IoT: Internet of Things

IoT is Not a New Notion

The concept of the ‘Internet of Things (IoT) was in the air for quite a long time from now; in fact, the ‘Coke Machine’ of ‘Carnegie Melon University’, which is a creation of the early 1980s, was one of such ‘internet appliances’. The subject has eventually touched the ground. Now-a-days it has become a matter of discussion of all those who are familiar with hi-tech developments, in particular, those who are aficionados of computers and the internet. Kevin Ashton, one of the initiators and the Executive Director of the Auto-ID center at MIT had given a direct hint about the same almost 1½ decades ago! The year was 1999, and the venue was an executive meeting of ‘Proctor & Gamble’; Kevin was linking the then novel topic of ‘internet’ to the ‘Radio Frequency Identification’ in the company’s supply chain. Read more

An app developer’s bane!!!

What is the most common conundrum for an app developer or for any outsourcing partner? It’s how efficaciously they can provide a solution to their clients, keeping all the resources at hand and that too in constraint.

The focal point of every project is to deliver the best solution keeping all the other three variables in control. These three variables include Price, Time and Features. But this is where the theory of marginal utility comes into play.

Let’s break this dilemma with the help of a clone which will include the basic quadrant which can best describe the customer’s expectations.

 

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If you get the desired quality at acceptable prices, on time with all the features, then that is definitely a dream and a nightmare for a developer. Read more

iBeacon: Looking beyond Hardware

Being a pioneer in iBeacon app development, Dex has always tried to provide best to its clients. Following the custom, we are bringing some insights on iBeacon technology straight from companies who live and breath iBeacons. To begin with here is a excerpt from our discussion with Wojtek Borowicz (@Esti_Wojtek), Community Evangelist at Estimote and what Estimote has in store for its customers  Read more

A Look Back At 2014; Technology Initiatives

Compared to rapid changes in technology from the past years, it would seem like 2014 was quite tame for those who follow the trend of technology. In fact, it would seem like following the trend is the theme of the year’s technology initiatives. From big phones to wearables to surprising acquisitions, here are some tech initiatives of the year 2014.  Read more

How app analytics is revolutionizing the mobile world

Analysts have made a living reading and predicting the market trends for decades. The last few years have seen as shift of focus into the digital business model. Apps are the centerpiece of any business, and just like any business before it, people have realized that app analytics are still important not only for the bottom line of the current app, but for the success of future apps.

There are many factors that could make an app successful. It is not about how many downloads you’ve had, but how many you have today, and how many more you will have the next day. An app’s survival depends not on a single bursts of downloads, but with a steady influx of new users. As such tracking your app’s performance on a real-time basis is crucial to positively impacting your app’s next day performance.

It is imperative that you fine-tune the app to cater to the delicate and somewhat fickle tastes of the online community. By app analytics one can measure the app’s acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and ultimately, its revenue. Not only will a through and constant analysis allow you to monitor if the app is successful or not, it can also help you determine if the tastes of your consumers are changing.

Let’s take a look at a couple of statistics that you may encounter during app analysis, and how you can positively impact your app:

• Usage

App usage can be determined by number of activations per day, and how frequent a customer uses the app. You can even try to track how long the user stays in that app. Say for example, you are selling a gaming app, once you see any prolonged drops in your app’s usage statistics, it may be time for you to start building an update to keep things fresh. People get bored, and it is up to you to keep things interesting.

• Audience

Knowing your audience can help you a lot in your next steps with the app. By determining which groups are more likely to download and use your apps, you can center your apps to cater more to their tastes, or to adjust the app so that it caters to the tastes of a wider group of users. Demographic shifts will allow you to determine where to increase your marketing, and where to ease up, so you won’t have to overexert yourself to reach those that you already reach well.

As you can see, there are various ways for app analytics to help you completely overturn your app’s situation in the market. There are countless more data that you can wade through to keep your app afloat in a sea of apps in the wide market, so start as early as you can.

The most common app security mistakes

App security has been highlighted in the news for a while now. Various cases of hacked apps and released passwords have increased the world’s awareness of the growing threat to apps – hacking.

Sure, hacking has been around for a long time, but with more personal data being stored in mobile phones, and the lackluster securities that app developers have been taking with their apps, it is high-time we start looking into improving the app security.

The first step, is looking at the various mistakes the developers tend to make in terms of app security.

The first and biggest mistake that most developers tend to forget is actually securing an app. With most app development projects, security seems to be one of the lesser priorities of the team. For a while, it has been treated as a negligible aspect of app development, simply because they feel that they won’t have to take responsibility for it unless something goes wrong – and people start to leave.

If you want your app to continue to grow strong, there must be some initiative to improve your app security, especially the user’s data. Many apps these days fail to handle data security properly. Data should only be stored in the local drives of the device only when needed. Even then the data should be encrypted. Speaking of encryption, one should always encrypt not only local but also cloud data for better security.

Another common mistake of developers is forgetting to clean up their code. One particular part of the code being left behind is the comment lines. The comment lines could be used to help a hacker decipher what they can do to mess with the app and its code. As such, if any communication will be left in the app, it must go through the process of Obfuscation to prevent hackers from understanding too much.

