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The Next Big Thing SuperSession: The new hardwareBrian Cooley and Tim Stevens discuss sensor-based hardware innovations with top leaders in the tech industry.
-Hello, everybody. Welcome to CNET's Next Big Thing. Great to have you here. It's a real pleasure to be here yet again with a lot of familiar faces here at CES 2014. I'm joined by editor-at-large, Tim Stevens, this year and it's a real pleasure to have him with us. Hello and welcome to this edition that is in our 10th year, by the way, and I am Brian Cooley. -And I'm Tim Stevens. And we are on a cusp of a major shift in innovation driven by what are hardware sensors and not just what it does. -And if you wanna join us on Twitter, which I hope you will, we've got our hashtag set up as #CNETNBT, so CNET Next Big Thing, just #CNETNBT will get you through that. -And for those folks who are here in the room, we are gonna be giving you an opportunity to ask us some questions. So, now can be a good time to start thinking, ask some good ones. -Now, let's get right into it. Now, we've got some framework setup. You wanna know, what is the next big thing this year? I'm sure you're itching to find out where that's taking us. Let's take a look now at how devices from smartwatches to televisions and everything in between that wide spectrum of size and scope are getting closer to each of us by knowing what we are doing and almost intending in some very different ways. Take a look. -Today's so-called personal technology in many ways isn't. We poke at unnatural QWERTY keyboards, stab at touch interfaces of varying understandability, and repeat ourselves to clunky voice recognition tech. -Please try again. -What if it was just more natural? Sensor-based hardware that interprets the movements we make, the words we're saying-- -Text mom, I'm running late. -Even the direction we're looking is about to revolutionize consumer electronics. Connecting glasses will augment our view of the world by following our gaze, knowing our location, and mining our preferences. Fitness bands measure steps, stairs, and sleep to feed apps that-- not just to live and feel just a little better. But with smart home controls, today's dumb dwellings will know when we're home or be able to guess when we will be, saving energy and having things just the way we want them with less work, not more. And home entertainment is now responding to gesture and voice instead of our cane remotes and program guides. There's even a soccer ball that reads your footwork. But as devices sense more, they need to present it elegantly or just risk being complicated with more data. And nothing says privacy intrusion more than a technology that can read your life without you inputting anything. This will be a new frontier in user respect for an industry that hasn't always been the best effect. And as this trend brings CE closer to each of us, designers must respond what devices we covet enough to wear, not just accept. The future will be sensed. Let's find out how we get that. All right. This is topic one at CES this year. It threads to almost everything at the show. Let's meet the minds that are gonna help us discover what's moving this revolution forward. -First up, Sonny Vu is CEO of Misfit Wearables and makers of the Shine. Sonny Vu. -Sonny, welcome. -A great looking wearable fitness and activity tracker. Sonny, go ahead and take your seat. Thanks for being with us. Now, Mike Bell is vice president and general manager of the New Devices Group at Intel. Please help us welcome him on the stage as well. -Hey, Mike, welcome. Good to see you. -Thanks, Mike. Good to see you. -Good to see you. -Jim Buczkowski is director of electrical and electronic innovation at Ford's Research and Innovation Center. -Hi, Jim. -Hey, guys. -Welcome. -Don't miss him in Ford vehicle, the vehicle tech and the new Mustang showing in a couple of places here at the show as well. And Julie Larson-Green is executive vice-president of devices and studios at Microsoft that includes the Xbox team. Bring on Julie. -Hey, Julie. -Welcome. -Nice meeting you, Julie. -Once you sit on there, I'm gonna be here because the camera insists that I'd be here. We're putting ugly on this end. That's what we're doing. -Oh, thanks. -What a warm welcome. Very good. All right. So, let's get started here. First of all, jump-ball question for all of you. What kind of sensor technology first came to mind when we put this opportunity out to you? What did you think, "Oh, that's what they're looking for?" What's kind of a hot button in your mind that you expected this to be about so we can kind of plum your top of mind. -How about all at once? -Okay. I'll-- -Sensors-- -The sensor will overload if we do that. -I'll start it. Again, I'm coming from the auto industry, relating to the kind of things we're doing is sensors under seats in the vehicle, so we can sense the [unk], not only the simple things, but things like heart, as an example. We've talked about examples where, you know, we can help provide feedback to customers to improve their driving environment. -And Jim, I've noticed that you're wearing a Pebble there and you're also wearing a Shine as well, right? -I am. -[unk] here. -As I mentioned, they're not specifically because I was gonna be on this panel, I did like-- I think it's really the combination of utility, the experience as well as how it looks. I enjoy my Pebble. I just got it before the holidays, but I do have a lot better looking watches than this Pebble. So, I do enjoy the look of the design. -That's a topic point we're gonna cover later as we talk about design of these devices. -Other high points on sensors, Julie. -Yeah. For me, I think it was more of a kind of a walk down the memory lane on different ways that we had inflections of hardware, software, and services coming together. And I thought all the way back to Microsoft's first idea of interaction of gesture with voice with-- I don't know if anyone of you remembers that we have a product called Actimates and it was an Arthur doll interacting with children in the television and use gesture. And so, it was an idea way before its time. We didn't have, you know, the processing capabilities, the connectivity, and all the things that we have today to create these kinds of devices, but it was kind of fun to think through, you know, how that's been evolving over time and why now is such an exciting time in the industry. -And of course, Kinect was a huge success on the Xbox 360. -Sometimes, you can attribute Kinect all the way back in all the work we've been doing in speech for a really long time. I think even Kinect 1.0 was really just a feature of the Xbox, but now, it is a way of working with the device and you're starting to see all kinds of proliferation of voice and gesture and vision into the way people are using technology today and you see it all over the floor in CES. It's really exciting to see how, you know, ideas become innovations