Dell Explores Next Era of Human-Machine Partnerships

One of the information technological topics/advancements that companies and brands are talking about right now and in the near coming future, is Internet of Things (IoT). I took a strong interest in this area ever since my overseas trip to Canon EXPO Shanghai conference in 2016 and learning first hand on IoT from a company’s perspective, as well as visiting Greenwave Systems during CommunicAsia 2016 and CommunicAsia 2017.

Most recently in 2017, I also attended The Future Workplace with Dell and a seminar on F1 Technology and The Impact on Healthcare, adding on to my reading and understanding on the subject matter IoT. Although I am not a subject expert, I do have a keen interest on how IoT is going to impact and affect how we humans use and consume technology in the future. The future of IoT can help us live and work better, it can also affect us with the possibility of replacing our jobs.

What is the next era of Human-Machine partnerships? How is it going to be like? Are you afraid or are you excited? Will your job still be there in the next 5 to 10 years or will it be replaced by technology and machines? Last but not least, are you ready for IoT to be even more integrated in your work and home in the coming near future (IMHO, it might be as early as 5-10 years away) ?

Dell has partnered with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and 20 global experts to study the changing relationship between people and technology and how the relationship will manifest itself in society, business and work over the next decade. Dell is sharing the results today from the report titled ‘The next era of human machine partnerships.’

While I am reading up on the reports, their views and analysis, I am also sharing key information and links here for the readers, from the press release below:

Dell Technologies commissioned the study to help companies navigate an uncertain world and prepare for the future. Today, digital disruption is ruthlessly redrawing industries. For the first time in modern history, global leaders can’t predict how their industry will fare further down the line. According to Dell’s Digital Transformation Index,61% of APJ business leaders have experienced significant disruption to their industries as a result of digital technologies. And more than half of businesses believe there’s a possibility their company will become obsolete within the next three to five years.

The report forecasts that emerging technologies, supported by massive advancements in software, big data and processing power, will reshape lives. Society will enter a new phase in its relationship with machines, which will be characterized by:

  • Even greater efficiency and possibility than ever before, helping humans transcend our limitations
  • Humans as “digital conductors” in which technology will work as an extension of people, helping to better direct and manage daily activities
  • Work chasing people, in which by using advanced data-driven matchmaking technologies, organizations can find and employ talent from across the world
  • People learning “in the moment,” as the pace of change will be so rapid that new industries will be created and new skills will be required to survive

Other report highlights include:

  • In 2030 humans’ reliance on technology will evolve into a true partnership with humans, bringing skills such as creativity, passion and an entrepreneurial mindset. This will align with the machines’ ability to bring speed, automation and efficiencies, and the resulting productivity will allow for new opportunities within industries and roles.
  • By 2030 personalized, integrated artificial intelligence (AI) assistants will go well beyond what assistants can do now. They’ll take care of us in predictive and automated ways.
  • Technology won’t necessarily replace workers, but the process of finding work will change. Work will cease to be a place but a series of tasks. Machine learning technologies will make individuals’ skills and competencies searchable, and organizations will pursue the best talent for discrete tasks.
  • An estimated 85 percent of jobs in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn “in-the-moment” using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself.

Additional and useful links for further reading

Personal Thoughts and Views

No matter how we want to look at IoT, we cannot avoid it, even if some of you don’t want to look at it or ignore it. The future of IoT is going to impact us in both good and bad ways. Like the Scout’s motto, “Be Prepared”, we have to be prepared, for the upcoming changes, to change, adapt, innovate, learn and re-learn, adopt, move on and grow together with IoT. If not, you might become obsolete and be left behind.

* Information courtesy of Dell Technologies and Cohn & Wolfe Singapore *

AXON Predict by Greenwave Systems @ CommunicAsia 2017

In my own personal technology writing adventures covering and writing in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), this particular maiden journey started in 2016, I was introduced to Greenwave Systems, the global managed services and Internet of Things (IoT) software leader, thanks to my friend Wee Wu of Neo Dimension who invited me to visit Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 in Singapore.

It was an eye opener to know more about IoT software systems and how they had already started coming into our daily life without us realising it at times.

I shared about my IoT learning experiences to Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 in this article that I wrote in June 2016, after my visit and listening to Jim Hunter sharing and demonstration of the AXON Platform. For a recap of my sharing, please visit my article – AXON Platform by Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016.

Greenwave Systems was back for CommunicAsia 2017 and it was an honour to be invited back again to visit Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia! I had the opportunity to write and continue my sharing on Greenwave Systems since the article coverage I wrote in 2016. Arriving at Greenwave Systems seminar room, it was great to meet Jim Hunter again, he’s the Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist of Greenwave Systems. Jim gave me a run through with a detailed and interesting presentation on the AXON Platform and AXON Predict.

AXON Platform – B2C

Listening and watching Jim’s presentation AXON Platform, it was a very good refresher for me. I saw the demonstration of how the AXON Platform works during my visit to Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016. Therefore, I would not be writing too much in detail here because most of the references and notes were written inside my 2016 article coverage.

