global_CES2020.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s guest is one of the top technology industry analysts, well known in Silicon Valley and globally. When he talks about your company or products, you hope it is more positive than negative as his word moves the markets. Our guest is here with us at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is his 50th. This week on Killer Innovations, Tim Bajarin joins us to discuss what is real and becoming a future innovation platform.

How’s it Shaping Up

CES has evolved over the years from a heavy focus on video and audio to every product category that touches technology. From cosmetics, toilets to autonomous cars, and smart televisions. We have seen it all say's Phil, who is in his twenty-fifth year at CES. The evolution over these years has generated innovation and technology in our everyday lives that was once a fantasy you saw in movies. Now turned into reality. One area is in transportation and the progression of the vehicle becoming, as one Fortune 500 CEO told Phil, a “Cell Phone on Wheels.”  The smart vehicle today is now turning into your entertainment room and productivity station – Transportation As A Platform (TAAP).

The glass on vehicles and your house is transforming into the smart visual platform that keeps you communicating wherever you are. These glass displays today are amazingly more connected, but just now tipping the iceberg of potential. Companies like Corning are doing amazing things by focusing on the smart glass and its unlimited possibilities.

AI Everything —What’s Real? How about Ethics?

Catch all term?? When it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is everywhere, but used as a loose term – for most a feature I need to have and tout. We have AI in our soap. You don’t need to rub soap all over your body, it now finds the dirty spot and rubs it for you. Really what is practical and real AI? It has been around for many decades in different lingo and forms. Now, AI has more market form and will be in anything electronic. You need to understand AI and not just use the term or application loosely. The intelligence aspect of AI has to be applied to more effectively utilize the full potential.

Where is the critical impact on AI that can hurt or help you, it’s ethics. Most organizations are inserting AI into their common language and products; however, the impact is not all that obvious. If you are not thinking of the ethical and various risk impacts, you are just a follower in the buzz word bingo. It's crucial to establish your AI governance. Setting up an AI ethics Board is what is going to keep your risk low and your value high.

Computing will Drive Innovation

AI is one of the advancing technologies that rely on high-performance computing and silicon. However, demand shifts, availability and advancement can generate problems for the next generation of innovation. Computing power advancement does come with the balancing of the cost versus rapid progression that companies are grappling with today. Impactful innovations and expectations of new products and technologies are reliant on industry players making the right call and investing.

Without the exponential growth of computing power, we will stall in our progression of innovation. IoT, sensors, AI, Cloud, Drones, Autonomous, and all the latest trends will come to a halt unless the dynamics are aligned and balanced from cost, pricing and R&D for those providing the computing power. The demand is at such a high pace at this stage of technology expansion. It takes a tremendous commitment from the major players such as Intel and AMD. It also makes the PC players keep providing productivity tools. One of which is still the PC. Many think the PC is dead, but that is not reality as it is still the most productive platform.

Will Form Factor Make a Difference

Foldables at CES was a big attraction, as they moved towards mobile devices and displays for entertainment and productivity. Manipulated to the contour you desire, these intelligent displays are starting to gain traction and turning into reality. For the players, it comes down to a component that can give the industry a big boost, a refresh, and generate new channels and opportunities for innovation. Phil was pioneering foldable/bendable displays 10+years back when at HP and his prediction has taken form. The foldable players are building all the intelligence in a complete screen that bends at will. What does this give the consumer – more straightforward communication, lighter smartphones, increased productivity and creative possibilities beyond the obvious.

About our Guest: Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is one of the most recognized and sought after global technology analysts, futurists, and consultants. His fifty years in Silicon Valley has made him a voice that moves the market.

His writing and analysis have been at the forefront of the digital revolution. He was one of the first analysts to cover the personal computer industry and is considered one of the leading experts in the field of technology adoption life cycles. He is president of technology-focused company Creative Strategies and is also a regular podcaster on Tech.Pinions (also broadcasted on The Innovators Network).

Bajarin is a futurist and credited with predicting the desktop publishing revolution three years before it reached the market and multimedia.

He has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Nvidia, AMD, HP, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Qualcomm, Toshiba, and numerous others.

He also serves on the technology advisory boards for IBM, Compaq, and Dell. (from Wikipedia)

Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support, go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

 

Direct download: Future_Innovation_Platforms_CES2020.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST

AI has become the new buzzword that has been applied to anything and everything. You can’t attend trade shows without seeing AI attached to labels such as AI apps, AI-enhanced coffee, and AI influenced healthcare, etc. As of recent, AI has been in transition mode. It has moved from merely a “hype label” to something of reality. Some are even calling it the AI-driven “fourth industrial revolution.” On today’s show, I am going to be discussing AI and how it can be applied and used in innovation.

