March 2019

Emotion Recognition Technology

Software, recorders, scanners, cameras, and analysts are all essential ingredients of media analysis service. However, there are technologies just around the corner that are promising to change the way media analysis works. These technologies will enable analysts to make a real time analysis of the impact that certain news is having. One of these technologies is emotion recognition.

If you are confused by what I just said, I’ll just explain. Emotion recognition is a new concept in this age of Smartphones with front cameras. Some MIT innovators thought of using the Smartphone front cam in a sinister way – to read your emotions. Through specially developed software, the camera can record and transmit your facial expressions to a remotely located analysis center. The analysis center has the latest computers running emotion recognition software. What it means is that as people see a news item, watch a TV show or see an ad, you can know how they are feeling. The technology can decipher your facial expressions to tell whether you are happy, sad, angry, tense, depressed, or relaxed.

The implications of emotion recognition technology are widespread and diverse. Emotion recognition gives a whole new direction to media analysis. A brand can now find out what the customers are actually feeling about their message, and not what the “say” they are feeling. Research has shown that people may hide their true emotions during surveys and studies. Emotion recognition technology does not depend upon what the audiences say they are feeling, but reads their facial expressions to find out their true emotions.

For instance, if a company releases an advert that is supposed to be funny, it can find out whether people are actually laughing or smiling while seeing the advert. Movies and commercials can be shown to select groups of people on opt-in basis and their actual impact can be measured. As media analysis progresses further, it might be possible to analyze the emotions that your targeted news stories and videos are generating. At times, people might like an advert internally, but might not like to confess that openly. Emotion recognition and monitoring can track such hidden cues and help marketers and others to gain deeper insights into human behavior.

The technology can also have use for politicians. It was already used for monitoring the results of Obama’s 2nd presidential debates. It could make a huge difference if campaigning politicians could know how their constituents are feeling when listening to them. They could use this information to come up with better arguments or stress on the right points.

For Internet marketing, emotion recognition can be used to direct ads at users, depending upon their emotional profile. For instance, if a user spends more time playing games that make him tense, search engines could target that user with a game that raises anxiety levels.

Interactive Technologies in the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare is one of those industries that have become increasingly technologically dependent. Year after year, new and advanced medical technologies are introduced and used, and old ones become obsolete and are thrown away. Healthcare professionals, including nurses, are under increasing pressure to learn how to utilize these technologies. Computer-based tools are becoming ubiquitous in many activities and procedures as well as in the field of instruction and education of healthcare professionals and workers. Learning how to manipulate these interactive technologies is critical for every healthcare professional and instructor.

The interactive technology used in an educational setting involves anything that a camera lens can see including images from documents, physical samples, specimens, and 35-mm slides. These images are transmitted to computers with the use of hardware or software devices that allow the display of the images; visual aids are critical for presenting to the staff or a class so that they can understand the subject better. Documents and images are usually delivered via PowerPoint presentations and other such software. Videotapes, photos, and audio presentations can easily be integrated into one program and presented via a standard Windows PC, creating an interactive, dynamic and cost-effective teaching tool. Media for presentation or projection include various options such as LCD projectors or displays, large TV monitors, rear projection systems, and so on. Courses can be tailor-fitted to audience expectations using various presentation forms.

What is great about interactive and computer-based equipment is their flexibility. They can be used as a tool for instruction and education for staff, students, and patients. They can be used in an academic setting as well as a conference or a meeting, whether in a physical or a virtual setup. Because technologies are becoming smaller and smaller and more user-friendly in design, they are very mobile and can be easily taught to and understood by novice users. Technological equipment is very cost-effective because they can serve multiple functions and purposes in various settings.

The effectiveness of these technologies, however, will depend a lot on the type and form of delivery, as well as the combination of software and hardware used. Choosing among a myriad of technologies from the simple to the complex can be perplexing. Take note that not because a technology is more advanced does not necessarily mean it is better. It is not enough to know how to use the equipment; one should also know how to make the most out of it and maximize its potentials. There is no use in buying the latest and the most expensive when it will only serve the same purpose as an older and vastly less expensive model. When it comes to using computer technologies in teaching, instructing and conferencing, one does not need complex systems and may well do with practically-designed ones.

