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Though everyone loves to travel, the travel industry itself is often overlooked. But, behind the scenes, the travel industry is investing in technology, creating efficient and travel-friendly apps for those with the travel bug. As technology continues to push forward, the travel industry is becoming more cohesive. Whether it’s luggage, getting information on tours, or booking flights, getting on a plane and exploring new places is becoming easier and more accessible. Let’s take a look at some of the travel technology trends happening in 2019.
Self-service is being revamped
Self-service has been around for years. But as the number of travelers increases, companies are looking to take advantage of self-service technologies to reduce costs. Travelers can expect an increase of self-service systems to speed up most travel transactions such as flight check-in services. Even though customer interaction will be decreasing, an advancement in self-service technologies will offset these changes.
Big data collection
From what we learned in the past couple of years with data collection, it’s clear it’s not going anywhere. We may not like the idea of data collection, but in reality, data-collecting companies are siphoning information from people every single day. Now, of course, our information can be used against us, but big data is also allowing companies to improve personalization with the given information. As we continue to enhance user engagement, big data will become more of a necessity.
Companies become personal
When we think about companies, we don’t have a warm feeling towards them. Most of us don’t even bat an eye. However, companies are now working towards personalization through AI (augmented reality). For example, hotels can give a 360-degree view of their rooms rather than photos that don’t resemble the actual product being offered. Plus, companies such as Booking.com will be able to predict traveler’s behavior and provide them with more personalized travel information.
Say hello to Blockchain
Most of us never heard of Blockchain until the introduction of Bitcoin. However, Blockchain is more than just the foundation of the cryptocurrency giant. The blockchain is now appearing in the travel industry as companies such as LockChain are improving back-end functionality. This means bookings, flight planning, and payment options are more streamlined and reduce consumer costs of processing and booking fees.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Throughout 2019, you’ll continue to see a strong presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in the travel world. More companies are finding it cost effective to implement chatbots on their websites, allowing customers to receive service whenever needed. Also, AI is also being used to research and collect information on customer services satisfaction and business performance. As millennials account for almost 50% of travelers, companies are focusing on sharpening their tools to satisfy their market.
As you can see, there’s a strong need to increase customer satisfaction and overall speed in the travel industry. With more people traveling around the world, consumers are demanding not only seamless service but also an interactive experience. As we continue through 2019, travel technology will continue to advance.
Cloud computing is a result of computer virtualization technologies. They have allowed software and network engineers to create network models of virtualized computer infrastructures. This was the beginning of the Compute Clouds. Their introduction in the web hosting and data center industry started the shift of moving various workloads and data from personal computers and on premise physical servers to data centers. “The Cloud” means actually anything hosted into a data center, but how does one go about choosing the perfect provider for their needs?
- Put the smaller and local Cloud providers first
Never consider the largest corporate Cloud services providers as your first option. AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and other major providers of cloud services might have the infrastructure, but they don’t have the commitment to you as a customer. How bug your business should be, so you’d be an important customer for them? You should bring them millions on annual basis! If you can spend that much on Cloud services you will not be racing this article, won’t you?
Rather than going with any major Cloud, take 10 minutes of your time to find out is there are local Cloud service provider in your city, county, state or province. It always worth to support local companies.
- Compare the cost of Cloud services
Try to calculate the cost of your cloud services. There are Cloud service comparison tables which compares various cloud services and can help in making a final decision. It is important to invest your time into researching before committing to any one service.
- How much Cloud providers charge for Add-on services?
Be wary regarding charges for additional data transfer per GB or TB, for additional storage space, for IP addresses, monitoring and other services. These services are usually very expensive. There are many large corporate cloud service providers that charge exorbitant prices for additional data transfer, etc.
- Review technical Support plans
Big cloud companies usually charge for technical support. This means that unless you pay them additional monthly fee on top of what you pay for the Cloud service itself, you don’t get technical support. On the AWS there is “Business Plan” for technical support, which costs $100/month. Microsoft Azure customers who want to have an access to technical support also need to pay $100/month to have access to “24×7 access to Support Engineers via email and phone”.
However, it is very likely that your local Cloud service provider will offer a technical support as a part of the service and will not charge additional fees. In fact 95% of the smaller clouds will not charge you for infrastructure support.
