Get latest financial information, tips, insights & more
Cloud kitchen Startups on Cloud9
The F&B industry is poised for transformation due to technology shifts, changing consumer habits, and rising disposable incomes. Cloud kitchens are one such emerging segment gaining popularity & it is expected to gain more traction as Gen Zs enters the market.
Cloud kitchens are delivery-only restaurants where the preparation + packaging of food takes place while operating at a fraction of the costs incurred by traditional restaurant establishments (rentals, decor, equipment, & wait staff can be saved while operating virtual cloud kitchen brands). Simply put, a cloud kitchen is a 4-walled kitchen structure from where food is dispatched to customers who’re ordering from their offices or homes.
Consumers place their orders via food delivery aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, or direct-ordering platforms such as DotPe, Thrive, etc. These orders are then accepted on POS Systems such as Posify, Posist, & Limetray.
In the end, direct orders are fulfilled via third-party logistics (3PL) providers such as WeFast, Dunzo, Pidge & others.
Foodtech & cloud kitchens are highly scalable, profitable, & asset light compared to traditional F&B concepts. Consequently, their investments & ROIs have reached record highs in 2021 and are expected to grow to a $4 billion industry in India by 2024, up from $1 billion in 2021. The restaurants without physical stores, which only deliver and operate through cloud kitchens, could outpace growth of physical outlets in the next 12 months, despite the reopening of dine-in.
Rebel Foods, an Indian startup which is also backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Sequoia Capital, entered the Unicorn club to achieve a billion-dollar valuation after securing $175 million in a funding round led by the sovereign wealth fund Qatar
It said it’s growing at 100% annually and moving toward profitability with an annual run rate of over $150 million. It operates more than 45 brands from Behrouz Biryani to Ovenstory Pizza and Faasos wraps across 10 countries including India, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.
Founded by Kiran Prasad, Hygiene BigBite pivoted to a multi-brand cloud kitchen model in 2017 which has raised $15 million from Falcon Edge. It currently operates 10 brands — including Gunpowder and Biryani Trip — across 50 kitchens.
Cloud kitchens will continue to gain the edge by accelerating cost-savings and margins by leveraging trends like kitchen automation, drone delivery, the gig economy, and rising real estate costs in urban areas. The myriad models are peaking investor interest in the F&B space and when it comes to innovation in this space, we have seen only the tip of the iceberg yet!
Credit : Akhil Handa
- 897 Views
Till recently, methods that wine makers used to decide upon to produce have been mostly subjective. Without proper information, it was mostly a guess work. The wine industry is one of the oldest in the world and has dived into modern technological innovations to optimize production and save costs. Artificial intelligence is assisting vineyards world over from soil analysis to customer wine selection and pricing decisions.
Technology is heavily influencing the value chain.
According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, wine production reached a record level of 293 million hectolitres in 2018. As per a report by Zion Market Research, global wine market is expected to generate revenue of around USD 423.59 billion by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 5.8% between 2017 and 2023.
In Australia, GAIA (Geospatial Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture) uses AI software and a satellite image library to plot every vineyard in the country. GAIA is a cloudbased, automated solution for vineyard identification and mapping. Deep learning neural networks are responsible for GAIA's ability to identify features of vegetation, and allow it to continuously improve. GAIA improves classification of vineyards and crop conditions by analysing the data it collects through deep neural networks.
Developed via a European Union research consortium, vineyard-monitoring robot Vinescout, uses an array of technologies for wine selection. VineScout utilizes an infrared sensor and a multispectral camera to respectively measure the temperature of plant leaves and the amount of water contained within the plants to let growers know if the plants are getting enough water, along with their current level of maturity and robustness.
Ailytic, a South Australian tech company, has developed an AI software to collect data from production and use it to analyze variables such as temperature and inventory. Then it generates an optimal production schedule based on the analysis, allowing companies to maximize their time and money.
Tastry, a sensory sciences company based in California, uses machine learning to teach artificial intelligence to “taste” – and this technology is shaking up the wine industry. Tastry’s technology decodes aroma and flavor profiles by chemically analyzing thousands of wines in their lab. Then Tastry identifies the unique consumer palate of each individual that takes a quiz in a store our on their app.
Modern technology is changing the way we consume our wine. Tech is at play at the back end for the production process and in the front helping us make better wine choices
Credit :Akhil Handa
- 949 Views
Balancing control and flexibility a FinTech Startup would want to offer
FinTech startups will have a very fine line between moving from the old school way and the trust factor. Banks are now moving towards the path of digital transformations and bringing in new technologies with the intent on building leaner, faster, cheaper products than traditional banks. Brands have been created to be approachable and emotionally engaging, differing from the more traditional bank’s approach that Indian customer base is used to.
Customers does not want opaque financial institutions, rather they like customized services, more transparency, more mobility, flexible banking, lower fees and faster transactions. And now customers are spoilt with choices in the market.
