Today, we are overwhelmed with content overflow — consuming information about our social networks, our global news, our daily jobs and responsibilities –and, for a growing number of us, all through our mobile devices.
There is a resounding need and desire for data management and analysis to help make our lives more productive and enjoyable. This demand, paired with rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), will encourage the wide-spread adoption of virtual assistants and intelligent automation services. The AI that is emerging will enable us to manage data overload by offering decision automation, reasoning capabilities, reduction of information complexity, deeper personalization and forging these capabilities together with a multitude of sensory inputs from our mobile devices.
Mobile innovation: New interfaces and capabilities
AI will have a huge impact on the mobile user experience in the future. Online services will be increasingly responsible for managing more and more aspects of our daily lives — from alerting important events, advising us on new products to buy, handling our personal information flow to monitoring our health, and more. This new generation of smart services will take into consideration our personal contexts and will provide services for the individual end-user, rather than applying simple, often statistics-based, customer segmentation models widely adopted in e-business today.
In practice this implies a clear move away from typing letters on small mobile keyboards, to the emerging use of touch screens, voice activation, gestures, sensory and other visual and audio interfaces, all of which mimic more human-like ways of communicating. Service providers will begin adopting this multi-modal interface approach to allow for several input and output interfaces to interact with the users, while also keeping in mind that some interfaces won’t be effective for particular services.
But offering an extended user interface is clearly not enough to increase value substantially. We are in need of solutions that can handle the information complexity of modern lives. The simplistic behavioral targeting approaches that, for example, keep giving recommendations of children’s books just because you bought a few gifts for your children, is frustrating at best. More advanced user interaction makes it possible to express yourself more richly and much more specifically. This means that mobile solutions and apps will have to handle both complex user formulated directives combined with the problem of reducing complexity coming from a huge flow of new information.
It doesn’t stop there. There will be a massive change to the structure of the Internet as people depend more upon smart virtual assistants to manage much of their online presence. The focus is shifting from simple delivery of unstructured data –texts, sound files, images, videos, forum posts and short messages, etc. –to a more comprehensive data analysis and a complimentary set of advanced functions. Therefore, development innovation will primarily focus on various approaches to the smart extraction of usable information in unstructured data –and AI will play a central role in teaching our machines how to understand the data they are processing in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Mass consumer adoption: Smart apps and beyond
For the consumer, a fleet of branded virtual assistants targeted towards virtual shopping, pharmacy, health, exercise, entertainment, messaging, and news are on the way. This is actually a natural extension of the app trends and capabilities we see today — apps will now start embedding a more intelligent service, or ‘smart layer’ in order to bring more value to end-users. We already see this emerging in apps offering deep news personalization (such as Zite). These apps will remember your personal profile and detailed settings, and will learn your behavior, only becoming smarter over time.
Mobile virtual assistants will help with tasks such as booking, buying, alerting a user when something of interest comes up, or reminding a user of important tasks to complete. These assistants will become increasingly contextually aware by learning a user’s environment and behavior to filter the information flow to them. Most importantly, AI powered virtual assistants can handle a lot more complexity. This is essential as it does not matter how good your natural language or gesture interface is unless you can do something useful with the information, such as provide relevant restaurant recommendations or give meaningful health advice.
Many virtual assistants and apps will have their own high precision, subject oriented, search capabilities. Therefore, it’s possible that there will be a redistribution of the search industry as we know it. Perhaps instead of the search market being dominated by 2 key players, multiple specialized search engines powered by AI will enter the market. This will radically change advertising and empower a wide range of brands to offer specialized search and decision power.
The future of search
On the horizon of advanced AI, the user will no longer be involved in the majority of search. Our context and behaviors will be measured on lowest possible wireless network protocol levels, or tracked directly on-device. Everything will be captured and analyzed in near real-time, and advanced services will automatically predict and optimize much of our information from live streams of data. Search will mostly become machine-to-machine interaction, distributed among a huge number of highly specialized AI-services.