While I was listening to the presentation and watching the demonstration of the AXON Platform, I am also thinking about how smart and connected the various types of devices that we might have in our internet/technology connected home using the smartphone app, AXON Platform and using the common language of the AXON Platform, getting the non related techological devices to “talk, connect and work with each other”. I saw security alarms, security monitor cameras, bluetooth speakers, lighting systems, in action, using the AXON Platform to give instructions to them for it to be carried out, thus making the home smart and connected.

I was also thinking of which type of white goods (kitchen appliances) would be suitable to be connected and working with the AXON Platform whereby the home owner can give instructions to the white goods and get them ready when they reach their home. Some of the white goods could be coffee machine, electric kettle, microwave oven (if the home owner place the food inside before they leave the home).

The home of the future is moving towards a technologically smart and connected home and I feel AXON Platform can be the crucial element that brings both technology, products and consumers together in a home.

AXON Predict – B2B

Earlier, you have read on how the AXON Platform makes a difference and impact to the end consumer at home. Now, I am going to share on how AXON Platform extends into the other industries, on a Business to Business (B2B) level.

Greenwave Systems recently acquired Predixion Software, a data analytics company in February 2017. This would allow Greenwave Systems to offer real-time visual edge analytics solution called AXON Predict. This Greenwave Systems AXON Predict performs analytics “at” the edge, giving business owners a new dimension and arena to work with and on. With this level of advanced analytics, intelligence and information to the machines and sensors on every step of the network, the companies adopting the AXON Predict platform is able to take appopriate real-time action at the source of the input. Companies don’t have to wait for the information and intelligence to be pushed to the cloud for processing, saving up precious time and lowering asset management costs.

With AXON Predict working totgether within the Internet of Things (IoT), different businesses such as shipping/logistics industry, farming and windmill farms, are examples of companies using the power and technology of AXON Predict for their daily business operations. Check out the videos produced by Greenwave Systems below, on the AXON Predict and the some of the industries that are currently using their AXON Predict technology platform.

Any company or industry that utilises real time data analytics, intelligence and information gathering, is able to manage their businesses more effectively and efficiently, through cost savings, prevention, maintenance and forecasting.

“We’ve seen a real need for this in the market and our customers have affirmed our belief; smart devices often lack the ability to analyze real-time data at the source, causing latency, compliance and cost issues associated with data loss,” said Arkell. “We’re addressing this pain point head on by delivering intelligence to make devices and ordinary silicon smarter. Our analytics engine provides sharper insights and faster response times for our customers and helps them improve both their top and bottom line.”

Source: Greenwave Systems Press Release

With AXON Platfrom and AXON Predict, we can see where and how IoT is shaping, changing and impacting businesses and consumers. The world of IoT is very big and getting even bigger down the road in the next few years. How fast and how much have businesses (and also end consumers) adapt and adopt changes, innovations and disruptions through the IoT world?

IoT, Big Data, Analytics, AR, VR, MR – Which of them is/are the next revolution?

On this segment, it’s more of my personal thoughts and views of IoT after visiting Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2017, recapping on AXON Platform and learning about their AXON Predict.

My maiden entry into the world of IoT began in May 2016, I wrote a short article here on my this site, it started from my visit to Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai. That was followed by visiting Greenwave Systems in June 2016 during CommunicAsia 2016.

During this period of time from 2016 to 2017 (at the point of time when this article was written) when I was just touching the tip of the iceberg of this huge IoT world, I also saw the world of AR, VR and MR. I also attended a presentation and panel discussion on “F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare”.The revolution and evolution of technology is riding and coming faster to you than you can imagine.

From my May 2016 article that I wrote

Internet of Things is the next growth area, revolutionising business and their outreach towards their customers with technology, connectivity and gadgets. This growth area is estimated to be worth a potential of $14.4 trillion for companies worldwide (Source: Salesforce)

Internet of Things, connecting people, connecting technology, connecting eco-systems between people, devices and technology. Is the Internet of Things a whole new world out there or is it a world growing more connected? 

1 year later, I am continuing to learn, experience, write and share on the world of IoT. Seth Godin recently wrote an article (dated 12th June 2017) about accelerating revolutions where he spoke on IoT, revolutions are accelerating, the impacts, the pace and changes to culture and lifestyle with technology.

We’re living right now in the connection revolution, one powered by the internet, in which people connect to people, computers connect to computers and our culture changes ever faster, daily.

Source: Seth Godin

The World Economic Forum recently published an article on 14th June 2017, titled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about empowering people, not the rise of the machines

The world of IoT is already upon us, whether we like it or not, it will help us, it will also affect us, in work, in our daily life. The growth of IoT will only grow and expand even faster.

In my humble personal opinion, views and thoughts, I see the next revolution of IoT in the areas of data – huge raw data, information and intelligence, followed by the data analytics, through our various cloud networks (storage, processing, analytics) and 5G telecommunication mobile networks.

After learning about AXON Predict during CommunicAsia 2017, my view is that they are already ahead of the current IoT trends and revolution. Although AXON Predict is currently more suitable for businesses and industries (B2B level), I am thinking whether it could reach the end consumer level? Would there be a day when the end consumer is also able to tap on the technological platform of AXON Predict?

