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Benefits of Smart Devices for People Living with Disabilities

smart devices

Thanks to technology, life has become incredibly convenient. We can buy stuff online, talk to family and friends across the country and the globe, and control numerous smart devices through our tablet or smartphone. Those taking advantage of the Internet of things include the world’s largest minority, namely, individuals with disabilities.

In addition to the many other technologies of our digital world, disabled individuals benefit from the use of smart devices. It’s a lot like how the general public gets to enjoy the benefits of website accessibility. When websites are made accessible, it improves the user experience for all. If you’re not sure about getting on this technological trend, let us give you the reasons why you should.

What are smart home devices?

google miniA smart home is a residence that features devices interconnected with each other via the Internet that will enable the owner to remotely monitor and control them. Smart home devices include appliances, lights, thermostats, doorbells, door locks, cameras, speakers, etc.

How does a device qualify as a smart home device? Technically, any product inside your home that can be plugged into your home network and commanded by voice, remote control, tablet, or smartphone is considered a smart device.

How does smart home technology help people with disabilities?

Having your devices “talk” to each other has obviously transformed the lives of many people, but what has it done for those who are living with disabilities? How do these smart home devices help improve their daily lives?

A smart home system gives control to people with disabilities. These devices can help them enjoy independent living while easing the worries of their loved ones. They’re giving power to this community while providing them with cost savings. Smart devices are considerably less expensive than single-purpose assistive devices.

disabilityHow do smart home systems do all of that? One good example is a smart door sensor that is connected to smart speakers. Blind people can use this smart home technology to let them know if someone has entered or left the house. Another good example is the Amazon Echo program.

This personal assistant device can listen to your voice commands and control Bluetooth-enabled devices and appliances. People with limited physical mobility no longer need to get up to change the thermostat or to get in touch with a loved one. Opening curtains or blinds can be difficult for some people with restricted mobility. Having a smart device enables them to perform this task with ease.

Robotic vacuum cleaners, smoke alarms, ovens, and even coffee makers are just some of the other things that can be controlled using smartphones or even just spoken commands. As such, people living with disabilities are given the “ability” to perform tasks that they used to ask others to perform for them. It increases accessibility without requiring them to make changes to how their home is designed or built. Simply put, this type of technology provides them with “home control,â€� which can make a huge difference in how they can live their everyday life.

Best devices to make your home smarter

Door sensors

If you’re investing in a smart device, security should be your top priority. What better way to make your house secure than to get a door sensor? A door sensor sends you an alert whenever someone tries to enter your home. You’ll never have to worry about leaving your home unattended again because you’ll know immediately if your door opens.

For people living with disabilities such as dementia, loved ones can feel much safer with a door sensor installed. It eases their mind because they’ll be able to know right away if their family member leaves home without them.

Electronic door locks

A smart lock enables you to open and lock your doors remotely. It ensures you’re never locked out of your home—something that can easily happen if you forget your key or the code into your house.

It also allows you to provide people temporary access to your homes whenever you want it. In fact, you can even dictate the number of times and days someone can go in and out of your home. With a smart lock, you’re not just able to provide access. You’re also able to monitor access.

Motion sensors

motion sensorMotion sensors, as we all know, can detect movement in an area where there shouldn’t be any. These play an integral role in any security system. It can alert you when your children are entering an area in the home (like the basement) when they shouldn’t be; It will let you know if your teen is breaking curfew or going out while you’re asleep. Also, It will alert you when intruders are going into your home.

With a smart home system, you can set up your motion sensor to trigger other connected devices such as lights or alarms. These devices can even be used to help you save money. For example, you can set the device to turn off lights whenever there is no motion detected in a room for a certain period.

Smart lights

Smart lighting is more than just being able to turn your lights on and off remotely. It enables you to control lighting levels allowing you to change a bulb’s brightness to suit your needs and/or the time of day. It also allows you to save energy. As we’ve already mentioned, you can connect motion sensors with your smart lighting allowing you to turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms. In short, you’re able to conserve electricity as well as your personal energy.

Voice assistants

Voice assistant technology has transformed the lives of everyone. Commanded through voice, it is a software that performs as a digital assistant providing users with a service through an application. A good example of voice assistants includes Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.

With a voice assistant, you can control various devices through one specific app or device, such as the Amazon Alexa app, Amazon Echo, or Google Nest. Among other things, you can use it to call loved ones, search Google, watch a movie, create a shopping list, set reminders, and alarms, play music, lock the door, and change the thermostat. No hands required.

