Saturday, December 1, 2012

Technology's Promise: Mass Customization

Technology's Promise: Mass Customization

I have to agree with Halal’s prediction for mass customization. Mass customization refers to industries taking personalized order requests from their consumers. Apple has done a great job of this.  Apple allows consumers to order their products such as ipods and ipads and they allow the consumers to have their purchased items personalized with engraving and other things prior to the items being shipped. Since starting the engraving option, more and more consumers have opted to purchase their apple products online from the apple store instead of other retailers like Best Buy. This simple option of engraving gives the consumer the feeling of their mass produced ipod or ipad is different then everyone else’s because their name or favorite saying has been engraved on the back of the item.  This allows consumers the ability to identify their mass produced item from their friends, neighbors and family members.

As mass customization grows, I think it is going to influence people to be individuals again. and are two blooming websites that encourage mass customization. These sites assign personal shoppers to the consumer and assist them with finding shoes that meet their exact likes and specifications. The ultimate goal is for women to be able to have their own custom shoes so they can express their individual styles.

I recently had a first hand experience with mass customization.  Two weeks ago I purchased a new SUV. I had been shopping around for a while trying to find the SUV that I wanted that met my price requirements along with the options I wanted. Well, it took me about 3 months to finally find what I wanted without having to custom build my SUV.  Well the night I bought it and brought it home my boyfriend immediately let me know that he would be taking it over and I needed to find myself a new one. So the process of finding a new vehicle started all over again. I contacted the dealership and let them know I wanted the same vehicle as the one I purchased but in red. The significance of the red was because red is my favorite color and the original SUV I purchased was black which is my second favorite color. But since my boyfriend was going to be taking over that car, I wanted the same car in my favorite color. Well we were unable to find the exact SUV in red so we had to order it. By ordering it I was able to customize the vehicle to my exact specifications and requirements. As simple as this sounds, it gives me the feeling of my SUV being mine and being different then the original one I purchased that's now being taken over by my boyfriend. Mass customization is the start of individualization again, at least in my opinion.


Halal, W. (2008). Technology’s Promise: expert knowledge on the transformation of business and society. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan

Futurist Prediction: From Smart House to Networked Home

This blog is analysis of the following article:
From Smart House to Networked Home
WFS Home › The Futurist › July-August 2012, Vol. 46, No. 4 › 

By Chris Carbone and Kristin Nauth

Article Analysis:

This prediction pertains to how technology can effect the future of smart homes. This article discusses 10 technology trajectories and their effects on a future smart home. The 10 trajectories are: adaptive environments, cloud intelligence, collaboration economy, contextual reality, cutting the cable, information fusion, interface anywhere, any way, manufacturing 3.0, personal analytics and socially networked stuff (Carbone & Nauth, 2012). The article also discusses the five social drivers and influences for technological advancements. The five described in this article are the maturing of the digital natives, shifting demography, digital DIY, new family dynamics, and constrained family finances. For the sake of this assignment I will discuss cloud intelligence and personal analytics and their effects on the future of smart homes and shifting demography and constrained family finances as drivers and influences that could effect the two mentioned trajectories for smart homes.

The author of this article when he speaks of cloud intelligence and its future effects on smart homes, is referring to the fact that the cloud as we know it will evolve from being the static repository of data into an active resource that people rely on throughout their daily lives (Carbone & Nauth, 2012). In the smart home, the home as well as the cloud will become more adaptive. This adaptation could allow for kitchen appliances to be able to design weekly menus for a family based on the family's health profile, fitness goals and eating preferences. Then the added bonus would be the same appliance actually ordering the ingredients the family needs.

The personal analytics aspect of the smart home directly correlates with the predicted change to cloud intelligence. The personal analytics refers to the idea of data analytics increasing as a consumer tool similar to that of a business tool (Carbone & Nauth, 2012). The premise is that the kitchen appliance mentioned above or a sensor located at the front door could read the body language of the person entering the home and could then determine the person's mood. The sensor/application or kitchen appliance could then determine what should be prepared for dinner, or change the lighting in the room to fit the person's mood. The same appliance could have a glass of wine or a cold beer on the counter for the person as soon as they walk into the kitchen.

In theory both mentioned scenarios for the direction of the smart home seem to be pretty reasonable based on the technological advancements we have seen over the past 10 years. However with all progression there are things that limit and/or negatively effect the progression levels. In this particular case, shifting demography and constrained family finances would be the two biggest forces to negatively effect this progression. Shifting demography has already effected technological advances in that the picture of the family has changed.  People are marrying later in life and therefore they have having children later. As a result the size of the average family is shrinking (Carbone & Nauth, 2012). With these change in demography families are no longer communicating face to face, most communication is being conducted via smart phones, social media and via tablets. Which means the need for family togetherness time has depleted. With the new smart home computing family related information, it would need the family present to have accurate information.

