New Digital Tool Launched to Assist Companies Market Products

first_imgA new digital tool aimed at transforming the way businesses advertise and market their products was launched in Kingston, on Tuesday, March 18.The Branditise solution  allows companies to effectively utilize channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blogs to grow their business.  It was designed by experienced developer, Wayne Marsh, who unveiled it at a breakfast event at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.Addressing the launch, State Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, reiterated the Government’s commitment to the development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, and to provide the supporting mechanisms to ensure that technology entrepreneurs can succeed on a global basis. He said the government will be facilitating entrepreneurship in the Information Technology (IT) sector by making it easier for young developers to access financing, through the soon to be launched Venture Capital Industry, which is being administered by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).Mr. Robinson also noted that plans are well advanced for the establishment of ‘Start Up Jamaica’ later this year, which will be an incubator/growth accelerator programme that will provide mentorship, marketing and other support for young technology entrepreneurs to help them build their business.“It is going to be a physical hub, which is important, because one of the major benefits of small incubators which are accelerators worldwide, is the opportunity for entrepreneurs from all over to collaborate and share ideas,” he informed.The State Minister shared that a private sector company has volunteered a facility for the hub in downtown Kingston and another has volunteered to outfit the facility with furniture.He pointed out that with Start Up Jamaica, persons who are providing venture capital will have more confidence in investing in a company that has been through the incubator process, as the chances of the business succeeding will be greater.The State Minister congratulated Mr. Marsh for sticking with his vision for developing Branditise, a product that can solve problems and can be used outside of Jamaica.“I hope that we will see many more young entrepreneurs like Wayne building and developing solutions,” he said.Mr. Robinson further pointed out that there are many opportunities within the IT sector to earn foreign exchange and to help solve the country’s economic challenges.Introducing, Mr. Marsh informed that it is a cloud based solution that can be accessed anywhere and anytime. It can allow companies to establish their digital media marketing goals; define key performance indicators; define target audience; develop content framework and social media policy as well as create a scorecard.The Branditise tool also allows companies to manage and monitor major digital media accounts from one platform.  It also allows businesses to measure, for example, fan and follower demographics, plus geo-location, gender and age; website and blog visitor traffic demographics, among others. RelatedGovernment Finalising Waste to Energy Policy New Digital Tool Launched to Assist Companies Market ProductsJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay RelatedMeasures in Place to Protect Tablet Computers FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail New Digital Tool Launched to Assist Companies Market Products TechnologyMarch 18, 2014Written by: Andrea Brahamcenter_img Photo: JIS PhotographerState Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson(right), talks technology with developer of ,Wayne Marsh (left), and Communication Specialist, Carlette Deleon, during the launch of the digital media marketing tool at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on March 18. Story HighlightsA new digital tool aimed at transforming the way businesses advertise and market their products was launched in Kingston, on Tuesday, March 18.The Branditise solution allows companies to effectively utilize channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blogs to grow their business. The government will be facilitating entrepreneurship in the Information Technology (IT) sector by making it easier for young developers to access financing. RelatedMobile Phone Service Focus for World Consumer Rights Day Advertisementslast_img read more

Velocite’s commits (to) a Syn with all-new aero road bike

first_imgComfort wasn’t completely forgotten. A 27.2mm seatpost and hidden recessed clamping design with a polymer damper allows for a little extra post flex and vibration damping. Held back from the press until the patent work was done, the new Velocite Syn aero road bike aims to leave current designs in the dust by focusing its aerodynamics on the complete bike and accoutrements we all take with us…namely, water bottles.“We use the ‘real life’ adjective to differentiate from high performance in a wind tunnel or ideal test conditions.” said Victor Major, CEO and R&D Director of Velocite Tech. “For example, real life use of a road bike always involves carrying water bottles, and to date no bicycle design delivered optimal aerodynamic performance once water bottles are mounted.”To accomplish their aero goals, the tube shapes and horizontal profiles were designed to create a complete airfoil shape with the bottles tucked into the frame. Major says the combined shape improves aerodynamics at a wide range of wind angles, thereby reducing turbulence and drag. The design was put through the paces on their own CFD equipment, which Major said let them run an exhaustive amount of tweaks and tests to get to the final design. And while we think it looks pretty sharp, he says the design was driven entirely by performance and function, not aesthetics.The photos shared here are of a tool testing sample, the real deal will be unveiled at the Taipei bike show in March (we’ll be there). We’ll also get the full tech run down, but the basics are that it’ll not only be very aero, but also be the stiffest aero road bike out there thanks to oversized carbon plies laid over solid mandrels.center_img The Velocite Syn will be available in disc brake and rim caliper brake versions. The frame is mechanical and Di2 ready with full internal cable/wire routing.Velocite-Bikes.comlast_img read more

