Posts by Thomas van Manen

About Thomas van Manen

Thomas van Manen is a researcher with a focus on the impact of new technologies and is part of the VINT research program on Big Data, Internet of Things, Gamification, Wearables and Disruptive Technologies. As a innovator Thomas helps organizations translate new technologies and digital trends into ideas and ideas into concepts using research, workshops and pilot programs. Thomas is also Chief Editor of the VINT research blog, part of Sogeti Labs community of technology experts and was voted to be part of the HOT100 in 2012, a yearly selection of the most promising alumni in Media & Arts studies.


Design2Disrupt: Gartner’s IT predictions

vint-design-to-disrupt-rood-wit-rgbThe disruptive potential of (new) technologies is growing at a staggering speed. Disruption is happening all around and is triggered by the advances in Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and smart ‘Things’ (SMACT). Customers are changing their behavior in response and companies are keen to find out how to (re)design their organization to survive and thrive in the face of this change.

Gartner has revealed its top predictions for IT organizations and IT users for 2015 and beyond in which they examine a shift in the age old relationships between man and machine due to the emergence of digital business (Full list here). I’m highlighting a few of the predictions in the context of our Design to Disrupt research project: [Read more…]

Collaborative Economy part 2: new industries and verticals

In October I shared an infographic that shows what happend on a single day in the so-called collaborative economy. This infographic came from Jeremiah Owyang extensive research on this trend.

Another part of the research is focused on examining the sectors where collaborative models are taking place. In his initial taxonomy, Owyang had 6 different categories.  To show the growth the model is seeing and how it’s quickly expanded into many other industries and verticals, the original infographic is now updated with an additional 6 categories: [Read more…]

Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) on Disruptive Innovation

F1.largeDisruption is quickly becoming one of the most discusses topics in business and tech today. The concept of “disruptive innovation,” from Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, is discussed in Marc Andreessen, one of the key people behind the Netscape Navigator web browser and a cofounder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, latest tweetstorm.

1/Few intellectual concepts in our time have been mangled by observers more than Clay Christensen’s disruption idea. Some thoughts:

— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) December 2, 2014

2/CC: “A disruptive innovation gives new consumers access to product historically only available to consumers with a lot of money or skill.” — Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) December 2, 2014

3/CC: “Disruptors offer a different set of product attributes valued only in new markets remote from, and unimportant to, the mainstream.” — Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) December 2, 2014 [Read more…]

Sharing economy: sharing or selling?

The past year we have seen the rise of what has been dubbed the Sharing Economy, an economic model based on access over ownership. Rachel Botsman, one of the thought leaders on this topic and author of the book “What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live” provides the following definition:

Sharing Economy: An economic model based on sharing under-utilized assets from spaces to skills for monetary of non-monetary benefits.

The “sharing economy” has been characterized as a revolution: Renting a room on Airbnb or catching an Uber, we do not need institutions, we can organize ourselves in a decentralized matter. A lot of these platforms, including Airbnb and Uber, have become part of this concept of the sharing economy. But is that justified? Are they sharing or selling?

Tegenlicht, a Dutch documentary show,  aired an episode about the sharing economy on Sunday in which they interviewed Michel Bauwens, the Belgium founder of the Peer-to-Peer Foundation. He introduced a simple model showing that platforms now viewed among sharing economy companies are actually just companies trying to sell a service

screen-shot-2014-12-01-at-07-55-25 [Read more…]

Context, Cards and Notification Design

At the beginning of the year I wrote a blogpost titled “Contextual is the new Mobile” in which I wrote that contextual based interaction with devices is key to making the future of mobile work. The new mobile requires devices, services and information to be embedded (integrated into the environment), personalized (tailored to your needs), adaptive (change in response to you) and anticipatory (anticipating a users intentions without conscious mediation).

This idea fits into a broader shift in the way we interact with the web. It is increasingly less about pages and destinations, and more about personalized experiences built on an aggregation of many individual pieces of content from different sources. A development based on the diversity of screens in all shapes and sizes and widespread access to data from all kinds of sources through APIs and SDKs.

The notification is the interface
Dubbed the notification as the interface (1 & 2), this design framework is being build today. In IOS8 the notification center aims to be the most important screen on your iPhone with interactive notifications.


They’re not just simple announcements or calls to action anymore. They are actions in and of themselves. Android has similar functionality. Emerging platforms like Android Wear and Apple Watch are confirming these trends towards notifications being both content and action.