and these ideas that have impact will really call innovations that change your life. -Yeah. And of course, the Kinect is now very tightly integrated with Xbox One. How do you think it will be before we see that sort of thing with desktop or tablet or maybe-- -Oh, there's Kinect for Windows today-- -Uh-huh. -and they will continue to evolve that. There's lots of really interesting things going on in the industry. Intel had some interesting-- -Yeah. -announcements on a similar thing yesterday. -Yeah. Mike, fill us in on some of it very briefly. -Well, we have a whole group that's dedicated to what we call perceptual computing and the whole idea is that, you know, much like you shared in your video up there, there should be ways to interact with, I'll just say, PC-- PCs, tablets, some of the devices my team is working on where you don't have to touch it, swipe it. I mean, when you think about it, if you're limited to touching and swiping that defines the form factor and really limits the creativity-- -Yeah. -of what you can build, right, 'cause if the hardware size is defined that really you're sort of starting at a point you may not wanna start [unk] from. -Yeah. So, we're looking at getting a radical new hardware design going back to the drawing board, if you will, and stay with me. What can we pick up in the sense versus what is intentional input in the time forward? -Well, I think-- Well, I think we have to. And if you really want the promise of wearable technology to come forward, I think we have to think about it that way because if everything is just sort of a square thing on your wrist, it doesn't sound very interesting. -Yeah. Sonny, what got you into-- you're the-- you've got the new startup here, two years of Misfit, what got you focused on a sensor-based device? -You know, in my last company, we did glucose monitoring meters and strips and the last thing we did was a glucose meter that was for the iPhone. And the problem that that solved was being able to get people to test more because they just had their iPhone with them all the time, and therefore, their glucose meter which was attached to it. And so, when we thought about the new company, what we're gonna do, how else can we get technology to be used kind of passively and so we thought, well, there's ambient sensing kind of like what you guys are doing, NC2 sensing which is totally awesome, we just didn't know anything about it, so I'm not that startup well. But then, we looked at wearables as the other way of having technology with you all the time. So, that's how we looked into that. And activity monitoring was kind of like the first kind of lowest hanging fruit on the tree. And I think really in this day and age when we have sensors, we have this unprecedented ability to gather the volumes of data that we can. And it's mostly enabled, I think, because of this thing,-- -Yeah. -the smartphone and mobile internet. And so, that's where we got started. But fitness and activity tracking are really just the beginning, I think. There are so many more interesting use cases for wearables beyond just like fitness tracking. -Now, audience, you've already heard from everyone of our panelists just in the early chat here that this idea of redesigning devices has come up again and again, a chance to go with a clean slate and that form and function need to re-follow each other. When you change the way you interact with devices, you also change their look and feel by definition. In many ways, the sensor era could be opening up a new golden era for innovative designers. Let's take a look. -In the early days of consumer electronics and personal devices, a gadget's appeal depended only on its level of function. These were devices that used sensors or other techniques to learn about you and fit into your lifestyle. Instead, it was you who hadn't figured out how to work with them. One look at models like the Motorola DynaTAC or every laptop from the mid-90s and you'll see the battery life performance and features always trumped the beautiful design. Today, with gadget revenues measured in billions in store shelves stocked with device after device after device, all doing the same basic thing in so many different ways, design becomes an important means of differentiation. For some, how a gadget looks and feels is just as important as how much it costs and how long its battery survives. Thanks in large part to Apple's videos obsessing over the value of good design, device aesthetics have quickly escalated from nicety to necessity. Phones like the HTC One, Nokia Lumia 900, and iPhone 5 look and act nothing alike, yet are beautiful and clean in the form and function. Design is an art form and great gadget designers are now considered artists. They've made their mark on the industry and the industry is better for it, but new shapes like the bendable LG G Flex and Curved Samsung Round show us that design continues to evolve with technology. As this evolution continues, what shapes the next generation of device design? And with new sensors and new functionality making these devices ever more powerful, how will future user interfaces adapts to control them? -Julie, you built a pretty big hardware team up there in Redmond for working on Surface pretty much from scratch. What does it take to build a team like that to be competitive [unk]? -Sure. It wasn't completely from scratch 'cause we had the surface table that we've started before which is a big, you know, table for touchscreen computing. So, we've done a lot of work with that team during Windows 7 when we had to touch into Windows 7, and when we decided to go for it and make a tablet, we tapped that team to come over along with the mouse and keyboard team and that started the Genesis 7. We had actually quite a few hardware people from Xbox and-- but we hired from the industry as well, having quite a good team now and excited about adding Nokia to the bunch. -Yeah, absolutely. -Now, Jim, at Ford, you guys are designing in the most unique atmosphere and perhaps the most constrained and regulated and liability-ridden atmosphere. You've gotta do things to a little different set of constraints than anybody else off here. How does that affect your ability to really express what you think can happen? What can you do to pull sensors along quickly 'cause there's always that comparison of the turn cycle of auto versus the turn cycle of CE? -Well, I think you're pointing out the constraints and the challenges. There's certainly great opportunities. We are in the end trying to create great experiences, overall great experiences in the vehicle, and a lot of these experiences people have outside of the vehicle if they wanna bring in the vehicle and it's a different environment. The first thing you're supposed to focus on is on driving and so dealing with driver distraction is important, dealing-- helping drivers be better drivers-- driver performance, improving their-- assisting their ability to perform on the road