Posts Tagged ‘Apple’
iBeacon is the name used for Apple’s technology that provides location-based services and information to mobile applications on both Android and iOS devices using Bluetooth Low Energy.
The beacons themselves are small transmitters that can be placed in stores or specific points of interest, such as museums or airports. Apps installed on mobile devices “listen” for the signal and respond accordingly when the phone comes within range.
iBeacon changes shoppers into byers
First of all, iBeacon technology opens great possibilities to retailers. Some of American and European big retailers already take advantage of iBeacon: Walmart, Macy’s, Tesco, etc
Using iBeacon, customers can find and watch videos, receive coupons and other discounts in real time, depending on where they are in a store.
IBeacon also helps to collect analytical info about customers` experience. Businesses and retailers now have a direct way to find out what customers are doing, exactly where in the store they are doing it, what they are looking at, how long they are looking at it, and maybe what they decided to buy at the last second instead.
At last, iBeacon can bring popularity to contactless payment. iBeacons ability to track a specific phone, linked to an Apple ID and user account opens the door for an Apple-based payment system.
iBeacon is not only about retail. The iBeacon ecosystem has the potential to change other industries. Here are some examples.
Event Industry: conferences and concerts, museums and exhibitions.
Here are a few ways iBeacons could help to manage events and improve the attendee experience:
-Attendee check-in. Using the event’s app, attendees check themselves in and avoid line-ups.
-Navigation. iBeacons provide devices with extremely accurate location services. In large conference facilities, museums and exhibitions, iBeacons can be used to power hyper-accurate floor maps.
-Networking. Using iBeacons, attendees can network through an opt-in feature in the event’s app, allowing them to discover and message other attendees. With Linkedin integration, attendees can get a detailed look at who is around them and decide who they would like to connect with. iBeacons were successfully used at Cannes Lions festival for networking with attendees.
-Promotions and advertisements. Instead of distributing brochures or physical promotional materials, an exhibitor can send targeted promotions to attract attendees to their stand.
-Gamification. Integrating gamification into events will provide new ways to engage and stimulate attendees. For example, iBeacons could be used for social games to drive networking, venue tours tailored to indiviual interests, or scavenger hunts for exclusive information and prizes.
Home automation systems
As we get closer to the coming smart home revolution, it’s clear that smartphones and tablets are going to be the devices that we use to control our lamps, lights, thermostats, sprinklers, security systems and entertainment systems. Beacons will detect when you arrive home and as you pull into the driveway , the lights will come on. The door is unlocked for you as you approach itJ
Enabled with touch devices, waiters don’t have to rush to the kitchen in order to dispatch orders. In other cases, clients can make orders directly on tablets available at the table. With iBeacons, the app automatically knows which table the waiter is at. It can display the client name (with eventual dinning/preferences history) and automatically associate orders with tables without requiring waiters to manually select a table number.
The iBeacon platform offers a wide range of applications that can be applied on an educational context. From simple games that require students to move around, explore and find things to more scientifc or technical experiments in the classroom. Moreover teachers can track who from the students are present and send notifications to the parents whose children are away.
IBeacon is a new emerging technology that may change the world we live in. Things move quickly in any field in which a technology innovation has backing and breadth like this. This short list is only an introduction to the possibilities of iBeacon and where this technology can be applied.
And what do you think of iBeacon? Will it change our lives in the near future?
I`ll be happy to know your thoughts.
The use of health apps has skyrocketed in 2014. Flurry, a mobile analytics company, has followed over 6,800 health and fitness-related apps, and sees a growth of 62% based on measurements of the number of times the app is opened and used. Overall growth rate apps otherwise is 33%.
By 2017 the app market is predicted to reach 26 billion users. Among its key drivers is the world’s aging population with its increasing need for medical care. In the United States alone, Tighe notes, almost 20 percent of Americans will be older than 65 by 2030, making them more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and other age-associated conditions. This changing landscape is forcing to create new ways to monitor people health and provide assistance with making health wise choices. And here mobile medical apps have already proved efficient and thus are gaining more and more popularity.
This boom has been also supported by most global IT corporations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. So here are some recent actions in that area showing that these companies treat this market segment really seriously:
- Google recently launched Google Fit and directed towards more consumers within training and nutrition.
