The autonomous vehicle is the future of driver navigation

Today’s generations are so used to having ready and available access to vehicles that they often have little to no appreciation of the great strides that earlier generations took to bring automobiles to fruition. Everything from the way the steering wheel shifts the car’s position, to driver navigation work together to forge a driving experience that is smooth, effective, and timely. So often, we become rapidly accustomed to the luxuries that are afforded to us, and we do not often enough appreciate how those luxuries came to be. It is a unique trait that is inherently human, and it is one that we would do well to improve upon. This is very much the case when it comes to automotive transport – as once-brand-new features become the norm, their relevance falls further into the background.

The automotive industry has been through many “revolutionary” movements, all of which have come to be regarded as baseline staples in vehicles today. Vehicles are designed and manufactured to get us from A to B, but amid vehicle design, development, and evolution, we have gotten lazy in our pursuit to understand the latest developments in the technology that literally drives us. In-vehicle technology, for example, is one of the most incredible feats of automotive development. This technology literally makes driving even easier, with built-in GPS tech and distance calculation models ingrained in the average vehicle.

Despite this relative ease in automotive transparency, there is a lack of understanding about the direction that the automotive industry is gravitating towards. The vehicles of today are easy to understand – after all, we are so used to them these days. However, the vehicles of future generations will likely be more difficult to understand so easily, because they will be largely (if not completely) removed from human control. The driverless vehicle is well on the way to becoming a stark reality, but it also has a way to go before it achieves this grand feat of technological advancement in the automotive industry.

Years ago, the mere concept of a driverless car seemed impossible, a pipe dream that would never evolve to be more than the dreams built from the movie screens for entertainment purposes. These days, however, this assumption could not be further from the truth. Technological advancement and innovation in the field have resulted in what can only be described as an extraordinary feat of evolution in the automotive industry. Autonomous vehicles are being developed as we speak, and they are closer than most of us think to fruition on the streets. In fact, by 2020 it is expected that autonomous vehicles will have made their way into the market in exceptional ways, bringing to life a concept that was once deemed to be capable of nothing more than simply being a dream.

Technology has disrupted practically every industry in the modern world, but the automotive sector is one of the industries that has the most to gain (or lose) with the relative improvement and innovation of its field at the hands of technological advancement and digitalisation. As the appeal of autonomous vehicles grows stronger and stronger, the likelihood of a future with driverless vehicles has evolved from being an assumption to a near certainty.

The rate of consumer loyalty in the mattress and sleep industry

Many industries may come and go throughout the lifetime of a consumer. There are many reasons as to why an industry may fail, but the most common is simply that there is no consumer demand for a product. All the marketing and rebranding in the world can’t make an unpopular industry succeed. Some products in an industry may fail while the industry itself continues on the strong and sturdy path to success. Innovative minds, critical thinkers, and witty personalities who aren’t afraid of confrontation can be found in any industry. However, the businessmen and women who continually succeed one sale after another are the one’s in industries that will always be in business due to their always in demand product. Consumers will always need are food, shelter, and water. Therefore, they will always have a water bill, always have to have a place to live, and always need to purchase groceries. But beyond that, they also have to work, sleep, and find time to do things that make them happy.

Sleeping is something that all humans have to do. Sleeping isn’t something that can be put off for too long as the lack of sleep has significant consequences, including depression and death. Due to the imperative nature of necessary daily sleep, the mattress industry will always have clients. Consumers have to sleep, and when they do they will want in to be in a comfortable bed. But finding out what is the best bed to buy can be a difficult decision.

Mattresses and beds even have their own fairytales and nursery rhymes. Goldilocks tells the story of trying out three different beds before finding the one that was “just right.” Finding the bed that is “just right” may take a consumer a long time. First, picking out the frame is such a decision in itself. Some consumers want lavish and extravagant headboards with underneath storage and a canopy while others are happy with just a metal frame, box spring, and mattress.  After picking out a bed frame, a consumer must then take the time to pick out the actual mattress itself. This is always glorified on commercials as going into a mattress store and laying on all the beds. Sometimes, that is what happens, but now in the age of digital consumerism and information, many customers chose online ordering as their means of purchasing a new mattress. This is easier because the mattress is delivered right to the door. If the mattress is memory foam of any kind, it is often rolled and compressed as the air has been vacuum sealed out of it. Whether one purchases a mattress in store or online, it’s important to remember the significance behind a mattress and the bed it sits on.

