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Consumer Tech: Technology for Mass Consumption in 2018

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If you’re reading this, then you might think of 2017 as a kind of ‘bridge year’ where technology has progressed. This year, however, it is expected that technology will finally make the leap toward becoming a reality. There are a lot of things that have been planned that will finally be seen.

As for consumer technology, here are a few things that you might soon see as a norm.

In-store, Field Management// robots are already among us, believe it or not. Among the first to use them in consumer applications is Wal-Mart. They are already using shelf-scanners to review and replenish inventory as they run out. Before we know it, robots may also be deployed to man POS machines as well as assisting in other chores, like manning traffic and assisting elderly and disabled people.

AR over VR// Virtual reality has been around through the years and it has been picking up steam recently. However, it’s augmented reality that’s taking the cake as the next technology to enjoy widespread application. Augmented reality is easier to use and set-up and it’s also an easier tech to understand.

Automated Customer Experience// Customer is king in most applications and that’s what customer experience is trying to cater to. With AI becoming more intelligent, it’s reported that customer experience will also become an intimate affair—customers will enjoy a personalized experience through the AI algorithm understanding their preferences through their clicks, likes, and sites visited.

The Internet of Things// If you told someone back in the 2000s that the Internet of Things will be a normal concept in 2018, they’d think it’s still a bit too early. However, it’s fast becoming a normal thing, and perhaps, it’s arrived way too early. IoT is still not as widespread as it should be but it’s quickly overcoming barriers.

eCommerce// Business will be done through recommendations and in 2018, it’s going to become even bigger. Apps like Alexa and others require voice-activation and use it to adjust to your likes through searches. Reportedly, voice retail will become a thing, with more and more businesses looking to cash in on the convenience of transacting through such a platform.

The way things are going and the way technology is becoming a needed thing in everyday life, we may be seeing more innovations arriving. Technology is truly fascinating and we are fortunate to be in a position to witness humanity create even more amazing stuff this year and beyond.


The other cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018

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Bitcoin – you can’t open a news app or tech blog without hearing about the world’s favourite digital currency – but what else is going on in the cryptocurrency world?

Well, quite a lot it actually – and while no other currency has seen the explosion in value that Bitcoin has during the last 18 months, that’s not to say Bitcoin is the only player to keep an eye on.

If you’re considering dipping into less familiar cryptocurrency waters, it pays to do you research – check out some write ups on potential brokers – like this review of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in 2018 – before you buy – and in the meantime, we’ll tell you a little about 5 ‘altcoin’ currencies that are showing significant promise and could represent the next big thing…


Even those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of cryptocurrency are increasingly likely to have heard about Ethereum – especially owing to how hard marketers have hit the social media channels trying to push their ether related services.

‘Ether’ – the name of Ethereum’s currency – is the second biggest digital currency behind Bitcoin and it’s fairly new on the scene, having launched in 2015. Ether is a little different to Bitcoin, in that it operates on an ‘if this, then that’ contractual basis. Let’s line it up next to Bitcoin to explain how that works:

You’re buying an ebook with Bitcoin, you send the private key to the person’s wallet and they send you the product.

You buy the same book with Ethereum and a contract could be generated, stipulating that when the funds are sent, the ebook is released – or alternatively, when the ebook is received the funds are released.

Although Bitcoin operates without ‘trust’ needed in the actual transaction, as soon as human’s become involved with any process beyond the actual money transfer, trust is again required. With a smart contract system, trust is removed.

  • Ether started 2017 at around £6/$8 and looks set to finish the year around £350/$470.


Another newcomer to the crypro game, Zcash didn’t launch until late-2016 but is looking like a very promising contender going forward.

The currency focuses on security and privacy when compared to Bitcoin. Where Bitcoin operates on a public blockchain with every transaction that’s been made visible to anyone who looks, Zcash’s offers what they refer to ‘shielded’ transactions, where sender, recipient and the amount of the transfer are protected from view.

If increased security and anonymity are your thing – Zcash is worth a look…

  • Zcash started 2017 at around £37/$50 and looks set to end 2017 around £225/$300


Ripple was launched in 2012 with the primary aim for allowing banks to facilitate and settle cross-boarder payments in real-time with “end-to-end” transparency.

The big difference when compared to Bitcoin and most other blockchain based cryptocurrencies comes when the currency is produced. Most cryptos rely on ‘mining’ – a sophisticated process of solving the mathematical problems that occur throughout the blockchain when transaction are taking place. With Bitcoin’s blockchain, miners are rewarded for this action with more Bitcoins – but Ripple is different.

