Category Archives: emerging technologies

What is FinTech (and how has it evolved)?

When you use PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet or simply your credit card to make an online purchase, you the consumer, the ecommerce retailer and the banks behind the money exchange are using FinTech.

When Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade or Fidelity Investments purchase stocks and the banks settle the securities transactions, that’s FinTech.

And when you go online to find the best mortgage rates for that dream home or to refinance the one you’re in, that’s FinTech.

FinTech defined

Broadly speaking, FinTech (financial technology) is anywhere technology is applied in financial services or used to help companies manage the financial aspects of their business, including new software and applications, processes and business models.

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IDG Contributor Network: The coming evolution of the conversational interface

Last week I wrote on how Cortana and her peers, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa, were likely to evolve in a VR world to become the primary interface because touch, mice, and keyboards, in a virtual world, make aren’t practical unless you are emulating something that uses them. Because of Cortana’s connection to video gaming, I think it, or she, has an advantage over the others. This is because you can emulate the future in a game and reduce the resistance the change so that when the interface matures people, at least those that have played the game that uses her, will not only be ready for the change they’ll drive it rather than resist it. 

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IDG Contributor Network: Digital transformation and 5G product development

Most of what you read about digital transformation focuses on customer experiences, business model agility, and the effect that all of this has on enterprises — particularly IT departments.

Less widely recognized is the fact that digital technology is revolutionizing product development and management. Makers of smart products are using digital tools to speed prototype development, facilitate manufacturing and product testing, and enhance life-cycle management.

Products are generally becoming smarter. We now have smart TVs, smart speakers, smart refrigerators, and even smart sneakers. The most ordinary products can be made “smart” by adding Bluetooth beacons, RF ID tags or QR codes that provide information or links to webpages.

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Why Microsoft is adding an AI co-processor to HoloLens 2

I strapped on a pair of virtual reality (VR) goggles and looked around the room. There were three PageWide printers sitting off in the corner, so I reached out and pressed a lever to open the paper tray. A voice off in the distance, like a ghost in the fog, told me to try lifting the copier lid as well.

I was at HP in Palo Alto, California, and the demo was meant to show me how their multi-function printers work. Interestingly, VR and augmented reality (AR) today do not take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) as much as you might think. I wasn’t able to ask a question and have a bot respond. The VR looked ultra-realistic, but it was all self-contained within a structured environment. The demo was more like a 3D-rendered slideshow with some interactions. But in the future, AI will play a much bigger role.

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Why Microsoft is adding an AI coprocessor to the HoloLens 2

I strapped on a pair of VR goggles and looked around the room. There were three PageWide printers sitting off in the corner, so I reached out and pressed a lever to open the paper tray. A voice off in the distance, like a ghost in the fog, told me to try lifting the copier lid as well.

I was at HP in Palo Alto, and the demo was meant to show me how their multi-function printers work. Interestingly, VR and AR today do not take advantage of AI as much as you might think. I wasn’t able to ask a question and have a bot respond. The VR looked ultra-realistic, but it was all self-contained within a structured environment. The demo was more like a 3D-rendered slideshow with some interactions, but in the future, AI will play a much bigger role.

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Avoid the mouse trap: Old habits wreck new tech

Don’t look now, but your desktop user interface dates back to the Nixon administration. Is it time to upgrade to the next UI?

New technologies revolutionize business. And big shifts like artificial intelligent (AI) virtual assistants and augmented reality seem to have gone from “someday” technologies, to “happening right now.”

These technologies are expected to transform business for the better. And I believe they will — far more than we realize. These new systems come with powerful new user interfaces. There’s just one problem: People don’t like new interfaces — and cling to the old, inefficient ones.

It’s not a theoretical problem. Global business has lost productivity on a galactic scale because of our failure to or inability to switch to the best interface.

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We need virtual assistants that talk to each other

Everybody talks about (and often to) the Big Four virtual assistants — Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant. But many other companies are working on virtual assistants, too.

Huawei is working on a virtual assistant for the Chinese market.

Samsung offers Bixby on its Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphones.

Voice recognition giant Nuance offers an enterprise ready virtual assistant called Nina, which specializes in knowing the limits of A.I. and kicking queries over to a team of human assistants when necessary. Nuance this month announced a Nina “skill” on Amazon’s Alexa platform.

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4 ways blockchain is the new business collaboration tool

While blockchain may have cut its teeth on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the distributed electronic ledger technology is quickly making inroads across a variety of industries.

That’s mainly because of its innate security and its potential for improving systems  operations all while reducing costs and creating new revenue streams.

David Schatsky, a managing director at consultancy Deloitte LLP, believes blockchain’s diversity speaks to its versatility in addressing business needs, but “the impact that blockchain will have on businesses in various industries is not yet fully understood.”

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IDG Contributor Network: How technology is transforming New Orleans

There are a handful of major technological hubs in the United States, where investors and consumers loom to witness the birth of the next revolutionary technology. However, there may be a new city among their ranks, as New Orleans starts to adopt more technological and entrepreneurial resources to reinvent its image and operations.

There’s no shortage of things to do in New Orleans, from steamboat tours to jazz music to ghost-themed walkabouts (and of course, the amazing food). But recently, it’s the innovative, technological spirit of the city that’s been driving its growth.

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It’s time to decide how quantum computing will help your business

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