Home-use smartphone app could let users check blood oxygen levels

Respiratory ailments such as COVID-19 hamper the body's ability to draw oxygen from the lungs, which is why patients' blood oxygen levels often need to be checked. New research now suggests that people could track those levels at home, using their smartphone.
Ordinarily, blood oxygen saturation is monitored utilizing a device known as a pulse oximeter, which is clipped onto either a finger or the ear lobe. These tools are usually applied and monitored by trained technicians in hospitals or clinics. Smartphone-connected oximeters do exist, but they're one more item that home users would have to buy.
Seeking a simpler and less expensive alternative, scientists from the University of Washington and the University of California - San Diego developed an experimental app.
To train the deep-learning-based algorithm utilized by the app, four of those people wore a standard oximeter on one finger, and placed another finger on the same hand over a smartphone's camera lens and flash. Over a 15-minute period, they breathed a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, to slowly reduce their blood oxygen levels.
As they did so, the phone recorded flash-lit video of the blood pulsing in and out of their finger. The app continuously analyzed how much of the light was absorbed by the blood, in the green, red and blue color channels. The amount that was absorbed varied with the amount of oxygen in their blood.
In its current form, the app is able to accurately spot low levels 80% of the time. It is believed that this number should improve significantly as the technology is developed further, which will involve training the app on a much more extensive dataset.

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Software Development Migration: How To Change Your Team In The Middle Of A Project

Software development is an integral part of pretty much any modern project out there. Despite this, few companies understand how to set up an efficient team to achieve their goals. Issues with software development are not at all infrequent, including:
• Low cost-efficiency.
• Lack of qualified personnel.
• Communication problems.
• Management issues.
• Budget complications.
These are just a few reasons that might push you to make drastic changes to your operating approach to software development. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fix those, ranging from bringing specialists into your in-house team to fix local processes to outsourcing your projects entirely to professional teams that have their routine nailed down.
Building or filling up gaps in your in-house team requires a lot of time and effort and a very good HR department. You have to understand what kind of needs you have to address within your projects at any given time and what sort of specialists can do it. This involves the knowledge of your tech stack, third-party tools, the relationships within your established team, the willingness to train new employees and so on.
Outsourcing is a good remedy for talent shortages and budget constraints. Start with identifying your existing team’s weaknesses, securing intellectual property and maintaining mature software processes. During this survey, keep in mind that the biggest contributing factors to success are efficient communication and thorough documentation.
The easiest and quickest way to solve all of your development problems may be to find a company that is willing to do that for you.
Hiring an offshore development team is basically like renting an entire operational department. Everything is already taken care of: the hiring process, the communication flow and the tool set choices.
People appreciate the flexibility of outsourcing and true engineering help. Offshore development teams are often more affordable than in-house teams. You can find the best developers in the world, no matter where they are located.
Switching Teams
If you are experiencing issues, like the inability to keep deadlines and dropping work efficiency, this is a clear sign you need to introduce some change. There’s no need for a knee-jerk leap from in-house to offshore development if it’s something minor. Hold a couple of meetings, talk to your employees and ask for their opinions. Formulate a plan.
Final Words
Distributed development is one of the most common methods of modern software engineering. This model is worth consideration if you want to cut project costs and get access to specialists from across the world when hiring.
Unlike the distributed team model, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of recruiting developers and setting up workspaces. The result will be a dedicated remote team that will quickly integrate with your in-house development and will be dedicated to your project exclusively.
Note that total transitions are never ideal. You want to always have a certain degree of flexibility to allow yourself enough space to maneuver. A hybrid model that combines in-house development with offshore teams may help you get the best of both worlds if you play your cards right.