Essentially, Ripple facilitates the transfer of other currencies and commodities with gateways – and through those gateways money is sent – or rather, not sent. The money doesn’t actually leave the gateway that it’s deposited into, but is still released by the recipient’s gateway. It’s an IOU system that works because each gateway trusts one another not to break the relationship.

Ripple is extremely flexible – because, as long as gateways trust one another, anything can be transmitted without it actually moving – in fact, it doesn’t even have to be the same currency that goes it as comes out. Money in, car out – etc. Ripple’s algorithms work to find trust between two sources and execute the transaction through that trusted channel.

  • Ripple started 2017 at just a tiny fraction of a dollar ($0.006) – and although the price vs. USD is still low – it’s significantly higher than it was at around $0.25 toward the end of 2017.


We’ve all been caught out with an internet or media fact that turns out to be nonsense – but there’s one about cryptocurrency that just won’t go away:

“Bitcoin is anonymous”

Well, it’s not – some understanding of the blockchain lets you know quite how false this actually is. However, there are calls for true financial anonymity – and Dash seems to be answering those calls. At it’s heart, Dash operates on a near identical blockchain to Bitcoin – but has the addition of quick transactions and transaction privacy.

Dash has been around since early 2014 – and was initially called ‘Darkcoin’. Its developers had big ideas for how Bitcoin could offer increased anonymity and speedier transfer times – but rather than approach Bitcoin, Dash’s founders decided to go it alone – as a result, they’re now one of the biggest altcoins out there…

  • At the start of 2017 Dash tipped the scales at £9/$12 – whereas in the closing months of 2017 it was sitting around £512/$690


Litecoin wasn’t far behind the launch of Bitcoin – coming to the market in 2011. In a lot of ways, Litecoin has always been seen as the smaller sibling of Bitcoin, operating with a very similar blockchain system but always at a much-reduced buy-in cost.

Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a decentralised ledger system that’s the brainchild of an ex-Google engineer and uses a ‘mining’ proof-of-work system that doesn’t require the huge processing power and energy consumption of Bitcoin.

As a result of this less intensive ‘mining’ process, blocks in the chain are generated much more quickly vs. Bitcoin and therefore Litecoin’s transaction confirmation times are greatly reduced. Litecoin is an increasing favourite with merchants and online developers owing to this quick turn-around…

  • Litecoin was worth around £3/$4 at the beginning of 2017 – and is now at an impressive £60/$80 toward the end of 2017


There are a lot of cryptos out there that look great – but, as with any investment, the prior performance of cryptocurrencies doesn’t reflect their future performance – so don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose – and seek as much professional information about your chosen currency before you go empty your wallet of traditional cash…

How Technology Has Changed Forex Trading

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The realm of Forex is a complex one, especially with countless international players attempting to conquer it with the Elliott Wave Theory. As it the biggest and most liquid marketplace in the world, Forex enjoys an average daily trading magnitude of over $5 trillion.

There is a massive volume of complicated transactions conducted by a multitude of actors from different corners of the globe. Despite all the statistical formulae, mathematical algorithms and detailed charts that are incorporated in Forex trading, reliable instinct and intuition are a successful trader’s secret superpower.

The good news is that a magical invention known as technology has helped traders to harness its potential and ameliorate their own skills.

It is globally concurred that the Internet has revolutionized the business arena and linked the world as never before. The advent of electronic and social media has transformed communal interactions.

There have been strategic implications for the financial trading market in terms of liquid instruments and accessibility to real time data. Virtual trading has become a modern norm as it has been around for the last fifteen years.

The development of cutting-edge supercomputers and innovative algorithms have made it possible to cater to a large number of orders in a smaller period of time. Technology was initially deployed in to the Forex world around the 1980s.

Preliminary fiscal forums facilitated traders to generate orders remotely but did not provide in-market price information nor implement orders instantaneously.

The initial pace of technology progression was slow compared to the exponential rate of advancement today. Contemporary algorithms have streamlined trading activities and become powerful, decision making enablers for speculators.

Tech advocates state that by employing automated processes and reducing the human factor, uncontrollable risks such as emotion and fear may create a more stable, steady fiscal marketplace.

However, proof has been provided that if there is an unanticipated increment in the volume of transactions, the stock market may experience erratic waves.

Competitive Market

Competition is a regulating force that compels players to improve their game and design better services. Today’s consumers require the most updated technological programs to be available to them directly.

In order to keep their customers interested, broker firms have to consistently maintain their edge and install innovative features into their existing offerings.

Once upon a time, a charting application was considered to be an asset in any trading algorithm. However, now it is an expected requirement that is nothing out of the ordinary. This is just one instance of the landscape is constantly evolving.

