Saturday, Jan 28
Artificial Intelligence: the new gold mine for businesses

Artificial Intelligence: the new gold mine for businesses

Despite the divide, disruptive technologiesare COVID-19 pandemic in emerging markets...

Perhaps, it is necessary to understand the scope of Artificial Intelligence ((AI) in the scope of businesses. An oversimplified description of AI is a collection of technologies that enable machines to learn, adapt and act almost with human-like intelligence at incredible speeds. AI differs widely from simple automation, which may be enabling machines to undertake repetitive human-like acts such as those in assembly lines of factories and in warehouses. In this case, machines are trained to perform a specific act perfectly and performs that act in the same way repetitively until perhaps programmed to perform another task.

In the present age, multi-billion industries hugely depend on AI to drive their businesses. However, the journey of AI has not been smooth; the period of hypes was followed by periods with reduced funding (also known as AI winters). Nonetheless, despite these hindrances, today AI is back in limelight due to development of ‘deep learning’ neural networks with many hidden layers. 

AI Redefining the Trove of Businesses

The past century saw technology reached a true seminal moment when humans, through the power of an atom, acquired the capacity to destroy the entire planet. Now, thanks to AI, technology is hurtling us toward a new inflection point. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence is a by-product of advancement in technology. The importance of technology recently manifested in the global pandemic (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology and innovation in developed countries. This technology enabled researchers and firms to work at unprecedented speeds to decode the organism’s genetic code in weeks, design testing, monitoring and patient management devices or tools, and bring to market several novel vaccines in about a year. Besides, AI is one of the digital technologies having profound economic, social and environment contributions. The global market for AI is estimated to be growing at about 32%-42% per year– a very fast pace.

While the actual value of the AI global market is worth about $62.35 billion in 2020, it is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 40.2%. It is also expected to hit between $267 billion and $312 billion by 2027. Like other technologies, the contribution of AI to business performance and economic growth is driving greater investments by governments and companies alike. For instance, one estimate suggests that by 2030, AI will “contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy”.

Moreover, Artificial intelligence (AI), as we have seen in the past, is already established in the enterprise. Some professions, like human resources, have taken to it easily while others, particularly regulated industries, have been slower to write AI into their future. The fact of the matter is that AI is still a very new technology and it is still not clear what it will bring to the enterprise, or if what it brings will be positive.

AI Technology offers new opportunities that can lead to notable transformation in businesses and the overall economic system. At the business level, some of the benefits include: the quick unveiling of patterns in big data, speedy visualization and analytics, improved product design, delivering meticulous insights, and many more.

These benefits are expected to introduce new levels of service, increased profit, and expansion of businesses, improved efficiency and cost structures In the global economy, AI indeed is helping certain professionals— but it’s also replacing millions of people. In the military sphere, automation is driving boots off the ground and eyes into the sky in a coming robotic world of war.

And whether it’s Siri, the bots that guide increasingly frustrated callers through automated phone trees, or the AI that checks out Facebook posts, the aim has been to counterfeit human beings — “machines like me,” as Ian McEwan called them in his 2019 novel of that title — while concealing the strings that connect the creation to its creator. 

AI Drawbacks

The adoption of AI can be problematic. Science fiction writers and technologists have long worried about a future in which robots, achieving sentience, can take over the planet. The creation of a machine with human-like intelligence that could someday fool us into believing it’s one of us has often been described, with no small measure of trepidation, as the “singularity”. Respectable scientists like Stephen Hawking have argued that such a singularity will, in fact, mark the “end of the human race”. Furthermore, there are several problems that are creating concern among enterprise leaders.

However, many of the problems still come from a lack of insight into what is likely to happen with AI. The advent of AI has impacted the society negatively in many regard. One of the clear impacts is the increase of jobless ratio in the economy. As predicted by experts, more discoveries in AI industry would be seen in coming years that will cause disruptive changes in business, life and global economy.

Meanwhile, according to a report named “Creativity versus Robots”, the most open to computerization and jobs that could be replaced by robots are: office administrators, call-centre staff, librarians, cattle and crop farmers, loggers, miners, car salesmen, hotel staffs and many more. Unemployment will increase due to the replacement choice of capital owners or human resources managers for such efficiencies and innovation. As AI is replacing most of the repetitive tasks, human involvement is becoming less which will cause a major problem in the employment standards.

