Enterprise

Is the Philippines ready to have its first smart city?

See how businesses will shape our cities to the future

Photo by Sergio Souza

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Living in this age means we see how things transform in smarter ways. As we go digital, lifestyle shifts and businesses are veering away from traditional marketing to catch up with consumers. Apps like Grab and Lazada are changing the way we travel and shop.

This is why MSI-ECS hosted the first-ever CXO Innovation Summit to discuss “Digital Transformation,” which tackled the integration of digital technology in all areas of a business. It was held last November 9 to 11, 2018 in Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu, Philippines.

Leaders of the IT industry shared their thoughts, plans, and solutions to the problems encountered as the world gets smarter. The three-day event discussed big data, cutting-edge securities, artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart cities, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

As a consumer, I believe that we should be attentive of what’s happening around us, especially with what the enterprises plan to do in the future. After all, we are the end users of their products and services.

AI is making the world more intelligent

Huawei is leading the industry in developing intelligent products through artificial intelligence. In their forecast, AI will change everything. We can have a safer city that supports intelligent transportation and predicts disasters. Healthcare services can improve drastically by preventing diseases early on and providing diagnosis assistance. There will also be faster R&D for pharmacies and medicines.

In addition, enterprises can have their logistics run smoothly through monitoring and auto sorting. Manufacturers can run their own maintenance and detect deficiencies, as well. The possibilities seem endless when AI is integrated with everything that you can imagine.

An example of AI Integration is the Shenzhen airport, which recently adopted facial recognition technology, making their operations more efficient. It hopes to increase direct boarding from terminals by 70 percent and lower passenger wait time by 15 percent.

If you’ve noticed, we’re already surrounded by IoT with AI built in. The Internet of Things, in summary, is the network of devices, electronics, software, and things that connect, collect, and exchange data. Some examples are sensors, security cameras, wearables, and electric cars.

This year, we’ve seen a lot of IoT packed with AI unveiled in different shows and events such as LG’s Cloi and Huawei’s recently launched Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. This is only the beginning, and we’re bound to see more of these in years to come.

Rise of smart cities

In a futuristic paradise, we are surrounded with IoT and everyone is connected. According to Cisco, a leader in IT and networking, smart cities are filled with IoT to improve every citizen’s life in terms of mobility, connectivity, safety, and security.

Copenhagen, for example, is using digital technology to reduce carbon emissions, making this city a place where people want to live in and new businesses want to invest in to bring in more revenue.

Photo by Krisztian Tabori

In the Philippines, PLDT and its subsidiary Smart started their plans on making the first smart city in the Clark Freeport Zone. Smart is currently upgrading their network, and started deploying 5G-ready equipment in an ongoing LTE rollout. They’re putting the possibilities of 5G closer to industries, businesses, and enterprises operating in the city in hopes of attracting more foreign investors.

Banks are also developing their apps and virtual wallets like GCash, which help enable people to go cashless and rely more on digital services. The thought of living in a smart city is promising. However, it’s also terrifying as it poses another threat: security.

The problem with being connected

Cyber security is already a big issue for personal safety. There are breaches on companies that collect information and personal data.

Staying connected means our personal information is freely given to those who we authorize to use it. Social media sites, financial apps, and shopping websites gather our data (like our credit card details) as we use their platform.

But it’s not just the tech giants that should be cautious of cyber criminals. There are also bank accounts, governments, and most importantly, ourselves to worry about

Nap Castillo, Systems Engineering Manager for Fortinet

One of the top cyber security companies in the world, Fortinet, is working closely with companies like Microsoft and Adobe to help improve their system and protect them from cyber attacks.

Are we ready to live in a smart city?

Considering that our everyday lifestyle relies more on digital services, I’m sure that everyone will adapt easily. It’s up to us to be prepared in the worst-case scenario, and to hope that the government and businesses will do their best to keep everything safe and secure even if the world gets smarter.

Enterprise

South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

In hot water

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Both Apple and Google are endlessly circulating in a maelstrom of controversy surrounding their respective app stores. Last year, app developers went up against the two giants for enforcing unfair payment systems against smaller developers. Since then, the issue has raged on. Now, South Korea is going after the two companies for the same problem.

As reported by Reuters, South Korean authorities, specifically the Korea Communications Commission, have decided to investigate Apple and Google for reportedly forcing developers into adopting payment systems inside App Store and Play Store.

Unfortunately, the report does not indicate what the companies exactly did to warrant an investigation. While one can easily cast it off as forcing the system unto others, it can also encompass a failure to meet the requirements on time. Google, for example, has stated that it has (and is still willing to) cooperate with authorities to resolve the issue.

Apple, on the other hand, has not commented on the issue.

Back in 2020, Fortnite, one of the most controversial instances of the issue, was expelled from the App Store and the Play Store for going against the margins demanded by Apple and Google. Since then, other apps, like Tinder, have also seesawed their way in and out of the issue.

SEE ALSO: Google is potentially banning Tinder from Play Store

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Enterprise

Snapdragon partners with Manchester United

Qualcomm gets into more sports

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Technology is quietly merging with sports. For a while now, a few of the world’s biggest companies have partnered with teams in various sports. Just this year, we’ve seen logos in the NBA and in Formula One. Now, it’s time to see the same in the Premier League. In another surprising move, Qualcomm and Snapdragon have partnered with Manchester United.

Manchester United is one of the most recognizable teams in the world, even outside of football. Because of the team’s popularity, the agreement is a big grab for Qualcomm. The company, especially the Snapdragon brand, will likely feature prominently around the team’s events. However, the bigger question is what the tech brand can bring to the world of football.

According to Qualcomm’s announcement, Snapdragon will help the team “create unique events and experiences for Manchester United fans at Old Trafford [the team’s home stadium] and around the world.” At the same time, the company will also improve connectivity at Old Trafford. Given what the company has done before, it’s also likely that it will provide the team with any tech needs the latter might have.

Surprisingly, this isn’t Qualcomm’s first sports partnership this year. Earlier, the company also announced a partnership with Ferrari’s Formula One team. Similarly, Google partnered with a competing Formula One team, McLaren. And, speaking of Google, the company also made the Pixel 6 series a major presence in the NBA last season.

Sports is one of the world’s most popular pastimes. Partnerships like these can work wonders in terms of a company’s presence, albeit to surprising results.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm announces surprising partnership with Ferrari

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Enterprise

Xiaomi now No. 266 in Fortune Global 500 List

Improving for the 4th straight year

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For the fourth consecutive year, Xiaomi Group improved their position in the Fortune Global 500 List.

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer is now ranked No. 266, the company’s best spot in the list since making its debut in 2019 and 72 spots better than their last year’s ranking of No. 338.

The milestone is a fitting icing on the cake as Xiaomi Group set records in 2021 in terms of revenue and net profit.

The company’s total revenue increased by 33.5 percent last year, generating RMB 328.3 billion while their net profit improved by 69.5 percent, earning RMB 22 billion. 

Global shipments also hit a high last year, thanks to their Smartphone x AIoT strategy. According to Canalys, Xiaomi also ranks third in global smartphone market share at 14.1 percent.

Other highlights of Xiaomi’s record-breaking 2021 include:

  • Brand ranked first in 14 markets, was in the Top 5 of 62 markets
  • Global MIUI monthly active users reached 509 million (28.4 percent increase)
  • High-end smartphone shipments increased to about 13 percent

Not letting up just as accomplishments continue to pile, Xiaomi also increased its budget for research and development, tallying a 42.3 percent increase in total R&D expenditure.

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