Solving the Traffic Jam Problem – Getting Cities Moving Again

Volkswagen and D-Wave Computing

I got pretty excited when I read the press release about Volkswagen getting together with D-Wave, using quantum computing to demonstrate real time traffic optimised routing at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon which starts tomorrow. I wish I was going! The conference is sold out but they are going to live stream it.

I’ve been involved in collecting and delivering real time traffic information (RTTI) to business and consumers for over 10 years and have seen the evolution from dedicated PND’s, to in-car navigation, to smartphone apps like Google and HERE. I was involved in a number of innovations which helped ease the consequences of traffic congestion for those who bothered to use it.

I have become increasingly frustrated with the lack of real innovation, or even desire to innovate outside the box, and have seen entropy develop in the way we respond to ever increasing numbers of vehicles on our highways. We have become linear in our approach to dealing with planned and unplanned events. This modus operandi often results in merely shifting a problem from one place to another.

Having attended international transport conferences and endured university paper presentations going into great detail about management strategies for a 500 meter strip of road, it is little wonder that the problem isn’t going away because even academe is mostly rehashing the same old stuff. At least in the streams where we source our traffic engineers.

On my commute to the Auckland Transport Operations Centre (where I worked until recently) from home, Google would always route me via the highest ranking highway, even if it was congested. With local knowledge I knew a better way and found a rat-run through residential streets, saving me about 5 minutes on my journey which hardly anyone was using. Before too long people found out about it and then to top it off, Google started recommending it. Over time the shortcut ended up creating gridlock, resulting in driver stress and a liberal dose of daily road rage.

Councils and departments of transport have limited control over their networks at times of unusual demand. They run optimisation programs with intersections and do their best to keep roads flowing on arterial routes to the best of their ability, but any unplanned event can lead to concatenating outcomes farther up the network. A car crash for example can lead to multiple arterial routes becoming gridlocked.

Previously as Sales & Marketing Manager for GeoSmart, I was involved in the specification and sale of route optimisation solutions for commercial fleets, which were largely based around the traveling salesman problem. The crux of this is how do I visit every client on my list but drive the minimum distance and time.

I was able to help many companies improve their productivity and profit, by providing the tools to calculate the optimal routes for their vehicle fleets, in many cases overnight for the following day, for each vehicle. I wrote many articles about our product Route2Go on our company blog at the time, which are still on the web explaining the benefits of route optimisation as a service.

Waterloo University in California came up with some novel solutions from the shortest route to do a pub crawl to every pub in the United Kingdom and a walking tour of the top 50 places to visit in the city of Washington. As you can see, the route is roughly a circle that starts and ends at the same place.

These routes are brilliant when there is no traffic, not too bad when there is some traffic, but there are two situations where it doesn’t work well.

  • When there is a blockage to the route. It could be commuter traffic, an accident, planned roadworks. Your pre planned circle totally fails if you try to stick with the order you have planned.
  • When there are other constraints to your journey. You have to be at a certain place at a certain time. For example one of my clients was a national logistics company delivering alcoholic beverages to stores. They could only deliver when the licensed manager of the premises was available to receive the goods. Those unexpected traffic events would mess with the entire day’s workload and whilst we understand that we can’t prevent unplanned events, customers still expect work to be done on time and transport costs are also based on ‘fixed’ overheads.

So back to Volkswagen and D-Wave. They will be demonstrating the use of quantum computing with 26 buses going from the Lisbon city centre to the conference site. Each bus will have its own route calculated independently. It will take into consideration where people are waiting to catch the buses (in real time), what the current real time traffic conditions are on the available routes, for example the locations of accidents or traffic jams, and even predict traffic jams based on current network sensors and activity using artificial intelligence.

Consider the future implications of this sort of technology. In Auckland, New Zealand, in order to reduce the road toll and number of urban accidents, the city has decided to reduce the maximum driving speed on 10% of urban roads.

We do have a problem and the city is trying to do something about it, as they should.

However this causes other problems. For example the freight and distribution industry over recent years has been expected to make more deliveries as our population increases, in less time, and for less return. Already it is common to hear of couriers and other drivers speeding and risking being caught because “if they can’t meet their quota, they can’t afford to run their business”. I’m not justifying that stance, they are breaking the law and taking the very risks Auckland Transport is trying to reduce.

However, as David Aitken, CEO of National Road Carriers said in a recent press release,  “Slowing down roads slows down our economy.” In the linked release he spoke about the necessity to research approaches to the problems of safety and network performance.

