Craig Baty our Chief Technology and Innovation Officer provides an insight into some of the lesser known benefits of Big Data strategies, and how Fujitsu is making this real for everyday people in the street….
Fujitsu’s overarching vision is based around the creation of a Human Centric Intelligent Society….the linkage of the “physical world” and the “digital world”. The physical world is where we live – an environment now saturated with mobile devices and pervasive networks. That domain is backed by a digital world that holds vast resources of information and analytical power.
These two worlds are now being synchronized and exploited to provide previously unimaginable potential by delivering data-driven insight at high speeds, some impacts of this are:
- Computing ecosystems are bringing new solutions that can be brought to bear on entire industries or across society.
- Many different types of technology – mobile, network, cloud, sensors, social media and consumer electronics – are aligning into connected architectures to deliver richer and deeper content.
- Decision-making time is being reduced or eliminated. The resulting analytical responses provide an increasingly clear perspective for greater assurance in decisions.
Big Data and implications of digital awareness of real life
When people think of ‘Big Data” they often think mostly about the processing of massive amounts of information with the aim of analysing this data to unearth nuggets of useful information. However this is only part of the Big Data definition.
“As a mega-trend, its impact will be as big as that of the Internet, the PC, or virtually any breakthrough technology you could name”
Fujitsu’s view is that Big Data is generally unstructured, comes from multiple sources (often from the Cloud), is generated and analysed in real time, and should be used not only to describe a situation, but to enable predictions to be made, and then actions to be prescribed based on the predictions. We call this Real Time Insight and it will have huge implications for us and how we live.
As a mega-trend, its impact will be as big as that of the Internet, the PC, or virtually any breakthrough technology you could name. In the near future we might anticipate that:
- Systems will “sense and respond” rather than merely process transactions and the question “will humans or machines make the decision?” will arise with increasing frequency.
- Our focus will have switched from reactive to proactive processes (medical treatment, for instance, will focus on maintaining wellbeing rather than on treating illness).
- Speed of processing and decision making will be everything, and everything will be speeding up.
Big Data in action: Managing Tokyo’s traffic
Take for example the problem of managing Tokyo’s traffic. Tokyo is a huge metropolis with a very large population. Traffic jams and transport disruption is ubiquitous. Based on the concept of applying real-time insight, Fujitsu Japan has recently launched SpatioOwl – a cloud-based intelligent traffic management system. It collects data – masses of data – from an incredibly rich variety of sources. From sensors planted in fleets of vehicles like taxis or hauliers, from roadside sensors that monitor traffic flow, even down to subtle things like the speed that windscreen wipers are moving in the rain. But it also collects data from individuals and communities, from social media and events.
The real value comes from what happens at the back end – in the digital world. All of this data is presented into a cloud platform, making it available for many different – as-a-service – uses. Fleet and logistics management can use it to route their traffic in the most efficient way. Individuals can use it to get simple reports of traffic. Urban authorities can use it to manage traffic control – in real time. And as we move into the future, a major application will be to link drivers to supply points for electric vehicles. The potential is vast. Researchers at Fujitsu are using the system to map unsafe areas of the road network – based on braking information. And on another system that smooths supply and demand for the city’s taxis – so that an individual need never wait for a taxi again. For a deeper insight please see the analysis in Fujitsu’s Technology Perspectives.
This is just one example of how we see the Big Data trend playing out to benefit not only corporations and governments, but individuals in the street. For more examples of how Fujitsu is working towards the creation of a Human Centric Intelligent Society, please go to www.technology-perspectives.com and download a free copy of Technology Perspectives, developed by Fujitsu’s Global CTO Community.