IoT – Powering the Transformation of Business

While most smart buildings are managed by an integrated software application, usually known as the Building Management System (BMS), the Internet of Things (IoT) offers stakeholders the durable insight and control required for further value creation, customisation, and cost control. IoT has redefined the relationship between physical and digital environments. This results in buildings that can communicate, identify risks, and address inefficiencies—all automatically performed to our desired standards.

What is a ‘Smart’ building?

Today, smart building solutions connect devices and sensors to the cloud, use analytics and artificial intelligence for addressing risks or inefficiencies, and communicate with users. IoT performs all of these with a network of connections that automatically senses and responds to changes in physical environments—from lighting to biometrics. With insight into operations, resource management, space utilisation and productivity, stakeholders can take proactive actions, optimise usage, and rationalise processes.

Benefits of ‘Smart’ Buildings

  • Improved Use of Resources – IoT solutions provide you with valuable insights and patterns of resource usage. This helps businesses to become proactive and tackle unplanned downtime. Prioritisation of tasks is easier with these solutions.
  • Reduced Consumption of Energy – Energy consumption can be checked and optimised to requirement. With real-time visibility into usage of resources, these solutions help in controlling consumption and optimising usage. Through the use of automation and Artificial Intelligence, we can ensure that our devices operate only when necessary, thereby reducing wastage.
  • Efficient Utilisation of Space – IoT solutions leverage sensors and devices to improve space usage, through the use of heat maps and other sensors. Smart building solutions are capable of using intelligence and automation capabilities to learn behaviours and preferences. This greatly helps businesses to provide a supportive environment that caters to the needs of employees and other personnel present.
  • Effective Personalisation of Environments – As IoT connects people, devices and locations, smart buildings have more flexibility in determining the nature and quantum of value served to users. A major aspect of value addition includes personalised assistance based on user preferences and activities, going way beyond proximity-based automation that most BMS’ offer.

With IoT connectivity, users have the ability to interact with a device or sensor from a remote location. IoT presents numerous opportunities and allows users the flexibility to experiment and iterate at a smaller level. Once a solution is tested, it can be scaled up and even globally distributed.

Marching towards Smart Cities

Kerala’s initiative to earmark its commercial capital, Kochi, as a hub for IoT has set in motion a vibrant ecosystem for early adoption of the technology in sectors such as governance, infrastructure, transport, welfare and civic services, etc. Multiple sectors collaborate and work in tandem for sustainable outcomes. Based on the sectors involved, IoT undertakes the analysis of both contextual and real-time information, and streamlines operational technology systems.

Figure 1: Innovative services in IoT will drive the development of allied ecosystems within a city. (Source: https://iotweek.blob.core.windows.net)

This multi-sector adoption of IoT enables smart cities to interact and engage with citizens, providing value and personalised assistance. For instance, sensors in bus bays can help in identifying people with special needs, alert the bus driver, and communicate to the passenger about the approximate time of the vehicle’s arrival. Apart from personalised attention and value creation, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, resources, and maintenance by up to 30 percent. In about a year’s time, large commercial sones, industrial parks, and gated communities will turn to IoT services for meeting all their requirements.

For businesses, IoT presents both disruptive and transformational potential. They have no choice about whether to embrace IoT or not. The coming days will witness increased Smart Digitalisation across sectors—healthcare, transportation, agriculture, etc. as IoT adoption is the only way forward for society.

5 BENEFITS OF TELECOMMUTING

Smartphones and connectivity have not only made mobile workspaces possible but also ensured increased levels of productivity even outside office. Mobile working is no longer a trend practiced by the cash-strapped startups or global conglomerates: it is now a necessity and an asset in enterprises of all sizes across industries. By adopting mobile strategies, businesses are able to extend their operations, reach to potential new clients, improve response rates, and gather real-time insight and reports.