So this is where quantum computing comes in and I believe this will deliver some amazing outcomes, but initially, because of cost and the share scale of the problem, and perhaps because those who need it are trying to deal with the day to day demands of their business, rather than looking to solve the bigger problem, it will be delivered to individual companies who have the resources to invest in this technology.

One day, this is what Smart Cities should deliver, but I suspect we are 10-20 years away from being able to scale a real time traffic based route optimisation solution that will work for all users in a modern city. I suspect that most countries and cities will not have the vision to start developing these solutions, or the budgets. When politics comes into play, long term strategies are often derailed.

What can such a solution deliver?

A unique route for every vehicle on the network, irrespective of whether it is a single destination journey or a large number of stops such as the route for a rubbish truck. This route will be calculated dynamically based on what is happening on the network and the calculated impact of planned and unplanned events. It will be able to take into account the impacts of weather, school or public holidays, and use historic information. It will continue to recalculate dynamically throughout the day as conditions or circumstances change.

The vehicles or fleets using this technology will get an unfair advantage as will any Fleet Management or Car Navigation company providing these solutions. Each journey is unique. Three trucks leaving a depot 10 minutes apart for the same destination, may if appropriate, be given three different routes.

If I were still in the industry, I would be offering this to commercial road users as a cloud based service. For the driver it would be like car navigation, but in practice this is transport gold. Like gold, it won’t be cheap because the cost of the calculations is high, but this will be offset by increased productivity. perhaps there will be levels of service to match budgets.

A smart city would need to totally change its way of thinking about traffic, travel information and the way they control their network. I’m not confident they will do that in the coming decades, so it will be up to the transport industry and technology disruptors to do it. The city can provide data to the third parties who will deliver routes to end users.

Those who are prepared to pay for it, will get better outcomes. As more and more commercial road users adopt this type of technology, we will start to see traffic flowing more like water or energy, maximising the network capacity and steering traffic away from blockages until they are restored. This of course will also improve safety for all.

These concepts can also be applied to public transport, especially express routes, school buses, long haul and special event transport.

The immediate challenge is for the Fleet Management industry, or at least an initial key player to embrace quantum computing travel information/routing solutions and pilot them with companies or associations who want better outcomes.

This reminds me of the early days of eRUC, where companies created solutions allowing commercial vehicle operators to pay road taxes electronically straight from the vehicle. In the early days that was a big deal, today it is just BAU.

So what do you think? Want to wait for 10-20 years? Every large city in the world has the same problem and it is getting worse. By managing the network in the same way as they do now, do you think we will get a different result?

As this article from City Lab says, ‘Traffic has a Mind-Blowing Economic Toll’.

What does that mean for the consumer? Everything costs more. It’s that simple. We have known for years that traffic congestion has a major impact on GDP. It hurts everyone. Maybe it’s time to introduce some innovation. What do you think?

Posted in accidents, Artificial intelligence, Auckland, BAU, Big Data, Bus Apps, Buses, Business, Business Intelligence, car accidents, car crash, Car Navigation, car safety, Car Technology, car tracker, car tracking, city GPS travel apps, commuting, congestion, connected cars, Crash, disruptive model, driving, driving app, Fleet Management, Freight App, Future, future car, Future Technology, Good travel apps, Google, Government, GPS Bus Tracking, GPS Car Nav, GPS Nav, GPS Navigation, HERE, holiday traffic, Intelligent Transport Systems, location based apps, Location Based Consultant, motorway, Politics, Public Transport, Qauntum Theory, road rage, road toll, Road Tolling, Road Tolls, Route Optimisation, RTTI, RUC, safer driving, safer journeys, Safety app, School Bus, Schoolbus, SoLoMo, the future, TomTom, traffic, traffic congestion, Traffic Control, traffic demand, traffic design, Traffic Information, Traffic jam, Traffic Management, Traffic Optimization, Transport, travel demand management, Travel Information, Truck GPS, Truck Navigation, truck safety, Trucks, Why fleet management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Short Videos About GPS, Apps, Maps and More: Location Based Shorts. The Eyes Have It.

Where could you find that scene?

Location Based Shorts is a new series where I am embarking on a new series of sub 3 minute VLOGS (Video Blogs) about things that interest me and if you follow me, probably will interest you.

I comment on things taking place in the world of location based services which can take in almost anything.