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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney talks the metaverse, crypto, and antitrust

Of all the rudimentary forms of the metaverse out there, few if any are as fully realized and well used as Epic Games’ Fortnite. Fortnite grew from game to metaverse in an organic way: People began lingering in Fortnite‘s 3D world after they were done playing, just to hang out with friends. Picking up on this, Epic began hosting planned events for Fortniters, such as concerts and movie previews.
Earlier this month, Epic released the latest version of its gaming engine, Unreal Engine 5, which includes new tools for creating highly detailed 3D objects with automated natural lighting effects. There’s an emphasis on creating large-scale photorealistic environments with realistic sound and digital humans.
Fortnite Creative is a set of tools that anybody can use to build their own Fortnite island. About half of Fortnite play time by users is now in content created by others, and half is in Epic content.

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How Mobile Banking Apps Enhance the User Experience

Mobile banking is on the rise. As consumer expectations evolve, providing people with the ability to execute transactions and other banking activities using mobile applications on a smartphone or tablet has become table stakes for banks and other financial institutions.
With more banking activities becoming available outside of physical branches, consumers are increasingly turning to mobile banking solutions to manage their money. With an estimated 169.3 million mobile banking users in the U.S., most Americans view these new digital banking solutions as the “new normal” for managing their financial lives, and 80% believe they can now manage their money entirely without a bank branch, instead favoring contactless digital solutions.
But what is prompting this shift in consumer expectations? Mobile innovations that enhance the user experience. Whether viewing account balances, making payments, or depositing checks, mobile banking apps make banking increasingly convenient and similarly secure to traditional brick-and-mortar banking while also delivering additional features that promote financial well-being.
By providing a high-quality in-app user experience (UX) that better nurtures customer relationships and expectations, banks can drive improved consumer engagement, build a competitive advantage and gain an increased market share.
Ways Mobile Banking Apps Improve the User Experience
Providing Convenience to Simplify Financial Lives
The most obvious benefit of mobile banking is anytime access to your bank account, regardless of location. Mobile banking apps implement know-your-customer (KYC) guidelines, so customers can seamlessly open a new account within minutes using just their smartphone, an ID, and social security number.
For consumers, mobile apps eliminate the inconvenience of driving to an in-person branch and wasting time waiting in line to cash a check, make a transfer, pay a bill or make a deposit. Simple, convenient banking apps also enable users to invest within minutes and be approved for a loan or early payday with just a few clicks.
Enhancing Security
Since financial account information is among the most sensitive personal data that exists, security is of critical importance. Preventing identity theft and financial fraud is paramount for banks, and mobile apps allow customers to customize their security settings.
Biometric security implementations like two-factor authentication, fingerprint scanning, and facial or voice recognition help banks meet user expectations for data privacy and security.
Enabling Custom Personalization
Finally, customers can stay on top of their finances by setting up in-app alerts for minimum balance requirements, bills due, transaction notifications, automatic transfers, geolocation, etc. Each user is unique and prefers that banks use their personal data to understand their individual preferences and goals and deliver personalized interactions and communications that empower them to achieve their financial goals.
High Tech + High Touch = Optimal User Experience
When it comes to mobile banking, it all starts with the high-tech app and ends with the marriage of a user’s financial worlds — banking, payments, investments, financial goals, and beyond — to make money management as easy as possible. By consolidating all of a user’s financial information in one unified place, mobile banking apps provide users with a holistic view of their financial well-being and equip them with connected tools to manage their personal financial well-being and track progress toward their goals.
A focus on in-app user experience innovation has helped forward-thinking banks and financial institutions on the cutting edge establish a better market position. However, some banks and financial institutions continue to lag behind the digital transformation and haven’t yet realized the myriad benefits of enhancing the UX via mobile banking. Fortunately, there are options for these laggards. They can either create their own mobile app, which is incredibly challenging because of how they’re structured, or they can partner with a fintech organization to fulfill customers’ needs and shape the future of finance. While the increased focus on the mobile banking UX has helped some institutions, it ignores another critical factor: the human touch.
By combining digital and human experiences, and providing real people to talk to in the event of an issue, mobile banking apps enhance the convenient mobile banking experience with a personal connection.
At the end of the day, banks need to prioritize the UX to meet constantly changing customer expectations. Users increasingly expect not only more convenience and flexibility and better security from their mobile app but also more custom-tailored services and high-touch banking experiences. Mobile banking will continue to excel at simple, transactional activities, and the banks that enhance those digital experiences with the human touch can help ensure those behaviors stick over the long term.