Video doorbells

A video doorbell is just as the name suggests. Your doorbell has a camera that records video. Why should you install it? Well, this smart device is a great criminal deterrent. Seeing a camera recording their actions just outside your door can make them think twice about breaking into your home. You can record everyone that goes to your door, which provides you with valuable video footage that can serve as evidence of a crime or blackmail material for a loved one.

Another benefit to this device is that it allows you to watch over your Amazon deliveries while you’re out of the home. It will also enable you to screen your visitors during those days when you’d rather be left alone.

Leak sensors

As you’ve probably already guessed by its name, this smart device alerts you whenever it detects a leak. Traditional devices will sound an alarm, which only works when you’re at home and can hear it. With a leak sensor such as a smart water leak detector, you get the alert on your smartphone.

Why would you need this? Prevention is better than a cure. Water damage is hard to detect until it has become a visible problem. That could cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Some people with disabilities might not have the ability to search for a leak. With a smart leak sensor installed in areas where leaks are likely to occur, they’ll get notified if and where it happens.

Thermostats

ThermostatsSome people like to keep their homes warm; others prefer it cooler. A smart thermostat allows you to set the temperature inside your home just the way you want it. Why is this important?

Well, with a smart thermostat, you can lower the heat while you’re out of the house to save on costs and then warm it up when you’re on your way home. For people living with disabilities, being able to remotely control the temperature of their home is a convenience that makes life easier.

Smart home devices are easy to install and setup.

Smart home devices can be intimidating to some of us. It sounds too much like science fiction, but the future is now. People don’t have to be afraid of this technology because it’s easy to install and set up. Most smart devices are designed to be user-friendly. Moreover, for most of them, you only need to install an app and plug the device into your home network.

Advantages of using smart home technologies

The advantages of a smart home are too numerous to cover in just a short article. For this reason, we’ll only cover five, but these are the big ones.

Home assistant

House chores certainly have never been this easy to accomplish. You can use your smart home devices to preheat your oven, get your coffee going, or have the carpet vacuumed while you’re miles away. Some smart home devices can even let you know when your food has cooked to perfection on the grill and is ready to serve. All of that is done without lifting more than a finger.

Smart heating/cooling

With a smart thermostat, you can make sure your home is warm and ready to welcome you in its arms as soon as you get home. Adjust your water temperature so that you’re ready for a hot shower as soon as you step through the door. The cooling and heating of your home is easily achieved through your smartphone.

Save energy and money.

Smart home devices enable you to regulate how much energy is spent in your home. You can lower the heat while you’re out of the house by only turning it up when you’re about to get home. You can turn off lights in unoccupied rooms or dim them down to keep energy costs low. Some applications can even help you monitor how much energy your household is using and notifies you of ways you can save energy, and when you save energy, you save money.

Health tracking

Health trackingIf you want to keep an eye on your health or the health of someone you love, smart health trackers can do that for you. It can check your stress level, calories, heart rate, pulse, and even your sleep patterns.

Safety

The world is a dangerous place. There’s no doubt about that. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy a worry-free life. With smart home technology, you can keep an eye on your home whether you’re inside it or far away. If there’s an intruder when you’re at the office or a water leak while you’re on vacation, you can get notified immediately instead of when you get back home hours, if not days/weeks, later.

Smart home technology can even let you allow people access to your home if necessary while you’re not in town. Moreover, it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you’re able to lock the door even when you’re already at the airport waiting for your flight.

Conclusion:

There’s no question that smart home devices have made life easier for many consumers. For people living with disabilities, they’ve made life more normal. These devices have given them more control over how they will live their lives, enabling them to accomplish more on their own. Disabled people no longer need to rely on assistive technologies that usually only serve one purpose and cost a lot of money.

With smart home devices, their lives are better and their pockets fuller.

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Private Equity Jobs in UAE: Opportunities in Dubai

PE jobs in UAE

UAE (United Arab Emirates) has one of the most flourishing economies globally, and it continues to grow.

The bustling city of Dubai provides unparalleled opportunities for PE firms to establish themselves in one of the world’s most developed cities.

We will discuss how the world sees Dubai in terms of setting up private equity firms and how the wealthy investors see UAE-based PE (Private Equity firms as their option to make investments through.

Dubai-based private equity firms and employment opportunities offer finance graduates from all over the world.

