PICTURES OF THE FUTURE
Dr. Heinrich v. Pierer is the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG. He has worked for Siemens since 1969. From 1992 until January 2005 he served as CEO.
158 and Counting
What’s the secret behind long-lived companies? About two thirds of the companies on the 1970 Fortune 500 list no longer exist. They’ve been bought up, have merged with other com- panies, been liquidated or have broken up into smaller units. By contrast, back in 1970 Siemens had already been operating in global markets for more than 120 years and ranked tenth in terms of sales in the worldwide electrical market. Today we’re the only remaining European company in the Top Ten. What’s more, we’ve moved up seven notches and are now ranked Number 3.
e n o w n e d A m e r i c a n a u t h o r F . S c o t t F i t z g e r a l d o n c e s a i d , “ T h e t e s t o f a f i r s t - r a t e i n t e l l i - g e n c e i s t h e a b i l i t y t o h o l d t w o o p p o s e d i d e a s i n t h e m i n d a t t h e s a m e t i m e , a n d s t i l l r e - R tain the ability to function.” We talk about continuity and change — and it’s exactly this ability to maintain traditional strengths while at the same time generating progress that is one of the keys to corporate success and sustained growth. In other words, if a company is to remain competitive in a constantly changing world, its change management has to function well. At the same time, however, it must preserve its basic business principles. At Siemens, the steady themes of our corporate history have been innovation, globalization and a strong focus on our customers.
I nnovations from Siemens have always set the pace for the development of electrical engi- neering. To name just a few examples, there’s the invention of the pointer telegraph and the dynamo, and in the 20th century the first metallic-filament incandescent lamp, the first vac- uum cleaner, the first production-ready electron microscope, the first pacemaker, the manu- facture of high-purity silicon — a major milestone in microelectronics — the first industrial automation system, digital telephone switching, and world records in data transmission and power plant efficiency. In fact, innovations from Siemens have always played a key role in the development of electrical engineering. In keeping with this focus on innovation, Siemens established its first centralized laboratory in Berlin — the precursor of today’s Corporate Tech- nology — a whole century ago, in 1905. We’ll be reporting on some of the milestones of this past century in this issue of Pictures of the Future on pages 88 to 105.
O f course, the principle of continuity and change applies to research as well. In the mid- 20th century the main driver was technology, but in the 1970s there was an additional focus on the market as a source of ideas, as well as on more efficient processes, the creation of global networks and a clearer orientation toward customer benefits. Today, innovation is more important than ever as a means of differentiating companies in global markets. Our success in this area was demonstrated in 2004 when the German Future Prize was awarded to a Siemens researcher together with colleagues from Infineon and the Fraunhofer Society, and again in January 2005, when the Innovation Prize of German Industry went to Siemens developers. Also in 2005, two Siemens teams have been nominated for the German Future Prize for their development of a high-performance X-ray tube for computed tomography and a piezo fuel- injection system for automobile engines, respectively. The nomination for the latter was shared with a developer from Robert Bosch GmbH (p. 4).
S iemens innovations will go on shaping the course of electrical engineering in the future, as they have already done in the 19th and 20th centuries. The examples described in this issue include developments in the fields of energy supply and building technology (p. 11–15), home entertainment and the smart home (p. 19–21), traffic telematics (p. 23–27), RFID labels for logistics (p. 28–31), automotive electronics (p. 40–61) and the benefits of applying infor- mation and communications technology to healthcare (p. 64–87). This broad range of inno- vations shows that there’s hardly another company that is as well-prepared as Siemens to face the tremendous challenges of the 21st century. Trend-setting innovations will certainly con- tinue to be a mainstay of our business operations in the future.
Cover, top right: State-of-the-art magnetic resonance tomographs and digital image processing provide fascinating insights into how the brain works. Bottom left: A revolu- tionary new braking technology. Thanks to the electronic wedge brake from Siemens, vehicles can brake faster and more safely — without hydraulics.
INTELLIGENT NETWORKING Scenario 2014: High Tech on the Ball Trends: Networks for Living Amusement Parks: “I Gotta Ride That!” Home Entertainment: Tuning into Internet TV T-Com House: At Home in the Future Interview with Prof. Friedemann Mattern, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology: An Internet of Things? Yes! But Hold onto Your Hat Traffic: The Road to Telematic Travel Facts and Forecasts: Traffic Networking Is Booming RFID Applications: Taking Stock Self-Organizing Networks: Phones with Brains IT in Greenland: High-Speed Internet for the Inuit Industry: Wireless Wizardry Airports: Flying High in Dubai
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ELECTRONICS Scenario 2020: High-Gear Grandma Trends: Ingenious Electronics Driver Assistance: Sensors See the Light Facts and Forecasts: Electronics: Driving Automotive Innovation Braking Systems: Wonder Wedge Interview with Hans-Georg Metzler, head of the Laboratory for Active Safety and Driver Assistance Systems at DaimlerChrysler Vehicle Communications: My Car Understands Me Software: We’ve Upgraded Your Car
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DIGITAL HEALTH Scenario 2015: The Perfect Patient Trends: Experts Inside the Algorithms Computers in Therapy: Software-Guided Intervention Hybrid Systems: One Plus One Is … A Lot More Facts and Forecasts: IT: Prescription for Health Portable Health: Nine Million Trump Cards Interview with Dr. Gérard Comyn, European Commission, on e-Health Suzhou Municipal Hospital, China: High-Tech Helps a Million Patients RFIDs in the Hospital: Calling All Patients Private Radiology Centers: Putting IT into Practice The Heart Center of Indiana: Taking Healthcare to Heart Magnetic Resonance: The Hubble Telescope of Brain Research
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CORPORATE TECHNOLOGY ■
100 Years of Corporate Research
Interview with Claus Weyrich on the transformation of industrial research Light: Let There Be Light. Semiconductors: The Silicon Pioneers. Computers: Software Is the Key. Communications Technology: Communications Come of Age. Microscopy and Imaging: Views of the Smallest Worlds. Sensors: Promising Power (Piezo Technology). Energy: Powered by Siemens 88–105
URES In Brief: Future Prize / TV via the Web / Super-thin Displays Patents & Innovations: Intelligent Car Key / Stereo Hearing Aid Siemens Research in Beijing: Innovation in the Land of the Dragon Side Channel Attacks: Keepers of the Codes Research Cooperation: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Pictures of the Future: 2005 Reader Survey Feedback / Preview
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Pictures of the Future | Fall 2005