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Aruba brings asset tracking into the wireless network

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Aruba has unveiled an asset tracking solution that is fully integrated into a wireless infrastructure, meaning that a complex process becomes simplified, and allows full integration at dramatically reduced costs.

Organisations worldwide lose millions of dollars every year on high-value items and inventory that are misplaced, lost or stolen. Furthermore, employees and customers suffer from lost productivity and poor experiences. These challenges are particularly prevalent in industries like healthcare, where items such as IV pumps and heart defibrillators are easily misplaced, resulting in 25 percent of hospital staff’s time wasted looking for these assets1 and negatively impacting quality of care. In retail and warehousing, items that can’t be located quickly mean wasted time for employees, delayed order fulfillment for customers and often, a loss of revenue for the retailer.

Aruba asset tracking addresses these challenges with a solution that is integrated into the Aruba Wi-Fi infrastructure, eliminating the need for a separate network. Organisations also gain the benefits of accurate tracking of important items using either an intuitive, map-based mobile app or by integrating with organisations’ existing tracking solutions.

The solution includes the following components:

·         Advancements to ArubaOS and Aruba APs: This new software allows Aruba BLE-enabled Access Points and Sensors to act as asset tag “observers,” creating a sensory network that provides added value to organizations with existing Aruba wireless infrastructure. In essence, it allows their Wi-Fi infrastructure to double as an asset tracking network.

·         New Aruba Tags: Cost-effective Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – enabled tags are slightly larger than a quarter, making them ideal for items that range in size from IV pumps in a healthcare setting to pallets of goods in a warehouse. The tags are designed to meet stringent environmental requirements and come with multiple attachment options.

·         Asset Tag Configuration App: Aruba’s configuration app makes set-up and ongoing management of the tags simple. Assets can be designated with names, photos and optional IDs so that like assets can be searched for easily. Changes can be performed quickly, near the assets, and all data is automatically saved in a central cloud database.

·         New features for the Aruba Meridian AppMaker: Organisations can now create their own asset tracking app for iOS or Android with the Meridian AppMaker. The AppMaker provides a new SDK and APIs for seamless third-party integration and custom use cases.

Partner Ecosystem Enables Broad Adoption Across Industries

Key to the success of Aruba’s existing location-based services and Mobile Engagement portfolio has been the Meridian Engage Partner Program. Customers have leveraged app developers to integrate and build value-added mobile apps for iOS and Android that are used with the Meridian Mobile App Platform and Aruba Mobile Engagement portfolio. Aruba is extending the Engage program beyond Meridian app developers to now include Meridian asset tracking partners including Emerge, Raizlabs, STANLEY Healthcare, and VenueNext.

“We are pleased to deepen our existing relationship with Aruba for location solutions in healthcare,” said Raz Evenor, Director of Product Management, STANLEY Healthcare. “Our MobileView platform combines the widest range of real-time visibility solutions with advanced analytics for hospitals to increase safety and security for patients and staff, drive operational efficiency, and ultimately deliver a better patient experience. As technology and network infrastructure evolve, we are always looking for new ways to expand choices for our customers. This partnership with Aruba for BLE-powered asset tracking gives our healthcare customers an additional cost-effective option for management of mobile medical assets.”

HPE Pointnext

Aruba Meridian Services from HPE Pointnext provide customers and partners worldwide with the expertise needed to take advantage of location-based services to engage with mobile users in any organisation or public-facing venue. These services can help augment customer IT and Aruba partner teams to provide the capabilities needed for the design and development of mobile applications with the Meridian platform.

Aruba asset tracking is one of the intelligent edge innovations that Aruba unveiled this week at HPE Discover. Aruba also introduced its 8400 Core Switch Series, a new core aggregation switch that delivers the performance, power, automation, and troubleshooting capabilities necessary to address the challenges of mobility, cloud, and IoT inherent in networks today.

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Tech promotes connections across groups in emerging markets

Digital technology users say they more regularly interact with people from diverse backgrounds

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Smartphone users – especially those who use social media – say they are more regularly exposed to people who have different backgrounds. They are also more connected with friends they don’t see in person, a Pew Research Center survey of adults in 11 emerging economies finds.

South Africa, included in the study, has among the most consistent levels of connection across age groups and education levels and in terms of cross-cultural connections. This suggests both that smartphones have had a greater democratisation impact in South Africa, but also that the country is more geared to diversity than most others. Of 11 countries surveyed, it has the second-lowest spread between those using smartphones and those not using them in terms of exposure to other religious groups.

Across every country surveyed, those who use smartphones are more likely than those who use less sophisticated phones or no phones at all to regularly interact with people from different religious groups. In most countries, people with smartphones also tend to be more likely to interact regularly with people from different political parties, income levels and racial or ethnic backgrounds. 