But the challenge as this evolves is how you stand out, while gaining people’s trust. People have to be able to remember your name and who you are, but also trust you with their money.
1.Keep it simple and clean:
Now that it’s a new change to adapt, it should not be jargon. People need to understand clearly who you are, what you offer and why they should care. You need to be quick and simple to understand
2.Know Your Customer:
Understanding your customer, designing and delivering the value that matters most to customers is the key for the success of your product. In case of a diverse mass customer base, you can quickly get a ‘map’ of your audience’s life and world, and make sure all product decisions, features and communications are guided towards fitting in easily there.
3. Right attention to touch points: Small touches of delight you add, on top of the basics, make your experience more memorable and, thereby, more sticky. Building stickiness or virality into the design of your products and onboarding experience has more power than any amount of content marketing.
As more technology companies spring up, covering a wide base of offers, becoming the preferred partner in your category is essential. This means cultivating a community and partnership strategy as soon as possible in your lifecycle
As the competition for banking services intensifies, FinTech startups will have to take more bold steps to set themselves apart in the market. Agile, fast, and focused execution are quintessential for success.
credits : Akhil Handa
- 927 Views
Your Digital Stylist
Fashion is one of the most challenging fields, highly impacted by global economic uncertainty as well as distinct trends and industrial changes. In response to the pressure for growth and cost efficiency, many brands have started a series of initiatives to improve their speed to market and to implement sustainable innovation.
As evident during the pandemic, the need to adapt and overcome has been paramount for fashion brands to survive. Brick-and-mortar fashion companies are feeling the pain augmented by Covid-19. Mall-based retailers reportedly saw earnings plunge 256% in Q2’20, according to Coresight Research and over 12,000 US stores closed in 2020, according to real estate company CoStar Group, up from 10,000 stores the year before.
One exciting innovation in the fashion industry has been the introduction of AI-based digital stylists and chatbots, that can give feedback to customers on outfit choices or suggest alternatives if required. For example, Stylesnap is an AI-powered feature built into the Amazon app that help you find looks you love quickly and easily. Take a photograph or screenshot of an outfit, upload it onto the Amazon app, and you'll be presented with items that look just like the ones in the picture.
Even Facebook is experimenting with an AI system of its own called Fashion++. The software uses AI to analyse a person’s outfit and suggest subtle alterations that it thinks could improve the look, like rolling up the sleeves or removing an accessory.
Israel-based Syte offers retailers and brands a camera button that can be added next to the search bar on a mobile website or app. Shoppers can upload images of their favorite styles through the button, and then see looks “inspired” by those images on the brand’s site. Syte counts a number of high-profile brands among its clients, including Tommy Hilfiger, Myntra, and Kohl’s. Even luxury brands are testing digital stylists in select markets: Prada, for example, has introduced a “personalized concierge” chatbot for its relaunched Chinese website.
Fashion-tech company Style.me provides virtual styling solutions, and has recently launched a powerful plugin that can integrate a 3D virtual fitting room to any online retail website.
Recently, Fashion Innovation Agency has introduced digital human stylists (DHS) that is powered by Microsoft AI, IoT and natural language processing. It can understand what’s in your wardrobe, what’s in your calendar, where you’re going, allowing personal recommendations that are visually and verbally communicated back to the user within your own home.
With the customers’ lives becoming progressively entwined with the digital world, it is imperative that brands in Fashion Industry start embracing the latest technologies to push their limits of manufacturing, marketing and wearability.
Credits : Akhil Handa Aparna Anand
- 2485 Views
We are living in the midst of a revolution. Supervised learning, a branch of Machine learning allows engineers to develop models that can train themselves. In turn, these models are helping solve crisis management problems before disaster strikes.
Technologists have long modeled data to harness machine learning for disaster relief. After the Chernobyl crisis, scientists analyzed satellite imagery and weather data to track the flow of radiation from the reactor. Today’s algorithms far outpace their predecessors in analytic and predictive powers. Machine learning models are able to deliver more granular predictions. NASA has developed the Landslide Hazard Assessment for Situational Awareness (LHASA) Model. Data from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) is fed into LHASA in three-hour intervals. If a landslide-prone area is experiencing heavy rain, LHASA then issues a warning. Analysts then channel that information to the appropriate agencies, providing near-real-time risk assessments.
Roofing material is a major risk factor in resilience to natural disasters. So, a model that can predict it is also one that can predict which buildings are most at risk during an emergency. In Guatemala, models are identifying “soft-story” buildings–those most likely to collapse during an earthquake. “Forecast funding” can mitigate damage by providing the most vulnerable with cash assistance to prepare for disaster. Bangladesh and Nepal are nations that are already implementing this strategy.
