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The world’s most expensive „hotel” will be in space

The most expensive hotel will not be situated in Dubai, Seychelles or other exotic places. In 2021, Aurora station will be launched into orbit, which will be a hotel for very wealthy people. A 12-day stay in a space hotel will cost $ 9.5 million, and you can now pay a deposit of $ 80,000 to guarantee your seat.

Orion Span, technological start-up from the USA is responsible for the project. Frank Bunger is the CEO and founder of the company. The Aurora station will be able to accommodate 6 people at once – 4 guests and 2 crew members. The stay in space hotel will take 12 days, interestingly the company does not have its own rockets that would allow to transport the guests and crew to the station. In this regard, Orion Span is negotiating with Space X and Blue Origin for the purpose of lending them their rockets. The flight from Earth to the Aurora station would take 30 minutes and the station would be hanging 200 miles above the Earth. Although the first guests will have to pay as much as $9.5 million, President Frank Bunger says “I think by the mid-2020s, we’re going to see quite a bit of possibilities for getting up there, and the cost going down”.

Guests of the hotel will have the opportunity to stay in touch with the Earth through internet connectivity, as well as participate in experiments such as growing plants in space, which later could be brought to Earth as a souvenir. The company has also developed a special training program, which will be mandatory for anyone who wants to visit the Aurora station. However, the preparation for the flight will take only 3 months, which is a very short period compared to the NASA training program, which lasts up to 24 months.

Below you can watch a short movie with the visualization of the Aurora hotel.

 

Sources:

https://nypost.com/2018/04/06/inside-the-first-ever-space-hotel/

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/aurora-station-luxury-space-hotel/index.html

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Spotify plans to launch hardware device

A few days ago, Spotify announced that it will announce some news on April 24th. So far, there has not been much information on this subject but it is speculated that it will be a hardware device for handling music in the car.

Spotify certainly has problems generating profit. The company’s revenues grow from year to year, but more and more money is given to artists. From the beginning, the company did not make any profit, but it recently announced a several billion profit in 2021. Spotify understood that they do not earn money on streaming music, which is why the company decided to release the device, which will be available for an additional fee.

Spotify’s in-car music device

According to The Verge, several existing customers of Spotify got an offer to purchase the device together with the above-mentioned device. The price ranged from $ 12.99 to $ 14.99 per month in subscription model. Customers were informed that the device would have built-in data transmission and could operate independently of the smartphone. There is also information that voice control will be available and the device will have support for Alexa’s assistant from Amazon. As part of the subscription, the user would receive a small, round device with buttons to control the device and the LED screen in the center.

It’s difficult to say whether this is a good decision and whether this device is actually needed. More and more cars are equipped with a radio with a Bluetooth module and the connection of a smartphone to the car radio takes a few seconds. For now, however, this is pure speculation, but the first pictures of the device have already appeared, which could indicate that the work on the device is already far advanced.

 

Sources:

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/4/6/17207452/spotify-car-music-player-hardware-leak

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidphelan/2018/04/07/hey-spotify-streaming-giant-rumored-to-launch-4g-smart-music-player-for-the-car/#1af95f342fe7

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South Korea is building Terminators

A few days ago the information was spread saying that KAIST is working on advanced war robots equipped with artificial intelligence. KAIST stands for “Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology”, a university and also a research institute that is responsible for many innovations in the field of robotics.

In order to create a war robots (allegedly), the university established cooperation with Hanwha Systems. The purpose of both brands is to create autonomous robots that will be able to kill the designated targets. As we can read on the corporate website: „As a defense electronics company, Hanwha Systems has significantly advanced the defense capabilities of South Korea’s military since the company was founded in 1978”. Hanwha Systems, with whom KAIST cooperates, is the largest arms producer in Korea and the main supplier of equipment for the South Korean military. It is also worth mentioning that the company is responsible for creating cluster bombs, which are prohibited in over 120 countries.

Boston Dynamic’s Atlas robot

Toby Walsh, a lecturer at the University of New South Wales, is the initiator of a boycott against both Hanwha Systems and the Korean university. Other scientists who worked mainly on artificial intelligence also joined the initiative. There are about 30 of them in total and they announced that they will not cooperate with KAIST so long as this one does not stop researching a new weapon. The president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology – Sung-Chul Shin said, “I reaffirm once again that KAIST will not conduct any research activities counter to human dignity including autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control”. It is worth mentioning that not only the Korean university is conducting research on advanced robots that could be used for military purposes. The most known company working on advanced robots is Boston Dynamics, which used to belong to Google (Alphabet).

