The facial recognition revolution
(Getty Images)
August 11th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

The facial recognition revolution

Editor's Note: Jan Chipchase is Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at frog, a global innovation firm. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square. His Twitter handle is @janchip.

By Jan Chipchase - Special to CNN

The revolution is right here in front of us; we just can’t see it yet.

Less than a decade ago, while conducting research into how people use mobile technology around the globe, there would come a point where I’d take out my camera and start documenting. The act of taking a photo was very much a one-way street – me documenting the interviewee.

Then, about four years ago, the relationship started to shift. Pretty much anywhere in the world when I took out my camera, people would then delve into pockets and bags (and occasionally sleeves) and pull out a camera phone and start to document me documenting them. Today, they still take the photo, but what is taken is far more likely to be shared online.

The next step in this evolution - or should I say revolution - will soon be upon us with the mainstreaming of facial recognition technology, which through smartphones will literally be in the palm of your hand. The ability to identify someone at a moment's notice by snapping a photo of him or her, to trigger an immediate influx of data about the person behind the face, will forever change the world.  FULL POST

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Topics: Innovation • Technology
Is Internet access a human right?
July 14th, 2011
01:20 PM ET

Is Internet access a human right?

Editor's Note: Jan Chipchase is Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at frog, a global innovation firm. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Jan Chipchase - Special to CNN

We’re halfway done with 2011, a year marked by remarkable, revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East - uprisings facilitated and documented on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.

When the governments in Egypt and Syria tried to control the flow of information from citizens by blocking Internet access and other forms of communication, the worldwide perception of these acts was that they were sinister and cruel. People were silenced. It was as if their vocal chords were cut; it was as if we, outside the Middle East, were blinded.

Was the impact so dramatic because today Internet access has reached the status of a basic need – like clean water or electricity?

The United Nations, in fact, recently declared that disconnecting people from the Internet is a violation of human rights. And if connectivity is a human right, how do we help make the Internet more accessible to everyone – from those in the throes of a revolution, to fellow citizens back home? What is our responsibility to bridge the digital divide? FULL POST

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Topics: Human Rights • Innovation • Internet • Technology
Innovation lessons from a vending machine
June 13th, 2011
11:50 AM ET

Innovation lessons from a vending machine

Editor's Note: Jan Chipchase is Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at frog, a global innovation firm. He lives in China and works in frog's Shanghai studio - when he isn't conducting extensive research on consumer behaviors around the world. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Jan Chipchase - Special to CNN

Want to find the next big idea? Here’s a counterintuitive way to start:

- First, acknowledge that America is a place where consumers often lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to the mass adoption of new technologies.

- Second, take a step back and look at what innovations have worked outside of the United States.

- Finally, consider how to bring these innovations to American audiences.

FULL POST

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Topics: Innovation • Technology • United States
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