One major mistake that developers tend to have is having too much permission. While the numbers of people being aware of the dangers of certain permissions are growing, there is still large number of users who do not know any better. Developers should not be lazy and include all manner of permissions for their app, especially if it has nothing to do with the necessary functions of the app. Keep things simple and review the permissions you need, and let go of the rest. Your users will thank you for it.

Remember that app security is everyone’s concern. Both developers and users must stay vigilant and avoid common and avoidable security errors.

iBeacon: Transcending Boundaries and Limits in Museums and Exhibits

With the rise of iBeacons in different establishments such as restaurants and retail stores, museums and exhibits have also joined the cause. The incorporation of iBeacons in museums and exhibits, coupled with its audio tours and tour guides, will make any person’s visit a memorable one.
The introduction of smartphones paved the way, the possibilities of iBeacon in museums and exhibits are limitless, from augmenting the visitor experience to constructing the next generation of museums and exhibits. Some of the possibilities that are currently exploring are:

1) Content annotation

This will allow visitors of the museums and exhibits to leave feedback on all artifacts and paintings. These feedbacks will be seen by other visitors in the area.

2) A digital “like” of the real thing such as a painting or statue

Developers are exploring the functionality of “like” button similar of Facebook. Visitors will have the option of “liking” a specific piece in the museum or even tweet them into their Tweeter.

3) Saving content for later use

Specifically useful for student tours or art students, they can obtain information about the artifacts and paintings in a museum and save it for later use, just like bookmarking. These will vastly improve the post-experience of visitors.

4) Interactive guides

Interactive guides are one of the most useful functionality of iBeacons in museums and exhibits. This will assist and help visitors making their way through the gallery, providing them information and history of artifacts and paintings within a specified area via their smartphones. Highlights and announcement of museums and exhibits will be easily accessible to all visitors.

5) Special events and surprises such as treasure hunt

Push notifications indicating new events or emergencies will be easily send through the smartphones of visitors. Special surprises such as treasure hunt can also be part of the push notifications and maybe played by visitors of the museums and exhibits.

6) History and other information of artifacts and paintings

In-depth information, such as history and owners, can be added to the artifacts and paintings and visitors may access them through their smartphones, provided they are within the specified area. Audio tours could also be utilized with iBeacons, rendering information as visitors walk through the area.
These are the just some of the limitless possibilities that can be incorporated into museums and exhibits.
A device called Glimworm Beacons, based on iBeacons, is made to utilize the potential uses of iBeacons. According to glimwormbeacons.com, Glimworm Beacons “are small Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmitters that use Apple’s iBeacon standard to send a small radio signal to smartphones up to 50 meters away..”
They recently help Wag Society to test run an application that provides seamless information about plants at the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam. The Philips Museum in Eindhoven will be the first integrated museum app, using Glimworm Beacons, in the Netherlands.
The application called the mApp is the newest museum platform created by LabWerk. It is designed to redefine the overall experience when visiting museums and exhibits. The application is used in synchronize with iBeacons.
These applications and possibilities will help museums and exhibits transcend the traditional visitor experience and augment the overall display and personal interactions of museums and visitors alike.

Improve your brand image through mobile apps

In this day and age, there is no shortage of ways to advertise and improve your brand image. Sure, there is the traditional media of web based advertisements, radio plugs, and TV ads. Of course, if you want to be “IN” with the latest trend, the first thing you should consider are mobile apps.

Yes, Mobile apps are basically the biggest attention grabber of the century. While most will not like to admit it, our lives are increasingly centered and dependent on our mobile devices, and within these mobile devices are apps. According to the Flurry Five-Year Report: It’s an App World. The Web Just Lives in It, people spend an average of over 2 hours a day using apps on a smart phone.

The most important bit here is that people tend to use these mobile apps during opportunistic times for an advertiser – during meals, while shopping, on the way to work, and just about every idle moment that a person can have in a day. Its reach is far more penetrative than the average advertising media.

So how exactly can we improve your brand’s reach and image with apps? Mobile Apps can range from a wide variety of forms, which can give you a lot of ways to be creative. Let’s take a look at HasBro’s Transformers and how they did it back in the day:

Step 1: New Autobot toy is created
Step 2: New Autobot toy is featured in the TV show.
Step 3: Profit from sales of new toy that kids saw on TV.

It is the same principle with apps. If you have a new product, like a new toy lineup, a new lineup of clothes, or maybe a new service, why not incorporate it somehow in an App? You can sponsor a development of game that would feature your product. You can even create desktop and keyboard themes that would hint towards your product.

There’s also a more direct approach – creating the official app of your brand. This is becoming increasingly popular, especially for brands that have something to sell. They create online shopping apps for their online store, or even create a loyalty program with the use of mobile app, which is something big names like Pizza Hut and McDonald’s are using. Not only do they put their products closer to the reach of the customer, but they also improve their standing thanks to how well the app worked and through their app based promotions.

Lots of companies are starting to migrate their business closer to mobile apps just like the proliferation of App based Taxi services and app based online shopping and book reading. It is very clear that if you want to have better brand image, recognition, and penetration, then you better start investing in a good app developer.

