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𝐄𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐃𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐄𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐂𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝

I am excited to add the Diversity Sourcing designation to my toolkit. With the fast-growing demand for diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace HR, Recruiters & Talent Acquisition professionals may want to be aware of unconscious biases and how they play out in their sourcing techniques. 📕⚖️

NextGen Global Executive SearchTo truly embrace diversity and inclusion in your workplace, you may want to evaluate your company culture.

Statements promoting workplace diversity only go so far. Employers now need to back up their words with actionable efforts.

📌 Companies can provide diversity training and team-building exercises, provide unconscious bias training to help identify and reduce potential biases and receive reinforcement from upper management.

Building a diverse workforce is not just the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do, from a business perspective. Higher revenue, better employee performance, a more trusted, a trusted employer brand, and an increased customer base are just a few of the benefits of a diverse workforce. 67 percent of job seekers say diverse workforces are important factors in their employment decisions. 💭

💡 Six Tips for Diversity Sourcing

1️⃣ Start a plan

2️⃣ Incorporate diversity into your employment brand

3️⃣ Establish relationships with diversity-oriented groups

4️⃣ Change up your tactics

5️⃣ Leverage social media

6️⃣ Be smart with mobile recruiting

Do you have any suggestions and tips? Please Share your COMMENTS below. ⬇️

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👉 Type “𝟕-𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐬” in the COMMENTS below, and I’ll send it over.

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Articles Wireless Ecosystems

CBRS – Shared Spectrum Framework

What is CBRS and how can you use it to benefit your organization?

In 2017, the US Federal Communications Commission introduced a 150 MHz wide broadcast band called CBRS. Previously, this band was exclusively reserved for the US Navy radar and avionics systems, but now this band is part of the US government’s push towards the shared spectrum framework.

CBRS opens up a wide new range of possible innovations in the wireless communication space that weren’t traditionally accessible to companies. It is important to understand how the fundamental technology works before we discuss its potential use cases.
How can you use CBRS to benefit your organization?

The shared spectrum system that CBRS offers opens many doors to exciting new innovations. CBRS spectrums can be used to provide localized wireless broadband access in large buildings and businesses, allowing more bandwidth and range than any WiFi solution.

The major advantage CBRS offers is accessibility. The cost to entry is very high for spectrums that are exclusively licensed, and companies can end up paying billions of dollars. This makes wireless spectrums impossible for small to medium organizations to use. CBRS, on the other hand, is a free-to-use spectrum, similar to WiFi. You can pay for more exclusive benefits and a better experience, but the basic spectrum is publicly available to everyone.

Another great advantage that CBRS offers is its potential time to market. In a traditional spectrum management system, it can take almost a decade from the time a company bids on a wireless spectrum in an auction to when they are actually able to use it. In the tech industry, a decade might as well be a century. CBRS’s spectrum sharing means that once in place, it is very easy and almost instant for a new company to start using the common spectrum.

Finally, the practice of licensing exclusive spectrums was honestly unsustainable. There are so many free and unused spectrums available that can be assigned to new users. The frequency spectrum is a valuable and finite resource that would never be able to keep up with the growing demand. CBRS, on the other hand, allows multiple users on the same band, providing more room and accessibility to grow.
By combining all of these factors, CBRS makes way for new innovations and technologies that just weren’t possible before. Imagine a single central tower providing high-speed internet to a whole office campus.

The possibilities of CBRS are quite literally endless.

How can blockchain technology and CBRS be used together?
Blockchain technology has garnered significant popularity in the past few years, mostly due to its use in the field of cryptocurrency. This fame has resulted in accelerated research to figure out more use cases that can be built off of blockchain technology.

One particularly interesting use case combines blockchain and the CBRS spectrum sharing technology. This is especially useful for scenarios where a shared database needs write access from multiple writers. In a traditional system, there is an absence of trust between multiple writers, and it requires a lot of effort to consolidate a few parties.

In a blockchain-powered database, the process is more streamlined. Blockchain, by the nature of its underlying fundamental, works by being a ‘trustless network.’ A blockchain-powered database doesn’t trust one party over the other by default. Rather, it consolidates information from all parties involved to establish its ‘truth.’ This results in an atmosphere of disintermediation between various parties using the shared database.

For example, CBRS and blockchain technology can be used together in an inter-organizational recordkeeping capacity. The blockchain will be the highest authority in a transactional log to collect, record and notarize any information.

CBRS will empower network users to reap the benefits of blockchain-based databases and eliminate the need for third-party clearing houses for any sort of authentication and validation, using blockchain-powered smart contracts instead. This is especially useful for IoT devices that need to use shared databases, as they will then have access to a shared spectrum for faster and more reliable network access.

Blockchain technology, if integrated properly, has the potential to significantly reduce transaction costs in a CBRS by streamlining B2B multi-step workflows for things like contracting, brokering, and data exchange, since blockchain offers very low-cost transactions using smart contracts. Ultimately integration of blockchain in a spectrum management system will build trust between key stakeholders and devices using CBRS.

Please have a look at other articles on our blog, we’re always updating it with cutting edge information in the various markets we service.

Categories
Articles Autonomous Vehicles Technology Internet of Things

Internet of Things Enhancing the next generation, Future of Transportation

By definition, “Internet of things” is the concept of devices connected by a series of protocols in order provide greater interoperation, capacity, and sense of self-automation combined with artificial intelligence in order simplify daily workstream processes. While this concept seems complex, the “Internet of things” is actually a very simple workstream.

