Samsung, the popular electronics manufacturer, has announced headway into their work to develop technologies that allow televisions to be controlled with brain waves alone. This technology is being developed with the disabled in mind - such as quadriplegics or people with other conditions that affect the use of their hands. Samsung's goal is to create the ability for these people to change channels and adjust sound volume with their mind.
This project was started in partnership with the Center of Neuroprosthetics of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Their first task? Figure out what signals the brain puts off when it wants to control a TV. Once they determined those factors, researchers combined those with environmental factors and used machine learning to allow the user to select shows from a menu using eye movements and brainwaves. However, at this time the user must wear a headset that houses 64 sensors and enlist the use of an eye tracker. Samsung's goal is to move the technology a step further and do away with the eye tracker to make the system accessible to those who do not have reliable control over their eyes as well as making the system usable with fewer customizations for individual brains.
Samsung isn't alone in the software for your brain market - Elon Musk has dabbled in the tech with his Neuralink startup and scientists have long been working to create a digital interface for the brain. Should this technology ever come about it stands to replace touch screens and voice assistants.
The current barrier to the technology is that users must coat their head in a conductive gel to allow the sensors to pick up signals. It's not the most stylish thing.
Samsung will continue to work on its technology and refine it with the help of the disabled - only time will tell where the technology goes.
This article was based on a November 8, 2018 CNET article by Shara Tibken.
PaperFree partner OpenText recently announced the introduction of their OpenText Extended ECM Enabler for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service. This solution combines OpenText's ECM portfolio with Dynamics 365 for Customer Service to improve customer service workflows and customer engagement - in short, it integrates content services into processes. This solution was developed in partnership with Contesto.
From the press release:
"A direct relationship between an organization and its customers is vital for a successful business," said Patricia E. Nagle, senior vice president, CMO, OpenText. "Extended ECM allows customer-facing employees to contribute and consume critical business content from directly within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 business applications. Armed with the right information, data and insight, employees can provide a more personalized experience to customers, helping the intelligent and connected enterprise to drive revenue, loyalty and success."
Nagle continued "With these new capabilities and integrations into Microsoft Dynamics 365, OpenText continues to define the future of work and digital business. This latest announcement is evidence of the strength of our ongoing relationship with Microsoft, including the availability of multiple certified OpenText products, and the ability to run all OpenText solutions on Microsoft Azure."
"As an OpenText partner, Contesto designs, builds and implements OpenText solutions to manage and deliver the right information, at the right time. We specialize in delivering content services to digital enterprises. Leveraging the rich capabilities of the OpenText Extended ECM Platform was a natural choice for us," said Christine Brandtzæg, CEO, Contesto AS. "We see a significant opportunity for organizations using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service to benefit from information fueled business processes."
The solution improves business processes in sales and service scenarios, collaboration, and customer service from both structured and unstructured content. However, customer-facing roles continue to be supported by the Dynamics 365 application while the improved ECM database feeds the backend to provide enhanced access to information.
OpenText has additional products to connect the digital workplace - OpenText Content Server; Documentum Content Server; Media Management; Archive Center, Application Governance & Archiving for SharePoint; Extended ECM Platform, Web Site Management and Capture Center.
This article was based on an October 29, 2018 OpenText Press Release.
Earlier this week PaperFree partner OpenText announced the introduction of their new OpenText Qfiniti for Amazon Connect product, a "self-service, cloud-based contact center solution that enables any business to deliver better customer service at a lower cost."
OpenText Qfiniti targets companies utilizing Amazon Connect and offers a competitive workforce tool. It offers full call playback, advanced analytics, and quality monitoring resources, screen capture, and more to offer flexibility, efficiency, and adherence to regulations. It promises modular, easy to use interfaces, and more freedom for contact center operations due to the cloud-based nature of Amazon Connect. Plus, with its cloud platform it is less reliant on products from assorted vendors and their required updates and service contracts.
“For the intelligent and connected enterprise, delivering premium customer service is a powerful competitive differentiator. Customers, who are increasingly engaging contact centers on multiple channels, still expect to receive exceptional service,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, vice chair, CEO and CTO, OpenText. “The integration of Qfiniti with Amazon Connect signals a new standard in cloud-based customer support and workforce optimization and enables all organizations using Amazon Connect to deliver world-class customer support, while ensuring deep and meaningful insight into the data and information that these interactions produce.”