and so on. So, the ability for the vehicle in the user, the driver to interact in a way, in new ways, choosing the right kind of human/machine interface for the right kind of function, not every kind of-- not a single interface is best for every single function. And so, the challenge is-- I'm excited about things like gaze detection, right? So-- So, as you look out the window, you can keep your hands on the wheels, eyes on the road, and ask, "What's-- What's ahead? What is that building?" You know, if you look at the use-case of navigation, you know, we navigate from point A to point B, but you know, really, I wanna get to a building location and address and I can't be looking at addresses all the time. It's much easier if you say, "That's the building," right? So, it will be a combination of sensing, gaze detection is great, heads-up displays are great opportunities to keep your eyes on the road. So, a combination on mashing all of those things together and using the right interface for the right situation. -Now, as we look at the array of products that your companies and others represent, there is the possibility that they can collapse into a few devices that I don't need a car and a phone and a wearable all sensing a lot of the same stuff-- motion, some degree of vision, some degree of temperature. Is there a need for a few devices to work in all places? For example, a phone could do much of what you're saying in the car, not all of it, perhaps not as elegantly, and could also do what the Shine does. Are we trying to distribute sensor technology into too many buckets at this point or that's just a factor of the early days? -I'd say it's a factor of the early days that we're trying to make the all-in-one gadget and keeping your pocket and does everything. -Yeah. -And that's not really where it's gonna go. You're gonna find sensor technology that connects together through devices and-- and the simplicity of the form factors can be more and more important over time. The magic of the form factor, I think, starts out when it's a special-purpose device. Like, the first time I held a Kindle, it felt so magical to me that there was paper on the screen, but over time, you add more and more capabilities in it, becomes more functional but loses some of the magic. And so, I think we're gonna find sensors in all kinds of things and then you're gonna get access to the data and information from those sensors too, the cloud through the internet onto the device that you're using at the time that you care about. It's really about finding the problems to solve and the most elegant way to solve the problem. -I think, if I could add, I'd draw a parallel to applications, apps on phones and so on. We don't need every single app in the vehicle itself and a strategy we've taken with AppLink in leveraging the smartphone and connected devices is, "Hey, if Pandora is working great on your phone, all we need to do is add the right elements that make it work in our environment. We don't need to replace it. We don't need to have it actually run in the vehicle. We just let it continue to run on the phone, voice enable it, use some of the buttons in the vehicles and leave it where it is. So, leveraging those kinds of things in the different area that they are, if it's on the phone or if it's in another device, and embracing that and certainly understand there's some things that are gonna help us do that. -Well, that's a really key point, I mean, if-- to really-- to realize this concept of distributed sensing and things working together, we can't have islands of data. -Uh-huh. -Right. -We can't have people building data site where there's other proprietary products. We actually have to have interactivity. I mean, you know, operability between these devices whereas the consumer is gonna have one thing that does this and one thing that does that, and one thing that does this, they don't talk to each other. And that's gonna be a crime. I mean, the promise here is that you actually have a number of devices that'll do something better together. So, it's one plus one is three. And if we don't stop these proprietary data islands, we're gonna have to be [unk] -And if I'd add to that, it's ecosystem as well. -Yeah. -We have to be agnostic to-- -Right. -the phone that's brought into the vehicle. If it's an Android phone, if it's a Windows phone, if it's an iOS-based phone and so on, you know, we have to make sure that our customer has a great experience with that. So, how do, if my calendar is an outlook and I have an iPhone, and you know, I'm using Gmail, how does it still work just as well as if totally in a Google system or totally in a Microsoft ecosystem? -Is there any progress toward that front like-- I mean, we've got [unk] these devices to interact, like, pretty easily. But then, we're talking about the actual data they're exchanging. There doesn't really seem to be any standards out there. -Not-- Not yet. And something I think, as an industry, we have to attack. I think it's up to us to be proactive about that because it's the consumer that loses if every one of their devices they have has its own web portal with data that can't be shared between them. And you know, it's something in Intel where--I mean, where agnostic operating system, you know, device, whatever, we think open standards are good and it's something that we intend to, you know, be an advocate for. -I wanna ask you, Sonny 'cause you've got the-- you've had an interesting design ethic first in the Shine. As we're talking about device design, what are-- just a couple of quick lessons you learned that told you design had to come first because your device does, in theory, what a lot of others do in basic practice, but it doesn't look like them. Why is that so important? -Well, when we first looked at the wearable space, we felt like the space was, in many ways, a misnomer. Many of these wearable products were not that wearable, not because you couldn't wear it in the able sense, but-- -You wouldn't. -You wouldn't. -And so we said, well-- and there was an-- there was a kind of analogy to the pharmaceutical world and the medical devices where I came from where the top problem with many drugs is that you don't take them, not because they don't work or would not. And so, same thing with sensors, nothing more useless than a really accurate sensor that measures all the stuff that you don't use. So, we said, "Okay, let's get people to wear stuff first and then let's force the invention needed to--" I mean, this is not a lot of space to put sensors and wireless communication, all that stuff, and we said, "Let's figure out what people would wear and then let's put the electronics and sensors in it." And in fact, this sounds a little weird, but we almost didn't have a sensor in it because we couldn't fit it in. -So, how-- how we-- -It was just gonna light up every time you touch it to kind of inspire you to be more active. And then we said, "You know, we probably shouldn't