 

Vision

 

Having actual real time data from active sensors feeding into artificial intelligence engines is the future of energy efficiency and better safety transportation. Having the car make quick adjustments to the drive path to avoid an accident or a possibly having an IOT sensor continuous adjust the airflow to keep the car cooler to conserve battery power is closer to near term than most people realize. Tesla’s (Tesla) self-driving feature continues to make headlines as the next up and coming feature that will help drive greater connection between the car and the IOT sensors deployed through the cities and highways. Blackberry (Blackberry QNX) through their autonomous car division in Canada developed an operating system that connects all 452 IP enabled sensors inside the car. By using their QNX operation system, these sensors can communicate with traffic lights, sense when another car is nearby or if the driver has a medical emergency, the vehicle will be smart enough to notify and proceed to the nearest hospital. These are all becoming acceptable use cases for IOT.

Internet of things transportationWill autonomous cars and other forms of transportation work without an IOT strategy? The challenge is not the lack of vision for IOT, the major issue is the lack centralized engineering standards and protocols. For an autonomous car to communicate with remote IOT sensors like stop lights, each sensor within the car will need to continued need to be operational and with the most updated software firm to insure predictable operations. The revolution of “Over the Air” software updates in real time became mainstream with the cell phone manufacturers like Samsung (Samsung OTA) and Apple. With the car hosting so many IOT sensors, how would the car be able to keep up with the constant change in firmware and security patches? Blackberry along with competing solutions from Toyota and other car manufactures place a huge reverence of the core real-time operating systems to receive the various firmware’s and apply the various patches in a flow and staggered fashion. As an example, when a car comes to a complete stop, the real time operating system could begin to apply secondary patches to the various “idol” sensors in the car. Once the car begins to move, the updates will either complete or enter a pause state.

 

Alignment to the “Smart City” Internet  Of Things Strategy

Many cities around the world continue to evolve their infrastructures to include smart power plans, smart transportation, and industrial 4.0 factories. These IP enabled systems combined with a robust 5G infrastructure, slowly becoming the new normal in urban development. Having a greater “interconnection” between the infrastructure and consumption layers within society not only will develop a much cleaning method of energy consumption, this new “smart” thinking is a behind the need for a greater efficiency in the infrastructure itself. By using self-driving autonomous cars, cities can now offer self-driving cars as a service for those that cannot afford transporting by having a series of vehicles circling the city limited assisting many that need to get somewhere quickly. These IOT powered cars will connected through a series of control sensor, traffic cameras, and updated real road conditions while also providing value consumption data based on usage of the service. Currently today in North America, the “ The battery-powered Xcelsior (New Flyer Bus) AV from New Flyer” is currently being used in Connecticut to provide driver-less transportation services.

Companies like Advantech (Advantech IOT) in Taiwan and Qualcomm (Qualcomm IOT) in San Diego California are examples of industry thought leaders in developing IOT sensors and devices for the “Smart City” evolution. Several more companies like Google, Amazon, and Cisco Systems also continue to drive innovation and IOT standards. IOT as an industry is driving several eco-system partners helping to develop security standards, better use of a “over the air firmware” deployment, and cloud-based applications to analyze the data in real time for faster and more efficient solutions. The future of IOT is a lesson in continued change, agile development, and a true collaboration of cities, states, and nations to connect the world to make a different in how we live together.

The Internet of Things is just one of the markets NextGen excels at, please have a look at all the markets we specialize in.

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Articles Internet of Things

Internet of Things Devices with C-LOC Off-Loading Overhead

Internet of things (IOT) devices according to Gartner (Gartner IOT) will reach close to 25 billion activation’s by 2023. Many of these devices will support a wide range of business functions including Real-time inventory updates inside of the retail markets along with a continued platform adjustment to a global supply work-stream. IOT itself as a strategy exists primarily as a result next generation sensor and cloud-based application platforms. The devices ranging from sensors within the home to a fully robotic factory in Vietnam relying on the several elements to work in tandem including IP transport layer, access to the closest Cloud platform for computation of analytic information through artificial intelligence.

The devices are built for most part to be very light weight, small firmware footprint, and reliable. These sensors built by Advantech in Taiwan, Qualcomm in San Diego, and Cisco Systems are designed to operate in various environments, low compute resources, and with a sustainable battery. When software engineers design the firmware for IOT sensors, they account for computing, battery usage, and environmental conditions. The develops also need to account for future proofing of the device. IOT is a constant changing marketplace. As more businesses in retail and industrial 4.0 factories continue to find ways to leverage IOT, the demand on the sensors becomes even more challenging.

Internet of Things – The Evolution of the C-LOC

Cloud based location over cellular is a much-needed added element of the IOT landscape. Prior to developers and companies leveraging these services, the burden of computing location fell squarely on the device itself. The sensor using 4G, 5G, or LTE cellular services will use these IP based communication transport to signal the location of the device to a centralized data collection point like Amazon IOT or Advantech – IPAAS cloud platform. The continued updating of the location of the sensor proved to be a battery drain on the device. By moving the overhead of the location computing off the sensor and relying more on a cloud-based location services, this reduced the overall battery consumption while extending the life of the sensor.

