Categories
Logistic & Travel Tech Web 3.0 Tech

What is virtual reality and why are aged care providers embracing it?

Written by : Colin Pudsey on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

If you’ve been looking around at new ways to support your residents, chances are you’ve heard the words “virtual reality” being offered as a new idea. Maybe you’ve even seen pictures of people wearing headsets and waving their arms about.

But what is virtual reality, or VR, and why is it making such an impact in the aged care space?

Immersive beyond belief

Virtual reality is a simulated environment that looks and feels incredibly realistic. A key tool for using VR, is the headset, which allows you to explore this digital space by looking up, down and all around you. Unlike a computer or tablet which has a fixed field view, virtual reality adapts to your head movements to immerse you in a rich 360-degree, 3D environment.

This means that putting on a virtual reality headset feels like stepping into a completely different world. But the big question is, what can you do in this immersive virtual space?

The impossible becomes possible

Anything you can imagine! For the adrenaline seekers, how about skydiving, swimming with dolphins, or racing in an F1 car? For those looking for a calmer escape, maybe chilling out on the beach, exploring a tropical rainforest, or visiting a museum?

The technology is limitless, and it can even allow us to experience things that are impossible – a trip to mars perhaps? Or walking around the interior of the Titanic? VR can make that happen too.

That all sounds fun, but we’re talking about older adults here. Why would care providers be so keen to take their care recipients out of the four walls of a facility (virtually)?

Virtual experiences with clinical benefits

The answer lies in research, and whilst these experiences are certainly fun for all ages – they’re anything but frivolous. 

Virtual reality experiences have been shown to improve the quality of life in older adults. 

Participants in an American study were “less socially isolated… less likely to show signs of depression” and “feeling better about their overall wellbeing”. Another study from Taiwan revealed that VR “can provide older adults with the confidence to get involved in social activities”.

So, it’s clear that VR can have a range of positive impacts on care recipients. But the most exciting benefits of all, are linked to who we are as individuals.

A personal journey

Imagine being able to visit a childhood home, a church you were married in or a place you went on holidays with your family? For those of us born overseas, what about taking a journey back to experience familiar sights and sounds, and reconnect with your culture? Maybe a faith-based pilgrimage or personal spiritual practice?

VR is at its best when it’s partnered with a deep understanding of the individual and what’s important to them and that’s how innovative care providers are getting the most out of VR.

By building upon their strong connections with the individual, carers can deliver meaningful personalized experiences that leverage the power of VR to connect to identity.

For all walks of life

No matter what stage of life an individual is at, virtual reality may provide engagement, excitement, and an opportunity for connection.

Particularly for those of us supporting a loved one with dementia, as VR has been shown to “positively affect the cognitive and physical functioning of those with mild cognitive impairment or dementia”.

And what could be more important for someone living with dementia, than to reconnect them to their true self, their culture, and their loved ones. Now we’re really pushing the dial with “joy”!

Sometimes what’s important isn’t a clinical benefit…

Going beyond the clinical

What is immediately apparent when you try on a VR headset is that it’s like magic. Whilst there may be benefits in wellbeing and cognitive function, it’s an experience to bring wonder, enjoyment, and positive emotions and this can be supercharged when sharing the same experience in a group VR setting.

Any tool that can help bring significant and measurable joy, happiness, and excitement to the life of care recipients is one that’s worth exploring.

Ultimately, that might be the driving factor in the growing use of VR in the aged care space, a growth that’s led by innovative companies.

Changing Lives through Virtual Reality

Melbourne based virtual reality startup, SilVR Adventures, has been taking care of recipients on shared virtual reality experiences since 2019. 

Providing a turnkey VR solution to care providers across Australia and New Zealand, they enable care team members to take people with a variety of needs on immersive, group VR experiences.

Our content focuses on storytelling, emotional journeys and reminiscence therapy. We want to build engaging and inspiring experiences for older adults, no matter what stage of life they’re at.

With the largest library of world tours, spiritual journeys, and bucket list events, we’re experimenting with new ways to engage care recipients. But the real magic happens when the headset comes off.

Creating meaningful connections

The most powerful moments in working with VR are the social connections it stimulates.