NEO Hoop Insiders Podcast: November 3

first_imgSam Amico and Matt Medley discuss the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 4-0 start to the 2016-17 season.Sam and Matt break down the reasons behind the hot start, Kyrie Irving’s offensive explosiveness, the return of J.R. Smith, Kevin Love fitting in on both sides of the ball, and what to do about the backup point guard situation. Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio.Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games. Related Topicscenter_img Matt Medleylast_img

Wayne Rooney: England can achieve ‘magical things’ at Euro 2016

first_img1 Wayne Rooney believes England are capable of “magical things” at Euro 2016 thanks to a talented squad blessed with more match-winners than he can remember.It has been 50 frustrating years since lifting the World Cup on home soil, but promising times appear on the horizon and there is a belief within the camp that this summer could be memorable.England may have followed Wales home as Group B runners-up, but Roy Hodgson’s unbeaten side have shown exciting flashes, if a worrying inability to turn domination into goals.The overall displays, along with impressive performances against the continent’s best over the past year, has fuelled Rooney’s belief that they can challenge for Euro 2016, as well as making the captain realise he can share the burden of a nation’s expectation.“I have always held a lot of pressure in at previous tournaments, feeling I have to be the one who has to win games and tournaments,” the 30-year-old said.“But we now have a lot of players who can do that and I am happy to sit in the background and allow the players do that.“If I have to be the person to step up and win us games, I will do that. But I am happy with the way it is going and my role in the team.“The pressure is on us all to do well but I have always gone into a tournament thinking, ‘if I don’t play at my best I cannot see us winning it’.“I have come into this tournament and we have players capable of doing magical things.“We are different but we have match-winners. We have five or six match-winners in our team and I cannot say we have always had that.”It is fair to say no team has truly laid down a marker in France so far, with Rooney most impressed by Croatia and stand-out midfielder Luka Modric.England would have been in their half of the draw had Hodgson’s heavily rotated side found a way past Slovakia on Monday, with second place in Group B instead giving them a more treacherous route to the Stade de France finale.A last-16 tie with the lowest-ranked side in the tournament awaits, but following Iceland on Monday could be clash with the hosts then a semi-final against the reigning champions or World Cup winners.“If this was four years ago and you were saying you have to play France, Spain, Germany, you would have been worried,” Rooney said of the countries potentially blocking their route to the final.“I think the gap has changed, and not just with ourselves to then teams but with the likes of Wales. Belgium have become a really good team.“Italy are doing well, as they always do at tournaments. The gap to get to those teams is not as big.”Rooney has long spoken glowingly of this exciting batch of players and believes his sixth major tournament could yet end with silverware.“My time playing for England in tournaments has been disappointing because we haven’t gone further in knockout stages,” the captain said, having experienced just one win beyond the group stage against Ecuador at the World Cup a decade ago.“I feel we have a chance of doing really well in this tournament. It’s going to be tough but we are confident, we have a very good team.“Other teams will be looking at us and saying they are not too pleased we are in their half of the draw, rather than us looking at them.“We want to win it and that’s the aim. I am not going to sit here and say, ‘we are a group of young players, so we’ll be happy to get to the quarter-finals, the future’s bright over the next two to four years’ and all that.“We are here and we want to win it. Whether it happens remains to be seen, but we are not going to say that getting to the quarter-finals will be a sign of progress. I believe we are better than that.” Wayne Rooney applauds the fans following England’s 0-0 draw with Slovakia last_img read more

