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Zebra’s 2019 Insights: IoT is Disrupting The Enterprises

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The 2018 saw another realm of technology overtaking the industry in all spheres, and for us at Zebra Technologies. Among the many new and exciting developments we have experienced at Zebra, we also came out with the fact that IoT investment is going up substantially, globally as well as in APAC region.

The year bygone has seen various significant developments and Zebra has now come out with its vision for the upcoming year and what it expects to bring out.

Below are the 3 key trends that Zebra is looking forward to:

  1. Enterprises committed to embracing IoT will be the first movers in becoming fast growing, intelligent businesses

In today’s digital world where humans and technology-powered systems interact in more connected and intelligent ways, enterprises that strive to achieve future growth realize that it is critical to lead with digital innovation to keep up with the expectations of an increasingly discerning end user. Those who don’t move fast enough will be forced out of the market. Businesses have derived great value from emerging Internet of Things (IoT) strategies – serving as vehicles to fuel critical operations and drive efficiency. By 2020, there will be more than 20 billion devices connected to the IoT, according to research consultancy Gartner. Additionally, within that projection, they estimate more than 8 billion of those connected devices will be within the enterprise space – up from about 3 billion in 2017.

Zebra proof points:

Emerging technologies that are developing rapidly:

  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience where the real, physical world is augmented by computer-generated information. Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated scenario that simulates real-world experiences. While most people think about AR or VR as consumer-centric technologies, both technologies will see increased usage in the enterprise space.

  • 5thgeneration wireless systems (5G)

5G is a new wireless network technology that has immense potential to be maximized in the near future. 5G will be mission critical as more devices are connected and more data is being created and will help with mitigating latency challenges as the requirement for more compute power to process data in real-time at the edge continues to grow.

  • Blockchain

Think of blockchain as a secure digital ledger. Digital information is loaded onto the ledger by trusted sources, to only then be used by trusted sources. Some early areas enterprises are focusing on to leverage blockchain is to solve problems around food safety, the fight against counterfeit goods and fraud, and smart contracts across the supply chain continuum.

  1. Advanced automation driven by AI connects the physical and digital worlds in a more collaborative manner 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is permeating into virtually everything in a data-rich environment, to deliver more adaptable, flexible, and autonomous systems. Enterprises are seeking to enhance their AI-powered capabilities to deliver a performance edge in a data-rich environment. This will bring more actionable intelligence to workers within their respective workflows and drive higher engagement and better experiences with customers.

Zebra proof points:

Automation and AI capabilities are integrated into new or existing applications to transform human workflows, interactions and provide them with real-time decision support. They will provide natural extensions of solutions already deployed in the customers’ work environments to create a more dynamic ecosystem focused on improving worker productivity, driving more efficiencies and developing safer environments.

  1. Small Actionable Data – Integrated data solutions leverage enhanced analytics to offer real-time guidance

As the world becomes more complex and data-driven, businesses want better ways to navigate and automate these complexities without the expense of human capital. Successful enterprises of the future will rely on real-time data and insights into that data to run their businesses efficiently with a competitive edge. Enterprises have sought for years to obtain insights from “Big Data” – large amounts and volumes of data that businesses collect and store on a daily, sometimes instantaneous basis. But in 2019, priority will shift towards “small actionable data” accessible naturally within a workflow, where it is specific to a use case to solve a problem and achieve desired outcomes.

Zebra proof points:

To address the customer need for advanced data capabilities, Zebra introduced Savanna – a data services platform that collects and analyzes data to develop and create intelligent insights at the edge for businesses.  We are currently working with select partners on an early adopter program using Savanna to solve many of the challenges that customers are facing today by jointly developing applications powered by Savanna Data Services and leveraging technologies such as AI, ML, third-party data services and blockchain. We plan to make this new data services platform more widely available in the very near future.

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HPE Helps Government in Fighting COVID-19 by Deploying Test Labs & OPD Across India

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced it has completed deployment of four COVID-19 Test Labs and four Outpatient Department (OPD) Centers across the country to assist the Government of India and state governments in their efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. These facilities have been established in order to provide additional authorized testing facilities and isolation beds to manage the increased demand across the country.

Donated as part of HPE’s commitment to India announced last July, the HPE COVID-19 Test Labs are designed to enable quick and clean testing of individuals who suspect they may have contracted COVID-19, and will be based on the specifications provided by the Ministry of Science & Technology. The Test Labs will be run and managed by the concerned government agency including installing testing equipment, deploying paramedics and technicians, providing broadband connectivity, PPEs and medical supplies.

“COVID -19 has thrown unprecedented challenges for the world and industries alike and we must actively implement various measures to help contain the virus. NASSCOM is working with the IT industry in formulating innovative solutions to combat the pandemic. Cloud-enabled HPE COVID-19 Test Labs and OPDs will enable authorities to refine their testing process and will significantly reduce the strain on existing healthcare facilities. We are confident that together we will be able to overcome this phase and emerge stronger post the crisis,” said Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge local communities across the world, we are responding with initiatives to support the communities where we live and work. The deployment of HPE COVID-19 Test Labs and OPD Centers will support the government’s efforts to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19,” said Som Satsangi, MD – India, HPE.