Every organization is looking to replace the minimum qualified individuals with AI robots which can do similar work with much more efficiency. In addition, a blind reliance on AI is another problem that businesses grapple with. This can happen when businesses assume they can blindly rely on the AI model. AI is a great servant but a poor master.

AI can be fantastic at triaging or automating processes up to 80-85% of “grunt-work” that would normally take 10x longer for humans to do, but that still leaves 15-20% of the work that requires subjective human oversight. Another factor which represents a major setback to the sustainability of businesses depending on AI is the human factor. Meanwhile, Ahmed Ali who is content marketing executive at DSRPT which specializes in applying AI to the development of businesses, has pointed out that as AI is updating its hardware and software on a regular basis, it needs to get updated with time to meet the latest requirements. Machines need repair and maintenance which incur plenty of costs. “It is a creation that requires huge costs as they are very complex. Individual developments can still be as high as $300,000 for a basic AI.” AI is making humans lazy with its applications automating most of the work.

We are getting addicted to these inventions which can cause a problem for our future generations and making human interaction more difficult. There is not a shadow of doubt that machines are much better when it comes to working efficiently but they cannot make human connection obsolete. Machines cannot develop a bond with humans which is an essential attribute when it comes to team management.

Machines can perform only those tasks which they are programmed to do, anything outside of that, they tend to give irrelevant outputs which could be a major setback. While many companies are starting to implement AI as much as they can, due to the many advantages the technology has, there are downsides to its implementation, one of the biggest downsides being the lack of human input and thought processes. While AI can be great for completing simple tasks, when it comes to more complex tasks the need for human interpretation becomes ever more apparent.

AI cannot always account for constant change and adaptation like humans can since there is no thought process and experience. It is therefore important that companies, in the future, ensure that the tasks that they aim to fulfil with AI will rather complement their staff’s work, rather than replace it. Nonetheless, the disadvantages can be overcome if businesses approach AI as a technology that can be leveraged to help employees and not replace their functions and also adapt to changes in the business workflows.

Africa could Leverage AI for rapid Economic Development

AI has the potential to solve most of the pressing challenges that has bedevilled the African continent for ages. It is capable of driving sustainable development in agriculture, health, infrastructure, financial and public services in Africa.

AI could also be employed in detecting and tracking changes in the environment that could aid decision making to make industries and businesses more efficient, productive and profitable in Africa. In light of this, it is important for governments across the continent to support research and development, technology acquisition and infrastructure development fit for digital economy. Africa has to realize the immense opportunities offered by AI.

For instance, global investment in AI start-ups has grown from $1.3 billion in 2010 to $37.4 billion by 2019. AI computing power doubles every 3.4 months; 58% of large businesses have adopted AI in some of their operations. Africa needs to match and outperform the global averages if it can address some of the key challenges. Meanwhile, among the key challenges that African countries need to address are: Build the work force that is ready for AI by addressing the education and quality of research and development systems to ensure they are fit for purpose, innovation and entrepreneurial in nature.

African tech savvies must encourage the public and private sector to collaborate in design of AI solutions, promote open data and open access data and open government data principles to encourage research and businesses to build smart systems. More so, governments across the continent must increase funding and investment in high-speed internet and cloud computing. Modern infrastructure with security, speed and processing powers that AI demands must also be prioritised. All in all, like a two edged sword, AI has contributed tremendously in the world of business and at the same time, adversely impacted it and humanity.

Disruptive Technology Adoption In Emerging Markets Post-Covid-19

Disruptive Technology Adoption In Emerging Markets Post-Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted people’s lives, families, communities and the global economy and its future evolution remains uncertain. Moreover, the

Mastering the path to exponential growth - Review

Over the past 12 weeks, I've experienced some of the best growth experts in the world (courtesy CXL Institute), and I've taken in a lot, some of which I've shared.

In this article, I'll try and explore some best practice that will help you to master the art and science of growth marketing.

Fundamentally, there are multiple levers of growth, thus:

Acquisition - this is where one offers the incentive to users to try product.

Activation - that "aha" moment when the user gets to have a first time experience of the core value of the product.

Retention - at this stage, the user has experienced the core value of the product and returns to consume more.

Referral - this is key to looping in new users and generating more value to the business.

