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.

Download the new VINT report: SMACT and the City

Download the new VINT report

Download the new VINT report

When will the Internet change our cities like it changed our lives? In the final Things report SMACT and the City we now take the city as the center of Things.

The convergence of bricks and clicks
The report shows how the five basic SMACT technologies are moving the creation of 21st century urban environments into top gear. We provide a status update on Smart Cities today and how developments like Senseable Cities and Cities as a Platform provide both new dynamics and opportunities for blending the digital and the physical infrastructure of our world together. The report provides a analysis of how this is already becoming a reality for retailers and presents what companies and organisations of all trades could learn from the accelerating convergence of bricks and clicks.

From the report:

  • The Internet of Things will change our cities.
  • The five basic technologies that form SMACT are moving urban development into top gear.
  • The digital architecture of the city is becoming a true development platform.
  • SMACT will transform the city into a platform to blend bricks and clicks seamlessly together.
  • The future of cities is about: platform solutions, pervasive applications, and sensible sensing technologies.
  • City as a Platform equals the infrastructural capacity plus the human dimension, the empowerment of behavior through data and applications.

Download the new VINT report

Download in English


Download in Dutch




How the connected world is changing the nature of creativity

Why do we make? Connecting: Makers examines how the connected world is changing the nature of creativity. When everyone is a maker, new possibilities emerge, but with them come new responsibilities about digital transparency, cultural awareness, and the role of the designer.

Connecting: Makers from Microsoft Design on Vimeo.

The passion of non-driving

Michelin has an annual Michelin Challenge Design to celebrate vehicle design. This was the winner of 2014, a car called “Bot”, the autonomous and friendly looking cab. It looks fun and you’re not driving. But you’re not driving when you take a taxi anyhow.


But can non-driving really be fun? Looking at the challenge for next year, Michelin has it doubts. This is how they formulated the new challenge “In the year 2030, at a time in which city driving is done autonomously due to high urban density, ‘driving for pleasure’ adventures will be found outside the cities,” [Read more…]

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…]