AusTech

Business and Technology Articles Contributed by UWA Students

Month: August 2019 (page 1 of 2)

Finding the perfect home with real estate technology

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The internet has revolutionized many things for us, it has allowed us to open doors to global property search and finding long lost friends (or family members, even those we didn’t know about). However, when it comes to finding your place in the world, technology can do more than assist. It can help you find the perfect home, in a dream location, surrounded by the life you have always wanted. 

Utilizing personality quizzes on the internet

While it might feel a little foolish to rely on a quiz to tell you anything about yourself, the truth is, they often work. You can use a quiz to figure out what career best suits you, what your personality type is, even what kind of dog you should get. Why can’t a quiz show you where you are meant to live on this planet of 195 countries. If you’re planning to travel the world to find your place, you’ll be traveling for a very long time. Furthermore, you will have to spend a fixed amount of time to really experience the culture of a place and decide whether it is suitable for you which is not exactly practical as that would require moving constantly, for years on end (a lifestyle that is not suited to many) so cut through all that effort and take a personality quiz that can best determine what country you are most suited for

What kind of home are you looking for? 

Once you’ve settled the where, it’s time to look into the what. A glance at a home and lifestyle magazine will show you that there are numerous different styles of housing. From a quaint cottage with vines crawling all over, to a huge mansion with sprawling grounds. Most Americans have adopted the white picket fence as their own idea, but the internet has opened up the world to your fingertips. You can go through thousands if not millions of pictures on photo-sharing apps such as Instagram or Pinterest to find a home that appeals to you. Better yet, you can save all the “homespiration” you run into so you have a comprehensive mood-board you can show your real estate agent (if you opt to go with one) or simply to keep your mind on track. 

Now zoom in on the location

Neighbourhoods matter because where you plant your life and how it blooms is entirely dependent on the environment. If you are hoping to live remotely and alone, it is probably inadvisable to purchase a home in a community lot or commercial area. Conversely, if you are planning to raise a family, it might be more ideal to find a child-friendly neighbourhood where safety and security will not pose any concern. Again, this is where technology can come in to play. Simply Googling the area and checking the news in the recent years will let you know what kind of neighbourhood you are settling into. Furthermore, there are also public forums or Facebook groups that you can use to get to know the neighbourhood a little bit more. Because sometimes, what the eyes see, might only be on the surface. The internet will allow you to pierce that surface and look beyond what is only on the cover. 

Two ways the home building industry is changing with the rise of technology

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The housing crisis the world has experienced in the past decade is a clear call for help in the construction industry. With housing costs rising and millennials- the main market for housing-  not being able to afford housing, it has become a necessity for the industry to try reducing its cost. While all industries have been introduced to technology, one that was hesitant to try it was the home building industry. Nonetheless, it seems to be the only way to increase affordability and make the industry more efficient. There are various different ways in which technology is being integrated into the housebuilding industry both for developers as well as the customers. Developers, such as FactoryOS, have been using a remote form of house construction whereby the housing is built in factories and then moved to the location, this has reduced many of the house building costs. On the other hand, consumers are able to use technology for custom home builders that allows them to outsource much of the paperwork and focus on the other factors of their home. In any way, the house building industry is transforming and there is much evidence to it.

So, here are two ways the home building industry is changing with the rise of technology:

  1. For developers:

Developers are introducing technology in home building to reduce costs of labor and other factors of construction. Building prefabricated homes in factories, as mentioned above is the new home building tech many companies are experimenting with. Using several different stations to build different parts of the home brought together on raised platforms and once finished, delivered to the building site. This factory home building style reduces several costs such as land costs and labor costs as the building is more time-efficient and is not affected by several outdoor hindrances such as weather changes. Many other companies are working towards this same type of construction such as Living Homes. Additionally, 3D printing is another means of home-building tech whereby concrete and building materials simultaneously build homes while other building work goes on.

  1. For Consumers:

Technology in the home building industry also creates an easier connection between the developer and the consumer. It pushes away the need for the middleman and allows consumers to directly understand and be involved in the construction process. Most of the millennial consumers look for sustainable housing, new technology allows them to choose the housing methods that relate most to their values. Moreover, modern homes are becoming more user-friendly as home building integrates home design tech allowing houses to have preinstalled technological systems such as artificially intelligent assistants. Several brands such as Samsung believe that home design technology is the future for all homes.