- Avoid Vendor Lock-in Cloud Terms and Services
Before signing up, make sure that you read the fine print and make yourself familiar with their interfaces, service dashboards so you’d be able to manage the IT infrastructure yourself. Many people think that they can do that themselves, but eventually find that they don’t have the time, the nerve and the expertise to do it. As a result of that they end up paying both for technical support and for consultancy services, which triples their costs for Cloud infrastructure.
At the same time going with any smaller or middies size Cloud provider would usually help you save on technical support and use industry standard interfaces and IT management service software technologies and graphical interfaces.
Edison is credited with the invention of incandescent light bulb in 1870s and this humble bulb has single-handedly lit the world till the recent past. The days of the bulb, however, seem numbered. LEDs are revolutionizing lighting in the 21st century due to their durability, energy efficiency, environment-friendliness and faster lighting capacity. The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference launched the Global Lighting Challenge to deploy 10 billion high-quality and affordable lighting fixtures and bulbs such as LEDs at the earliest. The market research firm Million Insights suggests that the global LED lighting market will touch $108 billion by 2025.
LED is an acronym for light emitting diode. A light-emitting diode is a semiconductor that emits light on contact with an electrical current. LED lighting has become ubiquitous in daily life across the world; lighting houses, hallway signs, table lamps, computer screens and mobile phone flashlights. LEDs are also making inroads into the automobile sector, with new cars coming equipped with LED headlights for night use. The reach of LED lights goes beyond the developed countries as people who lack access to any form of electric lighting can combine a solar cell and LED with a rechargeable battery to enjoy lighting off the grid. The sunlight charges the solar cell during the day and this in turn powers the LED at night.
LED is making a tremendous impact in the electronics industry by driving the backlighting of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in smart phones, laptops and televisions, as LEDs are energy-efficient and allow for thin displays. Blu-ray players are using blue LED lasers to read data off a digital optical disc and this shift from infrared lasers is boosting their data storage capacity by five to 10 times. LED technology is set to perform a stellar role in the smart homes of the future as they will incorporate sensors to control lighting and other smart gadgets. LED will also fuel the development of city-wide intelligent lighting networks.
LED lighting has multiple advantages. LED lights have a long life, typically lasting 50 to 100 times more hours than incandescent lamps. LED lighting products are durable and tough due to the replacement of glass with plastics. LED lights such as PAR lamps consume 50% less electricity in comparison to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, resulting in substantial cost savings. LEDs also orient light in a specific direction unlike conventional bulbs, thus reducing wasted light and energy. LEDs have a long lifespan of 30,000–50,000 hours and merely dim over a period of time without burning out and failing. LED lights lead to a substantial savings in energy bills and maintenance expenses over the long term. LED lights are maintenance-free. They are not sensitive to humidity and temperature fluctuations, making them equally effective indoors and outdoors. LED lights are also safe as they do not carry mercury, unlike incandescent bulbs.
To conclude, LEDs will rule the world and drive an energy-efficient lighting revolution in the years to come.
When it comes to consumerism and retail, there is only one constant: change. It is a consistent reality that the world of business changes to adapt to the expectations and needs of the consumers. If businesses do not adapt, they often (if not always) become irrelevant, losing their footing in changing times. At the end of the day, a business is only as good as its hold on the world it is trying to grasp. And we all know that the world is always changing and shifting. The reliability of business always changes, and so businesses must be willing to adapt with the times, or risk dissipating. And how do businesses make themselves known, heard, valued? The answer is simple: advertising and marketing.
The future of marketing is here, and it is centred case and point around the new reality of business and retail. That new reality is called ecommerce, and it has taken the world by storm. Through ecommerce, businesses can expand their reaches around the globe without having to move around the world physically, and consumers are literally given a world of solutions at their fingertips. All they must do is type in key words into search engines like Google, and ecommerce opens the floodgates, giving consumers a world of opportunities to choose from. But how has ecommerce become the backbone of retail and modern business?
