NASA nurtured many innovations, from a portable communications system to an ultrasound machine for telemedicine, that have made the leap from space to Earth.
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The German Aerospace Center and private firm IQ Wireless created FireWatch, a terrestrial detection tool that employs high-resolution optical sensors on towers or masts to monitor forests for fires. The system, which consists of a network of rotating high-res cameras, can detect fires in any weather and at any time of day, and uses image processing software to analyze the motion, structure and brightness of smoke. It then alerts monitoring personnel, who receive images and coordinates that are passed on to emergency responders. FireWatch protects more than seven million acres of forests around the world. The technology was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2012. Image credit: DLR
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?