The IoT world, the revolution, the changes, disruption, we can change, adapt and adopt, embrace and grow with IoT helping us to lead a better life and doing our work more efficiently and effectively.

Welcome to the world of IoT, if you haven’t heard of this term.

* I would like to thank Greenwave Systems and Ying Communications for the invitation to visit during CommunicAsia 2017 *

F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare

The fast high octane driving action of Formula One (F1) and healthcare, how can these two sectors be interlinked or working together in our world of technology advancements in both medical and technology fields? If we only based it on looking on paper figures and stories alone, and not in-depth into them, sports racing technology in F1 doesn’t have a perfect 1.0 correlation with the healthcare industry.

Yes, F1 sports racing have sports athletes in peak physical and mental condition, through body monitoring through sensors. The F1 drivers are always taken care of in the healthcare segment, ensuring their peak condition to compete in a very competitive, dangerous yet controlled sporting environment. In this segment, healthcare provisions and standards play a very integral part to the F1 sports racing industry.

Therefore, the current technology used in F1 can be applied in our healthcare industry, in our everyday life, in medical institutions such as hospitals and clinics, for everybody who needs the medical services. Beyond the F1 sports industry, it’s about how F1 technology can be transferred across to the healthcare industry in general, how and where to apply them, that can a wide area to discuss and work on from both sides of the F1 and healthcare practitioners.

At a recent SGInnovate Forum titled “F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare” that I attended, there were interesting presentations and discussions by the speakers present during the panel discussion.

Moderator

Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate

Panelists

– Dr Adam Hill, Chief Medical Officer, McLaren Applied Technologies

– Assoc Prof Low Cheng Ooi, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, MOH Singapore

– Mr Chua Chee Yong, Director Planning Group, Integrated Health Information Systems Pte Ltd (IHIS), Head IT Strategy and Planning, MOH Singapore

– Dr Sophia Chew, Cardiac Anaesthetist, Singapore General Hospital

During the forum event, there were interesting presentations and topics brought up by the audience during the panel discussion. While I am unable to share everything here in my article, I was able to connect the dots across supposedly very different industries and practices.

My prior professional experience in financial advisory (having to learn a bit on medical terms, conditions and medical related matters because of the areas in life insurance and medical insurance), my personal interest in F1 because I am a fan of motorsports, being a patient myself (from getting operated on my injuries and having to follow up with my specialist doctor yearly for now) and finally a technology enthusiast that consumes different forms of data and information on the internet/social media.

With my wide areas of experiences and interests, I didn’t get too lost during the panel discussion, considering that I am not a professional in the medical, IT or data analytics industries.

The professional expertise from the Formula One industries, analysing and collecting data and information from the racing drivers, weather conditions, racing conditions, thereafter, producing crucial and important information for future racing competitions. All these are very useful and this particular expertise can be transferred across into the medical field and applied there. It is much easier for a B2B approach (Business to Business) transfer of expertise and technology than a B2C approach (Business to Consumer) who may not be able to understand the complexity and technicality of the entire process.

However, we human beings, face aging, illness, body wear and tear over time. While the human race may not see it that closely related at this current juncture in time, maybe in the future, medical records of patients can be stored confidentially and safely, the patient’s medical records can be accessed by the patient themselves or when they visit other doctors in other medical institutions. How long will this take? Your guess is as good as mine.

During the panel discussion, one of the guests brought up a question on health insurance, in relation to the forum discussion topic. On this topic, with my prior professional experience in the financial advisory industry, I can understand and relate to this particular question posed. I am not going to write it down in detail here, it can be a lengthy discussion and can be an article long in content. For health insurance premiums to change, if insurance companies have access to more customers health information and data, there could be a possibility. However, there are a lot more factors to consider before this could even be a possibility in the future.

F1 Technology and Healthcare might not seem like the best partnership on paper, yet the expertise and technology behind F1 can be transferred and applied in the healthcare industry. This is a great example of how technology can impact and improve our life, although it is not so obvious and easy to understand, from the end consumer perspective.

If you are keen to listen to the SGInnovate Forum “F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare”, you can visit their Facebook Page and view their video!

The Future Workplace with Dell

In today’s workplace environment, take a break and reflect back on how much it has changed over the past 5 to 10 years, followed by the past 10 to 20 years. How much, how big and drastic the changes in the workplace environment over all these years? Now, look at your current workplace, technology and innovations, the disruptions and changes to our work environment. What does the future workplace looks like?

In a recent media event organised by Dell, titled Dell Future Workplace, I had a glimpse into the upcoming changes to how our future workplace might look like (in some cases, they are already into our working environment). During the introduction by key Dell management staff, this quote resonates with me

“The next industrial revolution is upon us”

The Internet of Things (IoT), gadgets, devices and with the boom of social media and internet usage, lots of disruptions are taking place right here right now. There are more changes coming such as 5G networks, 8K video broadcasting. How true indeed, the next industrial revolution is upon us, coming to us fast and furious. Innovate and adapt or else you be disrupted.

Look at the way how technology, innovation and work lifestyle is changing (and disrupting) how we do our work and approach our workflow. At Dell Future Workplace, I discovered some Dell products that caught my interest, for the mobile workforce – On The Go Professionals and specialised workers – Creative Professionals. I will share in another article on my photography and travel interest site, in the area of Dell Future Workplace for Creative Professionals because I am a photographer as my main profession.