Reducing Overhead

IOT sensors deployed today for retail and automated factories need to execute several computations on the device itself. Each workload including firmware updates, location-based services via GPS, and transmitting critical system log data places a strain both on the battery source. IOT companies continue to innovate ways to reduce the need for these services to be executed on the device itself to save on battery resources and overall sensor digression. One area that has made a great impact on the sensory is leveraging C-LOC or better known as cloud-based location over cellular.

Where does C-LOC Make Sense

Like other technology strategies when it comes to C-LOC, “one size does not fit all”. IOT transcends some many different markets and use cases including iRetail and factory automation within industrial 4.0. Each of the use cases have different location services requirements that could leverage C-LOC capabilities.

Retail

Retail early on became an early adopter of IOT partial due to change in the market landscape and costs. Many retail outlets including Tiffany’s, PETCO, Walmart, and Costco leverage IOT in a variety of ways.

• 77 percent of retailers see that Internet of Things changes the customer experience. (IOT Retail study)
• 89 percent of early movers in retail gain increased insight into customer preferences and behaviors from the Internet of Things. (IOT Retail Study)
• 77 percent of early movers in the Internet of Things in retail create opportunities to better collaborate with (new) partners in delivering products and services to customers. (IOT Retail Study)

Everything from the IP enabled security cameras, digital signage, RFID tagging, badge readers, to real-time update on inventory and goods in transit. The actual deployment of the IOT sensor could be a fixed device with real-time location updates or a static label with a shelve life of 24 hours. In the retail space, many of the sensors will be stationary for an extended period. The device may not need to communicate in real time the location of the device. In many cases, the device will only need to communicate location information on a per quarterly or yearly basis. However, the sensors that are constantly in motion including mobile scanners, high end retail products and inventory receiving bins, these devices absolutely could leverage the C-LOC functionality. By off-loading the location computation, these active sensors will be able to in service much longer while saving the battery life for other firmware applications needs including security controls or authentication.

Industrial 4.0

As more global factories become inter-connected, the need for IOT sensors to support plant operations has become critical. Within the industrial 4.0 framework, the deployment of robotics to handle vase amounts of production work is critical to overall profitability of the organization itself. Yes, with humans being replaced with machines is nothing new, the data coming off the robotic systems helps organizations maximize their investment in the factory by sending these data streams to the cloud-based platforms like Amazon IOT and Microsoft Azure to process the information through artificial intelligence. The AI engines can proceed vase amounts of data quickly, giving the organizations time sensitive feedback to make needed corrections to their production workflows. The need to have updated and real-time location of the IOT sensors is critical to the success of the production site. Without C-LOC services, these robotic IOT sensors will be expiring the battery as a rapid rate, requiring frequent replacement of the devices. If you’d like to discuss your hiring needs in the IoT market or any of the other’s we service, please reach out.

Categories
Articles Internet of Things

Internet of Things – Future of Transportation – Enhancing the next generation

By definition, “Internet of things” is the concept of devices connected by a series of protocols in order provide greater inter operation, capacity, and sense of self-automation combined with artificial intelligence in order simplify daily work-stream processes. While this concept seems complex, the “Internet of things” is actually a very simple work-stream.

Vision

Internet of things transportationHaving actual real time data from active sensors feeding into artificial intelligence engines is the future of energy efficiency and better safety transportation. Having the car make quick adjustments to the drive path to avoid an accident or a possibly having an IOT (Internet of things) sensor continuous adjust the airflow to keep the car cooler to conserve battery power is closer to near term than most people realize. Tesla’s (Tesla) self-driving feature continues to make headlines as the next up and coming feature that will help drive greater connection between the car and the IOT sensors deployed through the cities and highways. Blackberry (Blackberry QNX) through their autonomous car division in Canada developed an operating system that connects all 452 IP enabled sensors inside the car. By using their QNX operation system, these sensors can communicate with traffic lights, sense when another car is nearby or if the driver has a medical emergency, the vehicle will be smart enough to notify and proceed to the nearest hospital. These are all becoming acceptable use cases for IOT.

Will autonomous cars and other forms of transportation work without an Internet of things strategy? The challenge is not the lack of vision for IOT, the major issue is the lack centralized engineering standards and protocols. For an autonomous car to communicate with remote IOT sensors like stop lights, each sensor within the car will need to continued need to be operational and with the most updated software firm to insure predictable operations. The revolution of “Over the Air” software updates in real time became mainstream with the cell phone manufacturers like Samsung (Samsung OTA) and Apple. With the car hosting so many IOT sensors, how would the car be able to keep up with the constant change in firmware and security patches? Blackberry along with competing solutions from Toyota and other car manufactures place a huge reverence of the core real-time operating systems to receive the various firmware’s and apply the various patches in a flow and staggered fashion. As an example, when a car comes to a complete stop, the real time operating system could begin to apply secondary patches to the various “idol” sensors in the car. Once the car begins to move, the updates will either complete or enter a pause state.

Alignment to the “Smart City” Internet of things Strategy

Many cities around the world continue to evolve their infrastructures to include smart power plans, smart transportation, and industrial 4.0 factories. These IP enabled systems combined with a robust 5G infrastructure, slowly becoming the new normal in urban development. Having a greater “interconnection” between the infrastructure and consumption layers within society not only will develop a much cleaning method of energy consumption, this new “smart” thinking is a behind the need for a greater efficiency in the infrastructure itself. By using self-driving autonomous cars, cities can now offer self-driving cars as a service for those that cannot afford transporting by having a series of vehicles circling the city limited assisting many that need to get somewhere quickly. These IOT powered cars will connected through a series of control sensor, traffic cameras, and updated real road conditions while also providing value consumption data based on usage of the service. Currently today in North America, the “ The battery-powered Xcelsior (New Flyer Bus) AV from New Flyer” is currently being used in Connecticut to provide driver-less transportation services.

