Posts by Menno van Doorn

About Menno van Doorn

Menno van Doorn is Director of the Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT) in the Netherlands. He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 17 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored five books on the impact of new technology on business and society. Awards: IT Researcher of the Year in the Netherlands.

3D printing in the sky

3Dprinting1Like a child concentrating sunlight with a magnifying glass,  intense laser light can be “printed” into a tiny spot in the air. The system, has a possible value for advertisers, but could be used to send alerts and evacuation advisories during major natural disasters because they can be seen day and night and do not require screens.

The company that has developed this technology comes from Japan and is called Burton Inc. Here you see a projection that they are working on and hope to present in the near future. Instead of projecting three walking men, they’re also thinking on a version that projects the word ‘TSUNAMI’.

3Dprinting2 [Read more...]

The Near Future Of Implantable Technology

Jennifer French is the 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, a silver medalist in sailing, and a quadriplegic. She is the first woman to receive the implanted Stand and Transfer system, an experimental device that uses implanted electrodes and an external control device. French injured her spinal cord when snowboarding in 1998, but has since become an advocate for access to neurotechnological therapies, devices, and treatments. She is a co-founder and executive director of Neurotech Network, a non-profit organization focused on education and advocacy. French told her story in her book, On My Feet Again: My Journey Out of the Wheelchair Using Neurotechnology.

Computers In, People Out

This video is about the inevitability of robotization. More computers in and people out of the labor force. Thanks to my colleague Gerben Tijkken that sent me this video. A 15 minutes watch, but it’s worth it.

Anyone who’s read books like “Race Against the Machine”, “Average Is Over” or “Robots Will Steal Your Job But That’s Ok”, knows that machines are getting better in tasks that haven’t been automated (yet). How will the future be like, and what about your own job? Ar you better than a computer? Really?

Disruptive Innovation Festval

d2d1For anyone who’s looking for some inspiration this summer: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation will stage the first Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF) in 2014. Bringing together thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, businesses, makers, learners and doers to catalyse system-level change for a future economy.

A challenged linear ‘take make and dispose’ economy can be replaced by a more prosperous regenerative and circular economy – is this the ultimate disruption?


An online festival on disruptive innovation with great speakers like Wired editor David Rowan and Rachel Botsman on the collaborative economy

Free registration here

The Latest on Self-Driving Cars


Experts at the Automotive Engineers World Congress last year predicted self-driving cars wouldn’t be seen in showrooms until at least 2025. Just five months later, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that he envisioned self-driving cars in showrooms five years earlier than that, in 2020. Now Mr Ghosn has revised his original prediction to 2018 – around four years from now – while speaking at a French Automobile Club event. “The problem isn’t technology, it’s legislation and the whole question of responsibility that goes with these cars moving around”

Give Google three years
Google says their new “Googly” cars should be road-ready by early next year, but that testing would take more than two years. At that point the technology will be ready for the next stage, which is likely to be greater pilot testing.

Mercedes Self Driving truck
In June this year Mercedes-Benz has claimed a world-first, completing a 100 km journey with a fully autonomous version of its new S-Class sedan. And now Mercedes Benz is heading for 2025 to introduce the world’s first self driving truck (their claim). It is based on intelligent networking of all the safety systems already available, plus cameras, radar sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. Daimler has more doubts about the legal framework (Like Renault-Nissan) to allow the trucks, then on the technology.


[Read more...]

Robots become human, human become robots


The Hanwha Eagles is a South Korean baseball team that recently introduced robot fans. You can now watch the game at home and participate in the stadion at the same time. The robots have Led displays that can send messages to the team through your iPhone. In addition to the usual support messages like “Go Eagles!” or “I Love You, Eagles!” the robots wearing uniform shirts and jeans can relay text messages sent by the fans within the park or outside. They can also show the fan’s face on the screen, adding more fun to the game. [Read more...]

What would Google do now that IBM and Apple are friends?

IBM-AppleApple and IBM announced their alliance yesterday. The two old enemies made an agreement to make 100 business apps and sell iPhones to corporate customers. Engineers of the two companies will work together on serious business apps. IBM’s business DNA can help Apple to make a move into this direction. We know Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has an appetite for business. Earlier this year he expressed his enthusiasm about the enterprise market as follows:

“It’s clear that the enterprise area has huge potential, and we’re doing well from a percentage of companies that are using iPhone and iPad. It’s up to unbelievable numbers. The iPhone is used in 97% of the Fortune 500, and 91% of the Global 500, and iPad is used in 98% of the Fortune 500 and 93% of the Global 500″

[Read more...]

