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Club of Amsterdam Journal, November 2003, Issue 12

Shaping Your Future in
the Knowledge Society

The Club of Amsterdam Journal appears 2 x per month.
You can find the online version at:
November 2003, Issue 12
the future of

Tuesday, Oct 28!
A letter from 2028, In the Age of Creativity

"The Value of Knowledge doesn't exist!"

EU - Biosociety

European Institute for the Media

Regional Information Society Initiatives (RISI/IRISI)

Future of Learning Group

.8 predictions for the Future of the Music Business by Gerd Leonhard

Gerd Leonhard,
Music Futurist,
former CEO,, USA/Switzerland

1) Music like water: music is no longer a product but a SERVICE. Music became a product with the advent of recording (records, tapes, CDs) and the formation of an industry that quickly figured out that selling the bottle can make more a lot more money than only selling the wine. For the future, think of a 'record label' as a 'music utility company'.

2) A bigger pie, but cheaper slices: today's music pricing schemes will be completely eroded by digital music services (legal and otherwise), and by stiff competition from other entertainment products. A 'liquid' pricing system will emerge, involving subscriptions, bundles of various content types, multi-channel and multi access charges, and countless added-value services. CD prices will end up at around 5-7 Euro per unit. But most importantly, the overall music consumption will steadily increase, and will eventually bring in $50-$90 Euro per person per year, with 75% of the population in the leading markets as active consumers - the pie will be 3 times as large.

3) Diverse and ubiquitous: a wide range of music will be everywhere, and music will be part of everything that used to be 'images - only': from rich media advertising to interactive slideshows to car software to MMS and digital cameras, to advertising in magazines (!) - the audio-visual use of music will soar, and the licensing revenues will explode along with it.

4) Access to music will replace ownership. Soon, consumers will have access to 'their' music anytime anywhere, and the physical possession of it will in fact be more of a handicap, or a knack of collectors. Music will feel (and act) like water.

5) Multi-point access to music will be the default environment, allowing consumers to 'fill-up' their music devices at airports, train stations and in coffee shops and bars, using wireless as well as fixed-media and on-demand technologies.

6) Go direct: major artists will exceedingly rely on their own 'brandability' and - via their managers - go direct to the consumers, using their own in-house marketing, branding and promotion teams.

7) The software PRO: the (performing) right organizations (PROs) as we know them will likely fade away. Complete technology solutions comprised of watermarking and fingerprinting, DRM (Digital Rights Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) components, monitoring, admin / accounting and instant payment solutions will do the job quicker, cheaper and, of course, with complete transparency.

8) Mobile mania: cell phones and other wireless devices will eventually utilize and suck up more 'content' than any Internet service or p2p client ever has. Real-music ring-tone offerings, Multi-Media SMS (MMS), java-based games, wireless streaming audio and video, I-Mode type applications and other cell-phone based offerings will proliferate very quickly, at first in Europe and Asia, followed by the U.S.
.about the future of the Media & Entertainment Industry

The Future of Music in the Age of Spiritual Machines
by Ray Kurzweil
"We are moving towards an era of software-based musical instruments, intelligent accompanists, and music as information", says Ray Kurzweil.

The Future of Communications
by Intel Research
Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device
The future is unwired Analysts predict that by 2005 there will be 700 million mobile handsets and over 80 million WLANs (wireless local-area networks) in use world-wide, and nearly 13 million wireless home networks in place in the United States. Explosive growth of wireless networks and devices will have a huge impact on the core network itself. The network equipment infrastructure, converged devices and valuable services that are enabling the unwired future represent an enormous opportunity for computing and communication companies and the businesses and consumers they serve.

.News about the Future
Conducting computers touchlessly

Software developers routinely lace their conversations with terms like interface and user interface. But even the rest of us know these words from experience - when using a touch-sensitive screen to buy a train ticket at an automated dispenser for instance. The touch screen replaces real keys with virtual ones, the idea being to reduce the number of keys and simplify interaction with the various display pages. A variety of sensor-based methods are used to link finger touch to the appropriate point on the screen, so that the computer understands the instruction. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Media Communication IMK have developed a system that works entirely without physical contact.