Artificial Intelligence

Now that fiber optic internet cables are in play amidst all households, sundry members of society have launched their own businesses from the comfort of their own homes.

By tapping into the advantages of a digital business model, they dodge additional financing costs and can keep required capital at a minimum. Forex traders are not new to this thinking as many have been running successful homegrown operations.

The rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence are serving as more effective, productive substitutes for manual interpositions.

These two groups will become your best friend as they will hold an eminent position in your trading strategy. The beauty of these technological mediums is that they will “learn” from each and every transaction they undertake. A huge transformation will be triggered in the avenue of Forex trading as they are machines.

They will function 24/7 and not require bathroom breaks, coffee sessions, lunch hours or sleep. Layers of corruption will be stripped away as these machines will identify any misdemeanour faster than preceding systems.

Automated Systems: Gone are the days when traders would be shouting and placing their orders on the “trading floor.” Human call agents at your broker call centre may be replaced by intelligent robots who will be able to cater to your order any time or hour of the day. Trading software companies will market trading bots and automated trading programs as the demand increases.

Trading Time Changes: At the moment, trading is conducted for a course of six hours. This is not sufficient for full time traders. With more and more procedures getting mechanized, there may be no hourly limit and the time schedule could potentially augment to 24/7.

Derivative Products: International stock markets utilize derivative instruments such as Future and Options. They have a higher degree of flexibility in comparison to regular shares and bonds.

The future of trading may witness a greater number of derivative branded segments as they offer innumerable benefits. There could be real estate or second order derivatives as well coming into the market.

Financial trade goods could be classified as per their level of risk or could even expire on a weekly basis.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning programs need data for training purposes so they can learn to take optimal, well informed decisions. As the data bracket grows, supplementary features can be installed to appraise the growing data.

They will require diverse configuration to manage a host of versatile domains. For example, a neural net will be well versed in the art of sizing images to match the requirements of a specific company network. A neural net that examines text and numbers will require a completely different kind of programming.

Remember that all such trading arms require a reasonable time length to learn. Some data could trickle in at regular intervals whilst other formats come in with period breaks. It is imperative to have realistic expectations from your software and to understand that it is not a miracle at work here.

Trading data is not stationary and keeps changing. Strategies and investors keep moving with the market and taking action in the direction required. In some platforms, your AI machine may only prove to be advantageous for a short period of time. Some factors, such as the macro-economic global climate, are out of your control.

Despite these challenges, the deployment of machine learning and artificial intelligence is contributing to significant growth in the world of Forex trading. Investors are able to predict the movement of currencies more accurately and are able to profit even more.

Buy my Product: The Top Brands’ Content Marketing Best Practices Explained

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The best content marketing practices have already been in the market for as long as anyone can remember. All people can really do is to emulate them or try to create their own version of it. Seeing different applications in a short time is good for content marketers whether they’re doing a B2B or B2C approach.

However similar they might be, the application is differentiated through usage in strategies. Here’s a general view of how content marketing happens.

Create Value

Create Value - Buy my Product: The Top Brands’ Content Marketing Best Practices Explained
Content marketers know enough that a product needs value to be successful. If not, then it’s not considered a product that will last long. Value is created through understanding what your market needs and how your market thinks about certain products. Without this knowledge, they just won’t survive the cutthroat market of different brands, but technically same products.

Learn to Reach out

Learn to Reach out - Buy my Product: The Top Brands’ Content Marketing Best Practices Explained
There’s this example of the Four Seasons Luxury Hotel reaching out to its clientele. Before, it used to bring its newsletter—a magazine—exclusively to preferred guests who stay in their rooms. In the age of social media and digital content, they’ve learned to adapt and reach out to a wider audience. This is what it means to have a content distribution plan and bring it to a wider range of people.

Learn to Communicate

Learn to Communicate - Buy my Product: The Top Brands’ Content Marketing Best Practices Explained
People love a brand or a service that knows how to treat its clients. Your content should be aware enough to treat your clients like people—it’s true that content draws people in, but that is a process in itself and not an over-night thing. Hearing your market out and creating engaging content for them to read is a big part of creating a meaningful product.

Create Targeted Content

Create Targeted Content - Buy my Product: The Top Brands’ Content Marketing Best Practices Explained
People should be made aware of your brand ibut how exactly would you make them notice you? You do this by creating awareness through targeted, well-thought of content this includes your own branding such as a custom logon design from LogoOrbit. If you’re selling hotcakes, learn to look for people who appreciate hotcakes and give them exactly what they’re looking for. This is what it means to know your market and appreciate them by entertaining their needs.

