It’s not often that you hear about a female taking center stage at a technology conference to deliver the keynote address. After all, despite considerable steps taken by women to break the glass ceiling in the technology arena, the following metrics still abound:
- Women hold 19 percent of CIO positions at Fortune 250 companies
- Among the tech companies within the Fortune 100, only four have female CEOs.
- Women hold 11 percent of executive technical roles at privately held, venture-backed companies
So when ITEXPO participants were informed that Dr. Satwant Kaur, affectionately dubbed the "First Lady of Emerging Technologies,” would be keynoting on day two of the convention, nearly every seat in the room was taken. With more than 20 years of proven success and innovation in the emerging technology arena, Kaur currently serves as the Chief Technologist - Innovation for HLS in the office of the CTO for the Hewlett-Packard Company.
This morning Kaur took the mic and put forth a challenge to all participants: pay attention to emerging technology trends dominating the sector, innovate in these spaces and make such progress so that the next time we all come together the emerging technologies have become obsolete.
“We are taking an exciting drive and talking about things that are not science fiction but are actual realities,” Kaur said. “We will take a look at the snapshot of emerging technologies today.”
According to Kaur, there are two emerging technologies truly dominating the space right now: Internet of Things (IoT) and bots. And the two together have accelerated the need for securing IoT and bot technologies.
To begin, Kaur argued that the Internet of Things is considerably shaping and changing the way in which we live. One example can be seen by Google, which recently created a contact lens designed specifically for diabetic individuals. The contact lens—by relying on the use of a wireless chip and sensor—can measure glucose and blood sugar levels in real time. If the reading is found to be of concern, an alarm will sound through small LED lights that light up.
So how does Google power this technology? By pulling energy from radiofrequency waves from an external device.
Just as IoT technologies are rocking our environment, bots too are making big splashes in the consumer and enterprise space. While there are various kinds of bots, Kaur focused on one created by Medtronic—a miniature pacemaker designed to help heart patients in need of pace makers. The bot created by Medtronic is the size of a vitamin capsule and doesn’t require disruption to be implanted.
Moreover, companies have developed bacteriobots which are designed to treat cancer cells in those affected by cancer. Chonnam National University from South Korea, for example, created a bacteriobot that can detect and treat cancer cells without the side effects of chemotherapy. The way it works is that that the bot serves as a genetically modified non-toxic salmonella bacterium that is attracted to the chemicals released by cancer cells so it can find cancer cells and attack the cancer by moving toward the tumor region with its flagella.
The rise of IoT and bots—while largely positive—has also exacerbated the need for secure IoT and bot technologies. Specifically, hackers are turning IoT into Thingbots, an army of infected devices. This past January, for example, it was found that there were 750,000 phishing and SPAM emails that originated from smart appliances.
“This tells us that we should design security as we design bots and IoT solutions,” Kaur said. “It has to be a part of the design process. It’s important to secure IoT as well as the bots that bring so much benefit to humanity.”
As Kaur rapped up she had one final challenge for all attendees.
“Go home, take these emerging technologies to the next level and come back with an entirely new snapshot of emerging technologies next year,” she concluded.
Be sure to check back at TechZone360 for more coverage from the other keynoters taking center stage at the conference.
Edited by Ryan Sartor