Reportage from ITS World Congress in Vienna for LINKIESTA

“Intelligente”: e difficilmente avrebbe potuto essere altrimenti visto che l’intero ITS World Conference ITS World Conference ovvero l’evento mondiale oggi al via che riunisce l’innovazione sul presente (ma soprattutto il futuro) del trasporto ce la mette tutta a mostrare il lato smart del “muoversi” in città e fuori. Lo sforzo è in parte riuscito…leggi il resto: 

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What does writing a patent looks like? A matter on the shape of ideas.

To be extremely honest when I was on my high school desk I didn’t ever think that one day I would receive a paper like this. Looks like I am a scientist or a genius and, you know, I am not. It just makes you feel your ideas has a physical value.

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And it’s somehow a nice feeling to be recognized and awarded for what you think instead, for example, of the way you dress. But we’ve seen the extremes of this concept in the war between Samsung and Apple. Many of those assumptions are surely right but some of them are pretty ridiculous, as said by most of the journalists when the discussion turn to the radius of curved corners. I would like to know what Mr Richard Sapper or Dieter Rams would say about the overall Apple design which is the updated copy of the Braun sharp lines created by the german design-gurus. This open a matter about the concept of ideas even before the one on patents.

We tend to give immediate value to things and ideas makes no exception. What if we would let ideas to appear, shape up, change, grow or simply disappear? Full stop. Sure, sooner or later we could bring them down to earth and make some billion dollars in the next start up. But this could be (and it is) an exception. As many entepreneurs and start-uppers said, one of the rules not written of the start-up process is the flow of changes from the original idea, that means, simply, other ideas born thanks to one first one idea, but also to an open minded process. One could argue that without crystallizing that first, draft idea in a patent you could not build up the following ones in order to generate an economic value. T

hat’s true, but we all know how patent offices need so many details about your idea in order to make one different from the other. Like the radius of a corner, even if it is silly as much as a boring idea which will spend his life in the cage of a patent instead fly free in the mind of others.

 

My first post on LINKIESTA.it

Dear reader,
first of all happy 2012. I had the chance (thanks to Jacopo Tondelli) to start a collaboration with LINKIESTA.it, one of the (my opinion 🙂 best magazine online. My collaboration begins today, my blog-column is named Sonar and I’ll write about what I define the “un-sustainable” mobility, i.e. how travelling and moving around can be damned tough through these “smart cities”. These posts will be only in italian, I am sorry, but if you feel there is something you would like to know more, just write me and I’ll do my best to translate it in english. Enjoy anyway and thanks for following.

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The way to l’Olympia: fundraising? Yes we can

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We all have dreams. For some it is easier to achieve than others. Then when you add fate and events things become even more difficult, difficult as it was in 2011 for Eleonora. But the past is over and dreams are dreams, you know. What’s stronger than a dream come true? To make the dream come true. This is our project: to transform the dream of Eleonora into reality.

So I started this incredible, wonderful, experience on december 2011. I kicked-off a fundraising w/o a single euro in my pocket. My target was to bring Eleonora and a whole crew to Paris to attend the concert of the italian rock band “The Pooh” on january 25th at the Olympia and – at the same time – shoot a film about transportation and disability. The full story of this experience is here. Please enjoy

www.ulule.com/olympia

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The way to L’Olympia: help me to fundraise a dream

I just lanched a fundrising campaign to help Eleonora to travel from Nettuno to Paris to attend the concert of The Pooh, her favorite band ever, at the OlympiaBut since the other side of the dream is realitywe decided to use the opportunity of this trip to shoot a video, “The way to l’Olympia”, of what it means to travel in Europe A.D. 2012  if, by chance, you are a disabled person. A road movie that we intend to bring and present at all the movie festivals  where talks about mobility, transport, tourism, travel are the subject.To tell, to understand, to engage, to amuse. To let people think. To promote change. Please give your support right now, help me to make it happen. Go to

http://www.ulule.com/olympia/

 

 

 

The internet of thought: a manifesto

 

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It is a bit of time I still feel the presence of something indefinable that revolves around the evolution of the Internet and the social context that was generated by it. But as I read and search I still feel the lack of a boosta light in one directionSo many apps, so much “system of systems”, so much smartness, so much cloud, so much interface matters, so much iPadsin other words so much business as usualWhat I lacked was a decisivedeep, structural evolutionary trajectory in which people+technology+things will head in the years to come. Since the end there was nothing that would fit what I felt, well…I tried to interpret it in my small and within the limits of my ability. 

Welcome to the Internet of Thought,  the discussion is open and your contribution is essential.

From Nettuno to New York

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There is a long way between Nettuno (Italy) and New York (USA 🙂 and also many differences. Together the two cities have one thing for sure: the ability to identify good ideas. So it is easy to see how has its roots in the AccessibleCityTagging (act!) pilot project which we launched almost two years ago. From the first moment my smart american colleagues understood that act! had a great potential to help and support the people with disabilities while travelling, commuting, visiting. Since then, leveraging the experience we’ve made in Nettuno, we start working toghether as a global-but-unique team. It is not an easy walk to work between Italy, France, Canada and the United States as anyone who has developed complex projects on a global scale knows quite well, but it is also the living proof that things can be done when a good idea can shift from “good” to be really “helpful” for people. So in conjunction with IBM’s Centennial anniversary THINK exhibit at Lincoln Center in New York City (N.Y.C.), IBM (IBM Human Centric Solution Center Europe, IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center, IBM GBS Canada) has launched the pilot of a first-of-a-kind mobile travel application called Access My N.Y.C.