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The Growing Popularity of Agile in Software Development

The Agile model of software development is becoming more and more popular compared to the V-shaped model. This model is based on iterations and feedback, and it allows for changes to be made quickly and effectively. The V-shaped model is a combination of the two most popular models currently in use-Agile and Waterfall.
The Agile model of software development is a more recent model that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. It is based on the principle of iterations-meaning that the software is developed in short, repeatable cycles-and feedback. This allows for changes to be made quickly and effectively, which is beneficial for both the customer and the developer.
The Agile model can be broken down into four main phases:
Planning: In this phase, the team establishes what needs to be done and how it will be done.
Development: In this phase, the team works on developing the software.
Testing: In this phase, the team tests the software to make sure it meets the requirements set in the planning phase.
Release: In this phase, the software is released to the customer.
One of the main benefits of using the Agile model is that it allows for changes to be made quickly and effectively.
Another benefit of using Agile is that it encourages collaboration between team members. The team works together closely to complete each cycle, which helps to build teamwork and communication skills.
Additionally, since tasks are assigned during the planning phase and then worked on during the development phase, everyone knows what they are responsible for and there is less confusion overall.
The V-shaped model is a combination of the two most popular models currently in use-Agile and Waterfall. It offers the benefits of both models, such as the quick turnaround times of Agile and the detailed planning and documentation of Waterfall.
The V-shaped model is a good option for companies that want the best of both worlds. It allows for the flexibility that is needed in today’s fast-paced world, while also providing the stability and organization that is often required for larger projects.
Waterfall differs from Agile in that it is a sequential model in which tasks are completed one at a time in a predefined order. This can often lead to delays as teams wait for approvals from higher-ups before moving on to the next task. Additionally, if requirements change after tasks have been started, it can be difficult to make changes without starting over from scratch.
There are some advantages to using Waterfall, such as its predictability and its focus on quality assurance.
However, there are also some disadvantages of using Waterfall, such as its inflexibility and its tendency to lead to delays. Additionally, it can be more expensive than other models due to the need for multiple teams and overlapping resources.
If you’re looking to implement the Agile model in your business, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what Agile is and how it works. Additionally, you need to be able to adapt to changes quickly and be willing to try new things.
It’s also important to have a good communication plan in place. The team needs to be able to communicate effectively with each other and with stakeholders in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The Agile model of software development is becoming more and more popular as businesses strive to become more agile and responsive to changes in the market. The V-shaped model is a good option for companies that want the best of both worlds, combining the quick turnaround times of Agile with the detailed planning and documentation of Waterfall.

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Digitalization gives retailers essential tools to combat inflation

