03 September 2014

The Network is the Robot

Ultra-broadband diffusion, Information Technology (IT) advances and the market mass decreasing costs are determining a growing adoption of processing and storage resources.

The number of devices, terminals, things connected to the network is growing at an exponential rate: microprocessors and embedded communications are everywhere around us. Smart Cities are going to become populated by any sort of mobile terminals, devices, machines, smart things, sensors, actuators, drones, robots etc.

This is the coming of machine intelligence which will determine a number of socio-economic implications, moving us and the Industry towards the Digital Society and the Digital Economy, where real-time robotics (the new digital tools of mankind) will be pervasive. But robots will require a real-time nervous system! 

In this big technology transformation, we need developing an highly flexible and pervasive 5G network, embedding processing and storage capabilities, and capable of providing high bandwidth, ultra-low latency connections. Space-time dimensions of Society and Economy will be morphed.

And a technical challenge will be exploiting the real-time Operating System“ of this “nervous system,  i.e., an Operating System intended to serve real-time applications (whatever they are functions or services or related chains) requested from all kinds of terminals (i.e., smartphones, tablets, machines, smart things, cars, robots, drones) attached to the Network and the Cloud. And these borders Terminals-Networks-Cloud will disappear !

So, my take is that controlling and minimizing the “latency” (in its generalised interpretation, including IT response time) will represent a powerful competitive advantage over which building new forms of cooperation and competition, and eventually business models for the Digital Society and Economy. 

If I had to summarize this in a slogan, I'd say: "The Network is the Robot".