Portable batteries and other technology crucial in the Millennial traveler’s bag

Travel has always been an exciting prospect, but the rise of technology has brought with it an increase in the global network of interest in travel, mostly because of social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. More than ever, wanderlust and the thirst for worldwide adventure is contagious, thanks to social media’s habit of aesthetically tempting the masses. Now that we live in such a tech-savvy world, we are also more dependent on technology to keep us connected – no matter where in the world we find ourselves. From the latest and greatest outdoor gadgets for the traveller who loves to backpack their way around the world, hiking and biking, to the creature comforts that have been transformed into travel tech gadgets, it seems that travel tech is everywhere. There are four travel tech devices that every modern (and future) traveller needs.

A portable battery

This current modern era has resulted in what can feel like a constant necessity of being connected. Realistically, when we are travelling, we actually do need to be constantly connected – particularly in foreign countries for when we find ourselves in emergency situations. A portable battery can be a literal life saver, and so if there is only one travel tech device that you purchase for your travels, it should be this. Most portable batteries have brilliant battery life, can be charged from a PowerPoint or a laptop, and can even charge some laptops (assuming the laptop has a USB charging attachment). You can even buy suitcases that have batteries inside them now than snap out, making even suitcases tech-savvy travel necessities.

A GoPro Hero

When travelling, some people find it difficult to find the balance between immersing themselves in the moment and capturing it to be able to remember it later (or put it on their Instagram page). Buying a solid camera that takes quality footage and can get wet is perfect, because you can literally take it with you anywhere, hit record, and just enjoy the moment, letting the camera capture it all for you. It can be any camera, but the GoPro Hero sports cameras do it all – and you can also buy a floating holding stick, so if you lose it in the water, it is not a problem. This is the sports camera that can do it all.

Good quality ear phones

On planes, at airports, and on transport between destinations on the ground, sometimes there is genuinely just nothing better to do than plug your earphones in and relax – maybe even sleep. When travelling, having good quality ear phones allows you to turn on some music, or even a movie, and just wind down in between the beautiful chaos of constantly being on the move.

An international power adapter

When at an airport, and every device you have is dead but you have deadlines to meet for work (assuming you are lucky enough to work remotely/like that lifestyle), or even if you are just wanting to watch shows to pass the time between layovers, an international power adapter is honestly the most brilliant thing you can have. these little power blocks have power capabilities for literally anywhere on earth, making them the ultimate travel tech. Period.

Key factors in home development that will affect the industry

Home development is one of the most exciting challenges that can be faced, particularly when the home under reconstruction is in the initial stages of transforming into the dream home. Bringing the dream home to live is never an easy feat, and it is important to understand that the process will never be entirely seamless, but it will always be more than worth it. Renovating has a certain kind of magic that is near impossible to compare to.

During the process of home development, the home owners are in a unique stage of watching an old era be torn down before their very eyes to make something better, something new (this is especially true when the property in reconstruction is a family home that has been lived in for many years). Making it through home development can be easy as pie, and there are three keys to doing just that.

Make use home design tools to make the journey easier

Using an online home design tool not only makes the home building process smoother . People looking to build their next home can access free tools to design and customise their home online. Starting with the basics, clients can then choose from recommended house plans, customising them as they see fit throughout the process.

Making use of home design tools takes the hard work out of the planning stages of home building, resulting in a more exciting, wholesome process. This is especially handy for clients who are very busy and find it hard to schedule in time to have long meetings with construction companies to go over home designs. The technology behind such tools these days is so acute, so well-executed, that the process is far more enjoyable than one might expect.

Pay attention to the exterior as well as the interior

All too often when people are engaged in home development, they pour all their creativity, energy, and love into giving the interior of the home the revitalisation that it needs. This is obviously the starting point and should be the first focus of any renovation, but one should never underestimate the power of landscaping.

Livening up the exterior of the home – including the lawn, the garden, and even the outer walls and driveway of the home – can give it a vibrant pop of change that makes the entire property feel shiny and new, not just the inside. Planting some fruit trees or painting the fence surrounding the property with a fresh coat of paint go a long way for making the place feel more inviting and warm.

Even little changes can make the world of difference

Home development does not have to be solely about the big transformations. While ripping up carpet and tearing down foundations make for incredible changes, sometimes the smaller, less obvious touches are where the real magic comes through.

Something as simple as painting the front door a different colour, planting some flowers along the property line, or installing solar lamps to bring a little magic to the front of the home, can literally make it feel like a completely different place.

