Monday, February 10, 2020

New Apple Maps Available in U.S

New Apple Maps Available in U.S
The tech giant announced new Apple Maps to everyone in the US. The redesigned maps have recently reached all users in the United States and are soon to reach users in Europe too. The plan to redesign its maps came out in June 2018. Since then the first rollout of the new Apple maps started in Southeastern US sometime last month.

What do the new Apple maps have in Store for you? 


The new Apple maps have a lot more detail as compared to before. This time around the new and improved Apple maps will show you a better view of roads, buildings, parks and a lot more. Apple began its new and improved map journey starting in the US in the past year and a half.

Apple’s senior Vice president of internet software and services also said that company plans on bringing out the new Apple maps to the rest of the world too. But when this would happen is not stated as far. The only next stop on the new Apple map destination is Europe.

Apple’s First Rodeo with maps: 


Apple’s first foray into the map world began in 2012. However the launch was not all hunky dory, it started with a lot of bugs. Since then Apple has made various improvements in the form of updates to compete with Google Maps, the Father of all maps.

In iOS 13 Apple also released ‘Look Around’- The Apple version of Google Maps’ Street View. But just like the new Apple maps that have recently been released, this one too is still a work in progress. Only places such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas, Oahu and Houston have got Look Around. What Apple’s Look Around has to offer that Google maps’ Street view doesn’t have is a high 3D resolution that offers more detail and smoother transitions. Look Around may make an appearance in other cities too, after Apple’s nationwide launch. Exactly when that will happen is anyone’s guess. But we hope sooner rather than later.

The new Apple maps also include real time transit data as well. Again this appears to be rolling out only in major cities such as San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Washington and L.A. Miami has been recently added too.

What Does the New Apple maps include? 


The updated Apple Maps includes Look Around, Collections, Real time transit information, Favorites, a share ETA feature, information for new travel, flight statuses, indoor maps for malls as well as airports, Flyover and Siri as natural language guidance. Flyover is a feature that offers immersive 3D views of major metros as from above. Flyover is available in more than 350 cities at present.
Apple plans on using the imagery it collects to update its Look Around feature. It also plans on upgrading the maps platform in Europe shortly.

However with all being said and done, Apple’s main standout feature in the new Apple Map happens to be Privacy.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Apple Finger Devices and More

Apple Finger Devices
Back in 2019, patently Apple reported that Apple would be making Apple finger devices. These new Apple finger devices would be made to work with a future Apple mixed reality headset. You would be able to feel objects in a VR environment and more. In the real world users would also be able to interact with real objects like a HomePod, MacBook, Home Automation device or even a TV. Not only that you would also be able to make in air gestures that would give commands to the headset.

News of more Apple Finger Devices: 


Recently Apple published a fourth patent detailing more about their Apple finger devices for headsets. The new patents cover not only details of a new finger device but also a head set with display for virtual worlds.

The new Apple Finger Devices Patent details: 


The new Apple finger device is said to have a touch sensor which will supposedly gather information on an object as it moves along an exterior surface. The external surface can be the tip of a finger. The touch sensor is also said to have a one dimensional as well as two dimensional array of sensors. These sensors can be in the form of capacitive sensor electrodes or touch sensor elements. These various sensor elements will be based on optical sensing, ultrasonic sensing and more. There may also be sensors that gather input data from an area not in contact with the finger device but which comes in contact with a person’s finger.

Sensors such as ultrasonic sensors, force sensors, inertial measurement sensors, optical sensors and others will be used to get information on the user’s activities while viewing virtual content. This will have to work along with data that it receives from a head mounted device.

The data that the Apple finger device receives can be used to manipulate virtual objects. You will be able to move things in a virtual world or maybe even open up a list of options based on data gathered. In other scenarios you’ll be even able to interact with real world objects as computer generated stuff is overlaid on top of the object in a virtual world.

Interactions such as these will allow you to even control virtual objects.

In another patent: 


To work along- side the Apple finger device, Apple has come up with a headset for VR or AR content. One of the major drawbacks to using a traditional VR or AR headset is that it bulkiness makes it uncomfortable for anyone to wear. To remedy this Apple has come up with a patent that allows you to see VR or AR content using glasses.

Another thing about the traditional headset is that it was cheap, therefore affordable to many but now with this new patent costs could be prohibitive to a lot of users. It also proposed in the patent, that a 3D map be taken of a person’s head. This will then be used in ensuring a perfect face fit module to be selected.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Google Launches Premium Support to Meet Business Needs

Google
Google recently launched Premium Support. These are a set of services and systems to meet the needs of their cloud platform customers. This is mostly geared towards meeting the enterprise and mission critical needs of the tech giant’s various clients. Google is building on their current technical account manager and 15 minute SLO’s to allow for a more proactive approach to managing businesses. This premium support is customer centric with a proactive and unified approach capable of meeting the diverse business needs of various customers.

Value of being a Premium Support Customer: 


By being a premium support customer you can have your cases directly handled by a team of experts. These experts will be aware of your unique case with knowledge of your application stack, implementation details as well as the architecture.

These experts in collaboration with the Technical Account Manager will be better abled to provide a more customer focused service. This means that you will get your problems handled faster with a higher level of customer satisfaction.

What More do you get with Premium Support? 