According to Statista research, the number of VC (venture capital) deals raised by UAE-based startups in 2018 amounted to an overwhelming number of 366. A whopping 893 million US dollars got raised in venture capital the same year.

The unique factor, or USP, of Dubai, is that it has been among the fastest-booming economies for many years.

By the end of this year, UAE’s GDP will grow sky high, to USD 375 billion, as per expert opinions and forecasted by the Trading Economics global macro models.

Overview — PE Market in UAE and Dubai

PE market

The legal status of pre-seed startups in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) region in 2020. Statista

The national. ae, a reputed private English daily newspaper published in Abu Dhabi, the PE market in MENA (the Middle East & North Africa) has had struggled of late.

However, investment opportunities have increased by manifolds. The Great Recession of 2008-09 saw UAE’s private equity market surviving comfortably amid the crisis.

Excluding the disappearance of a small percentage of PE firms that could not cope with the heat brought by the recession. But, in the last few years, the public markets have overshadowed or outperformed the private equity sector.

The biggest roadblock to the growth of private equity firms in the UAE is the sudden emergence of too many firms in the PE sector of late.

Investments from Dubai’s Private Equity Firms

However, the number of investments made by Dubai’s top private equity firms has soared up in the recent past; contrary to that, some disappointments have been observed concerning PE in the said geographical region.

A few of such challenges faced by the best private equity firms based in UAE comprise a non-compatible geopolitical environment, continuous change in oil prices, and decreased federal spending.

Despite all of this, MENA’s geographical region is among the fastest-growing when it comes to gauging the median annual growth of GDP.

Services Offered by Dubai’s PE Industry

There are a limited number of services that get offered by the UAE-based private equity industry.

Compared to a wide range of services offered by its American and European counterparts, especially the US private equity firms.

Because the funds are lesser, the kind of services they offer is different than traditional funding.

You can make a private equity career in Dubai across three sub-divisions of PE.

Advisory Services

The number of funds available to private equity investment professionals in Dubai PE firms is less, but business relationships in the private equity sector matter the most.

The syndication and advisory services in the Dubai PE market are fully customizable and can solve customers’ financial issues.

Private equity firms, under advisory support — offer a significant range of services. The services include those from mezzanine and equity transactions to debt structuring. The general advisory service has all services available on demand.

Private equity professionals working in the Dubai PE market maintain healthy professional bonding with top financial institutions and investment banks globally.

Capital Advisory Assistance

Under the sub-division of Capital Advisory Assistance of PE, the services of Dubai-based firms offer major advisory services to Indian firms that seek to expand in the Middle East region.

The Capital Advisory Assistance helps as people consider Mergers and Acquisitions (M&E) deals.

Alongside offering assistance to the Indian businesses, PE firms in Dubai cater to small firms located within Dubai and the Middle East looking for expansion inorganically.

Funds Distribution

Dubai-based private equity firms are mostly MENA-region locale — but they’re regularly seeking investment growth opportunities.

The PE companies of UAE know how to make the commission or cut-it when offering advisory support. The Funds Distribution knows precisely what investors to tap onto.

The prospects PE firms of Dubai regularly seek comprise insurance firms, pension funds, large family-held assets, financial bodies under GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council), and sovereign wealth funds.

Top PE Firms of Dubai

Top Private Equity Firms based in Dubai:

  • Gulf Capital
  • CedarBridge Partners
  • The Abraaj Capital
  • NBK Capital Partners
  • Ithamar Capital

Recruitment Methodology for PE in Dubai

When seeking a position with a private equity job in Dubai or UAE, there is a protocol-process to land your perfect PE job.

Cover Letter and Resume

The first step to applying to a specific PE firm:

  • Go to the company website and find out as much about this company as possible.
  • Are you a good fit for them?
  • Find the Career section and look for HR’s email ID.
  • Send your detailed resume along with a cover letter to the HR email.
  • Ensure that your CV or resume is not more than two pages.
  • Similarly, have a precise and to the point cover letter.
  • Send these two documents to your preferred private equity firm.

Interview Shortlisting

Only 5-10 percent of all applications get shortlisted for personal interviews.

To make it to the short listings — you should give due consideration to what’s written on the “career” page of your chosen PE firm’s site.

Interview Rounds

First Round

The top-notch private equity firms in Dubai usually assign a recruitment agency for the initial round in the interview process.

The agency will conduct your first round of interviews in which your suitability for the job will be judged.

If the recruiter finds you suitable for the company, you will be sent to the next rounds of interviews for further testing.