Based on the successful HPE eHealth Centers (eHCs), HPE has developed and deployed these Test Labs and OPD Centers in 40-feet refurbished negative air pressure containers equipped with biometrics, blood pressure apparatus, spirometer, serum analyzer, pulse oxymeter, glucometer, pulse reader, and ECG. All this equipment will be integrated with EMR (Electronic Medical Record) applications, and an online dashboard will be provided to monitor the related OPDs. Additionally, suitable IT equipment will be provided, including workstations, headphones, thermal cameras, networking components, and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems.

The OPD Centers will handle walk-in patients and will have provisions to house six patients for 24 to 48 hours for observation purposes. It will have negative air pressure doors to ensure isolation and also serve as a temporary housing for people with COVID-19 symptoms until they are either discharged or are sent to the applicable wards for treatment.

To ensure the IT infrastructure at the Test Labs and OPD centers experience minimal downtime and any related issues can be rectified remotely without the need of an on-site engineer, the facilities are equipped with Aruba Cloud Managed Wireless solution along with Aruba User Experience Insight (UXI) Sensor. This will act as a virtual network admin onsite and will monitor all key applications proactively 24×7. In case of any issues, the HPE Network Operations Center (NOC) located at Chandigarh, will be able to detect and resolve problems before they are even noticed. This is to assure user and device best experience on Aruba network. The Aruba solution also offers zero touch provisioning, remote management and remote diagnosis thereby eliminating or limiting human interference making it a best fit solution in response to COVID-19.

The HPE COVID-19 Test Labs and OPD Centers have been established across Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, and Dehradun.

HPE is committed to helping communities, customers, and partners during this time of global uncertainty. Earlier this month, at a worldwide level HPE Financial Services designated more than $2 billion in financing to help customers and partners with their financial challenges stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. HPE Foundation also set up a dollar-for-dollar matching campaign to provide HPE team members with the opportunity to make financial donations to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund  that will help the World Health Organization’s efforts with global health institutions and health workers to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 and UNICEF’s global efforts to provide continuous education, healthcare, sanitation, and community engagement. To learn more about these initiatives please visit the HPE COVID-19 content hub.

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Amazon Introduces New Echo Devices for Modern Smart Homes

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Amazon introduced an all-new line-up of Echo devices and a range of new Alexa features that give you even more ways to add Alexa to your daily life. New Echo devices include:

  • All-new Echo: Featuring an updated fabric design and premium sound, for the same price as previous generation Echo i.e. ₹9,999.
  • Echo Dot with clock: This new variant of Echo Dot includes a bright LED display that shows the time, outdoor temperature, timers, or alarms for ₹5,499.
  • Echo Studio: Our best-sounding Echo ever, with five directional speakers for immersive studio-quality sound, room adaptation technology, and a built-in smart home hub for ₹22,999.

“Customers across the country have given feedback on how they love using Alexa – whether it is listening to their favorite music, playing a game with kids, watching videos on Echo Show range of devices, or controlling their smart home appliances,” said Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices India. “We are introducing new Echo devices and features to give customers even more ways to access Alexa— whether that’s through our best-sounding Echo device yet—Echo Studio, or the reimagined Echo and Echo Dot.”

New Additions to the Echo Family—Even More Ways to Add Alexa to Your Day

All-new Echo—Premium sound, updated fabric design, and a new blue color variant, still only ₹9,999

The next-generation Echo has the same audio architecture as Echo Plus, including a 3-inch woofer and increased back volume so that the bass feels stronger, and the mids and highs are clearer. It also features an updated fabric design with color options suitable for any style—including Blue (new), Black, Grey and White.

Echo Dot with clock—Now with a simple, bright LED display for ₹5,499

Echo Dot, our best-selling device, now has a new variant that comes with a bright LED display that makes it the perfect addition to a bedside table or kitchen counter. The LED display automatically adjusts based on the brightness of the room, so you can easily see the time or just ask to see the outdoor temperature, or to set a morning alarm or cooking timer. Plus, you can tap the top of the device to conveniently snooze an alarm.

Echo Studio—Immersive studio-quality audio with Dolby Atmos, pairs with Fire TV Stick 4K for audio playback, room adaptation technology and a built-in smart home hub for only ₹22,999

With five built-in directional speakers, Echo Studio has been purposefully engineered to create studio-quality sound with space, clarity, and depth. Its 5.25-inch woofer and 330W of peak power produce deep, rich bass by using the bass port at the bottom to maximize airflow and bass output from the woofer. Echo Studio has a 1-inch tweeter and three 2-inch midrange speakers that deliver dynamic midranges and crisp, high frequencies. Plus, it has a 24-bit DAC and a power amplifier with 100 kHz of bandwidth for high-res, lossless music playback. Echo Studio also automatically senses the acoustics of your space and fine-tunes audio playback to deliver optimal sound—no matter where you put the device in the room.