Companies like Advantech (Advantech IOT) in Taiwan and Qualcomm (Qualcomm IOT) in San Diego California are examples of industry thought leaders in developing IOT sensors and devices for the “Smart City” evolution. Several more companies like Google, Amazon, and Cisco Systems also continue to drive innovation and IOT standards. IOT as an industry is driving several eco-system partners helping to develop security standards, better use of a “over the air firmware” deployment, and cloud-based applications to analyze the data in real time for faster and more efficient solutions. The future of IOT is a lesson in continued change, agile development, and a true collaboration of cities, states, and nations to connect the world to make a different in how we live together.

If you’d like to learn more about NextGen’s experience in placing “A Players” in the IoT market, please reach out to us here.

Categories
Articles Autonomous Vehicles Technology

FCEVs, Ideal for Autonomous Driving?

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) might help Autonomous vehicles go mainstream. Autonomous vehicles are generally defined as vehicles capable of sensing their surrounding environment and navigating without human input. It is a rapidly growing field, with a number of companies currently developing operational products or technologies that are in the testing phase such as Google’s self-driving cars and Tesla Motors’ Autopilot system.

However, at this time, there aren’t any true fully autonomous vehicles for personal use, and many technological and regulatory hurdles remain before they can be widely available on public roads.

Currently, the bulk of research in this area is focused on achieving full autonomy through a variety of technologies including image processing, sensor fusion, artificial intelligence (AI), etc. Because of this focus on hardware technology development and system integration, there has been little attention given to the role that alternative powertrains could play in this system.

One alternative powertrain that is ideally suited to support fully autonomous vehicles is a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Because of this, FCEVs are an ideal “bridge” between autonomous vehicle technology and future clean mobility.

Hydrogen as a Transportation Energy Carrier

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and it can be produced from renewable sources such as solar, wind, or hydro energy. When hydrogen is burned with oxygen to produce electricity, it creates only water as an exhaust. This makes hydrogen ideal for all kinds of applications that require clean transportation because generating hydrogen on-site and using it in a fuel cell vehicle is totally emission-free.

In addition, FCEVs can be made smaller than conventional electric cars because of the higher power density of hydrogen as an energy carrier (fuel cell stack efficiency increases with pressure). The reduced size of the propulsion system would not only make FCEVs cheaper to produce but also allow for a smaller battery pack and potentially even have room for more sensors, cameras, radars, and processors.

This would make FCEVs particularly well suited to support fully autonomous vehicles by providing the power necessary to operate all of the systems on board in an efficient manner that ensures long-range between fueling. The only exception is large mass transit/commercial transport applications as hydrogen fuel stations remain very scarce.

FCEVs vs Battery Electric Vehicles

In a traditional battery electric vehicle (BEV), the motor and generator are directly coupled to the power, which means the generator must work as efficiently as possible to provide enough power for acceleration and climbing hills. This limits how much energy regeneration can be recaptured during deceleration or braking since regenerative braking is limited by the power that can be generated at that speed.

BEVs have to carry enough battery capacity for the long driving range, which means larger and more expensive batteries. In order to compensate for this additional weight, BEVs need bigger (and often heavier) motors with higher peak power ratings to handle the additional torque requirements as a result of the increased battery weight. FCEVs, on the other hand, can carry hydrogen tanks with a larger capacity than battery packs because they weigh less.

FCEVs also have a higher acceleration capability than BEVs because of this additional power from the fuel cell stack as well as the ability to carry larger and heavier fuel tanks. This would be particularly beneficial in fully autonomous vehicles where there may be a lot of stop-and-go traffic.

FCEVs and Autonomous Intelligent Driving Systems

There are currently three different levels of autonomous vehicles. Each level requires more sophisticated and complex technologies than the previous to be successful.

● Level 1 is considered “hands-on” driving where you have to keep your hands on the wheel at all times.

● Level 2 is considered “hands-off” where you can read or send text messages, but you must always keep your eyes on the road and you have to be ready at all times to take control of the vehicle.

● Level 3 is considered “mind off” where you can take a nap, read a book or watch a movie but you must still be prepared to take over if necessary.

FCEVs are ideally suited for Level 3 autonomous driving because they have long-range and can easily refuel between autonomous driving periods.

Hydrogen Cars Can Be Easier to Manufacture than Electric Cars

FCEVs are simpler vehicles when it comes to the number of parts that are required to assemble them– what’s known as their “fit for purpose”. Because hydrogen is a gas at room temperature, you don’t have to package it in batteries or fuel tanks and control their cooling. This means that FCEVs can be made smaller, which also makes them cheaper and simpler to manufacture.

Ironically, this simplicity is one of the reasons why there are so few hydrogen cars on the road today as compared to electric vehicles which require battery manufacturing facilities and control systems to maintain and charge them.

Final Thoughts

FCEVs are particularly well suited for supporting fully autonomous driving even though they don’t have widespread availability of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Despite being better suited for autonomous vehicles, FCEVs can still provide substantial benefits in terms of cost with fewer parts throughout the vehicle from powertrain to fuel tanks.