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods affect large areas and millions of people, but responding to such disasters is a massive logistical challenge. Crisis responders, including governments, NGOs, and UN organizations, need fast access to comprehensive and accurate assessments in the aftermath of disasters to plan how best to allocate limited resources. To help mitigate the impact of such disasters, Google in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Innovation Accelerator has created "Building Damage Detection in Satellite Imagery Using Convolutional Neural Networks", which details a machine learning (ML) approach to automatically process satellite data to generate building damage assessments. As per Google this work has the potential to drastically reduce the time and effort required for crisis workers to produce damage assessment reports. In turn, this would reduce the turnaround times needed to deliver timely disaster aid to the most severely affected areas, while increasing the overall coverage of such critical services. The World Food Programme was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize and they thanked Google and its team of engineers in pioneering the development of artificial intelligence to revolutionise humanitarian operations.
The application of machine learning techniques to satellite imagery is revolutionizing disaster relief. Crisis maps and image comparisons are helping relief organizations to deliver aid with precision.
Credits : Akhil Handa Prithwijit Ghosh
- 1800 Views
From Amazon Alexa to Siri, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gained serious footholds in our personal lives. However, when it comes to IT operations platforms, AI and Machine Learning technologies are still in the nascent stages.
Incidentally, the forces of digital business transformation are necessitating a change to traditional IT management techniques. Hence, advanced approach to IT-Ops, also known as AI-Ops (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) is being developed, which combines algorithmic and human intelligence to provide full visibility into the state and performance of the IT systems.
AI-Ops bridge three different IT disciplines - service management, performance management and automation - to accomplish its goals of continuous insights and improvements. Gartner predicts that the use of AI-Ops by large enterprises to monitor applications and infrastructure will rise from 5% in 2018 to 30% by 2023.
In this reference, SysTrack has developed AI-Ops-based platform which incorporates natural language processing (NLP) and AI-driven sentiment scoring. The integration of NLP powers an easy-to-use search function that enables the IT Team to gain holistic idea about their environment. Through integrations with AI-Ops platforms, including IBM Operations Analytics – Predictive Insights, the platform provides a detailed real-time and historical endpoint data that IT operations need to execute AIOps use cases, including proactive monitoring. The NLP engine, allows IT to type or speak questions about their environment in plain English and return suggested answers for accelerated root cause analysis.
Multiple financial institutions are also incorporating AI-Ops in their business functions. For instance, US Bank is leveraging AI-Ops to increase automation across the business lines by analyzing large, monitoring-driven data sets. With the help of AI-Ops, US Bank envisions that the query and complaint resolution will be more effective, delivering better up time and improving customer experience.
Similarly, Similarly, Barclays Bank is using AI-Ops platform through AI and machine learning to analyse end-to-end analysis of IT infrastructure based on various monitoring tools to pull together the required information in order to deliver the best user experience.
As machine-learning systems become more accurate and reliable, routine and well-understood actions can be triggered without human intervention, potentially resolving issues before users are impacted or even become aware of any problem.
Credits : Akhil Handa Manish Kulkarni
- 2610 Views
Zero Gravity Fridge
Thinking of a household kitchen without a refrigerator in it is almost impossible. Astronauts have been going to space since 1961, and have to eat canned and dried food that have only three years of shelf life as they still don’t have a refrigerator that can work in space.
The simple reason being, refrigerators rely on gravity to distribute oil through the compressor system that regulates temperature, so in space these systems don’t work or break down quickly.
Now, In a project funded by NASA, a team of engineers from Purdue University, Air Squared, and Whirlpool are building a prototype that can operate just as well in outer space as it does on Earth. The team of researchers is building a refrigerator that can keep food cold on longer missions in space, at zero gravity. It is aimed at giving astronauts a supply of food that could last five to six years.
Even though fridge experiments have been made in space before, they either didn’t work properly or eventually broke down. Cooling systems currently on the International Space Station are used for experiments and storing biological samples rather than for storing food, as they consume significantly more energy than on Earth.
In a typical fridge, gravity helps to control the flow of liquid and vapour. Similarly, the oil lubrication system inside of a fridge’s compressor is gravity-based. When bringing new technology into space, making the entire system reliable in zero gravity is the key challenge.
The device is about the size of a microwave oven that can fit into the International Space Station’s rack system and can store biological samples for science experiments. Purdue researchers also demonstrated that the refrigerator can operate in different orientations, even upside down, an important capability for the variable gravity of lunar and planetary missions.
Overcoming the zero gravity problem and its effect on the flow of oil throughout the refrigerator has been addressed with the use of an oil-free scroll compressor developed by Colorado-based company, Air Squared, a specialist in oil-free scroll solutions. The compressor will be tested both in the prototype and in its larger, more instrumented counterpart built by Purdue researchers.
The engineers have built three experiments to test the effects of microgravity on a new oil-free fridge design: a prototype for potential future use on the International Space Station, a setup for testing the prototype’s vulnerability to liquid flooding and a larger version of the prototype with sensors and instruments to capture how gravity affects the vapour compression cycle.
The team ran all the three experiments to test the machine in a specially-designed plane that flew in microgravity. They found that the refrigerator could operate in microgravity without any liquid flooding. The oil-free vapor-compressor inside the fridge addresses the concerns about their suitability in zero gravity.