“We’ve found that the winning formula is taking people on adventures together. They’ll have an amazing time travelling the world or experiencing something brand new, then the headsets come off and they’re chatting about where they went, where they want to go to next and sharing memories and stories from the past. It’s incredible to watch!”

And it’s clear that aged care providers agree too, with some around Australia establishing weekly ‘Travel Clubs’ to build camaraderie and friendship through shared experience across multiple sites.

We’re super excited to be able to connect up to 40 participants around the world in a shared virtual reality experience, then have them meet in a digital space afterwards like our virtual café and chat about it.

The ability to link people couldn’t have come at a better time with restrictions and lockdowns significantly increasing feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression among our elders.

The future of the technology

Virtual reality has made great strides in the past few years, but it still has an exciting journey ahead. With companies like Facebook and Google making big investments in the space, it’s clear that the technology will continue to grow and develop.

There’s room to grow in the personal care space too, with VR companies pivoting away from residential facilities and beginning to offer services to be used in home care too.

“So far there’s nothing on offer for people in the home, that’s why SilVR Adventures is thrilled to be launching our home care solution in 2021. We’ll be able to support older adults aging in place with enhanced connections and deliver meaningful virtual adventures, in their own home – and that’s something to get excited about.

A rich and incredible virtual world

As we head towards 2023, there is still a lot of uncertainty, but whatever happens it’s clear that we need to find new ways to stay connected and engaged, and that couldn’t be truer for those of us receiving care.

Leading aged care providers around Australia are increasingly turning to the immersive power of VR as a potential tool for reducing isolation, improving wellbeing, and strengthening connections. 

Very soon personal carers in the home will be taking this technology for a spin too.

Watch a video to see how our seniors are enjoying themselves with the new found Virtual reality – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYDr9PAQLMw

MOST SEARCHED QUESTION

What is virtual reality and why is it important?

How does VR help the elderly?

What are the positive effects of VR?


MOST SEARCHED QUERIES

Virtual reality health

Metaverse for seniors

 

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
Web 3.0 Tech

My Tech Journey – is a wave

Written by Bolarinwa Odupe on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Matt Mullenweg a social media entrepreneur once quoted “Technology is best when it brings people together.” 

The evolution of digital technology is such that even if we wanted to, we can’t stop the impact, especially in a community like ours. The average man today has better medical care, unlimited access to information and education. Better options to travel in and communicate with one another across long distances more than the wealthy monarchs in time past.

A few years ago, I was just an average individual who loved tech. I was so enthusiastic about tech that I regularly kept up with the latest trends by learning new technologies. Now, I have clients whom I communicate with virtually most of the time. As a matter of fact, I have never met most of them physically, why? This is because of the rapid revolution of digital and technology that the global pandemic brought. The world has now become a global village where there is a dramatic increase in the standard of living due to labor productivity.

From the industrial age to modern age, it is quite obvious that digital and tech has greatly improved working conditions.

The impact has covered long working hours and has replaced tedious work conditions with efficient tools that speed up work processes and make you achieve  more in record time.

The digital and tech sector is a competitive industry and it requires new strategies and practices. Most brands have grown to recognize how much of an impact digital technology holds for their businesses. Through technology, we have seen the growth of emails, virtual meeting places, work tools which we have increasingly grown to depend on because they help to give more efficiency and visibility to your startup.

One thing about my thought leadership is the fact that I’m not just content with my basic knowledge of tech. Tech and digital is a sector that keeps evolving over the years and to keep updated on trends, one must be willing to learn new technologies. I had the knowledge of coding, digital marketing and a whole of other technical know-hows before I created my startup. Now I use Google sheet, Google drive, Google docs, Google meet for my meetings and canva for my product designs. I had to learn more than the basic knowledge of product and web design.  I have learnt quite a lot from tech between 2020 and till now, and I have not stopped learning.

It should also be observed that the global pandemic was a major propeller for the growth of digital technology all over the world. The pandemic caused most brands and startups to create temporary solutions to meet any demand brought upon them suddenly much more quickly than they had thought possible before the global crisis. 

The reliance on digital and technology also became much more profound as they began to recognize the importance of technology and how far its reach was.

