Tech Headlines for February 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015

February headlines review a new Accenture report, Serious Games Challenge winners, proposed FCC Internet regulations, and an infographic on top trends for 2015.

Tech Vision 2015 Reports on “New Era of Digital Ecosystems”

Today’s pioneering enterprises are doing more than just talking a good digital game. They are fundamentally changing the way they look at themselves, stretching their mindsets and operations to quickly mastering the shift from “me” to “we.”

Indeed, the new Tech Vision 2015 report from Accenture Research finds that proactive corporate leaders see their businesses, employees and customers as cohesive, interdependent embers of a living, breathing digital fabric that offers unprecedented opportunity to establish beachheads in new markets, drive profit and change life for the better.

Every year, the Accenture Technology Vision team collaborates with Accenture Research to pinpoint the emerging IT developments that will have the greatest impact on companies, government agencies, and other organizations in the next three to five years. 

For the 2015 report, the research process included gathering inputs from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group comprising more than two dozen executives and entrepreneurs from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital, and startup companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted nearly 100 interviews with technology luminaries, industry experts, and Accenture business leaders.

The team also tapped into the vast pool of knowledge and innovative ideas from professionals across Accenture, using Accenture’s collaboration technologies and a crowdsourcing approach to launch and run an online contest to uncover the most interesting emerging technology themes. Over 1,700 participants actively engaged in the contest, contributing valuable ideas and voting on others’ inputs.

In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global survey of 2,000 business and IT executives across nine countries and 10 industries to gather insights into the adoption of emerging technologies. The survey helped identify the key issues and priorities for technology adoption and investment.

According to the data, we’re witnessing the birth of a new era of “digital ecosystems.” In Tech Vision 2015, Accenture charts the discussion in the context of five key trends:

  • The Internet of Me—As everyday objects and experiences become digitized, new frontiers of personalization centered on the individual open up.
  • Outcome Economy—Intelligent hardware and digital technology are helping businesses deliver meaningful, real-world results and promising transformative opportunities for everyone.
  • Platform (R)evolution—Leading enterprises are carving out new playing fields as rapid advances in cloud and mobility technology drive platform-based ecosystems.
  • Intelligent Enterprise—Software that learns and adapts is part of all-encompassing effort that propels innovation throughout the business and an enhanced customer experience.
  • Workforce Reimagined—As the digital revolution gains momentum, humans and machines must do more together. Successful businesses will embrace both as critical team members.

How to sum it all up? It’s not just about you—or me, or anyone else in particular. It’s about all of us—The "We Economy."
FCC Proposes Regulating Internet as a Utility 

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler recently proposed sweeping new federal rules to regulate the Internet like a public utility. 

The plan "assures the rights of Internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone's permission," Wheeler wrote in an essay posted online Wednesday by Wired magazine. 

An FCC official said the rules would prohibit broadband service providers from blocking access to legal content, slowing delivery speed based on content or source, or favoring some content providers by giving them preferential delivery speeds. 

The rules would apply equally to wired and wireless services, including mobile broadband used by smartphone and tablets. This approach is an endorsement of what has come to be known as "net neutrality." 


Serious Games Challenge Announces 2014 Winners 

Covering a variety of subjects from cyber security to a slave’s escape to freedom, to a synthetic biology game, this year’s Serious Games Showcase & Challenge (SGS&C) winners were announced at the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Forida. 

SGS&C received submissions from all over the nation, as well as internationally, that competed for the awards. Middle and high school students from Orange County Public Schools (Florida) picked this year’s Students’ Choice from a selection of 12, while the prestigious People’s Choice Award was chosen exclusively by I/ITSEC attendees. The five remaining category winners were chosen by a panel of international evaluators. 

With a goal to identify innovative game-based technologies and solutions that improve training across all segments for individuals, groups and systems, SGS&C opens the door for game developers to put their work in front of some of the best gaming and simulation companies in the world. 

The 2014 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge category winners are: 

  • People's Choice and Best Mobile Serious Game: "Eagle Eye" by U.S. Army's PdM Ground Maneuver
  • Best Industry Developed Serious Game: "Info Sentinel – Travel Security" by MAVI Interactive
  • Best Government Developed Serious Game: "Strike Group Defender" by Office of Naval Research PMR51
  • Best Student Developed Serious Game: "Cyber Heist" by University of Utah (Jake Muehle, A.J. Dimick, Chris Rawson, and Vaibhav Bhalerao)
  • Students' Choice: "The Underground Railroad" by Muzzy Lane Software for National Geographic
  • Special Emphasis Award – "Use of Social Media: Nanocrafter" by the University of Washington's Center for Game Science 

The evaluators believe what these games all have in common is the ability to get and hold the attention of their players and to achieve a goal or objective through play of the game. “As always, this year’s competition really showcases the best serious games being used today,” said Stu Armstrong, QinetiQ, this year’s industry team lead. “The quality of the games are exceptional, with the 18 finalists really demonstrating the effectiveness of games as training and education tools.” 
MAVI Interactive, this year’s winner in the Best Industry Developed Serious Game category, with Info Sentinel – Travel Security, first participated in 2009, and was selected a finalist that year. Although they have been a finalist in each of their other two years of participation (2011 and 2012), this year was the first time they advanced from a finalist to a category winner. 

“We received valuable feedback from the committee with each year’s iteration of this game that we submitted, said Bora Aytun, co-founder and CEO of MAVI Interactive. “We addressed those points, and built the entire game on the feedback of the evaluators.” 

“We really didn’t expect to win,” Aytun added. “We don’t go into it trying to win—we’re just trying to do everything we can to create the best game possible, and have as much fun as possible. This is pretty exciting for our whole team!” 

The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015, and submissions will open on or around August 1, 2015.

Infographic on the Top E-Learning Stats and Facts for 2015 

Countless reports, surveys, and studies have shown that the e-learning industry is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, an increasing number of individuals, corporations, and institutions are turning to eLearning as they recognize its effectiveness and its convenience. Here are some important e-learning statistics and facts for 2015, some of which may even surprise you.




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About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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