2030: A data odyssey ACME drones


In 2030 A data Odyssee Patrick van der Valk provides an insight in how the world might look like in 2030 and the central role the exchange of data plays in our near future. I a series of flogs (future blogs) he depicts 2030 through the eyes of different people and their daily routines.

About Patrick van der Valk
Patrick has a background in Strategy and Marketing. At 23 he was a professor of Marketing and he held different C-level and Board positions afterwards. Starting as an entrepreneur in 2005 he has founded several companies. Combining his experience in creating scenarios of the future with his experience as a columnist he created the 2030 A data Odyssey series to raise awareness for how dependent humanity will be on data in the near future. 

2030: A data odyssey ACME drones

In the distance there was the sound of a blackbird singing loudly indicating its territory. Dave turned around in an attempt to get some more sleep, but more and more birds began to sing along with the blackbird until it was a cacophony that Dave could no longer ignore. "Timer off," Dave said sleepily. The membranes of his Apple soundbar speakers abruptly stopped vibrating and the spring symphony of the birds came to a sudden stop on this cold November morning.

Activated by Dave's sleepy movements and his voice, Miri, his Personal Drone, came out of standby. With a barely audible buzz he flew up from his charging dock and positioned itself within a few feet of Dave's sleepy face. "Sleep report"; Dave said in a soft voice. Miri scanned the position of Dave's face on the pillow and then projected the requested data in the air. Dave was very happy with his third generation Personal Drone. In 2027 Apple had created the Personal Drones market - popularly shortened as Pedro's - with the introduction of Miri. Apple's first Personal Drone was a great success. Not only was it the optimal personal assistant, but the autonomous flying drone could also take care of small household tasks. What really made Miri special was the way of projecting data and images. Using a new technology Miri was able to create a beautiful spatial image with the help of 3 small projectors, without the need for a background.
The third generation of Miri, named from a contraction of the words Mobile and Siri, was quieter, had better projectors, and could grab and transport more things.

Dave still couldn't believe how quickly people embraced new technology and innovated new uses for it. He had been working at ACME Drones since August 2024 as Chief Revenue Officer, and was also responsible for disruptive applications for the drones that the company made. If there was a market that had been completely changed by autonomous transport, it was the market for distribution. In the early 2020s you still had the friendly delivery guys from Post NL, GLS or DHL who would deliver your package on a certain part of the day. Now deliveries were largely done by autonomously driving cars, micro vehicles and drones. Retailers had switched to real-time marketplaces where different carriers could bid on the transport of a package. As a result, there were already companies that delivered shipments within a few hours of an order within a 10-minute interval specified by the customer.

After taking a shower and getting dressed, he walked down the stairs. In the kitchen he walked towards his Rocket Giotto and took the piston off from under the machine. After the piston under the bean grinder was filled with 14 grams of coffee, he pressed the coffee ground. with a coffee tamper. He turned the piston under the chrome machine until it locked and pulled down the lever on the right side of the piston. The steam was released from the copper boiler and spread through the grounded coffee. The first drops of coffee that landed on the bottom of his 'Best dad ever' mug had a thick syrupy texture. Soon the flow of coffee increased and the coffee stream became liquid. After his mug was filled with one-third of coffee and a nice creamy layer, he pushed the lever back up.
In the meantime Miri had grabbed the carton containing Jersey cow-milk and had poured 0.2 liters in the stainless steel steaming cup. Dave turned on the knob on the left side of the coffee machine and with a hissing sound the steam enter the milk just below the surface. After he had topped off his coffee with the frothed milk, he grabbed a chair and sat down at the kitchen table.

Miri flew from the counter to the kitchen table. "Your first appointment today is with John Peters at 9:00 AM". It's a live meeting and I've arranged a meeting room at a location you've saved under 'Favorites'. The subject of the meeting is 'Dutch Drone Delivery Association'. You went through all the files containing information about this last night. You'll be picked up in 25 minutes," said the drone in Dave's customized voice. Dave took his Smart Glass that Miri had placed on the table in front of him and checked up on the latest news.

At 8:35 AM, the Hertz app reported that his transport was one minute from his home. He turned off the countdown timer that indicated how long it would take for the car to get there. Miri was hovering stationary  in the hall, holding his blue winter coat. Dave put on his coat and saw the BMW i5, already announced by the Hertz app, pulling up the driveway. Dave walked towards the car while his glasses made contact with the car via extended Bluetooth. Meanwhile, the car's identification sensors analyzed Dave's approach to the car and compared his movements to his saved profile.

Even before he got to the car, Dave got a 'Movement ID verified' message in shown in the corner of his glasses. The BMW's door opened and he sat down in the front seat. The car connected to Dave's Spotify app and played its dynamic playlist over the car's music system.

As the autonomous car drove towards the office building situated on Kraanspoor 50 in Amsterdam, Dave scrolled through the projected messages of Virtual Office 365 with his hands. After adjusting the haptic feedback to his seating position, he opened the folder 'Dutch Drone Delivery Association' to prepare for his first meeting.