do that." So,-- -And why is-- why is metal so important? That would seem to be trivial especially in this age of all kinds of advanced plastics and other finishes-- -Yeah. -that are no longer seen as cheap. They're seen as elegant-- -Yeah. -in this modern age. -Yeah. -Yeah. -You went back to metal. -You know, nothing wrong with plastic. I think it's just not really part of the wearing vocabulary for a lot of people, especially women, I think. Cashmere, fur, leather, ceramics, gold, precious stones -- those are the things that I think people like to wear, not plastic and rubber. And so, we started by thinking, "Okay, let's set that aside and let's start with materials that aren't just, you know, strong or perceived as not cheap, but things that you would actually just wanna wear where there was-- where it felt good wearing it and you would not feel weird wearing it, something that you'd wear on your jacket just as well as you to, you know, a swimming party or whatever. -Mike, can we look a little further down the road maybe with, you know, components continuing to be miniaturized, working at flexible displays and flexible batteries. What is the future of wearable devices gonna look like? -Yeah, a couple of thoughts. I mean, first of all, I think-- I mean, I am like a believer that many wearables don't need displays, that it's-- like I mentioned, it's a way of thinking we just have-- we brought from computing-- traditional computing and need to rethink the way we interact with these devices. If there's no sensing and enough other ways of input, the display actually goes away and I think makes wearables look a lot better. The other thing that's interesting, though, I mean, you know, we have-- at Intel, our technology, the 22 nanometer, I mean-- means, what does it mean, right? I mean, we are producing transistors and chips that are so small. We're already at the point where you can build tiny things with it. Where we're limited is the battery life. I mean, I think the biggest thing holding back through adoption of these devices is the battery life when you wanna have a small form factor device and there's really been no big advancement in years. So, this is something where we need a lot of work to go-- to make that next big leap, you know, forward with these fuel cells [unk]. -This-- Julie, tablets all look alike, if I can be blunt. Is that a problem or is that-- does that just get a lot of needless differentiation out of the way and let the function shine more in the market? -I think their tablets-- you know, a lot of them do look alike, squares and plastic, you have things on the side and you clip on. But not all of them look alike. I think the form is very important, how it feels, the way-- the way it's distributed. Thinking through, like some of the things we did on the Surface, to think about how the kickstand comes out in the viewing angles that you could set out from different heights and different people, what it feels like to hold, what orientation you're gonna be using in them when you change orientation. There's a lot of detail that can go into the design that's not-- doesn't have to be, you know, just a bigger phone which a lot of them are and they will come out of life. And I think Surface has had some impact on the design of some of the other devices that you're seeing at the show. We're really excited about that. -And how important is design language in defining a family of devices? -A lot of the things we did when we started the hardware team and [unk], it wasn't just the Surface hardware team, it wasn't just about hiring great hardware engineers, it was also bringing together in the software services and hardware into a full end-to-end package and so, design of Windows 8 and design of Surface happened together. So, Surface could be a stage for the Windows 8 device. So, you know, coming in from the side or swiping up from the top, all of the precision around the edges of the touchscreen, all the things had to work. We worked through the orientation being set up for high-definition television rather than regular television was also a designed element from the software that went into the hardware design. And so, that's really how we've been focusing on it being an end-to-end sort of starting from the metal all the way up to the full package of how the product feels and really focusing on the end result of the product. -Jim, a lot of the-- a lot of the things that happen in a car, the conventions in a car of the controls are very tactile and not sense driven knobs, slide, touch, rhythms, all kinds of things that you could imagine replacing a lot of what's in the car with sensors that are just responding to gesture,-- -Uh-huh. -or just knowing what I need next. But does that change the language-- the design language that Jim mentions of cars in general, too, radically too soon here to proceed rather gradually there? -Well, we have a wide group of customers as well too. -Yeah, different-- different levels of tech expertise-- -Right. And it-- for me, it's defined-- how do you definewhat's intuitive, right? And certainly, the consumer electronics industry, what people are used to with handsets and tablet devices and so on is influencing what's intuitive in the future. But that doesn't necessarily automatically mean it's the right sort of interface in the vehicle, but we are definitely seeing, with the amount of features and capabilities, we can create in the vehicle, the experiences that we can create, we have to have an intuitive interface that people can learn very quickly. They can get what they want very quickly and can work off across a wide range of consumers from, you know, new young folks that are used to playing video games and so on to folks that, you know, who are 67-year-old that, you know, just want very, very simple kind of interfaces, so-- -In other words, you can't throw out the blue to red coded heat knob all that soon, right? -That's right. That's right. -I mean, that's sort of the convention. -Well, I think-- -I think that's a great discussion too in terms of when you look at volume control rotary knobs versus sliders versus capacitive touch versus push, push, push-- -Uh-huh. -tuning is an example, the one that we talked about all the time. If you've got satellite radio with hundreds of radio stations and you're at channel 1, you wanna get to channel 100. -It's a long trip. -You know, when you think about how-- -How much. -Yeah. -you can put through very quickly and get still accurately, then it says it's a different kind of interface, then maybe, capacitive touch or touches were also on the road as well too with vibration and so on. And so, we-- you know, the ability to have very accurate touches and so on is harder to do. So-- -Uh-huh. -So, we have to factor all of those in our environment. -Now, regardless of the design parameters and all these different concerns you've seen here, the heart of the sensor-based era is absolutely based on how it changes the data that's