Ford Inventing for the Future

Ford-Cmax HybridJeffrey Powers and Andy “Hardhathead” Smith talked to Johannes Kristensson of Ford about the research that Ford is involved in now and into the future. Ford showed off the Evo Concept car at CES 2012. It shows off the technology that they are working on and maybe in their full line of cars five to seven years from now. For example five years ago the idea of the app link was just a dream. The engineers and research at Ford were not sure how they were going to do it or if they could. Today it is what people talk about when they talk about Ford vehicles.

One of the biggest changes for Ford that has happen over the last five years is Ford no longer thinks of itself as a car company, it sees itself as a technology company that also makes the car. The researchers and engineers at Ford get their inspirations from consumers, their colleagues and from other industries. One of the areas that Ford is currently working on is connecting the car to the cloud. They are developing vehicle to vehicle communication. So if the tires of your car hit an ice slick, that information can be communicated to the cars around you, or your car could get a message from a stop light telling you it’s about to change and you need to be prepared to stop. These are just a few examples of what Ford is working on for the future. Ford has been around now for over a 100 years, and I believe that Ford is innovating more today then it has for a long time, perhaps since Henry Ford was in charge.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Andy HeadHardHat Smith of RVNN.TV

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Cost of PC = Cost of Accessories

That’s a bit harder to answer.

Well, if you’re Jane or Joe Average, you’ll have probably spent pretty much the same again on stuff to enhance your PC, from anti-virus software to graphics card upgrades.  IDC have been looking at the “beyond-the-box” purchases and for every dollar spent on the PC, you spent $1.05 on extra bits’n’bobs in 2009.

This is up from only $0.87 per dollar in 2008, partly due to the fall in price of PCs but overall the market is worth $28.6 billion, which is pretty healthy, regardless.

IDC also said, “PC users have moved en masse toward a Web-centric environment, and cloud-based activities are on the rise. In contrast, productivity-based activities have become a secondary focus among consumers.”  I’m not 100% sure what this means but I think it’s saying that PC use is moving away from writing letters and balancing bank accounts and into entertainment from YouTube, Facebook and Spotify.  No surprises there then.

The Research Director, David Daoud, went on to say, “With the trend of a multi-PC per user environment, the accessories market will play a growing role in insuring seamless integration of all the devices in businesses and households. The need for solutions to enhance user experience, improve productivity, and secure users’ computing environment mean that the accessories market will continue to expand going forward.”

Translating…as people increasingly have more than one computer, e.g. a PC and a netbook, they’re having to spend more money making everything work together.  Absolutely true.  They’ll need a Wi-fi access point for the netbook, a NAS to share files, a printer with a print server and external HDDs for backup (yeah, right).

So, the next time you are budgeting for a PC, think of a number and double it.