Qfiniti is available now on AWS Marketplace.
This article was based on an October 23, 2018 OpenText press release.
PaperFree partner Dell EMC recently announced their new Dell EMC Cyber Recovery and Cyber Recovery Services products - both designed to serve as a "last line of data protection defense against ransomware and destructive cyber attacks." These software packages include automation, workflow, and security analytics tools to help isolate secure copies of critical data in a way that those copies are protected, but still available for use should a system recovery need to be made.
Cyber attacks have become all too common - crippling organizations for extended periods while they piece their data back together - and carry a high cost. Dell EMC Cyber Recovery integrates with Dell EMC Data Domain protection storage software and works by combining the benefits of data isolation and business continuity to help lesson the effects of a cyber attack, while easing the process of recovering from one. Dell EMC Cyber Recovery automates isolated storage of secure copies of critical data within a "Cyber Recovery Vault", thus removing the data from the attacked area of the network. Plus, it offers a helpful venue for security analytics work.
“Malicious insiders and sophisticated cyber attackers, especially those that employ ransomware, are known to deliberately target data protection and backup infrastructure,” said Beth Phalen, President, Data Protection, Dell EMC. “We take a layered approach to data protection within the portfolio and with our Dell EMC Cyber Recovery software and Services, helping ensure true data isolation and a last line of data protection defense for business-critical data from a variety cyber threats.”
Dell EMC Cyber Recovery Services is a complimentary product to Cyber Recovery that offers analysis, training, and advices on how to fine tune security needs of a customer's specific system. According to Dell EMC the process of the Cyber Recovery Services is as follows:
Workshop: During this one-day workshop, consultants share Dell EMC best practices for business resiliency with a strong focus on cyber recovery.
Advisory: The advisory service builds on the Workshop by adding development of a high level cyber recovery strategy. The customer’s current and desired state is analyzed to create a tailored strategy for cyber recovery preparedness.
Advisory & Roadmap: The advisory & roadmap builds on the advisory service with a deeper dive into customer’s cyber recovery strategy to recommend an optimized implementation roadmap. This includes developing a cyber recovery maturity model report, which benchmarks the customer’s current state against industry best practices. Also included is a critical materials workshop and information session to collect data on the customer’s applications to understand criticality to the business. These considerations will help drive recommendations of data and applications which should be protected by the Cyber Recovery Vault.
Deployment: New deployment services help maximize the capabilities of Dell EMC Cyber Recovery Solutions. They can be added to the ProDeploy Enterprise Suite or purchased separately and are available in two variations to fit customer needs.
Implementation: Dell EMC Services can also customize the implementation of the Cyber Recovery Solution to account for a variety of additional use cases. This can include hardening of additional Dell EMC technology, developing detailed operational procedures and implementing custom dashboards and reporting.
Del EMC Cyber Recovery and Cyber Recovery Services are available now.
This article was based on an October 17, 2018 Dell EMC press release.
AirAsia, a Malaysia-based low cost airline, recently revealed insight on how it's utilizing Google Cloud services and a "data-first" attitude to help passenger experiences be "more personal and less friction-filled" across their network. These insights were shared at the Google Cloud Next '18 conference in London by AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes.
The overall goal of this technological effort is to remove the "friction" in air travel. Friction comes about with flight delays, missed flights, passport control, and even paper waste in the form of luggage tags. Their effort involves installing IoT sensors on their aircraft fleet to anticipate maintenance needs so that downtime can be scheduled more effectively with less passenger interruption, and also more closely analyzing the physical spaces used at airports to see if passenger foot routes are causing problems. And, on the luggage tag front, AirAsia is investigating methods that allow for reusable tags that update based on a passenger's itinerary.
Advancements are also coming to passport and immigration controls at many major airports, such as facial recognition and automated passport checks.
AirAsia is looking to also use customer data to personalize their experience, such as seat preferences, food, and more. With some investment into technology, AirAsia stands to set their flight experiences apart from other low cost carriers in their market.
As part of this project, the airline has also migrated major operations onto Google Cloud as part of a major IT overhaul. Key Google Cloud resources they're utilizing include BigQuery data warehousing and Google Data Studio for business intelligence management. They've also found great success in promoting communication between departments with the G-Suite software as well.