It also helped because many consumers naturally leaned more onto technological channels and platforms they’ve been using over the course of the pandemic.

The pandemic helped me create a tech startup which sped up in a space of a few years due to the world’s new outlook on tech and digital. My tech brand Centiiv is founded on a community of blockchain enthusiasts like myself who are curious to learn all they can about blockchain. The growth of technology is a wave that cannot be stopped. 

Every day more people discover new inventions that make life simpler and work more efficient. My workplace productivity has grown by a huge margin and the numbers keep rising because thanks to online communication tools, technology enables us to work more closely in some ways even while working remotely. Teamwork is now simpler to achieve even when workers are not in the same place. 

Most searched  question

What is a Web 3.0 website?

What programming language does Web 3.0 use?

What skills are needed for Web3?

Most searched queries

Web 3.0 crypto

Web 3.0 blockchain

Web 3.0 applications

 
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

Understanding Stablecoins

Written by Ganesh Kompella on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

In the wake of recent crypto events, I feel it necessary to write an opinion piece on what stablecoins are, why they exist and what separates them from being good or bad. 

What is a stablecoin?

A stablecoin is a crypto asset pegged to a real-world asset’s value. 

Example: 1 USDT is always intended to be worth 1 US dollar. They hold their value relative to traditional currencies but, unlike the money in your bank account, they can be used freely on the blockchain. 

Similar to traditional currencies, these stablecoins can be used for buying, selling, sending, and lending within the crypto markets. 

In terms of timeline – USDT was the very first crypto stablecoin, then Circle introduced USDC, Binance introduced BUSD, Luna introduced the failed algo stablecoin UST and there are a bunch of others.  

How are they different from regular currency? 

Stablecoins are more cost- & time-efficient than the decades-old payment rails that the financial system relies on.

They are transferable 24/7/365 & are faster & cheaper to transact with than fiat. That’s why they continue to rise in popularity through bull and bear markets.

 In 2021 alone the total value settled with stablecoins was $6T, up 600% from its 2022 high of $1T. This graph from CoinMetrics sheds a light on how popular these are becoming.

Different types of Stablecoins

There are essentially three types of stablecoin designs:

  1. Fiat-collateralized 
  2. Crypto-collateralized
  3. Algorithmic 

The mechanics of each are different from one another as the names suggest, some are asset backed while some are code backed. They work very differently from one another and have distinctive pros and cons amongst themselves. 

Fiat-collateralized

Fiat backed stablecoins work very much like regular money market funds. You deposit your dollar with a stablecoin entity and get an equivalent amount of stablecoins in return.

Let’s take USDT (Tether) as an example.

A $100 deposit will get you $100USDT. You get the stablecoin and you are free to use it anyway you choose onto any of the blockchain networks that support tether. And the issuer puts your deposit to use and earns interest. With a crucial promise that you can always go back to the issuer, redeem your USDT for U.S.Dollars.

Diving into Specifics, this is how Tether manages their deposit reserves (Last reported on March 31, 2022). Your deposits turned reserves are mostly into Cash & Cash equivalent with some allocations into other asset classes like secured loans, corporate bonds, and digital tokens. These entities get audited from time to time. 

As an investor you must take notice of these audits, review them, and make an assessment on the issuer’s reserves. Strong reserves indicate they wouldn’t have any liquidity concerns in the event of a market crash or bank run.

Crypto-collatarized

Crypto-backed stablecoins operate more like traditional home equity loans. Investors deposit crypto with a decentralized issuer (usually a DeFi protocol), which issues stablecoins in exchange.

 The investor must repay the stablecoins (plus a fee) to redeem their crypto assets. The critical promise is that every crypto-backed stablecoin in circulation is directly backed by excess collateral.

 From a transparency perspective, the reserves can be audited & monitored by anyone in real time (including regulators). They just need to look on-chain. $DAI is an example of such stablecoin. It’s trusted by a huge community of crypto investors and developers

Algorithmic stablecoins

They are typically minted & issued by a DeFi protocol and are commonly under-collateralized (meaning they aren’t backed by an equivalent or excess amount of collateral). Instead, they mostly rely on an algorithm that aims to maintain a stable price by expanding & contracting the stablecoin’s supply. 