World’s largest nature area, in Africa

first_imgThe elephant population in the newconservation area is expected to numberaround 250 000 individuals.(Image: Luke Harwood) Water vapour rising into the air above themighty Victoria Falls has earned it thethe name of Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the smokethat thunders”.(Image: Ferdinand Reus, Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS • Arrie van WykProject manager, Peace Parks Foundation+27 21 880 5122RELATED ARTICLES• New deal to protect Mapungubwe site• A hefty boost for conservation• Ugandan eco project up for award• New Sanparks educational centre• Boundless Southern AfricaEmily van RijswijckA vast transfrontier park of almost 450 000 square kilometres, stretching over five Southern African countries and connecting 36 national parks and other managed areas, has been signed into being.The biggest conservation effort ever, it includes some of the most breathtaking protected areas on the planet, and will stretch over parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.Once fully operational it will be roughly the size of Sweden.The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area was legally established on the last day of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) conference held in Luanda, Angola, in August 2011. The signing followed a feasibility study initiated by the five participants in 2006.The implementation of the conservancy is overseen by the Peace Parks Foundation, with the help of integrated development plans (IDPs) to ensure that the process unfolds smoothly. Zimbabwe and Zambia have completed their IDPs, while Angola’s is nearing completion.IDPs for Namibia and Botswana will get underway before the end of 2011.“It’s the largest protected tourism zone in the world,” an official from the 15-nation SADC announced at the time of signing the deal.This conservation zone is located in the Okavango and Zambezi river basins and boasts an impressive array of natural attractions:the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s seven natural wonders;the largest inland delta on earth, Botswana’s Okavango Delta;the narrow and densely populated Itenge, commonly known as the Caprivi Strip, in Namibia;and the Chobe Nature Reserve in Zimbabwe, home to about 120 000 elephants.Once all development plans are integrated the conservancy will boast the largest contiguous population of African elephant on the continent, estimated to be about 250 000.Where the smoke thundersRated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe on the mighty Zambezi River. It’s considered to be the largest falls in the world in terms of the size of the sheet of falling water, although it isn’t the highest or the widest.Victoria Falls was so named by Scottish explorer David Livingstone in honour of the reigning queen, but the local Kololo tribe refers to it as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “the smoke that thunders”.The surrounding area encompasses smaller nature reserves such as the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, the Victoria Falls National Park and the Zambezi National Park.The latter two parks already allow free movement of animals between them.Oasis in a dry landBotswana’s Okavango Delta – also known as the Okavango Swamp – is the largest Ramsar site in the world.It is seasonally formed by the Okavango River as it spreads out across a 15 000 square kilometre area, creating an oasis in an otherwise bone-dry region.The Ramsar Convention was signed in the town of Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. It is an intergovernmental treaty that commits member countries to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands.The preservation of these sensitive areas is viewed as a matter of international importance. Members are encouraged to plan wisely or in a sustainable manner for any activities that may affect the wetlands in their territories.The Okavango and Zambezi River basins contain some of the world’s richest areas of plant and animal biodiversity. If managed successfully and with vision, say authorities in the country, this natural wealth could give rise to a thriving ecotourism industry.The region is home to endangered species such as cheetah, African wild dog, black sable and black rhino.About the Southern African Development CommunitySADC came about as a result of member countries’ historical and cultural similaries, which gave rise to a desire to create greater economic prosperity, freedom and social justice for their citizens.Member countries include South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.The catalyst for SADC’s formation was the Southern African Development Coordination Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1980. Here the Lusaka Declaration (Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation) was formally adopted by the nine founding member countries.At a later summit held in August 1992, countries signed the SADC treaty and declaration that effectively transformed the Southern African Development Coordination Conference into the Southern African Development Community.SADC aims to promote sustainable and equal economic growth and socio-economic development for its members. Member nations in turn commit to the values of good political, economic and corporate governance, as they strive for democracy, transparency and the respect for the law, and full participation by civil society.Among its successes to date, the organisation created a document that details norms and standards for elections, and a model law on HIV. It has also laid down benchmarks for democratic parliaments in Southern Africa./index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2566:kavango-190911&catid=47:africanews&Itemid=116last_img read more

10+ Things that men can learn from attending Grace Hopper’s Women in Computing Conference

