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Wearables change world of BYOx

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A while ago, BYOD was a hot topic, and although it mostly fallen off the radar, it is now being replaced with BYOx or Bring Your Own Anything. In particular, this is referring to wearable devices which need Internet access and bring some new issues to network administrators, says MARTIN WALSHAW.

There was a period a couple of years ago when it seemed that every other article you read mentioned Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Now it seems to have largely fallen off the radar, replaced by Bring Your Own Anything (BYOx) and has become an accepted part of the IT landscape under the wider heading of ‘mobility’.

But this doesn’t mean that BYOD has gone away. Far from it. Even if it’s not the hot topic, all devices that want access to enterprise networks or applications need to be tracked and secured according to the policies that have been put in place – this has become standard practice for businesses. On the horizon though is a new wave of BYOD, coming in all shapes and sizes, with wearable tech.

As consumer tech businesses scramble to create the next big thing, there is no doubt that we’ll start to see these having an impact on corporate resources. Some of these devices will have more of an impact than others: a fitness tracking wearable might eat up a little bit of bandwidth on Wi-Fi but an interactive and immersive device (for example, Google Glass) that is demanding access to files and broader Internet connectivity may start to bump up against firewall and access control issues. With wearables predicted to be a huge growth market, it’s a matter of when, not if, this will happen.

Unlike BYOD though, we’re aware of the impending issues. While smartphones, tablets and the like were dismissed as something of a fad, most businesses have learned their lessons and are better prepared to react to developments. What’s more, the professional use cases are more easily recognised (think wearable cameras for the police or head-mounted displays for surgeons), meaning there will be a greater readiness in some quarters to adopt the technology.

This greater awareness and willingness to embrace wearable technology puts most businesses in a position to prepare themselves adequately for the changing ways in which employees will be using technology in years to come. And as forewarned is forearmed, there should be no excuse for businesses to be unprepared for the impact of the new wave of BYOD. Here are a few thoughts on how to prepare your business for wearable tech:

·         Make sure that your applications are protected – no matter what devices are connecting to the network; if you protect data at the application level you should be in good stead

·         Plan for an influx of devices and the impact they will have on capacity and bandwidth

·         If staff will be using wearables for business purposes, prepare guidance on the applications and acceptable use

·         It’s crucial that your company maintains control over who has access to your network and data. Understanding who is accessing, where from and on what device will allow this level of control

Technology and processes can support businesses through the changing flow of data brought on by wearable technology, but businesses must also remember the people factor, and to communicate any BYOD policy. This will ensure that employees and processes are aligned and that business data is accessed within company policy, regardless of the shift in end-user technology.

* Martin Walshaw, senior engineer at F5 Networks.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

 

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Nine years later, Nintendo set to lead again

Nintendo is set to regain its leadership position in video game consoles for the first time since 2009, according to the latest projections from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices service.

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The report, Global Game Console Market Forecast, predicts that Nintendo will sell 17.3 million Switch consoles worldwide in 2019, while Sony will sell 17.1 million PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles. Microsoft will remain in third place, selling 10.0 million Xbox One and Xbox One X devices. The overall console market has performed well in 2018, with total global sales reaching 46.1 million devices, the highest level since 2010.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Sony is still the market leader in terms of consoles in use; it accounts for nearly half of all video games consoles in use, and 84% of these are now PS4 or PS4 Pro devices
  • Video game console ownership has been rising again in recent years; 45% of North American homes and 20% of Western European homes now own at least one console
  • The global retail value of the games console business is predicted to reach $15.4bn in 2018, an increase of 7.6%
  • 2019 revenues are expected to decline by 10% as shipment volumes and prices fall
  • By 2023 revenues will return to 2018 levels, driven by the launch of next generation systems such as the PS5 and Xbox and Switch updates

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, commented, “Contrary to some expectations, the global TV games console market remains healthy. Many pundits have written it off over the years, for reasons ranging from the emergence of cloud gaming to the dominance of mobile devices and the arrival of VR, but it refuses to die. In fact, there is an argument that the enduring appeal of the TV games console, now in its sixth decade, continues to demonstrate the weaknesses and limitations of alternative games platforms.”

Chirag Upadhyay, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Console upgrade cycles continue, and the three-way battle between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, which has been raging now for the best part of two decades, shows no sign of abating as each platform owner discusses its plans for updates and new generations. In partnership with developers and driven by the ever-rising expectations of consumers we fully expect these platform owners to continue to push the boundaries of the large screen gaming experience for many more years to come.”

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Funko Fortnite hits SA

Funko has come on board to bring South African players the collectables of their favourite Fortnite avatars.

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Fortnite phenomenon in the world of gaming and the Battle Royale game mode has drawn over 125 million players worldwide in less than a year.

In the game, players can gather materials to create defensive fortifications around an objective or trap-filled tunnels to lure unsuspecting enemies to. 

In Battle Royale mode, players can quickly traverse the map; protect themselves from enemy fire, or just delay an advancing foe by means of building obstacles and structures from gathered materials. Players are encouraged to be very creative in designing their fortifications.  Although Fortnite is a shooter game, it highly promotes creativity and the most creative and clever methods tend to be that of the winner.  Any gamer in the country knows of, or has played Fortnite and Funko has come on board to bring South African players the collectables of their favourite Fortnite avatars.

The following Funko POP characters have been released to SA, just in time for Christmas:

Drift: Journey into the unknown, and find your way to victory.

Ragnarok:  The cold harbinger of fate.

Dark Vangaurd:  Exploring the outer limits.

Valor:  A beacon for hope.

Havoc:  Striking fear into the opposition.

Tricera-Ops:  Sink your teeth into victory.

Sparkle specialist:  It’s time to shine!

Zoey:  Candy-coated chaos.

Burnout:  All roads lead to victory.

Raven:  Brooding master of dark skies

If you want to have your character with you at all times, there are Funko Keychains that can accompany you anywhere, of all the same characters.

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