The intent is to influence interest rates and market behavior, which, in theory, ultimately return the stablecoin to its target price. The key promise is that the algorithm & incentive mechanisms work as promised, & the stablecoin maintains its peg through the issuance & removal of its supply.

The downside: The non-collateralized, algorithmic model keeps failing. Luna UST is one such example. 

Historically, the adoption of Fiat-collaraterized stablecoin has dominated this segment, with over 95% of the market share, some economists even call it “Smart Money”. 

What does the future hold? 

Stablecoins definitely have the potential to play a pivotal role in the global economy and the future of digital finance. 

Once we see central banks, regulators and the traditional financial sector starting taking notice which they already have. They could bring a host of benefits into this sector.
The pros of stablecoins are obvious: Low-cost, safe, real-time and more intuitive and competitive with what the consumers and businesses need today. 

They could rapidly change and make it cheaper for businesses to accept payment, for governments to run cash intensive programs and connecting the unbanked population.

MOST SEARCHED QUESTION 

What is the point of stablecoins?

Can you make money on stablecoins?

How many stablecoin are there?

MOST SEARCHED QUERIES

Stablecoins list

Best stablecoin

Is Bitcoin a stablecoin


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 like and follow Digilah

Categories
Edu Tech

Edumoms

Written by – Mona Sutrave on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Technology has been re-shaping and re-organising the economic dynamics of the world. The Internet brought about the revolution at the turn of the century.

Today, Technological advancement in almost all fields is NORMAL. Technology drives daily life. From a simple purchase of vegetables to complex algorithm driven activities. Technology has crept into our lives like we have never realised before.

Consumerism has shifted gears from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. While marketplaces created demand for products. Today, demand for a marketplace of convenience has brought the market place virtually to the customer. Making customers’ access products from different regions. Without having to travel the distance.

Education has its fair share in this technological revolution. The information available to the world at a click of a ‘mouse’ has been astounding. Just that one needs to access their relevant information with care.  

Online videos are in millions which speak about various topics. But little do they teach in a way a mother or a teacher would teach.  Content companies show content as they have understood a concept while in their college days.

The real challenge is how a young mind is wired? Does that young mind fire connections like a 25 year old? Does someone doing so make a school teacher obsolete? The Answer is a simple ‘NO’.

The growing years are so important in framing a personality. What one is at 10 is not the same as 14 and 16 and definitely not the same as while one is 25.  This goes on to prove that ‘ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL’. 

Each child is unique and each of their needs are certainly unique.  One needs to step into the mindset of the student and help them nurture their learning skills to adapt to the challenges. That One person, is the Teacher

A Teacher is not just educated, they are “QUALIFIED”. They understand every child in their class. They understand their abilities and Capabilities. They do not treat the child as a robot to max marks sheets.  They treat the child as a human being and help them with the abilities to form the very basis of LIFE SKILLS. The choice to PICK n CHOOSE.

DHII came into existence for the very fact that there were so many contents, videos, pdfs of chapters, but the whole personal touch was missing.  Kids are kids, they need to be nurtured, spoken to, cared and loved while teaching, which technology still hasn’t achieved.  It’s just not the topic which the kid is learning, but the whole universe around that particular topic, which only a teacher sitting across can bring it down.  

We at DHII believe in this very concept of teaching.  Help the students realise their true potential and enable them to experience the HIGH POINTS. We are available to the student through-out the duration of the course, in person. We proudly say, we just don’t teach subjects, but we BUILD CONFIDENCE.

We call ourselves, the new era EDU MOMS, simply because the first guru for any human being is a MOM. The affection which MOMs can give, can be compared to none! 

The onslaught of content companies camouflaged as edtechs are widening the gap by denying reasonable opportunities to the lower end of pool.  

We propose to take our ONLINE Teaching to Tier II and Lower areas, make quality education affordable to the aspiring students to cross the hurdle first.  Break the barriers of the regional languages and enable them to realise their dreams.

Technology is indeed making this possible. We have started this journey of providing customised education to the far and beyond corners of India with an initial investment. We now hope to achieve our mission with right investment opportunities sooner than we imagined!

most searched question?