In June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that over the last year prices surged, exemplifying a key post-pandemic challenge facing retailers.
Amid ongoing supply chain woes, the global economic effects of the war in Ukraine, and fears of an impending recession, inflation continues to be a key concern.
In the current climate, digital transformation tools are of growing interest to retailers. According to an Economist Impact study sponsored by SAP, 78.6% of retail respondents have seen a modest to significant rise in spending to support digital transformation.
Digitalization opens the door to more effective strategies retail CPOs and CFOs can use to moderate the effects of inflation, and other negative economic influences.
Digital supply networks help reduce cost and mitigate risk
Procurement is experiencing a once-in-a-generation moment, in which it is evolving from being considered a “cost savings function” to a central and strategic aspect of business decision making.
During this period of inflation, procurement leaders should focus on their core mission: to source goods and services at competitive prices and ensure effective delivery.
With rising prices and goods in short supply, a digital supply network gives retail CPOs the tools to:
-Identify and onboard lower cost suppliers quickly.
-Automate manual trading partner collaboration to increase productivity and focus procurement teams on strategic initiatives.
-Reduce end-to-end costs by redirecting supply and distribution channels to low-congestion ports and lower-cost ocean lanes.
-Diversify supplier base to reduce risk.
-Monitor alerts about inventory and order shipment delays and take action to prevent revenue loss.
Now is the time to dust off your working capital management strategy
Now is the time to develop or refine a working capital management strategy. At a high level these are some of the key actions that comprise an effective strategy:
-Monitor your working capital position. Closely monitor available cash and liquidity forecasts for your business and be prepared to take proactive steps.
-Reduce costs by paying early. Leverage the availability of capital afforded by working capital solutions to negotiate early payment discounts with your suppliers.
-Extend receivables or supply chain financing to suppliers. Although early payment can help your suppliers with their cash position, that may not be enough to ensure they have the funds they need to produce the goods you need. Working capital solutions enable you to offer affordable options to bridge the “cash gap” and keep production rolling.
-Purchase and hold inventory. In inflationary times, the value of goods is likely to increase over time. As part of your overall strategy, consider building your inventory before prices go up.
-Think collaboration. The capital liquidity of your suppliers can be critical to your business, but your cash flows may not always be in sync. As a guiding principle, implement a collaborative working capital management strategy that considers the needs of your business and of your suppliers to ensure the health of your supply chain.
Effective digitalization grants business decision-makers greater visibility into all aspects of a supply chain and makes it possible to implement more comprehensive working capital management strategies for long-term growth and economic resiliency.

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To build a better tech workforce, we can’t address today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions

With the economy potentially on the brink of recession and job openings in the tech industry still at record highs, many technology executives across the country are flashing back to a similar set of economic dynamics two decades ago.
With the economy potentially on the brink of recession and job openings in the tech industry still at record highs, many technology executives across the country are flashing back to a similar set of economic dynamics two decades ago.
Facing a rapidly increasing need for technology skills, we were looking everywhere for talent, and looking overseas developed as the best way to grow as cost-effectively as possible. Companies then weren’t laying off local workers or outsourcing every single job. But like many of our peers, we certainly paused our U.S. growth in order to focus on other markets.
That level of offshoring made a significant impact abroad, contributing to substantial economic growth in other countries. But it also made an impact at home.
In the mid-2000s, the number of computer science graduates in the U.S. declined sharply, due in no small part to a perception among students and families that those desirable tech jobs were being filled by workers from other countries. Even though only a small percentage of jobs were actually offshored in the early days, the narrative was powerful enough to keep people from pursuing those jobs—or the education pathways to access them.
It was so powerful, in fact, that a group of business leaders and education organizations in my hometown of Cincinnati responded by forming a local coalition, the INTERalliance, designed specifically to rebuild tech talent in the region.
To put it another way, within just a few years, we were investing to combat a narrative that we ourselves had helped to perpetuate.
Today, we know more about the long-term impacts of underinvesting in the growth of the U.S. tech workforce. And now we have solutions already developed across the country that promise immediate and long-term benefits for companies and workers here at home, while eliminating a repeat of the blowback of the offshoring practices employed decades ago.
Yet many employers still have not changed their hiring practices to recognize the potential of these other pathways, or to explicitly screen in workers known as STARs (Skilled Through Alternative Routes). Too many businesses are choosing the strategies they know—looking overseas or poaching talent from their competitors—rather than investing the time and energy necessary to build a strong and sustainable tech workforce within the U.S. economy.
Again, those strategies aren’t bad in a vacuum. But if we act like they’re the only answer to this supply-demand challenge, we close the door to opportunity for millions of Americans who could access some of our economy’s highest-paying and most future-proof jobs.
The good news is that some forward-thinking organizations have decided to pursue new solutions to solve the tech-talent shortage.
It’s time for more companies to do the same.