In order for a family to be able to have a smart home with the features mentioned earlier the family would have to be able to afford the home, hence the constrained family finances. Although the thought of technological advancements in the home sounds very appealing, families would have to be able to afford such features. In other words these advances are not a necessity. The cost of building such products will be high which means the cost to consumers will be even higher. One could see a two-tier market emerge in which well-off families adopt smart-homes technology while less-well-off households stick to twentieth-century-style home systems (Carbone & Nauth, 2012).

Carbone, C. & Nauth, K. (2012). The Futurist, From smart house to networked home. 46(4). Retrieved November 22, 2012 from:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

TED Talks: Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future

TED Talks: Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future
FILMED JUN 2012 * POSTED JUL 2012 * TEDGlobal 2012

In this video Marc Goodman discusses the future of crimes and the effects technology has in enhancing such crimes. Mr. Goodman opened up with a simple pager and cell phone reference. In this reference he states that in the late 80’s early 90’s drug dealers and gang members had cell phones and pagers before doctors and police officers. Then Mr. Goodman goes on to say how with today’s technology, Drug Cartels have built cell phone networks from the ground up. (Here he show’s a picture of one of the many cell phone network towers that are located in many states in Mexico). The significance of these cell phone towers is the fact that every day citizens cannot get good cell phone reception in San Francisco, yet Drug Lords have their own cell phone networks which allow them and their organization members to have clear reception and allows them to stay connected.  This ability to stay connected has allowed them to stay ahead of the police and FBI. It allows them to stay in business and increase their profits. It has also given them the ability to track those who may owe them money and goods and services, almost undetected.
Those who are into crimes have found several technological based ways to accomplish their crimes. The average home burglary has gone hi-tech. With people posting their whereabouts on social medias like Facebook and Twitter, those who want to break into someone’s home will know in advance or real time if the people are home or not. With public mapping resources like google earth and google maps, burglars can watch their potential victim’s home right from the internet. Mr. Goodman’s point behind this analogy is the fact that technology is enhancing those who are able to use technology for crimes.
So how does one protect their self? One of the main points is be cautious and mindful.  Meaning, don’t make everything in your private life public knowledge.  If you need to let people know, pick up the phone and call them or talk to them in person. Take back come control of personal privacy. As cyber crimes and every day crimes continue to grow based on technology, we as users need to be more selective on how we use technology, what we use technology for and what we post on the internet.
FILMED JUN 2012 * POSTED JUL 2012 * TEDGlobal 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Delphi Method vs NGT Method

The decision making methodology used t o perform course evaluations is known as the modified nominal group technique (NGT). NGT uses different methods as a means for evaluation to include, surveys, pretests, focus groups, posttests and interviews to draw the necessary conclusions. NGT is an all inclusive methodology which means it does not “discriminate” in whom can participate in the methodology. The means for documenting NGT is that of tallying. As a group discusses their contributions and opinions, NGT allows for collaboration and discussion, which in my opinion can have either a positive or negative effect on the group’s outcome. But experts believe that this collaboration actually contributes to the “purity” of the data collected from the group. In other words a true group opinion can be formed based off this collaboration effort.

The Delphi method focuses more on the opinion and knowledge of experts. The Delphi method works especially well when the goal is to improve our understanding of problems, opportunities, solutions or to develop forecasts (Skulmoski, Hartman and Krahn, 2007). The Delphi Decision Making Process is a brainstorming technique used to draw conclusions. The traditional Delphi process starts with an open-ended questionnaire that a panel of selected experts is to answer. This panel of experts usually consists of subject matter experts in the particular field of area in question. In subsequent rounds of the process, participants rate the relative importance of individual items and also make changes to the phrasing or substance of the items in question. This process usually goes through multiple rounds (typically 3) prior to the process yields a consensus (Custer, Scarella, and Stewart, 1999). In my opinion since this method only focuses on the input of experts, I think it is not taking into consideration the other possibilities from non experts. In other words, experts have a scholarly look at things and not necessarily a true practical view that everyday people have and/or experienced.
For me I am all about all inclusive, full spectrum views so I would have to select the NGT method. Again, if one is really trying to get a full view or opinion on something, one must have a diverse panel to discuss and address the issue(s) at hand. The more diverse the panel the more likely an informed inclusive answer will be reached.

