Friday, May 24, 2019

Will There Be Flying Cars in The Future? Signs Point to Yes

Flying cars have been staples in science fiction for decades, believed to be the ultimate stamp of the future. From The Jetsons to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, there’s been no shortage of fascination with the concept. When it comes to the question of will there be flying cars in the future, many companies answer with a resounding yes.

The flying cars from fiction are quite a departure from what they’ll actually look like. Many imagine them as cars that can simply fly, but current iterations are more nuanced. From the AeroMobil 5.0 VTOL, which resembles a sports car crossed with a helicopter, to Dubai’s police hoverbike, which mimics a motorcycle, the landscape of flying cars is varied. There may not be a singular flying car “look,” but a few different types and styles may hit the scene.

Technically, we have the technology to craft these vehicles now. The United States already has a long history of aircraft innovation with airplanes, drones, and helicopters. There are, however, major concerns with flying cars, mostly related to space and safety.

Users will need ample take-off space, as well as large, designated zones on which to land. In crowded, urban spaces, vertical takeoff is a must to avoid crashes. Without the proper amount of space, takeoff and landing simply isn’t possible. The space requirement would make flying vehicles less than ideal for those without a lot of land, or without access to adequate space.

While space is important, safety is the biggest concern you see raised regarding this mode of transportation. For traditional cars, if something goes wrong you can simply pull over, but this isn’t an option for flying cars. The concern is for the safety of the driver and the bystanders on the ground in the event a mechanical failure occurs. These concerns must be addressed before flying car manufacturers can hope to bring these vehicles into the mainstream.

All in all, the question of if there will there be flying cars in the future is more a question of when. A slew of vehicles are already in development, and Uber hopes to offer flying rideshare services by the mid-2020s. Though these goals are lofty, with the current research and technology, it certainly isn’t out of the question. You may not see a flying car parked in every driveway, but within the next couple years, you may hear them buzzing over your head.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Benefits of Facial Recognition Software in Business

Fun Snapchat filters are just the beginning of advancements resulting from facial recognition software.  Many companies are starting to recognize the many benefits of facial recognition software and the ways it can benefit their business. This technology is continually developing—more and more companies are utilizing the software as a cost- and time-efficient alternative to standard practices.

Increased security

Unlike passwords or access cards, which someone can easily lose or steal, facial recognition software poses little threat in the way of stolen identity. With advancements such as 3D mapping and deep learning capabilities, facial recognition technologies are becoming increasingly harder to trick, making them much safer than alternate security practices. Samsung and Apple have already implemented facial mapping as a means of cell phone security; however, some companies are now considering the use of facial recognition software on a larger scale. For example, using it in place of traditional building security. Utilizing facial recognition software in this way would allow building managers to supervise all workers and visitors that come into the building and ensure maximum security for their employees.

Increased accuracy

3D facial mapping uses distinguishable facial pinpoints, such as the distance between eyes or the length of the nose, to accurately recognize the user. These advancements will make identification much quicker and easier and will have major impacts on several industries. Law enforcement will be able to utilize these technologies to more accurately identify criminals. Similarly, airports can integrate facial recognition into their security processes to recognize individuals that may be on a no-fly list. Furthermore, facial recognition software helps create a database that officials can use to identify images obtained via security cameras.

In addition to the benefits of facial recognition software in law enforcement and security practices, some companies have started using this technology to improve their sales and marketing strategies. Companies can also use facial recognition software to detect differences in emotion. Using this software, companies can attempt to understand consumer’s emotions when using their products or viewing their advertisements. This information allows advertisers to more accurately predict the buying patterns of consumers and adapt accordingly.

4 of the Major Financial Technology Trends in 2019

Each year, tech trends reinvent the way we interact with the world—including financially. From increased customer consent over data sharing to AI-driven financial advisors, these four of the many financial technology trends expected to emerge in 2019 may impact your life.

Mobile banking

Mobile apps are redefining the banking industry in 2019. From depositing checks to applying for loans, almost anything that required a visit to the bank can now be accomplished from your phone. Banks are expected to focus on creating a seamless and user-friendly digital presence and not so much on the appearance of their buildings.

AI-driven wealth managers

Automated wealth managers driven by artificial intelligence are expected to play a huge role in the investment industry this year. These bots are designed to help people make the best financial decisions with algorithms that calculate optimal investment opportunities, interest rates, and the best loan providers.

Open banking gives customers more consent over data sharing

Banking data can be shared with third parties without a customer’s consent or knowledge, but this is expected to chance in 2019. Banks will begin to implement application programming interfaces that provide customers with options to control which third parties can access to their data. These open banking APIs will also increase collaboration in the banking industry, and will likely lead to further improvements in customer service and financial transparency for account holders.

Voice-first banking

Voice-first devices are expected to completely alter the way traditional banking interactions take place in 2019. Rather than having traditional conversation, many financial institutions will allow customers to complete account transfers, establish account alerts, and make payments using voice commands.