The world has evolved
There is no escaping the fact that the world we live in today is vastly different to the one that existed ten, even twenty years ago. The exceedingly rapid evolution of technological advancement and digital progression has certainly had an active hand in the world’s evolution to where it currently stands. Thanks to technological advancements and digitalisation, consumers are experiencing more tech-savvy solutions than ever before, and they expect them to be present and active in every aspect of their lives – including retail.
The consumer is always right
When it comes to the success of any business, what it really comes down to is the consumers that business is trying to attract. You can have the strongest concept for a new business there is, but if you cannot attract the consumers, the business will fall flat. It is a certain inevitability. Consumers today are busier than ever, and so they demand solutions that they can easily access. Ecommerce is the unyielding solution to complete ease of access. Through ecommerce, consumers can browse and purchase at their will, through their smartphones or other devices. The consumer is always right, and the consumer demanded a digital solution for retail and business – ecommerce is the delivered solution.
Collaboration of the old with the new
The rise of ecommerce does not mean the demise of traditional physical stores and businesses, however. Merging physical retail with online stores creates a stronger foundation for businesses, and consumers are finding it both exciting and promising to be able to have access to the traditional stores they love in their spare time, and the ease of online shopping when they need readily available solutions on the go. Ecommerce has strengthened modern businesses tenfold. And this is only the beginning.
When planning to design a branding campaign for their companies, investors first decide the method they will use according to their needs, timeline, and budget. Artificial intelligence has gained popularity in all sectors of the business market, and a new tendency has come to the forefront, AI is used to build branding elements. Why do investors prefer this solution? Because it is accessible, affordable and precise. Unlike humans, the tools based on AI can store vast amounts of data and process it in a meaningful and sophisticated way.
When creating branding elements, artificial intelligence is often preferred instead of human workers. A new trend has come across the market, the one of graphic design based on artificial intelligence. AI-generated branding elements look more professional and appealing to audiences, especially when we are talking about a logo. In fact, the logo is one of the most important branding elements of a company because it influences the perception of the public. Usually, a logo includes a symbol, and symbols are known for being an efficient and succinct way of sharing information with an audience. Investors worldwide know that the logo they create for their business will become the face of the firm and it will be the first thing their clients will notice about their brand. If the logo is well-designed, the business will find easier to build a marketing campaign and reach its audience.
Why do companies prefer to use AI to create logos?
AI gives them the opportunity to control the process
When starting a business, investors want to have control over all the processes that can influence the success of the brand they bring on the market. When it comes to creating their brand’s identity and image, they do not want to hand it over to a third party. AI offers them the possibility to be part of the entire process. If they are using an online logo maker, they will have control over every step of the way.
There is a great difference between the standard logo makers and the ones powered with the help of AI, the last ones generate only unique designs. They offer the entrepreneur peace of mind because they know for sure that no other company on the market has the same logo.
AI is affordable
Even if the term sounds fancy and it gives the impression that it comes at an expensive price the fact is that AI-powered branding tools are affordable. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to a graphic designer who does not consult them at every step, businesspersons prefer to use an AI-powered logo maker to create branding elements at a fraction of the cost of a designer. An AI-powered logo designer offers them access to the tools they need to create a well-designed logo.
AI is smart
As its names suggests it is intelligent and it creates the branding elements according to the preferences of the user. The tool uses certain algorithms based on the knowledge accumulated from millions of users to create the best logo. The logo maker can create effective branding elements because it bases its design decisions on machine learning.
AI delivers logos fast
Entrepreneurs do not want to waste their time when creating their brand image. They do not have time to go back and forth to check the logo drafts the designer sketches. When starting a company or rebranding their business they are too busy to figure out what design is perfect for their company.
However, AI branding element makers are fast and easy to use. The user only has to register on the website and to select the characteristics they would want their logo to feature. The tool will generate multiple options from which they can choose.
Even if the logo is one of the vital factors that influence the success of the brand, people are often neglecting to design it until the last minute. However, when they understand that they cannot launch their company without a logo they are happy that they can use a tool that can create it for them in less than an hour.
AI offers the user an entertaining experience
AI has success in the market because it offers users an entertaining experience. The tools based on AI are user-friendly and intuitive. In addition, they deliver exactly the result the user expects, without having to negotiate with a third party and to explain to them why they want a certain feature.
