Business and Technology Articles Contributed by UWA Students

Category: Tech (page 1 of 5)

Social media becomes a leading digital marketing strategy


Social media is a technological innovation that was initially designed to be a revolutionary advancement in improving worldwide communications. It obviously achieved that great feat with flying colours, and ever since, it has gone on to become so much more. Rising out of the depths of the digital era, social media quickly captured the attention of people all over the world. Soon enough, it became obvious that social media was only becoming more and more of an obsession, to the point that it was overwhelming.

Over time, the attention to social media was more than obsessive, and people became more and more invested in their social media profiles and newsfeeds than in the real world around them. As people were drawn more and more into the digital world, they found themselves disconnecting from the real world more and more, to the point that it became a habit they did not even realise they were exhibiting. Today, social media is renowned for being addictive (and not always in the best of ways). But the modern world is cashing in on it more than ever. 

Businesses realise the potential in social media

Take the modern business landscape, for instance. Digitalisation took hold, social media became a mainstream sensation, and then consumers evidently “checked out” of traditional business strategies. As digital marketing became more and more pronounced in the business landscape, the smartest and most forward-thinking companies started to realise that there was a definitive potential for social media to become a strong digital marketing strategy. So, they did. Social media became a digital marketing strategy, and the consumers that businesses were once losing were suddenly returning in droves – and then some. 

Social media becomes a digital marketing tactic

Fast forward to today, and (aptly named) social media marketing is not only a strong digital marketing tactic, but it is the leading digital marketing strategy there is. The smartest businesses out there acknowledge and utilise social media marketing as the power play in consumer exposure and engagement that it is, and the ones that do not do so, find themselves losing their footing. Consumers want to feel heard, understood, and valued, and social media marketing allows for exactly that to happen. Its interactive, real-time nature allows social media marketing strategy works like a dream for businesses and consumers alike.

The ongoing rise of social media marketing

These days, there is an online market for anything, and social media is the leading advertising and marketing prospect bringing that realisation to vivid life. Whether you are selling shoes, tech devices, vehicles, or even the latest and greatest Instagram tracker app, you can maximise exposure and consumer potential by advertising your product or service via social media marketing. the global reach of social media marketing means users are getting real-time interaction with the businesses they love and support. On the flip side of the coin, businesses get the best live feedback ever, allowing them to improve and advance better and better all the time. Best of all? This is just the start – the best is yet to come.

Evolution of Disney’s film tech empire proves to be a powerhouse in film making


When thinking about the evolution of film technology, most (if not all) people can agree that Disney is, and always has been, a leading powerhouse of an example of how to get it all right. In recent years, it has not taken a genius to note and be entirely aware of the fact that Disney is the entertainment powerhouse that knows how to keep bringing in the audience. In fact, most of the movies playing now, and even this entire calendar year, have come from Disney and its acquired and partner film studios. That in itself says something spectacular about the power of Disney.

This is a film and entertainment company that has learned how to artfully master film technology in every stage of its evolution, establishing itself as a leading force in animation and entertainment in the process. From its first feature film in 1937, Snow White, to the 1995 Disney Pixar masterpiece Toy Story, and right up to the live-action spree Disney is embodying in 2019, the magical evolution of Disney’s all-encompassing take on film technology throughout the years has been nothing short of astounding.

2D animation fixation begins with Snow White

When Snow White was first released in 1937, it spurred on a love for the aesthetic that the 2D animation artists for the film and entertainment company could so beautifully capture. There was something magical about this era of film technology. It was a time for the animation empire that was both profoundly exciting and overwhelmingly intricate. And it would ultimately come to be renowned as the moment that Disney further solidified its hold on audiences around the world. While Disney has been creating before the release of Snow White, it was this animation sensation that really solidified Disney’s hold.

3D rendering film technology revolutionises with Toy Story

By the time 1995 rolled around, and Disney and Pixar’s first full-feature 3D collaboration Toy Story came to fruition, 3D rendering was only just beginning to take form. In fact, Toy Story was the first fully 3D-rendered animation feature film. It was a movie that showcased the brilliance of film technology at a time where it truly was all up in the air. Since then, 3D rendering film technology has gone on to produce many award-winning and award-nominated Disney masterpieces – as well as paving the way for 3D rendering technology to be a widely-utilised film technology across the industry.

CGI domination with live-action spree in recent years

Recent years have seen many “live-action” adaptations of former Disney stories come to live, and they are all powered by either mostly or entirely CGI (computer generated imagery) film technology. Taking 3D rendering technology to an entirely new level, CGI has allowed for classics and new originals alike to light up the screens and take away the breaths of viewers around the world. Disney has once again proven that it is a leading innovator in film technology with its masterful use of CGI film technology. The most magical part? The best is yet to come.

Listening In: Does Voice Tech Overstep To Support Advertisers?


Have you ever spoken to a friend or your spouse about a purchase you were thinking about making, only to see if show up as an ad on your Facebook page? It happens all the time, and it can make it feel as though the entire world is spying on you – and the bad news is, that might just be true. As voice search becomes a more important element in our digital ecosystem, there are microphones everywhere. What many people don’t realize, though, is that those microphones are always listening, even when they’re supposed to be turned off. And not only are they listening, but marketers may be using this information to their advantage.

Voice Search: The Microphone Is Always On

As a tech-driven, on-the-go society, we find voice search appealing because we don’t even have to pause to type in our search terms. In addition to using such search capabilities while driving, reports indicate that people also use voice search while cooking and watching TV. Heard a reference to something you didn’t understand or need to convert a measurement in a recipe? Just ask the voice assistant. But in order for voice assistants to hear your initial request – the call to Alexa or Siri that supposedly “turns on” the device – the microphone has to already be on and tuned in to what’s being said.

Despite the relative novelty of smart speakers and similar devices, background microphone function has already been at the heart of several scandals. These devices have recorded conversations and even sent them to individuals’ in the user’s address book. There are also significant concerns about what it means for devices to passively record children’s speech, as companies typically aren’t allowed to collect any information from children under age 13.

Other Listening Mechanisms

Is the idea that the microphone is always on also true for those who don’t own specialty voice search devices such as smart speakers and who have turned off voice search on their phones? Yes, those users too are caught up in the web of microphones. Even if you’re not an active voice search user, a number of apps have hidden microphone access settings that users never even think about. Safari’s iPhone browser settings for microphone and camera access, for example, aren’t in the same place as other access permissions, which means users need to locate them and separately toggle off access. 

With so many apps using different voice permissions and protocols, the best thing users can do is assume that their conversations are being overheard – and that those targeted advertisements aren’t a coincidence. The fact is, voice search is poised to become the primary way people use Google and businesses are actively adjusting their marketing strategies to account for this change. One option is to find an SEO agency offering unlimited keyword campaigns. Another option includes investing heavily in natural language research to ensure that both keyword campaigns and broader content development are primed for voice search. The medium is also likely to take over the ecommerce world in the next few years as smart speaker technology becomes a standard part of the home environment.

Advertisements Meet Accuracy

The microphones are tuned in and they aren’t going anywhere in the near future, raising the question: what’s a savvy consumer to do? For one thing, avoid making phone calls to businesses using voice search. Because voice search is relatively new and virtual assistants are still attempting to master the art of evaluation, scammers are purchasing ads that displace legitimate businesses. When you ask your voice assistant to call the company, it ends up dialling the number in the fraudulent ad, and your information lands in the hands of various bad actors. The process is still new enough that the ads don’t even have to be very good; they simply need to be optimized for voice.

There’s not much that legitimate businesses can do about bad actors, but what companies can do to give their site an advantage in this changing ecosystem is invest in communications-driven web design. It’s important that companies emphasize the importance of voice to their strategy when consulting with a web design agency. Not all businesses are ready for the pivot to voice, and not all SEO agencies can handle the nuances of this new search form. 

Despite concerns about living in a world where the microphone is always on, not all background listening has malicious intent. In fact, a lot of companies use background listening as a way to improve the accuracy of their voice recognition technologies and to enhance the databases used for natural language processing and machine learning. These improvements are critical to the Zero UI future that many developers imagine, as well as for improving the performance of existing voice-driven AI. Healthcare technology experts predict that speech recognition will be a standard part of medical tech within the next few years. For an industry with such highly specialized vocabulary, speech recognition will have to improve significantly.

A Transitional Moment

Right now, neither our technology nor our marketing infrastructure is ready for a voice-first approach, but that moment isn’t far in the future. Until then, though, search will remain in a transitional moment, in which voice primarily augments touch – or typed – search. The ability to visually evaluate search results, for example, is still critical to weeding out scams and low-quality results, and the majority of websites lack aren’t yet equipped for voice optimization. Voice already has a hold on users seeking convenience, but even though it’s listening in, it leaves much to be desired in regards to accuracy, and it will take some time for the technology to catch up. 

Finding the perfect home with real estate technology


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


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. 

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


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


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


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


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


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.

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