Samsung harnesses solar power to deliver telemedicine in Africa

Solar-powered videoconferencing will be used to deliver healthcare to remote African communities as part of Samsung Electronics’ Digital Villages initiative. The programme, launched at the end of October in Johannesburg, South Africa, aims to harness solar power to integrate African communities’ hospitals, schools, lighting systems and energy infrastructure.

 

Samsung hopes Digital Villages will “improve health standards, bolster education opportunities and increase the potential for people to lead economically independent lives”.
Solar-powered Tele-Medical Centres are designed to bring the expertise of skilled medical personnel to outlying rural areas of certain regions of Africa.
It is constructed as a movable container to provide rural residents with convenient access to medical services. Videoconference facilities built into the centre connect patients being treated in remote regions with general hospitals in cities so diagnosis and prescription advice can be shared in real-time. The centre also features a database and server access for the management of patient data.
The Digital Village also comprises a solar-powered Health Centre, Internet School, generator and LED lighting systems.
Samsung has also committed to building police and postal offices inside the premises of the Digital Villages, and using satellite communications.
The electronics company plans to build Digital Villages in three countries this year, beginning in South Africa and moving on to include Ethiopia and Gabon by the end of this year. Plans to expand the Digital Villages to local communities in more remote areas in co-operation with governments and international organizations are already underway.
Zwelethu Madasa, clerk of the Pan African Parliament, said: “Quality Education and Health are the two most critical challenges our many countries are faced with.  The Digital Village is an a plausible African solution to this challenge.”
Hong SungYong, head of Samsung Electronics Africa headquarters, added: “We will work together with governments and international organisations to ensure that the potential of these Digital Villages is fully realised. We will deliver better education opportunities, greater medical access and improved economic self-sufficiency for people in Africa.”

Eyevis develops 90″ LCD-displays

Eyevis has developed the new 90″ display type EYE-LCD-9000-LD for the control and conference room section as well as digital signage.

Through its optional touch surface the display enables interactivity with the observer, and it also features slim installation depths and narrow casing that is available in various colors.

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It boasts full HD resolution with 1920 x 1080 pixels and direct LED rear projection, and connections for DVI-, HDMI-, VGA-, S-Video- and C-Video-signals. The unit also features a non-reflecting surface, colour temperature adjustment, slight display response time of 6 ms and a high viewing angle in the vertical and horizontal direction for added versatility.

 

 

Africa :Govt Meetings Via Video Link a Step in the Right Direction

Last week, Rwandas local government officials from all the 30 districts interacted with the Minister for Local Government and Social Affairs via a video conferencing technology that streamed across the country.

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This was the inaugural central-local government meeting via video link technology, a platform that will now be the new way of conducting meetings between officials at different levels across the country. The first meeting was a success and local leaders hailed it as a milestone, saying it will spare them the burden of making trips to and from Kigali for meetings.

Interaction between the central and local governments is a crucial aspect in monitoring, coordination and fast-tracking of development programs.

Video conferencing, enabled by the availability of the ICT backbone in the form of the fiber optic cable in the country, is a breakaway from the traditional conference hall meetings, which are time consuming and expensive.

In the past it would require a lot of resources to organize such meetings in terms of hiring a conference venue, paying allowances for delegates from upcountry and booking them in hotels. This would cost the government millions of francs on organizing a single meeting.

With the new arrangement, however, government will save time and money it used to spend on such otherwise important meetings. Video conferencing will make meetings easier to arrange, overcoming some of the difficulties of getting local leaders from different places across the country to attend meetings in Kigali.

This approach is a step in the right direction and leaders at all levels should support and promote it. This initiative is the new way of conducting government business in the modern world. Other players, including the civil society, private sector and the academia should borrow a leaf.

 

Source : http://allafrica.com/stories/201310220133.html?aa_source=useful-column

Disney algorithm turns flatscreens bumpy

Flat screen displays can give the illusion of bumps and curves thanks to an algorithm developed at Disney Research laboratories in Pittsburgh, USA. The research arm of the American entertainment giant has developed an approach that alters the friction encountered by a fingertip as it glides across a screen surface.

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“Our brain perceives the 3D bump on a surface mostly from information that it receives via skin stretching,” said Ivan Poupyrev, who directs Disney Research, Pittsburgh’s Interaction Group.
“Therefore, if we can artificially stretch skin on a finger as it slides on the touchscreen, the brain will be fooled into thinking an actual physical bump is on a touchscreen even though the touch surface is completely smooth.”
“The traditional approach to tactile feedback is to have a library of canned effects that are played back whenever a particular interaction occurs,” said Ali Israr, research engineer at Disney who led the project.
Israr, who previously worked on Disney’s Surround Haptics project, continued: “This makes it difficult to create a tactile feedback for dynamic visual content, where sizes and orientation of features constantly change.
“With our algorithm we do not have one or two effects, but rely on a set of controls that make it possible to tune tactile effects to a specific visual artefact on the fly.”
In addition to Poupyrev and Israr, the research team included Seung-Chan Kim, a Disney Research, Pittsburgh intern and a PhD student at KAIST in Daejeon, South Korea.
A similar approach to haptic feedback has been taken by Senseg. Rumours that its technology would be used in Apple iPads were flying in March 2012 but so far that application has not materialised.

10 massive tech trends that will hit us by 2020

To say that the consumer electronics industry has changed everything would be an understatement on par with calling World War II a minor skirmish. We live in a world where people are willing to queue for days, just to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of their favorite device.

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Those devices don’t just do one thing either. They allow us to connect with people around the globe in ways that would have been impossible just a few years ago, using images, video and text in innovative ways.

More than that though, technology has become the catalyst for the next phase of innovation both in our personal lives and in business.

  • 3D Printing

One place where technology’s role as a catalyst for innovation is particularly evident is 3D printing. According to tech research company Gartner, we are in the beginnings of a “Digital Industrial Revolution” that threatens to reshape how physical goods are created and 3D printing is at the heart of it.

1. By 2018, 3D printing will result in the loss of at least US$100-billion per year in intellectual property globally

Near term flag: At least one major western manufacturer will claim to have had intellectual property (IP) stolen for a mainstream product by thieves using 3D printers who will likely reside in those same western markets rather than in Asia by 2015.

The plummeting costs of 3D printers, scanners and 3D modelling technology, combined with improving capabilities, says Gartner, makes the technology for IP theft more accessible to would-be criminals. Importantly, 3D printers do not have to produce a finished good in order to enable IP theft. The ability to make a wax mould from a scanned object, for instance, can enable the thief to produce large quantities of items that exactly replicate the original.

2. By 2016, 3D printing of tissues and organs (bioprinting) will cause a global debate about regulating the technology or banning it for both human and non-human use

Near term flag: The US Food and Drug Administration or comparable agency in a developed nation that is charged with evaluating all medical proposals will introduce guidelines that prohibit the bioprinting of life-saving 3D printed organs and tissues without its prior approval by end of 2015.

Bioprinting is the medical application of 3D printers to produce living tissue and organs. The day when 3D bioprinted human organs are readily available is drawing closer. The emergence of 3D bioprinting facilities with the ability to print human organs can leave people wondering what the effect of it will be on society. Beyond these questions, however, there is the reality of what 3D bioprinting means in helping people who need organs that are otherwise not readily available

  • Digital Business

Digital business refers to business created using digital assets and/or capabilities, involving digital products, services and/or customer experiences, and/or conducted through digital channels and communities. Gartner’s digital business predictions focus on the effect digital business will have on labour reductions, on consumer goods revenue, and on use of personal data. While these do not cover the sum total of digital business, they do highlight critical areas of medium to long-term impact.

3. By 2017, more than half of consumer goods manufacturers will receive 75% of their consumer innovation and R&D capabilities from crowdsourced solutions

Near term flag: Consumer goods companies that employ crowdsourced solutions in marketing campaigns or new product development will enjoy a 1 per cent revenue boost over non-crowdsourced competitors by 2015.

Consumer goods companies are engaging crowds much more aggressively and with increasing frequency using digital channels to reach a larger and more anonymous pool of intellect and opinion. Gartner reckons we’ll start to see a massive shift toward applications of crowdsourcing, enabled by technology, such as: advertising, online communities, scientific problem solving, internal new product ideas, and consumer-created products.

4. By 2020, digitisation will cause social unrest and a quest for new economic models in several mature economies

Near term flag: A larger scale version of an “Occupy Wall Street“-type movement will begin by the end of 2014, indicating that social unrest will start to foster political debate.

Digitisation means that a lot less labour is required to deliver goods and services. According to Gartner, this is fundamentally changing the way we pay for work. Long term, the research house says, this makes it impossible for increasingly large groups to participate in the traditional economic system — even at lower prices.

This, it says, will lead to more and more people using alternatives such as bartering, urging a return to protectionism or resurrecting initiatives like Occupy Wall Street, but on a much larger scale.

Mature economies will suffer most as they don’t have the population growth to increase demand nor powerful enough labour unions or political parties to (re-)allocate gains in what continues to be a global economy.

5. By 2017, 80% of people will collect, track and barter their personal data for cost savings, convenience and customisation

Near term flag: The number of Kickstarter-based auctions of personal data will increase by triple-digit percentages by the end of 2014.

The average person on the street is now, more than ever, aware of how much data is being collected about them. Interestingly, Gartner reckons that this has set the stage for offering people more control over the disposition of personal data — collected both online and offline.

As increasing demand and scarcity drives up the value of such data, it says, it’ll become increasingly worth people’s while to share it voluntarily. The collective interest in self-tracking meanwhile suggests that people are investing more time and energy in collecting data about themselves. They increasingly view such data as a key asset for life improvement, which could also be consistent with the idea of trading it for value under the right circumstances.

6. By 2020, businesses and governments will fail to protect 75% of sensitive data, and declassify and grant broad/public access to it

Near term flag: By 2015, at least one more Snowden or WikiLeaks moment will occur, indicating an upward trend in corporations and governments’ acceptance that they cannot protect all sensitive information.

The amount of data stored and used by businesses and governments is growing exponentially, such that any attempt to protect it all is unrealistic. Instead of facing an unfathomable task of protecting all data, organisations and governments will focus on protecting only a small part of it, but protecting it well. Wider society will also gain from this approach, enabling it to establish better control over government and business, preventing abuses of power and engendering greater trust.

  • Smart Machines

The emergence of smart machines adds opportunity and fear as “cognizant and cognitive systems” and can help with decision-making, but could also remove the need for humans in some processes. Some businesses will see this as a means of delivering greater efficiency, but will have to balance between the active human workforce and the cold efficiency of machines that can learn.

7. By 2024, at least 10% of activities potentially injurious to human life will require mandatory use of a non-overideable “smart system”

Near term flag: Economically priced cars with “automated assist” technology added as standard equipment will increase through 2014.

The increasing roll out of “smart systems” capable of automatically responding to external events is increasing all the time, but there remains a deep-seated resistance to eliminating the option for human intervention. The capability, reliability and availability of appropriate technology are not the issue. The real issue is the willingness of people to accept both it and increasing removal of manual override options.

8. By 2020, a majority of knowledge worker career paths will be disrupted by smart machines in both positive and negative ways

Near term flag: Virtual personal assistant usage in business grows more quickly in 2017 and 2018 than iPad usage did in 2010 and 2011.

Gartner reckons that smart machines will upend a majority of knowledge workers’ career paths by 2020. Smart machines exploit machine learning and deep-learning algorithms. They behave autonomously, adapting to their environment. They learn from results, create their own rules and seek or request additional data to test hypotheses. They are able to detect novel situations, often far more quickly and accurately than people. Anyone who’s a part of the knowledge economy needs to recognise that smart machines can create substantial competitive advantages, as well as entirely new businesses.

9. By 2017, 10% of computers will be learning rather than processing

Near term flag: In 2014, the number of speech recognition applications running on deep neural network algorithms will double.

Deep learning methods, based on deep neural networks, are currently being applied in speech recognition systems as well as some object recognition applications. Quality of life improves when society is able to derive useful information from the copious amounts of unstructured data collecting in the internet. The most important implication of a learning computer is that it expands much less energy to recognise more complex patterns.

  • Internet of Things

The Internet of Things cements the connection between machines, people and business interactions in the modern era.

With the advent of massively connected devices, businesses, governments and people now have access to more information about themselves and their surroundings than they can actually act on.

Gartner reckons there’s serious opportunity to build applications and services that can use that information to create new engagement models for customers, employees and partners, and to foster a new set of business and marketing models that give the word “engagement” real value.

10. By 2020, consumer data collected from wearable devices will drive five percent of sales from the Global 1000

Near term flag: The number of smartphone apps requesting to share consumer data will increase twofold by 2015, indicating a rise in the number of people looking to get their hands on customer profile data.

Wearable computing, or wearables, is quickly moving into mainstream society, led by the growing, multi-billion dollar health and fitness markets (think about the Nike+ Fuelband and the Jawbone Up). Within five years, says Gartner, consumer wearables will become more sophisticated, capturing what the user sees, hears or even feels through biorhythmic responses. The technical hurdles that have stalled the adoption of wearables (battery life, augmented reality, chip evolution and bandwidth) are quickly eroding; opening doors to creative minds determined to exploit this technology for commercial gain as evidenced by sizable investments in wearable technology from Samsung, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Source : http://memeburn.com

4 Advantages of Intercom systems for home security

We are living in the fast-paced world of 21st century and among many of the modern amenities that technology has offered us, Intercom security system is one of them. Intercom systems have proven an effective boon for home security in this crime-prone world. This system not only enables people to tighten the security measures of the homes but also to avoid unwanted or unwelcome visitors like salesmen.key_metal_home_214064

Intercom systems are available in a wide range starting from the simplest of gadgets to the more complex or intricate ones. Generally, they must be installed along with installing of doorbells (which, too, are these days, available in a wide range). Depending on your requirements and budget, you can install a wired intercom system or a wireless one (both of them are capable of fulfilling your requirements).

Advantages of Intercom systems:

It is owing to various benefits of intercom systems, that they are being demanded by every householder these days. Whether you reside in UK or US or in any other part of the world, installing an intercom device shall be more than the money’s worth. Here are some of the various advantages of both wired and wireless Intercoms:

1. Advanced security: Intercom system automatically takes your home security to a whole new level. The system is so designed that it makes a connection between the external front-door unit and the interior of the house using speakers & microphones. Thus, whenever someone presses the door bells, you are instantly alerted and you can directly speak to the visitor (from the safety of your interiors), ask him to introduce himself or the reason for his presence. Being a two-way communication device, Intercom also enables the visitor to answer back to you and thus you can make up your mind on whether the visitor is familiar& expected or stranger & suspicious. Thus, any untoward incident of forced entry by a crook can be avoided.

2. Comfort: The wireless doorbells alongside wireless Intercoms also proffer that complete comfort since you need not get up every time to answer the door.

3. Monitoring children’s activities: Intercoms also help a parent keep an eye on the young kids and children playing outside the compound. While there can be a telephonic conversation between the parents and the kids via intercoms, the modern day door bells also come with CCTV cameras that can further help in monitoring the activities of kids, girls, suspicious neighbors and passersby.

4. Other benefits: If you opt for wireless intercoms (teamed with wireless doorbells), you can also save on cost and escape hassles of cable wiring. Besides, wireless intercom systems lend you a lot more convenience especially if you have a large house or if you need to move from room to room.

 

 

source :  http://www.doorbellsdirect.com/

CCTV Surveillance Systems

sweden_stockholm_cameraIs your building as secure as it should be? Closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance presents the perfect way to enhance the safety and security of your facility without a proportional increase in your payroll expenses. Originally developed for public use as a measure to improve the security of banks, CCTV surveillance is now available for personal, private, and commercial use. Advanced Control Corporation, an industry-leading provider of closed circuit television surveillance technology, will design a closed circuit television system logically tailored to meet your building automation surveillance needs, which will secure your building and its inhabitants.

Advanced Control’s skilled and qualified professionals will use a mixture of camera types when carefully constructing your closed circuit television surveillance system to ensure your building security system provides full coverage:

  • Network (IP) Cameras
    Network (IP) camera systems transmit images, signals and data over a high-speed Ethernet link using internet protocol. Versatile and compact, they provide unmatched video resolution for the money, and give you with the ability to monitor your building with video surveillance via the web from anywhere in the world. Typically, several IP cameras are deployed together with a digital video recorder (DVR) or a network video recorder (NVR) to form a seamlessly integrated video surveillance system.
  •  Fixed Position Cameras
    Fixed position cameras are stable and rugged, engineered to last with swivel heads and telescopic mounts with adjustable swivel heads. They can be used both indoors and outdoors, on wall or ceiling mounts, and are available in a variety of colors, finishes, and camera values to fit your budget. Tying fixed position surveillance cameras to a digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR) provides an economical alternative to having a security guard watching a CCTV monitor 24/7.
  • Pan/Tilt/Zoom Cameras
    Pan/tilt/zoom, or PTZ, cameras offer a greater range of view; users can use the lens settings at its widest angle for general viewing, and then zoom in for a closer inspection when indicated. Rather than remaining trained on one spot, PTZ surveillance cameras give you the ability to view up-and-down, and side-to-side, virtually eliminating the security issue of individuals avoiding areas they are aware are being seen or recorded. You can easily view the entire front and sides of your building, simply by using the keypad or joystick controller to direct the PTZ camera in the direction you wish to observe, or by programming a user defined watch tour.
  • Thermal Imaging Cameras
    Thermal imaging cameras are an excellent surveillance and security option for any Video Surveillance System that requires the ability to view objects in low light or extreme lighting conditions. All objects, whether man made or natural, emit infrared energy as heat; thermal imaging technology detects the most subtle temperature differences to reveal what would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. The high-performance thermal imaging cameras Advanced Control provides as part of our complete CCTV solutions capture footage in complete darkness and in all weather conditions, to eliminate the vulnerabilities conventional surveillance systems can have.

To safeguard your premises and high-value assets, the complete closed circuit television surveillance system Advanced Control designs for you can provide instant alerts when trouble occurs, significantly reducing the threat of crime, theft, and destruction. When tied to a digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR), our CCTV surveillance systems also provide a first line of defense against nuisance lawsuits by recording any incidents allegedly occurring on the premises.