My selection as a lector: “MIT Sloan Management Review” | Vía @mitsmr


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MIT Sloan Management Review editors

  • Four Ways Social Data Can Generate Business Value
    Full article: http://goo.gl/387coA

    Big data has been described as the new oil, but perhaps a more apt metaphor is the new solar — it is a renewable source of energy, but must be cost-effectively captured and processed to be converted into new forms of value.

    Companies both large and small have access to a growing stream of social data from an increasing number of sources. This stream is continually being enriched and renewed as our interactions unfold over time and as our ability to efficiently capture data about those interactions increases.

    While many firms are investing time and resources into mining this data, the bulk of the attention thus far has been placed on how social data can help public relations, marketing and sales engage more relevantly with consumers. Indeed, the amount of data available for this purpose is staggering: according to a Forrester blog from 2010, American consumers were already posting more than a 1.6 billion reviews of products and services online in 2009. That number continues to climb as more sites enable user-generated reviews and ratings.

    We believe, however, that firms are missing a significant opportunity to use social data to gain intimate and real-time knowledge about what is going on within, not just outside, the organization.

    Today, many organizations take either a 30,000-foot view of social data or an intensely granular, technical approach. Few firms have tapped into social data in a way that allows them to connect it explicitly to operating performance data and execute on it effectively.

    Social data science leaders and business thought-leaders must meet in the middle to collaborate on both how to analyze the data and why such analysis would be meaningful. We have only begun to understand social data’s potential value in the workplace, but much of this potential is dependent on having the mindsets and methods in place to make the most of our newest natural resource.

  • Social Business = Social Bonding
    Full article: http://goo.gl/UH0PAk

    A study by FedEx and Ketchum found that 52% of respondents said social business was strengthening relationships with the general public; 51% said it was strengthening relationships with clients; and 40% said it was strengthening relationships with partners and suppliers.

    Social business activities can pay off in various ways. Earlier this year, MIT Sloan Management Reviewand Deloitte highlighted benefits related to better market intelligence, faster customer service as well as improvements to internal operations, such as finding expertise, distributing knowledge and more effective project collaboration. (See our 2012 Special Report, Social Business: What Are Companies Really Doing?)
    While building stronger relationships is naturally fuzzier and harder to pin down benefit than, say, “customer response time” or even something like “increased market intelligence,” improved relationships means a stronger business across and beyond the organization. (We’ve previously published on the importance of building trust with employees and customers and suppliers; see, for instance: “Unconventional Insights for Managing Stakeholder Trust,” by Michael Pirson, and Deepak Malhotra, from the July 1 2008 issue of MIT SMR.)

    The FedEx/Ketchum study’s report of the connection between social business and improved stakeholder relationships is supported by other researchers in the field. In a recent interview withMIT SMR, strategy and management consultant Nilofer Merchant discussed how her research found that social enhances a firm’s relationships with employees and customers. Jacob Morgan, principal of Chess Media Group, a management consulting and strategic advisory firm on collaboration and the author of The Collaborative Organization (McGraw-Hill, 2012), told us that based on his observations, the benefits of collaboration even positively impacts the quality of life of employees at home, outside of the workplace. And Dion Hinchcliffe, in his four-stage Capability Ladder of Social Business, says that the highest level in the ladder is also relationship based, what he calls the ability to “partner with the world.”

VRCodes – vía @medialab

VR Codes
Andy Lippman and Grace Woo
VR Codes are dynamic data invisibly hidden in television and graphic displays. They allow the display to present simultaneously visual information in an unimpeded way, and real-time data to a camera. Our intention is to make social displays that many can use at once; using VR codes, users can draw data from a display and control its use on a mobile device. We think of VR Codes as analogous to QR codes for video, and envision a future where every display in the environment contains latent information embedded in VR codes.


Viral SpacesMIT Media Lab
VRCodes are currently being developed by Pixels.IO as a spinoff of the Viral Spaces group.

Envision a world where inconspicuous and unobtrusive display surfaces act as general digital interfaces which transmit both words and pictures as well as machine-compatible data. They also encode relative orientation and positioning. Any display can be a transmitter and any phone can be a receiver. Further, data can be rendered invisibly on the screen.

VRCodes present the design, implementation and evaluation of a novel visible light-based communications architecture based on undetectable, embedded codes in a picture that are easily resolved by an inexpensive camera. The software-defined interface creates an interactive system in which any aspect of the signal processing can be dynamically modified to fit the changing hardware peripherals and well as the demands of desired human interaction.

This design of a visual environment that is rich in information for both people and their devices overcomes many of the limitations imposed by radio frequency (RF) interfaces. It is scalable, directional, and potentially high capacity. We demonstrate it through NewsFlash, a multi-screen set of images where each user’s phone is an informational magnifying glass that reads codes arranged around the images.

VRCodes are currently being developed by Pixels.IO as a spinoff of the Viral Spaces group. See the MIT Media Lab PLDB entry and grace@pixels.io

VRCodes was initiated by Grace Woo in the MIT Media Lab as a part of her PhD thesis. Special thanks to Andy LippmanRamesh RaskarGerald SussmanVincent ChanSzymon Jakubczak and Eyal Toledano.

Recent uses of VRCodes
Newsflash [description]

Grace Woo, Andy Lippman

Newsflash shows a large display of screens which can be used in a public environment. Users can point their phone at a screen to get more data from the frontpages in front of them.

John Maeda: How art, technology and design inform creative leaders | Video on TED.com


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano human being | #INperfeccion® a way to find new insight & perspectives

TED Talks John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, delivers a funny and charming talk that spans a lifetime of work in art, design and technology, concluding with a picture of creative leadership in the future.