The first eight short videos cover:

  • A Japanese stalker who used a number of technologies including reflections in his victim’s eyes from a selfie she posted at her usual train station, to identify her commute, working out her train station using Google Street View. He followed her home and viciously attacked her.
  • A new WiFi based technology that will allow police to digitise the unique gait , the way someone walks from a video, such as a security camera video and using software combined with existing WiFi or portable WiFi transceivers located outside, to confirm that the unique suspect they are pursuing is in a building (through the wall). This could save countless lives if it ends up with shots being fired.
  • The latest innovative new technologies from the 2019 Dubai Congress of Driverless Transport, some of which are already being trialed.
  • Sticker from Tile. A new type of peer to peer tracking device based on the Tile network that you can stick in your wallet, on your keyring or other valuables. Does it deserve to be stuck up on a pedestal?
  • People searching for a car park represents 30% of urban traffic congestion. With a focus on pushing people onto public transport by reducing the number of urban carparks councils plan to reduce the traffic jams. Will it work?
  • The Thailand Department of Land Transport is going to make GPS tracking devices compulsory in all public cars. You can track where that is going, but if not I’ll tell you the direction I think it will take.
  • Connected cars, 5G and the new features that everyone wants from a car but don’t really want to pay a premium for. Let’s cruise through a list of them.
  • Domino’s Pizza are going to trial Robot Food Delivery. People don’t want to drive for them, so they are working on a future where the drivers get what they want and customers have hot food arriving on a shelf in their driveways. That future arrives in Houston in 2019.
Subscribe to the playlist for more
Posted in #TheGPSMadeMeDoIt, Accurate Map Tracking, Autonomous cars, Bank Robbery, Best GPS, Best Practice GPS, Bluetooth, Car Navigation, Car Parking, Car Robot, car safety, Car Technology, car tracker, carpark information, carparking, cars, Catch Crooks with GPS, commuting, Concept Car, congestion, connected cars, disruptive model, Driverless car, Driverless Cars, driverless vehicles, drivers, driving, driving app, Future, future car, Future Technology, Futurist, Gadgets, Government, GPS, GPS Car Nav, GPS features, GPS MAde Me Do IT, GPS Maps, GPS Nav, GPS Navigation, GPS Police Tracker, GPS Problems, GPS Track People, GPS Tracker, GPS Tracking, Hacker, Hackers, Hacking, HAcking cars, Indoor Navigation, Innovation, Intelligent Transport Systems, Internet of Things, Internet Privacy, IoT, law enforcement, location based apps, Location Based Consultant, Location Based Education, Location Based Servces, Location Based Shorts, Luggage tracking, Map apps, mapping buildings, Maps, mobile travel apps, Motoring, nav apps, new cars, parking, parking apps, Police, Privacy, real time traffic, Road Tolling, Road Tolls, road trip, robots, RUC, safer driving, safer journeys, Safety app, Smart Car, Smart City, SmartPhone, Smartphones, Social Media, spy, stolen, Stolen cars, the future, top apps, Track Thieves, Tracking Apps, traffic, traffic congestion, Traffic Control, traffic demand, traffic design, Traffic Information, Traffic jam, Traffic Management, Traffic Optimization, Transport, travel demand management, Travel Information, V2V | Leave a comment

Where did my dog go? Dog GPS

Meet Ruby.

Sometimes I swear she thinks she is human. She is confident, playful, empathetic and tries to rule the roost with the other two dogs on our property.

She wasn’t always like that. When my wife bought her she was the runt of the litter who had been shipped from one pet store to another. She was sick and riddled with anxiety at about 3 months of age because she had no home, no humans to own, no sanctuary to call home.

Flash forward a couple of years and she is a member of our family. She comes and wakes us up in the morning. She gets off her bed and checks on us from time to time, just to make sure we haven’t run away. A little residual anxiety from years ago and if my wife goes out, she will sit by the front door until she returns.

She’s a bit scatty, which probably goes with the Spoodle breed, although she is smarter than she lets on. She certainly knows how to get what she wants from humans and from her mates, Bella and Miesha.

BUT, there’s always a but isn’t there? If anyone opens the front door, she is gone burger, she will race up our long driveway onto the cul de sac and where she goes from there is pretty random. That’s why we needed a Dog GPS.

Whilst we live in a cul de sac, that’s just the point where she starts off. She could end up on the main road, or she could end up in storm water culvert in the bush park just up the road.

Storm Water in the bush

She likes to swim in the creek, but as you can see it isn’t the cleanest. The bush is dense and she could easily get lost there. The bush has tracks going in every direction so the Dog GPS is really important because she could be anywhere.