The sensor technique that we have developed is based on a phenomenon which is familiar to most people, says Wolfgang Strauss, cohead of the IMK group on Media, Arts and Research Studies MARS. If you move around in the vicinity of a radio equipped with an antenna, reception tends to improve or deteriorate depending on where you stand, due to interference with the electricalmagnetical field. Our system measures similar changes in a locally generated, weak, oscillating electric field, but with much greater precision and spatial resolution. An array of four antennas is installed in front of the display device. When you stretch out your arm to point to a specific part of the screen, the field strength in that area changes. A special processor interprets your gesture by analyzing the strength of the analog signals. It converts them into digital coordinates and passes them on to the multimedia processing system and the screen.

Let water power your cell phone: University of Alberta engineering researchers revisit a novel source of electricity

A team of researchers at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta have built upon 40-year-old research to revive a novel way of generating electricity from flowing water - instead of ever having to charge up a cellular again, the phone could soon be fitted with a battery that uses pressurized water.

Research published October 20, 2003 by the Institute of Physics journal, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering reinforces an older method of generating electric power by harnessing the natural electrokinetic properties of a liquid such as ordinary tap water when it is pumped through tiny microchannels. The research team in Edmonton, Canada, has a prototype for a new source of clean non-polluting electric power with a variety of possible uses, ranging from powering small electronic devices to contributing to a national power grid.

The research was led by Professor Daniel Kwok and Professor Larry Kostiuk from the University of Alberta. It built upon a paper published in November, 1964 by Dr. Osterle at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With the assistance of two graduate students, the team was able to build a prototype to illuminate a real light bulb by exploiting the coupling between electrokinetic phenomena and the hydrodynamics of liquid flow.

This discovery has a huge number of possible applications," said Kostiuk. "Its possible that it could be a new alternative energy source to rival wind and solar power, but this would need huge bodies of water to work on a commercial scale. Hydrocarbon fuels are still the best source of energy but theyre fast running out and so new options like this one could be vital in the future. This technology could provide a new power source for devices such as mobile phones or calculators which could be charged up by pumping water to high pressure."

Although the power generated from a single channel is extremely small, millions of parallel channels can be used to increase the power output. More work will be needed to further understand this new means to produce power.

The environmental benefit of clean energy conversion using safe, renewable materials is motivating the team to explore how their prototypical device may be developed into a battery for eventual commercial use. The inventors are working with the U of A's Technology Transfer Group (TTG) to develop a commercialization strategy for the groundbreaking work. A patent application has been filed by the university to obtain broad, early protection of the invention. The TTG is reviewing market opportunities.

CERN and Caltech join forces to smash Internet speed record
CERN and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) received an award for transferring over a Terabyte of data across 7,000 km of network at 5.44 gigabits per second (Gbps), smashing the old record of 2.38 Gbps achieved in February between CERN in Geneva and Sunnyvale in California by a Caltech, CERN, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center team.

The international CERN-Caltech team set this new Internet2 Land Speed Record on 1 October 2003 by transferring 1.1 Terabytes of data in less than 30 minutes, corresponding to 38,420.54 petabit-metres per second. The average rate of 5.44 Gbps is more than 20,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection and is equivalent to transferring a full CD in 1 second or a full length DVD movie in approximately 7 seconds.

"This new record marks another major milestone towards our final goal of abolishing distances and, in so doing, to enable more efficient worldwide scientific collaboration," said Martin, Head of External Networking at CERN and Manager of the European Union DataTAG project. "The record further proves that it is no longer a dream to replicate terabytes of data around the globe routinely and in a timely manner."

Newman, head of the Caltech team and chair of the ICFA Standing Committee on Inter-Regional Connectivity said: "This is a major milestone towards our goal of providing on-demand access to high energy physics data from around the world, using servers affordable to physicists from all regions. We have now reached the point where servers side by side have the same TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) performance as servers separated by 10,000 km. We also localised the current bottleneck to the I/O capability of the end-systems, and we expect that systems matching the full speed of a 10 Gbps link will be commonplace in the relatively near future."

Thursday, November 27, 2003
.BBC Research & Development: MixTV

BBC R&D is a world leading centre for media production and broadcasting technology.

The goal of MixTV is to enhance and innovate BBC broadcast productions by using Mixed Reality Technologies in various genres.

MixTV: Mixed reality in future production
The MixTV system can in real time a) merge real and virtual elements, b) work in a conventional studio or outdoor production, c) allow free movement and zooming of the camera and d) allow interaction with the virtual elements.