in play and the services that arise from it. Let's take a look at that. -Sensor-based technology turns the user into one big data port and data drive services. Two major shifts are coming to them. First, passive monitoring. You don't need to consciously do anything to feed sensor-based technology information about you from the band that harvests your activity even when you sleep to glass wear worn by someone else noticing you to the smartphone with voice recognition always on in the background. New services will be dealt beyond the intentional preferences, clicks, and likes, and when done right, could seem like magic. Then, there's physical stick. Your physical condition has seldom been part of the data set about you, but it will be -- fitness, activity level, health, even mental state can be defined or at least roughly guessed by tomorrow's services. It would be nice to only see ads for cold medicine when you're actually sick. But what will it be nice or eery to see them when you're getting sick and didn't know it yet, but some service did. And all of these most privacy concerns to a new level. Only about a third of internet users today profess concern about wearables and privacy. But this is at a time when many of them don't know the hardware and platforms. More broadly, as these sensor-based services become ubiquitous, it might become harder to not share what they say about you. Your employer's healthcare plan may offer a discount for sharing your fitness band data or a less positive note in your profile for declining to do so, and thus, home sensors come to critical mass, perhaps they become required as smart utility meters have been in some areas creating smarter regional resource usage, but perhaps denying personal preferences that are wasteful. Will users ever warm up to passive monitoring? Has physical state abridged too far when it comes to information sharing? And can all these services really solve problems? Or just present more information? -So, Mike, we talked about this a little bit before about the need to be able to share data between these devices. How exactly would that work? I mean, we'd be talking about an extension to Android, for example, that's providing connectivity for all these devices or should they be able to connect to each other directly? Should it be an online base service that they're connected to? We've seen Apple with the M7 providing some basic level of integrated functionality with the iPhone 5S. -Right. -Where does it make sense for this data to live and how should we get there? -Yeah. You know, it's one of the controversial questions, even when you talk about wearables. There's the camp that says all the wearables should be tethered devices to a phone. You know, I personally think that more of the devices need to be standalone because it's part of the user experience that the first thing you have to do is take the thing out of the box and pair it and connect it to make sure you have the right profile and that's not the only thing. You're gonna get some number of returns just based upon the fact that it's not created simple. Now, there are some devices that have to be paired, right? The data set itself, I mean, there's two things you're talking about-- you could be talking about physically how they connect and then even-- even if we say they're on the same Wi-Fi network, how do I know what you are and what format your data comes in? So, there needs to be not only standards for-- you know, maybe we use existing standards for physical connectivity, but then how do you discover devices and discover capabilities and discover data formats and things? There are already some industry standards who are doing this, the Apple folks of Bonjour, there's a few others in the market that are very good at doing discovery-- device discovery and protocol discovery and things like that. I think what we have to do, though, is figure out how for each of these devices we define what that data exchange format looks like. -Are there any standards bodies that are kind of coming up too? -You know, I'm not-- I'm not sure I can talk a lot about it, but we've been approached by a few very large enterprise to start collaborating to put this kind of things together 'cause they see as we-- as we show the promise of how the sensor networks are gonna make life better in the cities and all. We're gonna have a mess if it just generates a lot of data that you can't do anything with. -Absolutely. -Julie, there's no one that Microsoft's not talking to. Well, can you tell us-- -Maybe, you'll leak where Mike didn't. -Well, I designed a really interesting product earlier today called Live Home that does some of this for you, sharing your videos and photographs. So, you know, in your home, you have this basically your own personal mobile server. So, whatever device you're using, everything is relaying back and letting you know where everything else is. You don't have to think about what device you're using that you get access to all the data and, you know, your photos and videos no matter where they are. And so, there's things like that. There's services like, you know, Microsoft's-- Microsoft ID where all of those things come with you with your device. There's lots of things out there. There isn't anything that's industry wide in the standards bodies world, but I know there's lots of work going on in that area. -Let me see a quick show of hands in the room. How many of you are in any way employed in the advertising or media industries? Let's see these hands. Okay. So, there's your room. They came to this panel 'cause they wanna get their hands on the data that all of you are gonna [unk] -And we're trying to prevent this. -How will they get this? -Well, we're trying to prevent this to some extent, right? I mean, I think that, you know, personal-- insuring people's privacy of that data is very important. I think that people should be able to share it if they want to and the fact that, maybe, you should be able to monetize your own data. I think that's very important. But-- -Right. -by default, these wearable devices, you know, security has to be job one. There-- You know, this-- We're talking about health information that could be used against people. We're talking about very personal information and that the foundation of this hardware, you have to have a foundation of hardware level security before you struggle in these devices I believe. -Especially when you're talking about people's health-- -Yes. -and really personal information and keeping that, you know, very private and under the control of the individual is really super important. Although I did believe they should be able to exchange that-- -Yup. -in return for other benefits if they want to-- -Yeah. -but it has to be their choice. -I think keeping consumers at the center of this is really important. How do we help consumers gather the data and monetize the data and create value for them. -Right. -Right. It is their data. If they choose