Revenue - when the consumer pays for the product.

Businesses in the Software as a System (SaaS) and media categories, particularly, need to retain customers to be sustainable. Growth depends on a high Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Because value drives retention, the customer has to realize the value of one's product as quickly as possible. That means the path to usage and the customer experience should be as frictionless as possible. Key to this, is the need to determine what metric is imperative to growth, for one's business, and how to get there through user retention.

This is where, one needs to look up...

...And determine the North Star Metric (NSM)


Before determining that key metric that influences growth for one's business, one should consider that, the NSM:

  1. Should reflect aggregated value delivered to the user/customer
  2. Is the lens for evaluating tests and monitoring overall progress of one's marketing and product iteration activities?

Examples of NSM are Airbnb (Nights booked) and Facebook - monthly active users (MAUs).

Because testing is key to the realization of NSM, experiments should be closely related to objectives, which should in turn be linked to the NSM.

Once there is an understanding of one's NSM, and the relationship between the variables that move that NSM, then testing will drive growth. This is because NSM is a reflection of the aggregate value of one's product. Now, there are two (2) types of testing, thus:

  • Testing to discover (pings) - In this type of testing, one makes a lot of guessing, and learnings, over time, to discover ideas of where the opportunities are
  • Testing to optimize (A vs. B) - Based on the assumption that there is a better way to do everything that one is doing, and one finds that through testing variation, and incremental testing to grow faster

When testing, one is better off leveraging within the business, to have the biggest impact from a win, and that is through data. This data come be found in the various units within the business, whether, product, marketing, customer service, analytics or design.

Now, for testing to be effective, it needs to be focused on specific objectives. This is due to the fact that impact needs to be applied on the right priorities, to leverage the biggest growth opportunities.

 The Growth Process

Growth Process

One needs to engage the entire organization to be able to leverage the insight and skills of different units, to be able to be effective.

That said, what is an effective growth process?

One thing, I've learned and believe is that digital marketing always throws up new insights and sometimes one gets blindsided by events. But there are some things that can be considered standard, which is:

  • Engaging the entire organization to leverage every possible insight, skills and thought-leadership
  • Driving immediate growth results through focused rapid testing
  • Pushing sustainable growth though constant learning and iteration

The growth testing process is driven by 4 key considerations:

  1. Analyze situation (to find out what's holding back growth): This lends itself to discovering high leverage growth opportunities that one could then use to drive growth. It also helps to create a "situation document" and the opportunity for quantitive analysis and feedback, as well as learn from past testing activities.
  2. Idea generation for objective: This is where the creative problem solving skills come to bear on the growth process, through brainstorming around the objective. Here, one can also encourage ideas from any of the team, regardless of their role.
  3. Prioritize in weekly growth meetings: In this situations, team members are encouraged to nominate their favourite ideas for testing. The ideas for testing are also pitched to the team to achieve alignment, and the required resources and expectations are agreed upon in this meetings. It is always a great idea to hand over ownership to the one who's most passionate about the nominated test idea.
  4. Launch tests: At this stage the test-owner determines the minimum viable test, and schedules the resources required for execution. They also ensure success metrics are defined and tracked.

Analyzing tests and repeating to drive growth

Analyzing Tests

At this stage, one is basically focused on ensuring that statistically significant sample size is acquired, to enable triage analysis of the test hypothesis. It's also imperative to share the impact that testing has on the progress towards achieve the set goal.

In all, one has to keep the objective, top on mind for the team, to ensure that the process stays on track. So, question one may ask is what happens at this stage of the growth process, where things could go either way?

Remember, this is all a learning process, whether one is doing something completely new, or testing two (2) know hypothesis to determine the winner. So, the subsequent scenario could be something along these lines:

  1. If the test failed to work; one has to capture the learning from it and use it to pivot in another direction
  2. If it worked; then, it's a big opportunity to systemize and automate.

Whichever way one looks at it, both sets of scenarios influence the next set of tests, and it goes on and on, in a continual process of testing and driving growth, through insight harvesting.

 The growth team

The Growth Team

The purpose of the growth team is to plan and execute cross-functional growth testing to achieve high level objectives. This includes identifying what the high level objectives are, and working to achieve or exceed those objectives. If you're thinking about the best way to build your growth team, there are two (2) models that can be considered.

