Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Business Side of Sensors, Part Deux

In the recent Sunday Morning Insight: The Business Side of Sensors, I noted that Mark Cuban seems to be a sensor person. This is rare in this environment where many consider technology anything that revolves around web programming and so forth. Two additional items caught my attention from the recent Shark Tank episodes. One of them directly involved Cuban and sensors. Joe Manna writes about it in Downloads aren’t Dollars: Why some startups are doomed

....Instead of spilling blood in the studio, he offered poignant advice — and arguably one of his best forms of feedback I’ve seen on the show: 
MARK CUBAN: I’m a big fan of the sensor business. I think that’s the future of technology. The fundamental problem I have is scans versus sensors. In a sensor-driven world, the information is accumulated and gathered everywhere with no action by the user. Whereas, in your world, whether it’s Google Glass where you have to talk, or where have to take your phone and scan, in a sensor-driven world, these [QR codes] don’t exist. For that reason, I’m out. 
So, next time you have a hit software application that requires effort of users to get value, using an open-source technology, leading with user acquisitions, not customer acquisitions and aren’t profitable, expect to be eaten by the sharks....
Indeed, no amount of man made labeling will ever come close to what we are beginning to see in either machine learning (specifically computer vision) or in the development of new sensors (hyperspectral,....) The sequence starts at 21 minutes and 41 seconds

Not so related but on this other episode of the show, one could see a nice confirmation of the Enabling the "Verify" in "Trust but Verify" issue in business ventures. Quite clearly, the team presenting the first product in this episode makes a compelling argument based on the sole reading of some surface cleanliness sensors. The scene starts at 3 minutes 19 s. Here again, one could simply foresee some better technology doing the job.


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