Viodi View – 11/03/14

Taking care of their own, finding and nurturing local talent and giving back to the community sets the San Francisco Giants apart from other professional sports organizations, to paraphrase one of the many speakers at the boisterous parade held for the improbable 2014 World Series Champions. It was also said that this sort of event is one of those rare things that can bridge barriers and bring people together in a megalopolis like the 7M+, Bay Area. Hearing these words made me think of my friends with rural broadband telecommunications’ companies and how they do these sorts of things every day; they are world champions in my eyes.

It was nice to see someone from the FCC who seems to get the importance of a local presence in developing broadband’ networks and the associated ecosystems. At last week’s Calix User Group, the FCC’s Jonathan Chambers suggested that local telecommunications providers understand the needs and are important parts of their respective communities. He reminded attendees that, “What all of you do makes a difference in people’s lives.” Stay tuned for interviews from the Calix User Group with some of the folks who are finding ways to make a difference in their respective communities.


Highlights of “How Google Works” at the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley by Alan Weissberger

A picture of the Google book.
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Google is well-known for its unique philosophy, culture and innovative spirit. From Android smart phones/tablets, wearable devices to self-driving cars, Google continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with technology. On October 2, 2014, Eric Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman and Former CEO, joined co-author and Google Advisor Jonathan Rosenberg to discuss How Google Works“-  the title of their new book.

Click here to read this exclusive and excellent report on this discussion of one of Silicon Valley’s most important companies.


Intel Inside the Infiniti

Intel at the Infiniti booth at International CES 2014.
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Reinforced by its long-running and successful “Intel-Inside” marketing campaign, Intel has long been the heart of personal computers. In this video, filmed at the 2014 International CES Conference, Intel’s Lindsay Sech explains how their technology is now turning the automobile into effectively a mobile computer. In addition to providing safety features like lane departure prevention, adding brains results in personalization of the automobile experience like never before.

Click here to read more and to view.


Instrument Driving

The In-Dash display of a multi-camera, after-market system for a car at the 2014 International CES.
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An after-market, four-camera system coupled with an in-dash display effectively turns an old car into a smart car. Rob Haynes demonstrates Rydeen Mobile’s RDV360 and explains how this system works and how it can provide warnings for drivers of objects that are in their blind spots. This could be an especially valuable add-on for commercial entities with poor visibility, fleet vehicles. Additionally, the video recording capability could be invaluable in determining the cause of an accident.

Click here to read more and to view.


Text and Drive No More

The Cell Control app demonstrated at International CES 2014.
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Messages abound these days about the perils of texting while driving. Peer pressure and the associated legal ramifications are not enough, however, to prevent many people from using their smart device while driving. Cell Control solves the problem with a technology that disables the cell phone while a vehicle is in motion. Beyond the obvious application of preventing teenage members of the family, this could have huge applications for entities with fleet vehicles.

Click here to read more and view.


Autonomy Offers Potential to Transform Public Transportation – Autonomous Vehicle View

Depiction of V2V in urban area - image courtesy of U.S. D.O.T.
Depiction of V2V in urban area – image courtesy of U.S. D.O.T.

Riding my bike yesterday in a neighborhood bypassed by the relatively new wealth generated by the tech companies of Silicon Valley, I spotted an elderly woman standing (no benches) at a bus stop. It was in a somewhat isolated, industrial area that hasn’t changed much in 50 years. From wherever she came from, it had to have been a hike, particularly for someone who looked like she was in her eighties. For people like her, autonomous vehicles that provide near on-demand service and point-to-point delivery from home to destination cannot get here fast enough.

Click here to read some recent articles on this potentially disruptive technology.


Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • Former FCC Chairman and current NCTA president and CEO, Michael Powell points out that competition is the best way to ensure that consumers get the best deal in this op-ed piece. Current FCC Chairman Wheeler has said the same thing. It will be interesting to see whether Wheeler’s latest proposals have the desired effect. Of course, tomorrow could change everything and maybe Congress will get involved.
  • I wish I would have run that drill when coaching youth baseball. There is a good lesson for anyone in the workforce as well.

The Korner – Auto Technology Collection on The Video Exchange

The challenges and opportunities surrounding local content were discussed on a panel I moderated last week at the Calix User Group. Joining me was Kurt Gruendling of WCVT, Edward Hinson of Skyline Membership Corporation and Ryan Tupper of Innovative Systems. The panel went beyond the traditional concept of local content, as we looked at the idea of managed over-the-top video and how it could be combined with local sources of video to provide an offering that is complementary to traditional video packages. Some tips and ideas of what works to leverage the talent that is in an operator’s midst were also given.

Still, even with local talent, it is just too much for most small operators to fill up a line-up with home-grown content. Edward Hinson indicated that Skyline Membership Corporation’s CEO, Jimmy Blevens, started The Video Exchange to help all operators acquire relevent content for their local channels. At the same time, this exchanges allows operators to take content that is on the shelf and repurpose it, helping their fellow local content producers.

To better prepare myself for the panel, I tried The Video Exchange. The interface is easy-to-use, particularly given that is a 1.0 release. The folks at the video exchange have been very responsive to suggestions and have a strong incentive to make it work for both sellers and buyers.

The Auto Technology collection on the Video Exchange.
The Auto Technology collection on the Video Exchange.

Viodi’s first collection at The Video Exchange is now online. This collection features videos from International CES 2014 dealing with automotive and vehicle technology. At 24 minutes and 15 seconds, it is just about the right length for a 30 minute filler program. Of course, the seven episodes could be split up into a multi-part series that could complement a local tech show program.

Viodi is exploring some ideas as to how to help bring CES and its excitement to the operators and the aforementioned collection is the first baby step. Operators, let me know if you are interested in learning more about how Viodi’s CES plans might be able to help you with your local content offering.

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