  • Autonomous (independent) team model: This team usually reports to the chief executive, and therefore tend to achieve greater speed and iteration. Examples of this model can be found in Uber, Facebook and Pinterest
  • Functional team model: This team reports to another team, usually the VP of product, and tends to help develop trust that growth will not be pursued at the detriment of user experience. This model can be found in the growth processes of LinkedIn, Twitter and Dropbox

You may be wondering who should be on the growth team, and that's a legitimate consideration for anyone interested in the growth of their business. As the custodian of the fortunes of the business, one assumes the automatic role of Growth Master (unless, one wants to relinquish it to a third-party), and therefore head of growth.

This normally requires and multi-skilled ability and/or a wide knowledge in digital marketing disciplines. That said, one can start with outsourcing or shared resources (if one operates in a larger organization that has other operating units), in engineering, design, marketing, analytics, etc.

With time, as and when required, one can add dedicated people to form a core team that will help to achieve the required testing goals, or contract temporary specialists to explore the various channels, with the view to confirm roles when channels are proven to be worth the investment.

 The Growth Master role

The growth master role

Qualities of the growth master

  • This requires one with an entrepreneurial spirit, willing to take the risks and accountability for a difficult job
  • Disciplined to follow processes, as this is key to achieving sustainable growth
  • Has the mindset to pursue continuous improvement, and always looking for opportunities to improve
  • Must be analytical, and passionate about looking for proof in data and not going by gut feelings
  • Show leadership to keep the team focused and motivated to go through the rigmarole of continuous experiment and analyzing

The above qualities are what will come in handy, as the one performs the Growth Master role, through analyzing data to find the high level growth opportunities, helping the team to focus on generating ideas that will impact the key objectives, and running weekly growth meetings.

The process of growth in one's organization is a journey of discovery and learning, to execution and analysis. Therefore, experience is one of the key aspects of the role of a Growth Master, and it presents an opportunity to find areas to improve after each experiment, and to apply improvements in the next project or activity.

With time the role becomes easier, as skills and knowledge are built through observation and reporting.

Nanotechnology– A Solution To The Problems Of Developing Countries?

Nanotechnology– A Solution To The Problems Of Developing Countries?

There is a world so small, we can't see even with a light microscope. That world is the field of nanotechnology, the realm of atoms and nanostructures. Nanotechnology is a field of research and innovation concerned with building 'things' - generally, materials and devices - on the scale of atoms and molecules. Nanotechnology represents the manipulation of matter on an atomic molecular and supermolecular scale.

The science of nanotech is cutting-edge but simple enough to be affordable globally and the development prospect is enormous. So it’s no surprise that many developing countries have already embarked on commercializing the technology. The developing world, Brazil, Chile, China, India, the Philippines, South Korea, South Africa and Thailand have shown their commitment to nanotechnology by establishing government-funded programmes and research institutes. Researchers at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics have classified these countries as 'front-runners' (China, South Korea, India) and 'middle ground' players (Thailand, Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, Chile). In addition, Argentina and Mexico are 'up and comers': although they have research groups studying nanotechnology, their governments have not yet organized dedicated funding.

Nanotechnology holds the promise of new solutions to problems that hinder the development of poor countries, especially in relation to health and sanitation, food security, and the environment. In its 2005 report entitled Innovation: applying knowledge in development, the UN Millennium Project task force on science technology and innovation wrote that "nanotechnology is likely to be particularly important in the developing world, because it involves little labour, land or maintenance; it is highly productive and inexpensive; and it requires only modest amounts of materials and energy". Scientists are even investigating use of nanomaterials to improve delivery of fertilizers and pesticides, and to create transgenic crops that would not be considered GM. Sonia Trigueros, a researcher at Britain’s University of Oxford believes its “applications are limitless”.


water treat

With regard to nanotechnology and water treatment, an active emerging area of research is the development of novel nanomaterials with increased affinity, capacity, and selectivity for heavy metals and other contaminants. Numerous studies have shown that nanomaterials can effectively remove various pollutants in water and thus have been successfully applied in water and wastewater treatment. The benefits from use of nanomaterials may derive from their enhanced reactivity, surface area and sequestration characteristics. A variety of nanomaterials are in various stages of research and development, each possessing unique functionalities that is potentially applicable to the remediation of industrial effluents, groundwater, surface water and drinking water.

carbon tubesCarbon tubes nanotech

Membrane processes are considered key components of advanced water purification and desalination technologies and nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles, and dendrimers are contributing to the development of more efficient and cost-effective water filtration processes.
With regard to sensing, detection, and monitoring, of particular interest is the development of new and enhanced sensors to detect biological and chemical contaminants at very low concentration levels in the environment, including water.