In my side profession (a.k.a. taking on other jobs) I am working in the areas of marketing (mix of digital and traditional), social media, writing (blog). Therefore, On The Go Professionals also strikes a common bond with me and my workflow.

What are the new, interesting and amazing Dell family of products for the Future Workplace? Let me share with you, especially the business owners on the range of Dell commercial products showcased at the Dell Future Workplace event –

Dell commercial devices refresh

Dell’s line of OptiPlex, Latitude and Precision commercial products get upgraded with 7th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, USB-C with Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity options and updated professional graphics from NVIDIA and AMD.

The award-winning 12-inch Latitude 5285 2-in-1 weighs less than 1kg and features a unique auto-deploy kickstand that extends up to 150 degrees for multiple viewing angles and has multiple connectivity options.

For desktop lovers looking for space-saving designs, Dell has redefined the desktop experience with an updated line of OptiPlex small and micro form factor desktops. These sleek products provide full desktop performance and productivity in compact chassis that can be mounted behind corresponding displays with our innovative AIO stands or under a table to free up desk space.

Dell Canvas – Work at the speed of thought

What began as the Dell smart desk concept in 2014 evolved into Dell Canvas—a new category of smart workspace technology that expands creative productivity for content developers and designers. The 27-inch QHD smart workspace can be used at an angle or flat on a desk so professionals can create, communicate and express their thoughts and ideas as naturally as they do with pen on paper. For example, through the use of touch, digital pen and totems, the Dell Canvas turns drawings into part of the digital workflow and enhances collaboration. Developed in partnership with Microsoft Corp. and powered by virtually any Windows 10 device, Dell Canvas plugs seamlessly into software solutions from partners including Adobe, Autodesk, AVID, Dassault Systems, SolidWorks and Microsoft to unleash the creative genius in everyone.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 – Designed for the home and business

Launched in Singapore earlier this March, the world’s smallest 13-inch 2-in-1[1] offers a 360-degree hinge for multiple productivity and viewing options using Continuum, up to 15 hours of battery life[2] and eye-popping clarity with a gorgeous QHD+ (5.7M pixels) InfinityEdge touch display—another first for a 2-in-1.

The fan-less design keeps it silent and the quick-booting solid state drive has it up and running in seconds. And for working professionals, the XPS 13 2-in-1 functions as a business laptop with security features and can be configured with 7th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors, Dell BIOS and manageability software—all backed by Dell’s global ProSupport services.

Precision 5720 AIO – The best sound quality of any all-in-one PC

Some All-in-One (AIO) PCs on the market today treat the audio experience as an afterthought. Co-created with Jack Joseph Puig, Grammy™ award winning producer and director of creative innovation at Waves Audio, the new Precision 5720 AIO, cranks sound to a whole new level with built-in audio quality that previously required an external sound bar. With full frequency range high-fidelity audio built in, it delivers the best sound available in an AIO with 10 speakers pumping out sound at 50W per channel.

The viewing experience is equally impressive with a beautiful 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) edge-to-edge touch display supporting 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut. The Precision 5720 AIO delivers more performance options with Intel® Xeon® processors, AMD Radeon™ Pro graphics capable of powering VR and outstanding reliability with ISV certifications for top programs like AVID and SolidWorks, as well as leading security and manageability software.

* Information and details courtesy of Dell *

Personal thoughts and views

Being a small business owner myself (photography profession + marketing / social work), some of the Dell products caught my attention, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, OptiPlex and Precision AIO and Dell Canvas. There is also the Latitude 5289 2-in-1, not too bad in technical specifications and performance, however, I might be more leaning towards the XPS 13 2-in-1.

The OptiPlex looks really small yet they are packed with some powerful technical specifications. Moreover, they have a few different range of models and also the All-in-One Desktop solutions to your business needs.

I will give the Dell Canvas and Precision 5720 AIO more attention in a separate article post on my photography and travel interest site.

At the Dell Future Workplace event, there were zones setup by businesses to showcase how various Dell products played a part in their working environment and workflow.

Dell Future Workplace – On The Go Professionals

Dell Future Workplace – Desk Centric Workers

Dell Future Workplace – Specialised Workers (Experiential Workers)

Pricing and availability

All products are available through Dell and its authorized partners

If you are a small business owner or a medium to big company size workforce, Dell workplace solutions are there for you to look into. Mix and match your needs with the various types of Dell Future Workplace solutions.

Personally, my ideal Dell Future Workplace setup in the context of the “On The Go Professionals” would be Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, OptiPlex and a Dell Ultra Sharp Monitor.

[1] Based on Principled Technologies Report of November 2016, the smallest refers total surface area of the notebooks.

[2] MobileMark 2014 battery benchmark: XPS 13 2-in-1 tested with 7th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and FHD display. Based on testing using the MobileMark 2014 battery life benchmark test. For more information about this benchmark test, visit www.bapco.com. Actual battery life may be significantly less than the test results and varies depending on product configuration and use, software, usage, operating conditions, power management settings and other factors. Maximum battery life will decrease with time.