Thanks to its rapid strides in infrastructure development and connectivity, Kerala is looking forward to tapping these businesses to invest in the state. By stressing on its human capital, infrastructure and locational advantages, Kerala highlights its potential for offering a more harmonised work environment. With changing work patterns and business requirements, companies have a strong desire for providing a real quality of life in office environment, especially because the thin red line between professional and personal lives continues to slim. Let’s take a look at how telecommuting and mobility creates opportunities for business –

1.Improvement in Communication & Collaboration

As telecommuting and hot desk programs are becoming the norm, many companies are offering employees more flexibility at work. This has not blunted any communication ability; instead, it has spurred global collaboration with associates, contacts and affiliates. In any given company today, the frequency of online conference calls is far higher than that of physical meetings at the workplace. Various online conferencing tools have only added to the ease and lure of collaborating from remote locations. Advancements in technology have led to a rethinking of office environments and behaviours for teamwork, including the well-being of employees.

2.Flexibility in Working Environment

By 2020, a large chuck of workforce across industries will be mobile, and this will have a positive impact on productivity. This impact will be in part due to the transparency and flexibility of telecommuting. Mobile devices allow for interaction between different stakeholders, storing and sharing information in real-time. Such levels of flexibility help in creating a more engaged workplace.

3.Reduction in Communication Overheads

The benefits of mobility in the workplace go beyond increased productivity and enhanced communication to create a reduction in overhead costs, as reports state that mobility helps companies save up to 25% in voice and data costs. With the help of one mobile device, staff can access company data, send emails, reserve meeting spaces and do a lot more than our older, bulky PCs, desk phones, and hardware could.

4.IoT-enabled Personalisation in Environment

With IoT, companies are able to meet the requirements of both the customers and workforce with a high-level of personalisation. Ignoring this trend will cost organisations not only in productivity but also in the loss of the industry’s best and brightest talents. In fact, it is becoming more commonplace for staff to consider mobile policies, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, when choosing which company to work for.

5.Increased in Revenue Potential

Mobility fosters interactions among all stakeholders, thus giving the required impetus for employee empowerment and customer engagement. It also helps in resolving customer issues in near real-time, helping organisations to reach higher levels of success and growth.

For ensuring the success of their mobility strategies, organisations must consider including mobile devices, applications, cloud-enabled services, and software in their workflow. Mobility will help in addressing operational issues, managing organisational challenges, automating routine processes, and ensuring real-time reporting.

Self-Driving Cars, Heading Our Way

What are self-driving vehicles?

Self-driving cars are robotic vehicles capable of navigating to a destination without human assistance. Although most of these cars do well under controlled environment, they do require a human in the driver’s seat to take control at any time. These vehicles use a variety of advanced control systems to identify the environment and interpret information.

How do self-driving cars work?

icon1

 

The driver sets a destination on the car’s system, which then calculates the best possible routes and seeks your sign-off.

icon2

 

High-precision sensors do a 60-meter range scan of the current environment and relay the information to the car. This creates a dynamic 3D map.

icon5

Sensors on the wheels detect the car’s position and other objects relative to the 3D map. Radar systems on the anterior and posterior sides continuously calculate distances of vehicles, pedestrians, etc.

icon3

The car’s system controls the speed and navigation based on dynamic inputs from the sensors and radars.

icon4

Fully automatic braking system is integrated within the car’s intelligence unit.

icon6

A manual override function helps the driver to take control of the vehicle when circumstances demand.

Benefits of Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving vehicles are defining the future of mobility in many developed societies. The advantages offered by this vehicle technology are so critical that they are influencing the future of transport.

  • These vehicles can be programmed to follow traffic rules and help in reducing accidents.
  • Programmable driving makes traffic conditions are more predictable; in other words, you can reach your destination at the scheduled time due to smoother traffic and less congestion.
  • This technology helps in creating a cleaner, safer and more efficient system of transportation.

Although self-driven cars have long been shown in sci-fi movies, major developments have taken place in this technology that some nations have passed legislation to allow such vehicles to operate legally on public roads. This technology, now embraced by all major corporations, has the backing of governments as well, a factor that will make self-driving cars more commonplace.