Be Brave

Be Brave - Buy my Product: The Top Brands’ Content Marketing Best Practices Explained
All the marketing strategy in the world, however, means nothing, if you’re afraid to evolve. Innovate and learn new things. After all, there is something new being discovered every day. It’s a detriment to your brand if you only do the same thing over and over again.

Never be afraid to try new things out and, at the risk of sounding cliché, think outside the box. After all, change is the only constant thing in this world. The same adage is true in the world of content marketing and selling your product to your market.

Don’t Stress about the Future: Zen Techniques for Modern Business

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However modern business and technology gets, there is still one thing that bothers all of us—stress. It gnaws at us whenever there’s a deadline we have yet to meet. It disturbs us on the way to and from work. It always bothers us when we have a particularly stressful situation.

However modern things become, these tried-and-tested methods are still effective. Here’s how to cope with the stress of modern times.


Focus: Live in the Present

Focus - Don’t Stress about the Future: Zen Techniques for Modern Business
Many people have stressful thoughts because they tend to focus on past mistakes and on what might happen. Focusing on the future can be a positive; it’s not when you worry about things you have no control of. Instead, focus on the present and on your work. It might help clear your mind as well as aid you in creating the best work you never knew you could make.


Balance: Separate Work from Play

Balance - Don’t Stress about the Future: Zen Techniques for Modern Business
In work, we are presented with an opportunity. You’d want to make the best of that opportunity so you keep on working. The problem presents itself when you fail to separate work from your personal life, which can happen so often. The key to less stress is balancing your time so you have enough time to work while not forgetting to play, so to speak.


Stop: Smell the Roses

Stop - Don’t Stress about the Future: Zen Techniques for Modern Business
This is a different form of balancing your work with something else. When you’re so in the zone, you often find no time to stop and think. Sometimes, it only takes the presence of mind and willpower to know when enough is enough. Pausing to give time to think things through may also produce some surprising results especially if you’re involved in creative work.


Meditate: Feed your Mind

Meditate - Don’t Stress about the Future: Zen Techniques for Modern Business
There are times when we absolutely don’t have time to balance or stop. During these times, it is helpful to just meditate even during a 15-minute break. Meditation and contemplation helps your mind relax and gives space for new ideas. You never know, your next breakthrough might come as a free through during the time you took to meditate.


Remember: What you Work For

Remember - Don’t Stress about the Future: Zen Techniques for Modern Business
It helps to know the reason why you’re working. Stress often stems from working without knowing what you do it for. For whom do you wake up? Why do you go to and from work? It’s a focus that is helpful in creating purpose in your work.

The key to less stress is to live life the way it’s meant to be lived—revolving around experiences and not just around work. Learn to work to live and not the other way around. You’ll be surprised just how much relaxation you’re missing out by trying these tips.

Innovate to Elevate: Avant-garde Business Ideas to Try Out

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Trying out new ideas isn’t just for the New Year; it’s because you need to improve. In business, trying out new ideas means you’re committed to further expanding your business. Businesses that fail to improve have a good reason for it, or they simply are positioned to die willingly or unwillingly.

If you have a business and you’re willing to improve, then you should embrace innovation. Consider trying these ideas out for your business.


Think Small//

Think Small - Innovate to Elevate: Avant-garde Business Ideas to Try Out
Thinking small doesn’t mean you won’t get grand ideas for your business. Take the case of tiny houses; these might present problems for people used to the size and grandiose of a normal sized home. However, they can be carried absolutely anywhere and solves a problem in a unique way. Thinking of a different way to solve a problem may be the solution for your business.


Approach a Niche Differently//

Approach a Niche Differently - Innovate to Elevate: Avant-garde Business Ideas to Try Out
There are other businesses which you might be in odds with in your market. Again, innovation is your ally here. If your competitors are doing the same thing and you cannot improve your product, why not approach your niche in a different way? If you’re in the food business, if you’re doing pizza, promote pizza for the healthy crowd by making healthy variations.


An Abnormal Situation//

An Abnormal Situation - Innovate to Elevate: Avant-garde Business Ideas to Try Out
Usually, you’ll be engaged in consultancy in a business. You might find yourself consulting through financial or statistical means, but what about looking out for the health and welfare of employees? This is not about the physical sense but in the ethical sense. Consider starting a consultancy that will instead give advice on how employees are supposed to be treated.


Investing in Next-Gen Processes//

Investing in Next Gen Processes - Innovate to Elevate: Avant-garde Business Ideas to Try Out
If your business still offers the standard products you’ve been selling for years, kudos if you’re doing great. If not, maybe it’s time to change your tactics into something more modern. Consider website rental businesses—companies always develop websites but very few rents customized websites. Modernize your products and services if you could.


