Verizon Executives Weigh in on 2017


Verizon has given us some predictions for 2017, providing some insights into the future of technologies like IoT, AI, VR, Connected Transportation and Smart Cities. We asked Christian Egeler, head, AR and VR Product Development, and Dan Feldman, director, Business Development for Verizon Smart Communities, to share their predictions about how tech trends like VR, AI and Smart Cities will accelerate in 2017.

IoT Evolution: We always hear the words Lab and think of the old Bell Labs and all the technology advances. Can you describe the focus of the Verizon Labs? Are you working on network advancements? How does Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality fit into the network offerings?

Christian Egeler: Artificial Intelligence and VR go hand in hand. Today AI is not visualized or 3D rendered and not personable. Using VR as an experience platform rendering and visualizing AI will be incredibly useful and more relevant to consumers.

IoTE: When it comes to VR, we have seen the Oculus games and VR. Are there practical applications for businesses with VR?

CE: Indeed there are. I can think of conferencing and telecommuting like they were in the real physical office or an environment of their choosing as a couple ideas. Also the ability to visualize curated data from IoT platforms to a real user helps connect man with the invisible machine.

IoTE: You are also looking at smart cities and we have seen the term be used for everything from the smart commute to the smart utilities. Is there a set of basic features you think make the Smart City strategy compelling?

Dan Feldman: At Verizon, we’re focused on Smart Communities, which include Cities, Counties, Universities, Stadiums & Venues. It’s really all about citizen engagement and delivering those experiences by connecting people with their communities while providing critical security, transportation and way finding solutions. Verizon has developed an array of connected solutions including intelligent parking, lighting, traffic management and security that improve livability, resiliency and public safety for local communities. Many Smart Community strategies leverage sensor-based data, which is fed into software that can provide reporting, analytics and even controls.  An example is traffic systems where near real-time data and predictive analytics can advise Cities on the best traffic patterns based on historic information or real-time information. Basic features might include available sensor data combined with software that can provide visualization, reporting and analytics, support by a platform like ThingSpace.

IoTE: Marc Andreessen says it’s all software these days. What role does the network play and how do you see the role of hardware and the Internet of Things in Smart Cities?

DF: The network is essential as the number of devices increases exponentially and IoT devices require more bandwidth and lower latency. In fact, Verizon just deployed the first commercially available CATM1 network, which will enable sensors and devices requiring lower throughput, longer battery life and better power efficiency for IoT use cases, like sensors in the road for smart parking solutions. The hardware (sensors, cameras etc.) is used to gather data and that data then needs to transmit over that network in a seamless and secure manner. An example of this is Smart Parking: Parking space occupancy can be determined by pucks embedded into the street or video camera analytics.  Real-time data can then be transmitted via networks to a software platform (e.g. Verizon’s ThingSpace), which can align with mobile phone parking applications letting consumers know where available spots are in their vicinity and even help navigate them to the spots. 

Dan Feldman is a Director on the Product & New Business Innovation - IoT team at Verizon, where he leads Smart Communities product development. He is responsible for delivering solutions that leverage Verizon's platform elements, including telematics, cloud, security, professional services, wireline and wireless networks. The portfolio includes solutions like the IoT ThingSpace Platform, Smart Parking, Intelligent Lighting, Adaptive Traffic Signal Control, Traffic Flow Data, Electric & Water Metering, Water & Air Quality Management, Waste Management, Fleet, Asset Tracking, Digital Signage, Video Surveillance, Citizen communications and numerous other Public Safety solutions.

Christian Egeler serves as Verizon’s Head of Augmented and Virtual Reality Product Development. As a telecommunications and operating systems veteran, Christian has led software development and solutions for Public Safety Radio, OTT VoIP/Push to Talk, Digital Video/Image Recognition, Mobile Device Software, and Ultra Wideband.  He is currently focused on how VR and AR will integrate into the next computing platform.

View Verizon’s 2017 Tech Predictions at

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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