first_imgOn October 3-6 2012, several thousand gathered in Baltimore, Maryland at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference.  The conference — one of the initiatives of the Anita Borg Institute — is the largest technical conference for women in computing in the world and results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for junior women and increased visibility for the contributions of top technical women and researchers in computing. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce.” I was invited to attend as part of a Technical Executive forum in hope of learning and bringing best practices back to our team (Twitter and Blog). I came away with a few things from the conference that really stuck with me: Technology is awesome – it is an amazing time to be in computing! On Friday, University of Virginia and a Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science Anita K. Jones talked about the impact of information technology on the world and the speed of change. One big takeaway is that we live in a magical time – the impact and influence that technology is having on everything we do is amazing – and for those in the field, the employment opportunities are just as amazing. There are twice as many jobs in information technology than all other engineering jobs combined. Robert Half released the 2013 salary guide, showing tremendous growth in a number of high tech jobs, suggesting that “Competition is expected to be particularly fierce for professionals who can support mobile, big data, cloud and virtualization initiatives.” The pervasiveness and optimism of students at the conference was energizing. Diverse teams foster a culture of increased creativity, collaboration, and  innovation. Having women on the team helps! The keynote for Thursday was delivered by Intuit’s Nora Denzel. She presented the latest formal and informal research on how having women on development teams helps companies develop a competitive advantage.  She discussed how women think differently and how that thinking will improve the bottom line. She used the example of the first machine gun – invented by a man – and the first bullet proof vest – developed by a woman.  Hmm… from voice automation to airbags, it wasn’t until women engineers joined the teams that they experienced break-through innovation.  I enjoyed her story of a research project that sent teams from several universities to Africa to help build clean water systems.  These teams were made up of a diverse set of social scientists, engineers, business and art students working together. The women in the villages were the ones responsible for getting the water and ensure children and families had water and were experienced in tackling the challenge of clean water. Women on the project teams were able to connect directly with women in the villages to find creative solutions. GHC is an incredibly inspiring conference. There are inspiring individual stories, and there is the overall success story of the advancement of women in technology fields. Nora Denzel had a great talk – and had several inspiring stories and quotes:  “Your attitude is like a flat tire – if you don’t change it, you’re not going anywhere,”  “Things don’t happen TO you, they happen FOR you” and “You are either comfortable OR you are growing – but never both.”  Seeing thousands celebrate progress towards a shared goal is inspiring. As Nora said in her keynote, one of the reasons to work in computer science is that “you have the chance to change the world – you can work on things that change people’s lives.” Technology can change the world. When gathered in one place, the sheer number of smart technical women is powerful, impressive, and impactful. In most of the jobs I’ve had in software, there have been more men than women. Though I’ve been more aware in the last year of the tech population, there’s nothing more impactful than living it – and realizing what an impressive force a large body of technical women can be– and perhaps raising a question for me about how well we are leveraging these amazing talents. The majority of the GHC presentations are technical, educational, and applicable – regardless of gender. In their discussion on How to be a Thought Leader, Denise Brosseau, Shelley Evenson, Janet H. Murray, Nina Bhatti, and Candice Brown Elliott all shared great tips on the thought leader as a change agent, suggesting that aspiring thought leaders work first on building credibility, then using that credibility to create a path for others to follow. Think about credentials, expertise, and passion – and use those three elements in overlapping circles to be a change agent. Opportunity never comes wrapped in a big bow. In a discussion on Building Your Professional Network, Miche Baker-Harvey from Google and Elizabeth Bautista from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab talked about networking as a way to establish your brand. Think about networking as what you can GIVE to others, not what you get – and curate both a vertical network of those in jobs you aspire to – as well as a horizontal network of peers across your industry. Valentina Salapura and Maja Vukovic, researchers from IBM, discussed using productivity games to help with cloud computing.  