As technology advances and more companies are willing to try and experiment with their resources more ways of affordability in home building will rise. It is possible that with the addition of home building tech the market will not collapse. The benefits of the innovation in construction will be several not only to both consumers and developers but also to the environment and the public at large. 

Bathrooms are what makes a home?

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It might seem a little silly, afterall, shouldn’t it be living rooms that are the heart of a home? However, research has shown that bathrooms and kitchens are becoming increasingly popular in terms of what people look for when house-hunting. More importance is being placed in a well designed bathroom and a practical kitchen over a living room. It is interesting to note that baths have always played an important part in history – from public bathhouses to a private throne, it seems that bathrooms have a hand in showcasing one’s wealth and status, perhaps that it why it is becoming so popular. 

The design that designers hate: too much art

Stone baths will always stay in style because they are classic and are not loathed by designers. The few things that irk a designer are glass brick bathrooms. While trendy somewhere in the 1980s, it has fallen out of fashion and are also a tedious chore to clean. Anything that is too quirky is also not something that designers will go for because bathrooms are meant to be a place of relaxation – save the art for the living room. 

What everyone loves: glass

On the list of the most beautiful bathrooms in the world, most of them (if not all) feature a glass wall, overlooking beautiful views. All of them manage to incorporate clean lines, bright natural lighting and some go as far as to include some greenery into their bathrooms in order to bring a tropical feel into it. Another popular way to make their bathrooms look more trendy or exotic is by adding wooden panels or bamboo. Marble is also another popular choice as it is classy and screams luxury. 

Floatation tanks to make a cameo in your bathroom? 

It might seem a little far-fetched that anyone would purchase a floatation tank for their own health benefit, but then again, a thousand years ago, it would not have been feasible to have one’s own toilet inside the house because there was no modern plumbing. Floatation tanks are seeing an increase in popularity as it provides mental stimulation and does wonders for one’s mental health. In today’s modern world where mental health is a hot topic, it would not be surprising that floatation tanks become popular in houses – of course, it will appear in the wealthy’s homes first before making its way down to the middle class society. 

Voice control as part of your smart home system

Imagine having a soak and without getting up, turn the water on, dim the lights or change the water’s temperature. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Now if only someone can create waterproof, eco-friendly books, everything would be pretty much perfect. Imagination aside, one could quite possibly tell their smart home system to report on weather, news and all without having to leave the comfort of your porcelain throne, getting all the updates from your latest messages to catching up on news, right in the shower. 

Disney’s stunning evolution as a constant leader in entertainment tech

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It has been a massive year in the landscape of entertainment and film. So far in 2019 we have seen the best consecutive (a streak that continues even now) months of cinematic releases and new seasons of the world’s favourite television shows. And that is just the film and television facet of entertainment. In this landscape, it is all about pushing the boundaries and efficiently bringing to vivid life the next iteration to the highest quality possible. And the latest and greatest in entertainment technology CGI (computer generated imagery) does exactly that. And at the forefront of this new frontier is beloved Disney. But to understand why Disney is dominating now, it pays to look back at the history of entertainment and film technology.

1972 signals the dawn of a new beginning

While computer animation in entertainment and film was first introduced in the 1970s as visual effects and short animals, created through the layering of 3D images, it was in 1972 that the pivotal turning point really took place. Pixar co-founders Ed Catmull and Fred Park created the first prototype of a digitally-rendered 3D hand. This virtual hand was brought to life using a technology that would go on to become the strong foundations for countless effects and film masterpieces that would follow.

1995 brings CGI to full-length features

In the beginning, CGI was a technology that was used relatively sparingly. 1993 saw the first physically-textured CGI film ‘Jurassic Park’ released, but the film was still mostly real-time filming with some stunningly realistic visual effects layered over some of the scenes. In 1990, however, the release of Disney and Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’ signalled the beginning of a new revolution in entertainment and film. The first feature-length film to be created entirely using CGI technology, ‘Toy Story’ was a remarkable achievement in its time. Even today, it is a wonder that is timeless, having spurred on three sequels and still being a beloved favourite the world over.

Fast forward to 2019, as Disney takes the lead yet again

Looking at the movies playing now and in recent months, it is abundantly obvious to anyone that has not been living under a rock that Disney has been dominating the entertainment industry in 2019 thus far. And, with several highly-anticipated feature films, in addition to its brand new on-demand home entertainment streaming service, Disney+, still due for release this year, that reign is not likely to simmer down any time soon. Disney’s masterful command of the latest iteration in CGI technology has been a prominent force in all its most beloved recent releases, from the Marvel and Star Wars universes, to Disney (and Disney and Pixar) masterpieces like ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Toy Story 4’, and ‘The Lion King’.

This is an entertainment and film empire that knows its audience, and has long commanded the entertainment and film technologies that have created decades of the highest quality entertainment possible. And now, as Disney continues to surge through a strong year at the box office, it is further cementing its position as the world’s most beloved entertainment empire. If only one thing is certain, it is that this reign is far from over.

Why automating purchase orders is a great business move

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Anyone that has ever run a successful business can tell you that staying on top of all the moving pieces can sometimes prove to be more complex than your average challenge. Having a successful business – especially in the digital era – requires a lot of determination, hard work, resilience, and perseverance. It is no secret that the modern marketplace is more competitive than ever, and even the strongest of businesses can fall flat if they are not operating carefully and properly.

All the moving pieces that make up modern business processes and systems each have their value, their role to play in the overall operation. And while large-scale companies often have far exceeded the rest of the professional landscape in terms of automating and otherwise modernising to stay ahead of the times. Until now, that is. The rest of the business landscape is catching up quite quickly, automating and modernising in multiple ways to effectively move into the next iteration of the professional landscape. Among the processes and systems being automated are purchase orders.

The importance of the purchase order process

Purchase orders are one of the most important parts of any business and its daily ongoing operations. Purchase orders are literally the system that helps and even ensures that businesses keep track of, and manage, their spending. Without purchase orders, tracking company expenses inevitably comes more of a challenge, and this is when errors tend to arise more commonly. Additionally, validating delivery reports can become quite tricky without a purchase order process in place to keep everything accounted for and on track.

How the modern world changed expectations

The modern world is changing, and so the need for modernising key processes and systems is changing as well as a result of that (with action comes the inevitable and necessary reaction). Since digitalisation and technological advancement have begun to become more prominent forces in this new digitally inclined era, the way that we do everything – including business – has had to evolve too, to keep up with shifting expectations. While purchase orders are just one facet of business that has been slowly evolving into the realm of automation, it is one of the single most valuable digital iterations that has taken place thus far.

How automating purchase orders makes a difference

These days, purchase order software is becoming more and more common. Businesses are realising the value of automating a process like purchase orders because not only does it make the process more efficient, but it also makes it more reliable as well. In automating process orders, businesses can spend more time taking care of the aspects of the business that remand more of a hands-on approach. At the end of the day, purchase orders are a necessity for any business, but they do not have to be a burden to energy and time on the clock. The new frontier in purchase orders (not to mention so many other manners of modern business) is here, and it is making modern (and future) business bolder, better, faster, stronger.

How software is helping fine-tune job management

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These days, managing all the different aspects of one’s job can be a little chaotic. This has always been the way of it, but life has never been busier than it is right now, and so the process becomes even more tightly wound (if that were at all possible). Perfecting one’s job management skills takes experience and time, but from the onset there should be some key elements of understanding that play a significant role in how you do your job. These are the expectations and realisations that form the basis of life at work in the modern age, and going forward into the technologically empowered future.

Capable and strong job management starts with understanding how to get from point A to point B as effectively and quickly as possible. While this might seem simple enough, it is important that before attempting to understand that ideal, to make the effort to understand how this newfound evolution of job management came to be. Like anything else in life, it has taken time to get here, but now it is full steam ahead, with more and more people taking control over their careers and their productivity at work every other day.

Productivity has always been the core of job management

Our career trajectory has always been tied to productivity. This has been true since the dawn of the workforce first came to be, and it is truer now than ever. Productivity is the essence of how hard a person is able and willing to go to preserve and elevate their career. Further, as it turns out, productivity is also the core of job management. Without productive ideals and a productive mindset to match, even the most talented person in the room can become the loose thread that lets an entire team down. And now, as we barrel into the digital era, that productivity is being met with efficiency in the form of software that enables and encourages effective and reliable job management.

With technological advancement came higher efficiency

In recent years, technological advancement has well and truly taken hold everywhere. In the case of the professional environment, technology presents itself in exciting and new ways all the time. One of the most effective of the latest and greatest of these new ways, is the introduction of job management software. Job management software is geared towards automating some aspects of a job, and sorting the rest into organised sections so that efficiency and productivity are the aim of the game for all professionals.

Why job management software is so paramount today

The entire world has become definitively hinged on the likes of technological advancement, and the area of job management and professional career trajectory is no different. Of course, the goal of automating processes and systems is always tied to efficiency, and in the case of job management it is all about ensuring that industry professionals can do their jobs in the most effective way possible. Job management software is just the beginning for automation and exceeding efficiency in the workplace, but it is a thrilling and promising beginning.

Top 5 reasons why you need a VPN on your Mac device

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Having the Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your computer is a cost-effective option to tighten your privacy and security on the internet and ensure that all the websites that you wish to browse are available to you without any hustle. Here we are providing you with 5 top reasons why we think you need a VPN software installed on your Mac device immediately. 

Enhanced security

When you are using a VPN connection, all the data that is exchanged between the device and the internet passes in an encrypted form. It creates a tunnel for protecting your information from theft. Besides, the passwords that you use can also be vulnerable to theft without VPNs. Recently, a lot of websites have upgraded their security policies and want you to use passwords consisting of letters, numbers and special characters, all at one go. For some people, this ends up creating a lot of confusion and they prefer to use a single password across all the websites. When you log into any of these websites from an open Wi-Fi, the hacker will trace your data, steal or clone your password and then use it to get through all of your other accounts. Using a VPN would keep a check on your data usage and prohibit strangers from getting their hands on any of the sensitive information. 

Amplified privacy

When you are browsing through the internet, upholding the privacy of all your information is incredibly important, because, in some or the other way, you are under constant surveillance. The VPN helps you to safeguard this information from being constantly recorded and misused by creating a barrier between you and the monitoring eye by helping you to change IP addresses frequently thus ensuring amplified privacy.  

Opportunities to access the websites from any country

Many websites allow you to access them only from a few particular countries. However, with a VPN, you can remove this restriction. The scenario can be reversed when you want to browse some of the international sites when you are sitting back at home. A VPN client on your Mac device will change the geographic location so that the websites identify you as a user from their permitted area.

Get entry to the ISP protected sites

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) can ban users from accessing certain websites due to several reasons such as negative impact, overuse. China has blocked several popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube and Torrent websites. VPNs allow the user to trespass these barriers and access the websites without any roadblock. 

Public Wi-Fi can be used securely

If you are traveling or visiting cafes or other public places, the public Wi-Fi hotspots can be a convenient option; but this convenience comes at a price. All the personal information that you are sharing can be recorded because according to reports, hackers target these networks very often. It is, therefore, safe to have a VPN installed on your Mac device so that it can hide your internet traffic and shield your data accordingly. 

Solar distillation technology reimagines water cleaning technology

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It is fair to say that in this modern world, we are entirely and positively immersed in and surrounded by technological advancement. It surrounds is from all angles, and we have created it to be so. The whole point of any form of technology is to improve life in some way, and that is perhaps never truer than it is in the case of water cleaning technology. While much of the western world unfortunately takes clean drinking water for granted, much (if not all) of the developing world is currently facing a lack of access to even clean drinking water. Water cleaning technologies are being developed to change that, however, with one relatively recent water cleaning technology taking the world by storm.

The harrowing statistics

Here are the facts. More than 780 million people around the globe do not have access to clean drinking water. It is estimated that by the year 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Economic stress and climate change are two of the most prominent defining factors of where this crisis is heading, and it is only made more terrifying when one realises that the global population is set to reach nearly 11 billion (10.9 billion, to be exact) by 2025. The need for global access to clean drinking water – something that should be a basic necessity, and yet unfortunately is not – has never been stronger.

The clean water technology breaking the mould

Now, a breakthrough in solar panel technology could be the most powerful solution to clean water to date. A team at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, led by Professor Peng Wang (co-author of the paper) has developed a device that can produce electricity from sunlight and purify water at the same time. In short, this is an invention that houses the potential to simultaneously solve two serious global problems that are brutalising the third world nations right now.

Water filters are by no means a new discovery, but this approach to water cleaning technology is, and more to the point, it is yielding results that are not only genuinely working, but coming to fruition more environmentally, financially (in the long run, at least), morally, and sustainably viable. The team that has brought this remarkable feat in water cleaning technology to life has truly created a life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime revolutionary invention that, even now in its infancy stages, is proving to be especially promising.

The powerful promise held in this clean water tech

As far as clean water technology goes, this is exponentially powerful, to the point that it is genuinely and profoundly life-changing. While other water cleaning technologies yield results, this latest technology is different in that it not only provides a clean energy source, but an alternative to current methods of purifying water that is more power-effective. Additionally, it does not require the large amounts of infrastructure that is not accessible for many communities that do not have access to clean water sources.

Deep-diving into the electric era in automotives

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The automotive industry is by far one of the most important sectors in all the world. From the salespeople that sell the vehicles and the panel beaters that make them look their best, to the manufacturers bringing the vehicles to the roads in the first place, and everywhere else in between, this is an industry that is important on level after level. This is an industry that has built its foundations on the tail of our obsessive desire to always be moving faster, more efficiently. Now, we have grown accustomed to being able to get around much faster than normal, thanks in large part to automotives and the ongoing innovations that drive them forward all the time. There have been many great evolutions in the automotive industry over the years, but this latest is perhaps one of the most –if not the most – important of all, not just for our progress towards a healthier future for us, but our progress towards a healthier future for the planet as well.

Technology becomes a global revolution

These days, technology is as common as the shoes on our feet of the clothes on our backs, but it has not always been this way. When technologies like the internet first broke through into the mainstream, people were confounded with them, even apprehensive. Over time, however, technologies have proven to be a mainstream success story (for the most part) that have all played their part in changing the world as we see it. Today, that world is paved with technologies and digital devotions, and every aspect of modern life, every industry, has felt the keen sting of it all – including, as it turns out, the global automotive industry.

Technology disrupts the automotive industry

Automotive technology has come a long way over time, and now we stand on the edge of an industry that is set to completely electrify, if all goes to plan, in the coming years. The electric vehicle has been the plot summary to many movies, television series, and books over the decades, but in recent history it has come to be a reality – or at least, the humble, if not controversial, beginnings of a reality. The autonomous vehicle made headlines when it was first introduced, and then again (though for different reasons) when the first semi-autonomous vehicles in production and on the roads were involved in road accidents – some of which harrowingly, unfortunately, involved fatalities.

The pioneers driving the electric era forward

The controversy has been met with understandable upset, but it has also gone a long way towards strengthening the technology. What was once a finely drafted technology has since bloomed and flourished to become a viable innovation in automotives that seeks to drive forward a healthier future, not only for us, but for the planet we call home. Luxury automotive manufacturer Tesla has been at the forefront of this autonomous vehicle revolution, and it continues to flourish and thrive. There is only one Earth, and it is heartening and promising to realise that the automotive industry – and other industries too – are working towards ensuring that the future is one that vehicles with a healthier environmental footprint dominate. 

Technology is transforming the legal industry from the inside out

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The world as we know it has taken some time to get to this point. We are currently standing on the verge of a new world that is entirely and positively dominated by technologies and all they bring to the table. And while we have been approaching this age for quite some time now, we are beginning to realise just how inundated we are in it, how reliant we have become on its reaches. In this modern world of digitalisation and technological advancement, it is more than fair to ascertain that we are a species that becomes more obsessed with technological enhancement and ongoing advancement, with every passing day. These days, no matter the aspect of life, no matter the industry in question, technological influence plays a significant, even growing, part of it all.

Technological advancement changes the world

The modern world is the product of ongoing digitalisation and technological advancement, and we are only all too aware of that fact. After all, we have created this world; we are responsible for its development. Technological advancement now dominates every aspect of modern life, even all the industries that thrive and survive within its constructs. In the case of the legal industry, for example, technology has made all the most tedious aspects of the industry far more efficient and innovative than they have ever been, and it continues to work its magic all the time. The legal industry has needed advancement in its reaches, and now it finally has it in its hands and ready to make a genuine, lasting difference in the world.

Technological advancement in the law industry

The legal industry has found itself confronted and transformed by technologies in many ways. The most influential form of legal technology is none other than the automation of key processes and systems. Being a data-driven industry, law is one of the most in-depth fields in the world, and further, given the nature of the data flowing through the system at any given time, it is also one of the most important industries there is. Technologies have begun to find their way into the legal industry, but the most broadly advantageous of them all? Automation.

Automation as the foundation for law technology

It does not necessarily matter which field of law one is thinking about. From family law to violent crime law, and every facet of the legal industry in between, this is an industry that, frankly, has needed modernisation for a while. With so much important, private, and sensitive information flowing through the system, the more tedious parts of the system have always been considerably difficult to get through, though no less important or necessary. So, automation technology has come into play and made those tedious processes far easier to get through. This inevitably leaves more time for the more manually demanding aspects of the job, with those who work in the legal industry finding it simpler than ever to navigate the historically challenging parts of their line of work.

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