not to share it for value on benefit, that's their choice,-- -Uh-huh. -right? And if they choose to share it for new experiences and so on, so be it. They get the better experiences, but it's kind of turning it in to, you know, the real data [unk], right? You put some value on it and let them spend it if they choose to spend it. -Sony, on the Shine, is there any way now or envision that any partners can access that data, anonymize or otherwise aggregate it? -Yeah, absolutely. In the wearables world, I think many of us, device makers, are enabling open web APIs. But there are actually quite-- those things are quite limited in many ways because it requires an internet connection that requires the need to use, you know, a certain app as opposed to the app that I really wanted. And so, I think one of the things that we might see happening is devices connecting directly to apps as opposed to having to go through various gateways, way better user experience. It's just a matter of whether this device-- as device makers will be comfortable relinquishing that kind of communication control. And I think, hopefully, the consumer will win out in this, you know, and that we will make those more available. So, that's one of the things we're gonna do with Shine is enable people to communicate directly from Shine to their app as opposed to having to go through ours, whatnot. -An in the market where people are excited about new hardware, how do you get people excited about new services that extend the existing hardware they've already got. -You know, I think-- You know, we're talking about wearables earlier today and I really think the killer use cases for wearables, which I think will be primarily delivered through services, have not really been uncovered yet, you know. On the smartphone, I mean, I can't even imagine-- I can't even remember the day when I couldn't make a phone call from my car or send e-mail on the go, like, it's just-- it was-- it seems somewhat unimaginable that there was such a day. You know, it was only 15 years ago, right? And I want-- I'm excited to find out what those-- what similar killer use cases will be that may only be possible in a wearable context. What those will be-- What those cases will be-- Which ones will be uncovered over the next, say, two to three years. And I believe there's probably two or three of those really killer use cases. All right. I don't know if sensing your activity or heart rate, whatever, is one of them, you know. -Uh-huh. -Yeah, and-- And so, we'll see-- -You talked a little bit earlier about a couple things you do think could be killer use, like access control. -Access control-- You know, wearable data-- wearable identity and payments could be interesting. I don't know if it's killer. Let's see. -Yeah. -But, hey, if I had a sensor that could predict a heart attack or a major cardiac event four hours ahead of time, okay, that's pretty-- that's-- I wouldn't say killer, but-- -Okay. -That would be a worst try. -That would be a worst try if I [unk]. Well, that's the idea. You know-- Okay, that's a pretty cool use case-- I mean, that's an amazing use case-- you know, a life changing, that kind of thing. I wonder what the other ones would be. Getting text messages on my watch? Not sure, maybe. Maybe, I don't want that. -I think authentication is undervalued one. -Yeah. -Like, just knowing who you are and not having the extra problem of like typing in your pin, you see that on the iPhone now, where you can put pin on there. , it's changed my family's life to have gesture and face recognition on the Xbox, you know, not having to use the remote anymore, having it know who I am, saying, "Hi, Julie," when I sit down in front of the TV. It's just changes the way you think about interacting with technology. -It's like-- -And it's really important-- I'm sorry. -I was just saying it's kind of like what the MagicBand did for Disney, where, you know, it's this very simple device. -That-- -I mean, unfortunately, it's only usable five days out the year. But if we have something like that, you know, for the rest of the year--you know -Yeah, true biometric authentication-- -Right. -you think is really-- it's gonna be big. -All right. -And it has to be spoof-proof, though. I mean, there can't be 95 percent accurate if people are gonna rely upon it for banking and things like that. -Or to start your car, to open your house,-- -Exactly. -or like, you know, do anything like that. -Yeah [unk] -It has a really big use. -[unk] environment. -Yeah. You're seeing some start-ups doing that like [unk] where they do the heart rate monitoring authentication, you know, where I guess your heart produces a unique signature. -Uh-huh. -And then, they use that as a fingerprint as opposed to your fingerprint. -Yeah, it's pretty accurate, but not quite enough yet-- -Right. -and then people [unk] multifactor, well, then once it'd become a bigger hassle to do that-- -Right. -then you just type the password. I mean-- But technology is getting there. -Actually, when we talk about sensor-based computing on wearable devices, usually, we're talking about glorified pedometer stuff, maybe heart rate. On the automotive space, though, there's certainly a lot of opportunities for services and data based on maybe driver [unk], I think. Can you give me some idea of what you're looking into at Ford? -I think we're really excited about anticipating this idea of predictive search and so on and anticipating what you need and presenting it to you at the right point in time. Again, just focus on driving and driver distraction and making sure that we're keeping you focused on the road. If we can anticipate the best thing or the next thing you're gonna need and present it to you in a very simple way by sensing whether it's, you know, sensing information about you by looking at your calendar or whatever, it's gonna make the experience much better and it's gonna, you know, make that for very real magical experience that people are gonna say, "I wanna have it." This thing, my car helps me have a better life. -Are you guys looking into any alternative forms of authentication? However, we still have a glorified key, even if you don't actually put it-- -Right. -in the ignition anymore, you still have a key. -It's-- It is-- It is very, very high on our list, but again, it has to be extremely-- extremely accurate in the car as well too. There is a lot of personalization that people wanna do in their car and they wanna do more. When I get in the car, I'd like my settings, my wife likes her settings, not only just simple things like the seat settings, but if I have destinations I go to often and so on, I want it set up for me. If I have other kinds of setup in the vehicle, I want it setup for me. And again, putting in a number or pin and so on to get all of those kinds of things, you know, it's just-- people aren't just gonna use it. If they do wanna go from point A to point B and get it as simple as possible, whether it's facial