Second Round

In the second round, you will be interviewed by the solicitor and partner of the PE firm. In the second round, you will be asked a few personality-related and technical questions.

If you qualify for this round, you will go to the next round, in which you will get to meet the HR and the MD of the firm.

Third Round

The third round is your final found. Generally, if you pass this round, you have a good chance of being hired by the firm.

PE Salaries in UAE

The Payscale of a private equity analyst in the UAE earns a median annual pay of AED 200,000.

CPEP (Chartered Private Equity Professional) Certification for those hoping to be hired as a PE Professional

CPEPâ„¢ by USPEC (the United States Private Equity Council).

This body of professionals is a globally-recognized accreditation body in the private equity sector. The CPEP by USPEC is one of the most valuable and industry-relevant professional certifications available to be acquired by the PE aspirants in recent times.

Founded on the world’s most powerful USPEC IFIS™ framework, the CPEP™ credential in the private equity sector has gained widespread prominence.

These professionals are among finance graduates and early-career PE professionals worldwide.

Check out applicability and candidacy for the PE certification before applying on the USPEC’s website.

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#Iot #Iotintransporation #Internetofthings #technologytrends #IoTtrends #technologytrends advantech Connected Devices electronics embedded systems gas sensors IIoT Industrial IoT IoT IoT sensors Smart Cities smartphone Tech

How do IoT Sensors Work?

iot sensors

The last few decades have experienced dramatic changes in the world of computers, software, and computing technology. As an engineer, it is fascinating to be a part of an era that boasts huge amounts of computing power. The most popular ones are personal computers, laptops, hand-held devices like smartphones and smart-watches.

It has become impossible to imagine and lead a life without the assistance of computing prowess. And the best part is, we are still skimming the surface of the vast computing potential lying dormant within such seemingly intelligent machines.

With the advent of Internet-of-Things (or IoT) that has taken the computing technology to the new level and redefined the word “smart� (How Smart Cities Can Help Build a Better Post-Pandemic World), it is fair to state that the excitement has only begun.

This article aims to answer the question, “how does a sensor sense?â€� and focuses on the physics of a sensor’s working.

What is Internet-of-Things (IoT)?

Engineers and scientists tend to nomenclate (picking a name for something) so that the newly coined term is self-explanatory. The term IoT is no different.

As the name suggests, IoT is an umbrella encompassing all types of devices. They are either embedded into a system or exist as an individual entity. Either way, the key is that they communicate (or talk) with each other via the internet. Every such device has an embedded transmitter and receiver that effectuates the communication process using the internet.

However, every IoT system is not the same and is not necessarily apt for all applications. As a matter of fact, they are akin to us humans. Every individual is great at something. You cannot expect an actor to fly an aircraft and a pilot to act in a film. Similarly, you cannot expect a single IoT system (and device) to do everything. Hence, engineers design different systems to perform different tasks to provide the best possible results.

In modern-day business, the customer is king and this is true across all industries. Hence, the system designers always design, produce, and ship IoT systems to provide a seamless user experience. IoT Hardware Product Development: How-To by Vera Kozyr, reiterates the time and efforts invested by all the stakeholders into creating an end-to-end, plug-and-play style system from the perspective of a hardware product.

Before exploring the innards of an IoT device, it is important to differentiate between a device and a system.

A device is like an individual member, while the system is like a team involving the individual. Thus, a device is a part of a system, while the vice-versa is not true.

Components of the IoT system

Any system comprises multiple individual components (and sub-components) that collectively work towards achieving a common goal. Moreover, being a part of a system (team) is ensures higher productivity and achieves better results. The major components of an IoT system are:

  • The Sensors to sense physical quantities
  • On-site central micro-controller that controls all the actions performed by sensors and other components
  • Cloud, Data Analysis and Processing to analyze and process the received data
  • Transmitter and Receiver to establish a communication between different sensors, sensors and micro-controller and the central cloud server via internet
  • User Interface to communicate with and perform tasks instructed by the user

IoT Sensors: The Bridge to Real World

A good example of an IoT system is a smartphone that usually consists of:

  • A Global Positioning System (GPS) module to determine the location
  •  A temperature sensor to sense the ambient temperature
  • A microphone to sense the user’s voice and,
  • A proximity sensor to sense the user’s distance from the phone and lock it during a call.

Different applications on smartphone use different sensors. For example, Google Maps has a user interface (an app) to interact with the GPS module and gather location co-ordinates. It processes the data via an internet connection to help the user route to his/her destination.