Whether you work in the financial industry or simply have a bank account, these financial technology trends will likely have a huge impact on your life in 2019.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Dark Mode News: The Apps Driving the Dark Screen Trend

Over the past few years, dark mode has become a popular smart phone setting because it dims the background of any window’s background on your screen. People rave about dark mode’s ability to improve text readability and reduce eye strain. But many people enjoy dark mode because, well, it simply looks better.

Let’s take a look at the apps propelling the dark mode movement forward.

Apple

macOS Mojave currently offers a dark mode option that features soothing grays to replace any jarring bright colors on your screen. Many users love it, which is why many people are also confused why dark mode doesn’t exist for iPhones yet.

People are speculating, however, that Apple will soon release dark mode for iOS devices. The iOS 13 update, which is anticipated to arrive in the coming weeks, should finally bring consumers the popular dark mode theme. iPhone users will have the ability to access dark mode from the Control Center. Best of all, they can also expect the theme to conserve battery power.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome has been at the forefront of dark mode news this year, starting with its desktop applications. First, Google released Chrome 73, which supported Apple’s beloved dark mode for macOS. Essentially, if a user enabled dark mode on their Mac, Chrome browsers would also be dark. Then, Google revealed Chrome 74, which included a dark mode feature for the Windows 10 browser. Just a few days ago, Google rolled out Chrome 75 Beta;, which features an improved dark mode.

On your desktop, you’ll find dark mode in Chrome’s flags interface. You can also access dark mode on Android devices; the theme is known to save your phone’s battery life.

Facebook

At its most recent annual F8 conference, Facebook announced a site redesign across all platforms. The new interface, which the company calls FB5, will feature faster speeds and a cleaner look. Plus, the redesign puts a greater emphasis on community.

In addition to these features, FB5 will have dark mode for the web version of the social media platform, which users will certainly prefer for video experiences. This past April, Facebook also gave users the opportunity to darken their chats in Messenger. With a simple toggle, you can change the aesthetic from white to black.

Facebook recently made these changes live on U.S. and Canada mobile apps, but the desktop version should arrive in the next few months.

Other Popular Apps That Support Dark Mode

Although it seems like dark mode has gained most of its traction recently, Microsoft has spent years perfecting dark mode for Windows 10. What makes Windows 10’s dark mode stand out is that the theme is a pure black.

Twitter also has dark mode—to switch to the theme, go to your profile and select the blue lightbulb icon. YouTube has caught onto the dark mode trend as well; it has released a dark theme for both iOS and Android. We really look forward to which other apps adopt dark mode in the future.

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Best Smartphone Accessories for Those on The Go

Smartphones are one of the most important and expensive items we own today. Along with the high price tag comes the stress of damaging the device, leading many individuals to invest in protection products. However, on top of keeping our smartphones intact, some items also have really cool features that help those with hectic lifestyles. Check out what we consider to be some of the best smartphone accessories for those on the go.

Portable Chargers

Portable chargers are the perfect thing to have when you are on the go and don’t have access to an outlet. Always be prepared and invest in a portable charger so you always have power in case of an emergency.

Car Mounts

Do you frequently travel via car? We recommend investing in a car mount—this allows your phone to remain easily accessible, while also promoting safer driving. In many states, a cop will pull you over if you’re seen using your phone irresponsibly. Car mounts decrease this risk and give you a better view of your navigation system, music player, and other tasks our smartphones perform.

Armbands

Most people listen to music to motivate themselves during a workout. Many use their phones to do this, which are only getting bigger each year. This can make it hard to keep it in your pocket—that’s why we recommend using an armband. Armbands allow you to safely store your phone during an intense workout while continuing to play music.

Wireless Earphones

Along with armbands, wireless earphones are another smartphone accessory you’ll want for your workouts. You no longer have to worry about your tangled wires disrupting your exercise routine. Plus, wireless earphones last much longer than wired ones.

Smartwatches

If you don’t feel comfortable using an armband, consider a smartwatch instead. Today’s digital watches provide easy accessibility to your phone, so you can control your music, access text messages, and more—right from your wrist.

Phone Case

Smartphones are incredibly expensive, plus they store all our important information. It’s imperative that we take care of them, and the best way to do this is to invest in a durable phone case. We also recommend adding a screen protector to ensure your phone’s safety.

Google Chromecast/Apple TV

Smartphones allow you to watch your favorite shows, movies, and other videos via apps. However, if you are sick of watching them on your phone, a Google Chromecast or Apple TV device is one of the best smartphone accessories you can get. These devices allow you to broadcast various entertainment onto a connected TV.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tips on How to Improve Work Security for Your Business

Emerging technology has made the workplace all the more convenient. However, important information in offices around the world is still prone to hacks, and a hack could set your company back in big ways. This is why it’s so important for your company to take the necessary steps to improve work security. To avoid a potentially disastrous security breach at your company, you should become familiar with the ways your business can improve its security and educate employees.