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Best Practices For Digitalization

We often hear about digitalization as an important initiative for organizations today, but while there is widespread agreement on its importance, there’s less clarity around what digitalization means. So harmonizing terminology is a good place to start.
Digitalization may be described as the conversion of a business process from entirely or partially manual to entirely digital—for example, automating processes or workflows.
Begin with easy projects.
Digitalization can provide many quick wins in cost and time savings and morale improvements while an organization formulates a more comprehensive digital transformation strategy. Simply implementing a digital document-signing system or adopting cloud-based tools for co-authoring documents are examples.
Eliminate manual steps in repetitive processes.
Beyond these simple and fairly universal examples, the best places to look for digitalization opportunities are wherever you have routine or repetitive processes.
It's not difficult to decide which business processes are good candidates for digitalization. The more there is repetitive manual work involved, and the more time that manual work requires, costs financially and contributes to frustration, boredom and inaccuracies, the more likely that the business process is a candidate for digitalization.
How do you sell and socialize digitalization projects?
Ideas are great, but they also need to gain traction and support to be realized. It’s important to have a culture in which ideas can be communicated as they arise.
While a supportive culture is important, it’s equally important to refine and communicate the idea and its benefits on a single page to avoid the “too long didn’t read” problem and to have a simple document to socialize with a wider audience beyond a manager. Senior management is bound to be receptive to a good idea that can improve a process and provide benefits such as time and cost savings.
Digitalization involves iteration.
As with most digital initiatives, version one is a considerable achievement, but it’s only the beginning. It’s important to meet with internal and external clients and colleagues and listen to their thoughts about how a digitalization project is going. There usually is room for improvement, and digital technology should make it easy to modify a process.
The end game is insights from data.
Ultimately, data needs to be rapidly transformed into information and insights. Beyond digitalizing and improving business processes, you must leverage the insights and analytics that digitalization offers. Artificial intelligence can harness data, tell its story and help you make faster, better decisions. Like eliminating manual work in a process, AI does the hard work of evaluating and interpreting, so that you can quickly gain insights and act accordingly.

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How Artificial Intelligence Improves Software Development

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the world in ways we could not have even imagined a few years ago. These days businesses aim for higher productivity while keeping costs to a minimum. AI can help accomplish this by automating dangerous and repetitive tasks while leaving us with the creative tasks and those that require a human touch. Like every sector, Artificial Intelligence has also entered the software industry.
Why is AI important for software development? How does Artificial Intelligence improve Software Development? We know you want to know more. This blog will shed light on the role of Artificial Intelligence in Software Development. Let’s get straight into it.
7 Ways in Which Artificial Intelligence Improves Software Development
The process of software development has been complex, and engineers are in constant effort to make it simpler and flawless. With the advent of the latest tools and technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, it has become easier for software developers to swiftly build the products par excellence.
1 Quicker and extensive development
Software development involves two main aspects, time and the number of features. The more the number of features in the software, the more time it will take to build.
Having said that, you also need to adhere to deadlines. What are the time-sensitive aspects of developing software? They are as follows –
Deployment frequency
Lead time for changes
Time to restore service
2 Enables developers to think outside the box
At present artificial intelligence helps software developers write powerful codes. Does that mean AI will replace developers completely in the future? While that might be a possibility, Artificial Intelligence cannot develop complex codes all by itself.
Tools with AI in software development can help software programmers reduce repetitive tasks. With these tasks out of the way, coders can enhance and fine-tune their skills while finding creative ways to use Artificial Intelligence.
3 Enables better decision-making
By implementing Artificial Intelligence tools in software development, you can enable strategic decision-making while minimizing manual labor. AI is smart; it learns from human actions, and it observes actions and consequences closely. You need not spend hours thinking about what product to develop and which features to incorporate because AI-integrated tools will do the research for you.
4 Reduced inaccuracies
As stated above, AI and machine learning give you insights based on your past actions. The human mind may not remember every mistake, but AI will. Even the smallest of errors will be detected during the software development process. Hence, software developers won’t have to go back and make major changes or carry out roll-backs.
5 Accurate predictions and estimates
Clients usually ask for quotes before hiring a company for a particular service. Time is money, and often the company with the most competitive quote will get the project. Relying on employees to manually create quotes with detailed estimates and timelines may not be a good idea as it consumes time and effort.
Artificial Intelligence analyzes past projects and provides you with accurate estimates of timelines, budgets, and resources required for the project. You can train AI to get accurate estimates. The training process involves three steps, namely training, validating, and testing.
6 Real-time feedback
AI and machine learning algorithms will enlighten the software on how customers interact with a particular platform. Understand that this data will be real-time, meaning you will have enough time to learn, plan a strategy and deliver what customers want. Not using Artificial Intelligence means you will always be a step behind.
7 Evolve as the market leader
Using AI in software development has numerous benefits; it’s quite evident by now. Please note that the use of Artificial Intelligence is not restricted to software development; it goes way beyond. AI helps you collect, bifurcate, examine and leverage data for you to make wise business decisions.
In a nutshell
AI is the future, and there is no denial of that. When AI powers software development, it augments the overall process or lifecycle of a tool. Furthermore, it can help build IT solutions faster and foolproof.
Software development with Artificial Intelligence can get you many benefits, as mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, here is the summary –
Improves accuracy and precision to deliver superior outcomes.
Remarkable support for developers and testers.
Facilities, better project planning & improved monitoring.
Better problem analysis and data compilation.
Improved coding, bug detection, and fixes.
Do you want your software development to be accurate and smooth functioning? Hire a software development company that uses the latest technologies and tools of AI to get the best customization of the software product.