AirAsia has already seen benefits from their IT efforts by way of customer satisfaction and employee morale, and hopes the trend continues.
This article was based on an October 11, 2018 ComputerWeekly article by Caroline Donnelly
Car crashes at intersections account for 20% of annual traffic deaths, and automakers Honda and Volkswagen are working to lower that number. Though the two companies aren't working together, they're approaching the problem in similar ways with the use of connected technology at smart intersections.
Honda has been working with city of Marysville, Ohio - a place best known for the Honda plant that produces the popular Accord and several Acura models - to develop and implement intersections that are compatible with future cars' onboard sensors. Using vehicle-to-x (V2X) communications and proprietary software, Honda aims to have intersections monitor the roadway for potential hazards and alert drivers in the area to be on the lookout. These hazards include cyclists, pedestrians, emergency vehicles, and others and they'll be watched over by a system of four cameras that continuously create a bird's eye view of the intersection. If the system detects something it deems worth an alert, a notification will be sent to vehicles in the area via short-range (1,500') communications network. Then, it's on drivers to heed that warning and exercise due caution. Currently, these warnings are received in the vehicle via a third party device, but Honda hopes to have the system integrated into vehicles as standard equipment one day.
Volkswagen's system is much the same, though they're working with the city of Wolfsburg (notable as Volkswagen has offered vehicles in a special "Wolfsburg Edition" trim in the past) and Siemens. They plan to make their entire fleet of new vehicles compatible with the system by 2019. However, Volkswagen wants to up the ante and have the system serve double duty as a traffic mitigation tool. By connecting vehicles to traffic signals, signals can more accurately adjust their timing and can even help cars catch a "green wave" of lights - reducing emissions, travel times, and stop and go traffic.
While most drivers do exercise caution and check for hazards, it's easy to get distracted or complacent, and unfortunately it's usually the pedestrian or cyclist that loses. Honda's and Volkswagen's systems will be a big help to remind drivers of actual dangers, and will hopefully return the result of safer roadways.
This article was based on an October 5, 2018 Roadshow by CNET article by Andrew Krok.
Apex Oil Company, a provider of wholesale distribution, storage and transportation of petroleum products across the United States recently enlisted the M-Files platform to streamline the user experience of their enterprise service management solution Cherwell and to improve document management company-wide. The Cherwell/M-Files integration was achieved through a custom connector developed by a M-Files partner.
M-Files' unique architecture of linking data based on relationships instead of directories proved to be especially useful for the Cherwell integration. With it, documents can be more quickly accessed and understood, and fewer pieces of information go missing. This, plus M-Files' Intelligent Metadata Layer sourcing data from other systems mean that Cherwell users have one point of access for all the information they need.
“We chose M-Files because it provides this great concept of organizing documents with metadata versus storing them in folders,” said Gary Fleming, director of information services at Apex Oil. “Instead of thinking about where to store a document, you simply define what it is, and then you’re able to easily find that document by searching for it using metadata or the content of the document itself. Or better, you don’t even have to search for it because it's directly related to the object you are working with in Cherwell. We knew from the beginning that integrating service and information management would be great, but when you actually see this working for the first time, with your documents in M-Files showing up right with your customers and incidents in Cherwell in a nice and structured way, you think, ‘Wow – this is really cool.’”
Apex Oil Company has seen other benefits from their M-Files integration - their security and compliance efforts have been improved with the addition of precise access rights to documents, a feature offered by M-Files to control who has access to what data.
Apex Oil Company is pleased with their M-Files solution and is reaping the benefits from it daily. PaperFree is a M-Files partner and is ready to show you how the solution can improve your business. Learn more about M-Files.
This article was based on a September 20, 2018 M-Files press release.
Saint Louis University (SLU) recently introduced 2,300 Amazon Echo Dot assistants to its student living spaces in an effort to make information more readily available on demand. These devices have been customized to be able to answer specific questions about the university, such as library hours, and there are plans to expand their implementation into classrooms, offices, and meeting rooms.
Currently, the system has 130 custom queries available and SLU is working on more. The goal is to reduce the time that students, faculty, and staff spend searching for informaiton, especially when that information is simple in nature such as locations of university services or events.