With premium support you also get more consistency between plans of Google cloud Platform as well as G Suite. Besides this you will also get, more competitive features at a more simplified pricing structure, intelligent systems like third party tech support, Support for APIs and Recommenders. There will also be better interaction between the customer as well as experts as they will be aware of specific customer cases. Overall this system with its new features will provide a better customer experience than ever before.

Addsons in Addition to Premium Support: 


The tech giant will also be providing addons. This can be purchased in addition to the premium support. As businesses expand and their needs become more diverse, these addons will come in handy. These addons will be in the form of a more advanced set of services and features.

Some of the advanced services or addons are- Advanced Event management service- this service is geared towards a deeper architecture review and an ability to meet peak events.

Expanded TAM Coverage- this is mainly for companies operating in different countries with varying time zones.

Mission Critical Support- These services will be performed alongside the customer. It will help clients evaluate their DevOps/ SRE practices. After this, suggestions will be recommended that will reduce downtime and increase support.

Premium support has been released with further plans and features set to come out later in the year.

Prices and promises of Premium Support: 


The premium support plan launched by Google recently is all set to have a minimum price tag of about $12,500/ month with rates varying according to your monthly GCP. Google has made promises of a 15 minute response time for handling P1 cases. P1 cases cover situations when an application or infrastructure is unfit for production. You will also get training features, new product reviews as well as trouble shooting when it comes to third party systems.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Avoid Feast or Famine with Demand Planning


How do grocery stores know how much food to buy and when to buy it? This has been a long-standing problem for the retail food industry, but data analysis techniques are coming to the rescue. Demand planning is a process whereby data gathered on many variables can be analyzed to make a forecast of future sales.

Planning vs. Forecasting 


There is a difference between planning and making predictions. Demand planning is a process by which data are analyzed to make a forecast. If a retailer wants to know how much of an item to order, they can look at sales data from past years. For example, let's look at an item like butter. For most of the year, butter sales remain fairly constant, but at certain times, such as the weeks before Christmas, demand for butter goes up because of holiday baking. But what if there is a shortage of butter for some reason, or a viral news story about how eating too much butter is unhealthy? How will this affect the forecast?

Avoiding Empty Shelves 


One of a grocer's worst nightmares is a row of empty shelves and a crowd of unhappy customers who are not able to find what they want in that store. Today's business software pulls data from past sales, as well as market trends, weather events, media input and other variables to make accurate predictions of how much of an item consumer will want. These forecasts help to put the products on the shelves when customers want them. If running out of something is such a fear, why not just order extra? That leads to problems of its own.

Reducing Food Waste 


Overstocking leads to two major issues: loss of revenue and food waste. In the United States alone, food waste costs as much as $160 billion per year, with dairy products being the largest contributor to that figure. Not only does food waste cost money, it is also a growing environmental concern. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that as much as one-third of all the food produced in the world ends up in landfills.

Being able to make accurate forecasts for demand is crucial for business planning and today's analytical tools make that possible. Business intelligence analytics can take many variables and use this information to come up with predictions that are much more accurate than in the past. The next time you stop by the grocery store to pick up a package of butter, pause and think about how it came to be there when you needed it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Apple Pencil Could be Getting a Lot More Interesting!

Apple Pencil
Two generations of Apple Pencil have gone by, each with their own set of gizmos. Which I might add have impressed us. But apparently Apple is not done yet with their Apple pencil. News is that the latest in the line- up could be getting a lot more interesting. In a latest patent filed by Apple we get to see what we can expect from Apple pencil 3.0- Just a name given.

New Patent and All we can expect from the - to – be - Apple Pencil: 


A new patent discovered by the one and only Apple Insider details how the next Apple Pencil will come. Apparently we’ll be seeing a lot more gestures with the new Gadget than its second gen counterpart. In the 2nd version of the Apple pencil we merely had a double tap input scenario going on but this time around that input range will get a lot more wider.

An example of things to come is a touch sensitive panel found on the side of the pencil which will allow the user to slide up and down to scroll through web pages.

The whole idea in making an Apple pencil with a lot more range if I may, is that normally when a user is holding a stylus or some other sort of writing impetus they are kinda limited by what they can do. To overcome this limitation Apple has decided to introduce a new and improved Apple pencil with more gesture capabilities.

Newer Ways of Making the Apple Pencil More Interesting? 


Another method as outlined by the patent, to make the Apple pencil more interesting is by allowing the user to roll the stylus or pencil in their hands to control something on screen.

There is also mention of a camera on the stylus in the patent that could probably help it in understanding what it is writing on and such. A little AI here and there wouldn’t be so bad eh!

However this is something that Apple has had in the wood works for some time now. So it is unclear whether it will make an appearance anytime soon.

Things of the Past…


Taking cue from previous patents Apple has also included support for other Apple devices. The so mentioned devices include the Apple TV and Apple Watch. But then again these are things of past mention as well. So who knows if they’ll be making an appearance in the Apple Pencil 3.0

As with all patents by all tech companies there is no surety when or even if these gadgets and gizmos will ever make it to any production belt, let alone any market. Tech companies keep patenting stuff that will never see the light of day. But one can only hope that the next Apple Pencil we see will have all that is expected and more.

A little side note- Apple’s pencils are some of the more advanced stylus’ out there. At present the latest of them comes with a double gesture tap system that we hope will get better.