The Telemetric Era: How Predictive Analytics and Embedded Sensing Will Change Our World

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The Telemetric Era: How Predictive Analytics and Embedded Sensing Will Change Our World

In Ride the Wave: How 12 Technologies Will Change the World and Make You Rich, we explained the powerful forces that are converging to fundamentally transform our lives.1 Three of those forces are:

  1. The relentless price-performance improvement in digital computing hardware
  2. The pervasive embedding of sensing and intelligence in everything we touch
  3. The dramatic advances in "smart machines."

We're all familiar with the overlapping and reinforcing waves that represent the culmination of the first half of the Digital Techno-Economic Revolution driven by semiconductors, mobile and embedded computing, and the foundations of artificial intelligence.

Going forward, these enabling technologies will rapidly evolve and make it possible for today's emerging and embryonic technologies—including service robotics, genomics, bio-reengineering, and nanomaterials—to become truly cost-effective and pervasive.

Many of these game-changing technologies will only begin to transform our lives as the second stage of the Digital Revolution accelerates in the coming decade. However, predictive analytics is already upon us, and it's creating both excitement and anxiety.

Suddenly, concepts like "expert systems" and "decision-support systems," which were conceived decades ago, can become reality because advances in computing, communications, and storage, as well as changes in human behavior, have now reached "critical mass."

Some experts are already referring to this new era as "the age of telemetry." Why? Because streams of data provided by sensors embedded in our phones and cars are converging with those from supermarket checkouts, the World Wide Web, electronic medical records, and myriad security systems to monitor minute details on a real-time basis.

For the first time, we have the computing horsepower that can make sense of this data by harnessing Bayesian analysis and neural networks to complement conventional algorithms. In short, we cannot only determine what's happening right now with unprecedented precision; we can also anticipate what will happen next with an accuracy that was never before possible.

A big portion of the benefits derived from predictive analytics will come from applications like Chematica, the amazing "chemist in a box" system that's likely to enable a quantum leap in the efficiency and effectiveness of every industry that uses chemical processes to create products or services.

Similarly, cutting-edge work like the ENCODE project will apply "big data" and predictive analytics to the life sciences in ways that will create enormous value...

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