Thus, if we are to colonize Mars in the near future, it is safe to assume that we would have a ready prototype of a refrigerator for our households.
Credits : Akhil Handa Clint James
- 1959 Views
Road Network Management with AI
The lack of road safety in India is increasingly becoming a matter of major concern. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, India recorded around 4.3 lakh road accidents in 2019, which took the lives of 1.5 lakh people. Poor road infrastructure, encroachment, and increasing number of vehicles have contributed to the high number of road hazards in the country. The solution seems clear: real-time road monitoring and information collation about road infrastructure.
New Delhi-based deep tech startup Nayan India Science and Technologies has developed a road safety and traffic monitoring solution that uses a camera, computer vision and artificial intelligence. The application constantly monitors roads, infrastructure, and traffic violation. The AI Powered algorithms analyse the video feeds and alert in case of violations, defects or dangers on the road. The B2B SaaS startup works with road transport authorities, insurance companies, private aggregators, public transportation fleets etc. to provide real world, last-mile analytics to better revenue channels.
RoadMetrics is an AI-based solution that uses image and sensor data obtained from a simple smartphone to classify road defects, signs, traffic signals, street lights, etc. This road and street-level data helps enterprise mapping firms and smart city bodies with analytics on road networks and a better mapping experience. The data is sold through the API model as well as on a per km basis, depending on the geography for Smart Cities.
Swedish start-up, Mapillary, acquired by Facebook, is the street-level imagery platform that scales and automates mapping using collaboration, cameras and computer vision. Mapillary’s tools enable anyone to collect, share, and use street-level images which are combined for improving the city maps.
US based RoadBotics automated inspections and generated actionable data about road networks, including identification of individual distresses like potholes and alligator cracks. Their detailed maps, unbiased ratings, and practical tools save time and taxpayer dollars for hundreds of communities across the country and around the world.
As per IBEF ORG, India has the second-largest road network in the world, spanning a total of 5.89 million kilometres (kms). This road network transports 64.5% of all goods in the country and 90% of India’s total passenger traffic uses road network to commute. Road transportation has gradually increased over the years with improvement in connectivity between cities, towns and villages in the country. In India, sale of automobiles and movement of freight by roads is growing at a rapid rate. The startups are focused in solving road network issues by using India’s main asset - its huge population.
Credits : Akhil Handa Manisha Gawle
- 1849 Views
Beauty Trends - 2021
The global beauty industry (encompassing skin care, color cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, and personal care) has been shaken by the COVID-19 crisis. With months of lockdown, retail businesses closed and international travel ban, consumer’s purchase and usage behaviour has witnessed a dramatic change leading to fall in sales across many beauty segments.
Beauty sales declined as much as 30% in the first half of the year, according to a McKinsey report and even major brands took a blow. With more than a year under pandemic, brands are now working towards better ways to deal with the humongous shift in consumer values and expectations.
In this effort, brands are adopting new technologies at a faster speed to redefine personalisation. Some companies such as L’Oréal offers AI powered at-home devices, which can measure user conditions, like the emergence of dark spots or surrounding environmental concerns, on a daily basis. L’Oréal’s Perso device accounts for this data to dispense custom-formulated makeup every day. Another company Atolla uses AI capabilities to customize facial serums for consumers by using data collected through quizzes and tests measuring oil, moisture, and pH levels.
As per a CB Insights report, Johnson & Johnson, has invested in new engineered preservatives that could be used in items like haircare or body care products. The company invested in Curie Co, a startup that makes biomaterials to replace preservatives in everyday beauty and personal care products, through its JLABS incubator.
Another apparent trend is BigTechs offering retail channel for beauty products. Amazon launched a private label beauty brand called Belei in 2019 and recently invested in India-based D2C beauty site MyGlamm. China-based tech giant Alibaba offers livestreaming and AR features which it has used to attract luxury beauty brands to its e-commerce platform.
Virtual try-on tech leverages augmented reality to allow shoppers to test how different beauty products will look without actual trial. Remarkably, virtual try-on can also help brands personalize the beauty shopping experience, enhancing product discovery and making tailored recommendations about foundation shades, skincare products, and more.
In December 2020, Google launched an AR-powered cosmetics try on tool in Google Search, partnering with brands like L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, and more to let users try on searched-for makeup products using front-facing mobile phone cameras.
Going forward, we expect to see beauty brands and tech giants alike turn to virtual try-on to gather shopper data and make more personalized product recommendations.
Credits : Akhil Handa Aparna Anand
- 2617 Views
Social Equality in Tech
Why do we prize technology over everything else? Because it helps us solve problems as efficiently as possible. No one can predict from which gender, ethnicity or nationality the next great idea might come from. And the tech startup sector is a living embodiment of that.
