Week 1 Reading Response


by Klaus Schwab

Nowadays it has almost become hard to be and feel ‘disconnected’ as digital technology grows faster than ever. I’m not a science expert but Google told me that the First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production, the Second one used electric power to create mass production. The Third Industrial Revolution used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now we are living through a Fourth Industrial Revolution; the Digital Revolution. It is characterized by what Schwab describes in his reading : a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

One notion really struck my attention in this reading

I was particularly attracted to the notion of Remote Monitoring as I have recently found myself surprisingly being surrounded by it. Schwab describes it as ‘a widespread application of the IoT. Any package, pallet or container can now be equipped with a sensor, transmitter or radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that allows a company to track where it is as it moves through the supply chain.’

Indeed, this tracking system helps customers continuously track an item/car almost in real life time as they progress until being delivered/at destination. It is hard to imagine such technology has become so rapidly and sneakily a -normal- part of our every day life.

The first company that comes to my mind is indeed Uber and how they can nowadays track a driver’s car and let you know exactly where the car is on a map. Ordering a pizza has never been that fun, being able to track on the company’s website when your pizza is being cooked, wrapped and delivered. Moreover, mails and parcels can nowadays be tracked and followed until delivered. It is a continuously growing technology and I would have never thought such advanced technology would become so present and affordable in our lives. Five years ago it would have sounded more like some ‘futuristic spying stuff’.

I did a bit of online search related to track monitoring and especially on the Uber company; it is the company I am the most familiar with as I catch an uber every weekend after work.

For most of the users, services like Uber are so popular not just for convenience or easy availability of cars but also for the sense of safety that comes from knowing that your car is being tracked by GPS. I’d like to know how this advanced technology works and see if it is as safe as ‘everyone’ claims it.

In an article on http://gadgets.ndtv.com/ it states :

“The truth however, is that these cars are not being tracked by standalone GPS systems that would be hard or impossible to disable by a driver – instead, going off the radar is apparently as simple as turning a phone off. That’s because Uber uses a phone-based GPS system, which it uses to track its cars in much the same way that it tracks the location of a user.”

Now that is something I wish I did not read.

So how far is the tracking monitoring system going to go ?

In the near future, similar monitoring systems will also be applied to the movement and tracking of people” – Klaus Schwab

To be continued…

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