Dogs go missing in the neighborhood too. It’s a weekly occurrence. Often they are never seen again. Some of them end up being used for dogfights or for training dogs to fight. Ruby wouldn’t stand a chance, so we need to be able to find her if she runs away. We don’t want her to become dog tucker.

There are dog trackers with Bluetooth but I want something that will work anywhere in the country. I found some great products from Tractive that come with global SIM cards (the card that goes in your mobile) that work virtually anywhere in the world. She goes to the beach, sometimes she might come visiting somewhere that isn’t fenced.

Tractive doesn’t currently ship to New Zealand (I’m working on that), but they will ship to anywhere in Europe and the USA.

undefinedOne of the features I really like is that you can share the app with friends. When Ruby takes off, it usually starts with us running after her and calling her. She thinks that’s a game and runs faster. Then we’re into our cars going in different directions. With Tractive Dog GPS it means that we can all see where she is and can get at her from two sides.

Anyway, if you have a pet you love like we love Ruby and he or she likes to run away from home. I recommend this as a great product. If you don’t live in the USA or Europe, watch this space and lets see if we can get them down under as well.

Posted in Animal tracking, best GPS trackers, GPS, GPS Pet Tracking, GPS Tracker | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Idea to Encourage Exercise and Wellbeing using GPS Tracking

I just read a story about someone who has cycled every road in London over a period of five years.

He used a combination of GPS and colouring in the A to Z Map of London. On this video you can see where he went.

I have been talking to Strava and Map My Run for years about a feature that would encourage you by showing you streets nearby that you haven’t walked, ran or cycled on, but all I got was “We’ll add it to the feature request list”.

Maybe I’ll have to work out a way to do this myself…..

Think about the health benefits of having people doing more exercise? We’ve done 10,000 steps. Would you try something new?

Posted in #TheGPSMadeMeDoIt, Bike tracking, cheap gps, city GPS travel apps, Crime, crime map, crowd sourced data, Customer Research, cycling, disruptive model, Family, Gadgets, Gamification, GPS, GPS Sports Tracking, GPS Tracker, GPS Tracking, Location based games, Location Based Servces, Location Based Services for Health, Mobile Apps, Mobile Health, Mobile Maps, mobile travel apps, nav apps, people tracking, Personal GPS Trackers, SoLoMo, Sport GPS, Sports GPS, Tourism apps, track children, Tracking Apps | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Crime Map Helps Community to Alert Each Other and Reduce Crime

KEPR Action News reports that businesses in Richland Washington appreciate Police having developed a crime map for the city.

Richland Crime Map App

This app stores crimes and the location they were alleged to have taken place for up to 180 days. Retailers and other businesses have welcomed this tool which allows them to be alert for clusters of crime that frequently occur in close proximity to each other.

This service can help people be alert for criminals planning to commit crimes and warn each other when they are occuring.

Some people don’t like this type of app, particularly because it can make an area look bad, especially if people are looking at buying or renting in an area. Personally I would like to know that information in advance.

If I lived there, this would be an opportunity to be more vigilant and make the area less attractive for criminals who also want to minimise the risk of being caught. That is if they have a little intelligence which has not been damaged by use of drugs.

I’d be pretty pleased if this was my community.

Posted in Accurate Map Tracking, Apps, burglary, Buying a Home Research, Crime, crime map, Crime Prevention, Map apps, neighborhood crime, Neighbourhood Crime, Police | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30% of Urban Traffic is People Looking for a Car Park

I used to love Friday networking lunches in Ponsonby, Auckland. We use to meet at an Indian restaurant who gave us a great deal and there would always be new people and opportunities.

The challenge was that finding a car park was very hard. I’d start off like other people arriving late having driven round in circles of ever increasing size until I found a park. Eventually I learned to arrive 20-30 minutes before the lunch and then had to spend time waiting for everyone else. I would visit local shops and maybe buy something which was good for them, but not so much for me. It also reduced the amount of time I had for metered parking.

There have been apps around for years, but many only operate in one part of town, or in one city, which means you may have to install several apps if you travel around a lot like I do.

I did quite a lot of research into this space as one of the keynote speakers to the New Zealand Parking Association a few years ago. If you’d like to see the presentation, you can find it here on Slideshare. It was called A View From Left Field. It surprised several operators when I pointed out that their car parks were not the customers’ destination. It’s funny how introverted you can be in an industry.

