Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Thematic Workplan (2H2020) for tech4tea.com: COVID-19

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Today is the beginning of the second half of 2020. Here’s the thematic workplan for tech4tea.com for the second half of the year.

Thematic Workplan 2H2020 - centred around the “aftermath” of COVID-19.

Thematic Workplan 2H2020 – centred around the “aftermath” of COVID-19.

The first half of 2020 has been ALL about something that began last year – COVID-19.

Unfortunately, the second half of 2020 looks set to be all about the pandemic as well.

The past six months saw countries all over the world reeling from the impact of a new disease – frantically learning about it and desperately trying to stem its spread.

The next six months will see countries continue their fight against the global epidemic- managing second wave outbreaks, racing to develop vaccines and cures, and emerging out of lockdowns to return to some form of normalcy.

Going forward, the “new normal” will be very different from the normal of pre-COVID days.

So the next half year will be all about living WITH COVID-19 – in all aspects of life.

For tech4tea.com, I’ve laid down a focal theme for each month in the second half of 2020.

Get in touch (johntan@tech4tea.com) if you have topics or products aligned with the above themes.

Here goes…

(more…)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella During Build 2020 (19-21 May)

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

Microsoft Build 2020 was the first time the annual developers’ event was held completely online, because of COVID-19. Here are some interesting snippets from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during his keynote address for the conference.

“Already, we've seen something like two years' worth of digital transformation in just two months. And we've seen how critical digital technology is in the three phases of this crisis, from emergency response to the recovery phase to the reimagining the world going forward,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO at Build 2020.

“Already, we’ve seen something like two years’ worth of digital transformation in just two months. And we’ve seen how critical digital technology is in the three phases of this crisis, from emergency response to the recovery phase to the reimagining the world going forward,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO at Build 2020.

How has developers come together with those on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19?

Here were some examples that Nadella highlighted.

  • At Johns Hopkins University, epidemiologists and software developers created a canonical dashboard to track the spread of COVID-19.
  • Adaptive Biotechnologies is using cloud compute and AI to decode the immune system’s response to the virus.
  • In the United Kingdom, a cross-section of manufacturers adjusted their production lines to build ventilators for the NHS, using mixed reality to guide workers through the process.
  • The NBA is using the power of the cloud and Xbox to engage fans and maintain the joy of the game.

What would developers need to be capable of going forward?

(more…)

Tech Focus: Ingestible Electronic Pills For Stomach Diagnosis

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

Just as IoT is taking the tech world by storm, ingestible pills enable doctors and researchers to emplace micro sensors in our bodies to monitor sustained measurements for diagnosis or research.

In this guest blog, Nick Van Helleputte and Chris Van Hoof discuss how ingestible or electronic pills can revolutionise the way stomach ailments are diagnosed.

Mock-up of an ingestible pill with prototype transceiver. Image: Imec.

Mock-up of an ingestible pill with prototype transceiver. Image: Imec.

Speak about an electronic pill or a small ingestible machine that can be swallowed by patients to monitor their bodies – and what comes to mind is often swarms of nanobots.

The reality is a little different.

Today, breakthroughs in electronics are making it possible to imagine such ingestibles, which are small enough to be swallowed so they can stay inside a body to monitor, say, a person’s stomach condition over a period of time.

Editor’s Comments

These nifty gadgets open up a whole new frontier in medical diagnosis and research.

Think the Internet of Things (IoT) but applied to the interior of our bodies.

By emplacing sensors within our bodies, doctors and researchers don’t just get a one-off snapshot of the organ of interest.

The sensors can provide sustained monitoring of measurements over a period of time, enabling the identification of trends in the data, or triggering of alerts to flag out anomalies breaching threshold levels.

This means a doctor would be able to more accurately see the changes in a person’s digestive tract, for example, instead of having only a quick look by using a scope or collecting stool samples.

So, instead of a number of nanobots swimming inside a person, ingestibles are miniaturised versions of electronic devices that require low power and have reliable wireless communication to relay the signals that they are reading.

In February 2020, Belgium-based research outfit imec presented the world’s first fully integrated millimetre-scale wireless transceiver for ingestibles or electronic analytical devices that can be swallowed.