NGMN Forum 2017 hosted by Singtel

In January 2017, Singtel hosted Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Forum in Singapore, held at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Although this article post is a bit delayed, the progress and plans for the next generation mobile networks, technology, infrastructure, usage and growth are ongoing, building and expanding towards 5G in Singapore, coming soon in a few years time.

I was at the NGMN Forum 2017 on the first day, listened to the opening address by Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecom and Postal) Ms Aileen Chia. She shared some key pointers for the participants at NGMN Forum 2017, the future and growth of mobile networks, in Singapore and around the world. While the content and topics looked like they were only for Business to Business (B2B), in reality, the journey towards 5G for Singapore and around the world affects and impacts everybody (in both good and bad ways), from the businesses to the end consumer in the society. The future of the world, also for Singapore, are about technology changes, disruption, innovation and transformation from the business organisations to the end consumers. The information communications sector, economy and society are able to embrace opportunities and challenges. The next big thing is Data, the “new oil” of the 21st century. The future digital economy, IoT (Internet of Things), devices and how we consume data, use data in our daily life and work, this is going to be massive.

After listening to the opening address, I had a tour around some of the partners showcase of their 5G technology and infrastructure. Singtel is making a lot of progress in their 5G journey in Singapore and during an earlier event in August 2016 organised by Singtel that I attended – Singtel and Ericsson were the first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia. The changes, impacts and opportunities with 5G are coming soon to us in Singapore, on both the B2B and B2C level.

On the B2B level, the partners exhibiting their 5G infrastructure and application of the 5G technology, I saw drones in action that could be activated during natural disaster, robotics obeying the commands of the human hand movement, traffic light control, security and surveillance, all of them powered by the upcoming 5G technology networks.

On the B2C level, as the consumer on the street, what do you think? How would 5G change the way you consume data, communicate with family, relatives and friends? How would 5G help, impact or even affect your work?

5G in Singapore is arriving in a few years time, the groundwork and infrastructure are being prepared and it’s building up speed and momentum.

5G in Singapore by year 2020, maybe it might even be earlier?

Touche – World’s 1st Biometric Loyalty & Payment Solution

Imagine one day in the very near future, you are out dining with your friends, having a great time at the restaurant, awesome food, drinks and company. At the end of dinner gathering, you called for the bill.

The staff at the restaurant asked “Would you like to pay for the bill just by the touche of your fingers?”. You replied, “Yes, sure!” The staff brings out a small tablet device, showing you the total bill to confirm that it is verified and correct before you place your fingers to process the payment. The next moment, you received an email informing you of your confirmed bill payment at the restaurant.

Is this possible? Yes, it is now possible, a fintech product made in Singapore, making her debut and official appearance recently and I had the opportunity to view it for the first time and had a short hands on experience on the process and payment, from a customer perspective.

Let me introduce Touche, the world’s full fledged biometric loyalty and payment solution platform –

“ … Touché is proud to present the world’s first biometric loyalty and payment platform, which is activated by just your fingers. In Singapore, within a span of three months, 150 restaurants, 15 local hotels and 5 private social clubs have shown interest in implementing this solution. The homegrown company aims to foray into Japan, with a market size in excess of US$200 million.

“Touché is a world first. It is not a better mousetrap, but a brand-new idea,” says Sahba Saint-Claire, CEO of Touché. “At its core, it aims to make people’s lives easier by removing the need to carry things such as credit cards, loyalty and membership cards, vouchers, coupons, etc. while ensuring they get all the benefits to which they are entitled. You register on Touché once at anywhere that offers the service and you can use it globally.” … “ 

(Via Press Release information)

I would like to share some of my personal views from both sides, an end user/customer and a business perspective

For end user/customer

This Touche biometric loyalty and payment platform is probably going towards a boom and rise in convenient, fast cashless and card-less payment system in the near future. With the proposed integration of loyalty rewards program in the near future, the customer payment and rewards experience would be enhanced in this area in the future (in my personal humble opinion).

Security and privacy are definitely concerns by the end users/customers when using the Touche platform. I had these questions at the back of my mind too when I attended their presentation. From their presentation, I am satisfied and glad to hear from them on the aspects of security and privacy procedures in place for the Touche platform.

For a business entity

I worked in the retail and hospitality industries previously, therefore, I had the experiences of the payment system commonly used, the machines for the electronic funds payment e.g. NETS, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB. I understood and knew about the costs involved in those machines.

While I do not have the costs and numbers from the business operation side of the Touche system, my personal view is that adopting the Touche platform device is definitely a worthy consideration, not just in terms of cost savings, there would be time savings (e.g. from the service staff printing out the bill, brining it to you, take your credit card, process the payment and back to you for your signature) and administrative time (change the roll of paper, change the ink cartridge)

The integration of this fintech with the entity’s own loyalty/reward system might be a good stepping stone for growing customer relationship management system, rewards and loyalty points system.

If you are in the hotel, hospitality, food and beverage industries, take a look at the Touche platform, have a chat with them.