Battery Management System (BMS) is another example of an IoT system that uses multiple sensors. A BMS is an electronic system that protects and manages the operations of the battery. In short, it is the personal caretaker of the battery. I’ve explained the functioning of a smartphone BMS in my article – Battery Management System in Smartphones — in energyio.tech.

A sensor acts like a gateway between the computing world and the real world. Consequently, the sensor needs to convert whatever it senses in the real world into a special something that a computing machine understands.

Thankfully, the common link between the two worlds is electrical energy!

Hence, we arrive at the sensor’s technical definition – a sensor in an IoT system senses the desired physical quantity and converts it into an electrical signal transmitted to the central cloud-based server directly or via an on-site micro-controller.

An IoT sensor is, well, a sensor used in an IoT system.

Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) and The Sensing Mechanism of IoT Sensors

Micro-electromechanical Systems (or MEMS) is a microsystems technology (MST) consisting of minute components made up of semiconductor material like silicon with size lying in the micrometer range.

If not all, most sensors detecting mechanical energy use MEMS technology in one way or the other. An accelerometer is an extremely popular example. This is primarily due to the rapid growth and vast dependence on computers.

Since MEMS technology’s manufacturing material is a semiconductor, the primary advantage is that it can be embedded into an integrated circuit (IC). An IC includes other computing components (also made up of semiconductor material) that act on the data received from the sensors.

In fact, the small size and chip integration dramatically reduce the cost. You can literally buy a MEMS-based accelerometer for less than ₹250 ($3.34). Also, MEMS-based sensors boast high sensitivity and detect minute changes, which were unimaginable with predecessors.

Types of Sensing Mechanisms and Working Principle

Depending on the application, a system may comprise one or more sensors, sensing a different physical quantity, thereby having a unique sensing mechanism. The two of the most popular sensing mechanisms in MEMS technology that convert a physical change into an electrical signal are:

  1. Resistive based sensing
  2. Capacitive based sensing

The sensing mechanism in both the types uses a simple principle – any change in the physical quantity is captured by a change in electrical resistance or capacitance of the material used in the sensor. Thus, a larger change in the physical quantity shows a larger change in the resistance or capacitance of the material and vice-versa.

The major difference between the two types is the working of the two mechanisms. A resistive based sensing system uses, well, a resistor while a capacitive based sensing system uses a capacitor.

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of a resistor and capacitor before this article. You can read the difference between them. Think of the two components as two people with their own unique set of traits.

Resistive Based Sensing Mechanism (Using MEMS Technology)

We have been using resistive resistors to measure, analyze, control and observe various physical quantities for over a century. As mentioned earlier, whenever a physical quantity (like pressure) changes, the amount of change in the electrical resistance determines how much the quantity has changed.

The change in the electrical resistance is governed by physics principles like Photoconductive Effect, Thermoresistive Effect of Semiconductors and Piezoresistive Effect [1].

  1. Sensing via Changes in Physical Geometry – The electrical resistance of a material depends on the material’s geometry, length, and cross-sectional area. Any change in the length or/and cross-sectional area will directly affect the resistance of the material.
  2. Piezoresistive Effect – A piezoresistive material is a special material whose electrical resistance changes when the material experiences a mechanical deformation like a push, pull or squeeze. Hence pressure, vibration, and acceleration measuring IoT sensors commonly use piezoresistive materials.

Other Resistive Based Sensing Mechanisms Used in IoT Sensors

Although MEMS-based IoT sensors are extremely effective for mechanical, physical quantities, resistive-sensors’ operation detecting non-mechanical quantities like light and temperature is not the same. Thus, the sensing mechanism changes.

  1. Light Sensing – To detect light, a special light-sensitive material is required. Plants detect light with the help of special molecules called photoreceptors. Similarly, any light-sensing sensor uses photoresistors – a material whose electrical resistance decreases as the light’s intensity increases. A light-dependent resistor or commonly known as LDR is a very popular IoT sensor used to detect light.
  2. Temperature Sensing – Similar to light sensing, temperature sensing also requires materials that are receptive to changes in the ambient temperature. Most temperature sensors consist of a thermistor – a material whose electrical resistance decreases with increasing temperature. For example, one of the parameters used to prevent over-charging of modern-day lithium-ion batteries is to detect the battery temperature with thermistors’ help.
  3. Chemical Sensors – These sensors are used to detect a particular chemical. The sensor contains a sensing layer made up of a material whose resistance changes whenever it reacts with the chemical. For example, many IoT systems use the MQ series (MQ9, MQ2, MQ7, etc.) gas sensor. It detects the presence of various types of gases like carbon monoxide, LPG and methane.