Why education is the key to success?

What are 3 types of education?

What is the role of education in society?

most searched queries

Education importance

Education Department

Education Portal


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
Edu Tech

The Evolution of Education

Written by – Deakin Daney on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

The thirst for knowledge is as ancient as the sea. Every generation of knowledge seekers is hungrier than the last. But is just education enough to quench our growing desire to know more?

Innovation and ideation are two important parameters to assist in our education journey. With the launch of the New Education Policy, the country is now moving into the future with a strong focus on STEM and assisted and alternative teaching methods. What this now brings to the forefront, is how we impact the thoughts, abilities, and actions of our young generation.

How do we excite them, and make them think beyond the pages of their books? 

The answer lies in engagement, team building and working on real life problems which lead to world class solutions which help build a sustainable and enriching environment. 

Hackathons started as a technical competition, aimed at a 24 or 48 hour finale, which involved writing code, creating technical prototypes and , during the finale , proving the product / code actually worked and could be used in real life scenarios.

While those kinds of hackathons do still exist, they focus on a very defined solution. Now, these hackathons have opened up not just for technical students , but also non-technical ones , including management , social media , the arts , and more. These events are no longer aimed at 24 & 48-hour timelines. They extend for a few months and have various engagement activities which make the whole program so very interesting.

As the Head of Innovation for i4C we work in the niche space of Hackathons and Ideathons. With a proprietary idea submission and evaluation platform, we provide school and college students and corporate employees alike the opportunity to participate in multiple events and showcase their strengths and solutions.  

At the heart of a hackathon event is the theme. One could do a specialised event on IoT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, EV infrastructure etc. They can also do a social event on Sustainability goals, climate change, water conservation, Air Pollution, Waste Management, and many other themes. One could even have an event involving multiple themes to engage a larger target group and audience. 

The strength behind the Theme is the Problem Statement (PS). These statements are carefully curated problems faced currently. Sometimes these PS are given by Industry – Banks, Manufacturing Cos, Aggregators, Cloud Computing etc , all because they want to see a fresh take on how to tackle these problems .

This becomes very interesting for students because here they get a real world problem faced by a large company, and if they are part of the team which solves it, well.. it can lead to an offer of employment for them, or at the very least an internship. It could help them start their career on a good note. 

We have recently conducted a few hackathons for government bodies, private companies and are currently working with a large Blockchain entity now. The thrill that the students get from such a participation, needs to be seen to be believed. We have students from Tier 2 and Tier 3 colleges attempting to solve a real-world problem of a Trillion Dollar Company. This is the Engagement which the Hackathon Platform provides. It helps see things from a very large perspective.

These events also lead to team management and team playing skills. Since these events are all team based with a minimum team size of 4, the students and employees get to work with each other in proximity. This helps them understand the life lesson of team dynamics, kindness, sharing and above all, the desire to win as one.

Feedback from many events conducted by us, has led us to this important conclusion, as students themselves commented on feeling as a family, with immense gratitude for winning being shared by all. 

During an event, the teams which take part, are evaluated by industry experts, who interact with the students and share their thoughts and ideas on what can be done to make the solution to the PS more compelling.

Many of these experts, if not all, are usually Subject Matter Experts (SME) in their chosen field , and hence approached by us . These kind of interactions between young minds and experienced SME, goes over and beyond what is taught in a classroom, and it liberates the young minds to think more clearly and more long term.

It gets even better, once the teams are shortlisted for the finals based on their solutions. These teams are then assigned mentors who help guide them and take their idea, prototype, vision, product, or service into the Finale.

These mentors spend long hours with the team and patiently answer all questions in support of their team winning the Finale. These hours and moments spent with such experienced mentors is usually a defining moment for students. 

During the Finale, all teams compete hard to prove their solutions are worthy, but it is usually the Top 3 who end up victorious. These 12 students across 3 teams, get to share their Intellectual Property with the companies who find their solution effective, they get prize money, they get certificates and trophies, they get internships and job offers, but most importantly , they learn to win on their own , through their efforts and those of team members. This, to me, is probably the defining thought on why we need to have more such idea based events in India.

