AusTech

Business and Technology Articles Contributed by UWA Students

Month: December 2018

Modern marketing tools that every business today needs

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When it comes to any kind of business in this modern era, marketing is key. Not only key, but the sole driving growth strategy that can elevate a business tenfold. Literally every business should be making use of marketing today. Modern-day society demands more attention to detail than ever before. With so many shifting ideals and outsets surrounding us at so many pivotal points in life, there is next to no reason to be anything but welcoming of marketing into the inner workings of any business. Why? Because every business has an audience, and that audience is more active when they are included. Marketing is an inclusive strategy.

Business is a tricky aspect of life to navigate sometimes. There are so many twists and turns that it can be difficult to know where to even begin levelling out the core business strategy. Whether you are in the business of off-market property, or a part of the thriving fashion industry, marketing should be an integral part of your business strategy. In saying this, there are certain marketing strategies that have more scope for impact than others, and some of them are not as obvious as you might think. All marketing strategies have their place, but there are three that are increasingly becoming the core of modern marketing.

Content marketing is the dark horse

Some marketing tactics rise out of the darkness out of nowhere. Content marketing is one of them. While past years in marketing have shown an inherent focus on the outreach of marketing strategies to consumers, content marketing focuses on the internal connections. In creating top quality, informative content, businesses can increase their brand’s reputation, experience, and industry knowledge tenfold. Additionally, consumers love to know that the brands they are giving their business to are paying attention to what they want and what is important in the industry. If a consumer is buying from you, they expect you to understand what it is your business is in the industry of.

Chatbot utilisation is stepping it up

Chatbots are nothing new to the industry, but they are stepping it up. While chat bot communication and implementation has been used by businesses for online communication efforts for a while now, it has been limited – to say the least. Going into 2019, however, chat bot utilisation is going to be more personalised, more intelligent, and more helpful. Currently, consumers find chatbots a little glitchy and unresponsive, but that is all about to change, as more investment and attention than ever is being laid into their development.

Personalisation is key to marketing

Every business model has an aim. The aim of marketing is to create as close to the ultimate personalised strategy as possible. Consumers want to feel heard, valued, and listened to. The way to do that is to work towards personalised marketing. This includes using the browser history of users to establish other products, services, or details of interest. When consumers feel like businesses understand their needs, they are more inclined to continue the consumer relationship with them.

Wearable technology can benefit all types of consumers and individuals

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Wearable technology has become increasingly popular in recent years. From using FEA software in the design process to test its components to the programming behind a smart watch, technology is fully integrated in all the spaces of consumers’ lives. Although much technology is simply meant to create more efficiency when engineered, it can also act as a true enhancement for consumer life. For example, smart watches are now able to literally monitor heart rates, walking and step daily goals, and even send text messages or connect phone calls.

This type of technology is only the beginning. Looking into future innovations, it isn’t odd to think that people will be video messaging all over the world from their wrist. What used to be stereotypical spy movies that featured spies whispering into a wrist device has now become a present day form of normal consumer communication. Wearable technology is projected to increase in industry growth over the next few years. These types of devices aren’t just for function. Many consumers see it as a fashion statement or even a type of elite consumer group that only smart watch wearers are a part of. The companies who innovate the smartwatch technology also create fashionable accessories to go along with it. From rhinestone frames to bands of every color and material, these are the watches of early-adopter consumers and the future of late-adopter consumers.

Wearable technology doesn’t just come in the form of watches. Consumers are able to use health trackers as well. Some even monitor blood glucose levels for patients who struggle with medical issues. Since the United States and many other nations have developed struggles relating to diabetes and other health concerns, being able to track the daily health of consumers and patients can be highly beneficial to not only the individual, but their doctor as well. Patients will have a better understanding of their good habits and habits they need to improve. Individuals who struggle with heart rate issues and blood pressure may be able to eventually have wearable technology that allows them to track this 24/7 with a sleek wrist band. For the future of these devices, it is innovative to think that they will be able to by synced with a patient information file that the doctor will always have access to. This way the physician is able to immediately have daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly data on the patient that involves their daily readings. This will allow for a better statistical analysis of the entire patient data so that the care providers can develop a more efficient treatment plan for their patients.

Even for those consumers who don’t necessarily need wearable technology for medical issues and are just looking to lead a healthier life, there is technology available to them that will track their heart rate, their daily steps, and goals to help them reach their desired health goals. Whether it is losing weight or just running at a faster pace with more endurance, all of these can be accomplished by implementing wearable health technology and daily habit trackers in their routines. Wearable technology has many uses to better help the lives of consumers.