The Echo Studio smart speaker delivers an immersive audio experience using advanced processing from Dolby Atmos.

One or two Echo Studio devices can be paired with the Fire TV Stick 4K for audio playback with multi-channel sound and support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio 5.1, and stereo audio. Echo Studio also has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub which can be used to control compatible smart home devices—making it the perfect addition to your family or living room.

Availability

The all new Echo, Echo Dot with clock, and Echo Studio devices are available for pre-order on Amazon.in and select offline stores starting today and will start shipping later this year. Customers who pre-order can avail of a smart bulb at no extra cost and a smart plug at ₹199 only.

The new devices announced today join Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Show 5, and Echo companion devices – Echo Sub, Echo Link, Echo Link Amp – to create the Echo family of devices.

New Alexa Features

Alongside a new lineup of Echo devices, Amazon today announced ways that Alexa is getting smarter, making life more convenient and giving customers even more control over their experience.

Users can enjoy these Alexa features from today:

Interact with Alexa in Hindi or Hinglish

Alexa can now understand customers speaking to her completely in Hindi or Hinglish, in multiple contexts, and varied regional accents and dialects. You can enjoy asking Alexa for diverse Hindi content such as jokes, shayaris, games, Kabir ke dohe, Panchatantra stories, Bollywood dialogues, more than 500 Alexa skills, and even spellings of words in Hindi. Get started with commands such as “Alexa, Bollywood ke latest gane sunao”, “Alexa, cricket score batao”, “Alexa, sher ki aawaaz sunao”, or “Alexa, apne baare mei batao”.

Alexa can now adjust how fast (or slow) she speaks
Customers can now ask Alexa to speak slower or speak faster, depending on your preference, enabling Alexa to adapt to a diverse set of customer needs. Whether customers ask Alexa for the weather, the latest news, a sports update, about an upcoming event on their calendar, and more, they can now choose from seven speeds – Alexa’s standard speaking rate, four faster speaking rates, and two slower speaking rates. Simply say “Alexa, speak slower,” or “Alexa, speak faster” to adjust Alexa’s speech to the preferred pace on any Alexa-enabled device. To reset Alexa’s speaking rate, simply say, “Alexa, speak at your default rate.”

Alexa can Recommend Routines

Customers around the world regularly use routines to execute multiple smart home commands with a single voice command, and now Alexa is able to recommend routines that you may want to set up based on your daily habits. For example, if a customer sets their alarm for 6 AM and then immediately ask for the weather every day, Alexa will suggest setting up a routine so that the alarm is always set and the weather plays as soon as it goes off. When Alexa asks if you would like a routine set-up, just say “yes,” and the routine is ready to go.

Alexa can tell you about her responses
Alexa will soon offer two new voice-based features that provide customers with more transparency over the responses they get. If a customer is curious to understand what Alexa heard when you asked her to tell you the news or play a specific song, soon you will be able to ask , “Alexa, tell me what you heard” and Alexa will read back your most recent voice request.

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DataCultr Launches its IOT Edge Gateway Platform for Connected Devices

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DataCultr, an IoT enablement startup announced the launch of its Internet of Things Edge Gateway platform for connected devices helping enterprises to implement large-scale and mission-critical IoT solutions. With its platform, DataCultr has brought together all the building blocks of IOT stitched together on one platform, so that enterprises can go to market almost 6X faster. The platform has been designed keeping in mind the concerns of enterprises around Security, IT/OT Integration & ROI.

With the market starting to explode with a variety of connected devices, which communicate bi-directionally, there is a need for a middle layer that effectively brings together components and things meant for various smart purposes into a single IOT framework. DataCultr allows the secure management, collection, analysis, and real-time action on every aspect of the communications between these connected devices on its platform. With DataCultr’s powerful local abstractions, it is possible to model data, devices, and services on the edge in a uniform way.

Commenting on the same, Mr. Sujoy Ghosh, CTO & Co-founder, DataCultr, says, “Our IoT platform handles secure communication across connected devices, including data integrity and security, device interoperability, failure-proof connectivity, over the air firmware update, and dynamic visualizations. We are working with System Integrators, Telcos as well as multiple smartphone and device manufacturers to launch this platform across multiple use cases for IoT and connected devices”.

The key features and differentiation of the DataCultr IoT Gateway platform are:

  • It reduces the development time from months to weeks
  • Handles millions of devices and scales elastically
  • Straightforward hardware integration procedure
  • Rapidly evolving, with new features being added
  • No single point of failure

DataCultr platform as a service enables secure bi-directional communication & management between sensors, devices, and the enterprise’ backend infrastructure.

DataCultr continues to keep its eye on the market while developing its platform to include tools and features that help keep its customers ahead of the curve in the connected devices space.

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