Having our young generation think out of the box, solve Big Corporate problem statements, work as a team, and enjoy the success of winning, at a young age, on a big platform all adds up to our country’s growth and economic success.

Most searched question

What happens at a hackathon?

How do beginners prepare for hackathons?

How has the education system evolved over the years?

Most searched queries

Hackathon for beginners

Evolution of education in India

Importance of evolution in education

 

For more such amazing content follow: Digilah

Categories
Wellness/Beauty Tech

Trust In the Age Of Digital

Written by Sabina Munshi on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

The skincare industry has always been a very traditional space in the way business was done. Heavily brick and mortar, mass targeting when it came to marketing, touch and feel factor was crucial and only the big boys had a stake in the game. Well, all of that is being challenged and the disruptors are here to stay.

The health and well-being industry went through a seismic shift during the pandemic when, time at home increased exponentially and the need to engage and connect reached an unusual high. This interesting combination led to niche skin care brands finding innovative ways to not only build a community but use digital platforms to engage, interact and show customers how to maximize their time at home while achieving that sought after glow and Zen vibe.

Online shopping platforms and social media tools gave brands the much needed space to create content that was amplified to customers who were hungry for relatable content and the need to find a calm in the chaos of the pandemic. Customers interacted with each other and shared feedback on the efficacy of brands and were not shy to voice their opinions about the drawbacks of a product. This forced brands not only to be transparent about their sources but also held accountable to high standards which in turn made online skincare shopping more appealing.

Taking this conversation forward we talk about business growth alongside trust and community in the skincare world. The natural and organic beauty product market is expected to touch $54Billion by 2027 and digital has a strong role to play in this. Direct to consumer on online market places has been a game changer and will contribute heavily to this forecast. Social media product tags will also be a big part of the sales numbers for skincare brands.

Never before has it been this pivotal for brands to be present and be seen on the phone screens of Gen Z to Millennials.

Baréskin calls its’ customer base the “CircleOfTrust” which cements how important the factor of trust is in a world where digital interaction is the only option sometimes. Community building and a strong story, backs this brands success and there is no looking back. Frequent LIVE sessions with the founder, supporting other female-led brands, taking transparency of toxic ingredients seriously and authenticity of its content are all part of the brand ethos which the founder has ingrained in all aspects of the business. This has to seamlessly translate to the customer which is when the magic happens.

Baréskin production unit

Capturing this wave will mean staying agile and on the ball more than ever before but fortunately for us, we take this challenge on as an opportunity to grow to our full potential.

Categories
Climate Tech

Energy Tech startups need more support

Written by Beth Henderson on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

You believed in us and completely changed the trajectory of our startup” A startup that I’d been working with once told me this after they’d come through an accelerator program I was involved with. This startup almost didn’t make it onto the program because they couldn’t clearly articulate their business model or value proposition. But I took a chance on them even though I didn’t really understand their solution, because I had a gut feeling the founding team were something special.

This got me thinking, how many start-ups in the past have invented complex hardware technology with the potential to solve some of the biggest problems we face today, but never succeeded to commercialise? There are a multitude of reasons why startups fail, but it pains me to think that incredible technology is out there sitting dormant because its technical founder couldn’t quite pitch it right, or understand the right market to target or the angle for the value proposition.

More support is needed for early stage technical founders who are struggling to get the business side right. Particularly for climate and energy tech, where the technology can be highly complex and it’s higher risk for investors and industry to get commercially engaged without demonstrated traction.

So what can the startup support ecosystem do more of to help these founders succeed?

Over my past 5 years of being involved with energy-tech startup accelerator programs, below are the top three responses on the things that had the biggest impact on accelerating their growth:

  1. Learning a structured method for customer discovery and sharpening the value proposition: This was the number one most impactful outcome for startups. It’s traditionally been an area only taught in marketing degrees but education in this space is highly needed for technical startup founders. Early stage founders have often told me hiring a marketing person is something they can only afford once they start getting decent revenue, but getting to that point is so hard without the skills to talk to customers in a way to understand their pain points, then frame your value proposition in a way that directly addresses those. I’ve seen so many ‘aha’ moments from founders who started out overloading on jargon and buzzwords when trying to sell, then swap to a message that clearly addresses a customer problem in simple terms.
  2. Relentless pitch practice and feedback: During our programs, founders deliver their pitch to different audiences 10-15 times, each time getting valuable feedback from our pitch coaches and adding new learnings. The main takeaway is that they should be able to go into any investor or customer meeting and have a clear and compelling story that they know back-to-front and can deliver with confidence. Early stage founders can’t outsource sales, so it’s critical for them to learn this skill as they will continue to struggle to make a business out of their technology if they can’t sell the vision for it.
  3. Connections for mentorship: There are a lot of intelligent and successful people out there who are willing to help founders, they just need the right channels to find each other. More dedicated channels to aggregate mentors and startups in specific verticals, and oversee the success of mentor matching are needed. Having access to corporate industry experts to help validate assumptions in a no-pressure environment has been instrumental to helping accelerate the startups’ growth.

The elements I’ve described above don’t take millions of dollars to implement but can make a huge difference in helping to accelerate getting game-changing technology to market. So, if you’re in any capacity to support startups, consider these areas to focus your efforts. 

And where is that startup from the start of the story now? They’ve done over 30 customer interviews, completely overhauled their value proposition messaging, their pitch is unrecognisable from the first version and they’ve just been awarded the ‘Most Disruptive Renewable Energy Startup in South East Asia’ by a major publication. 

Categories
Fin Tech

The Evolution of Financial Payments

Written by Salim Hussain on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

It is a paradox of our lives that some of the most common of actions underlying a functioning society are left virtually untouched by advancement as civilization marches forth to Metaverses and recyclable rockets. An example is how Education has operated historically – a source of knowledge (teacher/computer) facing a collective of students, dispensing knowledge. The dispenser may vary but the fundamental construct remains unaltered. But the one I want to focus on today is the act of making Payments. Yes, payments…the industry that is supposedly being disrupted with an onslaught of payment tech start-ups touting nosebleed valuations. But if one peels away the slick interface and looks into exactly how the payments course from one end to the other, you will inevitably run into technology which was built when Mash was still on air and “Bloody” a bad word!…

Let’s think of a situation where a corporation say Nike, needs to pay its suppliers in Vietnam called VietShoe. Nike instructs it’s bank to make a payment in VND to its supplier bank account. Nike is shown a FX rate by the trader at Nike’s bank, “Banque de Zapatas”(BDZ)…there follows a little negotiation… then finally the golden word “done” is said/typed. The next stage is for the operations people then deduct the USD100 from Nike’s account in the US and initiate a series of steps whose desired outcome is to get the VND equivalent of USD100 (about 2,250,000 VND at current rates) credited to VietShoe’s account.

FX markets are the largest component of capital markets with a daily trade volume is 6.6 Trillion USD (the equivalent number for equities is 0.5 T and bonds is 4.7T). hence, there are hundreds of thousands of such Nikes making millions of payments to the Vietshoes of the world every day! The scale is mind boggling.  The good news is that there is a method to the madness. There is a common platform and a common language which banks can speak to each other. And a central organization creating rules for this superhighway, so these trillions can move around seamlessly. That organization is a member owned cooperative called SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). This was set in the 70s! And is still the backbone of the vast majority of the 6.6T being transacted every day.

% Turnover

I will give you a brief taste of the gymnastics involved in the example above.

1.Once the rate is agreed with Nike, Bank NY needs to let it’s partner bank in Vietnam called Bank VN (termed “onshore bank” in the Trading Room) two things – One, the identity of the Beneficiary and it’s bank account details and Two, the amount to be transferred. This is done using a MT 103 Swift format file.

2. Once Bank VN receives the request, it will debit the account BDZ maintains with it for 2,250,000 VND and credit the ultimate beneficiaries account.

(I am making a number of simplifying assumptions here like the presence of “nostro” account as well as absence of routing banks. These can be the subject of another future note.)

The route above, is how most fintech apps work today. If evaluated by a tech person, she will be aghast at the usage of flat files, and, in a minority of cases, API calls (which will be the subject of future write ups). Now, take a step back and juxtapose the promise of blockchain technology to this archaic construct… suddenly, The Swift system, if imagined as an entry on a vast netted ledger, across multiple counterparties, begins to resemble a classic blockchain construct.  And the realization comes that this is the exact point where the technology should be deployed and has not, for the most part, been deployed. For it remains mired in producing Dogecoin’s and NFTs to make use of those Dogecoins!!