In the future, hydrogen will likely be a necessary component in the energy infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles as well as battery-electric and traditional gasoline/diesel vehicles. To learn more please reach out and speak to Martin

 

 

Categories
Articles Artificial Intelligence

Visual AI Advances NLP & VLP, Learn How

AI research is becoming more advanced and much of that research revolves around the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Visual Language Processing (VLP).

Both NLP and VLP can benefit from the recent advances made with visual AI technology. Such as being able to ingest images along with many other feature types into your dataset, which enables innovation in new ways by using diverse data types.

Various AI researchers have been wondering if these two technologies can be combined with each other and what the impact would be on AI research and future advancements.

This article will explain how visual AI technology is progressing and what benefits it provides to companies and consumers while also describing how NLP can benefit from the advancement of visual AI.

How Visual AI Advances NLP and VLP

When visual AI is combined with NLP or VLP the results are impressive. For example, when you have images to help inform your models it helps create a more in-depth understanding of your data. This increased understanding can help determine outcomes much more accurately as well as be used for image classification to understand what an image contains.

Visual AI is a technology that allows for unlimited possibilities with your datasets on any feature types you can imagine, including both NLP and VLP. This enables companies to get a more rounded perspective of their data without needing to rely solely on one type of data like text or images. For example, if a business is trying to find out information about who their customers are, they can use images along with any other feature type in their dataset.

This helps create more accurate customer profiles and uncover new features for more targeted outreach based on this data as well as make it easier for them to automate business processes using AI

Visual AI is a technology that is being used by both NLP and VLP researchers for their own purposes, such as Facebook’s DeepText and Google’s Smart Reply respectively.

Visual AI: The Future of Language Understanding

Visual language processing is a subset branch of an artificial intelligence field that focuses on the creation of new algorithms designed to allow computers to more accurately understand images and their contents.

While NLP and VLP are already a part of everyday life, with NLP being used in search engines like Google or Siri for voice recognition and VLP being used by autonomous vehicles like drones, the advances made in visual AI open up new possibilities. For example, imagine a drone that is able to identify and avoid hazards that are on its path.

The advancement of visual AI is also providing new possibilities for NLP and VLP with advancements in machine learning and computer vision helping create more advanced language understanding tools. As well as the development of algorithms that allow for autonomous fluid conversational systems, like Facebook’s DeepText.

This technology could play a huge role in future advancements by helping us move forward with new tools and capabilities that help further the ability of AI in areas like customer service, healthcare, or other fields.

The Power of Visual Language Processing

Imagine a world where you can create an entirely new operating system just by describing it out loud. That’s what happened to Google Research Programmer Jacob Schreiber when he was working with Google’s Smart Reply Technology and using that technology to understand how to build a basic version of Chrome OS in just his voice. And that’s just one example of the possibilities that visual language processing can bring in the future.

Visual language processing provides a host of advantages over text alone, such as allowing for an increase in understanding accuracy through contextual information and providing additional examples to base machine learning on. For example, instead of relying only on text or images to create a self-driving car, customers can provide data about what they do in a day along with images or videos of the routes they take.

Visual language processing also provides tools and techniques that make developing these types of systems more accessible even to non-programmers thanks to advancements in natural language understanding (NLU). This allows you to create conversational interfaces for your programs without needing to have a background in programming.

How is Visual AI Being Used?

The biggest area that visual language processing that has been used so far is in customer service, where it can be used to monitor and analyze social media posts for sentiment analysis or automatically follow up on text messages without the need for human intervention. The technology can also be

There are specific industries that have already adopted visual AI to great effect, including gaming, healthcare, and customer service.

Gaming

One of the most popular examples of how these types of systems are being used is found in video games. Microsoft’s research into using visuals combined with NLP for understanding player dialogue has given them a huge leg up in the gaming industry.

Their new game State of Decay 2 provides an example of how this technology can be used, with players able to talk with any character in the game as if they were talking to a real person thanks to Microsoft’s AI advancements.

Healthcare

Visual language processing has also been developed into software that is able to do analysis on medical images like MRIs for doctors, saving them from having to spend a lot of time looking through and analyzing thousands of images.

Customer Service

One of the biggest areas that visual language processing that has been used so far is in customer support operations. Some examples include companies like Taskbob being able to provide customer support with little or no human input by automatically following up on text messages from customers and companies like Aira being able to provide the blind with information about their surroundings through images that are taken of objects around them.

What’s Next?

The advancement of visual language processing will continue to benefit NLP and VLP, as well as helping develop automated systems that can help us with customer service, healthcare, and much more.

As technology continues to improve and become more accessible, it will make the job of developing these types of applications easier even for people without a background in programming or machine learning. The days where NLP was limited to text alone are almost gone thanks to advancements in visual language processing that now allow us to have a better understanding of the world around us. To learn more about Visual Ai and how it is impacting the industry, reach out and Speak with Martin at NextGen today.

Categories
Aerospace - Aviation Articles Power Electronics

Power Electronics Engineers in Aerospace are in short supply

Power Electronics Engineers according to Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc., is “one of the oldest branches in engineering.” As new branches of engineering have continued to evolve, power electronics engineers have continued to play a critical role in advancing technology. From the earliest application of the mercury arc rectifier in 1902 to the present, power electronics engineering has provided other engineers with the electrical power necessary to drive their technological advances.