The user can make as many revisions as they want and they can use the branding elements to create and personalise multiple promotional materials.
Now that we’re in 2019, people aren’t looking to just sit on the beach or to go shopping; they want something more. Can you blame them? Of course, not! Paris, France has tasty pastries and a romantic atmosphere, but people want that little extra excitement to make their trip unforgettable. If you’re making a bucket list, stop right now! You need to get these adventures crossed off the list first.
Mount Everest Base Camp Sleepover
If you’re ever in Nepal, there’s no way you can leave without seeing Mount Everest. Though people spend years preparing to hike this dangerous and chilling peak, but you don’t have to. Instead, you can take a special trip and sleep for one night at the base of Mount Everest. The best part is, you won’t need equipment because you’re not going to be climbing, but you will get to feel the atmosphere and, well, see Mount Everest.
Swim with Majestic Sea Turtles
If you’re a fan of the open water, then you’ll love swimming with these peaceful creatures. In Ningaloo, Western Australia, the reef brings around 500 different types of marine species. Though it’s not the Great Barrier reef, three out of the seven world’s marine turtle species nests along the beach in Ningaloo. Time yourself right and you may get a chance watch them hatch – how cool is that?
Live the High Life in Scotland
You’ve probably dreamed of living on an island all on your own; in fact, we’ve all had this dream. What you probably didn’t know is it’s entirely possible. The isle of Scotland has around 800 islands, most of them inhabited. If you’re a fan of camping, grab a kayak and head over to the islands, choosing any one of them to make camp and witness pure and wild nature.
Live with an Endangered Tribe in the Amazon
Most of us are curious about Amazonian tribes in Ecuador, but will never have the experience of encountering one. Well, now is your chance. You can meet an endangered tribe respectfully and sensitively as some offer the ability for outsiders to stay and learn about their culture and traditions. If you’re a history buff then you’ll love this hands-on eco-tourist experience. Sleep in traditional huts deep in the rainforest and live the life of an Amazonian tribe for a weekend.
Raft Down the Grand Canyon
Though most people take photos of the Grand Canyon, what they don’t know is they can experience the Grand Canyon from the inside. In Arizona, USA, Grand Canyon Park allows visitors to take a different look of one of the seven wonders of the world. With a paddle in hand, visitors can raft their way down the Grand Canyon, witnessing the geology and history of the terrain. You’ll need to be put on the waiting list; it’s defintely something worth waiting for.
Bucket lists aren’t easy to make, but by putting these adventures on your list, you certainly won’t regret it.
Real estate investing, in the simplest form, is the buying, renting and selling of real estate for the purpose of making a profit. Investing in real estate is preferred by many as it is both a passive income-generating machine and a profitable investment in the long term. But investing in a home or a piece of land can be challenging in today’s times as property costs have spiraled higher and ongoing maintenance costs can be a drain. A prospective real estate investor should study the ground reality before entering the fray.
The age-old dictum, ‘Location matters’ is very appropriate in the real estate investing. It makes immense business sense to look for the worst house on the best street as the location and brand equity of the street would potentially convert the property into a selling proposition. The buyer should also look at the quality of the neighborhood and infrastructure availability as these factors would influence the property value in the future.
A savvy stock market investor is always on the lookout for a good deal. He would shun stocks trading at a premium to purchase beaten-down stocks and then sell them at a fortune. A real estate investor is well-advised to follow a similar path, avoiding fully priced properties and hunting for properties available at discounted rates.
Deploying borrowed money is never the right approach to investing. A prospective real estate investor should be in a position to pay for the real estate, or at the very least, be able to afford the mortgage payments without relying on rental income. Moreover, he should be able to shoulder additional expenses such as taxes, utilities, repairs and property insurance costs.
The best advice to first-time real estate investors would be ‘Start small’. The mortgage payment should be manageable even without rental property profit and the operating costs should be low. Purchasing a duplex, living in one unit and renting out the other, may be a good means of getting the feet wet.
Real Estate Investments carry many benefits:
Price appreciation is the actual route to making a windfall from real estate investing, although passive income has its obvious place. Real estate prices may fluctuate in the short term, but always head higher in the long run.
