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Peter Cochrane

Peter Cochrane, former BT executive has just shown some great videos.  It’s a great talk.  He’s talking about the demise of the telcos.  He’s a very funny speaker, and talks about looking for solutions in unexpected places.

Convergence of devices is a myth, says Peter.  I completely agree.  Services and protocols converge, but the devices don’t. 

He talks about the spectrum myth.  Channelization is the problem.  With spread spectrum, we can have an infinite amount of spectrum.  He comments that the bumper detectors in cars are actually 60 Ghz radars, and that with a 60 Ghz radio, you could build a PAN with a 100 ft range.  In room networks etc.

Next year, in Japan, every phone has to have GPS to locate itself.  What about a phone with an accelerometer and compass?  It would know where you are, which way you are positioned, and which direction you are walking. 

Peter thinks positioning is going to be huge, driven by logistics.  More than 10,000 containers per year are pushed overboard every year in stormy weather.  The average settlement cost is $1.25 million dollars.  The US government is going to mandate a minimum standard for RFID on containers for security reasons.  The container won’t be allowed to enter the US unless it is fully electronically certified. In the next phase, RFID, GPS and AI will be critical.

All of his slides are on http://www.cochrane.org.uk.   

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Charles Oppermann January 25, 2006, 11:57 pm

    Don’t need the compass or accelerometer. In less than a couple of seconds, the GPS portion of the device will have the direction you’re traveling and speed. Positional errors these days are minor, with only altitude (above sea level) having the potential for error greater than 10 meters.

    Maybe I don’t understand what convergence means if it’s considered a myth. Because right now I’m using a PDA cell phone with GPS. Just 12 months ago, I had three separate hand held devices for those functions. I’m also slowly moving my music library onto the PDA and using it instead of my iPod. Is that not device convergence”

  • Alec January 26, 2006, 10:27 am

    Hi Chuck,

    Regarding convergence, I think some convergences make sense. But, take for instance video on a tiny screen, like iPod. I can RIP a movie to that screen. A better experience, though, is to watch it on my 61″ flat screen in surround sound. Similarly, remember all the internet enabled appliances? The fridge with a screen in it?

    There are some form factors that make sense, and some that don’t. Generally, devices can converge to a certain extent, but it’s really data that’s converging.

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