I discovered and met people who were developing car parking apps and one that I really liked was Frogparking. They are a NZ startup and have parks throughout Palmerston North and other locations, but have found most of their success overseas with many councils opting to develop their own apps.

Most systems require extensive proprietary hardware which can be expensive to install, but some like newcomer from Israel, Parkam is a disruptor who can use AI to identify car park availability simply by getting access to live security camera access.

Cities today are trying to reduce the numbers of cars, especially single occupancy, going into the city, which is a good thing, but leaving the car behind isn’t always an option. Reducing the number of car parks is one tool, as is congestion taxing. Whatever they do, this problem isn’t going away, so good apps need to become a part of the armoury.

Personally I feel the best thing to do is to utilise existing apps, rather than councils spending money developing and maintaining their own apps, which tend to be driven by trying to solve individual problems, whereas custom apps keep innovating because that is their core business.

Checkout my latest Location Based Shorts Video. It’s only a bit over 2 minutes long.

Posted in Auckland, Australia, Buses, Car Navigation, Car Parking, carpark information, carparking, cars, commuting, congestion, disruptive model, drivers, driving app, future car, GPS Car Nav, GPS Maps, GPS Nav, GPS Navigation, location based apps, Location Based Services, Location Based Shorts | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spark Sport, Sky and the Future of TV

I said I wouldn’t pay for it and I didn’t. However, as I have just had spine fusion surgery and limited mobility, my daughter’s partner paid the $89 as a get-well gift. So I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I’m not going to go ballistic about the quality. I have long been a friend of Telecom and over the years they have supported many of my endeavours, and I theirs. My very first job was as a Technical Service Officer at Airedale St Exchange. They gave me outstanding training. I only left because they weren’t innovating.

Telecom was a valued sponsor of the Wireless Forum, they worked closely with me in my time owning Mission Control, which I sold to Rocom and I became part of the biggest Telecom Mobile reseller, promoting mobile data and looking after some 20% of their top accounts, they used my consulting and training services when I owned the NZ Smartphone and PDA Academy,. We collaborated on all sorts of great projects around track and trace, Fleet Management, GPS, mobile apps and more. OK, it’s Spark now and we need them to keep innovating.

It is not easy being an innovator and while I’ve felt dizzy from the blurriness of some of the Rugby World Cup imaging, and been frustrated by things like ad breaks just when an interview starts or losing connection altogether, we desperately need competition and innovation in the world of TV, especially in New Zealand.

The question for me is who the innovators will be, and what innovations they will deliver? It has to be more than just rights to sport. I want to see real innovation.

Remember when we won the America’s Cup and Virtual Spectator made the racing much more exciting AND easy to understand. I still have some of the original software disks. That was innovation. It also made money through subscriptions and morphed into other sports.

I’m not sure what the goal posts are and I doubt many people do right now, but I am worried that so much money is being spent chasing rights to televise sport events, that there is not much left in the coffers to deliver innovation and enhancements. Spark has done a very good job with commentating and expert presenters with cool (but not new) graphics explaining new rules, new tactics and set piece, making us all armchair experts of the modern game, just like Peter Montgomerie did with the yachting.

Like many, I resent having to pay a lot of money to Sky, much of it for services I don’t use and as I said, I wasn’t going to pay for the Spark service (although I might have changed my mind lol). So now technically I’m paying twice. I am quite possibly going to drop both Sky and Spark before too long. I don’t have a never ending budget for entertainment, especially as I will be made redundant from my role at the NZTA from tomorrow.

There has been a lot of talk about updating TV’s which have all sorts of great new features built in. Well I got suckered into that a few years ago. I bought a Panasonic Smart TV with all sorts of bells and whistles, built in apps (half of them don’t work any more) and even 3D, with the expensive battery powered glasses, 4 of them!

Given that Shortland Street was the first program to go widescreen, I was sure they would be innovative and go 3D and that the same would go for wildlife and other TV programming. I was future proofing. Well so I thought. Can you name something that has been broadcast on SKY or free to air programming in 3D? Funny that. How much 4K or 8K TV is being broadcast right now. Those sets look unbelievable in store, but what can you actually see when you get it home?

In England, years ago, they started experimenting with the SKY buttons using features including picking a camera angle for football and interactions such as voting buttons. Imagine being able to pick the direction of a soap drama or reality TV, or engage in voting for contestants in shows like BGT. There was talk at one stage of being able to view multiple screens at once. With 70″ to play with, I’m sure the quality would be acceptable. I do have PIP but then I had that in my DVD player years ago.