What healthcare professionals and instructors should look for in learning systems and technologies is one that combines practicality and ergonomics. It should also be able to integrate the use of images, annotation, text, and video clips with traditional printed materials.

How NFC Technology Can Benefit Your Business

NFC is something you may have already heard of (kind of a feature new smartphones have), but was not sure what that was. This acronym stands for near field communication, a technology which has been invented not so long ago and which seem to have a bright future. What is so special in it?

Near field communication technology allows easily and intuitively use your smartphone for some special purposes. It provides contactless two-way communication between devices, which are located in close vicinity (1-4 cm) from each other, thus you may send and receive data with that.

Looks like something like Bluetooth? That’s right, but with NFC your device spends much less power and a wireless connection is established quicker. Also, there are no additional barriers like pairing or mutual discovery in NFC. It is easier to set up NFC than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth – it just starts working automatically! No need to launch any application. By the way, due to shorter range, the probability of unwanted interception is reduced to a minimum.

Speaking to the point, NFC uses short radio frequencies to establish automatic wireless connection between two devices.

What Is NFC Used For?

There are three basic application fields of NFC:

1. Card emulation: NFC-enabled device acts like smart proximity cards (used for performing transactions like payments and ticketing)

2. NFC for reading out info: NFC-enabled device reads info stored at RFID tag, embedded in smart posters and labels

3. Peer-to-peer mode: two NFC-enabled devices are connected with each other to exchange information

Currently the most popular applications that make available NFC payment are Google Wallet (for Android devices) and Apple Pay (for iPhones). Though, it should be mentioned that NFC Currently NFC is not fully supported at iOS devices so far. Android has the garland here.

This newly minted technique allows wide options for astute businessmen:

• NFC mobile payments, where a device serves as a contactless bank card. Instead of getting your standard bank card to pay for goods at the till, you may pay with your;

• NFC payment app, installed in your phone;

• Ticketing: Mobile purchases in public transport;

• Reading RFID tags from street boards and ads, similar to QR codes;

• Pairing Bluetooth devices with a single touch of two mobile phones.

Soon it is expected to serve various purposes like e-money, e-commerce, online ticketing, identity cards, travelers’ cards, software protection dongle and other fields of application.

Wireless Technologies That Make the World Go Round

Wireless technology is everywhere. Whether it’s buzz about something new or a product currently available, I cannot go through a day without reading or bumping into something related to wireless technology.There are seven built in wireless technologies that make the world go round. When I say “built in” I’m talking about products which have wireless technology inside the device. Most familiar to most people are Wireless USB, Bluetooth and RFID. However, there are four more technologies you should at least know about. So here are all seven technologies: WUSB, Bluetooth, RFID, WiMedia, UWB, NFC and ZigBee.

WiMedia – WiMedia refers to the Ultra Wide Band radio platform which enables high data transfer rates. The goal of WiMedia is to standardize the protocols or code used in wireless devices. For example, WiMedia standards are used in Ultra Wide Band (UWB), Bluetooth and WUSB technology products. The end result for a consumer is that WiMedia guarantees wireless devices work together without an end-user knowing about set-up procedures or configuration options. I guess you could say plug-n-play, but we are talking about wireless.
UWB or Ultra Wideband – UWB is wireless technology operating in a radio frequency greater then 500MHz. What this means is that UWB is excellent for sending a lot of data wirelessly.

The transfer of data on this radio frequency works as a pulse. Due to the extremely low emission levels allowed by the FCC, UWB systems tend to be short-range and indoors. With the short duration of these pulses it’s easier to transfer high amounts of data, but can also be engineered to transfer less data over a longer distance. It’s the give-n-take of UWB.

An example of high data transfer rates using the UWB technology would be wireless computer monitors or digital camcorders playing video without the need of a host computer or wired connection to the TV.
WUSB or Wireless USB – Wireless USB is the combination of high speed data transfer rates with the ease-of-use of USB connectivity. WUSB takes USB one step further and removes the cable from the connection.