Smart Homes For Smarter Living

It is not uncommon these days to find ‘fully connected’ homes. From Smart TVs to IoT-enabled refrigerators that automatically communicate with you or the grocery store, the range of gadgets that simplify life is continuously growing. For instance, a large number of retailers are embracing the use of IoT to bring consumers and brands together. Homeowners have learnt that a simple click is all they need to switch off the TV, open the garage door, start the car, order a pizza and do a lot more; remote-control living at its best! However, the future of smart-home technology is in the process of a silent revolution where the focus is no longer on newer gadgets or appliances, but on building homes fitted with integrated smart products instead.

 Integrated Smart Homes

The world is abuzz about personal assistant devices connecting homes to a virtual assistant. Within the next year or so, residents can wirelessly control all home devices that are connected to a central bridge. Users can already monitor home security, climate, and lights, and do a lot more. The potential of this revolutionary technology continues to grow as the world turns towards an automated future.

 Benefits of Smart Homes

1. Convenience

The primary incentive behind investing in Smart Homes is the added convenience offered by it. Equipped with a simply remote control, users gain access to a wide variety of systems, including temperature control, communication devices, or multimedia devices, located throughout the home. With the help of integrated hard drives, homeowners can enjoy full connectivity with the rest of the home, streamlining daily tasks and making things easier.

2. Security

Smart Homes provide users with a sophisticated security systems, fully equipped with cameras, motion sensors, and the additional feature of notifying local authorities or private security companies of threats. Smart Homes make use of biometrics or electronic key cards instead of conventional locks, making it more difficult for break-ins to occur.

3. Accessibility

For elderly or disabled users, Smart Homes provide increased accessibility by using Voice-command technology. These Voice-command Systems are capable of controlling lighting, locking and unlocking doors, and using other devices. Home automation provides individuals with the ability to set a schedule for routine chores like watering the lawn, saving them the effort of having to perform these laborious tasks on a daily basis.

4. Efficiency

 Smart Homes are capable of improving energy-efficiency through careful, measured usage of appliances. Motion sensors help conserve energy by shutting off the lights in vacated rooms, while temperature regulation can adjust according to outdoor temperatures and user preferences. These automated tasks, combined with advanced, energy-efficient appliances of today, help preserve the environment by reducing the amount of electricity, water and natural gas used.

5. Resale

 At the point of resale, Smart Homes are considerably more valuable as they are already fitted with the latest in modern technology. Users can share their personal experience with these Smart Home technologies, and can explain them to potential buyers. If interested in future resale of a property, Home Automation should be considered as a worthwhile investment into an already valuable asset.

3D Printing – A New Dimension

3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process that uses a digital design to create a physical product. The major 3D Printing technologies, and materials available, are based on the principle of creating a solid three-dimensional physical object by adding layers of material, one layer at a time.

How does 3D Printing work?

As with any form of artistic creation, we begin with a blueprint that guides us in creating the desired end product. Similarly, any 3D Print begins as a digital design, divided into countless horizontal layers before being sent to the 3D Printer, which begins to carefully print our product – layer by lay- er!

Based on the technology available, the printing process uses a variety of materials, ranging from plastics to rubber, sandstone, metals and alloys – with more and more options appearing on the market every year!

What caused today’s 3D Printing hype?

In 2009, expiry of the patent for fused deposition modelling (FDM), possibly the most common 3D Printing technology, resulted in 3D Printing moving beyond the industrial manufacturing space. As more manufacturers turned towards this technology, the price of having your own 3D Printer plummeted. Technology that once cost over hundreds of thousands of dollars was now available for less than $2000, marking the rise of the 3D Printing era.

As expected, the world has seen a steady rise in 3D Printer sales, and has been growing ever since. We currently have over 3,00,000 consumer 3D Printers in the world, and this figure shows no sign of slowing down as we discover more technological innovations in the years to come.