Future of Retail: Nightmare on Elm Street


In the 1984 horror classic “Nightmare on Elm Street” the world of dreams and the physical world were connected. People got attacked in their dreams, and woke up physically hurt, or even dead. This virtu-real scenario is unfolding in many parts of the economy today. Like in retail, where brick-companies are hurt by virtual retail challengers.

The times pinching yourself in the arm and asking the question “Is this really happening to me?” are over since 2010. When you look at the staggering yearly growth rate of Amazon in 2010 – 213, we see 20% – 40% rates, adding up to an expected 80 billion revenue or more in 2014. The biggest off-line retailer in the world, Walmart, for the first time is even showing faster e-commerce growth rates  than Amazon, while offline sales in retail overall are declining. Buying virtually is getting in the DNA of the 21st century consumer. Almost 70% of the Americans bought electronic goods on-line, 63% bought clothes and 20% buy daily groceries on-line. Countries like India and China are showing the same trend. The famous Chinese company “Alibaba” sold for $ 5.75 billion of goods on their virtual platforms Taboa and Tmall, in only one day (11 november 2013).

Internet of Things is the bricks-and-mortar revival
A nightmare on Elm Street is about the physical and virtual world melting together. And although companies like Barnes and Nobles, Staples and Gap are closing hundreds of shops since 2011, the Elm street nightmare of death in the city, empty streets and closed down shops, is not the only possible scenario. In reality retail is getting virtualized in such a way that bricks and mortar are becoming the new e-commerce platforms. All because of the internet of things. Michael Chui, partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, is very positive about these new possibilities.

“A lot of things we can do online, now, with the internet of things, we can also do offline. Bricks-and-mortar-stores have seen nothing like it”.

[Read more...]

Het Internet of Things en de Vierde Industriële Revolutie [Download]


Klik op de cover om het rapport te downloaden

De vierde industriële revolutie draait om compleet nieuwe combinaties van hoofd-, hand- en machinewerk door de samensmelting van internet, sensoren en embedded systems. De convergentie tussen Operationele Technologie (OT) en Informatie Technologie (IT) is hiervoor de basis. De totale omvang van deze automatiseringsmarkt bedraagt nu ruim 300 miljard dollar en loopt op tot 3.880 miljard dollar in 2022.

This is the Dutch announcement of our third report on the Internet of Things titled The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Things to Tighten the Link between IT and OT. To download the English edition, click here.

Het Internet of Things speelt een cruciale rol als matchmaker tussen de Informatie Technologie (IT) en de Operationele Technologie (OT). De operationele machinewereld wordt dankzij ‘things’ menselijker en bovendien zijn sensoren daar al meer ingeburgerd. De IT-wereld komt dankzij ‘things’ meer in de operatie te staan en de kansen om waarde toe te voegen ‘where the action is’ liggen voor het oprapen: namelijk in de dagelijkse omgang met apparaten en fysieke producten.

In deze notitie kijken we naar de drie hoofdredenen om aan het IoT-avontuur te beginnen:

1. de winst van machine-interactie (M2M) als basis van snelheid en intelligentie;
2. de winst van beter onderhoud: liefst Predictive Maintenance;
3. de winst van engagement ofwel klantinteractie: mens en machine in Smart Factories en daarbuiten.

Tot slot geeft het rapport naast inzichten in de fusie tussen IT en OT ook concrete aanbevelingen dit onderdeel te maken van digitale transformatie roadmap. Download nu het nieuwe rapport van VINT: De Vierde Industriële Revolutie: Things slaan een brug tussen OT en IT.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Internet of Things to Tighten the Link between IT and OT [Download]

Click on the cover to download

Click on the cover to download

The fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution is upon us due to the far-reaching integration, accelerated by the Internet of Things, of Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). This creates completely new opportunities as a result of new combinations of mental, physical and mechanical work by integrating the internet, sensors and embedded systems.

The Internet of Things enabled IT/OT convergence leads to cost reduction as a consequence of predictive maintenance, speed and intelligence, thanks to Machine-to-Machine communication and improved forms of Human-Machine Interaction. M2M interaction between and within machines and systems is the cyber-physical heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

End-to-end ecosystems – from design and production to client interaction and advanced Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) – should be focused on a future in which appliances, devices, things and machines for professionals and private people will communicate with central systems, with one another, and with users for the purpose of providing the best possible facilities to makers, service providers, legislators and customers.

Organizations should put IT-OT integration on their digital transformation roadmap, focusing their attention and knowledge from various disciplines, ranging from connectivity, infrastructure, standardization, work processes and risk management to human resources and marketing.

The new VINT report provides insights into the IT-OT fusion and presents three recommendations to speed up this integration.

Download in English


Download in Dutch