Resistive-sensing in IoT sensors
Fig 1 – Resistive Based Sensors

Conversion to Electrical Signals

Arguably, the second most popular scientific equation, Ohm’s Law (V = IR), establishes a direct relationship between electrical current, voltage and resistance. The beauty of this law is that any small change in the resistance can be converted to an electrical signal (voltage or current) in a jiffy.

Conversion of physical change detected by resistive sensing to electrical signals in IoT sensors
Fig 2 – Conversion of Physical Change in Resistive Sensing to Electrical Signals

Hence, every resistive based IoT sensor (including MEMS technology) uses Ohm’s Law directly or indirectly.

Capacitive Based Sensing Mechanism in IoT Sensors

A capacitive-based sensing mechanism captures the change in physical quantity by changing the material’s capacitance and, like resistance, depends on the material’s physical geometry.

However, almost all capacitive based sensing systems predominantly rely on changes in the physical geometry – area, distance, and the material’s capacitive ability described by the amount of charge it can store.

A touch sensor is one of the most common capacitive based sensors in an IoT system. A smartphone uses a touch screen consisting of numerous touch sensors. Essentially, it is a pressure sensor that detects the pressure/force from physical touch.

When the screen is stimulated by physical touch, the pressure exerted changes the area or/and distance, which triggers a change in the value of the capacitance underneath the screen.

This change in capacitance acts like an electrical switch that drives an electrical signal to the next stage. Fig 3 illustrates the working of a touch sensor.

Working of capacitive based IoT touch sensors
Fig 3 – 2D and 3D Working of a Capacitive Touch Sensor

Similar to the resistive based sensing systems that use Ohm’s Law, capacitive based systems have their own unique relation that maps a change in the electrical capacitance to voltage and current. Unfortunately, the mathematical equation is beyond the scope of this article.

Capacitive vs. Resistive Sensing

In resistive-sensing, some physical quantities like light and temperature, require a special type of material. This is a boon and a bane! On one side, the resistance variation is unique to the quantity being measured. But on the other side, this uniqueness requires an entirely different measuring/sensing procedure.

Instead, most capacitive based sensing systems maintain a uniform sensing procedure as the change is primarily due to variations in physical geometry. Moreover, they are relatively new compared to its resistive counterpart and are currently limited to sensing mechanical systems using MEMS technology.

Conclusion

I hope I was able to explain the working of some of the commonly used sensors in IoT systems. Moreover, sensor design fabrication is only one part of an IoT. The system has to effectively process the received data and provide application-centric results by catering to the user requirements.

As it stands now, IoT sensors have penetrated the manufacturing industry and automated most manual operations leading to an entirely new branch called The Industrial IoT (IIOT).

Unlike personal computers and smartphones, the IoT technology is yet to enforce a dramatic transformation in our lives. Until then, the entire IoT ecosystem needs to continue evolving.

References

[1] W. Y. Du, S. W. Yelich, “Resistive and Capacitive Based Sensing Technologies�, Sensors and Transducers Journal, April, 2008

[2] P&S Technologies, “P&S OPC271 Opto-Potentiometer�, TNT Audio, June, 2009

[3] Wikimedia Common Contributors, “Photoresistor 2.jpg�, Wikimedia Commons, The Free Media Repository, November, 2018

[4]  “NTC Thermistor.jpg,� Wikimedia Commons, The Free Media Repository, September 2019

[5] Wikimedia Common Contributors, “R against T for a thermistor.png,� Wikimedia Commons, The Free Media Repository, July 2020

[6] Wikimedia Common Contributors, “PeizoAccelThoery.gif,� Wikimedia Commons, The Free Media Repository, July 2008

[7] Indiamart, “Standard MQ 9 Combustible Gas Sensor�

[8] D. Fischer, “Capacitive Touch Sensors,� Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe GmbH, Jan 2021

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Here’s What You Need to Know About the Future of Car Sharing

car sharing

Millions of people in large urban cities are taking advantage of car sharing. Owning a car in most cities isn’t very practical for many consumers, and they’re turning to car-sharing platforms as a means of financial savings, more efficient vehicle utilization, and personal conveniences. Here’s what you need to know about the future of car sharing.

Tremendous environmental benefits are being realized in these cities as the number of automobiles on the road reduces due to car sharing.