Three ways digital technology is revolutionising the world

Digital technology has done – and is going to continue to do – so much good for the world. To begin with, the further development and consequential advancement of feats of digital technology ensures that the world’s steady shift into a digitally-dependant future remains an attainable goal. Just when it seems like we are hitting the roof of possibility with digital technology, the next extraordinary vision comes to life to remind us that there really is no limit with this tech, only opportunities to open new doors and windows. Even systems, devices, projects, and aspects of life first introduced by technology (and thus relatively new) are going through digital technology transformations.

A brilliant example of this is the increase in data storage that has been the result of increasing online presence around the world. Hosting a domain on your own can be a lot of dedication and work, and now digital technology is taking the hard work out of that too. By automating so much of the process and creating devices and systems that can house everything in the one place, it has never been easier. The same can be said for cloud storage (think iCloud, Google Drive, etc). even the digital landscape is going through further evolutions using digital technology these days. Next year, there are three advancements in digital technology set to propel the world forward ever faster.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is often considered to be the less cool version of virtual reality (VR). While VR is an incredible feat of digital technology brought to fruition, AR has its place. In fact, in terms of capability and genuine purpose, AR has a stronger foothold on the modern world than VR is likely to have in the very near future. Outside of the gaming universe, fully immersive reality has no real usability. AR, on the other hand, can be used in medicine to bring up charts in real time, in education to showcase tech in real time, and even in the global marketplace to give consumers the chance to see what furniture looks like in their space before buying. And that is only the humble beginnings of what is likely to be a very fruitful future for AR.

Chatbot advancement

The whole point of any kind of business or industry is to create as seamless a consumer experience as possible. The healthcare industry exists to keep people healthy and help them fight diseases and symptoms. The education industry is designed to help students learn skills that can contribute to their future. Digital technology aims to improve the consumer experience tenfold, and it is already making big things happen. For any industry or business model that uses website technology to enhance their concepts, the chatbot is the obvious next step in the consumer experience. We are seeing the initial stages of chatbot implementation now, but next year the tech behind it is likely to ramp up, making the chatbot function easier, faster, and more reliable than it is even now – and that is saying something.

Data strengthening

In essence, data is key for companies to be able to continuously make informed, intelligent decisions about products, strategies, services, and employees (among other things). Data already plays a massive role in modern society, but as the transition from minor reliance continues the ebb and flow into a digitally-focused global attitude, data must evolve and strengthen to be able to withstand the increasing demand. Companies and industries that have yet to adapt to data tech pretty much have to soon, or they run the very real risk becoming obsolete.

Why you should go solar

The solar market is growing exponentially year after year, and with good reason. Not only do people who switch to solar receive a lot of benefits, but the total return on investment is huge in this regard. Nothing is more important than being able to save money in the long term from your energy costs. Indeed, there are many other benefits you can obtain from going solar, as you can see below:

You make your money back pretty fast

A solar PV system may seem like a major investment at first. While it can be expensive to get good solar panels installed along with an efficient solar battery storage system, switching to solar is a long term investment that will help you save money. Research shows that you will end up getting your money back in just 5 years. After that, you will have minimal maintenance and will save tons of money from your investment. It goes to show that the amortization period is not as long as you may imagine.

Boosting property value

Another benefit you get from going solar is that you get to improve the value of your home. Installing rooftop solar panels will put your home above similar, non-solar properties in the same price range, on top of appealing to home buyers looking for a sustainable, eco-friendly home. A properly installed and maintained solar PV system can add thousands of dollars to the overall price of a house, so going solar is a worthwhile investment if you have plans to sell your home.

There are lots of incentives

There are some governmental incentives that will help you pay less taxes. You can even recoup some of your initial investment from the government. Simply put, the laws are in your favor and they really help you get a good return without that much of a hassle. Yes, it will help you a lot, and it will make things a lot easier than ever before for you.

Great performance

Solar panels are known to bring in front a very good performance. You get around 80% performance even 25 years after their purchase. The large return on investment really goes to show that the value you can get from investing in solar panels is more than okay.

Protecting the environment

If you want to protect the environment, investing in solar will help you do just that. It will help lower the costs and the overall experience will be extremely impressive in the end. This is that type of investment that can do wonders in terms of short and long term results, with its value being second to none.

You can see that going solar offers you a plethora of benefits. You should consider going solar, as it’s well worth the effort. You can obtain some tax incentives too, not to mention that the maintenance required here is minimal. You just get to enjoy some really good results without that much of an issue. It’s a great system that makes a lot of sense to use and the value as a whole will be extremely interesting in the end.

Marketing is crucial to standing out in a sea of restaurants

Managing a business isn’t easy. But managing a restaurant is even harder. The reality is the number of restaurants closing exceeds the number of restaurants opening. It’s a tough industry to swim in, however, that doesn’t mean your restaurant is going to fail. A restaurant isn’t just about food, it’s about the experience, how a customer feels the minute they enter inside. If you want your restaurant to stick around, it’s going to have to stand out from the rest.