 

Sources:

https://nypost.com/2018/04/05/south-korean-university-may-be-developing-killer-robots/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KAIST

https://www.hanwha.com/en/about_hanwha/history.html

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Netflix – Cable TV Slayer?

Although Netflix has been heard of as streaming video portal a few years ago, the company has been existing for over 20 years, the origins are dated at 1997. At the beginning it was a traditional cassette tape rental, and later on a DVD rental with a mailing option, which was quite new at that time. You could order your favorite movies online, and Netflix sent them to you by traditional mail. After watching the movies, clients sent back the DVDs by post , and Netflix charged for it several bucks. 2007 was a breakthrough for the company. First of all, the company boasted that it has already delivered more than one billion CDs by mail order, and in the same year they introduced the first content in the form of video streaming.

Netflix has been breaking records for several years, such as, for example, the stock market valuation, the amount of investment in new content or the number of subscribers. It is estimated that Netflix subscribers amount to 120 million people around the world. Taking into account that most accounts are used by several people, the number of Netflix recipients is slowly approaching half a billion. The company is already valued at over $ 120 billion and is year by year an increasingly serious threat to traditional cable networks. These are aware of the competition in the form of a large monopoly of on-demand content provider and they themselves introduce similar solutions to the offer. It seems to me that the days of traditional cable TV are already counted and their agony will not be long.

At the beginning of 2018, Netflix announced that this year it intends to invest about $ 8 billion in new content in just one year! In 2017, Netflix spent $ 6 billion on this purpose. These are very large numbers, and this means that every year its portfolio will be richer. A smart strategy for the series’ premieres causes that every month there are some new good shows introduced and it is difficult to resign from subscription.

Analysts predict that Netflix will at least double its value in the next 10 years. Interestingly, it is generating financial losses all the time, but the company is backed by investors who donated billions of dollars in several financing rounds. Analysts say Netflix will have a $ 3 billion loss this year, but in 2021 it will be $ 4 billion profit. So far, Netflix does not offer its services in China, and it is a market with huge potential that will certainly be exploited in the future.

 

Sources:

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/business/media/netflix-earnings.html

https://www.forbes.pl/biznes/netflix-liczba-subskrybentow-prognozy-do-2028-roku/6n6qml2

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/NFLX/

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Spotify’s bizarre IPO

The stock exchange debut of Spotify – the largest music streaming service will be coming soon. However, this is not a normal Initial Public Offering (IPO), in which the founders or major shareholders decide to sell some part of the shares and let the company go public. Instead, Spotify will let the minority shareholders or investors who currently hold company shares sell their stake, the ones who could not get rid of them earlier. Generally speaking, this will not be a classic IPO, because Spotify as a company will not sell its shares, but minor investors will.

This will be the next big stock exchange debut of the tech giant after Snapchat company that went public in 2017. What is the reason for this debut? At least a few. Until now Spotify was a private company, which did not have to provide financial data, and thus the value of the company was unknown. After the debut, the market will verify the company’s financial data and evaluate it, so that existing shareholders get to know the true value of the company and will be able to withdraw from this investment (with profit or loss).

CEO – Daniel Ek during Spotify’s investor day in NYC

Various analysts have prepared different company valuations. The biggest ones are talking about $ 40 billion, which is very strange considering that Spotify generates huge financial losses every year and the founders themselves admit that it will be possible to generate profit only after achieving the effect of scale. Today, Spotify has around 70 million paid subscribers all over the world and it is not enough for the company to generate profit. Daniel Ek co-founder and CEO, calms down “Spotify has never been a normal kind of company … our focus is on the initial splash. Instead, we will be working on trying to build, plan, and imagine for the long term “.

On the other hand, existing investors believe in the company and do not plan to withdraw from the investment. Mitchell Green, the founder of Lead Edge Capital, one of the first investors of Spotify says that “Bulls on Wall Street think Spotify to generate $ 2 billion in operating profit in a few years.” Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon hold a total of 40% of the company’s shares and over 80% of votes at the general meeting of the company, which means that they are still in full power over the company.