The Pros and Cons of 3D Printing

The rapidly evolving technology of 3D Printing comes with a vast collection of benefits, but also presents its own unique set of challenges in manufacturing.

Pros of 3D Printing

• Ability to create complex designs
• Customisation of each and every detail
• Lower Fixed Costs, with no need for tools & hardware • Rapid Response in Prototyping
• Less Wastage from Production

Cons of 3D Printing

• Higher costs for large production facilities
• Less choice in Materials, Colours, Finish etc. • Limited Endurance & Strength
• Less Precision & Control during process

The Potential Usage of 3D Printing?

The benefits of 3D Printing extend past the boundaries of industry or profession, providing value to each and every one of us, in some way or another. Here are a few of its potential uses –

3D printing blog creative02

 

Medical Manufacturing

Prosthetic Manufacturers

Doctors

Dentists

Construction

Improved Infrastructure in Developing Areas

Automobile Manufacturing

Motor Vehicle Manufacturers

Aerospace Manufacturers

Art & Design

Engineers

Architects

Product Designers

Interior Decorators

Consumer Goods

Clothing Manufacturers

Home Utensil Manufacturers

Comfort & Leisure Goods

Education

Learning Tool for Infants,

Students, Professionals

Virtual Reality

Turning Dreams Into Reality – Experiencing Virtual Reality

banner

What is Virtual Reality?

Technology is constantly evolving to make the user experience as seamless and effortless as possible. From the introduction of personal computers to the smartphone revolution, we’ve seen how technology has consistently grown more capable and provides accessibility to people all around the world. We’re steadily gaining access to forms of technology that previously only seemed possible in our favourite science-fiction movies; introducing the impressive, immersive world of Virtual Reality.

How does it work?

The concept of Virtual Reality is based on a digital, computer-generated environment that can be designed according to the creator’s wish.

For example, a computer-generated ‘desert island’ will provide the VR user with an visual representation of the scene, allowing the user to realistically feel as if they are stranded on a deserted island.

VR utilises a headset that fits around the user’s head, over their eyes, and separates the visual senses from the environment they are present in. Based on the media provided to the headset’s screen, the user is provided with an extremely convincing immersive experience, creating a world of potential to harness! VR allows users to visit Mount Everest, take a journey through Outer Space and immerse themselves in an engaging video game – all from the comfort of their living room.

How can I use it?

The technology behind VR has been the focus of many software developers around the world. While the usual VR setup will require the support of sophisticated hardware, there are more and more ways for an individual consumer to get a taste of the VR experience!

Google Cardboard

The driving force behind technological evolution is to assist the common man, and no company has embodied this spirit better than Google. By repurposing a simple piece of cardboard and a pair of cheap, embedded lenses, individuals can now experience VR through the help of Google Cardboard. The headset allows users to place their smartphones in such a way that the screen is held up to the user’s face, providing a makeshift VR experience. While it may not be completely immersive, Google Cardboard serves as an excellent first step towards bringing this technology to the masses in an affordable way.

Virtual Reality Headsets

There are more sophisticated devices in the market that provide both auditory and visual senses with an immersive experience. Devices such as the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and Sony’s Playstation VR will cost you upwards of Rs.25,000/- and will need to connect with your PC or Gaming Console in order to be used. These headsets provide a better understanding of the technological capabilities of VR, as they allow a completely immersive experience, including the use

of arms and legs to interact with the environment. While they are significantly more expensive, these devices stand as the most accurate, effective uses of immersive Virtual Reality technology.

Impact of VR

VR post

The video game industry may have been the first enthusiastic propagators of Virtual Reality, but it is by no means a technology restricted to children’s entertainment. Just as technology is bridging the gaps in various industries, like with 3-D Printing, Digital Currencies, Data Storage etc., it is creating an entirely new dimension in experiential marketing, advertising and information dissemination. The possibilities of this brand new medium are near endless. Here are a few primary examples of its implementation –

Be it blockbuster films from around the world, or live musical / theatrical performances. VR offers a way to bring these experiences to your living room. Special cameras are being developed to capture a 360′ view of these experiences, and to subsequently stream them to users around the world. With the added aspect of being interactive, the film industry may completely evolve with VR.


