PLAYING THE GAME OF INNOVATION; FUTUROLOGY Director of the Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation, Glamorgan Business School, Dr Martin Rhisiart, on Emerging Technologies

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

PLAYING THE GAME OF INNOVATION; FUTUROLOGY Director of the Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation, Glamorgan Business School, Dr Martin Rhisiart, on Emerging Technologies


There is a positive relationship between technological development, innovation and economic success. This applies both to firms and to countries. Although research and development is considered as an input measure for innovation, increasingly companies have access to new knowledge and technologies making the strategic questions more about exploitation and collaboration than ownership.

We are in a context of open innovation, to use Henry Chesbrough's concept, where business success is linked to sourcing ideas from outside the company, forming collaborations with third parties, and shifting company culture and values so that they become outward-looking, flexible and open.

This is the shift from proprietary knowledge (with its focus on in-house laboratories and capacity) to open, networked knowledge flows.

Much of the exciting innovation comes not from a breakthrough technology, but rather the clever combination of a set of ingredients that, when combined, create an appealing proposition and new value.

The diffusion and availability of technologies simply make those ingredients available to larger numbers of people who might have a particularly creative recipe.

Here are three interesting areas that create challenges and opportunities in developing new products, services and business models, and engaging with users: The Internet of Things The first wave of the internet enabled end-users to access information and to interact with people in new ways. There is immense interest in the next generation of the Internet and the type of benefits, services and business models it might bring.

One of the key aspects of the next generation of the internet is the embedding of the technology into our everyday environment - in the fabric of buildings, and in objects around us.

A number of terms have been coined to capture the essence of this emerging model, including the internet of things (IoT), smart applications, machine to machine communications, web of data, ubiquitous technology/computing, ambient intelligence, and pervasive computing.

Some estimates suggest that, by 2020, there will be will be 50 billion mobile wireless devices connected to the internet worldwide, with the number of devices potentially rising to 500 billion.

Much of the talk about the IoT is about efficiency and automation.

At home, the IoT could address mundane issues, for example sensors in the fridge alerting you that you're running out of milk or producing a shopping list - that can be ordered automatically if you wish.

It could offer a range of options for health and wellbeing at home, particularly for vulnerable individuals (remote monitoring).

The IoT will be enmeshed within our urban environments in smart cities and towns - more efficient and greener spaces where infrastructure and moving objects are interacting constantly to save energy, resources and time.

The IoT is an enabling technology. Beyond becoming more efficient and removing the need for people to do mundane tasks, new business services and models - particularly built on personalisation - will emerge for businesses that connect people with live, digital environments and objects.

Gamification is the application of the principles of game playing in business areas such as marketing. It can also be applied in education and learning. The concept is founded on the human inclination to play games - with elements of competition, levels of achievement, and so on.

Gamification uses the principles of game design in a range of applications to make them more engaging and fun -to motivate people and to change behaviours. The growth of internet and mobile technologies has enabled the development of gaming and gamification. …

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PLAYING THE GAME OF INNOVATION; FUTUROLOGY Director of the Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation, Glamorgan Business School, Dr Martin Rhisiart, on Emerging Technologies
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