Reflection About Attending Conferences + WIMA USA 2013

Over the past several years, I have attended many conferences, trade shows and training events.  Of these, I’ve found myself especially inspired by coach training conferences, such as the ICF (International Coach Federation) Global conference held in London last autumn.  These events feed my soul. By participating, I am able to renew my life purpose and re-evaluate my path.

When I attend a technology conference or training, my curiosity and passion for new technologies are satisfied. I am able to realize ideas and concepts learned at these events in my career; for example, the social media platform that I built for the AT&T Developer Program was inspired by such a conference.

Through attending such events, I’ve gradually developed an interdisciplinary lens on business, technology and humanity. By bridging the gaps among these three distinct sectors, I am able to see unique business opportunities and build relationships with like-minded people based on synergy and vision.

Recently, I attended the three day WIMA NFC/Proximity Solutions conference. The great speakers, rich information and diverse attendees that I encountered were inspiring.  One outstanding presenter at this conference was Patrick Meyer, the CEO Futurist, Biz 3.0 Expert, and author of the book Steve Jobs & The World of Mobile.

This book provides insight on mobile development, where it is now, and its path into the future. Meyer’s vision inspires me since it echoes my purpose for writing Everyday NFC to educate people about this accessible, yet underutilized technology. I hope my book will serve as a source of information and inspiration for the many visionaries and innovators I have yet to meet.

WIMA NFC / Proximity Pre-conference

The WIMA NFC / Proximity Solutions Conference is being held in San Francisco from October 28 to 30. This is the third WIMA conference in the USA. Last year, WIMA focused on NFC (Near Field Communication) technology and this year the scope has been expanded to other Proximity connectivity technologies: QR codes, Bluetooth, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), etc.

In yesterday’s pre-conference sessions, NFC, QR codes and Bluetooth overviews were presented by Gonda Lamberink, Stephanie True Moss and Dimtri Galeridis. Technology Marketing strategy and use cases were presented by Thomas Hissam and Serafin Arroyo. Panel discussions at the end of the day was very engaging and the audience participated actively. Marc Greenbaum, Verizon, shared telecom’s position on educating consumers and mobile payment (ISIS).

We also discussed what is the right technology for the right market. Consumers don’t care about which technology is used. The user experience is the most important. How we deploy the technologies that will serve the consumers is key. How we collect and leverage the data collected by these technologies is important to develop brand through personalization.

We are looking forward to today’s sessions and learning.

Reflections on Big Data Confereneces

Last week, I attended two technical events. One was Big Data Techcon in San Francisco and another was Seattle Biz-Tech Summit 2013. My focus was on Big Data and proximity sensors.

For Big Data Techcon, there were many sessions about tools; for example, how to collect data, analyze the data and make a correct interpretation of the analytics. The emphasis is on engineering data. Two things that stood out for me was the graph data base and the keynote speech by Doug Cutting.

The graph data base has an advantage to visualize the connections between Big Data. The book, “Graph Databases”, was given away at the session led by Max De Marzi. He was passionate about Neo4j and showed us the connections between Facebook accounts using code. The connections were visualized regardless of the privacy setting in Facebook.

In the keynote speech, Doug Cutting, the founder of Hadoop claimed that “Hadoop 2 is the Big Data OS” and “Open source’s time has come”. After the keynote, Doug was available to talk to people who wanted to obtain his insights or wanted to have a photo with him. Regarding my inquiry about his view on proximity sensors and Big Data, he saw the significance of the sensor impact to Big Data and made an example with retail stores “What would be the value to the retail stores when they can figure out the shopper’s favorable route.

Seattle Biz-Tech Summit 2013 also focused on Cloud and Big Data. I particularly enjoyed the panel “Innovation and Impacts of Cloud Computing and Big Data”. Dave Segleau, Director, Oracle described the phases of the customer adoption of Big Data as:

  1. What is Big Data?
  2. What can Big Data do?
  3. I have a Big Data (or NoSQL) problem. How can I use your product help me build and deploy a Big Data (or NoSQL) based solution?
  4. I’m starting to understand the issues (limitations, requirements, administration) around managing a Big Data (or NoSQL) solution.
  5. Here’s how I can leverage Big Data to benefit the Enterprise and our customers.

Ying Li, Director, ACM SIGKDD suggested that we would move from an engineering data phase to a data knowledge sharing phase in the future. She was an advocate for open data. Jay Mozek, Chief Architect & Director, iSoftStone thought that we need to be clear about the business goal before engineering data. Chris Garvery, Senior Director, Expedia encouraged us to think what we can’t do today and use data to discover the possibility. Panelists had their own perspectives and their unique views made the session informative and interesting.

Yesterday, I found this article that shared how graphics chips can help process big data sets in milliseconds and “opening up new ways to visually explore everything from Twitter posts to political donations.” This trend of facilitating big data visualization is certainly in full swing.


iBeacon vs. NFC

“Will the lack of iPhone support for NFC kill NFC?” This LinkedIn NFC Group discussion thread has been going on for the last 20 days.  It is a good discussion with various opinions on NFC’s future. One topic that came up was “iBeacon vs. NFC”.

Beacons are small wireless sensors that can placed inside any physical space. An iPhone supporting Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) with iOS7 becomes an iBeacon that can receive data from other beacons. It also can detect other iBeacons when they are nearby. An iBeacon also serves as an indoor GPS with built-in indoor mapping capability.

Since BLE’s connectivity range is 10 to 50 feet, it creates a location mapping zone for iBeacon. When a customer steps into an iBeacon zone, indoor mapping will indicate the location of the customer and retailers can use this information to send customers special promotions or personalized messages based on their shopping histories. Retailers know exactly where you are and how long you stay there; even if you are in the restroom. Your movements are transparent in the iBeacon zone.

NFC connectivity works within 4cm (1.57 inches) between NFC-enabled devices or an NFC-enabled device and a tag. It’s a very short distance contactless technology and it’s more secure because of the short distance. You might be tracked when you tap but not when you move around.

I think, even if Apple decides not to adopt the technology, NFC will have its own market for many applications as demonstrated in Europe and Asia. At the same time, iBeacon apps might be released quickly since the APIs are easy to use. Our new generation is so used to share their life publically through social media that they might enjoy using the apps; especially gaming ones; regardless of privacy issues.

Want to learn more about NFC? Please check out my newly released book “NFC: Near Field Communication Explained” and attend WIMA-NFC & Proximity Solution Conference.