The medical advances that may be possible through nanotechnology include both diagnostics and therapeutic procedures. Disease diagnostics and screening play a major role in developing countries, where access to medical facilities is scarce or non-existent. Cheap and easy-to-use diagnostic solutions in form of portable lab-on-chip technology and sensor devices for blood tests and pathogen detection will be especially beneficial in rural areas. For instance, several biological agents like albumin/dextran/perfluorobutane gas microcarriers (PGMCs) nanoparticles can be utilized for cardiac applications. Albumin-coated gas microbubbles have an interesting property, that is, they do not adhere to normally functioning endothelium but can attach to dysfunctional endothelial cells or to extracellular matrix of the disrupted vascular wall, an interaction that could be used not only as a marker of endothelial damage but even drug delivery. The cardiovascular drugs can be incorporated into the microbubbles in a number of different ways, including binding of the drug to the microbubble shell and attachment of site-specific ligands.

The much touted big three diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis) are responsible for millions of deaths in developing countries, while their impact on the developed world is significantly less due to the social and medical apparatus in these countries offering better living conditions to those who fall ill. With the help of nanotechnologies, this dramatic issue could be efficiently addressed.

Numerous nanomedicine research efforts deal with diagnosing and fighting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Nanotechnology offers a unique opportunity to combine and improve different pharmacological profiles of antiretroviral drugs, with more convenient drug administration and potentially better patient adherence to HIV therapy.
Research is also underway to use nanotechnology against malaria parasites and nanobiosensors for treatment of tuberculosis, as well as exploring the possibility of creating a tuberculosis vaccine. In the near future, it should become possible to construct machines (nanorobots) on the micrometer scale, made up of parts on the nanometer scale, like 100 nm manipulator arms, 10 nm sorting rotors for molecule-by-molecule reagent purification, and smooth super hard surfaces made of atomically flawless diamond. These devices could be controlled by nanocomputers that would be able to activate, control, and deactivate these devices at will. Further, they would store and execute clinical plans, receive and process external signals and stimuli, communicate with other nanocomputers or external control and monitoring devices, and possess contextual knowledge to ensure safe functioning of the nanorobots.


plant science

The use of carbon nanotubes — long, narrow, stiff tubes of carbon — to alter plant genes without foreign DNA being inserted into the plant genome itself, which would lead to gene-edited crops that would not be considered genetically modified is one of the perks of nanotechnology. Given the large and ongoing public opposition to genetically modified crops in developing nations, this approach could be a more palatable way to deliver benefits such as drought or flood resistance. Recent research studies show that carbon nanotubes can be used to deliver gene-editing machinery known as CRISPR/Cas9 inside plant cells — through the cell wall and the membrane– something that is otherwise tricky to do.
Gene editing then allows precise genetic enhancement to create crops that are resistant to herbicides, insects, diseases and drought. It has the potential to make better crops without the kind of public fears surrounding genetic modification. The nanoparticles do not require refrigeration, as does Agrobacterium, or advanced-tech laboratory equipment for use, as would a gene gun, so their use is possible in limited-resource environments. Furthermore, as agriculture faces numerous and unprecedented challenges, such as reduced crop yield due to biotic and abiotic stresses, including nutrient deficiency and environmental pollution, the emergence of nanotechnology has offered promising applications for precision agriculture. The term precision agriculture or farming has emerged in recent years, meaning the development of wireless networking and miniaturization of the sensors for monitoring, assessing, and controlling agricultural practices.

More specifically, it is related to the site-specific crop management with a wide array of pre- and post-production aspects of agriculture, ranging from horticultural crops to field crops. Recent advancements in tissue engineering and engineered nanomaterials-based targeted delivery of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas (CRISPR-associated protein) mRNA, and sgRNA for the genetic modification (GM) of crops is a noteworthy scientific achievement.   Again, nanotechnology provides excellent solutions for an increasing number of environmental challenges. For example, the development of nanosensors has extensive prospects for the observation of environmental stress and enhancing the combating potentials of plants against diseases. Therefore, such continuous improvements in nanotechnology with special preference on the identification of problems and development of collaborative approaches for sustainable agricultural growth has remarkable potential to provide broad social and equitable benefits.