 

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/02/investing/spotify-investor-ipo-lead-edge-capital/index.html

What to expect when Spotify goes public Tuesday

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How wearable devices that track human activity influence business productivity

Modern world offers people smaller pieces of technology that can assist in every-day-life and bring benefits to one’s health, lifestyle and as a consequence productivity and business effectiveness. Wearable devices available on the market today allow people to track activity of their body in various aspects and conditions. Through measuring body activity, you can gain knowledge on: calories burnt, quality of sleep, number of steps made over the day, heart rate in various situations, body temperature and many other indicators. Being aware and curious about health condition can bring considerable health benefits.

 

Proactive approach to healthcare

Up to this point, people tended to pay attention to their health when their faced problems. At the moment, their experience revolution of their attitude and they started to feel the need to monitor their health condition on daily basis. The users in 21st century use mobile applications and fitness wearables every day. The most popular are shoes sensors, smart watches, wristbands and build in functionalities in mobile devices that allow to use only mobile apps for tracking how many steps the user made and how many calories he has burnt as a result. What is more apps available on the market expand the approach and promote general healthy lifestyle.

 

Active and engaged

Applications available on the market started to be interactive and communicative. The users get push notifications and are informed of upcoming events, activities that they need to do, goals that they are about to accomplish or threats of decreasing individual outcome. They are stimulated to further activity and engaged in their personal improvement. They get used to exercises and other things related to business performance and productivity. What is more the users through getting used to certain functionalities and to monitoring their daily performance want to improve other aspects of life through using applications and create their own balanced virtual environment.

 

Practical functionalities

Applications available on the market provide the user vide range of functionalities regarding fitness tracking, facilitating productivity, monitoring personal development, planners and  life hacks such as intelligent shopping lists, diet planners, taxi, peer-to-peer sharing, food delivery, booking services etc.

5 most wanted app features that the users look for:

  1. Experience that is not available anywhere else
  2. Intuitive and simple navigation
  3. Seamless checkout
  4. Personalized experiences
  5. Simplicity

The most recommended apps in 2018:

  1. Password

2. Lyft

3. Google Photos

4. Sky Guide

5. Snapchat

6. Instapaper

7. Waze

8. Untappd

9. Dark Sky

10. Spotify

 

Sources:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140502184033-1282856-the-health-benefits-of-wearable-technology

https://www.welbi.co/single-post/5-health-benefits-of-wearable-tech

http://www.medicaldaily.com/wearable-health-monitoring-devices-what-are-benefits-244670

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonha-revesencio/exploring-the-benefits-of_b_7910662.html

https://www.bodyshotperformance.com/the-advantages-of-wearable-technology-for-health-fitness-and-nutrition/?v=9b7d173b068d

https://cusjc.ca/agingtech/chapter-two/characteristics-the-benefits-of-wearable-tech/

 

Bodybuilding with VR

According to the latest statistics virtual reality and augmented reality are at their pick. People get to know their functionalities firstly through taking part in first VR games on consoles and expanded their potential to other spheres like education, science, simulation process and health care. Gamers and people creating technology were regarded as not healthy with sedentary lifestyle and inappropriate diet. At the moment, we can observe that they evolved and increased their awareness about healthy lifestyle. All technology users started to facilitate lots of daily activities but at the same time they realized that the technology can also improve their health in a attractive and entertaining way.

 

Virtual Reality Gym Experience

People have dreamed of going through the same experience as their virtual game character. At the moment, it is possible. Players can actually be the controllers themselves and can improve their own personal performance and experience just like any game character. Through using special controllers and sensors on players body he is able to upgrade his game status using his actual endurance, speed and strength. At the same time through fulfilling tasks in the virtual reality he is exercising in the real world what is beneficial for his health.

 

Exercise when are where you want

This innovative solution saves time and helps creating positive habits. The technology enables to develop muscle strength and endurance in the same efficiency as on the traditional gym. It uses integrated cable pulley system which is controlled by the virtual reality engine. The players muscles experience real strength-building resistance. Very popular product on the market is Black Box.