Moving to another part of the world for employment does pose a challenge. And since most tech jobs are located at specific hotspots, many talented workers always find themselves unemployed. Software as a Service products and services are enabling employers to find and employ talent from all over the world. Remote working, work from anywhere and digital nomadism are slowly becoming the new normal. Digital marketing firm Loganix understands the potential of having a diverse team. The company runs almost all its operations globally — with teams of people from the US, Asia, Australia and Europe —employees are dynamically moved between different teams, depending on requirements, allowing quick resolution of issues.
Poor or different communication skills can fuel many workplace misunderstandings. And it costs quite a bit of time and money to learn a new language. The US Foreign Services Institute estimates that it takes on an average 480 hours to gain basic competence in languages. This was a problem that cloud-based tuition service Preply aimed to fix. The platform offers a place for both language tutors and students to collaborate easily and affordably.
Tutors can create their profiles with rates, experience and number of languages spoken; and students can review their tutors, making it easy for other students to decide who to hire. Workers planning to move to another country can use such services to learn a new language far cheaper than attending a language school. HR teams can also hire tutors to educate employees who need to go abroad or new recruits from other countries.
Social inequality isn’t always about creed, gender or nationality. Entrepreneurs are usually handicapped due to high entry barriers in business. Indeed, the cost of acquiring customers is every bit the startup killer it is known to be. Oleg Campbell, a Ukrainian developer who bootstrapped his startup, Reply, to a $2 million a year company, certainly identifies with the struggle. Campbell’s lack of sales experience stalled the growth of his first enterprise. Consequently, he focused his efforts on helping tech entrepreneurs overcome their lack of salesmanship with smarter tools. Reply’s LinkedIn email finder is specifically for new companies looking for affordable, effective lead generation. Such a tool can help a user find email addresses of prospects on LinkedIn. Paired with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, users can create highly personalized outreach messages for each prospect.
The tech sector can, and should, be the leader at showcasing the advantages of diversity. By championing the cause of gender diversity through socially agnostic platforms, they are leading the cause of social equality in tech.
Credits : Akhil Handa Prithwijit Ghosh
- 1853 Views
AI-powered Legal Tech.
From how we buy our groceries to how we conduct banking transactions, almost every aspect of our lives is being disrupted with continuous advancements in technology. Even traditional, not-so-tech-savvy industries like legal services are joining the tech bandwagon. As per research by CB Insights, legal tech startups have raised over $ 700 mn in funding since 2011. Leveraging emerging technologies like AI & ML, variety of tech-enabled start-ups are devising new and interesting ways to connect consumers to the legal ecosystem.
Generally, it has been observed that the full gamut of AI’s capabilities are best utilized when digitized documents are available. With the Supreme Court digitizing a whopping 10 million pages and records of civil appeals this year, AI is increasingly being adopted by numerous law firms. For example, AI-based products can be applied in prioritisation of pending cases, summarising court proceedings and improving the quality of research.
Some firms like NearLaw have developed legal market places using AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help lawyers and legal professionals access legal information. It has also developed AI-enabled case-law research tools driven by summarisation algorithms coupled with machine learning to rank the cases using Case Ranking. Such tools enable lawyers to know which cases are better suited to be cited in the courts over others and also provide analytics on how the network of cases are inter-related.
While other firms are leveraging AI to offer virtual legal research assistants like CaseIQ, which automate mundane tasks, reducing research time from anywhere between 5% to 50% of what is normally needed on legacy system. Even Judges can upload both the appellant’s counsel’s submission and the respondent’s counsel’s submission directly into CaseIQ and within seconds see whether both parties are missing out on any important precedents that are important to the case, enabling them to quickly take into account the whole body of applicable law before ruling.
Similarly, SpotDraft has developed an artificial intelligence-powered platform that uses advanced machine learning algorithms to automate drafting and negotiating legal contracts. It provides solutions to complex legal dealings, including drafting, managing and storing paperwork online, analysing contracts and automating invoices, besides sending reminders and offering expert advice on legal compliances. Even legal firms such as Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas are now leveraging the power of AI for contract analysis and review by adopting Canada-based machine learning legal system Kira.
Although AI can prove to be useful in predicting what documents will be relevant to a case, we feel that AI will not replace lawyers but will augment their abilities. It has the potential to make them more productive, efficient and aware about their domain of work.
Credits : Akhil Handa
- 1939 Views
Smart farming can be referred to as the 4.0 green revolution in the field of agriculture combining agriculture methodologies with technology — Sensors & Actuators, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics and Drones to achieve desired efficiencies of production which are sustainable.
According to a survey, 80% of farmers in US and 24% farmers in UK have already started using Smart Farming Tool (SFT). These numbers are cognizant of the fact that SFTs are adding value to the farming ecosystem. As far as the scale of operations is considered, Smart farming tools and techniques can be applied to large scale and on the other hand distributed conventional farming can be applied to focused small farming set of organic farms.