Technology and digitalisation continue to revolutionise modern advertising

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No matter which industry one works in, there is no escaping the fact that the entire world has been dramatically shifted by the speedy rise of technological advancement and digitalisation. Everywhere we look, there have been innovations that have been implemented to make modern life easier, faster, and more efficient. This is an era that is incomparable to any that have come before it, and as such it has caused a sense of excitement and unease at the unfamiliarity of it all.

Technology has had significant impact in the advertising industry, particularly in the last few years. This is an industry that thrives on the most popular efforts of communication with consumers and brand exposure and reputation. While customer services focus on aspects of consumer engagement and relationships, like Help Desk software and twenty-four-hour customer support, the primary focus of advertising of any business is to drive awareness and increase consumer intake. Consumers today drive most – if not all – of a brand or company’s advertising and marketing efforts.

Realistically, there is not a single company that thrives today that can ignore that kind of grasp and survive. Technology has made advertising easier than ever, and any company that refuses to make use of that newfound advertising genius is one that is not likely to last much longer. Technology continues to elevate modern advertising. Every year, there are new innovations. In 2018, and going into 2019, these are the three that have made – and are expected to continue to make – the most impact.

Personalised advertising

Technological innovations like digitalisation have continuously proven their value, and they are very likely to continue doing so. One of the most genius strokes of technological advancement for advertising has been the rise of personalised advertising. Brands use various methods to keep track of what everyone who visits their site is interested in, and they then use that information to target individuals with personalised ads.

These ads pop up on social media, through email marketing, and even through general internet utilisation. Personalised advertising creates a magical talent of being able to give each and every prospective and existing consumer the chance to take advantage of the best deals on the items they love, and products that are similar.

Social media advertising

Technological advancement at its finest, social media advertising is the single most innovative way to draw in business from the masses. At the core of it, social media is essentially any advertising or marketing efforts that roll out via social media platforms. This includes sponsored ads that disrupt the newsfeed flow, as well as story advertising and social media posts to a company’s profile page.

In short, social media advertising is so effective because the modern consumer spends so much of their time on social media. It only makes sense, then, that connectivity networks have become a valuable advertising outlet for brands around the world. If the modern consumer wants ease to shop, then social media is the epitome of that sense of ease.

Security technology should move from being largely reactive to wholly proactive

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Technology has a way of coming in and totally changing entire industries, even the whole world with a seemingly simple innovation. Where there is technology, there is nearly always (if not without fail) also a reactive measure to protect that technology. The downfall of security technology, for example, is that for the most part it is brought in as a reactive security measure. This is an issue because, by the time security technology is activated, the problem it is designed to solve has already caused damaged.

Security technology is utilised to protect systems and operations from attacks, including (but not limited to) a ransomware virus, spam, or even identity fraud. The severity of the risk to security does not matter, what really matters and what should be top priority is developing the technologies to keep all systems secure before an issue arises that puts you in danger. This reactive method is not the strongest nor is it the smartest protective measure we could be implementing, and we should be striving towards proactive security measures for all technologies.

They say that it is not a matter of if you will become the victim of an online attack, but when. This could not be truer. Technological advancement has given rise to many wonderful innovations, but it has also seen the inevitable increase of risks and potential attacks to those technologies. When developing new technologies, what unfortunately often occurs is that security measures are pushed to the side in favour of development and innovation. Development and innovation are important, it is true, but neither of these processes can be entirely effective if they are not given the defensive protections to keep them thriving.

This is an issue because, more than ever, developing and advancing new technologies can no longer simply be about making the best product or system on the market. These days, it must be about creating that product or system that can stand on its own and without concern of security breaches. The technology we are implementing these days is more advanced than anything we have previously dealt with and brought to the table. Because we are so used to technological growth, we do not pay nearly enough attention, nor do we notice it all.

The type of technological reach we are dealing with currently is essentially a comprehensive network of incredible accomplishments that have stemmed from the desire to create stronger, better, and faster technologies. We now exist in this era of technologically-driven society, and it is our responsibility to ensure that this era is as secure as possible – and not just when it has already been threatened, but before the threat becomes a reality.

As we become ever more dependent on the technologies that we have become so familiar with, we are driven closer to the realisation that simply creating solutions bring new risks that come hand in hand with those technologies and we must consciously be searching for protection actions before there is a need for them.

2019 becoming the year of AR and VR

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With each passing year, the new technological and digital innovations of the time propel us further into a digitally-enhanced future. In 2018, the big innovations were augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) enhancement, as well as increasing dependency on the Internet of Things and Fintech. Just a few examples of tech upping its game in 2018, these incredible tech innovations have done their part to enhance human life.