recognition and making sure that works, whether it's some of these other biometric kinds of sensing. We do have a pretty harsh environment and so we've gotta make sure it's extremely robust, but we're looking at all of those kinds of things. So, some of the things that come out of Kinect in terms of the body structure and so on, differences, we don't have to worry about sorting out 10,000 different people. You know, half a dozen would be probably just fine, but again, it has to be very accurate for us. -And some of that accuracy that I'm hearing both on authentication and some other really critical-- really perhaps killer app-- applications, does that need the hardware to move and the services that are grabbing that data, do they need to have a higher bit rate, a higher bandwidth, a higher richness of data that would able to throw off these devices now? Or is that not a hurdle? Are we getting enough data thrown off of these at high resolution? Is that a problem? -I think so. I mean, actually, I think, you know, to some extent, it's not-- I mean, we do need probably some better sensors. I'm not sure whether it's accuracy or just the ability to differentiate through noise better, you know, to provide an alternative-- -Signal-to-noise ratio processing. -Yeah, to get a better SNR in an environment that may not be-- that maybe not literally be noise, it may literally be you wanna see through skin clearer. -Uh-huh. -You know, you need to do something when there's more opacity or has to work for everyone's skin tone. I mean, there's lots of different ways to look at it and we have the compute power to be able to do some wild things if we can get the raw data to use it-- to, you know, use the compute power on. -So, perhaps, we're a matter of filtering data than getting more of it. -I'd say that's probably true. -Okay. -You know, I hope-- hopefully, that is true because getting more data, more resolution means more power, more energy and I agree-- I mean, that's-- -Uh-huh. -totally the most difficult-- one of the biggest barriers for all of us wearable makers, power. I mean, wearability design, making sure that you don't look like a dork when you wear it, is okay, that's important-- -Job one. -Yeah, we're working on that. But the second and like a very close second is power management. I mean, one of the biggest complaints in our corner of the world was having to charge stuff, having to-- you know, if you lose your cable, you know, and that was just a big annoyance. So, that's what we try to do, it's just like let's not ask people to charge things so that's one of our commitments, make wearable products that you don't have to charge that you just-- that you can just use. You know, if you think back to the 70s, there were three things that you never had to charge-- your computer, tablet, and phone-- and now, we have more chargers than ever in this wireless world. And-- -You may have the only product on the show floor that doesn't need chargers. Congratulations. -Using battery. -I forgot about batteries. -[unk]. -Imagine the services aspect, I think adding in, you know, machine learning and crowd sourcing to these devices is a huge part of filtering the data-- -Yes. -and figuring out what the data means and how you can make that applicable to someone. It's not just, you know, your heart rate, but your heart rate compared with other people of your age doing the same kinds of activities you're doing and where you'd fall in that range. They're just starting-- We don't have enough users of that sort of thing today yet to really be able to do as much as we can do and find those really sweet spot scenarios that people really care about, that really resonate with them and part their lives. -Now, we're getting on to our conversation. I want to invite any one to ask questions to-- Where's Allison? She's got the microphone and she's going to be-- Here, she is right in the middle of the hall. Allison from CNET is gonna be able to come to you with the microphone if you have questions. We'll get to those here in just a moment. So, let's get some-- a few of those teed up. It's a rare change you're gonna have with this diversity and expertise of a panel in one place. -Now, Mike, you mentioned the higher definition sensors, but are there any new sensors that you like to see in devices? I mean, I don't know when it was interesting when your phone had a gyroscope, but now, there's barometric sensors in temperatures and humidity. It's kind of overwhelming, but is there anything new that you think we should have in our devices? -Well, I tell you, you know, I don't think we're really taking advantage of the sensors that are in there today. I mean, we, you know, [unk] chips for phones. We have something we called sensor [unk]. Basically, just what-- like what Apple did. Ours is actually built in to the main processor. And it's amazing from the sort of four or five basic sensors that we have today with the right software algorithms, I can tell you stuff you would have no idea how I guessed it. -Uh-huh. -And it's a lot of work. I mean, it gets-- you know, it's a crazy math that I would pretend to understand all of it. But I don't think we've actually fully taken advantage of that yet and then it gets back to we have to have a low enough power mode with the sensors always running. If it only runs every five or 10 minutes, it doesn't have enough accuracy to really give you interesting information and I think we're probably getting there as well. -Great. -All right. I think we might have a question in the audience. Let's tee someone up. Give us your name and who you're with, what are you doing here, what are you at CES for? -We host a wearable fashion show in Calgary, Canada. My wife and I just got our genome sequence and I'm wondering if there's been any research on wearables technology to compare, you know, your [unk] the data of your life against your genome to figure out, you know, what your best eating regimen or exercise regimen might be? -We talked about-- When we're talking about data, I mean, there's a huge data set in our genome that would be-- -It's already in here. -Yeah. -Okay. -I think it'd be harmless than you're carrying it around. Anyone know about any intersections in that area? -[unk] a device would that simply be a service of some sort. -Sounds like a cool startup idea. -Yeah. -All right. So, you just give Sonny an idea. Take that [unk] -I think that-- -[unk] -[unk] -[unk] genome obviously. -Man,-- -Figuring out the food you eat is hard. There's a-- There's a product, I don't remember the name of it, that's doing that. So, I don't-- you know, try to figure it out, but knowing what portions you have in front of you and how many calories it is, that's a-- that's a problem that's been trying to be solved for a long time. -Uh-huh. -It's very hard. -Better thank itself. -Yeah. -We have another question right here in the end. -'Cause I say the pie is only this thing. -I guess that would also be a data filtering