Through remote sensing, smart farming system reduces waste, improves productivity and enables optimum resource management. For the benefit of micro farming, multiple crops are grown simultaneously on remote lands which require different care, manure, soil and water. By linking local sensors to smart irrigation and control, things like sensing pH balance of the soil, gauging local temperature is now possible through remote monitoring and sensing rather than walking the field all the time. This leads to increase in the yield as farmers can save on time and focus on the real issues of farming — pest control, irrigation and amending soil conditions all using sensing and automation.
Companies like Robotics Plus, a startup with USD 10 million funding from Yamaha is planning to deploy its fruit plucking robots into production, while Ecorobotix with their Weed Zapping Robots have gained considerable momentum owing to the growth in Smart farming techniques.
Precision farming system has a lot of dependency on the software management systems. Control systems manage sensory input, delivering remote data for supply and decision support, as well as automation of machines . Basically, it is a standardized business approach balancing the demand and supply side with respect to resource management.
During production, it is mostly resource management from a growth and yield perspective. For instance, precision seeding uses automated tractors to reduce seed loss and seeding with proper space management between different plants. Another example is of precision water delivery.
On the demand side, it is about demand forecasting and delivering goods just in time to reduce waste.
India has always been an agrarian state, and traditional farming methods are manual and too labour intensive. Smart Farming can also provide great benefits in terms of environmental issues, for example, through more efficient use of water and optimisation of treatments and inputs
Credits : Akhil Handa Clint James
- 1755 Views
Automated Forest Restoration
Forest restoration has the potential to reverse land degradation through restoration or rehabilitation of degraded land. It can be a climate change mitigation strategy, and could provide other co-benefits, including increasing forest productivity, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. It provides aesthetic and socio-cultural benefits, such as the potential to improve the livelihoods and resilience of forest-dependent communities.
Zurich based, GainForest, uses artificial intelligence to reverse deforestation. Its algorithms analyze data from satellites, drones and field monitoring to measure sustainable land use. It’s an app that aims to help maintain and restore forests. GainForest gets funding from the crypto community to provide finance to community members if they maintain their patch of land for an agreed duration. The GainForest team uses publicly available data from Global Forest Watch to monitor and evaluate community success. It is also developing advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to help forecast future forest cover.
Flash Forest is Canada’s first-to-market and largest drone reforestation company using UAV hardware, aerial mapping software, automation, and biological seed-pod technology to reforest the planet at a rapid pace. It is a reforestation company that aims to plant at 10 times the normal rate and at a fraction of the cost of traditional tree planting techniques. With drone engineering, it brings new levels of accuracy, precision and speed to the reforestation industry. By 2028, the start-up aims to plant a full 1 billion trees.
Brazil based startup, Treevia, has developed a remote forest-monitoring system called SmartForest. It connects forests around the world into the internet to ensure more sustainable use of natural resources. The solutions offered by SmartForest include digital asset registration systems, forest research using high-precision data, hazard assessment and specialised forestry consultation.
Satelligence helps companies achieve a deforestation-free sourcing and production of palm oil, cocoa, coffee, soy, and other commodities. Building on artificial intelligence, satellite technology and supply chain data, the company provides daily insights into the global performance of agricultural production and supply chain risks. Satelligence maps and monitors forests, planted palm areas, deforestation, and fire impact.
Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity. As per Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations the area of primary forest worldwide has decreased by over 80 million hectares since 1990. Current deforestation rates worldwide are unsustainable. Efficient and quality reforestation techniques are essential to rapidly implement solutions to our global ecological crisis.
Credits : Akhil Handa Manisha Gawle
- 2202 Views
Tap a button on your phone and hop into the shower; walk downstairs 15 minutes later, and you have a fresh pot of coffee waiting for you. This is no longer just a fantasy for many people. The rise of the internet of things has allowed us to control remote appliances with just a tap of the touchscreen. Until now, the scale of these processes has largely been limited to personal devices: anything from brewing a pot of coffee to warming up your car on a frosty morning. But what if we could grow food for thousands of people, with that same tap of a button with “Smart Floating Farms”.
Forward Thinking Architecture a Barcelona based firm’s design comprises a multi-level agricultural farm that can be constructed, pushed out to sea, and left to work mostly on its own. The farm is designed to operate on three levels: a bottom level containing wave barriers, an aquaculture fish farm, a slaughterhouse, a packing facility and desalination plant; a second tier for hydroponic and aeroponic food production; and a rooftop level having skylights to let in light and photovoltaics to provide the energy required to power everything.
Each level is roughly 750,000 square feet – with enough room to grow up to 8.1 tons of vegetables and 1.7 tons of fish per year. The architects estimate that this would cover the project’s expenses within 10 years. And since the farms are modular, a few or many of these structures could be grouped together to provide enough food for entire communities, especially those located in areas without arable land, or with a population so large it overwhelms its food supply capabilities. And unlike other forward-thinking agricultural techniques like urban farming, it spares valuable land space for alternate uses.