WUSB uses the Ultra Wide Band radio frequency technology and standard. What WUSB has done to the UWB is adopt the necessary protocols to have it work with USB connectors (or ports). As with Bluetooth, wireless USB is ideal for short range networks – usually called personal networks.

WUSB has become very strong in personal networks around the office, for example networking your PC together with mouse, keyboard, printer and camera is usually done via WUSB. Bluetooth has become very popular for personal networks in relation to mobile devices, such as cell phones, headsets and PDAs.

What WUSB really brings to the table is the wide range of products using the connection standard of USB to a world without wires.
About Wireless USB

Bluetooth – Bluetooth is a short range radio communications method ideal for small networks – usually called personal networks. Bluetooth is unique because it has three different classes to define how far it will communicate; 1 meter, 10 meters and 100 meters.

An example of a personal network would be a Bluetooth headset and it’s base unit, or mobile phone. Another example would be a wireless network between your PC, keyboard, mouse and printer.

Bluetooth works at the same frequency as many cordless telephones and microwaves – the 2.4GHz range – but since the power output is very small there are no real health concerns with Bluetooth technology.
RFID or Radio Frequency Identification – RFID is an automatic identification method used to assign an ID to an item. Most common is an RFID tag placed on an object. The tag is really a silicon chip which houses an internal antenna. When an external electrical current hits the RFID tag a response is generated which tells the ID of the object.

There are two types of tags. 1) Passive – a tag which does not have internal power, but rather uses the electric pulse sent to it to wake-up and send a response. 2) Active – a tag which uses internal power to provide an ID response.

Two examples you can identify with would be a passive RFID tag used in a shopping mall or clothing store. These are tags attached to clothing (or item) which sound a store alarm when not removed.

An example of the active RFID tag would be the toll-road transponders. Here you have a battery powered RFID unit that communicates with the toll-road service to auto charge your account for use of the road.
NFC or Near Field Communication – NFC is a wireless technology aimed at being used in mobile phones. The premise of this technology is based off magnetic field induction. Another words, a magnetic field is used to activate a device when in close proximity. The furthest distance NFC works is 20 centimeters – so I’m talking real close!

In interesting example would be walking past a movie poster and waving your cell phone in front of it to download the trailer. A real world example is using your mobile phone to make a payment and rather then swipe a credit card you would simply touch the phone to a terminal and the transaction would be executed. This technology is also being implemented into credit cards.
About NFC

ZigBee – Is a wireless protocol used in low-powered devices that don’t transfer a lot of data, need a long battery life and communicate on a secure network. The ZigBee technology is based of RF or radio frequency applications.

A practical example of the ZigBee technology is a home network system controlling items such as lights, security systems, fire alarms, heating and air conditioning. This example demonstrates each “item” needing to communicate with a central station and have low data transfer needs (light on, light off) along with a long battery life.

In the picture you can see the red lines as routing links where the wireless signal “touches” each device along with a grey link which leads to an end point, or control point.
About Zigbee

If you notice, I have not included WiFi and the reason is simple. WiFi is not a technology embedded into a product. In addition, WiFi needs configuration and is not plug-n-play as the technologies mentioned above. The strength in WiFi is the ability to handle multiple devices over a longer distance while maintaining high transfer rates.

The Latest Tech Trends Info Marketers Can Profit

Let’s talk about the latest high-tech products. I always hope that this can stir up a bit of grey matter creativity with all info marketers out there to help get some new info products made:

The “iPad:” I am sure a buddy of mine mentioned the “iPad” to me sometime in the past, but I didn’t see one until the other day on the subway. A young, hip-looking fellow came on, sat down, slapped on his earphones, and, within a few seconds of touching a screen pad he had on his knees, he was grooving along to some music. That was the “iPad,” I thought. Later, a colleague showed me his. It’s like the “iPod Touch,” but bigger. You can view videos, access a whole roster of functions, and carry a screen around anywhere. It’s pretty cool and new, and consumers need as much info on it as possible. If you’ve got one, get out some info on it.