Custer, R. L., Scarcella, J. A., & Stewart, B. R. (1999). The Modified Delphi Technique - A Rotational Modification. Journal of Vocational and Technical Education. Vol. 15, Num. 2, Spring 1999. Retrieved November 3, 2012:

Dobbie, A., MD., Rhodes, M., FRCGP, Tysinger, J. W., PhD., & Freeman, J., MD. (2004). Using a modified nominal group technique as a curriculum evaluation tool. Family Medicine.

Skulmoski, G., Hartman, F. T., & Krahn, J. (2007). The Delphi method for graduate research. Journal of Information Technology Education. Vol. 6.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Agora: new geometry of languaging and new technology of democracy

New Agora: new geometry of languaging and new technology of democracy

The Architecture of the Structured Design Dialogue Process (SDDP) is a methodology in which the idea of full spectrum planning is used to draw a collaborated answer to an issue, problem or analysis. This methodology has been in use for more than 30 years. The years of research is not that of theory but of applied methods. SDDP encompasses analytical thoughts, collaboration and contributions from hundreds of effective practitioners and professionals working in the field of study. The SDDP is comprised of 31 components which are divided into 7 modules. Those modules are: 6 consensus methods, 7 language patterns, 3 key role responsibilities, 4 stages of interactive inquiry, collaborative software facility, and 6 dialogue laws.

 The SSD process supports planning for innovation and change in that it is based on true collaboration, insight and input.  In order for organizations to successfully be innovative and to plan for the future they need collaboration amongst the entire organization.  This collaboration stems to all departments, leadership, and all aspects of the organization to comprise a full spectrum view of the future planning of the organization. This deems to be a successful model in that with all aspects of the organization having input from the start, it keeps departments from halting or changing the direction of the plan later in the process.  This gives each department full "voting rights" at the start.  They are able to provide their opinions, wishes and dislikes.


Schreibman, V. & Christakis, A. N. (2007). New Agora: new geometry of languaging and new
technology of democracy. The structured design dialogue process. International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies, 1(1), 15 - 31

Friday, November 9, 2012

Key Trend and Tablet Computing Combined

Key Trend: People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
Technology: Tablet Computing

Reading this report on tablet computing has reiterated information I have been conveying to my fellow work and school colleagues for the past 2 years. After purchasing my iPad2 over a year ago, I have not left home without it. The only place I don’t use my iPad is at work (because it is against the site security policy to bring in any form of tablet, cell phone, laptop, computer or media device). Do to the portability and convenience; I actually keep my iPad (and my wireless keyboard) in my purse. This Horizon report stresses how people now expect to work, learn, and study whenever and where ever they are. Work and learning are often two sides of the same coin, and people want easy and timely access not only to the information on the network, but also to tools, resources and up-to-the moment analysis and commentary (Johnson, Adams, & Cummins, 2012). A major force that affects people being able to work, learn and study anywhere is culture. It was once thought that only those with money or those who came from families with higher education would be the only ones able to achieve higher education. Because of the convenience of online education everyone has the same opportunities for higher learning. As a culture, the mind set of not needing or wanting or being able to have an education needs to shift. Those without higher education now, have to adjust their mind sets because an education for all is very much achievable.

I am a living witness and example of a person who expects to work and learn at anytime. My iPad, allows me to do just that. Since purchasing my “tablet” the easy of retrieving information and having access to so many different applications has allowed me to be more productive during times I would normally be sitting and wasting time. For instance, when I get my hair done, I am now able to sit under the drier and complete my school work. Why? Because of only educational institutions like CTU and my tablet having internet access through Wi-fi. Tablet computing presents new opportunities to  enhance learning experiences in ways simply possible with other devises (Johnson, & et. al., 2012). Tablet computing has allowed people of all situations the opportunity to pursue education and have computer access because of their portability and affordability. Because tablets are able to tap into all the advantages that mobile apps bring to smaller devices, but in a larger format, higher education institutions are seeing them not just as an affordable solution for one-to-one learning, but also as a feature-rich tool for field and lab work, often times replacing far more expensive and cumbersome devices and equipment (Johnson, & et. al., 2012). Affordability of tablets is an economical force that will continue to allow tablet computing to be successful trend. Even Apple sees the opportunity and as a result, they have created a smaller and less expensive version of their iPad.
Does the modified Delphi process that they used to develop it affect the results?
For this particular study, I think the Delphi process used provides a true big picture view of the world as it is. The panel selected for this research provides a great level of collaboration on the subject of trends and technology as it relates to education the direction education is going in. I think the Delphi process used provided a full spectrum view.

Johnson, Adams, & Cummins, (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas. The New Media Consortium.