question. Let's go to the next lady here-- -Hi. -Oh, this gentleman here. -Hi there. Hi there. One of the things I've noticed with all the proliferation of apps and all the rollout and adoption rate being very high on the technology is that, bandwidth is getting harder to come by, there's dead spots, there's little bits of data you can get. Have you thought much about, like, bandwidth sharing? Let's say there's 10 people in this area here and they all have some aggregate amount of bandwidth that they're able to get that they're not using and I'm in their area and I need a little more. How can-- How can you guys figure out some kind of topology or mesh networking that helps share available bandwidth so the ones with the need get the bandwidth when they need it and then ones that are idle kind of give it up for that timeframe and would certainly help these data hungry apps perform better? -Any-- Any bandwidth availability intersections with the kind of sensor devices we're talking about or is it all local personal area network. -[unk] his question. I'd actually argue that the current pricing models for all-you-can-eat data plans are, assuming you don't do that, right? Because-- I mean, if in fact, you can start brokering unused data and you can see where you can really [unk] -Kind of remnant data. -Yeah, you could really rapidly fill up-- You know, the pricing models are based upon some amount of people not using what they're paying for, right? -Uh-huh. -So, I'm not sure the carriers wouldn't be happy if you're starting to do that. I mean, could you do it? Sure. I mean, it's, you know, just a matter of engineering, right? -Uh-huh. -But I think it would really take some changes in the way we in the U.S. pay for our data plans to really make it something that would fly. -We have another question-- -Yes, we do. -in the center of the hall. This lady has been waiting patiently. -I'm Skylar. I'm 13 years old and I was wondering if someone has a device that's providing sensor data and maybe they wanna compare their data, but they don't wanna share it? How will that work? And also, what are the privacy implications of having these Always On centers that are constantly providing information that someone may not want to share? -It's a great question. -[unk] you lady, Skylar, [unk]. The lights are lighting my eyes. -Sonny, do you have any insight into a safe way to socially share your data? -You know, there's a lot of-- You know what's interesting? I heard a story from [unk] where he was talking about how there's-- if you wanna share your data with different types of people, not necessarily your friends. -Uh-huh. -So, that was an interesting story with the people who did not wanna share their data about how much-- about-- that they're trying to lose their-- trying to lose weight with their friends. They just want their friends to compliment them that they lost weight. But they wanted to lose weight with people that they-- that were trying to lose the same amount of weight, same kind of background. And so, I think it's tricky. You don't always wanna share this data. Sometimes, there's probably some things, sometimes, you really do wanna share. So, it's-- it's not-- I don't think it's just about privacy. It's about-- It's-- I think, maybe, it's selective privacy. -Is the solution like we see in Facebook with list of trusted friends, is that a good enough solution or is there anything something more advanced now? -You know-- -[unk] -Well-- Well, we actually have some work on this area, [unk] of data because to make a lot of stuff work that we talk about, you wanna have [unk] data. You want-- You want people to be able to share their data. Perhaps, they get some monetary return for it, but you have to ensure that privacy so you could actually think of a trusted data in that innovation [unk] as a company that is able to take in data, ensure privacy, and then help do the comparisons and give the results without, you know, giving personal information. I think that's actually something that's not too far off. -And Julie, there's actually been a lot of talk about the Xbox One-- -Right. -because the Kinect is always watching you and always monitoring you. -Right, but it's not sending anything back. -Okay. So it's something that-- -That's just keeping track of what you're-- you know, you're doing with the device. It's not sending anything back over that's personally identifiable information. But I was surprised for a 13-year-old to be worried about privacy 'cause my son seems to be snap turning everything I [unk] and-- but-- so, maybe, I should have you talk with him. -Your generation was supposed to have forgotten what privacy is. -Until we try to get into college. -Yeah. -[unk] -All right, folks. We have any-- one question. Allison has got one of you get to have the last word, sir. Tell us who you are, what you're doing here in CES first. -Yeah. Hi, I'm [unk]. I work with a company called Mobility 360 based out of Hong Kong. So, the question is, we have quite various sources of data. One is the sales travel data coming from the CRM system of the company. What is that consumer purchasing? There is lot of the social media data which is on Facebook about the interest of a consumer, plus this variable data getting shared with friends on Facebook. So, how can a market bring all this together to suggest a right product or service for the consumer? How can all these data, the big data come together in terms of right marketing activities or [unk] activities? -So, how do we define basically a global data around an individual including wearable data and fitness data plus social data possibly saying, "I'm happy today" on Facebook and that kind of thing. Is there any way-- -Plus the CRM data, the sales data also, the credit card data. -Yeah. -So, how can all of that be brought together for better marketing program? So, what are the groups' thoughts on that? -I think we should end with a small question to make this easy. Thank you. Thoughts? -Actually, we're not even going. -I think you know-- I mean, actually, my group is working with technology in the gadgets. I do think this is something we're gonna have to worry-- I mean, it's the next level up, right? Once you get all this data, I do think it's important, again, knowing we do need to figure out, you know, the things that are gathering during this data. How much do they send back or how much do they process? There's the distribution of the data. Then, once it comes back, how do you put together and make sense of it? I mean-- -Sure. -we're doing a lot to create data, but then, to your point, I mean, how do you make it useful? -Well, sir, I think, next year, I will have someone for me [unk] on the panel-- -He already was. -Yes. -You just didn't know it. -All right. I wanna thank all of our panelists, Julie Larson-Green from Microsoft, Jim Buczkowski from Ford, Mike Bell from Intel, and Sonny Vu from Misfit. Thank you very much for joining us. -Let's have a hand for our panelists.