Some argue that the “that the idea of having a screen full of icons, representing independent apps, that need to be opened to experience them, is making less and less sense. The idea that these apps sit in the background, pushing content into a central experience, is making more and more sense.” I could not agree more. [Read more…]

The Internet of Things in 4 Reports

Schermafbeelding 2014-11-17 om 10.58.08A little over year ago we started our study of the internet of things. As with the series on Big Data we published four reports on this topic. Time for a quick recap.

Why this the internet of things?
Social networks, Mobile platforms and apps, advanced Analytics and Big Data, plus the Cloud form SMAC. This established paradigm has revolutionized the information society and made many more aspects of society ready for a connection with the web. By adding Things, we form SMACT: a decisive breakthrough and established fact due to miniaturization, cheap sensors, smartphones in the pockets of billions of people, autonomous systems, better batteries and smart software in the Cloud. Things, in combination with SMAC, form a new, potentially disruptive wave of innovation.


Click to download

Report 1: THINGS – Internet of Business Opportunities
In our first report Things: Internet of Business Opportunities we reported on a tipping point concerning a dazzling impact on the whole economy. Connected things offer new opportunities to combat waste in the broadest sense of the term. This waste occurs among all parties: clients, suppliers, governmental bodies, service providers and the manufacturing industry. Applying digital things, sensors, actuators, apps and SMACT demands a certain mindset as well as concrete actions to optimize process and event chains, and to translate surprising new opportunities into new products and services. Our report offers an overview of recent developments and tips to accelerate your Things approach. [Read more…]

When will the Internet of Things change our cities?

“The Future is Cities”

This was the headline of the winter 2014 edition of MIT Spectrum. Half of the world’s population now live in urban conglomerations and in 2050 that will be almost three-quarters of all people on earth. In China, 300 million people will move to the city within the coming 15 years. In 2028, China will re-rig the complete infrastructure as it is in America today. India will witness an increase of the urban population of 250 million, and in Africa the increase will be 380 million. Despite the fact that cities will have to accommodate 90 per cent of the population increase, 80 per cent of the worldwide CO2 emission and 75 per cent of energy use, the city will remain the place where people will want to settle. The reason is simple: 80 per cent of our prosperity is created in and around cities.

But if the future is cities, when will the Internet changes our cities like it changed our lives?
There are three elements that establish the smartness of the Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and Things (SMACT) forces and how this will change our cities on the basis of three smart concepts:

Pervasive digitization
The deep penetration of connectivity in urban surroundings. The Internet of Things leads to an increase in omnipresent connectivity: ranging from people’s homes to cars and from trashcans to the LED lights in offices. The smartphones in people’s pockets serve as data collectors as well as mobile gateways that enable providers to make all kinds of data services available. [Read more…]

A few lessons from the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2014

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published their yearly study on the Most Innovative Companies of 2014, which is accessible here.  BCG has been publishing this study since 2005, basing it on interviews with 1,500 senior executives globally. So Apple is still at the top position but the list now also includes companies like Hitachi, Salesforce And Xiaomi Technology for the first time.

This is the complete list of the 50 most innovative companies of 2014:


Here are some of the key findings from the study: [Read more…]

One day in the Collaborative Economy

People are crowdfunding, making, sharing, collaborating, all kinds of their things in life. Some are getting food on-demand, rather than going to traditional grocery stores or restaurants. The world is speeding up, and people are transacting between each other, or rapid-delivery services. We expect this to continue to accelerate as the funding from VCs dwarfs many markets, adoption rates are doubling, and the media has endless coverage over this collaborative movement. To help make sense of this dizzying environment, we attempted to take a snapshot of this world in motion, to try to find out what a single day comprises of.

Click on the image to size it up. More on this graphic, the data sources and methodology here. 


An update on the future of wearables

A new PwC’s research digs into the business of wearables and the consumer attitudes and preferences that will shape the future of wearable technology. They state that there are many applications for wearable tech in enterprise and in life. It will upend the retail industry, revolutionize health care and will likely change advertising and content as we know it:

There is indeed a wearable future ahead, one that can dramatically alter the landscape of society and business as we know it. For months, we surveyed consumers and spoke with experts to explore the potential benefits as well as drawbacks, understanding why they matter, and how they will deeply shape us as individuals and as a society. Here is a look at some of the strengths and opportunities for wearable tech — and the weaknesses and challenges that enterprising businesses must successfully navigate.

More details here.