- Apple has partnered with the company Epic. Since Epic handles over 51% of the medical records in the US, it gives Apple a very solid position in healthcare sector. Apple has, in iOS8, also included a personal health platform, HealthKit, which integrates other applications and gathers information for the user will appear in Apple Health app.
- Microsoft invests in a separate solution and will with Microsoft Health Vault offer a platform where people can gather, store, share and use health data online.
- Facebook has integrated MapMyFitness so friends can cheer on each other, share results and compete against each other. This has also contributed to the large increase in the use of health and Fitness app, where distribution is large via the social networking channel.
There is even an opinion that the increased use of health and fitness apps will destroy the market for wearables. It’s hard for them to compete with mobile apps, as the number of smartphone users is really big. So when the software is already integrated into smartphones they automatically become efficient devices for collecting health data. To put it short, the benefits of using mobile apps to wearable medical-devices include 1/ cost savings because there is no need to develop a completely new device, 2/ enhancing existing platforms by adding more sophisticated sensing and data capabilities, 3/ using an interface that consumers know well and is already part of their everyday life.
Healthcare IT outsourcing
Health apps are built up not only by global IT companies, but also by healthcare providers to be used by doctors, specialists and by patients, of course. And here healthcare organizations increasingly take over the idea that IT outsourcing can help them bring their apps faster to the market while they could focus on their core activities.
This tendency has also been stimulated by changing government regulations concerning hospitals and clinics in lots of countries. And while some organizations are broadly outsourcing a mobile applications development, others are handing out the responsibility of IT management and overseeing their entire IT infrastructure.
The global healthcare IT outsourcing market is growing continuously. According to an article by Nearshore Americas, a recent study made by the Everest group states that the global healthcare IT outsourcing market is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 12%. This gives us an insight on how much demand healthcare institutions now place on IT outsourcing services. According to TechNavio IT outsourcing in the global healthcare and life sciences sector is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.6% through 2019.
Among the trends to watch besides going mobile, there is hosting on the cloud by health-related organizations to make their operations safer, using analytics-as-a-service technologies due to growing interest in Big Data, etc. Therefore 70% of healthcare organizations worldwide are expected to invest in consumer-facing mobile applications, wearables, remote health monitoring, and virtual care.
So the world has been ready for a while to embrace healthcare apps and demand for them is not going to slow down any time soon. Among the top medical apps they call CDC Vaccine Schedules, Family Practice Notebook, ASCVD Risk Estimator, etc.
What health-related apps have you tried and which ones do you use daily? Thank you for sharing!
Nowadays there are a lot of browsers that users can choose starting with the old standby Internet Explorer and ending with the newer Chrome and Firefox browsers. If none of those browsers is really your cup of tea, you could try a new one. The “novice” is called Vivaldi and it comes from a team that includes the сo-founder and former CEO of Opera John von Tetzchner.
If you used Opera in the past, you might find that Vivaldi feels rather familiar. The overall look of Vivaldi is a mix of a classic browser UI and the more modern interpretations in browsers like Chrome and Microsoft’s upcoming Spartan.
Vivaldi is filled with awesome features. Here are some of the things you might like when you check out this browser:
Vivaldi looks good. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that tabs and menus change colour based on the dominant pallete of your active page. This chameleon effect looks fresh, but it can be turned off if it doesn’t suit your tastes.
- Speed Dial
Another great thing that everyone loved about Opera was the Speed Dial feature, and that’s also present in Vivaldi. It allows you to organize websites based on your interests all on one page; e.g. News, Sports, Health, Tech.
- Tab Stack
Open too many websites at once? Couldn’t find what you wanted under all those excessive tabs? Tab stack helps you to group tabs into themed groups allowing you to maximize tabbed resources without needing to scroll left and right.
- Quick Command
Vivaldi features quick commands for easy navigation, allowing users to create custom keyboard shortcuts as well. Whether you’re searching through its various settings, from bookmark panel to download panel, a single keyboard shortcut can do the trick. More geek stuff happens when you go straight to settings then click Navigation to customize the shortcuts.
With this function you can easily jot down what’s on your mind while browsing. Notes automatically remember which site you were “looking at” and allow you to add tags for future reference.
