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The magazine for reseach and innofation (Fall 2001)

The magazine for reseach and innofation (Fall 2001)

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The magazine for reseach and innofation (Fall 2001)
The magazine for reseach and innofation (Fall 2001)

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Picturesof the Future
s
MEDICINECOMMUNICATIONSE-BUSINESS
Tomorrow’s Operating Rooms Agents, Bots and AvatarsPaying in Bits and Bytes
THE MAGAZINE FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Fall 2001
 
Scenario 2015:The Cutting Edge
14
Siemens Developments:The Transparent Patient
17
Interviews with Experts:Augmented Reality and Robot Technology 
22
Hand in Hand (MITI, Munich)
28
In Brief
31
 A process to help shape tomorrow’s world
4
Pictures of the Future: Technological trends in key business segments
6
HEALTHCARE
O
Tomorrow’s Operating RoomPICTURESOFTHEFUTURE
O
Introduction
Scenario 2015:Special Agents of the Future
50
Siemens Developments:Invisible Helpers
53
International Activities:Creating the Right Environment for Agents
58
In Brief
59
COMMUNICATIONS
O
Agents, Bots and Avatars
Scenario 2010:Digital
Money 
 — Paying in Bits and Bytes
34
International Activities:The Long Road to
€ 
ldorado
37
Siemens Developments: Paying with Your Fingertips
40
Interview with the German Bundesbank’s Hans Bauer 
44
In Brief
47
E-BUSINESS
O
The Electronic Future of Money
Global Network of Innovation / User Interface Design
32
R&DCooperation / Speech Recognition
48
Start-ups /If the Heart Could Speak
60
Patents and Researchers
62
Facts and Figures
64
Feedback / Preview
66
PICTURES OF THE FUTURE
O
FeaturesPICTURES OF THE FUTURE
O
ContentsPICTURES OF THE FUTURE
O
Editorial
 
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tis growing at a rate of betweenseven and eight percent each year, making it the world's most dynamic large-scale industry. It is an industry characterized by constant technological andstructural transformation. The pace of progress in microelectronics and soft-ware development remains high, and product and system cycles are becom-ing ever shorter. New products and services, price pressures, globalization,more customer focus and e-business — these are the challenges we nowface. There is no doubt that we areentering a new age — described by some as the fifth Kondratieff cycle — in which information and communi-cations will reshape all areas of lifeand enhance the significance of ser-vices, knowledge and expertise in the creation of value. But what's the bestpath into the future? Which new technologies and business concepts shouldcompanies employ to meet the demands of tomorrow’s customers? These areexciting questions, and the ability to provide the correct answers will deter-mine who will prosper in this new age.I
 
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t,a strategy for ”inventing the future,” is becomingpractically indispensable. At Siemens, one of the world’s leading electricaland electronics companies, Corporate Technology and the Groups have de-veloped a new procedure called ”Pictures of the Future” for implementingsuch a strategy. Pictures of the Future are sophisticated studies presentingSiemens’ technological visions for five key corporate areas: information andcommunications, automation, energy, transport, and healthcare. Thesestudies, which are continuously updated, are used to derive information onmarket potential, technological trends and new business opportunities. They can also lead to the development of new ways of working and identify thetechnological breakthroughs that will enable us to achieve our goals.Ou
 
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nealso marks a new approach. By leadingoff with scenarios of the future and building on these with profound articles,we want to provide our readers with comprehensive and expert insight intocurrent research and development activities at our company. Each issue willfocus on a few specific themes that will be presented from the perspective of both Siemens researchers and developers and the users of evolving technolo-gies. International developments will also be reviewed. Our goal is to provide you with a look into a future that all of us will create together. What could bemore exciting than that? 
 
 A look intoour future
Prof. Edward G. Krubasik,Member of the ManagingBoard of Siemens AG, hasspecial responsibilities for Corporate Technology as wellas for various Groups in theTransportation and Auto-mation and Control businesssegments.
Pictures of the Future | Fall 2001
32
Pictures of the Future | Fall 2001
 