Implement a Security System

Get ahead of suspicious activity and implement a security system. Make sure your business operations have the ability to look out for potential viruses so that you can properly react to a breach situation. Promote good security practices such as using strong passwords for any login. Also, put an Internet policy in place to ensure employees don’t open unauthorized programs or suspicious emails. The more you communicate throughout your workplace, the better.

Use Secure Equipment

Another way to improve work security is to furnish your office with secure furniture. For example, some work consoles have the ability to store CPUs, which house important data you won't want stolen. Equip your office with the necessary protection from technological breaches.

Hire a Safety Coordinator

Hire a safety coordinator who can ensure your work is safe and secure. He or she can then take the necessary precautions to make sure there are no holes in the system.

Get Rid of Information Properly

Physical waste and deleted computer programs are easy ways for hackers to retrieve information. Make sure your business properly disposes of important information by shredding physical papers and getting rid of computer drives to make sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Your company must take the necessary steps to ensure employees are aware of the accessibility of information shared via the Internet. Heightened awareness to potential threats will only strengthen the security in your workplace.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Many Hidden Dangers of Social Media

Social media has a lot of benefits, one of which is that it makes things easier—easy communication, easy business advertisements, easy growth. But the various advantages of social media should not overshadow its hidden dangers. Any technology that makes it so easy to display personal information—photos, locations, stories, et cetera—comes with risks that can heavily affect one’s life.

Cyberbullying

People have been talking about cyberbullying for years now, but people continue to defame others behind the comfort of their screens. Cyberbullying severely impacts people, whether they’re in high school or adults in the workforce. Derogatory comments and unkind memes—whatever the case may be—can cause irreparable damage to the target’s reputation and psyche. The convenience of social media allows bullies to post and share harmful content, making cyberbullying a huge danger of social media use.

Inability to Socialize

As social media use continues to rise, people’s inability to communicate has also risen. People are so used to communicating through text and Facebook posts that their face-to-face communication skills have suffered. But human interaction is what we should constantly strive for, as it promotes empathy, connection, and human relationships. Instead of commenting on Instagram, try saying something kind in person to witness and participate in the incredible interaction that comes from it.

Dating Apps

Many dating apps do a poor job protecting user information and even fail to implement strict age parameters. In fact, “About 1 in 7 kids have been sexually solicited online.” Because of this, both children and adults can fall victim to social media solicitation crimes. We recommend you extensively research each app you use and familiarize yourself with the associated terms and conditions. If you’re serious about dating, it might be in your best interest to skip the apps and hire a professional matchmaker instead.

Culture of Comparison

One of the main hidden dangers of social media is the negative impact it can have on an individual’s mental health. This can come from comparing oneself to others, which can lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many other mental health issues. Scrolling through others’ photos, life updates, and travels produce a “less-than” feeling for a lot of individuals, which can severely impact how an individual sees their worth.
This article is not to tell you to stop using social media. Rather, this information is intended to help you use social media with mindfulness and intention. Pay attention to your mental needs and try your best to put yourself in safe situations.

Friday, April 5, 2019

5 Ways Technology in the Workforce Increases Productivity

Emerging technology often gets a bad rap. Many individuals have a negative view of technology due to social media, the prices of electronics, and less face to face interaction. However, as far as the workplace is concerned, there are many ways technology has made us more productive than ever. Discover how technology in the workforce is increasing productivity.

Increased Flexibility

Technology has provided us with a way to maintain flexible schedules. With various software, apps, and portable devices, we can now work more efficiently as well as remotely. These tools have significantly increased collaboration and communication among workers; time is no longer wasted, and schedules can be changed easily.

Track Your Time

With clocks displayed on the majority of electronic devices and time stamps available on various platforms, it’s never been easier to track how long someone spends on a project. Collecting data is incredibly beneficial for both the employee and the employer. Tracking the time can provide information regarding where the individual could improve or how to increase the efficiency of an operation. Time can go unnoticed when you are in an office all day, but technology can help you determine areas of improvement.

Health and Wellness

Sitting all day in the office can be very harmful. However, many have turned to standing desks to combat this issue. While various studies have shown how beneficial standing desks can be for your health, they can also increase productivity. Standing desks can make you far more active and attentive during work.

Improved Organization

Papers scattered all over our desks are becoming a thing of the past thanks to the Cloud. Many people worry about losing physical forms of documents, but technology has allowed for a much easier method of organization. No longer do you have to spend precious time searching through filing cabinets—all you have to do now is enter a simple search on your computer.

Tools to Help You Focus

Another great thing about technology in the workforce is the ability to listen to music. Studies have shown that there are certain types of music that can increase your productivity. Music also helps you focus on the task at hand and tune out any distractions. Thankfully, there is an array of music streaming applications that can download to a variety of devices.