Right now, the browser is only a technical preview, but there are big plans for Vivaldi in the future. In the coming months, there are plans to add sync, mail support, better performance and extensions. Tatsuki said that Vivaldi will be shaped by the community for the most part, so the feature set will be guided by user demand.
You can download and install Vivaldi on Apple’s Mac, MS Windows and Linux from the web site: https://vivaldi.com/
Can Vivaldi succeed against Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and even Opera? Have you tried the new web browser? Please, share with us your thoughts and experience here below.
Some Apple trends are easier to predict than others. Just what does 2015 have in store? Here are three bets which are safe to make in my opinion.
Many Apple product launches generate universal appeal, predicting Apple successes isn’t very difficult. What is challenging, however, is identifying new trends, specifying actual sales numbers, and accurately forecasting an Apple failure. Here are three predictions for Apple technologies in the coming year.
1. Apple will sell 20 million Apple Watches, boosting Apple Pay adoption
I’m already on record stating Apple will sell as many as 12 million Apple Watches in the first half of 2015. While other predictions estimate Apple will sell anywhere from 10 to 30 million units of its new wearable next year, I believe actual sales will come in around 20 million.
The sales number itself isn’t seemingly that important, but it is — and here’s why. Watch sales have seriously eroded. When was the last time you really considered buying a watch if it wasn’t a Pebble or device also offering FitBit-type functionality? While there’s no doubt the Apple Watch will create considerable buzz and many will purchase the new gadget just to gain immediate digerati credibility, what’s most telling is Apple’s ability to reinvigorate an essentially dead market segment.
Then there’s Apple Pay. The Apple Watch will prove to be an important conduit to Apple Pay adoption. So, as Apple sells millions of Apple Watches and continues along its well-documented path of converting customers of other Apple products to its computers and smartphones, the company will also grow the Apple Pay army. Look for the payment option to grow in adoption exponentially in 2015 as a result.
2. The MacBook Air will receive a Retina display
Here’s a two-in-one prediction. Look for Apple to discontinue the non-Retina display MacBook Pro. The model is already becoming obsolete. Look for the trend to continue when Apple adds its Retina display technology to its MacBook Air line. While the upgraded display and impressive corresponding resolution may challenge battery life and increase production costs (whereas Apple worked to lower the MacBook Air’s price in 2014), Apple’s clearly pushing its products, including iPhones, iPads, and iMacs, to using Retina high-resolution displays.
3. Apple will lose its iBooks lawsuit appeal
In July 2013, Apple was found to have violated an antitrust law and engaged in collusion with book publishers when pricing iBooks products. Of course, Apple kind of did the same thing with music when it launched iTunes with $0.99 songs. But the devil’s in the details, and the United States Justice Department already won the District Court ruling to support the feds’ argument that Apple’s iBooks pricing strategy constituted price fixing, and Apple’s already previously agreed to a $450-million eBook pricing settlement entered into with states attorneys general in a separate but related lawsuit.
While there’s no reason to believe the Court of Appeals will overturn the original ruling, the case could be turned by Apple’s claim the pricing coordination was necessary to enable competition with a monopolist Amazon. Personally, I’d like to see that happen and prove my prediction wrong, as I believe Apple’s done well forcing competition within a tight eBook marketplace that was previously essentially owned by Amazon. As an avid reader who possesses multiple iPhones and iPads within my residence, it’s nice knowing an eBook alternative exists. I think it’s great that Apple is attempting to break a potential logjam that could provide commuting business users — who wish to read eBooks on their iPhones and iPads — with another eBook reader that possesses integrated purchasing capability and reasonable pricing for titles.
What other things do you predict will happen with Apple in 2015? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.
Source – Tech Republic
When people want to start up a company they dream of having something like such global giants as Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc. but it isn’t easy and a lot of factors should be taken into account, including the country traditions, the government general policy in the field of entrepreneurship, the public attitude towards the innovative ideas, the existence of the precise set of tools to stimulate innovation, human capital and research, infrastructure and many others. Why is it easy to set up new companies in one country and difficult in another? To answer this question I investigated the experience of Scandinavian states in this field. Why precisely Scandinavia?