Categories
Food Tech

THE PLANT BASED MEAT MAGIC

Written by Suhail Jindran for Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

The rapid increase in meat consumption shed light on the resource demand of meat production. Cattle are responsible for about 6.52% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (3.19 Gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents) and the production of 1 kg of beef causes 26.5 kg CO2 emission and needs 15,000 litres of water (equal to 50 days’ household water use per capita in EU). Many researchers suggest that meat consumption need to be decreased to protect and preserve the environmental resources.

So, let’s go behind the scenes to find out how the Plant-Based Meat Magic is done… Meat analogues are based on plant-based proteins and come in various shapes and sizes. But what does the production process look like? And what is the difference between Texturized Vegetable Proteins (TVP) and High Moisture Meat Analogues (HMMA)? Get a glimpse behind the scenes in the following infographic:

Even though meat substitutes are available in numerous forms and consistencies, they are mostly based on two types of plant-based proteins: Texturized Vegetable Proteins (TVP) and High Moisture Meat Analogues (HMMA).

TVP is known for its dry consistency and long shelf life when stored under normal ambient conditions. It is mostly offered as crumbles, flakes or even strips. As a result, it is suitable for several dishes ranging from the classic spaghetti Bolognese to vegan chicken breast. When preparing TVP-based products, they need to be soaked in water or liquid as TVP requires dehydration before use.

HMMA on the other hand is characterized by its high proportion of moisture. It typically consists of 50-80% of water which is about the same as lean meat. Therefore, it is used for many ready-to-eat meat dishes.

Shandi Global was born out of years in the research and development to fulfil the gap found in the plant-based meat market. The target market for plant-based meat includes vegetarians, vegans, non-vegetarians who are seeking to reduce their meat consumption. Shandi Global does not believe in changing human behaviour towards their diet, but instead offer a huge choice by providing a 100% plant-based meat which does not contain any artificial ingredients.

The founders Dr. Reena and her husband Dr. Gaurav both spend over a decade in the food tech and science industry and noticed that the emergence of Plant Based Meat had several flaws and missing elements with a limitation to what the end consumer could prepare as most companies were offering only mince products or burgers and sausages while some were offering soy products with lots of sodium, artificial flavours and additives. This made the couple to think and utilise their combined years of expertise in the food science industry to start deep research to identify the missing links through latest technology and discover each molecule found in meat and in pea protein to match 100% the meat analogue in texture, flavour and appearance.

They developed a complete amino acid profile: Each protein is different due to its precise composition of amino acids. Each amino acid has a very specific function in our body. Hence having high number of proteins is not enough to build muscles and repair body tissues. Right protein with right balance of amino acids is a must to be called as nutrition.

At Shandi, meat does not only contain high protein, but also right proteins with 90% of amino acids in same composition as meat. It has high digestibility like meat and dairy so that nutrients are quickly absorbed.

Today the company is the first in Singapore to have the latest state-of-the-art technology with a patented and custom-built extruder machine that is capable of producing whole slabs of meat like steaks, breast meat or our signature Chicken Drumsticks ™. Our technology differentiates us from the others, as a majority of producers are only “Texturized Vegetable Proteins” (TVP) while we are a step ahead of adapting both TVP and “High Moisture Meat Analogues” (HMMA). The difference in both methods is; TVP is released and directly cut at the nozzle plate, HMMA requires a special cooling die. In the cooling die the material is cooled down while being forced into a laminar flow. This way, a meat-like structure is created, and our custom-built machine does what we have designed it for.

To sum up, plant based meat analogue (i.e., plant-based meat alternatives or substitutes, or vegan meats) are becoming more and more popular. The consumption is also increasing while the primary role of meat analogues is to replace the meat component in meals where the appropriate nutrient content and hedonic value will be provided as well. Using micro biotechnology, it is possible to reverse engineer naturally found molecules in various legumes into a full-bodied muscle meat which looks, feels and cuts exactly like any meat product.