Every year, just when it seems that the previous technological innovations cannot possibly be topped, they somehow are. Technology is evolving at such an increasingly rapid pace that there is something new on the horizon practically every day. This is an incredibly exciting realisation, and it is one that continues to foster excitement and impatience.

Excitement, at the idea of all that is possible – particularly when it seemed for a minute like the peak had passed. And impatience because, as tech continues to evolve beyond expectations, we become more accustomed to constant innovation, and we begin to yearn for it more and more often. We are a greedy species, and technology’s rapid pace of development indulges the greedy part of us all.

When the concept of wireless surround sound was first introduced, it was alien to most – something that, contrary to expectation, only made it even more exciting. As we head definitively into the next year, technology steps it up (again). Every time it seems that technological advancement has gone about as far as it can go, along comes another evolution that drives the ideal further and higher again.

Looking around, it is impossible not to notice the monumental impact that advancements in tech and digitalisation have had on modern society. We are more connected than ever. We have easier access to fast transport on land, across oceans, and through the skies. We are developing life-changing and even life-saving treatments and cures for various diseases. We are more socially aware and actively campaigning for change than we have ever been.

Technology has had an active hand in all these evolutions in humanity’s reach on Earth. Without tech and digital enhancement, we would have no electricity. Houses and high rises would be more difficult to make and would take longer to construct. Now, as we are practically surrounded by tech and digital enhancement, you might think that the peak has surely come.

This is not so. In fact, if anything, technology is stepping it up and taking things two levels up. 2019 is set to be the year of enhanced connection and speed. From the introduction of widespread AR in retail and real estate, to the continued improvements to the semi-autonomous vehicle, the potential for tech going into the new year is limitless. What an exciting time to be alive.

With the upcoming innovations and introductions to the market on behalf of technological enhancement, the best is yet to come. With seemingly constant innovations, it certainly seems that we are not bound for a slowdown in technological advancement any time soon. If anything, tech is stepping it up and elevating the field – again.

Smart ways to manage waste

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With the ever-increasing amount of waste being generated today, it has become extremely crucial to devise effective methods to manage and recycle waste. Many companies and corporations are undergoing continuous research in order to optimize the use of technology for creatively managing waste.

The usual technique followed by city corporations to manage its waste is by collecting them in garbage trucks and dumping them at dumping grounds. However, this method contains a number of flaws that include half-empty trucks being driven all the way to the waste site generating more air pollution in addition to an improper use of city services. Municipal corporations are now realizing the importance of zero waste policy would involve better servicing for residents by reducing operational costs at the same time by way of tracking waste levels in trucks, operational analysis and route optimization to the dumping grounds.

When one thinks of incorporating technology in the field of waste management, a restricted set of ideas are interpreted. However, the process of waste removal has really come a long way. An average person generates about 1 kilogram of waste per day.   Some of the most dominant methods of waste disposal are detailed below.

Segregation of watered and non-watered garbage – Dewatering garbage helps in reducing the bulk of waste by draining the water and leaving the leftovers for bacteria to feed on. It is difficult to fathom the amount of waste that gets eaten up by bacteria. The method which is in its late pilot stages is being looked at to be adopted the world over.

Radio frequency identification – This method tracks pickups, waste levels, routes used for disposable, etc. through a radio frequency. This helps in raising an alarm in the early stages of a potential problem.

Infrared spectroscopy – This method helps in identifying the polymer composition which is highly effective in segregating plastic from waste. It makes sorting out easy and thus helps in determining the amount of waste that can be recycled and that which will have to be decomposed.

Gas – many companies are researching and trying methods to transform waste into gases such as diesel, methanol, etc.

Another important factor in waste management is the deposing of hazardous waste carefully without causing any harm to the immediate surroundings. Asbestos is one such product found in waste especially at building sites. Asbestos, when inhaled or ingested, can cause cancer. It is therefore important to have asbestos containing material properly labelled, packed and disposed of accordingly.

Some highly equipped technological methods are also being tested for effective waste management. Drones that reach inaccessible places, building houses and useful objects from waste, harvesting energy with waste are all procedures that involve the use of large machines and trained operators. Some pilot programs have been extremely successful; it is now only a matter of how such methods are to be made largely accessible and cost-effective for more widespread use. A major focus has been on eliminating plastic from use as the product takes hundreds of years to completely decompose and causes a lot of destruction of natural habitat in the process.