The following information below were provided via the press release information, that explained my thoughts on Touche –

Efficient Loyalty and Payment through A Simple Device, Made in Singapore

Made in Singapore, the hardware of Touché is an elegant rectangular device that is certified and capable of multiple payment options including a magnetic stripe reader, chip reader, and 2.2-inch (diagonal measurement) biometric sensor with the highest resolution in the market to detect two fingers for efficient payments. Most customers will choose to pay with just two fingers after a simple registration, but they may also choose to pay with their physical credit cards. The device works over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Convenience is key

You will no longer need to carry anything around when shopping — this includes your cards, phones, vouchers or wallets! Look forward to fast transactions, as there is no need to look for your payment or loyalty cards, count dollar notes or wait for paper receipts and signatures to be processed. Imagine checking your bill on the device, placing your fingers on the Touché device and you’re out of the restaurant in just a few minutes. You will then receive an email detailing your experience. No more paper!

Security is at the core of Touché

The company’s brainchild scans any two of your fingers to extract around 40 to 45 specific points of each fingerprint. It does not store images of your fingerprints. The information is encrypted on a cloud system. It is virtually impossible to create a replica of your fingerprints with this information. The anti-spoofing and live detection technology at Touché also ensures that the fingerprints are real. Credit card information is tokenised, and the card details are not stored in the database. No information is stored on the device, and it communicates with the server using the highest encryption levels to protect our users’ privacy.

With one simple registration, users can use the system globally

The first time you visit a merchant, you can pay with your credit card and use Touché’s solution to link the card to your fingers. You then update your particulars online, and even add your profile picture! For subsequent visits to any merchant that uses Touché, there is no need for further registration, and you can even choose between multiple credit cards in your Touché wallet to make payment.

Smart shopping and increased savings with Touché

The Touché wallet offers you more than just payment methods. Wherever you go, your favourite offers, loyalty programmes, vouchers, coupons and memberships follow. Access to your shopping or dining experiences and expenditure history is readily available via the Touché journal. Touché ensures that your entitlements are applied automatically at every interaction. You will also be notified of the loyalty benefits or credit card promotional offers at one glance, making it easier for you to choose your preferred payment method for greater savings.

Supercharging businesses with a gentle touch

For businesses, this platform is time saving and efficient. It adapts to existing technology and process environments, so integration is a cinch. It can be utilised to create long-term relationships with their customers. They can tailor loyalty programmes and create unique offers for different customers. Businesses can also curate data about their customers, and the insights can be used to create moments that wow at every turn.

(Press Release Information)

Personally, in my personal humble opinion, I believe this Touche platform has a huge growth and expansion potential in the whole world. If the opportunity arises in the future, I hope that I can write and share more on both sides of the story, customer/end user and business.

I would like to thank Touche and Brand Cellar for the invitation to Touche launch event in Singapore.

* Photos and information courtesy of Touche and Brand Cellar *

Journey to 5G: Singtel is a step closer to 5G

In August 2016, I shared an article on Singtel and Ericsson leading the way in Singapore and Southeast Asia, being the first to showcase 5G technology. Today, in January 2017, Singtel is now a step closer to 5G with the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds. With a step closer to 5G, it’s going to change how we work and live with our mobile data usage.

Having to work on the move and outside, the high speed 5G networks in the near future would help us a lot when we are working outside away from the office. The 5G networks are now a step closer to us in Singapore with Singtel’s launch of the 450Mbps mobile data speeds.

Let me share with you more information on the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds by Singtel from the press release information below –

Singtel launched Singapore’s fastest mobile network with the nationwide deployment of a 450Mbps 4G LTE-Advanced service. Delivering up to 50% faster download speeds than prevailing LTE services, this enhanced peak speed will allow customers to download a full length HD movie in less than two minutes1 over mobile data. The 450Mbps service is available to all Singtel 4G customers at no additional charge.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Singtel is investing ahead to deliver faster speeds and wider connections with the steady deployment of innovative technologies on our live network. With more customers consuming and sharing mobile videos, 450Mbps speeds will enable them to download movies in a flash and give them a better entertainment experience while on the go.”

This speed enhancement is made possible by Singtel’s nationwide LTE network upgrade to support 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, or 256 QAM. A pre-5G technology, 256 QAM increases the number of unique radio waveform shapes to carry up to 33.33% higher data and elevates spectral efficiency.

Customers with Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge can enjoy 450Mbps speeds starting today. LG V20 users will also be able to harness the higher speeds with a soon-to-be released software update. More compatible smartphone models are expected to be launched by early 2017.

Singtel and Ericsson demonstrate up to 1Gbps LTE downlink data speeds on live network

Singtel and Ericsson have also demonstrated download speeds of up to 1Gbps in a live 4G network pilot at two sites in Pasir Ris. This ultra-fast download speed was achieved by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (4×4 MIMO) and triple carrier aggregation technologies. 4×4 MIMO doubles the number of data paths between a cellular base station and mobile phones, delivering a speed boost of up to two times normal speeds.

Singtel will progressively rollout 4×4 MIMO technology on its network starting next year to deliver up to 1Gbps speeds at selected high-traffic locations. Supporting mobile devices are expected to be ready by end 2017.