SLU isn't the only university using virtual assistants on its grounds - Arizona State University and Northeastern University have Echo programs - but SLU's program is among the largest deployments to date. SLU believes that the devices serve to attract more students, and could even be a deciding factor to incoming freshmen making their final college picks. In fact, SLU's Echo Dot program is just the first in a series of plans to add voice interfaces to the university, all with the goal of improving productivity through instant access to data.
SLU went through some trial and error adopting the Amazon platform, but has seen great results and eager students with their choice. Students prefer the ease of the Amazon platform and the added functionality of the Alexa for Business platform has made managing the devices much easier for the university. Given the volume of deployed devices, easy, centralized management is critical.
To address security, the university put the devices on their own dedicated, secure network and students are informed on how to use privacy features. Plus, the devices are not linked to any specific accounts so there is less worry about compromised accounts. The downside of this is that popular account-based services such as Spotify are unavailable. The university plans to introduce individual devices in the future, but only after it has fleshed out a security plan for that use.
The university is still plotting out how best to utilize the technology at its fingertips, but has solid plans for how to improve productivity and access to information as they get more acquainted with their devices.
This article was based on an August 28, 2018 Computerworld.com article by Andrew Finnegan.
URLs have become ubiquitous in our time - nearly every company and individual has some sort of online presence - all with associated URLs. And, while URLs for the biggest names are generally easy to guess (simply add a .com to their name) - that's not always the case, as is such with nissan.com and companies that use .biz or .info top level domain names. Worse yet, a wrong guess can land you on a webpage that you definitely don't want to be on. Google wants to take the guesswork out of URLs.
But they also want to do something else - they want to make URLs safer. With more and more web traffic being handled over mobile devices it's easy for users to not be able to see complete URLs on their screens, especially now that URLs often contain long strings of dynamically-generated unintelligible characters or users travel to sites via shortened URLs like tinyurl. This makes it easier for cyber criminals to get unsuspecting users onto their malicious lookalike sites, where they phish data, download viruses, and ultimately defraud visitors.
So, how do we make URLs easier and safer? Well, "we haven't quite figured that part out yet", says Google. However, they're exploring new avenues to accomplish the task and hope to have results in the coming months. In the meantime, they're analyzing how users utilize URLs, share them, search for them, and so on so that the new solution offers all the usability that current URLs have.
Whatever the solution may be, Google expects it to be radical and controversial.
This article was based on a September 4, 2018 Wired article by Lily Hay Newman
PaperFree partner OpenText recently announced new additions to its solution lineup specifically designed for the legal sector. OpenText™ Legal Center is a cloud-based enterprise information management product that integrates with OpenText eDOCS and is specially designed to manage client onboarding and document sharing. In addition to this announcement, OpenText also shared news of a new suite of specialized products for the legal market. These new additions will create new advancements and opportunities in the market, which is currently served by solutions such as eDOCS, Axcelerate, EnCase and Decisiv.
These products are aimed at large legal firms and serve their need for document management, forensics, and review both within their caseload and for regulatory compliance and investigations.
“Law firms, governments, and corporate legal departments must continually evaluate their processes to remain effective and competitive in a rapidly changing climate,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, OpenText Vice Chair, CEO, and CTO. “OpenText is a leader in legal tech with solutions to help our customers manage the huge volumes of data they collect and generate, while incorporating the benefits of automation and AI. OpenText is committed to expanding our leadership in the legal tech field and helping our legal customers manage information and apply next-generation solutions to improve operational effectiveness, deliver insights, and maximize existing technology investments”
“With our acquisitions of Guidance Software and Recommind, OpenText has expanded and enhanced our solution set,” continued Barrenechea. “Combining these solutions with our industry-leading EIM platform, new AI and ML capabilities, and our experienced professional services organizations allows OpenText to provide a range of solutions unmatched in the legal market today.”
According to OpenText, these solutions will help clients:
- Securely manage legal content and automate processes: balancing security with access, users can effectively manage sensitive documents and leverage them for repeatable processes.
- Intelligently search documents and identify experts: a powerful search function is able to locate desired documents with incomplete keywords and can help identify who within the organization is an expert in that particular piece of information.
- Forensically collect evidence: collect data from electronic devices while adhering to applicable laws.
- Expedite large-scale eDiscovery review and investigations: machine learning assists with the extensive processing of documents while ensuring compliance.
OpenText will be demonstrating their full portfolio of legal solutions at ILTACON 2018.
This article was based on a August 20, 2018 OpenText press release.
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