AI Innovation

Innovation and creation come from our learnings and experiences. With every new creation comes inspiration from something else. Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb; he perfected it. Einstein was inspired by physicists that went before him. So what is the difference between AI invented and AI-inspired? Input and experience play a key role. For AI, that comes in the form of the “training data” supplied to the system to recognize patterns and identify the best solutions. Training data is critically important and allows AI to do what it does. It is part of an element called machine learning, which has historically applied to games like chess and go. It was initially thought that humans had a unique advantage at these kinds of things. Here are a few examples that may prove otherwise:

  • Deep Blue’swin over Chess champion Garry Kasparov. It took multiple attempts, but the robot's skill evolved after a while.
  • IBM Watson’sJeopardy win over human trivia kings.
  • Google DeepMind’s Go-playing bot’s win against a Korean grandmaster. The top player has retired, saying that a human will never be better than a computer at Go.

 

Is this proof that AI is becoming smarter than humans? It depends on how you define smart. Do you define it by IQ number, critical thinking skills, or memorization? What makes humans smart? Let’s not move too fast here. In the case of chess, the key is to recognize patterns and to be able to look at the number of steps ahead. These are two skills that computers have become quite good at using machine learning. So is that the definition of smart?

 There is no doubt that AI will make an impact. Will it have an impact on innovation? If so, how will it be manifested? In what ways can we use AI to support our innovation endeavors? Are you ready to jump in?

AI and Creativity

One example of AI is in the writing of stories for Associated Press

AP uses deep learning in its Wordsmith tool to generate millions of news stories for financial services and sports, outpacing the output of all major media companies combined. Wordsmith has been trained on articles written by others that were redeemed as “good.” It plans to offer medium-specific stories, such as those published online and read on the air by newscasters, publication-specific stories separately tailored for publications like the New York Times and Buzzfeed. The question I ask myself is, could they write the script for my show? Not really, because my show isn’t triggered by press releases, and based on a specific style. So what is the downside of this? No one is reading the press release to validate it manually.

 

 One of my hobbies is to write instrumental music I use during ideation and brainstorming workshops. They recently came out with an experimental AI plugin from Magenta Studio. I’ve been experimenting with it to see if it can be a tool to help me create better instrumentals

Magenta provides a pretty easy way to get started with AI applied to create music. Another example of AI applied to creativity is when Christie, in October 2018, auctioned its first work of art generated by an algorithm called a generative adversarial network (GAN). This GAN approach meant that the AI was fed 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries to train it in a style of art. Then a portrait was created by one computer network (the generating computer) that attempted to convince a second computer (the discriminating computer) that the image it generated should pass as real art. The discriminating computer is trained with portraits to teach it how to discern what a good portrait looks like so it can play the referee. The generating computer’s task is to create convincing art through a feedback loop, which improves both their capabilities over time. The portrait that passed the test sold for $432,000. This begs some important questions: Who should get the byline for the article published by the wordsmith tool for AP? Who gets the songwriter credit for the new song?

Who should sign their signature to the painting?

 

 

Applying AI

Could AI be applied to creating ideas that result in high impact innovations? Could it replace human creativity? Could AI be used to generate new ideas? I don’t think so. It could be used, however, as a tool to take raw ideas and apply AI to expand, enhance, and improve them. Possibly a tool to help the human side of brainstorming get past the mental block of generating more and better ideas.

So if we use AI as a tool to “create,” …

  • Who should get the byline for the article published by the wordsmith tool for AP?
  • Who gets the songwriter credit for the new song created by a tool like Magenta Studio?
  • Who should sign their signature to the painting?
  • Who should get credit on the patent application for a tool that helped in brainstorming?

AI augments what authors and inventors can do. With advances in machine learning, the interaction between algorithms and the creative process is changing. AI now allows artists to find unexpected beauty in chaos and complexity that exceeds the human grasp. AI is something to experiment with. It shouldn’t be feared. I am very optimistic about the role AI can play as a tool.

 

Five Minutes to New Ideas

No two people are alike. We all enjoy different movies, music, and experiences. To be normal is not to be average, but different. For some reason, we are uncomfortable showing our differences. Many people feel inadequate when looking at others around them. Face it; we are all quirky. Everyone has their own “normal.” It is normal to follow your natural inclinations. Trying to conform to the crowd is not acting like yourself. We are all outstanding in some way. Once we find what our “super-power” is, life takes on a new meaning. What are the steps to being content with who we are? Find out who you are and be that. Discover your strengths and use them. You are unique, and it is your duty to be who you are.

Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is feedback@philmckinney.com, or you can go to PhilMcKinney.com and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support, go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

Direct download: Will_AI_Replace_Human_Creativity.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST