Virtual Reality for training:

Virtual reality training programs are slowly becoming a reality in many industries. It creates a much more engaging and immersive environment for training the workforce. Virtual Reality is a great and economical way to provide hands-on training that is almost impossible to replicate in the real world. It is particularly good for physical simulations of new equipment and operations.
Most people find it easier to learn, understand and retain information if the whole learning experience is pleasant. This technology has increasingly become a common part of training, from hospitals to coal mines and athletic fields. Companies are also using VR to help recruit, train and retain employees with VR simulations.
VR can inject enthusiasm and engagement, helping employees see their jobs in a more positive light. With safety a major concern in all industries, VR will help train employees for jobs that require skilled and practiced movement. Currently, there are several types of Virtual Reality training. These include Medical training, emergency services training, Architectural walkthroughs, Combat training and more. Although virtual reality is receiving a lot of attention these days, VR based training has been used by the military for a long time. Not only will trainees acquire information relevant to their job role, they can also start honing their skills right from day one.
VR training makes learning a more visual experience as the employee is presented with stunning 3D environments. With falling hardware prices, more developers are turning to making VR specific content, which will lead to a flourishing eco-system of apps that will make training more engaging and fun. In many industries such as manufacturing, energy and defense, workplace training accidents is a common occurrence. VR provides a safe environment for trainees to practice and start their job with a near perfect command.
Training can be expensive, especially if companies have to transport groups of people from various locations. VR training can also be implemented remotely by giving access to trainees to download training material from the company’s website.
The major selling point of virtual reality training is its ability to create highly immersive environments. This makes it very important for companies to choose the right team for creating these captivating 3D simulations.

Wearable tech for healthcare:

The wearables market is estimated to have reached over $4 billion in 2017. The Internet of Things (IoT) has numerous applications in the healthcare sector. Most medical device providers have started adding wearable components to their product lines.
While consumer fitness trackers can help the user stay in shape, medical wearables have the ability to detect life-threatening conditions and collect bio-metric data to help doctors with patient diagnoses. A product is only as good as the sum of its parts. Engineers consider several factors while designing hardware that powers these devices. Some of these include product life cycle, size, reliability and haptics.
The pace in consumers adopting wearables has increased in recent years. The most popular wearable devices continue to be wrist bands and smart watches. Although there are numerous companies launching wearable products, certain industry leaders like samsung continue to lead the way in using wearables to find healthcare solutions.
With tech companies partnering with healthcare organizations, the clinical applications of wearables is evolving to solve some of healthcare’s biggest problems. Monitoring the body’s health condition has become easier for individuals by using data collected on a daily basis from wearable devices. From fitness bands to smart watches and Google Glass, wearables are being widely adopted by consumers.
Here are some of the latest wearable healthcare technology aimed to help patients and doctors make better decisions.
1. LIVE by Earlysense is a remote monitoring device that monitors sleep and vital statistics. Real time patient vitals can be monitored through a mobile application with monthly subscription.
2. Fitbit Surge: This touch screen fitness tracker offers a number of features to users. This includes tracking steps and sleep, phone calls and text message alerts, keeps tabs on heart rate with a built-in optical heart rate monitor, and there is also a community where users can share activities and even compete for the first place earned by the fittest.
3. PIP: It is a tiny device that designed to give real-time feedback about the user’s stress levels. Stress reduces your level of focus, leads to bad sleep and decreases emotional well-being. With data collected from the device, a mobile app allows users to learn how to reduce stress.
4. Withings Blood Pressure monitor: This device is one of the earliest of its kind available in the market. It comes with an app that measures the user’s heart rate, blood pressure and also counts the steps taken weekly. Users can set up reminders to check blood pressure, take medication and more.
5. Fitbit Aria: This smart scale device tracks the user’s weight and body fat percentage and uploads the information to a cloud-based account. The device can sense up to eight different people who see weight changes compared to their physical activity.
6. Viatom Checkme: It is the world’s first medical tricoder that not only measures body temperature, but also traces ECG, measures pulse rate, oxygen saturation, systolic blood pressure, physical activity and sleep as well.
7. GymWatch Fitness tracker: This device plays the role of a personal fitness coach that is designed to give users visual, verbal and real time feedback. There is also an online community to connect with like-minded fitness enthusiasts.

Industries using AR/VR technology:

From healthcare to real estate to military, companies are developing AR/VR applications across industries. Although some people see this technology reserved for the hardcore gamer, investors have noticed the huge potential for AR/VR across a variety of industries. Developers are now applying AR/VR to everything from advertising and marketing to medicine and healthcare. It is also found useful in space exploration and military training as well.
VR is an emerging solution to the challenges facing traditional retailers and e-commerce companies. Retailers can use AR/VR technology that allows customers access their inventory in more immersive ways. Across multiple branches of the military, AR/VR is being used to create simulation environments to train recruits and optimize operations. With VR, officials can digitally capture landscapes in real time and share those environments with remote personnel for better deployment plans and crisis management strategy.
This technology also allows event organizers to welcome more visitors into in-person events. In a similar way, it can also be used to enable virtual conference attendance. In the marketing and advertising sector, brands can create campaigns to engage customers with their product lines and interact with them in unique ways.
With the increase in consumer adoption of headsets, AR/VR will evolve to become a standard channel for marketing and advertising. As with the military, law enforcement personnel are using virtual training environments that helps trainees practice making judgment calls and critical decisions under stress. This leads to better understanding, management and minimizing stress in real life scenarios.
Virtual Reality driven HR is another aspect that may benefit candidates just as much as the companies that hire them. It provides a new avenue for companies to interact with potential hires and assess their skills in an immersive environment. For those in the manufacturing industry, AR/VR offers a number of benefits. For example, holographic images and instructions can be superimposed atop an individual’s real-world perspective, which can be valuable for educating workers to use large machinery or specialized devices.
With the rise of automation, AR tools will prove useful in preparing graduates for technically skilled work in areas such as welding, plumbing, and electricity systems. The applications of AR/VR in healthcare are practically endless. Right from VR-powered tele-medicine to treatment for behavioral and mental health issues through virtual reality immersion therapy, there are a lot of scope for incorporating this technology by healthcare providers. The media sector is among the most eager to embrace this tech by creating immersive journalism through augmented and virtual reality.
VR in entertainment eliminates the boundary between a story and its audience, allowing filmmakers to blur the lines between gaming and narrative entertainment. VR and AR are game-changing in both the development and sale of real estate. Architects are using AR tools to overlay building plans, marketing materials, and other 2D collateral into 3D models. VR enables real estate professionals to showcase properties to potential buyers in a more interactive and engaging way.
With AR/VR innovations picking up pace, enterprises are finding new and unique ways to use this technology to reap maximum virtual reality benefits in business.

Top Augmented Reality Glasses:

Augmented Reality Glasses are changing the way users view and interact with the world around them. Although AR devices are still in their infancy in terms of widespread use, companies dedicated to Augmented Reality are pushing the limits of current science. Also, to stay ahead of the competition, tech giants Google and Microsoft began releasing interim products.
Initially, the Google’s Glass received negative feedback, but the company persisted and soon started receiving great reviews from businesses like manufacturing and healthcare. This gave them the distinct edge in actually field testing their product in real world scenarios.
The first product from Apple Inc. was the ARKit that that consisted of tools that developers could use to create AR applications for the latest iPhones and iPads. This gave Apple an opportunity to test the technology on an existing product. The company is currently working on its stand-alone AR headset, which could be launched in early 2020. It will supposedly have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, unlike any current generation Augmented Reality headsets that use a smartphone as the engine and screen.
While virtual reality immerses the user in a digital world, augmented reality overlays images and information on the real world. With the gain in popularity of this technology, several companies have started designing and developing their own versions of Augmented Reality headsets. AR tech will transform the way we work, play, connect and learn.
Here is a list of the top Augmented Reality headsets:
1. Google Glass: This device comes with a tiny head attached display, where you can see several covered information screens like the weather, missed calls, current events, and even turn-based navigation based on your smartphone’s GPS.
Specifications: 5MP camera with 720p video, Bluetooth, 11 b/g Wi-Fi, Storage of 12GB usable memory.
2. Microsoft Hololens: HoloLens are mixed reality smart glasses that have a field of view equivalent to a 15-inch screen. It also helps users track their head movements with help from sensors on the device.
Specifications: Battery life of about 2-3 hours of active use, 2 weeks of standby time, Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit, Automatic pupillary distance calibration, Built-in Speakers with audio 3.5 mm jack.
3. Vuzix M-100: It is based on android and comes with direct on board processing features and a camera to capture and display augmented reality. The device has a few pre-installed apps as well.
Specifications: 5MP camera, 1080p video, Bluetooth, 11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 6 hours of battery life, 4GB internal memory, Built-in GPS.
4. ORA-1: This device has a movable screen and a built in camera to capture instant pictures and videos. Android applications can also run locally on the ORA-1 headset.
Specifications: 5MP camera, 1080p video recording, Bluetooth 4.0, 11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 4GB internal memory, Photochromic lenses.
5. Espon Moverio BT-200: This device is great for watching HD content and also supports 3D. It runs on Android and gives users the ability to access loads of apps in the Moverio Apps Market.
Specifications: Built in camera, gyroscope, GPS, Multi-touch track pad, 8GB inner memory, 2GHz dual core processor.
6. Vuzix Wrap 310XL: This device has a widescreen 16:9 format that can play both 2D and 3D videos. The device’s level of ingenuity and performance ensures that you get picture perfect quality all the time.
Specifications: Twin high tenacity 428 x 240 LCD widescreen displays, 24 bit true color, 10 hours use from a single AA lithium battery, Video zoom mode.
7. Epson V11H423020 Moverio BT-100: It is the world’s first Android-based, see-through wearable display. This headset features a micro-projection technology and a compact Android-powered controller.
Specifications: Android-based controller, 4GB micro SD HC memory card, Lens shade, 6 hours battery life.

How Virtual Reality is transforming healthcare:

Everything that we know about our reality comes by way of our senses. Virtual reality (VR) entails presenting our senses with a computer generated virtual environment that we can explore and interact with. A VR headset consists of 6 elements: Display, Optics, Head tracking, Motion tracking, Eye tracking and audio. Right from product design to real estate, many industries have already adopted VR and related technologies, and nowhere are the benefits of VR greater than in healthcare.
Specialists, surgeons and other medical practitioners have found their own uses of Virtual Reality technology. Medical researchers have been developing ways to create 3D models of patients’ internal organs using VR since the 1990s. The advances in computing have made it possible for designers to create simulated images that are much more realistic.
X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans can now be turned into high resolution 3D images within a minute, which would have taken over a week to create twenty years ago. Certain complicated procedures can present unique challenges to surgeons and require precise planning.
In recent years, 3D visualization has become a game changer for these kinds of complex procedures. Using VR to treat patients is a lot more fun for both doctors and patients. VR headsets are also used to immerse patients into the virtual world, taking their focus off the discomforts associated with medical problems and treatments such as minimally invasive procedures.
VR is also proven to be useful in reducing anxiety in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy infusions. Being in a hospital can be stressful, especially for an extended period. Virtual Reality helps in recreating an environment that patients like while they are recovering in the hospital.
For patients with brain injury, doctors can use virtual environments as an assessment tool, observing patients carrying out a variety of real-world tasks and identify areas of memory loss, reduced attention or difficulty with decision-making.
One of the biggest advantages of VR is that it allows for learning new skills in a safe environment. Conventional ways of training nurses or doctors can be time consuming and expensive. Healthcare professionals can use VR to practice various medical procedures, learn anatomy and much more. With the help of VR technology, doctors can also perform procedures being in a different location using robotic devices.
The list of applications of VR in healthcare services is almost endless. VR is expected to boost the learning and teaching experience in medicine.

Augmented Reality for Education:

Bridging the gap between the virtual and physical worlds, Augmented Reality changes the way we see, imagine and learn about the world around us. This technology enriches the real world with digital information and media such as 3D models and videos, overlaying in real-time and can be viewed on a smartphone, tablet, PC or connected glasses.
Despite the large scale implementation of Augmented Reality in multiple industries, it is still in the initial stages in the education field. Augmented Reality technology has the potential to make classes more engaging and information more coherent. It enables students and teachers to visualize 3D models in real world, real time and at scale.
The goal of educators is to get students interested in the subject and this is where AR will come in handy. A major percentage of young adults use smartphones to access social platforms, play games and to be in connection with family and friends. Connecting reality and digital content opens up more options for teachers and students.
AR provides students with additional digital information about any subject and makes complex information easier to understand. For example, data such as a short bio of a person, fun and interesting facts, historical data about sites, appealing visual 3D models and much more, would give students a wider understanding of topics.
AR technology has the ability to render objects that are hard to imagine and turn them into 3 dimensional models, making it easier to understand abstract and complicated content. By incorporating Augmented Reality, teachers will be able to involve students in the learning process at a whole new level. Medical students can use Augmented Reality apps to learn about the anatomy and workings of the human body. Students belonging to technical faculties need practice and hands-on experience in their areas of specialty.
The continued development of great new Augmented Reality apps seems to indicate that there is going to be wide scale integration of this technology into classrooms. A great place for educators to start are premade resources that bring pages of textbooks with AR technology, to life.

The rise of IoT technology:

Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of embedded devices, software sensors, home appliances, physical devices, vehicles and network connectivity which enables to connect objects and exchange data. IoT creates opportunities by generating new business models with changes in work processes, improvements in productivity, cost containment and enhanced customer experiences.
Organizations can quickly access more data about processes and products from autonomous end points. IoT has multiple applications in various industries. Right from healthcare and agriculture to home automation and logistics, this new technology has been successfully implemented to make operations quick and seamless. It is based on event-driven architecture and operates through internet connectivity. It is estimated that there will be over 20 billion connected devices by the year 2020.
Even for companies that don’t directly deal with technology, IoT will have a major impact on how business is done. Smart devices will be able to track, record patterns of consumer behavior and even making intelligent product recommendations and customized searches in new and innovative ways. Businesses can utilize these real time and data-based insights to come up with better advertising and marketing strategies.
With IoT, companies will have access to data from every stage of the consumer buyer cycle. The impact of IoT on B2B and B2C activities can be measured in three ways: By the user, by the buyer and by the setting owner.
Digital Twin technology will help organizations to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, giving insight into the changes required for the future. For businesses that rely on warehousing, manufacturing or storage, IoT will revolutionize the way inventory is tracked and managed, saving time for staff to perform more cognitively demanding tasks.
A whole new world of possibilities could open up for companies to manage employees working in remote locations, achieved with multiple devices all wired into the same network.
With IoT, consumers will have access to new ways of research and purchasing that will help decrease the length of the buying cycle. As we rely on connected devices to make our lives easier, security is a must. Everyone in the IoT ecosystem is responsible for the security of the devices and data. i.e. Manufacturers, application developers, consumers, operators, integrators and enterprise businesses should all follow a multi-layered approach to ensure security.
Leading industries are quickly moving towards implementing IoT solutions that drive the bottom line. BMS Innolabs is one of the leading tech solutions providers, who help clients with innovative business models integrating IoT technology. IoT will be one of the primary drivers of the digital transformation in 2018 and beyond. Is your business ready for the IoT?

The role of Artificial Intelligence:

In the age of digital transformation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a huge impact on businesses and on society as well. Humans have reached a point where biological evolution can’t keep up with the pace of change. The world has become far complex than our brains can handle.
Nowadays, aspects like economics, politics, culture, outcome of wars that change history and much more are all driven by technology. The human brain can’t help but misconstrue about every possible stimulus in our daily lives. This is where AI comes in and brings about a paradigm shift in the way we perceive the world and everything that happens in it. AI will bring about one of the biggest technological revolutions in history.
As technology and our understanding of how our minds work has progressed over time, our concept of what constitutes AI has changed too. AI devices are classified into two fundamental groups. Systems such as those designed to trade stocks, navigate autonomous vehicles and other similar applications fall under the Applied AI category. Systems that have led to the development of concepts like Machine Learning belong to the Generalized AI category.
One of the ways to create Artificial Intelligence is through Machine Learning (ML). It is dynamic and does not require human intervention to make changes, making it less susceptible to human errors. Neural networks, which is designed to classify information the same way the human brain does has been key to teaching computers to think like we do. Based on the data fed to it, these networks will be able to take decisions and make predictions with a degree of certainty.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another field of AI that is heavily reliant on Machine Learning. It helps machines understand the vast complexity of human language and respond in a way that is comprehensible by the audience. Industries in all sectors, right from healthcare to banking and manufacturing can use AI to automate a number of tasks.
Much of the progress we have seen in the recent years is thanks to changes in how we perceive AI working, which has been brought about by Machine Learning. Deep Learning (DI) is another field that is a subset of Machine Learning. It refers to the number of layers in a neural network.
Something that has been treated by technologists as an inevitability is the fact that we will eventually develop a human-like AI that will play a major part in shaping the future.

The potential of Amazon’s Alexa.

Amazon’s Alexa is a cloud based voice service that is available on millions of devices from Amazon and other third party device manufacturers. It is a unique and intelligent personal assistant device and can be used for playing music, preparing to- do lists, set alarms, check for traffic updates, weather forecasting and much more. It can organize and operate different electronic devices as well.
With Alexa, developers can create unique and engaging experiences for users to interact with technology they use every day. There are several tools, APIs and documentation that are readily available for developers to build custom solutions with Alexa. Businesses can create habit-forming voice experiences that keep customers coming back. Alexa has capabilities or Skills to serve different tasks and bring the convenience of hands-free voice control to any connected device for end users.
Through the Alexa Voice Service(AVS) companies can add a new intelligent interface to their products, offering customers access to a number of Alexa features. Voice control can be enabled by adding Alexa to smart home devices like smart cameras, lights, entertainment systems and more.
In November, Amazon announced the Alexa for business service that makes it easier for companies to use Alexa in the workplace. It opens up a number of opportunities for developers to build skills that help organizations and employees increase productivity. Administrative features provide organizations with the ability to manage skills, users, and devices across various departments. Users can be invited to use these skills or group of skills on their personal devices as well.
The Alexa Skills Kit(ASK) can be used by businesses to enable employees to use Alexa at their desks to quickly find information like latest sales data or inventory levels. Developers can create any number of skills for Alexa for business customers. For example, a skill to provide definitions to industry terms, a skill to provide industry specific news briefings, a skill to control video conferencing equipment and much more. With the release of Echo, the power of voice with visual display can be combined to deliver a new and innovative way for customers to interact across various voice and graphical user interfaces. The visual displays of Echo are designed to enhance the voice experience, which means that developers can complement the skill interactions with text, imagery, video, touch input and more.
Voice-enabled devices with a visual display create unique opportunities for developers to re-imagine voice innovations. By combining voice user interface (VUI) and a graphical user interface (GUI), engaging interactions can be designed to achieve enhanced customer experience. The Amazon Alexa mobile app is available on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Google’s plans for improving app security – What does it mean for developers?

Tech giant Google’s Android OS runs on more mobile devices than any other operating system in the world. In 2017 alone, 82 billion apps were installed from the Play store. App security has always been one of the major requisites that end users demand. There can be no compromise on the security front. Google developers and support teams are working in innovative ways to achieve higher data security levels.
Mobile applications collect a lot of user information that includes name, email id, location and much more. Google recently launched an enhanced security and performance improvements for 2018. Developers can expect changes to be made to how apps access user accounts. The user’s system data and device features will not be accessible to apps without explicit permission. This change will enforce protection against malware and ensure overall security.
For access to protected device data, developers must include permission tags in the app manifest. From the second half of 2018, new apps will have to operate at the most recent API level. Users will receive the list of permissions at run-time and can be revoked at their leisure, thereby giving them complete control over what private data is accessed by their most used apps.
These updates are aimed to limit the mobile app’s access to potentially dangerous permissions. Requests for a user’s calendar, camera, contacts, location, microphone, SMS, or storage are classified under the dangerous permissions group. Currently, if an app gains access to any function under this group, the system will automatically grant access any other function within that group. But in future developers will have to keep in mind that every call for private data will rely on user authorization.
Although these new updates will limit security risks, they might lead to reduced functionality and user experience. So far, android has helped developers to use data information to enhance functionality for better user experience. However, the new security limitations, functional details like remembering passwords, capturing text, and even personalizing colors and graphics will all be subject to the new rules.
The security overhaul will by default prevent the OS from trusting user-added certificate authorities (CAs). The safe-by-default option was implemented to promote uniformity while managing file based app data. The new development guidelines offer a standardized protocol for integrating trusted system CAs by implementing improved APIs for defining trust. Another major change that will be implemented in 2019 is that the developers will have to build their apps on the 64 bit version apart from the 32 bit version. To further reinforce the authenticity of the app, Google is going to add more security metadata on top of the APK.
All the above mentioned guidelines will have to be followed by developers while launching or updating their apps. With the increase in the number of android apps on the play store, it has become important to upgrade security measures and also ensure unmatched performance.