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Hospitality solutions should provide comfort and save costs

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In order to meet the ever growing demands of today’s travellers, technology in abundance is what makes a hotel function in modern times, writes MIKE VAN LIER, Director of Enterprise Business Division at Samsung Electronics South Africa.

From the moment a guest checks into a hotel until the time they leave, they encounter technology on various levels. Some are plainly obvious, such as screens and PCs installed at the reception desk, but there are also the not-so-obvious technology that makes guests’ stay more pleasurable, but they are unaware of it.

Nowadays every guest expects Wi-Fi when booking into a hotel. It has become an accepted standard and something that can’t do without. However, what might not be so clear is that once guests enter the hotel’s Wi-Fi environment, their mobile phone can be converted into a seamless extension of the hotel’s internal switchboard or PABX. This renders hostel guests’ communication fast and efficient. Apart from being a useful and time-saving service to guests, this system offers the hotel management and staff benefits as well. Likewise, in the background the hotel employees are able to communicate with each other via their mobile phones, without the exorbitant costs of cellphone call fees. This can amount to huge cost savings for the hotel, considering the number of calls between staff on a daily basis. Samsung’s Fixed Mobile Convergence, PABX and Wi-Fi solutions afford hotels and the hospitality industry this functionality.

Large format display screens are becoming much more prevalent in hotels and restaurants globally. These displays offer the perfect solution to present a myriad of information, such as conferences which might be taking place at a hotel or the foreign currency rates of exchange. All of these displays care controlled from a central point within the hotel that allows for comfortable and effective content management.

In addition, some hotels that have adopted Samsung’s Large Format Displays have used these to function as digital wall paper that can be changed to reflect any mood, season or event taking place in their lobbies, such as the Metropolitan hotel in Las Vegas.

The TV is another discreet technology that can be found within hotel rooms. Once guests enter their bedroom they expect a television set. Samsung’s unique range of Hotel TVs not only allow guests to watch normal programming and movies, but also to wirelessly connect their IOS and Android smart devices to play back their own music and videos on the TV ― known as BYOD (bring your own device). Through this solution guests are given more freedom and control over what content they want to consume and when they wish to consume it. In addition the hotel TVs can display the hotel’s entire directory of services that can easily be navigated by guests using the remote control. The traditional Guest Service Booklet in the hotel room can now be trashed and recycled in favour of a more current, eco-friendly and effective Samsung hotel TV solution.

Comfort is important within the hospitality industry and air-conditioning is most often overlooked in this instance. Air-conditioning consume huge amounts of energy leading to increased costs for a hotel. Samsung’s air-conditioning system however, provides an excellent energy efficient way of heating or cooling. Room air-conditioning settings as well as settings for public spaces in the hotel can be changed from a central point, either from within the hotel or from another location off-site.

Hotels are notoriously high paper usage environments with masses of staff carrying clip boards with endless check lists and reports. The large paper consumption should be a concern, as consumers are becoming more eco-friendly and actively seeking service providers who share the same belief. System printing solutions aimed at decreasing paper wastage and reducing printing costs is therefore a good investment. Samsung’s cloud and Tap & Print technology, using near field communications (NFC) not only benefits employees and the hotel, but also allows guests to securely print their documents at the hotel’s business center.

The hotel business has definitely expanded from its earlier sole provision of accommodation. There is now much more to consider in running such an enterprise effectively. Technology, visible or hidden, can play a big role in making the venture a success.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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