How Smart Tech Is Changing The Face Of Waste Management

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In today’s consumer-driven space, efficient waste collection is deemed a necessity. There’s ample opportunity across smart technology to tap into better and improved waste collection services. Usually, most municipalities rely on waste collectors to operate at fixed timings by collecting and emptying the waste bins into a dumpyard. This could prove to be inefficient, and underutilize the area’s waste resources, especially if it becomes landfill waste. It could also eat into other natural resources like energy and fuel when mismanaged.

Ensuring waste materials – be it organic, plastics or other forms of waste like asbestos and cement – are collected using smart tech solutions can help towards meeting sustainability goals and reduce costs. Sustainability goals include measures like zero waste and fighting climate change.

Smart tech comes packed with features like waste fill levels, temperature indicators and other data used for transportation and analysis.

Despite technological advancements constantly evolving by the day, smart technology is still in its infancy. Although it is still under research and development, waste management solutions are gaining international traction particularly due to the growing use of Internet of Things (IOT)-powered waste bins.

In a research study, it was highlighted that the industry would grow at a little over 16 percent as compounded annual growth rate. The report tags the market to a growth of $223.6 million over the next six years. Better yet, the increasing availability of better and smarter technology, along with inexpensive options in the market will drive the need for nationwide waste management programs, helping curb health and medical issues across the country.

Along with cities rolling out smart bins for collecting waste, many municipal authorities are also partnering with tech companies to provide sensor-backed street lamps and traffic lights within the community. Civic authorities are turning to wi-fi enabled bins that run on solar energy to alert and track the waste collection. The use of better e-commerce software, monitoring tools, and mobile apps has also ensured the safety of the driver.

Investing in smart tech towards waste management can also tackle issues with improper recycling. Millions of tons of trash are dumped into lands every year, but its negative impacts are sometimes ignored in the short-term. Over a longer duration, it can cause environmental hazards and largely contribute towards reducing global emissions.

Bigger companies are not shying away from executing and running successful waste management systems. Upgrading to cleaner, smarter tech for waste management – even if it’s  a small-scale initiative – can reduce the complex mechanism for pickups, service and bill payments. It will facilitate safer and more efficient waste management services, while still lowering the environmental impact.

Integrating Technology into Construction

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With technology influencing the method of production of each field, it is impossible to imagine that technology, over the years, has not led to the development of a single developmental field that benefits mankind. In the history of construction too, there have been some major shifts in the process used and the technology employed. The field has majorly adapted to the changing paradigms of the business. There are numerous futuristic construction technologies that are being widely tested and plans of putting them to use are rampant. Many concepts include devising ways to use recycled products, solar energy to tap into daily important mediums of use like hot water, electricity, etc.

Some of the futuristic construction technologies are as detailed below.

Smart Roads: In order to make driving safer and the area surrounding roads greener, this method involves the use of sensors and technology. Cited as the future of transport, this technology aids in – tracking weather conditions, generate electricity, charge electric vehicles and provide energy for street lighting.

Restoring concrete: Concrete used in the construction of buildings, tunnels, roads, highways, etc. tend to crack over a period of time. With self-healing concrete, it is ensured that it will add life to these structures. This process takes place when water is poured on the cracked surface. As the water seeps in through the cracks, the bacteria that was initially harvested during the mixing of the concrete is activated, excreting calcite thus, joining the cracks.

Transparent aluminium: As strong as steel in durability, transparent aluminium gives the look and finish of a glass while also being bulletproof. The making of this material involves a highly advanced process that involves the use of laser technology.

Smart bricks: Somewhat like the Lego bricks, smart bricks are made of high strength concrete that involves thermal energy control. Modularly designed, they help in cutting down construction costs while allowing ease of space for connections for plumbing, insulation and electricity.

Anti-pollution buildings: Erected with the use of shrubs and trees, pollution-fighting buildings are designed to tackle air pollution.

Bamboo towns: Buildings made of interlocking bamboo structures are more resilient than concrete and has higher sustainability.

Swarm construction: Researchers at Harvard have designed a process of construction that is abetted by the work of termites. Working together as a swarm, termites with the help of construction robots build designs that are pre-programmed into the robots.

Modular construction method: In this method, a standardized process in employed that entails assembling maximum construction objects off-site. This helps in efficient building and reduces construction costs.

One of the other major factors that need proper planning and evolving in addition to sustainable and advanced construction is to make the process of construction more effective and affordable. The major factors that program construction like transportation of building materials, demolition services required to raze the ground to erect the structure, measurement and monitoring of the construction process itself are all crucial in dictating whether or not the goal of building a sustainable, affordable structure is achieved.

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