One area of engineering where these specialized engineers have enabled rapid technological advances is aerospace engineering. In the realm of aerospace, power electronics engineers develop the infrastructure for converting and distributing the electrical power generated by jet engines, fuel cells, and solar arrays into the voltages and currents required by aircraft and spacecraft.

Advances in power engineering have been mainly related to the large-scale alternating current voltages and currents required by cities with power measured in mega- or gigawatts. In contrast, most aircraft and spacecraft operate on a 28-volt direct current bus with power levels measured in kilowatts. Traditionally, the distribution and control of power in aerospace applications involved the use of the same mechanical breakers and instruments that have been in use for the last century.

Power electronics engineering has become forefront as aerospace engineers seek to decrease weight and maximize performance of aircraft and spacecraft. The mechanical breakers and instruments are being replaced by solid-state controllers that utilize computerized advanced control algorithms to optimize the distribution of power to the avionics of aircraft and spacecraft.

As aviation has become more electrified, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, reports that the use of Thyristors, GTOs, IGBTs, and silicon-based technology plays an increasing role in how aircraft operate. The sensitivity of these electronic components, which are used in both military and commercial aircraft, and the critical role these components play in ensuring safe flight, mean that without properly developed power distribution systems, these components may be exposed to power fluctuations that could cause the failure of the entire aircraft.

According to NASA, in spacecraft applications, power systems involve the input of power from solar arrays, the output of power to individual spacecraft components, and the system control circuitry that enables the effective transmission and storage of the power. Although the use of power systems onboard spacecraft has evolved greatly since the Space Race, this evolution has resulted in a larger gap between traditional power electronics engineering and how power is generated, stored, and distributed onboard spacecraft. As space agencies around the world continue to push further beyond Earth’s orbit, the need for more advanced power engineering technology will require a new breed of power electronics engineers.

To take advantage of new technologies, power electronics engineers must be able to understand computer technology and the development of the algorithms that make these new power distribution and control systems function. Yet, for many current power electronics engineers, learning how to operate in a digital world after spending decades in an analog world may seem impractical, especially when there are analog systems still in use in other engineering applications.

New Engineer reports that the world is facing a general shortage of engineers because engineers are retiring faster than new engineers are being trained. This is especially true in the United States and Europe, where many students are choosing career paths unrelated to engineering and technology. One area that is particularly hard-hit with this engineering shortage is power systems engineering. This is because, despite its importance, power electronics engineering is a relatively unknown field.

The EETimes has identified this shortage of power engineers as a danger to military readiness. The role of aerospace in the military – from advanced fighter jets and bombers to space-based assets like GPS or monitoring satellites – has enabled the twenty-first century warrior to wage a new type of war. These advances, and their counterparts in commercial, scientific, and educational aerospace, have been made possible, in part, by the sift to digital power control and distribution systems. However, without new power electronics engineers who understand these digital systems filling the gaps left by the retirement of the previous generation, advancements in aerospace may be in jeopardy.

Power electronics engineers have enabled the growth of other fields of engineering over the last century. The role of power engineering in aerospace has led to advances in aviation and spacecraft technology over the last century. Yet, as aerospace technology continues to embrace the use of digital power distribution and control, the lack of power engineers with an understanding of these digital systems is becoming more apparent.

If you have a need for an executive search at the C-level, functional leadership, or key sales or engineering role, call Craig Hufford today.

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Articles Cyber Security Wireless Ecosystems

Cyber Wireless Defense Initiatives An Evolving State

Cyber Wireless Defense Initiatives are one of the least understood but most important aspect of today’s “connected” business world. In the relatively short time since their inception, cyber-physical systems (CPS) have become ubiquitous in most facets of business and government operations, connecting and supporting applications and infrastructure.

They are used to manage mundane tasks, such as running a factory or office building autonomously, as well as providing critical infrastructure capabilities essential for military operations. This rapid growth and adoption indicates that CPS will be the next technological revolution.

While this paradigm shift is occurring, there has been relatively little attention paid to how vulnerable CPS are to cyber attack.

For example, in February 2021, an unidentified hacker gained remote access to a computer system at a water treatment plant in Florida and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide to nearly 100X its standard levels. Luckily an operator was able to instantly respond and minimize the level, but this event demonstrates the potential for risk that accompany adoption of CPS.

The Problem With Traditional Security Methods

It is imperative that government data is fully secure to prevent threats. Today’s network-based threats require a different security strategy and solution than those based on physical or software barriers, which often stop at either the hardware or encryption level.

Terrorism, foreign government actors, hackers and spies are getting better at accessing government communications and attempts to breach security are increasing. To ensure that data can’t be stolen and influence can’t be exerted over American businesses, the Defense Department needs control of all related devices — including smartphones and personal IoT gadgets connected to wireless networks.

The Evolving State of Cyber Defense Initiatives

There is a growing need for real-time internet traffic analysis to combat the ever-increasing threat of cyber attack. This has led to a new school of thought on traditional network security based around monitoring IoT devices and the data they produce to identify malicious intent or activity.

Cyber defense is moving away from a “black box” approach, where all internet traffic is treated as hostile until deemed safe, to a “white box” model, where devices are scanned before being allowed to connect to government networks.

Existing Mobile Defense

Much of the increased focus on mobile technology is in response to a growing interest in the security of federal networks while federal officials are away from those networks, either at home or abroad.