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Here's how to reap benefits of the 'digitalization in banking' trend

It’s not hard to see that digital transformation is a dominant trend driving development in banking, with Chinese banks leading through continuous investment and innovation.
However, even the Chinese banking sector has some way to go before the full power of digitalization in banking is realized. There are three key areas where significant digital transformation can take place.
Accelerating digitalization in banking
1 Returning control over personal data
Ensuring consumers’ data rights can be complex. Traditional brick-and-mortar banks have accumulated extensive data through digital transformation, which can be used freely by the bank or commercial parties, while customers are excluded from reaping the economic benefits their data yields.
One solution in the industry to this problem has been to create data accounts, allowing customers to store their data as currency. Banks can then use the data in these accounts at a price decided by the market.
2 Synergizing digitalization in banking with green development
While digital technology can promote green development, the two initiatives are not always in sync. For instance, digital equipment and services have been the largest source of energy consumption for banks.
3 Fair digitization
One crucial outcome of digital transformation is that banks have been able to meet the financial needs of long-tail customers – the unbanked and underbanked – to reconcile, to some extent, broader economic inequity. Digitalization, however, may also bring about new forms of unfairness.
For example, ensuring banking access to those at the lowest end of the financial spectrum remains challenging. The proportion of internet users worldwide still only accounts for 62.5% of the global population. Any user would need at least an electronic device and network connection to carry out their banking, adding a premium to being able to bank.
Advancing digital transformation
1 Open-source digital technology
Traditional banks are not known for their expertise in digital technology. So, in many ways, open-source solutions are the pragmatic path to following the rapidly evolving trend of digitalization in banking.
Traditional banks should follow this example by strengthening peer exchanges about digital technology and exploring possible ways to make their data and technology available to the public.
2 Regularize application of digital technology in banks
The rules governing the application of digital technology vary from country to country, bank to bank and even within the same bank. For example, some apps adopt near-field communication (NFC), a set of short-range wireless technologies. Others don’t and are instead compatible only with certain smartphones. Neither is the scope of customer information gathered by banks consistent.
3 Recognize potential risks of digitalization in banking
Currently, traditional banks are not sufficiently considering the risks of the digitization process and could learn from the international banks that have gained a reputation for leading digitized operations.
If banks take heed of these areas to accelerate and advance digitalization in banking, they could further reap its abundant benefits.

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