CURRENTBUSINESS
Retropolation”
on the basis of scenariosNew marketsNew customer requirementsNew technologiesNew business opportunities
SCENARIOS FOR THEBUSINESS SEGMENTS
INFLUENTIALFACTORS
IndividualsSocietyPoliticsEconomyEnvironmentTechnologyCustomersCompetitors
todayshort termmedium termlong term
by combining extrapolationand retropolation
MedicalInformation &CommunicationsTransportationAutomation& ControlPower
Extrapolation
via “roadmaps”ProductsTechnologiesCustomer requirements
STRATEGICVISIONING
Time horizon (varies according to business segment)
PICTURES OF THE FUTURE
O
Introduction
ties in a systematic and sustained manner.The results can be seen in Siemens’ ”Picturesof the Future” — visions of where the worldof technology is headed in the years to come.These are in fact the product of two oppos-ing approaches or perspectives, each ofwhich reinforces the other. On the one hand,the pictures are extrapolations into the futurebased on the world of today; on the otherhand, they are generated through retropola-
Recognizing which innovations have high growthpotential, identifying key technological breakthroughs,anticipating future customer requirements, spotting newbusiness opportunities — Siemens is systematically doingall of these things in its quest to ”invent the future.”
area of activity under investigation. For ex-ample, it is certainly much easier to make re-liable predictions about the nature of powergeneration and distribution in 30 years thanit is to make equally reasonable statementsconcerning information and communicationstechnology.Once an appropriate time frame hasbeen selected, a comprehensive scenario canbe devised, incorporating all relevant factors,including the future development of socialand political structures, environmentalconsiderations, globalization, technologicaltrends and new customer requirements. Thetrick now is to backtrack to the present from
The ancient oracles
and soothsayers had aneasy time of it down through the ages. Allthey had to do was formulate their prophe-cies vaguely and all kinds of interpretationsbecame possible. But the obscure omens of aDelphic Oracle or cryptic predictions à la Nos-tradamus aren’t much use to today’s corpo-rate leaders, who require reliable forecasts re-garding future business trends. In anincreasingly complex business environmentmarked by ever-shorter product cycles, themajor challenge facing companies is how toorganize R&D activities in as focused a man-ner as possible — while making optimumuse of available funds. All of this requires aclear vision regarding new technologies, cus-tomer requirements and the markets that willemerge in the years and decades to come.But a leading global player like Siemenscannot be satisfied with merely attemptingto forecast new trends. As Siemens CEO Dr.Heinrich v. Pierer once said, ”Predicting thefuture works best when you create andshape it yourself.” And that’s why the motto”Inventing the Future” best describes Sie-tion — is also its biggest weakness, since themethod fails to predict discontinuities andgreat leaps forward in the developmentprocess. Figuratively speaking, while ”road-mapping” will take you on a journey along awell-built road, you won’t see much of what’sgoing on beyond the roadside. And you cannever be sure that the road isn’t about to endsuddenly, in which case it would have beenbetter to turn off many miles before.However, with the use of a complemen-tary approach, known as the ”scenario tech-nique,” such matters can be judged withmore certainty. What Siemens calls retropola-tion involves imaginatively placing yourselfsome 10, 20 or even 30 years or more intothe future. The time-scale depends on thethe ”known” facts of the future scenario. Inthis way, it is possible to identify the kinds ofchallenges and problems that need to beovercome to get there.By combining extrapolation and retropo-lation — and bringing these two approachesinto harmony with one another — Siemensengineers can draw up Pictures of the Futurerevealing which changes will impact thecompany’s different areas of activity. How-ever, the purpose of these pictures is notmerely to depict visions of the future; as partof a systematic, ongoing process at the com-pany, they also help quantify future markets,detect discontinuities, anticipate forthcomingcustomer requirements, and identify newtechnologies with large growth potential andmens’ philosophy. Simply following trendswill not help a company with such ambitions.Instead, it must identify new ideas and ap-proaches, take appropriate action, andthereby become a trendsetter for innovation.In recent years, Siemens Corporate Tech-nology Department has therefore workedclosely with the operating Groups in order todevelop a package of powerful measures de-signed to optimize the company’s R&D activi-tion back to the present, starting from theworld of tomorrow. Extrapolation, the firstperspective, may also be seen as ”road-mapping” — in other words, projecting thetechnologies and products of today into thefuture. The aim here is to anticipate, as pre-cisely as possible, the point in time at whichcertain things will become available or whena need for them will arise. The advantage ofthis approach — an objective starting posi-mass appeal. This, in turn, generates newbusiness opportunities for the products, sys-tems and services of the company’s businesssegments as well as a unified vision of thetechnological future for Siemens as a whole.In addition to being a crucial factor influ-encing the success of the Siemens innova-tion initiative, Pictures of the Future havealso become a key instrument for optimizingthe company’s R&D strategy. Such insightsinto tomorrow’s world not only sketch a co-herent picture of the future but also showhow to get there. Ultimately, that’s the cru-cial difference between inventing the futureand merely trying to predict it.
Ulrich Eberl
Pictures of the
Future
 — A process to help shape tomorrow’s world
Planning for the Future — the Siemens Way
The pronouncements of theDelphic Oracle often led peopleastray. In contrast, the Siemens”Pictures of the Future” methodshows a clearly structuredpath toward the future.
Pictures of the Future | Fall 2001
54
Pictures of the Future | Fall 2001

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