Possibly the most common example of VR implementation, video games allow developers to test the boundaries of immersive, entertainment experiences. More than the obvious enhancement in experience. VR lowers the barriers to entry for individuals less informed of video games. With the freedom of exploration and discovery. VR allows players to easily interact with these simulated environments and, somewhat literally, enjoy an out-of-this-world experience.


There is no end to the potential of VR in fields of Science. From fields of Medicine to Astronomy, the educational and experiential capabilities of VR is astounding. This technology allows individuals to gain a thorough understanding of both; the theoretical and the practical implementation of certain fields, through an immersive experience. Imagine being able to visit ancient Archeological sites around the world, or perform complicated surgical procedures, from the comfort of your classroom!


VR removes all physical limitations involved in an experience, which allows prospective buyers to gain the most informed opinion on any given purchase. From the Real Estate market allowing prospective home-owners to physically place themselves in potential flats, to the average Online Consumer being able to virtually ‘try on’ an infinite number of products before purchasing, VR is the solution.


Virtual Tourism is another aspect of VR that has remarkable potential for success, as it allows individuals to be transported to the location of their choice! Whether its a romantic evening in Paris, or an exhilarating trek up the Himalayas, users will be able to have a taste of what these experiences offer. Aside from the obvious experiential marketing potential of such a tool, VR also allows users to accurately share memories and experiences with their loved ones, offering a world of convenience to people unable to travel. We’re not even too far from the day where we’ll be able to record a 3602 live feed of our own memories, to be later enjoyed with full control.


VR allows artists to step into their canvas and interact with their creations. The level of control that designers will have increases, as they can now examine their designs with added precision and accuracy. Its tools of collaboration also allow artists to share their work effectively, and create an efficient method of sharing 3-D designs and concepts.


VR provides us with the most effective tool to understand human psychology, and provide an individual with the environment needed to stay calm and reflect on their thoughts. As the world grows more conscious of mental illnesses and the psychological effects of experiences, it comes as no surprise that VR is being utilised to best approach these issues. VR allows an individual to simulate a place of serenity, or to safely explore otherwise uncomfortable, unapproachable topics. This level of control will allow medical professionals to not only effectively diagnose problems, but also tailor-make the ideal solutions for each patient.


The future of technology is promising, and there are an infinite number of ways in which technology will evolve in the years to come. As is the case with any technological revolution, we must bear in mind the potential benefits and threats of an over-reliance on technology. Most importantly, we have the privilege of being here to witness this great step towards the future, and must fully understand how to be a part of it.

An Introduction To Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the newest form of digital currency, or ‘cryptocurrency’, capable of operating without having to rely on a bank account, or any government body, to process the transaction. In under fifteen minutes, a Bitcoin transaction can be completed between buyers and sellers across the world. These transactions incur minimal processing fees, allowing both parties to have complete, unrestricted control over their funds.

How does it work?

Bitcoin, or ‘BTC’ transactions are facilitated through a Digital Wallet, that provides users with a unique address. These digital currencies can be transferred from one wallet to another, in almost no time! Here are the steps to begin your Bitcoin experience –

• Download an official Digital Wallet, and obtain your Bitcoin address.

• Earn or procure Bitcoins through a number of exchange services, at the current exchange rates.

• Transfer Bitcoin to a merchant or friend by adding their provided BTC address.

Bitcoin

What are the benefits of using Bitcoin?