What’s your restaurant about?

Why would anyone go to your restaurant? What are you offering that the place next door doesn’t have? Your restaurant needs to have a focal point. For example, is your restaurant known for its live band? Unique cocktails? Exquisite food presentation? By knowing your restaurant’s theme and strengths, you focus on them. For example, this Chippendale cafe subverts expectations of what a canteen is meant to be like, serving interesting flavour combinations and offering accessible food with fine-dining credentials. Your goal is to make your restaurant a destination for what you offer.

The right staff is everything

Your dishes may be amazing, your restaurant has an outstanding presentation, but if your staff is less than inviting, then it will be all for nothing. Your staff are the first point of contact for your restaurant, and are responsible for leaving a strong first – and last – impression on your customers. It doesn’t matter how much money you invested in the restaurant’s interiors; if your guests aren’t provided with exceptional customer service, they will not fully enjoy their dining experience. Focus on hiring staff members who are friendly and well-trained in the industry. People always remember an experience, so make it a good one.  

Personalize the service

Technology has been incorporated into every other industry, so why shy away from it? This doesn’t mean you need a robot serving your guests. You can use technology in order to track customer preferences, providing a personalized service. In addition, you can use technology in order to create a more efficient environment by managing inventory and reducing food waste – two things that will help you lower costs. The restaurant industry is just starting to incorporate technology, so it’s your chance to jump ahead of the rest.

Get marketing

Social media has become the perfect tool for restaurants to open up to their customers. The kitchen is usually kept hidden from guests but you can use social media as a way to be transparent and interactive with customers. By posting recipe videos, blogging about specific ingredients, and posting flat-lay photos of new menu items, you will be building your brand personality and reaching out to a wider audience. People not only want to know what they’re eating but they want to feel connected to where they’re eating.

Get socially active

If you want to leave a strong impression on your community, it’s important that you involve yourself in the community. You can cater for an event, host free cooking classes, donate to a shelter – your community will take notice because we all know that no act of kindness goes unnoticed. Positive exposure is what your restaurant needs if you want community support.

Affordable marketing for small businesses

Running a small business is a big task and so is creating its marketing campaigns. There are a lot of different responsibilities that fall on the entrepreneur running the small business. From creating a brand image to recruiting a small team, as well as creating content for the business. However, one of the most important aspects of running a small business is being able to market the product or service. There are many ways in which small businesses can market themselves. Marketing in the current world is mainly online which makes it more affordable. Moreover, online marketing can be customized according to each business. Whether the business is of consultancy or a small business, these methods can be used by any and all businesses. Here are a few affordable ways one can start marketing one’s small business.

  1. Influencer Marketing

Influencers are people who use themselves as a brand and create an influence over others. Influencers usually have a range of followers; there are micro-influencers that can have over 1000 followers or macro influencers who have over 100,000 followers. Even celebrities can serve as influencers. In influencer marketing, a brand provides their products to an influencer, usually along with a payment. Thereafter the influencer decides how to integrate the brand into their content and can choose how to portray the brand. While hiring an influencer, a lot of times micro influencers are the better choice for small businesses because they are more affordable. One of the main reasons for businesses to use influencer marketing is that it allows them to reach their target audience. Thus, creating an online presence for the consumers that will be willing and able to purchase the products and services the business has to offer.

  1. Paid Ads On Instagram / Facebook

A simple way for small businesses to market and advertise their products and services is through paid advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. The paid platform a business chooses to use for advertising depends on what the business is selling. However, Instagram is a common choice for many small businesses. There are several different forms of advertising through Instagram, such as stories, video and photo advertisements, as well as carousel advertisements that allow more than one picture or video in the same post. The pricing of Instagram Ads can start from as low as 5 USD, hence it is rather inexpensive. Understanding which ads work best for the business would require researching both competitors and analyzing the best results for one’s own business. Overall, Instagram paid ads are an affordable way for one to create an online presence for one’s small business.

Furthermore, ads on social media can become incredibly targeted and if one is running a windows and doors business, one would be able to target new home owners or those who have recently shown interest in home security, home improvement and the like. Another perk of targeted ads is that one can show the ads to those in the same area if the business is localized or globally, if it’s an online store which ships internationally.