This breakthrough, presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2020 conference at San Francisco in February, means that in the future, ingestible devices could be easier to be manufactured and be more effective in staying in a stomach to monitor important signs of diseases, such as diabetes, Crohn’s Disease or coeliac.

(more…)

Review: Adidas FWD-01 Wireless In-Ear Sports Headphones

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

Co-created by athletes, the in-ear headphones has been designed specifically for runners and is now available in Singapore (S$249).

“Wired wireless” in-ear sports earphones from adidas: FWD-01.

“Wired wireless” in-ear sports earphones from adidas: FWD-01.

Launched jointly by adidas and Stockholm-based Zound Industries – the earphones combines the latter’s audio technology with the former’s knowhow in sports ergonomics.

My Take

A little bit pricey, the adidas FWD-01 is a pair of solid wireless in-ear headphones for runners, boasting decent audio quality, a long 16-hour battery life and the ability to quick-charge. What I liked a lot was its IPX4 rated sweat resistance.

On first looks, I like the ergonomic and minimalist design of the sweat-proof FWD-01, which weighs 26g and has a tangle-free cable that’s 47.5cm long.

The knitted fabric gives the earphones a nice shoelace appearance consistent with the fabric on some of adidas’ sports shoes.

The control buttons on the cord is easy-to-find and enables full control of all the basic functionalities of the earphones viz. play/pause, volume up/down, answer/end phone calls, power on/off or pair.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Three control buttons on the right and an Action button on the left of the adidas FWD-01 wireless in-ear headphones.

An Action button is programmable (using the companion app) as a shortcut for up to three different actions, triggered by either 1, 2, or 3 clicks.

(more…)

Digital Well-Being Tips For International Day Of Happiness

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Here are some tips from Google on digital wellbeing and how our devices can contribute to our daily happiness.

The first step toward digital wellbeing is often understanding more about how you interact with technology in the first place. Tools like the Digital Wellbeing Dashboard in Android 9 Pie and YouTube’s Time Watched offer ways to keep you more informed about your habits.

The first step toward digital wellbeing is often understanding more about how you interact with technology in the first place. Tools like the Digital Wellbeing Dashboard in Android 9 Pie and YouTube’s Time Watched offer ways to keep you more informed about your habits.

Despite being one of the wealthiest nations globally, research has shown that Singaporeans are amongst the unhappiest people in the world.

Disconnect when you need to. Take advantage of tools that help make it easier to take a break from your devices, and switch off at the end of each day.

Disconnect when you need to. Take advantage of tools that help make it easier to take a break from your devices, and switch off at the end of each day.

(more…)

Test Drive: Audi TT Coupé 2.0 TFSI S tronic in Singapore

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

Tried out the Audi TT Coupé 2.0 TFSI S tronic last week to check out the latest facelift for the luxury sports car. This is the first half of the review, which concludes tomorrow.

It's been more than 25 years since the Audi TT concept car was first showcased in 1995 at the IAA in Frankfurt. The first Coupé premiered in 1998, with the 2nd generation in 2006 and the 3rd gen in 2014.

It’s been more than 25 years since the Audi TT concept car was first showcased in 1995 at the IAA in Frankfurt. The first Coupé premiered in 1998, with the 2nd generation in 2006 and the 3rd gen in 2014.

This latest update to the Audi TT Coupé sees the new direct injection 2.0 TFSI engine with 230hp replacing the previous 180hp 1.8 TFSI.

It’s been more than 25 years since the Audi TT concept car was first showcased in 1995 at the IAA in Frankfurt.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

The design vocab of the Audi TT Coupé comprises geometric shapes, circles and strong lines. Managed to find matching environs to shoot the car.

The first Coupé premiered in 1998, with the second generation in 2006 and the third generation in 2014.

The latest Audi TT Coupé is now more masculine, progressive and sportier.

(more…)

Tech Focus: Watching Parasite & Its Search Trends On Google

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

I just watched the Oscar-winning Parasite during the week with the family. It was entertaining as a comedy and thought-provoking as a satire. Great movie. Here’s some data on how people searched about the movie during Oscar season.