The United Nations predicts that at least 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities across the world by 2050. A study by ABI Research also found that the ultimate form of transportation in the car-sharing economy will be robotic service due to its convenience, affordability, and availability.

As such, 400 million people are projected to rely on Robotic Car Sharing by 2030. There’s no doubt car sharing has become part of the sustainability concepts of urban mobility today—and no doubt that its future is strong.

What is Car Sharing?

Despite its growing popularity, many people still have no idea that car-sharing has many use cases. The general population understands how traditional car-sharing works: an individual uses their own car to get rides from point A to B, as with Uber and Lyft.

Car sharing can also be a type of car rental service that allows users to rent cars parked in a network of convenient locations in the city for a few hours and only pay for their usage. You’re given access to a vehicle at any hour and return it to specific locations around the city once done with your trip.

Members don’t have the expense of owning and maintaining the vehicle but are billed based on the distance traveled and the time used.

Car Manufacturers and Car Sharing Technology

Technological advances, increased smartphone penetration, environmental concerns, and changes in consumer attitudes towards car ownership in the last several years have driven the changes in the automotive industry.

Car manufacturers were among the first industries to notice these changes, follow the trends, and enter the car-sharing market.

Transportation services giant Penske Corp jumped into the car-sharing business in 2019, giving consumers access to a fleet of Volkswagen Jetta SE vehicles at convenient locations within Washington D.C. Customers can rent their preferred vehicle per minute, hour, or day through the Penske Dash app.

Audi on Demand

Audi on Demand is another premium mobility service, boasting a wide range of the Audi brand vehicles, from the Audi A1 Sportback to the 7-seater Audi Q7.

Already, there are many Audi car owners using their vehicles to participate in car-sharing, and those individuals may choose to buy an Audi vehicle used and then purchase an extended car warranty from a company like Olive. Audi took this information and spearheaded its own program.

They launched the car-sharing service in 2016 allowing users to choose their preferred Audi vehicle on a per-day basis, up to 28 days at any given time.

Users can match specific Audi vehicles to their unique driving needs with convenience and ease. Audi’s mobility service is currently available in Heilbronn, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Liverpool, Birmingham, Barcelona, Glasgow, Munich, Manchester, and Newcastle. The automaker is still expanding to more cities in Europe.

Subscription Models in Car Sharing

Car manufacturers are testing new business models to stay ahead of new leading mobility solutions. Some choose to partner with other car-sharing services so they don’t have to take on the burden of operating the entire service. Car companies are also offering their cars using the subscription model.

For example, in 2018, Audi launched the Audi Select, a monthly vehicle subscription service that gives users access to certain 5 Audi models.

They are also given two complimentary days of Silver car rentals for their convenience when they travel. Subscribers don’t have to worry about roadside assistance costs, Insurance, maintenance costs, or mileage as they are all included in the subscription.

VW Group (Porsche Passport), Volvo (Care by Volvo), BMW (Access by BMW), Jaguar Land Rover (Carpe), and Mercedes-Benz (Collection) offer similar services for a set monthly price.

Such models of car sharing allow customers to enjoy convenience and flexibility without long-term commitment as needed by the current society.

The future of Car Sharing

Technological advancement is set to further empower the car-sharing industry. With 400 million people projected to rely on robotic car sharing by 2030, car sharing is only bound to get better.

In a study conducted by IBM, 39% of consumers preferred a car-sharing model whereas 36% would consider on-demand ride-sharing. The study further found that 42 percent of consumers would choose alternative modes of car ownership like monthly subscription pricing.

These findings show that more people, and especially millennials are becoming open to sharing rides with others as opposed to personal vehicle ownership.

Consumers should expect to see car-sharing integrate with electric and autonomous vehicles going forward. It’s even interesting to note that power companies are already gaining interest in the car-sharing trend.

A good example is Polish TAURON which launched an electric car-sharing service in 2018. Innogy, the German energy company, also launched an electric car-sharing service in Warsaw with 500 BMW i3 vehicles in 2019.

Image Credit: andrea piacquadio; pexels

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Categories
Data and Security IoT location intelligence Smart Cities

How Location Intelligence Will Create Even Smarter Cities

location intelligence smart cities

Location intelligence has gained much attention lately, especially as more businesses harness the power of this technology. Location intelligence builds on geographical information systems (GIS) tools, and its definition goes beyond the analysis of geospatial or geographic information. Here is how location intelligence will create even smarter cities.