With enough structured data and interactions, AI will gradually shift towards a broader form of machine intelligence, not limited by the mirroring of human sensory systems and cognition. As a result, there will be amazing acceleration in new types of value building mobile services, spanning over all our daily activities.
Lars Hard is the founder and CEO of the the AI platform Expertmaker. Drawing on his deep experience in running advanced AI development teams, both in Europe and North America, Lars founded Expertmaker in 2006. Lars is also a guest lecturer at Lund University in theoretical ecology and genetics and is a frequent speaker at conferences on technology innovation and mobile evolution.
LTE (both radio and core network evolution) is now on the market. Release 8 was frozen in December 2008 and this has been the basis for the first wave of LTE equipment. LTE specifications are very stable, with the added benefit of small enhancements having been introduced in 3GPP Release 9.
The motivation for LTE
- Need to ensure the continuity of competitiveness of the 3G system for the future
- User demand for higher data rates and quality of service
- Packet Switch optimised system
- Continued demand for cost reduction (CAPEX and OPEX)
- Low complexity
- Avoid unnecessary fragmentation of technologies for paired and unpaired band operation
LTE Release 8 Key Features
- High spectral efficiency
— OFDM in Downlink, Robust against multipath interference & High affinity to advanced techniques such as Frequency domain channel-dependent scheduling & MIMO
— DFTS-OFDM (“Single-Carrier FDMA”) in Uplink, Low PAPR, User orthogonality in frequency domain
— Multi-antenna application
- Very low latency
— Short setup time & Short transfer delay
— Short HO latency and interruption time; Short TTI, RRC procedure, Simple RRC states
- Support of variable bandwidth
— 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz
- Simple protocol architecture
— Shared channel based
— PS mode only with VoIP capability
- Simple Architecture
— eNodeB as the only E-UTRAN node
— Smaller number of RAN interfaces, eNodeB « MME/SAE-Gateway (S1), eNodeB « eNodeB (X2)
- Compatibility and inter-working with earlier 3GPP Releases
- Inter-working with other systems, e.g. cdma2000
- FDD and TDD within a single radio access technology
- Efficient Multicast/Broadcast
— Single frequency network by OFDM
- Support of Self-Organising Network (SON) operation
LTE Release 8 Major Parameters
LTE-Release 8 User Equipment Categories
LTE Release 8 Specifications
- LTE is specified in 36 series technical specifications
- The latest version of the LTE Release 8 specifications (September 2009 version) can be found in On-line in the 36 series
Release 9 Completion
Enhancements to LTE were frozen in to release 9 in December of 2009. Important work on improvements to HSPA and LTE – such as location, emergency and broadcast services, support of Circuit Switch calls over LTE, Home NodeB/eNodeB and IMS evolution all completed the feature set for LTE systems.
LTE Historical Information
The technical paper UTRA-UTRAN Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 3GPP System Architecture Evolution (SAE) is a good starting point.
Initiated in 2004, the Long Term Evolution (LTE) project focused on enhancing the Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) and optimizing 3GPP’s radio access architecture.
Targets were to have average user throughput of three- to four-times the Release 6 HSDPA levels in the Downlink (100Mbps), and two to three times the HSUPA levels in the Uplink (50Mbps).
In 2007, the LTE of the 3rd generation radio access technology – “E UTRA” – progressed from the feasibility study stage to the first issue of approved Technical Specifications. By the end of 2008, the specifications were sufficiently stable for commercial implementation.
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) was selected for the Downlink and Single Carrier-Frequency Division Multiple Access (SC-FDMA) for the Uplink. The Downlink supporting data modulation schemes QPSK, 16QAM, and 64QAM and the Uplink BPSK, QPSK, 8PSK and 16QAM.
LTE’s E UTRA uses a number of defined channel bandwidths between 1.25 and 20 MHz (contrasted with UTRA’s fixed 5 MHz channels).
4 x Increased Spectral Efficiency, 10 x Users Per Cell
Spectral efficiency is increased by up to four-fold compared with UTRA, and improvements in architecture and signalling reduce round-trip latency. Multiple Input / Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology should enable 10 times as many users per cell as 3GPP’s original W CDMA radio access technology.