Among others, there were presentations on mobility, big data, social computing, education, and innovation. Nora Denzel spoke of mentoring walks – the idea of walking instead of sitting while being a mentor or mentee – a great idea! A new environment will raise awareness and influence how you think and act. It’s always beneficial to take risks, put yourself in new situations and be open to learning from others.  Beyond the obvious demographic differences, the most powerful and impressive thing I experienced was the singularity of focus on a common goal. Being able to experience firsthand what it’s like to be one among many, I am more aware of what that feels like than I was last week. By being more aware, not just of the goals around women in technology, but what it feels like to be in a significant minority, I think I can be a better manager, better employee, and better co-worker – than I was before I attended GHC. There are lots of incredible engineering students doing amazing work. I met and heard from dozens of incredible students, from undergraduate to PhD, who are doing interesting work in, among other things, parallel computing, mapping, algorithms, operating system research, social computing, IT in third world countries and security. The Career Fair was crowded all week with interesting students. The attendees were welcoming and inclusive. When I arrived, I was unsure how my attendance would be viewed. As I learned more and spent more time amongst attendees, I felt more and more welcome. A rough estimate was that 2-3% of the attendees were men, but I felt included and welcome everywhere I went.  One of my goals for next year is to recruit more men at Microsoft to attend the conference. The number of women in technology fields who attended was remarkable, but this is an area where all of us (men and women) can make a huge difference. Great opportunities to network The importance of this was underscored by the “Building your Professional Network” talk. I met dozens of great people, and reconnected with some I already knew. The alignment of shared goals and focus of the conference really helped bring people with like minds together. Women share research, give talks about career-related situations, feelings, and thoughts that men have too, but men, in my experience, typically don’t talk about these, even one on one. This was fascinating – I was really able to identify with talks about being put in situations that challenge self-confidence (literally, while I was sitting in the audience – and how these were presentations and conference sessions, whereas I’d never had more than maybe one or two 5-minute discussions ever – in 25 years – on these same topics. For example, the “Imposter Syndrome” was discussed and mentioned several times throughout the week. According to Wikipedia, “despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.”  I think everyone experiences this to some degree, and the studies show that it’s not gender specific, but I found it useful and interesting that it was discussed openly, where my experience has been that these feelings are not openly discussed.Many others have written on the conference  – check out this link and Twitter #GHC12, NBC, and the Grace RSS feed. Also, check out NetHope’s TechConnect initiative, the Anita Borg Institute and Equal Futures. On a personal note, I was pleased to meet many of the more than 150 others from Microsoft (including several men), most of whom I had not met before – and I was able to reconnect with a few of our summer interns who were attending with their universities. It was cool to see co-workers presenting in technical forums and made me personally proud to work in an industry and at a company that’s so supportive of the growth and advancement of women in technology.  I would highly recommend that men, particularly, managers working in high tech STEM fields, attend the Grace Hopper Conference – next year will be in Minneapolis. I did not know what to expect, but the experience was incredibly inspiring, rewarding, and valuable – and I definitely plan to attend again. If you are interested and want to learn more about my experience, please reach out – to either our lead, [email protected] – or to me, [email protected]  There’s lots of great stuff here and a tremendous opportunity for all of us to improve the world of technology by celebrating our differences. By the way, thank you for reading this far.  A bonus for number 11 is: Just because the sign says “Men’s Room” doesn’t make it so. ‘Nuff saidlast_img read more

