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How Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition and AI Solutions will Affect OEMs

Posted on 18st July, 2019 by Leo Lambert

Robert Downey Jr. presented AI Solutions and Footprint CoalitionWith an acting career spanning four decades, Robert Downey Jr. has had many iconic roles, but one has defined Downey Jr. for the better part of the last decade. His role as the tech genius Tony Stark in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) helped catapult the film series to unparalleled heights. Only weeks after releasing the MCU’s most successful film, Avengers: Endgame, Downey Jr. made an announcement that wouldn’t have been out of place for his superhero alter-ego, an announcement which could create massive opportunities for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the future.

As the opening keynote speaker at Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas, Downey Jr.’s talk covered his career, the MCU, and even featured cameos from Amazon’s AI Alexa and fellow actor Matt Damon. But the moment that resonated with those in attendance, and those following along through social media, was when Downey Jr. admitted his “quiet sense of crisis” regarding the current state of our environment. It was a thought process that led him to begin a new project called The Footprint Coalition, which will use advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, to positively impact the environment.

The talk quickly became a trending topic on social media as fans equated Downey Jr.’s announcement and use of technology to that of Iron Man. Scheduled to launch by April of 2020, The Footprint Coalition hasn’t yet released information about the technology they’ll be using, or potential plans to positively impact the environment. Luckily for OEMs, a huge amount of research has already been conducted regarding how these technologies could impact our environment, and what new opportunities these will create for OEMs.

At first glance, it may seem like artificial intelligence and protecting the environment are two ideas that wouldn’t overlap. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to a report from Intel in 2018, of 200 surveyed professionals working in environmental sustainability, 74% agreed that AI solutions could help solve longstanding issues with the environment. In fact, some technology is already being used, WildTrack uses a computer vision solution created by SAS called Footprint Identification Technology to track and monitor endangered species.

In California, where in recent years water shortages and droughts have become common occurrences, some vineyards have begun using AI to determine if their vines are getting the proper sunlight and water. This specialized attention for each crop has helped farmers determine exactly which vines need to be watered, ensuring their vineyards aren’t using more water than they need, and in turn, conserving water and helping the local environment.

By using machine learning and the staggering amount of information that can be gathered from Internet of Things (IoT) data, it’s hard to imagine a problem that couldn’t be impacted greatly by AI solutions. With environmental protection and advocacy becoming a more important issue, increased use of this technology should be expected in both the natural and business environments. Therefore, OEMs should take the opportunity to invest in the development of artificial intelligence and IoT devices.

One of the main reasons why OEMs and many businesses may avoid developing AI solutions or working with IoT devices will be the cost associated with such investments. The cost of working with emerging technologies is great, but they create the potential for long-term savings as new systems are created that increase efficiency. The need to meet the demand for effective AI solutions will be high. We recommend contacting the knowledgeable professionals at EPTAC to make sure your staff receives the necessary IPC certifications and training to help with the manufactured electronic requirements and to succeed in this new space.


For over 30 years, EPTAC has been a leading provider of solder training and IPC certification. We provide professionals with the tools and training they need to advance their careers and improve their businesses. With 15 locations across North America, our solutions and instructional staff provide easy access to knowledge that will enhance your business model and help you meet and exceed industry demands. For more information call 800.643.7822 or contact us.

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