vivid picture of potential IoT uses: “In 2007, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota, killing many people, because of steel plates that were inadequate to handle the bridge’s load. When we rebuild bridges, we can use smart cement: cement equipped with sensors to monitor stresses, cracks, and warpages. This is cement that alerts us to fix problems before they cause a catastrophe. And these technologies aren’t limited to the bridge’s structure.”Burris explains that if there is ice on the bridge, the same sensors in the concrete could detect it and communicate the information via the wireless Internet to your car. Once your vehicle knows there’s a hazard ahead, you can slow down or avoid the road altogether, turning data into actionable insights. Furthermore smart cars can connect to smart city grids and start talking to each other, optimizing traffic flow. “Instead of just having stoplights on fixed timers, we’ll have smart stoplights that can respond to changes in traffic flow. Traffic and street conditions will be communicated to drivers, rerouting them around areas that are congested, snowed-in, or tied up in construction,” explains Burrus.
DISRUPTION: EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE FUTURE OF WORK 45Privacy issues However, the IoT could also result in huge privacy headaches that we must be aware of. “If privacy isn’t dead yet, then billions-upon-billions of chips, sensors, and wearables will seal the deal,” say Jat Singh and Julia Powles, researchers at the University of Cambridge. Yet there are ways around this. “If there is the vision and commitment to realizing pervasive computing in a way that is open, diverse, innovative, and high-value, then privacy may just stand a fighting chance.” This is an issue that must be thoroughly reviewed and addressed to prevent security breakdowns. Key areas of development To fully advance the potential of the Internet of Things, McKinsey & Co. identifies five key areas of development. These are: interoperability of the different types of sensors and software; the need for low-cost, low-power hardware; ubiquitous connectivity—that is the need for Internet everywhere; analytics software andanalytic peopleneeded to help make sense of it all; and more attention needs to be paid to privacy, confidentiality, and security, as pointed out previously.
DISRUPTION: EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE FUTURE OF WORK 477 Virtual and Augmented Reality THE GIFT OF TELEPRESENCE The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. –John Lasseter (Director) t’s 8:59 am. You are about to kick off your weekly staff meeting. You look around: everyone is ready to go. The usual is discussed: project status, KPI’s, holiday plans, and the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Forty five minutes into the meeting you are done: all fourteen team members agree on key objectives and results—you are all set for the week. You go back to your desk and look out the window. You are relaxed by the live waterfall set against a jaw-dropping view of the forest. It doesn’t