What about being able to focus on particular players during a match as well as the main event? That would be relatively easy with player tracking technology already being used by the teams for physio and coaching.

I was in JB HiFi on the weekend prior to my surgery, to spend a gift voucher, unfortunately I couldn’t stand long enough to make a decision on what to buy because of my back pain. I play records, but not enough to pay $50 for an old or current album that I can listen to on Spotify, which by the way isn’t on my TV any more.

What happened to the music industry? Disruptors took over. From Napster to today, while lots of people apparently still listen to the radio, I suspect that the time they spend listening is minimal given they can now listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or pretty much anything they like. I can, and sometimes do, listen to my local radio station from my hometown in Holland while I’m driving. A lot of the local services I listen to on radio, like Time Saver Traffic are no more current or useful than I can hear through IP.

My point is that when the radio industry failed to innovate and the Internet made it possible to listen to just about anything you could imagine, they lost the attention of many of their previously loyal audience.

Today we have many choices that we can stream, in fact the choices are virtually unlimited. There are paid subscription services for Africa. I have Netflix, then there is YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Amazon, Apple, Lightbox and free to air IP TV from most countries around the world. The major news services like CNN and BBC have their own apps which I can access for free.

Many services offer social viewing which means you can comment, ask questions and much more on IP services, which are mostly not provided by the traditional TV industry. So many people, including myself are looking at pulling the plug on Sky, where I have to pay for so many channels I don’t watch, just to get the few that I do.

More and more people are using overseas IP addresses, giving themselves access to programming from other countries as if they were there and there are many not so legal options today to watch programming such as sport and special interest material that if you know how, you can find. There is probably a YouTube video with step by step instructions.

I do like to support local innovation and like most people, I am happy to pay a little more for what I want, especially if profits are retained in my country. Funny enough, with all the big data that companies like Sky and Spark have access to, they don’t seem to know what customers really want, or if they do, they seem to be cynically ignoring us.

Remember when the taxi industry was strong? How would Uber and others have done if the taxi companies had innovated first? They had all the tools, they had web maps, they had location based services, they had all the technology. They addressed some things like safety and security, but there is nothing that Uber and others are providing, cheaper I might add, that they couldn’t have provided first. They didn’t think they needed to. I call that the BAU disease of inertia, much of it stemming from boardrooms of old school professional directors who don’t add value to the business or understand where international best practice is going.

So when everyone who got sucked into buying a new TV to watch the All Blacks, when most of them only needed a laptop and Chromecast or similar realise they have been conned, and like on my Panasonic TV, the apps stop working in a few years time as the license fees expire. When they can get all sorts of cool programming for free or for a fee they are prepared to pay from newcomers to the industry. When they vote with their feet and brands like Spark and Sky find themselves without enough customers to cover their costs.

Who will they blame? The disloyal customers who now watch NRL Streaming TV, Olympic TV direct from the Games with 156 HD channels, cutting out the middle men? The boards who didn’t understand that the game had changed?

I guess it won’t matter. It’s years since we predicted TV would be A³ – Anytime, anywhere, any device. Many people now have dumb monitors on their walls. Why will I buy a TV when a terminal I can cast to is all I need? I’d be worried in that industry too. How much does a dumb 80″ display cost, compared to a TV that is obsolescent when it leaves the store? Half of the displays are made by one manufacturer. What value add to we truly need? But I digress.


It’s 2025, Sky is redundant, Spark has joined many other program delivery companies offering hundreds of channels of content for small fees in comparison to what people paid back in 2019. There is still some local programming, Shortland Street still survived (great marketing with the open day by the way) because the Government still owns the channel, and people still want to watch it, but almost everything else is delivered via fibre from offshore. How much did Sky and Spark write off? How much profit did they make out of rugby, Americas Cup and the Olympics

If you were on the management team of Sky or Spark back in 2019, and could go back in time, what would you do differently? Why not do that now? It doesn’t have to play out the way I’m predicting, but I suspect it probably will. Would you still spend hundreds of millions of dollars to deliver programming to customers for 2 months and then lose them? What could you do that might maintain and excite long term customers?

Now this was just my opinion. But I have been on the button many times over the years. I would love to read some rebuttal. Tell me I’m wrong and then let’s look back on this article in 2025.

Just after I finished Sky announced that they were investing $400 million to get the rights to rugby back.

Posted in 3D Glasses, 3D Printing, Apps, Future, Future Technology, Gamification, Innovation, New Zealand, taxi industry, Technology, World Cup Rugby | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment