Categories
HR Tech

As we digitize, we need to humanize

Written by : Lori Figueiredo on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Co-create learning that has strategic impact, scalable reach and sustainable deployment

Ongoing waves of next generation technology…

As a learning strategist, I have been an early adopter throughout several waves of “next generation technology”.  In various forms, technology has always been and continues to be a very powerful enabler of learning.  This happens only when it is used as an integrated part of a learning strategy targeted to achieve pre-defined and measurable positive impact on performance (of the people and organisation).  

 

Recurring patterns 

I found the patterns and the simple rules within this complex world of people, performance and purpose, while working and learning globally with a diverse range of organisations from corporates, NGOs, governments, educational institutions to start-ups.

As technology evolves, some things remain the same…
The range of ways, in which humans react to any new technology, remain the same.  How we learn, how our brains work and the psychology of learning, remains the same. 

The paradox…

What has truly expanded is that we have more and more diverse, innovative, and impactful ways of how organisations could be enabling learning.  In addition, the pace, complexity and volume of what needs to be learned and unlearned has increased.  

Yet many organisations are still on the old island taking lecture-based classroom “training” &/or existing course content, which was not impactful in the first place and turning it into AI powered digital courses, virtual classrooms &/or even virtual reality experiences.

Formally support formal and informal learning

Let’s go back to the basics.  As a lifelong observer of people, I believe we have a natural capacity to learn, an innate wisdom as well as a need for connection and shared purpose.

Therefore learning works (i.e. has an impact on capabilities, behaviours and results) when we formally support both formal and informal learning.  Learning works when we respect our fellow human beings.  Learning works when we innovate with integrity leveraging the best in human psychology and the latest in technologyAs we digitise, we need to humanise.

Enabling the 3 ways we learn naturally

There are 3 ways we learn naturally.  In addition to this being based on research, take a moment to reflect on your own natural habits every day.  These include leveraging a combination of:

    • Digital Learning = Education via content available 24×7

    • Action Learning = Experiences to apply the learning while working

    • Social Learning = Exposure to learn from/with others

Organisations can therefore formally support learning as a daily habit by enabling a clear PROCESS which combines the 3 ways we learn.

Life is our classroom

Furthermore, every minute of the day we are presented with learning opportunities.  The millions of dollars invested in low-impact, high-cost learning solutions is a crime and defies basic common sense.  

It costs very little for any organisation to enable ongoing learning as a daily habit. It costs very little for the teams doing the real work, for example, to use their iphone cameras &/or basic PowerPoint to capture and share their tacit knowledge (Digital Learning).  

You do NOT need to do contrived role plays and irrelevant activities in a classroom when it costs very little to consciously apply what has been learned in the workplace (Action Learning).

In conjunction with the above, it costs and takes very little to reflect on and discuss with each other, experts, practitioners, coaches &/or mentors what has been achieved and what can be improved (Social Learning).

Observing and learning with high performing teams and organisations, I found 5Ps are always in place and aligned.  When we get the right PEOPLE together and support them to co-create a shared PURPOSE.  Thereafter, we put in place clear PROCESSES and the right PLATFORMS (online and offline) using clear guiding PRINCIPLES.  This creates a safe space that enables people to learn, adapt and improve as a daily habit.  

We found this applies irrespective of whether you are working with and upskilling underprivileged youth in the rural areas, private bankers in the big cities, operators in a factory, leaders in a board room or the frontliners of a popular restaurant brand.  

Technology amplifies, aggregates, increases accessibility and more…

What we are highlighting is that high performing organisations and teams create safe spaces to learn, adapt and improve every day.  They fail fast and learn faster.  Many call these agile teams and draw from the practices part of the agile approach, innovation and human centred design.  I draw on these and practices from development and cognitive psychology.

Whatever our source, how we learn and evolve as a human race from prehistoric times to today and in future, there is nothing that is completely new.  (Wall art and papyrus scrolls was the ancient form of technology (= makes things easier) and their form of digital learning available 24×7).

What continues to evolve is that technology takes what we do, accelerates and amplifies our efforts in ways that are even more scalable and sustainable.  For example, a great speaker can create and instantly broadcast a relevant and meaningful message company-wide to thousands of people in a few minutes using a live video.  

Technology allows us to aggregate, integrate and increase accessibility by bringing all the learning resources via an integrated or single front-end platform – from content, people to experiences.

Technology allows us to use AI such as sourcing very widely and then in seconds recommending relevant learning resources based on the Learner’s profile, needs and interests. 

Technology is allowing us to distribute, consume, exchange and track learning and its impact on results using web2 such as learning experience platforms and now web3 technology such as the blockchain, NFTs and virtual reality spaces

Design for impact; Don’t lead with technology

Yet as we leverage technology as an enabler of learning, the entire strategy must be designed for impact.  We must not lead with technology.  The technology as an enabler comes last in the design process.  We can also reverse engineer and then iterate the original design as we learn more about new ways technology can be used.  

We must design the end-to-end experience focusing on the human elements, human experience and impact. 

Digital learning using learning technology as a standalone, without the human element in the real-life context, will not impact performance.  It will not impact a change in our behaviours and results.

In addition to this – why learning technology is deployed and what capabilities it develops must consider human or soft skills.  Soft skills have never been more important.  Human intelligence combined with artificial intelligence is still the best combination.  For this and many other reasons, developing our empathy, resilience, problem solving and communication skill sets and mindset, as examples, remain as critical future skills as the hard technical skills of any role.
If we innovate with integrity leveraging the best in human psychology and the latest in technology – as we digitise in business, society and learning, we will remain human-centred.

Most searched queries

What is digitalization

Digitization vs digitalization

Benefits of digitalization

Most searched question

What is digital humanization?

What does it mean to humanize technology?

What is digitalization in healthcare?

Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

For more such amazing content follow Digilah

Categories
Med/Health Tech

Health tech a boon to Women’s health

Written by : Bhawana Yadav on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Women’s health is the most neglected sector, even after multiple attempts of bringing attention to it on different horizontal and vertical levels. According to WHO health is the culmination of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of an individual

A woman starts her biological journey from the onset of puberty, fertility years, and menopause, and till life continues. 

LevelUpForWomen, a women’s health and wellness-based startup working on the niche of reversing PCOS was co-founded by partners Chetan Arora and Bhawana Yadav. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common endocrine disturbance that affects roughly 6% to 12% of women of reproductive age. The data is still insufficient as most of the women go undiagnosed due to several factors in their lives and the lack of PCOS-based specific scientific research and developments.

 The startup was conceived based on personal experience and lack of guidance by the medical fraternity for the initial years of bearing with PCOS symptoms. It is currently bootstrapped and is already on the profitable side from the business perspective. 

Technology has been a boon for women’s healthcare, especially in the post-pandemic world. It can be looked at from both the sociological and economic lens to arrive at the conclusion that healthcare and technology are a great combination for the knowledge and wellness revolution. 

In a research conducted by Mckinsey, they analyzed 763 FemTech companies (FemTech a term coined by entrepreneur Ida Tin) largely tech-based and enabled, consumer-centric solutions addressing women’s health, excluding biopharma and incumbent medical devices as well as the companies which included unisex services.

It concluded the beginning of the FemTech revolution and domination in public awareness and generating large-scale funding, However, the services were earlier limited to menstrual products, devices, and applications. 

New startups like LevelUpForWomen have proven to be a one-stop virtual healthcare and wellness platform. 

In our experience and case studies, technology in terms of social media has become a great tool for social awareness and probing to take an action even if you are sitting in the far remote corner of the country.

It does not just act as a catalyst and solution provider to the direct consumer but also a great medium to sensitise other genders and generations which have hushed over women’s reproductive health for centuries. 

In the post-pandemic world, the mental and physical health of women has undergone a major toll, being the bearer of family and trying to manage work-life balance has become even more difficult. The results are visible in hormonal imbalances, increased stress, anxiety, and depression cases. Women feel safer reaching out to judgement

-free healthcare solutions online rather than visiting traditional clinics where the approach is the same as it was 20 years ago. 

The FemTech revolution in the healthcare industry is still in a nascent stage and will take time to be accepted in Tier-2 cities with fewer apprehensions but it is the dawn of the future.

Women are finding a supportive community via these technological mediums and a platform to grow and heal and restore balance in their lives. These developments promise a tomorrow where health tech will not just expand the female consumer-oriented business but also provide an opportunity for groundbreaking research and growth for sustainable women’s health. 

MOST SEARCHED QUESTION

What is a common female health concern?

What is the most important issue in women’s health?

MOST SEARCHED QUERIES

Women’s health startups India

FemTec Health careers

Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

For more such amazing content follow Digilah

Categories
HR Tech

How technology affects the work environment today?

Written by Shweta Rautela on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

In the prevailing scenario, Technology has perpetually converted the way people across industries do their work.

From the past two decades digital evolution has improved working conditions immensely. It has augmented productivity and made working from anywhere accessible.

I am going to shed light to some of the upsides and downsides I have witnessed with the emerging technology trends.

⏩ Team Collaboration made easier:

Thanks to the virtual communication tools, it allows us to work more closely even as we work remotely. Team collaborations have been simplified. People don’t have to be present physically at the same place.

Video conferencing, meeting remotely and working on the same stuff at once with cloud based file sharing has made our life easier.

Automated follow-ups and customer service using AI messaging has outperformed the heavy lifting.

⏩ No longer need to stay at the Workplace:

Major impact of digital evolution in the workplace is the workplace itself. Majority of workplaces still ask you to work on-site, there are plenty of positions open to work remotely all over the country.

Advancements in global job hunts have given wings to our fulfillments and outlived the restrictions to our capabilities. We can freelance from anywhere. Organizations can hire potential candidates half a world away.

⏩ Efficiency and Incessant Speed:

Technology is the real boost. Employees have become systematically structured than ever before. What used to be a cumbersome tiring process is now done in seconds. Messages can be sent instantly to colleagues and clients across the world. Payments, billings and proposals can be taken care off immediately.

🚫 Some of the downsides include anxiety due to increased working hours. If you work from home it may feel like you are never out of the office. Flashing, pinging constantly draw Employees back to their jobs.

The learning curve to implement new methodologies separating employees by screens leads to miscommunication. Being glued to systems disrupts people and automated voicemails sometimes can make clients upset.

In a nutshell, technology in the office environment has encouraged productive habits. Organizations with advanced approaches may consider the gains in efficiency from technology as a reason to slow down as opposed to rushing the process. 

I hope employees one day will get notified to take a break instead of handling more work related demands.

 

Most searched question

What role does technology play in today’s workforce?

What are the 10 advantages of technology?

What are the effects of technology on employees?

Most searched queries  

Impact of technology on organizations

Beneficial and ill effects of technology in work

Negative impact of technology in the workplace


Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

For more such amazing content follow Digilah

Categories
Mar Tech

Opportunities with O2O Commerce (Online-to-Offline)

Written by Gunalan R on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Many brick and mortar businesses have put new retail and omnichannel strategies on their agenda. The pandemic has pushed many consumers, like us, online. But yet, different sets of consumers still long for the in-store experiences. 

On another note, companies, now, have to battle with a mix of high inflation, consumer behaviour and changing trends. With big brands like Walmart and Shopify laying off their workforce, there is a significant uncertainty in the retail industry.

That said, all sectors of the retail industry had embraced technology solutions to accelerate the pace of digital transformation. 

For the many of our beloved retails brands, offline-to-online commerce (O2O) is the solution. 

O2O integration is where retailers use online and offline to provide improved customer experiences. It’s a strategy to convert traffic from ecommerce into offline sales. 

A report by Forrester notes that while online shopping is projected to grow to 27% of overall retail sales by 2023, consumers are rethinking the in-store experience – with 40% of adults in the US saying they enjoy shopping in stores less than before the pandemic.

A hybrid O2O retail model bridges the two channels with a single strategy – elevating in-store shopping with digitally-enhanced experiences, while providing enticing virtual environments online. As customers become more experience-driven, the gap between ecommerce and physical stores is further reduced, with completely re-imagined customer journeys.

Virtual shopping with live digital support

Online shoppers can be instantly connected to skilled in-store staff to explore products. Customisable web widgets for live chat, audio and video calls can be leveraged for instant customer service or virtual shopping experiences. These widgets can also be activated by clicking web links – which many businesses design in their branding as buttons or images on their websites, inviting shoppers to enjoy tailored shopping experiences.

Digital platforms connect customers to staff best suited to their needs, while delivering rich customer insights. 

They can even follow up with the customer over their preferred instant messaging and social media channels for better relationship building – even sending special offers and deals exclusive to that customer.

Many of us know QR codes where customers can scan them for shopping, provide product information and make payments

Another way is to bridge the divide between in-person and virtual environments through QR codes. This blends the O2O shopping experience. For example, sharing of QR codes in marketing campaigns and advertisements, or sending a message on your Facebook Pages can transform them into a powerful communication platform. Strong retail relationships can be built through live chat, instant message platforms, virtual number or video calls and more. A QR code linked to a cloud-based omnichannel solution can help you to build a 360° customer profile with minimal effort.

Humanising your brand to nurture customer relationships

Modern customers have come to expect almost immediate responses to their queries. If you keep them waiting, or force them to navigate through a complicated procedure to answer their question, you will miss opportunities and risk losing customers to the competition. Another key differentiator is quality of service – which the right technology platform can help with, through the power of data.

By building close relationships through on-demand communication, staff can give guidance to customers based on their unique preferences, habits and order history, ensuring a fully personalised journey. This is vital, given that 86% of customers cite an emotional connection with staff as a reason to continue doing business with a brand.

Inspire loyalty from existing and new customers by building a brand that they love through a total customer engagement platform

Most searched question 

Why is O2O important?

What does O2O mean in marketing?

What are the four types of e-commerce?

Most searched queries

O2O strategy
O2O process
O2O benefits

Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

For more such amazing content follow Digilah

Categories
Logistic & Travel Tech

Happy employees are key to achieving goals

 

Written by Kiran Sidhu on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Great top-down leadership doesn’t end at laying down the groundwork. A good business leader knows that a people-first mindset is key to a company’s growth. It is a fact that staff satisfaction tends to reflect on their productivity and loyalty. And who better to represent your company than a loyal and happy employee?

Business travel today is one aspect of work that is very much changed from how it was pre-2020. It is an area that business leaders must acknowledge has a direct impact on employee happiness. Travel risk and trip preparations call for more energy and closer attention to detail in order to achieve quality business trips. 

But it is not just “how” business travel is done that has changed. Companies are also assessing the “why” and assessing the rationale behind each trip. Business travel is often pitted against video calls though the former is proven unrivaled in forging connections and winning deals. However, paying more attention to the purpose of travel is worth doing to achieve greater employee happiness, less risk and save costs.

Are employees happy to travel for business? 

The novelty of jet setting for work can wane over time – no one likes long layovers, delays and crowded airports. But the bleisure trend shows no sign of slowing. On top of that, people want to deliver their best work and excel in their careers. And research shows that face-to-face meetings and business trips yield better business results. Whether employees like to travel for business comes down to a matter of preference and support. 

This is where business travel management makes all the difference, not just to those traveling but also to employees in human resources, finance, managers, and other roles. Modern travel management empowers employees to choose how they travel within the parameters of the company travel policy. Travel management done right lets employees know they are well protected, trusted and valued. The culture of a company is determined by how people feel at work.

Here’s how modern, technology-driven business travel management keeps employees happy.

Peace of mind with risk & safety tools

Safety is not just about having a policy in place but communicating it well to ensure employees know how they are covered. Employees having peace of mind is invaluable, especially when in a new and unfamiliar environment. Feeling safe during business trips positively impacts confidence and unwittingly equips them to do better work.

 Your company travel policy may cover how employees are taken care of if something goes wrong but using a modern travel management tool ensures you stay proactive in preventing untoward incidents. 

Global disease outbreak? TruTrip’s integration with Riskline, for example, alerts you ahead of time so you can choose your next course of action – whether repatriation, treatment or other support. 

Employees achieve more when admin tasks are fewer

Business travel requires careful planning, budgeting and reporting. When done manually, one business trip creates spillover tasks for human resources, finance, team managers, travel managers, administrative staff and the traveler itself. That’s a lot of time that can be saved through streamlining and automation.

Using a travel management platform frees up your employees’ time, letting them do more of the work they take pride in. No more booking and comparing flights and hotels on different platforms; researching travel requirements; reimbursements and reporting; lengthy back and forth travel approvals and requests, and arcane company travel policy. 

Overall, it sets your company up to do more and better meet your goals.

Empowering employees to make travel choices 

Company travel policies inform employees of budgets and other rules to comply with. But despite the best of intentions, business trip bookings and expenses may sometimes fall outside the confines of travel policy. Using a travel management platform takes away the challenge of implementation. Set up your company travel policy and bookings are automatically compliant. 

Instead of restricting employees to booking with certain hotels and star ratings, smart policy implementation lets them choose travel based on their needs and preferences – whether that is direct or connecting flights, unique accommodation types and other trip extras. Select a travel management partner that gives you extensive travel choices. These minor customisations can go a long way to ensuring business traveler satisfaction. 

Support and service at every stage of your business trip 

A dedicated support team that’s one call, chat, or email away at all times can take the edge off traveling in a high-stress environment. Quality travel management gives you easy, self-service options to make planning business trips a breeze. And at any point, if you need help, having someone to talk to makes for a better overall experience. 

But it is not just pre-trip that support is useful. Employees having access to the right support while on business trips are critical. Things can go wrong when traveling – missing travel documents, injuries, bad hotel experiences and more. Your travel management partner is your dedicated point of contact to help resolve issues for you. 

TruTrip makes business travel enjoyable and safeWith our modern technology and tools, employees can better dedicate their time to organizational growth. There is no better time than now to get started on impactful business travel. To learn more about TruTrip, schedule a demo or sign up for a free trial.

Most searched question 

Why are happy employees essential for a successful business?

What are 10 ways to motivate employees?

 

Most searched queries

Benefits of happy employees

Happy employees are productive employees

 

Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

For more such amazing content follow Digilah

 

Categories
Web 3.0 Tech

Solving Complex 21st Century Challenges through Disruption

Written by Khoi Koin Crypto on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

It took me a while to synthesise my thoughts on how to introduce this new market entrant in a short piece like this. I have finally resorted to a schematic in my head that will bring the entire white paper to the readership, thought leaders and generally all consumers of this type of information. Mpowa is a start-up that punches way above its waist, and with good cause too, since it is the mission of the rookie company to disrupt various aspects of the global geo-political landscape.

 Some of these include the blockchain based economy and Web3, renewable energy and resource sovereignty (at a household level), and healing (I know, broad concept, but that is my intention here) at the social, economic and physiological (mental, psychological, emotional) layers of life.

Now that is already a mouthful, right? And so, let me jump right in and give you our cursory remarks contained in the white paper:

“This blockchain-based interactive SaaS platform, is contrived to stimulate society to collectively ensure global resource sufficiency and accessibility for sustainable healthy living. Aiming to serve humanity as a whole, on the increasingly more turbulent and polluted planet earth.

Averting unnecessary illness and death is the most important reason for Mpowa’s existence, as every human being should ideally be able to live in a healthy way. By continually increasing the Energy Flux Density, resource abundance is within reach. Mpowa does not agree to the general consensus of mandatory vaccination and consumption control in order to reduce emissions.

By also empowering externally organised SDG-oriented clean-tech projects to present themselves on the platform, Mpowa facilitates the industry with a high-standard GTM opportunity, while also permitting low-cap / high value projects to raise the necessary funding to succeed. 

Transparency and auditability are key features of blockchain technology, which provide traceability of funds (resource allocation can be tracked from start to finish) and verifiable Proof of Impact.

Constant transparency and credibility also differentiates the SaaS platform from established competitors and well known large-scale foundations that utilise traditional banking technology.

Mpowa’s data-driven approach is in line with the UN’s DSDs to match the United Nations National Quality Assurance Frameworks Manual (UNNQAFM) for Official Statistics.

By utilising blockchain technology, Mpowa provides an additional credibility layer to ensure data quality, transparency of set definitions and important terms and project methodology towards contributors and auditors.”

There you have it, in a nutshell. As a teaser I am hoping to continually bring more puzzle pieces to this audience in order to shape the full picture, as well as, spark genuine interest among specialists to cultivate an irrepressible desire to join forces with Mpowa’s mission to:

  • cover the world in disruptive IoT technologies
  • cutting-edge renewable energy and resource technologies (as opposed to mature cleantech like solar or wind energy generation modalities
  • the latest (some in post-clinical trial stage and others in early commercialisation stage) medical (healing is my preferred word though) technologies
  • bring opportunities for carbon sequestration, carbon credits/finance, accurate carbon footprint reduction and data measurement to an individual, household, community or large-scale (angel and conventional) investors within a single Web3 Decarboniser App

These constitute a simplified synopsis of the intricate ecosystem that is Mpowa.

How did I get to become the Managing Director: Mpowa Africa (as part of Mpowa Global)? What appealed to me was that it convinced me to largely abandon the daily slog for the chance to be associated with this kind of unique and disruptive platform, one may ask? Especially since I have been doing my stint of just over a year and a half at risk. Well, I guess there are no short answers to fairly interesting questions, right?

The CEO of Mpowa Global, Ryan Lavelle, based in the UK and the Netherlands, and I spoke at a global blockchain event and connected shortly afterwards. I am in no way any sort of technical  expert of any of the value propositions mentioned above. But I am passionate about the blockchain based economy as the antithesis of the conventional, broken FIAT economy.

I am basically a lifelong activist and have moved on from politics to life 11 years ago. Apart from taking activism to the blockchain, I view real practical caring for the planet and sentient life with the same lens. Activism around nutrition, wellness (as apart from health) and exploring human capabilities since 2008.

Needless to say, after warning Ryan that I was not interested in being recruited via social media (LinkedIn in this case), I was indeed prepared to listen to him. When he was done talking I changed my tune to “recruit away, please”, started volunteering and set important networks up for Mpowa’s first footprint where I live, South Africa. 

The complexity of the web that is the Mpowa ecosystem is the direct result of Ryan’s brilliant mind, as a systems thinker, his many failed attempts (an important criterion in my book) on similar projects and his desire and passion to effect change at a tangible, real person level. These are ambitious aspirations, to use a euphemism. And it takes indefatigable energy, dedication and teeth gritting to stay the course. 

Somehow, Ryan has managed to bring into the fold a remarkable collection of individuals who all have highly technical skills, experience and networks in the various fields in which Mpowa plays.

Having been inducted, I had to hear and watch many presentations to various prospective clients, partners, beneficiary community members and so on. After all of these I had two things to say.

“Make it relevant to the lowest common denominators in all societies (people who sleep under cardboard boxes, bridges and in streets) otherwise it is not worth my while.”

“I am here for Africa first. So my involvement is towards Africa and beyond!

As a social scientist, politics and international relations specifically, I have become somewhat adept at problematising the world we live in. By way of illustration, I have no use case for the word “democracy” given the barrage of empirical evidence, extensive knowledge-base and universal lived experience of 97% of all people everywhere. Neither does Mpowa. For one, democracy is a top down practice, in spite of its name.

We use the concept of “really democratising” the fields we operate in. We have operations in a number of African countries where we are employing (through bootstrap personal funds) heroes and heroines who engage, mobilise, organise and conceptualise community-specific projects in any and all of the fields we find ourselves in.

These projects are then submitted to the Mpowa DAO for funding. This is a simple showcase of what “bottom up” means.

It means that people decide what they need and therefore want, an autonomous body considers the merits/demerits and local partners (NGOs) become implementing agents. At this point it becomes necessary to mention that the technology, the campaigns, the projects all are simultaneously tokenized, as NFTs.

Therefore the impact, even at household levels would be, for example, sanitation (potable water) and economic (tradable NFTs). We are agitating for more innovation for the latter impact, which will in all likelihood be realised through the Decarboniser  app.

I would be cheating the reader if I didn’t mention that we also drive major social campaigns on either continental or global scale. Our current campaign, Stop the Abuse (including gender-based, infanticide, crimes against children and so on), is in the final, pre-launch phase.

We are currently morphing out of the pre-seed phase into the funding phase. If you are at least a little intrigued by this, and looking forward to the next instalment, please connect with us for in-depth discussions around the platform, the funding requirements and the epochal odyssey ahead of us. Here is another short teaser to complete an initial picture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cL99PDxERs&feature=youtu.be

Most searched queries

The Stages of Disruption

Disruption examples

Types of disruption

Most searched question

What is disruption risk?

What do we mean by disruption?

What is disruption in technology?



Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

For more such amazing content follow Digilah

Categories
Wellness/Beauty Tech Web 3.0 Tech

Aromatically Yours!

Written by Candice Midde on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Aromas can play a significant role in our daily lives and the virtual world is highly influencing us more to take the leap of faith and create magic with our senses.

We were taught about the five senses in our childhood and the sense of ‘smell’ is the one of those that triggers our subconscious memory and it’s intuitive to the events around us. This goes back to the classic Annie’s song, “You fill up my senses like a night in the forest…” and so on, John Denver describes the scent of his woman. Smell is a chemical language that is most of the time taken for granted. It is so natural to us and reminds us of memories, that we do not have to put in a lot of thought and effort. However, the pandemic has changed our lifestyles a lot.

Senses that travel

While digitization has taken place and our screen time has increased enormously, all the other senses are very much active and put into conscious use. Smell is critical and how one link to the digital world is challenging. In the past, a lot of experimentation has been done capturing scents from nature and mimicking them in the lab to re-create the same magic as one would experience. From the smell of coffee in coffee bars to the aroma of popcorn in movie theaters. Virtual electronic noses were invented to analytically deep dive into fragrance specifications to be ahead of competition.

Captivating 

“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will.” quoted Patrick Suskind in his 1985 novel, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Tricks of the trade have been creating this fantasy of smells not so familiar, packaging them with colors, concepts, ingredient stories, enhanced mood music playlists have persuaded us to stay at stores for longer, shop more and control our thoughts through neuroscience technology.

Driven to act

Smell can help us make choices and decisions to try and buy products. Many perfume, cosmetic and beverage companies are engaging consumers through social media with their fragrance and flavor wheels to opt for their preferences on how the product would smell or smell and taste like. Visuals play a key role in helping consumers pick their brand. It is all about the perception created of what we are exposed to: What you see, is what you believe!

Borrowing neighbors

These days edible fruity flavors are found in lip care, beverages are inspired by lavender flowers, candles come in aromas of bacon and thus, cross category fertilization is a trend that is picking up. And the involvement of Millennial and Gen-Zs has been tremendous returning to nostalgic memories when it comes to aromas. 

The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) techniques going viral on Instagram and TikTok during lockdowns have boosted the rise of influencers and bloggers that review products and spread the word. Today it is not the celebrity endorsement that works but ordinary users that leave more credibility especially the usage ideas of innovative formats that are popular on YouTube.

More is yet to come!

This is just the beginning, and the world is yet to witness a huge revolution of metaverse calling. Chatting with virtual bots and artificial intelligence devices, virtual gaming and role-playing avatars are no less than an alien arriving on our planet and creating a ‘world within a world.’

Every conversation and movement are captured to extract data, thereby closely monitoring day-to-day activities, from our actions to what is going on in our minds. There are pros and cons to every sci-fi made real, but eventually using these to the best of our advantage is co-creating a world of instant, faster and agile consumerism. The question is are we ready to trust this new world? 

Aromatically Yours!

Candice Midde

Aromas & Sensory Expert working in an MNC

Most searched queries

Research paper on perfume

Study of perfume making

Most searched question

What is the strongest smell?

Which smell is good for health?

What is an example of aroma?

 

Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

For more such amazing content follow Digilah

Categories
Web 3.0 Tech Art Tech

How Web3 could help Local Artisans retain the heritage of their Art  

Written by : Ajit Padmanabh on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Introduction

There is a palpable sense of skepticism in many with regards to the promise of inclusivity in Web3. Many believe that all talk of decentralization is a mere hype and is not implementable.

When one looks at the Metaverse players across various layers and that the metaverse market is projected to be worth $12Tn by 2030, the values of pay-parity, equity and inclusivity need to be lived in and by the Metaverse players. 

Are there companies working on inclusivity and equity in places like Africa and economically backward countries?

Are there real possibilities to generate revenue and employment for the deprived or underprivileged classes of our society, with Web3 technologies? 

The internet had made similar promises in the beginning and the utopian dream died within years of its inception. If we look at the internet today, there are pockets of improvement in revenue generation in rural and tribal populations but largely, it has skewed more, making the privileged a little more privileged.

 Hence, considering the promise of Web3 in decentralization and self-sufficiency in revenues, this article attempts to provide scenarios across various layers of Metaverse as depicted below, to make this utopian ideal a reality. 

The Artisan Community and Indian Craft

As an ancient civilization that has birthed many cultures and has seen numerous migrations and invasions, India has a rich heritage in the field of arts.

Craft as a term was historically limited to “goods worked by hand” but now includes a broader canvas – all things art, like Music, Dance, Painting, Sculptures, Textiles etc. Even if we limit Indian craft to “Handicrafts” across states, the variety in art form and media is unparalleled. 

The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) is a nodal agency for promoting exports of handicrafts from India to various destinations of the world and projecting India’s image abroad as a reliable supplier of high-quality handicrafts goods & services. 

The Handicrafts exports during the year 2021-22 was Rs.33253.00 Crores (US$4459.76 Million) registering a growth of 29.49% in rupee terms & 28.90% in dollar terms over previous year1. While the growth is promising especially from a tourism perspective, this may have a miniscule impact on the overall rating of India as the Vishwaguru

Revenue Generation for Artisans, while preserving the Art Heritage 

The fast-paced Digital Age is only going to get faster with Industry 4.0. With technologies like VR/AR, 3D-Scanning and 3D-Modeling, 3D-Printing as well as Web 3.0 constructs (and buzzwords) like the NFT, Metaverse and Blockchain, the craft Industry has all the components aligned for that leapfrog moment. 

A lot of artisan communities and tribal art communities in India are now extinct and some on the verge of extinction – this is a challenge that uniquely presents itself to us as an opportunity if we leverage the technologies mentioned above. 

Industry 4.0 terms Technology as a driver of change, and not merely an enabler. We should look to harness this driver for Indian Craft and the numerous communities associated with it.

There is a need to look at Indian Craft holistically, including all forms of fine art and performing arts, compounded by technology and tourism. We Illustrate these possibilities by taking the famous Channapatna Toys from Karnataka, as an example. They are protected as a Geographical Indication (GI) under the World Trade Organisation administered by the Government of Karnataka. 

Channapatna Toys could be put up on an artisan marketplace in the Metaverse. The artisan would be able to directly engage in selling goods in 3D and voice-interact with consumers worldwide. With technologies like 3D-scanning and 3D-printing, consumers worldwide would be able to see, touch and feel these products via Haptic technologies and also view the story of the artisan behind it.

Such multi-sensory experiences are disruptive and could help consumers in accelerating their buying decisions, something the Internet has not been able to achieve. 

Consumers will not only get to pick up local artisans’ produce but also engage with them and know more about our culture, traditions and heritage from their standpoint. The same product, once digitized, could be converted to limited edition NFTs during special seasons. The underlying financial technology could be powered by Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) or Blockchain, keeping the transaction decentralized, bereft of middle-men. 

Imagine the access for the artisans to the entire Indian Diaspora across the world and imagine the ease of access and purchase for the consumers, at large. This will also help the Artisans transfer knowledge to the next generation, a large number of who are looking for better economic opportunities in cities. 

As mentioned earlier, this is the main reason why India has lost a lot of tribal and native art. With metaverse and ancillary technologies, the hope is that we will be able to reverse this trend and preserve art heritage for posterity while making it economically viable for the artisans at scale, something that is unknown and unprecedented in today’s times.

Early traction in such technology-driven soft power can certainly propel India onto the world stage and make traditional Indian artisans global celebrities, giving them the much needed recognition and respect.    

Conclusion 

Indian Heritage and Culture is multi-layered, with each layer having the capability to catapult India’s soft-power quotient. One could experience it through ancient monuments, scriptures, textiles, crafts, music, dance, food, sports, folktales and many more. 

There is a need to look at each of these layers from a Technology and Tourism standpoint, the intent being to preserve and propagate Heritage and Cultures of the world, including the most backward communities.

If deployed across other art-forms like paintings, pottery, sculptures, textiles, and even artists like musicians and dancers, Artisans worldwide have tremendous potential to earn from a global market without boundaries. 

References:

  1. https://indiaeducationdiary.in/piyush-goyal-union-minister-of-commerce-industry-consumer-affairs-food-public-distribution-and-textiles-govt-of-india-graces-handicrafts-export-award-function-as-chief-guest-and-gives-away/ 

Most searched question 

Why do we need Web3?

Is Web3 virtual reality?

Are Web 3.0 and the metaverse the same thing?

Most searched queries

Web3 social impact

Web3 blockchain

 

Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

 For more such amazing content follow Digilah

Categories
Web 3.0 Tech Med/Health Tech

Thoughts On How India Can Leapfrog In Web3 

 

Written by : Ajit Padmanabh on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Introduction

For an entrepreneur and a technologist like myself, the potential of Web3 bringing in a Hardware manufacturing and R&D revolution in India, feels like music to the ears. India has long been viewed as a cheaper alternative for software services, an industry largely responsible for creating millionaires and scores of ambitious tech entrepreneurs.

Now, with the Hitech Manufacturing facilities being set up in various states, including Mysore and Bangalore, it’s time the world takes notice of India for their high-end hardware needs.

India – The Potential

India is the fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy in the world and the fifth-largest overall, with a nominal GDP of $2.94 trillion. India became the fifth-largest economy in 2019, overtaking the United Kingdom and France.

India is expected to overtake Germany to become fourth-largest economy in 2026 and Japan to become third largest in 2034, according to a recent report by the UK-based Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

The Indian Software services industry contributes 8% to the overall GDP currently (from 1.2% in 1998), and is among its largest contributors. 

India is blessed with a demographic dividend – 60% of the 1.3Bn population being under 35 years of age. Compared to other Asian giants like China and Japan, India is in an extremely favorable position to chart out a growth trajectory for the 21st century, especially in tech sectors like Hitech Manufacturing, Semiconductors, Device Hardware etc.India has been striving to attract foreign investment across sectors and is steadily climbing up the ladder as far as ease of doing business is concerned, worldwide. 

India is also the second largest mobile phone market in the world, next only to China. 

The government is taking steps to boost local manufacturing through initiatives such as the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for large-scale electronics manufacturing, Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), and the scheme for modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0). Recently, the announcement of India’s first semiconductor plant to be setup in Mysore at a cost of ₹22,900 crore ($3 billion), has ushered-in a new wave of focus on hardware across the nation. 

The semiconductor plant is expected to generate 1,500 high-tech and high-caliber jobs, and about 10,000 ancillary jobs, according to K.S. Sudheer, General Manager, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), Mysore Cluster. 

Opportunities in Hardware Development with Web3

As far as systems’ topology for Web3 is concerned, the visualization landscape is driven by VR/AR. For decades, VR has seemed like a futuristic dream that is just around the corner, but never reaches its full potential. 

This time, however, might really be different. Recent advances in the power of VR hardware, notably the headsets and processors used to produce realistic VR experiences, suggest that VR is finally powerful enough and cheap enough to go mainstream.1 It, however, remains clunky and heavy leading to a cognitive loss of immersion for the user. 

To add to it, multi-sensory experiences demand peripheral wearables like Haptic Gloves and suits, among others, further depleting the embodied cognition necessary for Web3 immersive experiences. In fact, one of the reasons for VR not being adopted mainstream is the weight and discomfort with the present HMDs (Head-Mounted Devices).

R&D Opportunities with Head-Mounted Devices

This is a great opportunity for India to shine with indigenous R&D that could not only look to reduce the size and increase the comfort of these HMDs but also price them so as to disrupt the global market. 

In terms of XR devices, a beginning has been made with JioGlass (Tesseract) and AjnaLens but complete indigenous technology across the supply-chain is still undeveloped. Some of the areas for R&D include assessment of the underlying optics technology in HMDs. For example, a technique called polarization-based optical folding is a way to design lenses so light bounces in the right way to the human eye so on-screen images are displayed properly—but the light doesn’t need to physically travel as far as it does in traditional optics. That makes the space needed for VR optics smaller. 

The other technique under consideration is holographic optics, an optics technology that “bends light like a lens but looks like a thin, transparent sticker”. Holographic optics replace glass or plastic lenses, making the resulting VR headset much lighter. In fact, these advances could make the VR headsets of tomorrow, with proposed designs less than 10mm in thickness. Meta is at the forefront of this research with large investments.2

Clearly, the stakes are high and so is the investment. It’s definitely a bus India cannot afford to miss. Timely interventions have already been initiated by the Govt.

Our innovative minds need to be brought together from multiple domains like Physics, Material Sciences, Nanotechnology, Neurosciences etc. across research institutes like IITs, IISc to help crack the pilot-prototype-fabrication-commercialization cycle. 

R&D Opportunities with Multi-sensory Peripheral Devices

Today, research into multi-sensory experiences yields peripheral devices for each sensory experience – Gloves and Suits for Haptics (touch), scent-based devices (smell) and gustatory (taste) devices

A person who wants to be immersed in the virtual world should have no cognition of the real world. In this case, however, the user is well aware of these devices clinging to him, thanks to their weight and design, thereby hampering the experience and the power of Web3, for the user.

The opportunity, therefore, is to look at an integrated multi-sensory device as well as BCI (Brain-Computer Interface) capabilities that can be leveraged to create a seamless, immersive experience for the user. It is noteworthy to mention that initial steps in this regard have been undertaken at various IITs, especially IIT Chennai (Haptics), IIT Jodhpur (Sensory Devices) and IIT Bhubaneswar. 

A Defense-Academia-Industry collaborative setup would help accelerate targeted research into design and usage of such devices. 

This has huge potential for India in terms of IP ownership, Manufacturing and Commercialization, on a global scale. The aesthetics and function of these devices are equally important. These devices should be disruptive and act as lifestyle products which could yield greater market access globally.

Conclusion

Some of you reading this article may have your own ideas/concepts. The need of the hour is to institutionalize hardware R&D for Web3 and execute it on mission-mode much like what India did with institutions like ISRO and BARC.

It’s time for the world to take note of India as a viable and necessary market and destination for hardware launches and cutting-edge research & development in hardware manufacturing and testing. India needs to set itself up and be laser-focused on the path of R&D, Aesthetics and Commercialization of indigenous hardware for Web3, to realize that leapfrog moment.

References

  1. https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2021/2/250071-the-state-of-virtual-reality-hardware/fulltext
  2. https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2021/2/250071-the-state-of-virtual-reality-hardware/fulltext 

 

Most searched question

Does Web3 have a future?

What are the benefits of Web3?

What are the possibilities of Web3?

Most searched queries

Web3 crypto

How to invest in Web3

What is Web3


Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

 For more such amazing content follow Digilah

 

Categories
Food Tech Web 3.0 Tech

A Paradigm Shift is Possible in the Metaverse Experience

Written by : Ajit Padmanabh on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Only if these 2 technologies become a reality!

There is no doubt about it – Metaverse is the next Internet and is here to stay for a couple of generations, if not more. It is also a natural evolution from today’s 2D Internet to be able to experience the Digital Universe in 3D! With today’s technology advancements and research, if we can plug 2 technologies into the Metaverse, it would be a limitless opportunity. 

What are these 2 technologies, you ask? Sensory technologies involving Olfactory and Gustatory systems. In simpler terms, Smell and Taste, respectively. With the pandemic having affected many people with the loss of sense and taste and they having reported a loss of interest in life owing to the sensory loss, it makes sense to build these technologies for the Metaverse.  

Why Sensory Technologies

You may be familiar with the reductionist philosophy. It’s the practice of analyzing and describing a complex phenomenon in terms of its simple or fundamental constituents, especially when this is said to provide a sufficient explanation. 

Quoting few examples from Britannica1, the ideas that physical bodies are collections of atoms or that a given mental state (e.g., one person’s belief that snow is white) is identical to a particular physical state (the firing of certain neurons in that person’s brain) are examples of reductionism.

With advances in neuroscientific research in the last century, there is an existence of what is known as Cortical Homunculus. A cortical homunculus is a distorted representation of the human body, based on a neurological “map” of the areas and proportions of the human brain dedicated to processing motor functions, or sensory functions, for different parts of the body. A 2D representation of the sensory homunculus is shown below. 

Fig.1 A 2D Cortical Sensory homunculus

All signals are received by the primary sensory cortex in the brain. The amount of cortex devoted to any given body region is not proportional to that body region’s surface area or volume, but rather to how richly innervated that region is.

Areas of the body with more complex and/or more numerous sensory or motor connections are represented as larger in the homunculus, while those with less complex and/or less numerous connections are represented as smaller.2 You’d notice that the significant amount of brain-processing is accorded to sensory functions, including those of taste and smell. 

If we are to look at the proposition of Metaverse being an alternate universe and where you are expected to spend considerable amount of time, it has to be capable of attracting your attention not only visually or aurally (as is the case with the 2D internet of today) but as a multi-sensory experience involving haptics (touch), olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) technologies as well.

Hence, it is critical to understand and invest in these sensory technologies and ensure that the promise of Metaverse is realized in entirety.

A Sneak Peek into Multi-sensory Prototypes and Ongoing Research 

A lot of research and development has gone into haptic (touch) technologies with many commercially available solutions as well. Since the solutions are fairly established, we will focus on research into olfactory and gustatory technology.

Olfactory Prototypes and Research

As far as olfactory technologies are concerned, considerable research is being performed on classification and extraction of scents so as to define the exact sense stimulus in the brain which then can be simulated using ergonomic hardware. 

According to Judith Amores, a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, whose work is focused on scent and virtual reality – “People don’t really appreciate the sense of smell,” she said. “It’s actually so important, it’s so unexplored, and it’s so powerful.”3

OVR Technologies, a Burlington, Vermont-based startup, is one of the few companies developing this technology for Virtual Reality. While reproducing real-world odors with chemicals is challenging, it opens up new possibilities in nostalgic experiences as odor is associated with memories. With earlier 5D systems, scent technology had certain issues, namely the mixing up and lingering of scents long after the experience. This is being fixed with AI-driven algorithms that trigger various odors and control their intensity, duration among other parameters. 

 Lastly, there is research on olfactory-powered deaddiction programs in Virtual Reality, which could prove to be a panacea in the Metaverse. Closer home, research into olfactory is ongoing at various institutes including IIT, Jodhpur.

Gustatory Prototypes and Research

Research into gustatory prototypes is in its early days. The idea is to simulate taste in the physical world first and then look to replicate it in the virtual world. The “lickable screen,” called the “Norimaki Synthesizer,” uses five different gels, each corresponding to the five tastes the human tongue can distinguish between — salty, acidic, bitter, sweet, and umami. 

By weakening and strengthening these five different tastes through the use of electrical currents, the device can reproduce any “arbitrary taste,” according to the research.4 “Like an optical display that uses lights of three basic colors to produce arbitrary colors, this display can synthesize and distribute arbitrary tastes together with the data acquired by taste sensors,” said Homei Miyashita, researcher at Meiji University, Japan. 

In a recent development, A team at the Carnegie Mellon University, a private institution in Pittsburgh, US, have made it possible for users to feel the virtual world in and on their mouth, without making physical contact. What the user can feel are tactile sensations such as drinking from a water fountain, wind on the face.5 Project Nourished, a VR food start-up, has been experimenting with technology to trick taste buds and promote sustainability.6

Conclusion

Metaverse is here to stay and become an integral part of who we are. Multi-sensory metaverse, in its complete form, will not only make it real and immersive but will also open up new industry verticals hitherto unknown as of today. A paradigm shift is also possible in Hospitality, Travel & Tourism and Entertainment industries with such technologies.

There is huge potential to be at the forefront of research and commercialization of such technologies in India – Tasty food for thought for investors and research institutes across the country!

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/reductionism
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortical_homunculus 
  3. https://www.wbur.org/news/2022/03/14/virtual-reality-smell-ovr-technology
  4. https://futurism.com/the-byte/device-simulate-any-flavor  
  5. https://www.cnbctv18.com/technology/ultrasound-vr-device-lets-users-touch-and-feel-in-mouths-vr-kiss-13378502.htm

Most searched question

What is metaverse experience?

What are the possibilities in metaverse?

Will the metaverse change our lives?

Most searched queries

Metaverse companies

Top 10 metaverse companies

Metaverse in education research paper

 

Hello readers! Hope you liked what you read today. Click the like button at the bottom of this page and share insights with your colleagues and friends!

 For more such amazing content follow Digilah