It’s hard to argue against technologies that will prolong human life, and this is probably the most exciting area of nanotechnology. The holy grail of nanomedicine is nanobots that swim through your bloodstream patrolling for tumors, arterial clogs, or other dangerous abnormalities. Those things are still a long way away, but in the meantime, scientists are using nanoparticles in multiple ways like targeted delivery vehicles for cancer medications. Scientists from MIT recently proved that it’s possible to insert nano factories into the body to manufacture drugs on demand at specific sites. Who knows, in the future, curing cancer could be as simple as getting a shot.

Despite the blossoming of this relatively new technology some scientists have raised concerns about its long-term safety to human health and the environment, with many scientists calling for better and more internationally coordinated regulation and oversight of the proliferating uses of nanoparticles. But against this march of technology, some people have been increasingly worried about the lack of long-term studies on the impact of nanomaterials on human health— and the environment. The transparency and vigilance against the risk are too many. No one knows if, and how, safe they are in the long term since most safety research has been done in the lab, on cells or mice, and in unrealistic settings

Top Five business-technology trends in 2020 to look out for

We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the evolution of tech is in competition with the speed of light. With the advent of new-age technology, we are about three innovations away from fully transitioning into cyborgs. By 2022, 70 percent of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25 percent will have them deployed in production, according to Gartner. Additionally, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65 percent of application development activity by 2024. Companies and individuals that don't keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind as consumers have adjusted to the tech way of doing business. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities in this new age.  In 2020, there are five top tech trends to expect including:

Service AI

Service AI

AI refers to computer systems built to mimic human intelligence and perform tasks such as recognition of images, speech or patterns and decision making. AI’s do these tasks faster and more accurately than humans. Most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer experience and to streamline their business operations. This will proceed in 2020, and keeping in mind that individuals will progressively wind up being used to working close by AIs, designing and deploying AI-based systems will stay a costly recommendation for most of the organizations. Consequently, a significant number of AI applications will continue to be done through providers of as-a-service platforms, which allow us to simply feed in data and pay for the algorithms or compute resources as we use them.

Currently, these platforms, provided by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, tend to be somewhat broad in scope, with (often expensive) custom-engineering required to apply them to the specific tasks an organization may require. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and a growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company will have any excuses left not to use AI.

AI is one part of what is referred to broadly as automation, and automation is a hot topic because of potential job loss. Experts say automation will eliminate 73 million more jobs by 2030. However, automation is creating jobs as well as eliminating them, especially in the field of AI; Pundits predict that jobs in AI will number 23 million by 2020. Proliferation in this area, and a move to more specific AI tasks being offered on subscription, is a likely development in 2020.


5G Network

5G Network

This next generation of wireless network technology will also be an enabler across a myriad of industries and applications, and in all likelihood spur all-new use cases as well. With some of the biggest names in telecommunications, like Qualcomm, AT&T, Verizon, Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei making sure that global 5G deployments stay on pace, and the world’s best Android handset makers already releasing 5G phones, 5G will hit the ground running in 2020 and that means plucking lightning-fast internet straight from cellular networks. Qualcomm specifically is on the forefront of 5G technologies, with end-to-end silicon solutions from 5G client handset devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series, to base station and fixed wireless customer premise solutions and You can expect more of this in the near future.

 While there have been some, seemingly unfounded concerns over what 5G could be doing to our bodies, the tidal wave is continuing to roll. The increased bandwidth will provide faster internet speeds with a simpler setup process. As if that’s not enough, 5G networks will also facilitate the use of drones and driverless cars, allowing them to rapidly communicate with any other smart vehicles in their vicinity, an essential feature of futuristic smart cities.

The advent of 5G will be driven by the Edge Computing and Massive Machine Type Communication. The fast data transmission promised by 5G will only play a minor role. The less publicly discussed technical features of the network will be much more important: very low latency, extremely high reliability with low energy consumption at low transmission rates, and the ability to address many more devices than today per radio cell. 5G quite literally has the potential to transform not only internet broadband service, but it will also enable new applications and use cases, from connected smart devices in the IoT, to autonomous vehicles, smart cities and connected factories; the list goes on.