Location Intelligence is the ability to visualize spatial data to identify and analyze relationships and trends.

The output of location intelligence is actionable insights that help both the public and private sectors to detect patterns and make strategic decisions.

Location intelligence comes from a multitude of sources, such as GPS systems, Internet of Things (IoT) data, and environmental and consumer sources. The technology is not one specific tool but rather the ability to use geospatial data to create business insights. As location intelligence grows in popularity, because its uses are multiplying, it has had an impact on an interesting global technological development: smart cities.

Location intelligence use cases.

Before diving into the implications of location intelligence on smart cities, it’s important to take a step back and look at where this technology has already made an impact.

The insurance industry.

The insurance industry has been leading the charge in the use of location intelligence. By knowing, with high accuracy, if a property is located in a flood, earthquake, or wildfire zone, insurance carriers can more draft accurate policies.

Furthermore, this technology allows carriers to take a more proactive, instead of reactive approach. Instead of simply paying out claims, these companies can help homeowners proactively protect their properties and mitigate risk by understanding the potential damage based on the area.

Financial institutions.

Financial institutions are also using location intelligence to improve fraud detection by better analyzing customer profiles. By matching customer locations and transactions, banks can better understand fraudulent behavior and avoid flagging normal activity.

Both finance companies and retail companies are also using location intelligence to send customers offers when they are near a specific store. Retail companies are taking this a step further by mapping customer behavior in-store to optimize store layout and inventory management.

As more and more industries harness the power of location intelligence, the public and the private sectors are also looking at this technology as a means to create better smart cities around the world.

Location intelligence growing smart cities.

The IESE Cities in Motion Index (CIMI) uses nine dimensions to measure the development of smart cities: human capital, social cohesion, economy, environment, governance, urban planning, international outreach, technology, and mobility and transportation.

The 2019 index (From the Business School at The University of Navarra) named London, New York, and Amsterdam as the smartest global cities based on these criteria, after reviewing 165 cities in 80 countries. Location intelligence plays a critical role in many of these nine dimensions, namely four key parts of any smart city.

Environment

Location intelligence can help with two parts related to the environment. First, natural disasters happen in large cities around the world, causing devastating consequences. From filing damage reports to opening lines of communication, location intelligence can help cities rebuild faster.

Second, location intelligence can help city developers better understand where to plan conservation projects and create green spaces around the city. The technology can also analyze air quality and measure the environmental impact a project will have during and after construction.

Urban planning

Location intelligence is crucial to 3D planning, which has become a considerable part of urban development. From the experimentation phase through construction, this technology helps make sure city planning improves the lives of those in the city and can also help to track and measure operational costs.

Technology

Technology powers almost every aspect of a smart city. According to IESE, (Media iese.edu research, University of Navarra) technology, “is an aspect of society that improves the present quality of life, and its level of development or spread is an indicator of the quality of life achieved or the potential quality of life.

In addition, technological development is a dimension that allows cities to be sustainable over time and to maintain or extend the competitive advantages of their production system and the quality of employment.� Location intelligence clearly aids in this endeavor, as both individuals and cities can use this technology to improve smart city functionality.

Mobility and transport

Smart cities around the globe are revolutionizing transportation using location and mobile data to improve traffic and congestion and optimize travel. City planners are able to harness location data to figure out where traffic is the heaviest, when, and why. Using that information, they can then solve these transit problems with new construction or more modes of transport.

Challenges: Privacy and security.

Data collection happens constantly. From ride sharing apps to food delivery services, consumers are constantly giving out location-based data. While the benefit of this is more customized services, the challenge is consumers are more aware and concerned about how their data is used.

Not only has customer awareness increased, but restrictions such as GDPR have forced companies to be more transparent in personal data collection. Furthermore, as technology advances, so do hackers intent on infiltrating these systems. Security concerns are widespread across the industry, and breaches come with heightened consequences.

On the privacy side, more consumer awareness might end up helping improve location intelligence. Consumers taking control of their data means smart cities can rely more on first-party data, rather than third-party aggregators who may not provide the most accurate data.

On the security side, this challenge will likely always remain and will take a combination of individuals protecting their own data and companies providing more transparent data use initiatives to tackle this challenge.

Location intelligence, however, will continue to grow and aid in the creation of better, smarter cities. Especially as this technology advances, and more cities compete to implement smart initiatives, more will come to rely on location intelligence as the crucial component.

Image Credit: Scott Webb; Pexels

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