The world population is predicted to grow from 6.9 billion in 2010 to 8.3 billion in 2030 and to 9.1 billion in 2050. By 2030, food demand is predicted to increase by 50% (70% by 2050). The main challenge facing the agricultural sector is not so much growing 70% more food in 40 years, but making 70% more food available on the plate. To meet this ever growing demand, new agricultural techniques must be developed.
Floating Farms envisage making the farming process autonomous, placing the structures on top of the water allows the farms to adapt to rising sea levels and avoid flooding issues common to traditional agricultural techniques. While this strategy may seem outlandish, it actually has a long and successful pedigree, having been employed for centuries by Bengali farmers as a response to dramatic changes in water level during flood seasons. The farmers construct beds in lakes and rivers using several layers of bamboo and water hyacinth, fill them with semi-decomposed aquatic plants and then seed. The beds are tethered to the lakebed to prevent them from floating away. As a result production rates have increased manifold compared to existing land-based practices.
However, the true innovation of the Smart Floating Farms project is in taking non-traditional farming techniques and combining them with already-existing technologies. Jan Willem van der Schans, a senior researcher at Wageningen Economic Research who specialises in urban farming and circular economy issues, said such floating farms could be the future for sectors of agriculture such as fruit and vegetables in parts of the world.
As the architects acknowledge in their design statement, the project “is not meant to solve all of humanity’s hunger problems or to replace existing traditional agriculture.” One project alone will not save the world, but embracing the technologies available to us is a great start towards tackling these issues. If only it were as easy as the touch of a button.
Credits : Akhil Handa ClintJames
- 1810 Views
Partnering with Insurtechs
Insurers across the world are adjusting to the new normal of the on-going pandemic, and as a result, there is massive acceleration in digital transformation efforts. For this purpose, Insurers and non-insurance companies alike are bringing on insurtech companies as strategic partners.
Gartner defines insurtechs as technology companies that are in their early stages of operation; that drive specific innovation across the insurance value chain by leveraging new technologies, user interfaces, business processes or business models; that leverage different forms of funding, including venture capital.
As per a CB Insights report, Funding to insurtech companies hit yearly and quarterly highs in 2020 and Q1‘21, respectively, signaling the confidence investors have in the future of the insurance tech market. In 2020, business relationships involving insurtech companies also hit a record high, coming in at over 650 partnerships for the year.
Companies such as Axa, Munich Re, and American Family are among the insurers with the most formal business relationships with insurtech companies. Recently, China-headquartered Leapstack, an AI-enabled InsurTech company specializing in healthcare, has announced a strategic plan to ink strategic partnerships with multiple Korean insurance companies as the company advances into the South Korean market.
Some Consumer-facing insurtech companies are partnering with other tech providers to improve their product offerings.For instance, auto insurtech Root provides additional benefits to policyholders via partnerships with road assistance app Agero and gas station location app GasBuddy. Home insurtech Hippo recently partnered with ADT and Handdii to improve the security and home repair services it offers policyholders. As these insurtech companies look to aggressively grow their customer bases, expect them to continue partnering with companies that offer complementary digital services.
The partnership between Galileo Platforms, a specialist blockchain technology platform for the insurance industry, and Amodo, a provider of insurance telematics technology and advisory services, including behaviour data analysis, will enable clients to benefit from their diverse experience and expertise in their respective areas of the insurance industry.
Primary core insurance software vendors like Duck Creek, Guidewire, and Unqork are also among the most active in partnering with insurtechs. These companies are incorporating complementary insurtech products to create a stickier experience for customers by tying these products to their core suites. Horizontal software providers like Microsoft and Salesforce and more mature insurtech platforms like Bold Penguin and Snapsheet have also actively formed partnerships to build out their insurance ecosystem capabilities.
We believe, as insurtech companies mature and build increasingly innovative solutions, expect to see insurers double down on successful partnerships and explore new ones.
Credits : Akhil Handa Aparna Anand
- 1803 Views
The auto industry has been facing the heat to move digital more than ever as the pandemic has brought upon new challenges and deepened the need to shift toward digital solutions. Auto dealers have been slow to adopt digital car-buying solutions, but with lockdowns closing dealership doors, the pandemic accelerated the shift to omni-channel auto retail.
Online car buying has taken off in a big way during the pandemic. According to Publicis Sapient, many digitally enabled OEMs are seeing increased, higher quality leads that are 30 percent more likely to buy and a two to four-fold surge in website traffic compared with pre-COVID-19. These online tools are, in some instances, responsible for more than 20 percent of new leads during the second quarter of 2020.
More recently, a number of digitally focused disruptors such as Carvana, Carmax and Tesla have entered the market, offering unique, omni-channel experiences like flexible return policies, virtual auctions, home deliveries, online negotiation and virtual trade-in valuations. These digital leaders recognized a shift in customer expectations and focused on creating seamless user experiences across the entire shopping journey.
