In recent years, we have seamlessly progressed towards connected-communities. As such, an ever-increasing wave of new smart products is meshing into our lives. Welcome to the new era of Smart Society.
Eindhoven’s High Tech Campus (HTC) currently holds the top spot on Innovation in Europe. As a matter of fact, HTC is quickly becoming the driving force on several key technologies in the global arena.
On 9th November 2018, HTC hosted the very first “High Tech Next: Accelerating our Smart Society”. HH Constantijn van Oranje’s presence clearly marks the sheer importance. He proudly shared his views on the ground-breaking technologies and leadership in The Netherlands. It was a full-day event, with several world-class speakers from technology giants such as imec, Huawei, Philips, TomTom, IBM, and VRee. Coupled with enthusiastic questions from the audience, we had a remarkable experience.
What is a Smart Society? Does it frighten some of us? Indeed, this was the starting point of the day, with John Baekelmans. He mesmerized us with examples of city planning at Antwerp, where he is launching his trials. The “smart zones” are fitted with cameras and intelligent lighting. Everything is connected and working together to enhance social lives in the neighborhood, whilst maintaining personal privacy. He shared his vision of the distant future with connected technologies embedded in our daily lives. We would have healthier lives. And all the more with intelligent infrastructure, we would be able to prevent floods, traffic jams and improve air quality. In short, he prepared us for worry-free life in the near future.
In the last years, we see that Data Traffic has more than tripled. However, a tenfold increase is predicted in the coming 5 years. Integrated healthcare, connected home appliances, robotics, drones, driverless cars etc will demand a new infrastructure. Fortunately, the upcoming 5G wireless system addresses this point. This is the efficient platform necessary to manage this futuristic landscape. Thankfully, we had Jurjen Veldhuizen and Jeroen Thijsen, to reassure us. Yes, we are on track with the right technology for the coming years.
How could we discuss Smart Society, without touching on driverless cars? We had the pleasure of Harold Goddijn, to share his views on “Mapping the Road to Autonomous Driving”. Eventually, the driverless car would be a connected system of “car-cloud-car” loop. This would be a live-feed system to optimize the journey, with time, energy and road safety. Wonder if we would still need a driving license?
Artificial intelligence is the future
Virtual Reality (VR) is not just for gamers. Menno Bischops shared several examples on successful applications of VR. Particularly, his system focusses on value-for-money. He proudly shared that the Dutch military was using his system for training purposes. Moreover, Bischops sees huge potential opportunities with VR adapted for many other industries and applications.
But now, are we losing ourselves? Are we in control with all these daunting artificial intelligence-based technologies? Though many worry about the impact, Christian Kromme is positive. He explained the parallels between the 7 phases in human evolution to the 7 phases in our technological evolution. He believes that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the tsunami that brings us into a new era. Furthermore, this new technology will advance humanity ten times more than any of the previous technological phases. More importantly, he reassures us that we are heading towards a more meaningful and purposeful future. Perhaps to start all over again, when we colonize other planets!
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For Eindhoven News: Aroop Bhattacharjee