 

Efficient through artificial intelligence

The workout in virtual reality gym lasts about 30 minutes. It allows to maximize fitness results and adjust level of difficulty through artificial intelligence and special adoptive workout perception. Such virtual support guarantees graduate and visible progress. Artificial intelligence combined with virtual reality analyzes real body performance. System of controllers and wearables track and monitor fitness activities what allows the player to be aware of his condition. On the other hand, it does not mean that through exercising with virtual environment technology workout will be easier and painless. It will be more convenient and attractive for the user. It will visualize the path that the player needs to go between his actual effort and perceived effort.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.vrroom.buzz/vr-news/trends/will-vr-change-bodybuilding-and-fitness
  2. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42599339
  3. https://www.blackbox-vr.com
  4. https://muscleinsider.com/news/virtual-reality-bodybuilding-now-available

 

Living in intelligent home

The year 2018 is the year of home technology. In the previous year companies released on the market variety of products that are meant for home usage and facilitating not only everyday activities but also personal security and health improvement. People started to get used to cloud functionalities and controlling the same data from more than one device. It is the beginning of new convenient reality where person can control and supervise everything within reach.

 

Home sweet home

The new business venture that can be experiences at the moment enables people to live more convenient life than ever before. Solutions available on the market make life easier for the user and safer for the environment. It is possible to monitor air condition inside the apartment and filter it when the parameters exceed certain values. Intelligent electricity system will adjust energy usage to the user’s real needs and will prevent energy waste through eco-friendly bulbs controlled by the app and central settings. Intelligent plugs will control the amount of energy that goes to the device that is for example charged. What is more, intelligent plugs having smart system called “away” which will turn on certain devices during set time to imitate the user’s presence at home to discourage potential burglars. Other functionalities will allow the user to control different devices for example through smartphone or tablet. It is possible to turn on the TV with certain Netflix movie or coffee machine from bed. Furthermore, it is possible to install camera systems and alarms that will not only prevent from burglary, but also will allow to monitor what is happening inside the house when the user is out such as animals or kids’ activities. All these functionalities gathered together creates a perfect place for living.

 

Advantages for older people care

Intelligent home solutions are very practical for older people. They can have every parameter set and automated. Applications that are dedicated for these devices will notify them about the essential aspects and will make their life easier. Its great advantage is the fact that other people may have access to their data and functionalities remotely. It is a convenient solution for taking care of older people and checking whether their air condition at home is fine, whether they need help, are ill, or had a burglary or accident.

 

Best smart home gardets in 2018:

  1. Amazon Alexa
  2. Google Home
  3. Apple Home Kit
  4. Amazon Echo
  5. Netgear Arlo Q
  6. Ecobee4
  7. Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit
  8. TP Link HS105
  9. Nest Protect
  10. August Smart Lock Pro

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rosslin_Robles/publication/311414476_Applications_Systems_and_Methods_in_Smart_Home_Technology_A_Review_IJAST_vol15/links/584501a908aeda6968191832/Applications-Systems-and-Methods-in-Smart-Home-Technology-A-Review-IJAST-vol15.pdf
  2. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/070674370505000509
  3. http://www.intelligenthome.com.au
  4. https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-smart-home-gadgets,review-2008.html
  5. https://www.cleverism.com/smart-home-intelligent-home-automation/

 

 

Self-driving future – a threat or blessing?

The technology in recent years tend to develop in the direction where people create orders and the devices fulfills their missions. In a similar way, General Motors and other companies producing cars came up with the idea of self-driving car as a future of motorization. First autonomous vehicles with removed manual controls have been released last year. The prototypes are being tested and checked on various situations and conditions. Some of them still have manual controls just in case for the safety of the passenger. The perfect solution where all cars are aware of its presence and cannot cause an accident is considered as ideal. Nevertheless, some ethical aspects of such project should be designed carefully.

 

Makes life easier

Before the self-driving cars will make life easier they need to complete thorough testing process. The manufacturers would like to be sure that the car will cope with dense urban areas and distinguish all vehicles and other objects on their route to the destination. General motors designed the special safety system and placed airbags in alternative places inside the car as it does not have the steering wheel anymore. When the self-driving car will pass all tests, and fulfil law requirements adjusted for the new technology coming to the market it will be able to serve the society. People will be able to save time of commuting to work, be able to use the time in the car for anything else than driving. The traffic in the cities is expected to decrease as the cars will always adjust their speed and route to the current conditions and minimize the occurrence of accidents. What is more they are going to be eco-friendly and do not harm the environment.