Mr Yuen added, “Achieving 1Gbps speeds on our live network marks a significant milestone in our journey to 5G. We’re focused on driving further network innovation to extend our leadership and deliver the benefits of the latest technological advances to meet our customers’ digital lifestyle needs.”

Mr Martin Wiktorin, Country Manager of Ericsson Singapore and Brunei, said, “As user expectations for high speed internet and the ability to use apps on the move increase, network innovations with new advanced technologies are required to enable superior network performance. Ericsson, as a long-standing strategic partner of Singtel for over 20 years, is pleased to collaborate with Singtel to deliver innovative and advanced services to their customers and to further explore the opportunities that will arise with 5G.”

Singtel and Ericsson are leading the way for 4G and 5G in the country, in support of Singapore’s “Smart Nation” vision and the anticipated four-fold growth2 in connected devices. Recently, Singtel and Ericsson jointly won the “Advancing the Road to 5G” accolade at the Global Telecoms Awards 2016 for Singtel’s nationwide IoT-ready 4G LTE network.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Singtel completed one of Asia’s first commercial installations of Fleet Xpress

Singtel Satellite is Asia’s leading provider of one stop satellite communications and ICT solutions. In a recent press release, they completed one of Asia’s first commercial installations of Fleet Xpress from Inmarsat on a “K” Line container ship.

Satellite communications services are very important for the maritime industry whereby their key business is in the area of shipping and delivery of goods from country to another.

More information of Singtel’s completion of one of Asia’s first commercial installations of Fleet Xpress are below –

Singtel recently announced that it has completed one of Asia’s first commercial installations of Fleet Xpress, a maritime-focused, secure high-speed broadband service from Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. The installation was recently completed on “K” Line Ship Management Singapore’s (“K” Line) 9,600-twenty foot equivalent unit capacity container ship Houston Bridge.

Mr Lim Kian Soon, Head of Singtel Satellite said, “As the leading satellite communications services provider in the Asia Pacific region, we are pleased to help ‘K’ Line to increase their vessels’ efficiency with the Fleet Xpress service. The service’s high-speed broadband, which leverages our secure and reliable connectivity, allows maritime firms to introduce new business applications on-board their vessels that optimises and streamlines the management of their fleets.”

“K” Line is using Fleet Xpress to apply big data analysis for operational efficiencies by monitoring engine performance and fleet management. It is also using the service to provide ship-to-shore internet connectivity to support crew welfare.

“To keep abreast with new technology and stay transformational as one of the largest transportation companies, “K” Line Ship Management Singapore undertakes the advantages of a high throughput service like Fleet Xpress to optimise business efficiency, achieve cost savings and provide stronger crew welfare. We are pleased to work with a trusted partner like Singtel to deliver this service for us,” said Capt. Shoji Fukuda, Managing Director, “K” Line Ship Management Singapore.

Singtel, one of Inmarsat’s largest Fleet Xpress partners, successfully managed the installation with its experienced installation team, who migrated the vessel’s Ku-band satellite internet service to Fleet Xpress’s Ka- and L-band services. The migration involved changing the vessel’s antenna hardware and reconfiguring its complex on-board network while ensuring that day-to-day operations were not affected.

“The launch of Fleet Xpress marks a new page in maritime communications with continuous connectivity and guaranteed performance across the oceans. This is a milestone on the industry’s journey towards smart shipping and opens the new era of crew connectivity and operational efficiency. Being scheduled as a Asia-US East Coast service, Houston Bridge is a physical proof that mainstream shipping has started the transition to high speed continuous connectivity. We have a long standing relationship with Singtel who are one of our leading partners in Asia, and we look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come,” said Mr Gerbrand Schalkwijk, Chief Sales Officer, Inmarsat Maritime.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Singtel announced 2nd installment of Innov8 Connect

A programme and platform that would definitely interest start-ups in the field Internet of Things (IoT). Singtel’s Innov8 Connect programme is something that start-ups can look into for their consideration to create and test their ideas and solutions in the real world.

Here are more information and details from the Singtel Innov8 press release information below –

Singtel Innov8 announced the second installment of its Innov8 Connect programme that brings start-ups and Singtel Group members together to create innovative solutions for real world business challenges.

On the programme’s importance for innovating with start-ups, Mr Tay Soo Meng, Group Chief Technology Officer at Singtel said, “Innov8 Connect started as a win-win platform to help start-ups develop viable business solutions while allowing the Singtel Group to stay at the cutting-edge of innovation through continuous experimentation. We hope to uncover more innovative answers for real emerging business challenges with start-ups in this latest installment of the programme.”

The second installment rides on the success and momentum of the initial Innov8 Connect programme launched in January 2016, which attracted over 120 submissions from start-ups across 22 countries. Singtel shortlisted 14 start-ups for detailed discussions for potential proof-of-concepts (POCs) – some of which include: Xjera Labs for smart and safe city and Moogsoft, Opmantek and Zinier for enterprise operations.

Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said, “We have been very encouraged with the results of the first installment of Innov8 Connect, which has clearly demonstrated the value that start-ups can bring to Singtel. We hope to repeat the success again in this second installment.”