  1. Other Methods of Gaining Exposure

Small businesses have several other ways to market their products and services affordably. For example, if a business is using a website, content and email marketing are a great way to create an online presence. Many times content marketing can even be free of charge, especially if one knows how to effectively identify one’s audience and utilize different strategies such as guest blogging and search engine optimization (SEO). Marketing for small businesses can also extend to word of mouth by showcasing the business to one’s own community and requesting that information to be shared amongst other networks. Marketing for small businesses, therefore, can be very affordable and if done right can create a huge success for the business.

Understanding the value of marketing automation

Marketing is one of those concepts that seems to demand constant attention. Marketing strategies are intended to make all aspects of business easier to figure out, but sometimes they can have quite the opposite effect, taking up important time and resources. For this reason, marketing automation is making waves with companies around the world. Having a guide to marketing automation is key to understanding where, when, and how to configure marketing aspects of the business to work for you, not against you. It is not at all easy to run a business, and having a guide that can flesh out some of the more difficult parts to establish and understand makes it all the easier.

There are three core keys to understanding how and why marketing automation is such a strong aspect of business, and why it is so valuable to all business models. Each of these concepts are designed to help you understand exactly why marketing automation has become such an integral part of marketing in many companies’ cores, and why they continue to prove their value. In some aspect, every company should have marketing automation ingrained into their business models and practices, and the reason is very simple: with more time to focus on the more important, integral aspects of the business, the company is automatically elevated by the attention to detail on matters that demand more attention.

Marketing automation is centred around efficiency

Realising the potential for technology in marketing has come hand in hand with the realisation that automating certain aspects of marketing is all about making things easier. While there are some aspects of running a business that demand attention and more effort, there are others that can be easily automated to make room for the other aspects of the business that need more structure and human handling. Automating works to make the business run smoother, and it does it well (when used correctly).

It allows you to focus on more important aspects of the business

While every aspect of running a business is obviously important, there are some parts (like events, reminders, and even website updates) that take far more time to effectively carry out. There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours working on perfecting one section of a website when you could be (and likely should be) working on, such as ordering or communicating with clients. When the pressure of easily automated tasks is taken off your shoulders, you can dedicate more time and energy to the aspects of the business that require more attention.

It can make it easier to delegate and organise

Marketing automation is all about convenience and efficiency. Organising certain things, like aspects of web management, events, and even meetings is often a time-consuming process that requires more attention than many businesses have to give. The same can be said for delegation in the company. Automating takes the hard work out of many processes that otherwise can take up hours, sometimes even days or weeks, to execute accordingly.

How to Protect Your Wi-fi Connection

“Internet safety needs to be more widely known” (Richard Stallman the inventor of GNU/Linux open source OS). Computers and technology are advancing faster and faster, so we need to take a step back and evaluate how we should keep ourselves safe online. This is even especially true because everyone uses the internet – even people who don’t have any clue what they are doing. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to makes sure your wi-fi connection is safe and secure.

You should invest in a VPN for wi-fi because there is no excuse to not be using a VPN when you are online, especially when using public wi-fi. VPNs make your online safety increase exponentially. Hackers can easily access your information in a reletive cheap and simple technics.Like that they can get into your network when you are on pubic wi-fi without using a VPN. You may think that you aren’t a target or that hacking won’t happen to you, but it very easily can. Make sure to access important information when at home on a private network and with a VPN for maximum security.

The network name is also known as the SSID or a service identifier. It is one of the most basic wi-fi network settings. Using too common of a name can be dangerous to internet users. Common or obvious names to steer clear of are “wireless network” of the vendors default name. This makes it easier for hackers to figure out the personal mode of WPA or WPA2 security. This is a tip that is easy to change and can add an extra layer of protection to your wi-fi connection.

Naming the SSID a company name or last name isn’t a good idea either. This means the network is easily identifiable. Having your SSID as a name of the company in an office building or another shared area is especially a bad idea because it makes nearby networks also more hackable. Hackers also might look for addresses in a shared area because it’s easier to access many at once.

Most access points (APs) have a reset button that someone can press to restore factory default settings, removing the Wi-Fi security and allowing anyone to connect. Thus, the APs distributed throughout your facility need to be physically secured as well to prevent tampering. Ensure they are always mounted out of reach and consider using any locking mechanisms offered by the AP vendor to physically limit access to the AP buttons and ports.

Another physical security concern with Wi-Fi is when someone adds an unauthorized AP to the network. Some people do this because they want to add more Wi-Fi coverage, or for negative purposes by an employee or even an outsider who gains access. To prevent these rogue APs, ensure that you disable unused Ethernet ports.

The best way to ensure you are protecting your w-fi connection is by making sure you follow these steps. Another thing to do is make sure you are educating those around you who also use the internet.