Rental real estate is an incredible source of passive income as the rental properties work for you, irrespective of whether you are asleep or located in a different part of the city. An owner of multiple rental properties can generate enough income to off-set the need for a full-time job and do what he really enjoys. Another major benefit of real estate investing is that it provides cash flow to supplement the retirement years.
Real estate investing is almost tax-free as it comes with tax exemptions and deductions galore. The rental property affords an opportunity for the investors to convert personal expenses into valid business deductions on the tax front.
The world of real estate is one that is consistently moving, always evolving and shifting. It seems that there is a constant ebb and flow to the dynamics of real estate, and it is difficult to know just how and when the inevitable shifts and moves in direction will take place. We all want to have the capability to own property at some point in some regard, but it all depends on personal circumstances as to if/when it happens. There are quite a lot of moving pieces in the real estate game, and so it pays to have someone on your side who knows the game like the back of their hand.
When it comes to buying a property, the real estate agency is key. This is especially true if you want to buy a property that needs dire renovations (i.e. a “fixer-upper”). Buying properties in need of renovation is an exceedingly popular move for buyers these days. The reasons vary, but what it all comes down to is the sense of freedom that comes with being able to build something unique and truly yours, from a foundation that houses character and strength. Knowing when a prospective property is worth investing in is tricky at the best of times, let alone when the property in question requires what can prove to be extensive renovations to be liveable.
First and foremost, have a real estate agent or other industry professional representative in your corner that knows a thing or ten about fixer-upper property value. The right person will be able to help guide you through the process and get you the right property – and not just the property that will get them the most cash value after sale. When you have established your boundaries for purchase, and after you have recruited someone right for the job, the real fun begins. The best part of fixer-upper properties is they can be stripped back as much as you want them to, or they need to be.
Fixer-upper properties can turn into real estate gold when they are completed, and for this reason they are fantastic opportunities for people wanting to flip properties, as well as being perfect ideals for those looking to buy and renovate a property into their dream home. There is nothing quite like taking on the monstrous project of building a property up from its foundations, and turning it into something that shines and sparkles. There is also the added advantage of fixer-uppers being filled with love, and potential buyers down the track (should that be a goal when purchasing the property or any time thereafter) can feel that love, and they want to be a part of it.
Fixer-uppers are valuable for many reasons. But above all else, the true value in purchasing a fixer-upper property lies in turning a stone with rough edges into a smooth pebble, a glittering jewel. Fixer-upper homes often become some of the most coveted real estate listings in the world, and that is the biggest reason why the fixer-upper revolution is exploding in worldwide real estate.
Search engines, and the internet overall, have been good for the overall knowledge of humanity. Within seconds, anyone with an internet connection can call up thousands of articles from experts on any topic they choose, whether they want to learn more about an infectious disease or they’re interested in more coverage for a current event.
Search engines work by indexing all the pages on the web, then categorizing those pages based on relevance and authority; relevance is a measure of how appropriate a page is for your query, and authority is a measure of how trustworthy that page is. Different search engines have different rules for their algorithms, but typically, relevance is determined by how closely the content of the page matches the keywords and phrasing of the query, and authority is determined by how many other authoritative sources are referencing that page.
In an ideal world, this algorithm would naturally present us with the most valuable, reliable information, and we’d all have access to the most up-to-date scientific information. But there’s a catch; once people figure out how these algorithms work, they can take advantage of them. Is this susceptibility to exploitation undermining our scientific and journalistic pursuits?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Let’s start by looking at the power of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a marketing strategy that allows websites to make specific changes, both onsite and offsite, to improve their ranking potential. Companies often analyze their current backlink profiles, then specifically attempt to earn links from other high-quality sources to support what they’re saying. They may also write articles with specific combinations of keywords and phrases so they have a higher likelihood of being searched for.
By itself, this isn’t a problem. If you write a news article covering the basics of some new international incident, it makes sense that you’d tweak the headline to favor incoming searches, and earn links from a few outside sources to make sure your article is even more visible.