See on www.ted.com

Baxter, el primer robot con sentido común… mejor que muchos humanos!!


http://www.panorama.com.ve
Lo que natura no da…

No es que un robot en una fábrica sea una novedad; hace décadas que la humanidad es testigo de cómo las máquinas van ocupando puestos en varios sectores de la industria en todo el mundo. Pero ahora ya se puede hablar del primer robot humanoide que va a trabajar, codo a codo, con el resto de trabajadores humanos.

Sus fabricantes, Rehink Robotics, aseguran que es una máquina con “sentido común”, que se adapta a su entorno y que trabajadores sin experiencia en robótica pueden entrenarlo, en menos de 30 minutos, para que realice tareas específicas.

Actualmente, los robots tienden a trabajar separados de los seres humanos, a menudo en algo parecido a una jaula.

Pero Rodney Brooks, fundador de Rehink Robotics y exdirector del Laboratorio de Computación, Ciencia e Inteligencia Artificial del Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts (MIT, por sus siglas en inglés) espera que Baxter sea un “nuevo concepto en el sector industrial”.

“La robótica ha sido exitosa en el diseño de robots con velocidad y precisión sobrehumana. Lo que ha sido más difícil es inventar robots que puedan actuar como nosotros, en otras palabras, que sean capaces de entender y adaptarse a sus entornos”, explicó.

Según la Federación Internacional de Robótica, actualmente hay 1,1 millones de robots trabajadores en el mundo. En las fábricas de autos, por ejemplo, cerca del 80% de la producción la realizan máquinas.

‘Baxter’ aprende rápido
Pero la diferencia es que Baxter ha sido programado para aplicar su sentido común en el entorno, dicen sus creadores. Está equipado con sensores y otros programas que le permiten “entender”.

Por ejemplo, si se le cae un objeto “sabe” que tiene que conseguir otro antes de tratar de finalizar su tarea. Para entrenar a Baxter, un ser humano debe guiar sus brazos para simular la tarea deseada y apretar un botón para programar el patrón. Si el robot no entiende, responde a la persona con una expresión de confusión. Leer más “Baxter, el primer robot con sentido común… mejor que muchos humanos!!”

Good vibrations – economist.com


Shattering news | economist.com

How to restore people’s voices

INJURY, disease or sheer old age mean that as many as 7% of Americans (and, presumably, a similar proportion of the population of other countries) have some kind of voice disorder caused by scarring of their vocal cords. Such scarring makes the cords stiff, and stops them producing sound in the normal way. But that could be overcome if a method were found to restore the cords’ flexibility.

Robert Langer, a pioneering biomedical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his colleagues think they have one. They have developed a material that mimics the characteristics of natural vocal cords and could thus help restore distorted voices.

To make their new material, Dr Langer and his team took polyethylene glycol, a substance widely used in the cosmetics industry and thus known to be safe, and altered the chemical linkages between its molecules.

This allowed them to control the polymer’s viscosity and elasticity. After some trial and error, as they described on August 20th to a meeting of the American Chemical Society held in Philadelphia, they hit on a mixture which matches the traits of human vocal cords.

Laboratory tests have shown that when air is blown through a model of the vocal cords made from this material, the model responds in the way that real cords do. Leer más “Good vibrations – economist.com”

Fully electric urban car can make itself smaller


Researchers at MIT’s Changing Places Group and Denokinn have now begun testing the Hiriko Fold, a fully electric vehicle which is able to collapse into a more compact shape when parking.

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 The two-seater vehicle has one large door at the front to save yet more space. Each wheel can be controlled independently of the others, allowing for sharper turning and easier parallel parking into tight spaces. The following video gives a demonstration of the Hiriko Fold in action:

We recently saw the Lit C-1 provide a glimpse into the future of transport design, and now researchers at MIT’s Changing Places Group and Denokinn have begun testing the Hiriko Fold, a fully electric vehicle which is able to collapse into a more compact shape when parking.We first heard about the project while it was still in the concept development phase, but the team have since created a working model of the Fold, which is being test driven around the streets of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the Basque region of Spain. Leer más “Fully electric urban car can make itself smaller”

Células solares en 3D duplican la producción energética de los paneles

Un equipo de ingenieros del MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), en Estados Unidos, ha realizado una importante innovación en el terreno de la energía solar, con el diseño de nuevas células solares fotovoltaicas con configuraciones…

Una nueva etapa en el desarrollo de la energía solar podría ser protagonizada por el aprovechamiento de células solares fotovoltaicas con diseño 3D, una innovación que permite obtener más del doble de la producción energética conseguida con los dispositivos planos utilizados en la actualidad. El avance ha sido realizado por un grupo de ingenieros e investigadores del MIT.

Hasta el momento, la investigación intensiva en todo el mundo relacionada con la energía solar se ha centrado mayormente en mejorar el rendimiento de las células solares fotovoltaicas y en disminuir su coste. Sin embargo, se ha prestado muy poca atención a la optimización de las formas de organización y diseño de las células solares, que normalmente presentan formas planas.

Pero un equipo de ingenieros e investigadores del MIT ha partido de un enfoque muy diferente, y ha desarrollado células solares con configuraciones tridimensionales, con disposición cúbica o en forma de torres.


Via Scoop.ithuman being in – perfección

Un equipo de ingenieros del MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), en Estados Unidos, ha realizado una importante innovación en el terreno de la energía solar, con el diseño de nuevas células solares fotovoltaicas con configuraciones…

Una nueva etapa en el desarrollo de la energía solar podría ser protagonizada por el aprovechamiento de células solares fotovoltaicas con diseño 3D, una innovación que permite obtener más del doble de la producción energética conseguida con los dispositivos planos utilizados en la actualidad. El avance ha sido realizado por un grupo de ingenieros e investigadores del MIT. Leer más “Células solares en 3D duplican la producción energética de los paneles”