Personalized Food Services//

Personalized Food Services - Innovate to Elevate: Avant-garde Business Ideas to Try Out
Being in a business is all about filling a niche. Consider this idea—someone selling personalized pet food. Each food can be tailor-made to accommodate pets allergic to a certain type of food. You could even deliver the food yourself. Now, if you apply it to your business, you’ll be proving the age-old saying that “customer is king.”

It’s the New Year and, the same as every year, everything is considerably new. You should create new ideas and explore new strategies for your business—especially if you don’t want to be left behind in the dust.

Preventing Culture Shock: Preparations for 2018’s Tech Trends

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The New Year 2018 brings a lot of change. The opportunity to learn new things is there, and there are also new discoveries to study. Technology has also gotten a boost with discoveries and innovations made in 2017. They are now progressing towards becoming widely used.

However, there are still some things you should know about these old technologies. You should learn how to prepare and prepare properly to use them.


Data Permeates Way of Life

Data Permeates Way of Life - Preventing Culture Shock: Preparations for 2018’s Tech Trends
When it comes to thinking about it, the way we go things are changed by how the Internet of Things is entering out lives. Before, it was only big corporations and businesses that needed it; now everything is increasingly becoming part of it. Internet companies are also joining in the fun, as they have done ever since data for businesses have entered the mainstream.


Smart Lives

Smart Lives - Preventing Culture Shock: Preparations for 2018’s Tech Trends
Having a smart life isn’t only for the educated. Smart here means that everyday people will have more access to the Internet of Things. Smart phones and devices are being designed in such a way that they’ll interact with other appliances. Companies will be quick to jump on this bandwagon by working with technology to make their products fit into this scheme of things.


Artificial Intelligence becoming more intelligent

Artificial Intelligence becoming more intelligent - Preventing Culture Shock: Preparations for 2018’s Tech Trends
With the way things are going, pretty soon, small businesses will start using smarter machines and automated processes in their businesses. Any business that requires it—from manufacturing to even healthcare—will have to adjust making smart AI a part of their workforce.


3D Printing the Future

3D Printing the Future - Preventing Culture Shock: Preparations for 2018’s Tech Trends
Architecture and creative will have a better time creating models and previews with 3D printing. Manufacturers will also be able to come up with better mock-ups of prototypes and their parts. The next big step, as predicted, is to create an application for consumer 3D printing.

Technology advances with each new idea and marketing that comes into play. How we react to it will determine whether it will advance as planned, or if it will take a longer time to evolve, contrary to expectations.


No Words: 2017 Business Terms That are Outdated in 2018

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When you first hear a word, you think it’s something cool. Then, everyone starts using them and it loses its edge; it doesn’t become cool. This is the same thing in the world of business. You hear a word that sounds cool the first time and when everyone starts using it, it becomes outdated quickly.

To avoid becoming the laughing stock by using these words again and again, you should learn which words these are, and why you should let them go in 2018.


Dive Deeper/

Dive Deeper - No Words: 2017 Business Terms That are Outdated in 2018
The phrase has been used to emphasize how important due diligence or knowing your role is. However, it’s been used so much that it has run its gamut and has become watered down. It may still be used; however, it needs to be accompanied with more precise instructions when used in the present.


Customer Centric/

Customer Centric - No Words: 2017 Business Terms That are Outdated in 2018
Whenever this phrase is used, it’s to explain how a business isn’t thinking of their customers more. While it basically defines what a business should be, it shouldn’t be over-used and overworked. Instead, you should let actions speak for your business to avoid running the meaning of this phrase out.


All Hands on Deck/

All Hands on Deck - No Words: 2017 Business Terms That are Outdated in 2018
There have been many words used in place of this because it has also run its usefulness. Instead of using it, motivational phrases like ‘No I in Team’ or ‘All In’ have been used. However, it’s still a part of major phrases. What is conventionally better instead is to build relationships and have rapport with your entire team. That is miles apart a better way to motivate than simple words and phrases.



Next Gen - No Words: 2017 Business Terms That are Outdated in 2018
While innovation and improvements are meant by this phrase, it’s also vague, at best. Using this word again and again will only make investors or a client think of what it basically is—a word. If you truly value your product as next-gen, then focus on marketing it or presenting its best values as such.

The better way to phase these phrases out of your vocabulary is to do the very thing they define—your actions. Like they say, actions speak louder than words. You should consider doing that instead of just talking with no follow-up.