At 8:50 am the car stopped in front of the entrance of Kraanspoor 50. In his glasses he saw the fare and his preferred method of payment. He tapped the virtual box projected in front of him with his hand, payed, and got out. In the meantime his Smart Glass had handled the authentication for access to Kraanspoor 50 via the Regus app which automatically opened the door in front of him.

He took the elevator to the sixth floor and asked Siri through his glasses if he could locate John. Via a virtual overlay John appeared at the coffee machine in the pantry. Siri had immediately opened Apple indoor navigation that indicated with arrows how to walk to his colleague. Dave knew his way around this building well so he deactivated the navigation with a flick of his hand.

"Good morning Dave" sounded a cheerful voice from behind the wall separating the entrance from the pantry.
"Good morning John, I see you have your smart proximity activated as well" Dave smiled. "That's right, I even made you some tea when I got the message from Regus that you were in the building. Why do you have tea in your preferences anyway? I thought you were such a coffee lover?" asked John. Dave chuckled, "I'm definitely a coffee lover! I roast my own coffee beans and have a beautiful twenty year old Italian coffee machine at home from the pre-connected era. That's where the best coffee comes from, just the way I like to drink it. The disadvantage of being able to drink the perfect coffee at home is that the coffee elsewhere is almost always disappointing. That is why I set tea as my preference. Tea is almost always drinkable, wherever you are". "Well I have not been able to find green tea as stated in your preferences. Hopefully you like herbal tea too!"John said with a wink, handing him a glass in with a bag of herbal tea that slowly colored the water more and more red. Dave confirmed with a laugh that herbal tea was fine and together they walked towards meeting room 6.11.

John Peters has been working for ACME Drones in the Algorithm Optimization department for a few months now. The reason for today's meeting was the admission to the Dutch Drone Delivery Association (DDDA) and the new commercial opportunities it offered. John and Dave went through the list of new marketplaces they'd gained access to with the new DDDA membership. "From our initial analyses, the distribution marketplaces of Amazon in the East and North regions and Bol.com in the South region seem particularly interesting to us. We are now including these in the ACME Drones bidding market place. We have modified the algorithm to  full cost price with a gain of 5 percentage points for the regions concerned. We don't expect that our volumes will affect the market biding behavior of the competition. This will be different for a number of different other marketplaces where we expect that our entry will change bidding behavior. That is why we will soon be doing market place reconnaissance on some potentially interesting bidding platforms explained John.

The marketplace reconnaissance was an analysis of the bidding behavior of other organizations that offered their logistics services on a specific marketplace. This was done by collecting a lot of data about the bidding behavior on the marketplace and looking for patterns. By adjusting ACME Drones' bidding behavior accordingly, they tried to maximize their profits. However, this was easier said than done. Besides the fact that it was still very difficult to predict the dynamics of a marketplace, more and more competitors used bidding algorithms that occasionally did a random bid to make their bidding behavior less predictable.

We have started a partnership with Algorythm for the data we obtain from the market place reconnaissance. We will compare the analyzes they can do with our own analyzes before we start making the first bidding algorithms for the relevant marketplaces. Algorythm has a lot of data in the field of bidding behavior on marketplaces, and they indicate that they can also detect random bids. The collaboration will also give us insight on the performance of our algorithms compared to that of a third party.

Dave nodded as a sign of approval. John was an open-minded colleague who was always looking for improvement and new collaborations. They went through the final details and ended their meeting at ten o'clock.

Dave and John shared the car that was waiting outside. When they approached the city center of Amsterdam Dave saw a couple of drones flying overhead through the panoramic roof of the autonomous Kia EV9. He wondered if any of them was owned by his company.
After John got out in area called 'de Pijp', the car continued its most energy efficient route to Dave's house.

After hanging up his coat, Dave walked towards the kitchen. Suddenly a message appeared on the screen of his Smart Glass. It was an invitation to attend an emergency meeting about the wind sensitivity of the A100, ACME recently introduced ultra-lightweight drone. He felt the weak electric current of the haptic feedback on his right index finger when he ticked the "Accept" box projected in front of him. He yawned and asked Siri to turn on smart plane mode for the next fifteen minutes and walked over to his coffee machine.


In 2030 A data Odyssee Patrick van der Valk provides an insight in how the world might look like in 2030 and the central role the exchange of data plays in our near future. I a series of flogs (future blogs) he depicts 2030 through the eyes of different people and their daily routines.

About Patrick van der Valk
Patrick has a background in Strategy and Marketing. At 23 he was a professor of Marketing and he held different C-level and Board positions afterwards. Starting as an entrepreneur in 2005 he has founded several companies. Combining his experience in creating scenarios of the future with his experience as a columnist he created the 2030 A data Odyssey series to raise awareness for how dependent humanity will be on data in the near future. 

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