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Designed to help IBM and municipal leaders better define requirements for more inclusive Smarter Travel and Transportation, Access My N.Y.C. brings together geo-location and mapping technologies, transportation data, and publicly available accessibility information to help N.Y.C. residents and visitors:

  • Find information about accessible public and private transportation and plan a public transit or walking route
  • Identify accessible points of interest citywide, including restaurants, hotels and commonly visited attractions
  • Customize search criteria to filter accessibility information by personal needs and preferences
  • Rate and Tweet about the accessibility of city transportation systems and points of interest. Especially helpful for people with mobility challenges, Access My N.Y.C. demonstrates the possible benefits of aggregating and merging  existing city accessibility and transportation data to better serve urban populations.

Individuals can access the pilot application free of charge through October 23rd from their iPhone®, Android® device, iPad®, laptop or desktop computer.

You can comment on the IBM Accessibility fan page on Facebook; or start a conversation with IBM Accessibility on LinkedIn

I drove the future (oops! I liked it again)

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As Britney would say: “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I think I did it again.” I had the opportunity to try another electric car, a Renault this time, and I liked it again. The basic emotions are the same: the feeling of being a novice Batman who silently cruise in the dark metropolis. The kick in the ass when you push the throttle. That vague sense of being “in to the future.” If I can say, maybe all it seemed a little more normal than my recent lap in the Peugeot iON. It is a second experience, for sure, but also the Fluence Z.E. Renault is more a “car” than the Peugeot. The Fluence is not a nice object, but is not the fault of the electric: here is the design of the french middle class that makes it a bit flat. But comfort, quality, material are all those you can find in an average car of this type. The german ones are on another planet (not even all electric though). I was allowed only do a little lap downtown Milan: via Larga, via Visconti di Modrone, Corso Europa and back to Piazza del Duomo, however passing by the Tesla dealership windows was symbolic: a brand/dealer that sells only electric cars, view from inside a fully electric powered car, into the center of an european city in 2011. If this is not the future, it is not far off. The future is certainly the tense of the verbs: there is some aspect to be clarified, but the commitment seems to be enthusiastic. 

On top of everything, the Renault attempt to propose a sustainable model. I believe it is clear to everyone that build a “green planet” it is not just a matter of “product”, but also to give access to a fully sustainable process, i.e. the full the capability to recharge and above all the sales formula to lower the costs and spread the diffusion. 
On the first point Renault can do little but try to expand as much as possible the charging modes so that we could recharge almost everywhere (hoping that someone will face structural steps in this direction) including a portable-huge-transformer which seems so much a late-Eighties portable phone who would allow you to recharge your car at home…(yes but where? you need kilometers of cable-extention if you live in an average downtown flat). 
On the second point, however, Renault made a smart move and offers a full inclusive rental formula or the chance to purchase the car and to rent the vehicle’s battery. Why? Well I think it is a good idea to try to lower costs in general and especially not force us to buy the item (the battery) which will have a crucial development in the coming years in terms of capacity, weight, efficiency and effectiveness. 
 

Renault’s strategy Z.E. (Zero emissions) declaims 4 billion euros investment involving over 2000 people in development (maybe a couple more in the design department could facilitate the operations of spreading). Waiting for a ride on the most ambitious Twizy and Zoe, the best proposal looks like the good old Kangoo ZE. I do not see why it could not immediately become an alternative (compulsory?) for inner city deliveries. With a bit of logistical support by the municipalities, this seems more a likely present than a possible future. 

A brief (not needed) apology of Watson

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I must admit I was impressed. I’m one of those who have seen it all now and instead I had not (yet) seen anything. The visit to the ‘IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center – the headquarters for IBM Research – opened to me a scenario, a world, a way of seeing things that is hard to feel out here. We take everything for granted, we accept any development of a chip or a system for photographing objects the size of a billionth of a meter as if it were normal, natural, obvious. We are too used to the concept of “release” generated by the hypertrophy of the software. And if we all give thanks to the software, perhaps we should also give thanks to all that is around the software. In the year of the Lord 2011 I saw people DO NOT write lines of code. I’ve seen people work WITHOUT a computer in front of their eyes. I saw a light in those same eyes of passion, desire and enthusiasm that I had never seen before and those eyes were not 19 years old: they had well over 40 years. I believe that to really understand what is behind 100 years of story of IBM it is necessary to spend a little time around Yorktown Heights, NY. It should be an institutional obligation, if nothing else for us that we work at IBM. It could happen to find a button in your hand, go back in the Seventies and answer the questions lasted in a tight Jeopardy game Watson vs. Humans (and loose …) as it happened to me. Or you may find yourself in the cafeteria to talk amiably with two fellow retired who –every Friday afternoon, here are available to chat, talk about their experience, give some advice to young people. And they do it live in person, in the face of the social networks.

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