The problem comes in when we consider a source that would intentionally manipulate a work of misleading information to seem more valuable than it really is. Some publication sources intentionally write misleading or sensationalized headlines to encourage the number of people who click on, share, or link to the article; this is known as clickbait, and it often circulates more frequently than more legitimate, well-researched counterparts. Search algorithms also disproportionately favor “interesting” information over reliable information, which can be problematic.
However, there are a few points to keep in mind before writing off SEO as inherently problematic, or blaming search engines for the decay of science and journalism. First, Google has been and is continuing to actively fight against ranking manipulation, including link schemes and similar attempts to make articles seem more authoritative than they actually are.
We also need to consider that the scientific publishing industry has faced a similar problem of sensationalism for decades. Scientific research with surprising or highly interesting results gets way more attention and more funding than research with boring and expected, yet valuable and accurate reports. Similarly, news media outlets have increasingly focused on the most sensational, most polarizing topics because they’re what happen to get the most attention—even if they don’t have the most reliable basis in fact. This isn’t a problem exclusive to search engines or the internet; it’s the natural progression of any media outlet or publication channel.
Personalization and Confirmation Bias
We also need to consider the role that personalization and confirmation bias have on the public’s consumption of information. At their core, search engines tend to be neutral, but they can easily skew results based on a person’s input. For example, if you search “evidence eggs are bad for you,” you’ll get much different results than if you search “evidence eggs are good for you,” and both these queries will give you a much different impression than if you search “scientific consensus on eggs,” which is a much more neutral query.
Confirmation bias can make almost any conceivable search problematic. The problem gets even worse when you consider the fact that most modern search engines customize results to cater to the person doing the searching; even with a neutral query, Google and other search engines might lean toward showing you articles you’re inclined to agree with, regardless of their merit.
So are modern search engines and the possibility of ranking manipulation destroying our otherwise solid foundations of science and journalism? The short answer is no, though there are clear problems that need to be resolved. Many of the problems faced by search engines are identical to the ones we faced in an era before the universal prominence of the internet. And more importantly, search rankings are largely driven by our own choices and behaviors. If the information we find is skewed or unreliable, it has more to do with the biased nature of our own queries and our bad habits of clicking without reading than it does the fundamental nature of ranking algorithms.
One of the many reasons that the sleep industry has the potential to capitalize on sleepless nights is because of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Work days and social lives are extending far into the night due to these technologies. The lights and the stimulation that these products create are one of the main reasons people are having increasingly difficulty with falling asleep. The blue light from these devices reduces the production of Melatonin in the brain, according to Forbes. Technology is leading to the creation of more ways to get to sleep faster and counteract the blue light disruption in the brain.
The sleep industry is now able to make an array of mattresses so you can find your best mattress in hopes of falling asleep faster. There are now mattresses with two sides for couples sharing a bed with different sleep preferences. Along with mattresses are the mattress toppers that can fully alter the feel of a mattress no matter how firm.
With the development of the digital age in every aspect of life, there are now opportunities for everything to be reviewed. Customers can read up on everything online before purchasing. With this comes mattress reviews; this ramps up the competition leading to more than just having fantastic marketing strategies. Mattress companies also have to deliver in the quality category also.
- Medicinal treatments
People are on more medicine and essential oils than ever. This also may be due to the internet and the inclination to self-medicate after reading WebMD. People having issues with sleep may believe that they have insomnia even if they just aren’t putting the phone down or just have a racing mind. Instead of resorting to lifestyle changes, they might start popping Melatonin tablets or head to a doctor instead. This allows the sleep industry to have an incentive to push the agenda of insomnia and sleeping medications. These medications might be essential to some, but often there are simpler ways to fall asleep for most such as: going to sleep at the same time each night, using shades to keep the bedroom dark and not watching TV past 7 p.m, according to the Huffington Post.
There are light therapy products on the market for many issues and sleep is one of them. The introduction of the digital lights that keep us up at night have lead to the counter-balance of lights that can help us wind down. There are now lights that can be installed in homes that fluctuate during the day to match what is best for the body. There is a light that is said to counteract the blue light from technology throughout the day. This light is red and can help the mind wind down before bedtime. The red light helps the brain naturally produce Melatonin, according to Health.
It seems that technology is one of the core drivers of the sleep industry. With the development of technology, we can only assume that the industry will continue to expand.