Venture into Enterprise Mobility: Four Reasons to go Mobile

Mobile technology has played a major role in transcending boundaries in technological advancement. As year passed by, more opportunities are offered by mobile technology in the area of consumerism, GPS, online experience, and gaming. Business and companies have utilized these to market their services and products to better their advertisement and increase their revenue.

Here are four reasons to go mobile for your business.

1)  Most people have smartphones and access to the Internet.

According to eMarketer, 4.55 billion people all over the world will be using a mobile phone in 2014. Furthermore, between 2013 and 2017, an increase of 61.1% to 69.4% of the global population will be seen on mobile phone usage. eMarketer also estimate that the total number of mobile phone internet users will rise 16.5% in 2014 and maintain double-digit growth through 2016.

2) Another form of advertisement and marketing method.

Mobile applications have been one of the innovative inventions in today’s history. Almost 70% of the world’s population has smartphones, and access to the Internet has never been easy via the Wi-Fi technology. These factors led to mobile applications as a form of advertisement and marketing method.

Consumers spend more time on their smartphones rather than on their computers. Most features of the computer are also incorporated into smartphones, with smartphones having unique features of its own. Businesses and establishments who go mobile are likely to increase their return of investment and annual profit.

Apple Inc. launched the iBeacon technology which it calls “a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.” iBeacon helps smartphones and other iOS 7 devices show notifications of items and services that are on sale, and it can be used to make payments for purchased goods. This technology offers the mobile enterprise an ample amount of opportunities to explore and grow.

3)  Increase brand perception by target audience.

Going mobile through the use of mobile website or by creating mobile applications for your businesses and establishments not only create more attention and advertisement for your products and services but also increase brand perception. According to bMobilized, “mobile searches make up 1/4 of all searches – chances are 25% of your customers as searching for your business on their mobile – if your site is not optimized for mobile, you are essentially invisible to those customers!”

Most searches people made are connected to finding businesses and establishments such as restaurants, hotels, and clubs. Restaurants have outstanding 90% search-related transactions with 64% converting within one hour according to moralmobile.com.


mobile enterprize

4)  Provides information to target audience and potential customers.

TV commercials are expensive especially to new businesses and establishments. Alternatives such as flyers and posters are not enough to disseminate information such as promos and sales from your businesses and establishments. The introduction of mobile technology offers low-cost advertisement that is easily accessible to your customers.

Customers will be able to see information such as locations, operating hours, promos, sales, products from your business. Online payment is also a privilege most customers want to have, avoiding the hassle of waiting over long lines.

Whether it is a mobile application or mobile website, going mobile present opportunities for your businesses and establishments to expand its territories and market its products and services to other potential customers.

One Step at a Time – iBeacon in Restaurants

The newest technology introduced by Apple Inc. called the iBeacon, is the new center of attraction for developers around the world especially in the United States.

Apple Inc. describes iBeacon as “a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.” This technology utilizes the Bluetooth installed in each Apple products and communicates with them directly.

The main function of iBeacon is to expand the technological capabilities of the retail industry. Point of sales (POS), product announcements, and product discounts are just some of the services iBeacon could offer.

iBeacon has been integrated into different establishments and businesses such as hospitals, universities, and hotels. Some restaurants have also integrated iBeacon into their system, hoping it would increase their sales and attract the attention of potential customers.

A concept was launched by two-man hack team Ray Ho and Mark Watson at the 2014 Tech Crunch Disrupt SF hackatahon, which is integrated into the restaurant’s software Clover and will improve the experience of customers waiting on tables.

Ray Ho and Mark Watson embedded iBeacons into every table in the restaurant so that they can monitor the activity of each customer in the table such as ordering food. The problem of constantly checking the customers for their orders will decrease and staffs such as waiters will have more time for other things such as cleaning tables.

Customers will have the option of knowing the available tables via the SmartTable application, before coming to the restaurant. How convenient it may seems, this does not demote human interaction as customers can still order through the cashier, knowing that their order is being processed.

Another advantage of iBeacons in restaurants is that customers can check their bills at any point before paying. They can check how many appetizers they have eaten and how much all those appetizers cost. Now that’s a convenient thing to have especially for those with awkward social skills.

In Germany, a restaurant has produced another innovative way using iBeacons which track the dining habits of their customers. Christian Mook, owner of the Mook Group that has five restaurants, utilizes iBeacon to record his customers’ habits such their favorite food to order up to their favorite table to occupy.

Customers need to download their application to avail the technology. Not only does this setup benefits the Mook Group, customers will earn rewards by using the application, by ordering foods in any of their restaurants, or just by hanging out in one of their restaurants. Customers will also earn points that can be used for special services and trade for rewards.

This move by the Mook Group was devised to improve quality service for the customers.

iBeacon has been the stepping stone of developers to improve the quality of life and improve the technological experience of many businesses and establishments. Since its release, it has gained popularity and the amount of work invested by different people to reveal all of its potential is massive. It just been a year since the release of iBeacon but the way iBeacon changed the experience of many people is forever treasured.