A refreshing treatment of the age-old dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots.

A refreshing treatment of the age-old dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots.

My family and I watched the movie over dinner time and thoroughly enjoyed the dark but refreshingly directed satire, including my teenage son, although he did express a desire to take a hiatus from the genre in the coming months.

So here’s what Google shared about the interest that global viewers showed in the first non-English language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture – instead of just the traditional Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.

As a Best Picture nominee in the week prior to the awards, Parasite was the third-most-searched nominee behind “1917” and “Jojo Rabbit”.

Incidentally, we’ve also watched Jojo Rabbit and found it an excellent movie. We’ll probably watch 1917 after my son’s hiatus.

What does winning the Oscars do for our career and business?

On Oscars day, Parasite searches jumped almost nine-fold to become top-searched.

(more…)

Trends: NetApp Predictions For 2020

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

Atish Gude, NetApp’s Chief Strategy Officer shares three predictions for 2020, putting the spotlight on 5G, Blockchain and infrastructure virtualisation solutions.

* This article is contributed by Atish Gude, based on his professional experience and personal opinions.

What does 2020 hold in store?

What does 2020 hold in store?

2019 was a year of rapid innovation – and disruption – for both the IT industry and the broader business community.

With the widespread adoption of hybrid multicloud as the de-facto architecture for enterprise customers, organisations everywhere are under tremendous pressure to modernise their infrastructure and deliver tangible business value around data-intensive applications and workloads.

Multiclouds & Virtualisation

Multiclouds & Virtualisation

As a result, organisations are shifting from on-premises to leverage public cloud services, building private clouds, and moving from disk to flash in data centers – sometimes concurrently.

These transformations open the door to enormous potential, but also introduce the unintended consequence of rising IT complexity.

We predict that a demand for simplicity and customisability will be the number-one factor driving IT purchasing decisions in 2020.

Data-driven transformations

Data-driven transformations

Vendors will need to provide customers modern, flexible technologies with the choice of how to use and consumes these technologies to meet evolving business models.

As IT departments look to de-emphasise maintenance and hardware, reduce overhead, and adopt pay-as-you-go models, simplicity and choice will be key.

Achieving this simplicity will serve as the foundation for companies as they navigate the exciting technological trends we’ve identified below.

(more…)

Event: B2B Ignite By Epson Singapore At The National Gallery

Friday, October 4th, 2019

Epson showcases its business-to-business solutions in Singapore and aims to help Small-Medium Enterprises (SME) grow and develop with the adoption of sustainable technologies.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Another robot barista, this time from Epson. I met its cousin Ella at Crown Digital in Singapore last month.

A showcase of practical innovations that help reduce an organisation’s impact on the environment, B2B Ignite demonstrates how the adoption of sustainable technologies will meet the business and productivity needs of Singapore’s SMEs.

Epson’s move to expand and strengthen its B2B offerings in Singapore is in step with the country’s Smart Nation plans and its sustainable future.

(more…)

Tech Focus: What Are Zoonoses And How Can Technology Help (Part 2 of 2)

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

How can technology help in the fight against zoonisis? Aspiring vet, Erin Tan, did some research on the topic and shares what she thinks in this second article in a two-part series.

* This article first appeared in HalenessMe.

The web-based app Supramap uses genomic data to track the global movement of avian influenza virus.

The web-based app Supramap uses genomic data to track the global movement of avian influenza virus.

Emerging technology can help in mainly two ways.

Firstly, through harnessing the power of Big Data, information from previous outbreaks, and studies conducted independently around the world, can be collated to help predict where a deadly zoonotic virus will strike next.

The vast availability of health data today means that data must be intelligently handled, using the right tools to derive helpful trends.

For instance, Google Flu Trends collated data from users’ searches to estimate influenza activity, and was found to show strong correlation with official data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2009 flu pandemic.

The web-based app Supramap uses genomic data to track the global movement of avian influenza virus.

Google Flu Trends collated data from users’ searches to estimate influenza activity.

Google Flu Trends collated data from users’ searches to estimate influenza activity.

(more…)