How does it work?
1) Markers are tracked in real time and replaced by virtual elements
2) The virtual elements are merged with the live video image
3) Animations are triggered by bringing two markers together
4) Mask layers are generated using the alpha channel
5) Transitions from real to virtual camera and video walls

Interactive productions
Hands-on productions can use a standard PC and a web camera. These can be productions for road shows, public spaces, web and for proof of concept. One example is the Euro Table that shows ways of communicating financial data to our viewers to inform and entertain.

Broadcast productions
Conventional studio or outdoor productions can use a standard POC and any study quality camera. One example is the WarBoard production that shows possible ways to communicate and analyse news of a country in conflict to our viewers.

.Canada - Innovation Nation

"Innovation Nation - een seminar over de high-tech sector en het ondernemingsklimaat in Canada", November 14, Amsterdam

.Recommended Book

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
by Howard Rheingold

The title of this book is a mild pun. People are using smart "mobs" (rhymes with "robes") to become smart "mobs" (rhymes with "robs"), meaning, sophisticated mobile Internet access is allowing people who don't know each other to act in concert. In this timely if at times overenthusiastic survey of wireless communication devices, Rheingold (The Virtual Community) conveys how cell phones, pagers and PDAs are shaping modern culture. He interviewed dozens of people around the world who work and play with these technologies to see how this revolution is manifesting, and his findings are stirring. The concept has caught on among young Japanese, where cliques of teenagers hang out together all day, despite being in different places, by sending and receiving hundreds of iconic text transmissions on their iMode telephones. And demonstrators in Seattle and Manila relied on wireless telephones to coordinate their actions and evade barricades. In major cities, Rheingold says, techno-hipsters can congregate in "WiFi" areas that interact with their wireless devices to let them participate in a virtual social scene. In one amusing example, he tells of upscale prostitutes who can enter their services and prices into their mobile phones, allowing customers to discreetly determine if anyone nearby is selling what they want to buy (a Japanese company, Lovegety, has already adapted this idea to dating). This study of the potential of mobile, always on, fast Internet access nicely serves as a travelogue to the future, showing the possibilities and dangers of communications innovation.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a supporter of the Club of Amsterdam

Sponsor of the Club of Amsterdam event about 'the future of the Media & Entertainment Industry' on Thursday, November 27:

.The Club of Amsterdam Round Table: Hugo de Bruin

Hugo de Bruin,
HDB Interactive,
Management &

The future of TV

Over the past decades the TV broadcasters have had a lot of power. The most powerful medium type of our times, TV, is actually more than the medium itself: it is also a technical content form as well as en end user device. The power of the TV broadcaster spans over the complete chain, from production right into the living room.

We as consumers are of course very pleased with the large choice of channels and programs we can watch and will probably accept the commercials as an unavoidable side effect. But habits are changing. Today in the USA, youth between 12 and 25 is spending more time on the Internet than watching TV. This generation will inevitably grow up into being the ruling establishment and therewith dictating the consumer market. When asked for the main reason for choosing the Internet over TV, they state that the freedom to choose their own content and subjects is leading. This should be a firm wake-up call for all traditional broadcasters.

What will happen to the power of broadcasters as soon as they loose their dominance over the complete chain is evident. After all, in the experience of the consumer the TV is just another screen. So what if you can hook up this screen to the processing power and storage capability of your home PC, which in its turn is connected to the Internet by means of i.e. ADSL? Compression rates and connection protocols are evolving constantly and we are very close to being able to send a complete feature movie over the existing Internet in just a few seconds (thanks to an improved TCP protocol recently tested by CERN and Caltech).

The TV will just be another screen in the interconnected home and traditional broadcasters will only survive if they are able to provide the consumer with sufficient added value over their distant Internet competitors, who probably will be the content owners themselves. How they should do this? Your guess is as good as mine, I can only advice them to talk to this new Internet generation and take a close look at what these kids are doing today.

.Club of Amsterdam Events 2003/2004

October 28, 2003

the future of Food & Biotech

November 27, 2003

the future of the Media & Entertainment Industry

January 28, 2004

the future of the European Knowledge Society

February 18, 2004

the future of Education & Learning

March 31, 2004

the future of Energy - the Hydrogen Economy?

April 28, 2004

the future of Healthcare & Technology

May 19, 2004

the future of Architecture

June 23, 2004

the future of Culture & Religion


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