GPS: Some of my aunts got back from a holiday recently. They didn’t along the whole time. Why? One person couldn’t get the GPS to work. They argued, got lost, and everything went sour as a result. Right there, you can imagine how much GPS info is needed, not only to find your way but also to stop fights! GPS, or Global Positioning System, was once thought of as a government, sneak-and-peak mechanism. These days, cars are being built with them in the console to help direct people to their destinations. It’s like having “Google Maps” right in your car. But again, some people are a little scared of how to use them. They need an info marketer to tell them how to choose one, how they work, and how they will change the domestic partner scene. Got the goods on GPS? Get going now!

Smartphones: How many of you have a land line left? Probably not as many as even a few years ago. Kids, grandparents, and even farmers are sporting pocket cellular devices regularly. The truth is that these gizmos are not just for the stockbroker or secret agent anymore. They are useful to people who have children or people who are traveling in a snow storm. They are compact, well-designed, and have functions galore. But they are changing, too, both in technology and the availability to the public, i.e. “iPhone” and “BlackBerry” devices being offered by companies other than their parent companies. Are you a mobile guru? Got an eye on how to make communication better and/or what’s on the horizon? The public needs info, so get working to provide it. You will be rewarded for it.

Green technology: If you thought that environmentally conscious technology is out of fashion, think again. More people than ever are interested in hybrid cars, green home adaptations, and photo cell technology. Perhaps it’s an ingrained concern, or maybe it is people who really want a bright future for their children in the world they live in. Either way, technology can help with that. You might be on the cusp of it yourself, and your info could go a long way with the general public.

The Effects of Technology In Customer Support

Customers are the blood to businesses. It is fact that trades solely rely on their customers for survival. Therefore, it is essential for businesses not only value their customers but also culminate a relationship with them to ensure loyalty. This is the only way businesses can be assured of repeating a trade. Businesses can only achieve this by offering the highest quality of customer service. Technology has changed the way businesses interact with their customers. There are a number of technological tools that enhance customer service. Businesses are using technology because it improves efficiency. This is also a very cost-effective method in dealing with customer service issues like complaints, enquiries, and online orders. Through technology, businesses have been brought closer to their customers.

Some of the technological tools businesses may use to enhance customer service are:

Social Media Networks: These create a virtual community between the business and their customers. Questions, enquires and complaints can be sorted very fast using this platform.

Websites: Before social media networks, this was the initial contact of businesses and their customers. Today, it is used as a marketing tool.

E-mail: Emails are the traditional way businesses use to communicate with their clients. This is used either to inform customers of a new product/an improved product; use it as a channel for marketing campaigns; or any changes within the organization. This is the best tool for culminating loyalty.

Every business realizes that you cannot think of customer and not think about marketing. One relies heavily on the other. Businesses, therefore, use technology to enhance marketing strategies as well. They do this by:

Using marketing strategies formed in line with customer insights. These can only be achieved through use of databases and analytical tools.

Automation of majority of services offered by businesses leads to increased efficiency and effectiveness. Businesses have automated most services that touch on customers. Enquiries and questions are being handled more efficiently through software like ZenDesk. Purchasing and online trading has been automated through ecommerce. Websites have been used to automate the initial contact between the business and their customers. Customers can access more information on the business in question through their website.

Technology can be used to either make or break a business. Social media networks are the most dangerous if not used properly. One mistake can lead to a fall of giant businesses. Social network media are platforms for sharing information among the online community. Businesses use social media to build brands and also interact with their customers. Customer support trend is inclined towards community based technological tools like social media networks.

Businesses should aim to create good relations with their customers, regardless of the avenue used. An unsatisfied customer is worse than a wild fire. Most of the technology aimed at enhancing customer service can be used concurrently as marketing tools. Businesses use technology to gain advantage over others. Businesses use different technological tools for different purposes. Thus, what works for one business may not work for another. When dealing with customers, businesses should combine all technological tools available to enhance customer experience.