SOA: Projects Delayed by Economic Slowdown

first_imgIn the last part of 2008 Gartner reported that many organizations were delaying SOA projects and the number of organizations that had no plans to use SOA at all went from 6% in 2007 to 16% in late 2008. Then, early this year, Anne Thomas Manes of the Burton group declared “SOA dead”. Many analysts agreed that SOA requires an investment in new software infrastructure that may takes years before payback and many companies just can’t afford it in tough economic times.The proclamation of SOA death is no doubt premature, but the patient is sick.InformationWeek released a survey in mid-February to see how companies view SOA. The survey found that only 23 percent had deployed SOA — and only 7 percent of them opened up their SOA to external users. 29 percent are experimenting with it and 31 percent have no interest in SOA.SOA is being transformed and many users are choosing a light-weight approach, using REST Web Services instead of SOAP and relying heavily on the internet rather than private networks.last_img read more

These 5 issues are scaring homeowners away from IoT

first_imgWhen streetlights first lit up New York skies in 1880, Edison was initially revered as a hero. Electric lights were unlike anything his peers had seen before, accustomed as they were to gas lamps and candles, and they cheered to see the new technology go live. However, that awe quickly faded, becoming a major PR problem: Victorians may have at first viewed the invention as a modernist feat, but they mistrusted electric lights and believed they were unsafe for their homes—especially after hearing about horses that were electrocuted in the streets while traveling over lanes where transmission cables were laid. The Wizard of Menlo Park eventually gained some ground with the public after launching a massive advertising campaign—one that included dancers with lightbulbs taped to their heads, and power lines running the length of their arms—to demonstrate to audiences that bulbs were safe enough for any home. And the rest is history.Just like electric lights, smart homes are experiencing some of the same ups and downs that plague any new technology—initial excitement, followed by resistance, especially as reports are released that detail problems. Almost every day, a new technology site puts up an article relating how it was able to hack into a smart home product in mere minutes. Meanwhile, there’s evidence that those who initially adopted smart devices like thermostats and security systems are abandoning them—an issue that was likely not helped by Nest CEO Tony Fadell’s departure at the beginning of June. To really win over homeowners, the IoT industry needs to address current concerns and assure residents that these products are safe and easy to use—perhaps not with a song-and-dance number, but by solidifying their record as trustworthy businesses and shoring up usage and security issues. To start, let’s take a look at some of the anxieties keeping homeowners from becoming IoT adopters.Fear #1: They’re afraid of data leaks and hacksThis isn’t a totally unfounded concern—in the rush to get IoT products on the market, many manufacturers have left security flaws exposed that make homeowners extremely vulnerable to potential cyber crime. For instance, when researchers examined nine popular WiFi-connected baby monitors, they gave eight of them failing grades for security. Most devices currently rely on passworded protection alone—a real problem, since end-users tend to pick passwords that are simplistic and easily guessed. Some even provide default credentials, without forcing users to change passwords during the installation process. At the beginning of this year, for instance, Forbes was able to hack into a large smart security system at a Youth Center simply by entering “admin” for the username and password.And it’s not just the devices themselves—routers and wireless networks also need to be better secured to prevent hacks. Relying on homeowners to navigate the world of IT security by themselves is a sure way to sink these devices. The IoT industry would do better to recognize this as a service opportunity, employing professionals to assist homeowners with the installation process, or encrypting networks for them using global trust identity networks. Until a better option becomes available, homeowners will continue to feel wary of IoT devices.Fear #2: They’re afraid they’ll lose their privacyHomeowners aren’t just afraid of hackers—they’re also concerned about big data. Giving a corporation like Google or Apple access to their every movement in their homes is hugely discomforting. Companies that can instill trust in end-users that their data won’t be misused or inappropriately leveraged will go a long way with consumers. Namely, IoT producers should build in Privacy by Design features, like those available in social media platforms, that allow homeowners to choose how freely they share their personal data.Additionally, any data that is aggregated and used by companies should be anonymized, removing personally identifiable information from the equation altogether. IoT businesses that can explain exactly how and why data is used, as well as offering some end-user control over sharing, will profit in the long run.Fear #3: Systems seem too complicated—and they areSmarthome devices are advertised as products of convenience—but in actuality, they often serve to frustrate and confuse homeowners. Creating a lighting “theme” is a lot more complex than just switching on a few lights, and requires insight into a user’s habits and routines that many homeowners just don’t have. Meanwhile, behavioral exceptions occur all the time in homes. You might love having a coffee maker that wakes you up with a fresh cup and a radio that switches on the news automatically—except when you wake up with a stomach bug. Predictive and “learning” systems aren’t intelligent enough yet to consider the wide range of factors in play in homes, and that’s made many homeowners frustrated with smart devices.Fear #4: Devices don’t “talk” to one anotherInteroperability is obviously a huge problem amongst IoT devices right now. With WiFi, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, and Zigbee all out on the market, there’s no universal standard—and that’s a huge pain point for consumers. There’s also the issue of device control. Most products are controlled locally through individual apps on a user’s smartphone, meaning there’s no one-stop-shop for settings. Devices that communicate have to be linked one at a time. Even promising unified device controls don’t solve that problem—for instance, Apple HomeKit still currently requires users to download individual manufacturer apps to work. Homeowners who might benefit the most from smarthome products, such as the disabled and elderly, could potentially find that kind of complicated set-up a barrier to entry. Fear #5: They don’t know the impacts insurance and property valuesEvery homeowner knows that any purchase they make for their homes is an investment, and IoT devices stand both to bolster home values and affect insurance rates, or even how claims are made and processed. By most predictions, IoT will be hugely disruptive to the insurance field—access to real-time data about homes could allow companies to make suggestions before problems arise—for instance, to recommend roofing repairs that would save homeowners a massive claim. That’s obviously far in the future, but homeowners still have questions about how technology will affect their current rates.While most evidence shows that smart tech does nothing but good things for property values, and may lower premiums as well, it’s not likely that most homeowners are aware of this benefit, and many may be waiting for the dust to settle before making a big investment. By strategically partnering with insurance providers, IoT companies would be able to promote the positive relationship between insurance rates and smart products, and take advantage of a mutually beneficial relationship as well.Smart homes have a long way to go; however, IoT companies would do wise to take a page out of Edison’s book, and assuage user concerns directly and quickly, before the industry loses momentum. The author is a blogger and aspiring homeowner. She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence. Tags:#Edison#Internet of Things#IoT#Nest#Smart homes Related Posts Erin Vaughn What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…last_img read more