This increasing emphasis on cyber wireless defense initiatives has led to several proposed network solutions that would keep federal agencies and their data safe while also preventing the theft of sensitive information from malicious entities.

Anonymized Cellular IDs

This approach anonymizes the identity of each mobile device, stopping an attacker in their tracks. It also allows for the identification of rogue devices not associated with any known entity, such as a government or business.

This makes it possible to block GPS-spoofing, which has been used to create disinformation campaigns and confusion during conflicts, or mitigate potential data leaks on vulnerable cellular networks. The anonymized IDs can be paired with the telecommunications company’s existing network data, allowing the government to determine who is using a particular device at a given time.

The Benefits of an Insider Threat Management Approach

By pairing CPS with other insider threat programs that have proven success in deterring and detecting malicious activity, the federal government will be able to improve awareness of suspicious behavior and identify malicious insiders who are seeking to steal data and jeopardize national security.

Deception of Hostile Entities

In addition, the federal government is also moving towards a more proactive model of network defense that monitors information from both within and outside agency networks to detect potential attacks in real-time and respond accordingly.

This provides multiple layers of protection against cyber attacks and a greater chance of mitigating damage before it occurs.

The Ability to Roam Securely in Any Terrain, At Home or Abroad

While many security measures are focused on securing government networks while federal officials are abroad, there is also increasing interest in the ability of our military to operate outside their normal geographic area with a reasonable level of security.

MDM Solutions

Many federal agencies are developing cyber wireless defense management solutions to allow for secure access of sensitive information on both their own and the telecommunication companies’ networks. These solutions will be necessary to implement the anonymized ID approach outlined above.

VPNs

vpn-securityAdditionally, there has been an uptick in the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to allow personnel access to network resources when officials are away from the office and unable to access these networks directly. These VPNs are increasingly being used in both government and business, although there is also a growing interest in the ability to operate secure systems without using a VPN at all.

Private APNs

Finally, there is also an interest in the capabilities to operate private Access Point Names (APNs) for military personnel that would not be accessible by malicious parties, but would still allow for secure data transfer via a VPN. This is making it possible to access government networks both on and off base using secured devices without the concern for international security threats.

Security Information and Event Management

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions are also becoming more commonplace to keep an eye on potential network outages and other potential security concerns.

This allows for a better understanding and viewpoint of all the devices connected to these networks, as well as responding appropriately when unauthorized or corrupt entities attempt to access sensitive information. SIEM is also being used to identify devices that have been compromised, which allows the government to secure these systems before they can be used for malicious purposes.

Protecting Critical Infrastructure

Many federal agencies are also developing plans to protect their critical infrastructure from a cyber threat, particularly when it comes to the use of mobile technologies within those industries.

One of the most notable examples is the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has an increasing interest in the ability to detect cyber attacks against nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure while also preventing sensitive information from being stolen.

This amounts to a more robust approach to network defense that is focused on protecting government networks not only while federal officials are located within those networks, but also when they are away from their normal geographic area.

What Is the Future of Cyber Wireless Defense?

There will be a high demand for technology that can identify and maintain secure data traffic at rapid speeds, while keeping both equipment and government data safe from outside threats.

As we enter the next chapter of IoT adoption, defense against cyber attacks will become more crucial and agencies must be prepared to use high tech solutions that can adapt to attacks on the fly and respond accordingly. By preparing for IoT now, the government can ensure citizens’ privacy and security in the future.

Have a need to recruit a C-level, functional leader, or a principal cyber wireless engineer for private or DoD need, consider NextGen’s experience in wireless and cyber security.

Categories
Articles Digital Transformation Internet of Things

Customer Experience Reimagined: IoT-Enabled CDP

Customer experience, more precisely online interactions and digital experiences. has been marked by an unprecedented shift due to the recent pandemic.

According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, U.S. e-commerce spending is expected to total between $850 billion and $930 billion this year, reaching $1 trillion in 2022. Research indicates that 72% of all e-commerce transactions will be attributed to mobile in 2021, which is unsurprising given changing consumer behaviors that drive demand for diverse mobile applications. Between 2021 and 2025, the mobile apps market is positioned to increase by $653.91 billion, advancing at a CAGR of nearly 21% throughout the forecast period.

The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT)-connectivity is further contributing to market growth of mobile applications because IoT data enables various functionalities that can generate consumer-to-brand touchpoints. Organizations are using IoT data as a critical component in personalization and engagement to improve the CX and deliver category-defining mobile experiences.

Globally, connected IoT devices are on track to grow to 30.9 billion units by 2025, which presents a number of opportunities if organizations have the capabilities to effectively harness IoT data and leverage advanced analytics to significantly improve the CX.

Customer data platforms (CDP) enabled with IoT capabilities play a vital role in helping organizations obtain a greater understanding of customer data and behaviors, and the capabilities to leverage that data for personalized, digital-first experiences.

Capitalizing on the Potential of IoT

As more devices and consumer products become connected to the internet, customer expectations of engagement with a business is fundamentally altering. Salesforce research indicates that for 80% of customers, the experiences that a company delivers are as important to them as products and services.

Consider Starbucks, who uses IoT data to create omnichannel experiences that are widely acknowledged as best-in-class. For example, Starbucks has disrupted the loyalty rewards program model by making it possible to reload cards on any channel, and any modifications to a profile or card is updated in real-time throughout all channels. They use IoT data to better understand customer preferences and trends, reduce potential bottlenecks at drive-thru windows, and allow customers to directly trace their coffee source.