In this new round of Innov8 Connect, 14 new business challenges have been identified by Singtel and its Australian arm, Optus, in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality solutions and artificial intelligence. Please see Annex A.

Relating to this round’s challenges, Mr Hardless added, “We look forward to working together with more start-ups on the new set of business challenges from this second installment of Innov8 Connect. Through these real challenges that businesses face, we hope to spur greater innovation while identifying and supporting viable solutions that meet the Group’s needs.”

Selected start-ups will be provided with up to S$75,000 to test and validate the solutions with Singtel and Optus as proof-of-concepts. Successful solutions from promising start-ups may lead to further commercialisation with the Singtel Group, as they will gain access to an extensive customer base that includes both enterprises and over 600 million mobile subscribers across Asia, Australia and Africa. These start-ups will also have the opportunity to seek funding from Singtel Innov8 and tap on its network of co-investors and partners across the globe.

Interested start-ups can submit their proposals to Innov8 Connect from today (13th September) onwards. The closing date for submission of proposals is 31 October 2016.

Innov8 Connect Application and Selection Process

For more information on Innov8 Connect, please visit the Innov8 Connect portal www.innov8connect.com where briefs detailing the 14 new business challenges will be published. Start-ups with relevant solutions are invited to submit their applications through the portal from today. Selected start-ups will then be invited to pitch to a panel of management representatives from the Singtel Group.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Thuraya finalises plans for next generation constellation

I first got to know more about the products and services of Thuraya Telecommunications when they introduced the Thuraya SatSleeve during CommunicAsia 2013. A product that brought consumer devices to the satellite industry, ideal for those not just in the maritime, heavy industries, it’s also suitable for those in the outdoors/travel industry too.

Thuraya is finalising their plans for their next generation constellation plans. Let me share with you more information from the press release information below –

Leading mobile satellite services (MSS) operator Thuraya Telecommunications Company confirmed it has finalized its next generation constellation plans, and is set to deliver a unique, multidimensional program of expansion and diversification.

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Building on its strong track record for product innovation and convergence, lead positioning in the EMEA market and growing presence in Asia, Thuraya will extend its geographical reach, move into new market sectors and launch new services and devices.

Thuraya’s L-band network will undergo extensive evolution. While continuity is assured with both existing satellites Thuraya-2 and Thuraya-3 continuing to operate as planned, the current satellite footprint will be enhanced significantly with the planned launch of next generation satellites from 2020.

Thuraya’s next generation system will focus on delivering high mobility services in core and new markets. These will be complemented with High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services for bandwidth-hungry applications in land, maritime and aeronautical markets.

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Samer Halawi, Chief Executive Officer of Thuraya, said: “Thuraya will become the provider of choice for unified connectivity through an extensive program of expansion and diversification. Unrivalled and uncompromised new generation L-band and complementary HTS form the basis from which we will aim to innovate, disrupt, and redefine. Our portfolio will transform Thuraya into a one-stop shop for L-band, HTS, IoT and GSM. New markets are now accessible to us, and new technological capabilities will deliver an unparalleled portfolio of mobile products, applications and services.”

Thuraya has already achieved a substantial turnaround of business performance while operating within its current sphere of operations. Its team has overcome obstacles of limited coverage, legacy issues, and a challenging market, to consistently outperform the MSS industry from 2011 to 2015.

Thuraya’s future proposition allows it to present next generation plans against the backdrop of a distinctive and unique set of core strengths that demonstrate an understanding of growing and future trends. Convergence is a notable example, and the integration of terrestrial and satellite communications is already well established at Thuraya. With more than 360 roaming agreements with mobile network operators around the world, end-users already use devices interchangeably both on Thuraya’s satellite network and on GSM networks worldwide.

Building upon its acknowledged reputation for innovation, Thuraya has developed a roadmap for the launch of new and innovative devices, terminals and modules, designed for enterprise, government and consumer markets. Thuraya has already demonstrated a clear understanding of the value for end users of easy, convenient access to satellite connectivity. The creation of the Thuraya SatSleeve introduced the Bring-Your-Own-Device concept to the satellite industry, for instance, reflecting both an appreciation of the demand for consumer-focused devices and an ability to offer products outside the traditional range. This approach is also reflected in recent developments and partnerships in consumer wearables technology, and is reinforced by a unique and innovative distribution model that is augmented by online retail channel agreements.

Having prepared and finalized its next generation plans with global management consultancy A.T. Kearney, Thuraya is now in the process of appointing a financial adviser to begin its fundraising activities. Discussions are already in progress with a number of potential strategic investors who are interested in the unique capability Thuraya has to offer.

“We are preparing for focused and sustained growth, new market opportunities and exciting new sectors,” Halawi said. “We have laid the foundations in recent years from which to build a considerably larger and stronger business for the future. The true potential of Thuraya can now be unleashed. Ours is a unique approach, with a powerful combination of continuity and expansion. Meanwhile, our plan for the next few years is to pave the way for transition, ahead of launches from 2020, whilst continuing to serve our current customers with state-of-the-art connectivity solutions. We are excited at the prospect of being able to demonstrate the full extent of what we can achieve.”

* Information and pictures courtesy of Thuraya Telecommunications Company *