 

The difficult situations

The most crucial aspect of self-driving car technology is the programming of artificial intelligence which needs to react in the most optimal way in certain situations. It’s the human’s decision to mark what is more important and what has bigger value. Every day people face dilemmas on the route whether they should hit into the other car or pedestrian or whether they decide to hit the tree or the mother with a child even if there is family on the back seat. Artificial intelligence evaluates what is the priority for the society and makes the most optimal decision which is made without emotional element. From the ethical point of view the computer inside the self-driving car will not take into account as many factors as the person, but will have quicker moment of reaction and probably will be able to prevent the accident or maximally minimize the damage.

 

New solution means new threat

Each solution that is regarded as a breakthrough and blessing for the society can be at the same time a curse and an opportunity for someone with bad intensions. As the self-driving car will use computer and artificial intelligence it will mean that some people will certainly attempt to hack it in order to steal it or take the full control of the vehicle. Taking that factor into account It is important to remember about checking all the necessary security systems that are meant to prevent such events.

 

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2018/01/13/our-driverless-future-driving-without-a-driver.cnnmoney/index.html

http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2018/01/13/our-driverless-future-fighting-hackers.cnnmoney/index.html

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/12/technology/general-motors-cruise-self-driving-car/index.html

http://money.cnn.com/technology/our-driverless-future/self-driving-cars-will-change-your-life/

AN EMPTY SALES PIPELINE VS A MISMANAGED ONE

AN EMPTY SALES PIPELINE VS A MISMANAGED ONE

With a brand new year underway, I am sure you and your team have a lot of tasks to handle, and probably some new habits to work on as you stick to your resolutions. However, as you start on this New Year in all its glory, keep in mind one critical element you’re carrying over from last year: your sales pipeline. When it comes to salespersons, it is not just their physical health that needs to be at its finest; their sales pipeline needs to be fit as a fiddle too. As your sales team constantly fills pipelines with deals, they should be constantly checking the pulse of those deals in order to ensure that they achieve the healthiest results.
So, what exactly are the signs that indicate a healthy sales pipeline?

• It has prospects at each stage: Though it sounds obvious but focusing entirely on closing deals at the latter stage without actually filling the pipeline at the beginning, you’ll be left stranded in the desert once those deals are closed.

• It keeps moving: A pipeline needs to flow constantly. If a deal stays for too long at one stage, chances are, that it won’t close. Take a good look at the deal and sort it out in case it sticks for longer than you expect.

• Updated and accessible: A good sales pipeline should be visible and open to people in the sales process. It can help teams leverage other people’s connections and maybe even indulge in healthy competition. Also, if you fail to keep it up to date and review it regularly then it is of no use.

Now that we’ve learnt all about being healthy; let’s come to the part you’ve all been waiting for (i.e. the post title);
Empty Sales Pipeline VS Mismanaged Sales Pipeline.

An empty sales pipeline as the name suggests is one without any prospects. When managers pass down instructions to update pipeline, rarely do executives take it seriously. Although emptying your sales pipeline might seem counter-intuitive, but it is imperative for most sales executives. When people talk about “an empty pipeline,” they don’t necessarily mean having no prospects at all but instead about being choosy about whom you keep in the funnel when it is time to clean house.

The idea of “bigger is better” isn’t always true in the case of sales pipelines.
For instance, if your goal is to have at least 15 deals in your pipeline at any certain point of time, and you have 40, this seems like a better situation, doesn’t it? Having so many deals in hand you probably think you are at your A-game.
No matter how pleasing it sounds in your head, it may not always be the case. Too many deals spread across your board don’t give much room to explore resources optimally. As you are unable to give proper attention to all the leads, some grow cold.

Once you stress over the fear of an empty pipeline, you are prone to let it get overstuffed with prospects. This will give birth to what you should actually fear: mismanaged pipelines.
An interesting thing is that effective lead management is directly proportional to the revenue growth. A research conducted by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association revealed that 44% of executives in B2B companies think their organization is ineffective at managing their sales pipeline. In another survey by Harvard, companies that reported ineffective pipeline management had an average growth of 4.6% while those with effective pipeline management saw 28% higher revenue growth.

Hence, the enemy here is sales pipeline mismanagement. You may have multiple executives working on the same opportunity independently without having any idea. This will distribute your resources at unruly tasks while minimizing sales potential. Since, you have no key insight into your actual sales potential, you won’t be able to manage your budget, operations or sales activity etc. In addition to this, the targets set will seem too high to reach ultimately jeopardizing operations and your brand’s reputation.