The Center’s new report is the third in a series exploring digital connectivity among populations in emerging economies based on nationally representative surveys of adults in Colombia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Tunisia, South Africa, Venezuela and Vietnam. Earlier reports examined attitudes toward misinformation and mobile technology’s social impact

The survey finds that smartphone and social media use are intertwined: A median of 91% of smartphone users in these countries also use social media or messaging apps, while a median of 81% of social media users say they own or share a smartphone. And, as with smartphone users, social media and messaging app users stand apart from non-users in how often they interact with people who are different from them. For example, 52% of Mexican social media users say they regularly interact with people of a different income level, compared with 28% of non-users. 

These results do not show with certainty that smartphones or social media are the cause of people feeling like they have more diverse networks. For example, those who have resources to buy and maintain a smartphone are likely to differ in many key ways from those who don’t, and it could be that some combination of those differences drives this phenomenon. Still, statistical modelling indicates that smartphone and social media use are independent predictors of greater social network diversity when other factors such as age, education and sex are held constant. 

Other key findings in the report include: 

  • Mobile phones and social media are broadening people’s social networks. More than half in most countries say they see in person only about half or fewer of the people they call or text. Mobile phones are also allowing many to stay in touch with people who live far away: A median of 93% of mobile phone users across the 11 countries surveyed say their phones have mostly helped them keep in touch with those who are far-flung. When it comes to social media, large shares report relationships with “friends” online who are distinct from those they see in person. A median of 46% of Facebook users across the 11 countries report seeing few or none of their Facebook friends in person regularly, compared with a median of 31% of Facebook users who often see most or all of their Facebook friends in person. 
  • Social activities and information seeking on subjects like health and education top the list of mobile activities. The survey asked mobile phone users about 10 different activities they might do on their mobile phones – activities that are social, information-seeking or commercial in nature. Among the most commonly reported activities are casual, social activities. For example, a median of 82% of mobile phone users in the 11 countries surveyed say they used their phone over the past year to send text messages and a median of 69% of users say they took pictures or videos. Many mobile phone users are also using their phones to find new information. For example, a median of 61% of mobile phone users say they used their phones over the past year to look up information about health and medicine for themselves or their families. This is more than the proportion that reports using their phones to get news and information about politics (median of 47%) or to look up information about government services (37%). Additionally, around half or more of mobile phone users in nearly all countries report having used their phones over the past 12 months to learn something important for work or school. 
  • Digital divides emerge in the new mobile-social environment. People with smartphones and social media – as well as younger people, those with higher levels of education, and men – are in some ways reaping more benefits than others, potentially contributing to digital divides. 
    • People with smartphones are much more likely to engage in activities on their phones than people with less sophisticated devices – even if the activity itself is quite simple. For example, people with smartphones are more likely than those with feature or basic phones to send text messages in each of the 11 countries surveyed, even though the activity is technically feasible from all mobile phones. Those who have smartphones are also much more likely to look up information for their households, including about health and government services. 
    •  There are also major differences in mobile usage by age and education level in how their devices are – or are not – broadening their horizons. Younger people are more likely to use their phones for nearly all activities asked about, whether those activities are social, information-seeking or commercial. Phone users with higher levels of education are also more likely to do most activities on their phones and to interact with those who are different from them regularly than those with lower levels of education. 
    •  Gender, too, plays a role in what people do with their devices and how they are exposed to different people and information. Men are more likely than women to say they encounter people who are different from them, whether in terms of race, politics, religion or income. And men tend to be more likely to look up information about government services and to obtain political news and information. 

These findings are drawn from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 28,122 adults in 11 countries from Sept. 7 to Dec. 7, 2018. In addition to the survey, the Center conducted focus groups with participants in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Tunisia in March 2018, and their comments are included throughout the report. 

Read the full report at https://www.pewinternet.org/2019/08/22/in-emerging-economies-smartphone-and-social-media-users-have-broader-social-networks.

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Nokia to be first with Android 10

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Nokia is likely to be the first smartphone brand to roll out Android 10, after its manufacturer, HMD Global, announced that the Android 10 software upgrade would start in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Previously named Android Q, it was given the number after Google announced it was ditching sweet and dessert names due to confusion in different languages. Android 10 is due for release at the end of the year.

Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer of HMD Global said: “With a proven track record in delivering software updates fast, Nokia smartphones were the first whole portfolio to benefit from a 2-letter upgrade from Android Nougat to Android Oreo and then Android Pie. We were the fastest manufacturer to upgrade from Android Oreo to Android Pie across the range. 

“With today’s roll out plan we look set to do it even faster for Android Pie to Android 10 upgrades. We are the only manufacturer 100% committed to having the latest Android across the entire portfolio.”

HMD Global has given a guarantee that Nokia smartphone owners benefit from two years of OS upgrades and 3 years of security updates.

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