Waverly Ambassador Translator

Waverly Ambassador Translator

Many people all over the world have the misfortune of being cursed with mono-lingualism and this poses several problems. Imagine missing your flight because you couldn’t read the foreign language displayed on the screen. Don’t fret. For those who want to travel regardless of language boundaries—or easily converse with people who speak different languages in their own neighborhood—Waverly Labs invented an audio device that translates on the spot. With a number of game-changing features, the Ambassador's over-the-ear design makes it as versatile as it is shareable. Enjoy seamless pairing, simple sharing and adaptable settings for natural and professional-grade live translations across the globe. The earbuds have smooth sharing with guests by pairing multiple Ambassadors to one smartphone. Its hygienic over-the-ear design allows for seamless sharing, longer battery life, and uncompromised signal quality. It also has an advanced microphone array to naturally interpret to people around you with high clarity, translate and understand dozens of languages or dialects with guests and groups.

There are many situations in which to use it, but perhaps the most useful setup is to attach one to your ear, hand the other to someone who doesn't speak the same language to strap onto their own head, and talk away. The correct translation will play in both of your ears. The technology is still in the Indiegogo stage, but it might be worth it to you to get your hands on an early version.


Blockchain moves beyond Crypto


Blockchain, which is already appearing in experimental and small-scope projects, will be fully scalable by 2023. Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, an expanding chronologically ordered list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network.

Blockchain was overhyped and thus always going to be a bust in 2019 following the bitcoin craze. However, 2020 will finally see scale for some meaningful use cases for blockchain beyond cryptocurrency. For instance, one of the most problematic results of the internet age has been identity security. As diligent as many individuals and organizations are in maintaining their online identities and securing private information, there are always nefarious actors looking to steal and profit off of these digital items. Blockchain technology has already demonstrated the potential for transforming the way that online identity management takes place.

Blockchain offers a tremendous level of security, thanks to independent verification processes that take place throughout member computers on a blockchain network. In digital currency cases, this verification is used to approve transactions before they are added to the chain. This mechanism could just as easily be applied to other types of verification procedures, including identity verification and many other applications as well. Amazon Web Services is democratizing blockchain technology with their subscription based blockchain-as-a-service platform.  And they are not alone on this effort. Many other global leaders are also playing in this space, including Samsung, Microsoft, IBM and China’s Alibaba. What’s more, we are beginning to see more use cases for the technology beyond payments and cryptocurrencies. Look to how blockchain will be used in food safety, intellectual property and royalties, and real estate/asset management for instance. 2020 could be the start of the true rise of Blockchain.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term encapsulating Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), and everything in between. Although AR and VR offer a wide range of revolutionary experiences, the same underlying technologies are powering XR. XR is used to create more immersive digital experiences. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset). These technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such as camera filters and Pokémon Go-style games providing the most visible examples of AR.

From 2020, expect all of that to change as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers. By 2025 the healthcare revenue from augmented and virtual reality is projected to reach $5B. In fact, technology insiders actually expect to see the most advancements of AR technology in the healthcare industry. You may have noticed that AR has already made its way into hospitals and doctors’ offices. The Accuvein scanner is one great example of this. The AR tool projects where valves and veins are so that healthcare professionals can find a patient’s vein more easily when doing Intravenous therapy placements.

In the real estate industry, VR allows potential home buyers to tour properties through a headset before the property is even finished being built. This benefit both the potential buyers but also the property management companies who are able to sell well before a place is ready. Simultaneously AR technologies allow those building the properties to envision how a certain type of cabinet would look like before they are ever installed. With all these advances to be seen in the near future, this young but blossoming industry truly is one to keep an eye on.

It will suffice to conclude that Technology is now on the cusp of moving beyond augmentation that replaces a human capability into augmentation that creates superhuman capabilities. The trends are structured around the idea of “people-centric smart spaces,” which means considering how these technologies will affect people (i.e., customers, employees) and the places that they live in (i.e., home, office, car). According to Brian Burke, Gartner Research VP, “these trends have a profound impact on the people and the spaces they inhabit. Rather than building a technology stack and then exploring the potential applications, organizations must consider the business and human context first.” 

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