Organizations need to capitalize on the CX potential of IoT data via solutions like IoT-enabled CDP. CDP solutions enable first-party data to be collected and unified, providing a cohesive view of the customer. It also eliminates fragmented data and marketing silos by connecting other systems and marketing tools to create a centralized source of truth for customer data.

IoT data, however, is simultaneously a challenge and an opportunity.

IOT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCEOn one hand, IoT generated data is sensitive, which impacts regulatory and compliance protocols. Additionally, IoT data is unstructured, complex, frequently anonymized, streams in real-time, and often must be combined from numerous IoT devices – all of which have implications on the existing infrastructure.

On the other hand, IoT data can provide a powerful competitive edge. CDPs with built-in IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities offer critical advantages via automation, intelligence, segmentation, and prediction that helps maximize the potential of customer data. AI is able to discover patterns in data and analyze information to provide meaningful insights, in addition to performing complex customer segmentation. ML can identify customer segments and continuously self-learn to become smarter over time depending on the training data and models.

IoT-enabled, advanced CDP solutions offer benefits that can fuel a memorable Customer Experience.

Sustainable personalization: Data security and privacy concerns are growing and we’re witnessing the end of third-party cookies. Advanced CDPs with real-time capabilities can help brands provide personalized experiences on the customer’s terms during critical moments.
Augment inter-departmental data: The value of customer data isn’t limited to sales and marketing teams; it’s an enterprise-wide factor in organizational flexibility and transparency. CDPs offer streamlined integration with both external and legacy solutions to further augment existing data from other departments.
Respond to emerging trends: As pressure to extend cohesive omnichannel experiences grows, organizations need the capabilities to instantly respond to fluctuating market trends or conditions. Advanced CDPs can enhance marketing efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and enable more robust agility to respond to constant change.
Tailored marketing content: Brands can eradicate siloed marketing efforts per channel to provide more relevant, innovative marketing and sales content based on unique customer interests, such as product usage tips or interviews with a content creator.

Trends and Developments Shaping the IoT-Driven Customer Experience

Market momentum for CDPs is quickly evolving alongside technological advancement and adoption. In 2018, semiconductor firm ARM Limited acquired enterprise data platform provider, Treasure Data, to advance device-to-data IoT platform development.

Customer communications platform provider Twilio acquired CDP provider Segment for $3.2 billion in 2020 to improve their suite of customer engagement software and enable companies to extend connected CXs that revolve around high-quality data.

These examples demonstrate the market direction of CDP as a catalyst for an enriched CX. According to Gartner, by 2023 70% of independent CDP providers will be acquired by larger marketing technology vendors or will diversify through M&A to enter adjacent categories like multichannel marketing and personalization.

There are so many uses for IoT, in particular when AI and predictive analytics are integrated.  Its not just global conglomerates in healthcare and medical devices. Many startups are building IoMT, aka the Internet of Medical Things, that allow doctors to monitor patients’ well-being remotely such as newest advances in heart monitoring and diabetes management.  And of course there is the IoB aka the Internet of Behaviour that takes into account individual customer trends, location-based services marketing, and uses predictive analytic to discover accurate buying habit.  Still others include IoLT aka the Internet of Logistics Things as in SCM, IoRT aka the Internet of Retail Things, and where DX all started and is evolving with IoWM aka the Internet of Workforce Management.

Future-Facing Customer Experience Programs will be Predictive

Internet of everythingOrganizations today are collecting and integrating IoT data to produce rich customer insights. CX leaders who are looking to future-proof their CX programs are enhancing their data and analytics capabilities and looking to predictive insights to:

● Build more connected customer experiences.
● Pinpoint CX obstacles and opportunities in real-time.
● Understand brand-to-consumer interactions on a deeper level.
● Prioritize customers at risk of churn and offer personalized solutions or compensation to stabilize the relationship.
● Gain a more holistic perspective of customer value potential.

With predictive insights from IoT data, brands can deliver rapid reimbursement for a shipping delay, or extend proactive customer service outreach when a customer is dealing with some issues in resolving a pain point, for example.

Predictive CDP systems provide companies with an opportunity to connect their Customer Experience programs to business value, such as enabling businesses to refine existing solutions that have a direct correlation to customer loyalty and up-sell behaviors.

According to Allen Proithis, CEO of Captone Partners, “Connected solutions are now table stakes for creating leading customer experiences. IoT data is the fuel for Digital Transformation, and the resulting Customer Experience is the destination. The faster that you can use data to fuel your transformation, the more quickly you will arrive at your ultimate customer experience that transforms the business relationship.”

The New Customer Experience Imperative

Marketers simply can’t afford to overlook the massive potential of IoT and other new technologies in their strategic CX initiatives. In a hyperconnected era defined by frictionless, data-driven, digital-first experiences across all channels and touchpoints, it’s either deliver a meaningful customer experience (CX) or become obsolete. To compete based on CX, organizations need to deploy the transformational power of IoT when it comes to their CDP.
If you need expertise utilizing a performance-based retained executive search within IoT, DX, or Customer Experience, check out what NextGen can offer you.

Charles Moore

Charles Moore

DX / CX / CDPIoT & 5G Wireless
How to Evaluate an Executive Search Firm
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