  • Payment Independence – Bitcoin allows users to transfer money to and from any part of the world, with no worries about any Political, Socio-Economic or other restrictions usually faced when transferring money. As there is no intervening central authority, it is completely possible for Bitcoin users to experience full independence in their financial transactions.
  • Counterfeit-proof – Bitcoins are entirely digital, with no reliance on a physical form for transactions and trading. This ensures that they are free from the risk of counterfeiting, as digital currencies are protected by sophisticated systems that prevent tampering or duplicating the currency in any way.
  • Security & Control – There is safety in using Bitcoin as it allows users complete control over their transactions. Users are free from the threat of any taxes or extra fees being levied on their transactions, without adequate notice. A Merchant can only add these additional charges once Customer Approval is received for the same.
  • Anonymity & Identity Theft – There is no personal information or data that is attached to these digital currency transactions, which helps protect users against identity theft or forgery. Through sophisticated encryptions and back-ups, it is possible to completely protect Bitcoin and ensure the safety of your transactions.
  • Transparency – Every finalised Bitcoin transaction is visible to everyone, with only the user details being hidden. Every user’s public address can be monitored, allowing full transparency in transactions and the ability to verify the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • Low Processing Fees – Bitcoin transactions incur little to no processing fees whatsoever. While users have the option of including charges to encourage a quicker processing period, there is no obligation for parties to do so. The purpose of this fee is to establish which high priority transactions that require network attention and faster processing times. There are also Digital Currency Exchanges that help merchants process their transactions by converting Bitcoin to a ‘flat currency’, and these services usually incur lower fees than the average credit card transaction.

Your Personal Guide to Cyber Security

Our vast, interconnected network of information needs to be protected and kept secure, to ensure the combined safety of individuals and governments.

011. Password Practices
Always ensure that your passwords are complicated, to prevent it being easily deciphered by a potential threat. By choosing a password that incorporates Upper and Lower case alphabets, as well as Numbers and Special Characters, your password will be very difficult to crack.
Make sure that each password is unique and not repeated across different platforms, as it will only increase the likelihood of a threat gaining access to more than one account. Even modifying individual characters is risky as there are effective ways to decode it.
Many websites encourage you to periodically update your password, to increase the security of your account. Stay a step ahead of the game by making sure to regularly update your passwords and be free from the risk of being hacked.
Most importantly, type your password in every time instead of saving it in your browser as this is the easiest information to access from your browser data.

012. Tighten Your Security & Privacy Settings
Privacy Settings are a very useful tool that can be found on every major social media platform. These Privacy options are regularly updated and are often overlooked by users, as they tend to gloss over pop-ups and notifications about the same. Be more conscious of which social media accounts are linked to apps that access your data and are vulnerable to an attack.
It is important to avoid half measures and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your information, even if it means an additional effort on your part. A Two-Step Verification or Authentication is often suggested by social media apps and websites as a way to further your security. This is very important as
• You receive a text message or app notification with a verification code to be entered in order to access your account.
• You’ll be asked to specify your trusted device(s) to receive the code, e.g. personal Phone or Tablet, that only you have access to.

013. Security Program / Software
The minimum requirement today is a good virus protection program, as our daily browsing puts us at risk of receiving numerous viruses. Most anti-virus softwares also come with an effective Privacy measures to protect your data from harmful programs and unauthorised access.
Similar to obtaining insurance against items of value, it is necessary to take precautions to protect your digital information and sensitive data.

014. Regularly Install Updates
Every application, website or Operating System is regularly updated to incorporate the latest software improvements and changes. By updating when required, you are ensuring your systems are equipped to remain secure and stable in the face of potential threats.
Software updates will always include a description of what the update includes, in terms of incorporating changes and working out existing bugs and issues. If there are any mentions of Security-related fixes, ensure that you update your account / system accordingly.

015. Never Simply Click On Any Link
Phishing is the method that tempts users to click on a flashing button / message, which is actually a malicious URL that uploads a virus to the system or attempts accessing its information. Be extremely careful and particular with any URLs that are sent by banks or other entities that could request sensitive information or personal credentials.
Also, be suspicious of messages received from unknown users via email or social media platforms, as this is the easiest way to get users to click on links or provide login details.
By being responsible and thorough, you will be protecting yourself from all cybersecurity threats more effectively than the best anti-virus softwares in the market!