To suit as many frequency band allocation arrangements as possible, both paired (FDD) and unpaired (TDD) band operation is supported. LTE can co-exist with earlier 3GPP radio technologies, even in adjacent channels, and calls can be handed over to and from all 3GPP’s previous radio access technologies.
In the same time frame as the development of LTE, 3GPP’s core network has been undergoing System Architecture Evolution (SAE), optimizing it for packet mode and in particular for the IP-Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) which supports all access technologies.
In the specification:
Start with the 36 series of the 3GPP specifications.
See also – the technologies page on LTE-Advanced, which describes the work beyond LTE’
As LTE goes commercial and operators start to plan for LTE-Advanced, some players are inevitably pushing towards yet another generation of wireless performance.
Verizon Wireless on July 12 officially opened its Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass. The two-building facility is designed to enable partners and companies to create, test and showcase wireless products that leverage Verizon’s 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network. For those vendors with products, the Innovation Center gives them access to Verizon’s 4G wireless network as well as hundreds of engineers ready to work with them to develop their ideas. For Verizon, working with these companies not only lets the carrier test and improve its network, but also will lead to an increasing number of products hitting the market that run on the Verizon network, hopefully growing the adoption of Verizon’s LTE platform. Currently, more than 30 products have been developed and displayed at the Innovation Center, with about 20 percent ready to hit the market, 60 percent close to launching and the last 20 percent in the visionary phase, according to Verizon officials. Here is a look at some of the products on display during the opening-day event at the Innovation Center.
Verizon officials showed of an ONStar-powered Buick that is being used as a test-bed for the carrier’s LTE telematics. The car’s on-board computer system—with information fed via Verizon’s 4G network—can give the driver directions, Web browsing capabilities, real-time traffic updates and cameras showing traffic at certain spots on the route, updated video instruction manuals, and video recordings that start up when an impact to the car is felt.
Vgo Robotic Telepresence
A new company, Vgo Communications, is working on a robot sporting immersive video collaboration capabilities that can be remotely operated and offers two-way video and audio communications via Verizon’s LTE platform. The company is eyeing the enterprise, health care and education sectors as key potential growth areas.
Office in a Box
Ericsson and Verizon are working on what the companies are calling an “Office in a Box,” a device that offers SMBs the 4G LTE voice and data connectivity they need, with the ability to expand the offering when needed.
LiveEdge.tv is developing a product that will enable television news stations to replace their expensive news vehicles that send video via microwaves with a 1.5-pound unit that attaches to the back of the TV camera. The device sends the video from the scene to another LiveEdge.tv device at the station through the LTE network. The technology promises to cut a station’s capital costs from as much as $250,000 for a van to $45,000 for the device, plus reduce operating expenses by 75 percent.
TouchTunes Interactive Networks offers a fleet of digital jukeboxes that leverage Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The company currently has more than 48,000 devices in bars and restaurants across the United States that run on the 4G network where available, and local WiFi where Verizon’s service has yet to reach.
Verizon Wireless President and CEO David Mead said he sees 4G technology playing a key role in a number of areas, such as connected homes, health care, distance learning, telematics and—as seen here—cloud-based, multiplayer, 3D games.
Verizon officials see a significant role for 4G-powered products in the home, from wide-screen televisions to a device that keeps track of a user’s health status.
The carrier’s 4G LTE network also will power connected household devices, such as this refrigerator, one of several devices controlled by the user via the connected laptop.
This 4G LTE-connected bike is a prototype that has everything from a camera next to its front wheel to a display on the handlebars that relays information about the bike and rider back to a central place via the Verizon network. A company official said there are no plans to release this kind of bike right now, but that the data gathered from it can help shape technology used in such devices as the LTE-connected car.
Verizon officials put on display the various LTE equipment that forms the backbone of the carrier’s 4G network.
Source: Eweek – By Jeffrey Burt on 2011-07-13