Nordic countries seem to be in the forefront of this development. Having given us Ericsson, Skype and Spotify Scandinavia has become a global leader in IT, mobile and multimedia development, and the pace of innovation shows no sign of slowing. The list of prosperous start – up companies itself is inspiring: Spotify, iZettle, SoundCloud, Klarna, Uber, Fishbrain, Sticky Wrapp in Sweden. I needn’t even mention such giants from Denmark as the app developer Podio and Unwire, a mobile platform provider which enables the hosting of TV content on mobile phone. Or let’s take Bird Step from Norway which continues to bring a raft of leading-edge mobile connectivity products to market. By the way, Sweden is currently No.1 in the world for IT, according to the latest Global Information Technology Report. In fact, all three Scandinavian countries are among the top 10.
I think, the reasons why start ups are so popular in Scandinavia are the following:
-political and economic factors play a key role. Scandinavian strong welfare system makes people feel safer and enables them to take risk to start their own company. Government support for tech innovation is evident in basic conveniences such as free Wi-Fi, and each administration has introduced specific measures to encourage tech development;
-clustering– the pooling of ideas by a group of organisations for common gain. Vivid example of this is creation of the Movation innovation partnership by 7 Norwegian tech companies in 2006 and the Nordic Tech Five linking universities in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. It has become possible due to the compact nature of the region which encourages a shared sense of purpose and a willingness to help each other out.
– tech culture and general positive attitude of Scandinavians to innovation is the biggest factor in Scandinavian supremacy. Scandinavian people pick up trends quickly. The same goes for new markets and technology. Common people are willing to embrace new technology, specifically regarding IT and communication. In 2009, a survey in Denmark found 72% of the population used the internet every day, people are not afraid of the internet in Scandinavia, everyone buys online. Isn’t it a dream for any country when old Nordic grannies surf the net, school children use laptops in exams and parents allow their kids online without fearing for their safety? It is a nation embracing IT.
– history and tradition play a crucial part in start-up trends, too. This enthusiasm for innovation, particularly mobile innovation, goes back decades. Sweden, for example, is very strong in engineering, from building the first telephones, to the global expansion of Nokia. Engineering has always been sought after, and tech is just the latest manifestation of that.
– strong support of tech talents and fierce competition for talents. All top-ranked Nordic universities enclose student incubators that offer everything from free working space to specific courses and mentor programs to encourage and foster virtuous entrepreneurship. To start a company Scandinavian entrepreneurs could find world class engineers and designers.
– scale advantage. The small scale of the Scandinavian market is used by Nordic start-ups to their advantage. They are more organized, disciplined and mobile.
– nation’s infrastructure – telecommunications, education and institutions – has helped deliver high broadband and mobile penetration and a tech-savvy population. The Internet in Scandinavian countries is pretty ubiquitous, affordable, and the average speed for both down- and upload is good.
– rapid globalization of Scandinavian start-ups. Nordic people have got more international quickly which makes it an advantage. Moreover, most Swedes, Norwegians and Danes are skilled English speakers which is a big advantage for start-ups to become international.
– great informal network which unites experienced and new entrepreneurs. The amount of knowledge sharing among community members is huge. The advice websites for start-up businesses are really popular. People help each other and share best practice information.
– availability of Venture capital helps start-ups make a good start, too. The amount of Venture capital available in relation to the GDP is higher in Scandinavia than in the rest of Europe.
– accelerator programmes for startups developed in Scandinavian countries are a relatively new, ‘modern’ breed of business incubators which attract small teams and provide a number of technology companies with seed funding, mentoring, training like SICS and Bonnier’s Accelerator in Sweden, beta FACTORY in Norway, Startup boot camp Mobility and Accelerace in Denmark.
– long, dark, and cold Scandinavian winters encourage people to stay inside and noodle away at creative endeavors, such as programming or gaming. So, when Scandinavians don’t chop wood they sit in front of the internet and consume. :)
As a conclusion, I’d like to say that there are probably many more aspects. And we don’t deny that Scandinavia has its challenges as well. Not everything is perfect, and there are exceptions to every rule. But simply judging from the quantity (and quality) of its entrepreneurial outcome the climate for starting your own company seems to be pretty good there in the north. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s why Scandinavia is winning. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!