Online used car seller Vroom noticed a considerable growth in demand as a result of the pandemic, with people turning to digital methods for purchasing cars. Similar to its competitor Carvana, Vroom offers no-haggle pricing and a no-questions-asked return policy. Another Used car marketplace Shift Technologies went public via SPAC in October 2020. Shift allows users to buy, sell and finance cars online. The company offers a "buy it now" option that allows a buyer to purchase a vehicle online without a test drive. Similarly, Cazoo, a UK based company, sells refurbished cars online, delivers them to customers' homes within 48 hours, and offers a seven-day free returns policy.
Then there are digital platforms that help the dealerships move their businesses online. Take for example, Modal which makes software for car dealerships to move the entire buying process online. Another company, Digital Motors builds a car-buying platform for auto retailers, dealerships, brands and manufacturers.
The new car ownership model of subscription offers ease and convenience to customers like never before. Switzerland-based Carvolution offers car subscriptions where Customers pay a monthly price for a vehicle and are free to switch cars as they like.
We believe that, the winners in this industry will be defined by how quickly they adapt to technological innovations. The dealers and OEMs who adjust can thrive, while those reluctant to change will fall further behind.
Credits : Akhil Handa,Aparna Anand
- 2026 Views
Edutainment comes from the words "education" and "entertainment." It refers to any form of entertainment that is educational. Edutainment startup aims to make the learning process smooth by engaging students and young learners mostly aged 15 and below with fun and memorable experiences through smartphones and other internet-connected devices, virtual reality-powered tools and other gamified digital learning content.
Mumbai-based Ontamo Entertainment has developed Ria Rabbit, an animated cartoon from Pashu Nagari, India, for kids in the age group of 0-6. It is India’s first age-appropriate, culturally relevant home-grown intellectual property (IP) content for children. Their storytelling animated videos, audios and picture books engage the attention of kids while building the sense of Indian values which parents would want to inculcate in them through these characters.
Another startup, SP RoboticsWorks has developed a platform wherein concepts are taught using animation videos and real-world examples. It has established more than 83 dedicated centers across India called SP Robotics Maker Labs which offers courses in Robotics, Internet of Things (IOT), Image Processing, Virtual Reality (VR) and more, both in the online and offline Smart-Class mode.
Similarly, Paper Boat Apps Pvt Ltd has launched Kiddopia, a subscription-based pre-school edutainment app, which teaches a variety of skills to kids. It covers everything from Math, Language Skills, GK and Social Skills to Creativity and Self-expression by engaging kids with its visuals as well as fun and exciting gameplay.
Similarly, Panda & Wolf Holding created a mobile-gaming app Eco-warrior for children between the age of 6 - 11. It uses game-based learning to teach children about waste sorting and recycling. Through an engaging storyline and immersive stages, the app informs young users about issues plaguing the environment like deforestation, waste pollution and overconsumption.
Mumbai-based startup Shirsa Media Labs offers an app NewsPIK which is a digital newspaper for children. The Shirsa team creates news articles, events, quizzes and other information, so children are aware of the world around them. It stimulates young minds and keeps them informed.
In this pandemic situation where education has gone online, startups are combining the concepts of education and entertainment to offer children interactive learning experience.
- 1725 Views
In the current era of technological advancements where there is an app for almost everything, hostel management appears to lag behind in adopting a new innovation. From redundant paperwork to time-consuming manual processes, most of the hostels are still following archaic methods to manage their day to day activities. These old school methods of functioning results in ineffective communication between hostels, its students and parents.
Some of the hostels or student housing companies are investing in new-age technologies to differentiate themselves by being markedly different from traditional university-led hostel systems. Such technologies include facial recognition security systems, RFID enabled libraries and canteens, attendance systems that both students and parents can access on their smartphones.
Even though student housing as a market is currently dominated by university-led facilities, it will potentially see a substantial growth with private companies entering the space to plug demand gaps. Real estate consultancy firm JLL estimates the space is expected to see a 38% CAGR amounting to Rs 2,400 crore by 2020.
Most companies in the space, like OxfordCaps, Stanza Living and Placio have standardised their attendance systems with a professional escalation matrix. They also offer biometric security systems where entry and exit times are recorded. Hostels can set a threshold time, based on which if the student is not in within a certain time, parents get a notification. OxfordCaps is leveraging IoT-connected devices to monitor energy and space consumption, specifically in gyms, reading lounges and TV rooms, where usage usually remains untracked.
Considering industry average of around 40% for food wastage in hostels in urban centres, various organisations like Stanza Living are using advance analytics to reduce operational costs. With the ability to predict and analyse consumption data, food wastage at Stanza properties have been reduced to less than 10%.
On the other hand, Placio brings social incentive that is used by ride hailing firms such as Uber and Ola to hostels. It digitally tracks various parameters like student behaviour, general cleanliness, punctuality etc. to reward the better ranked students with online gift vouchers.
With majority of the students staying at hostels to complete their education, such tech-based offerings not only improve the quality of life but also help them get exposed to advanced technologies like facial recognition, digital gift vouchers etc.
- 1833 Views
Every organization needs to onboard good talent, retain, engage them and work with them to increase efficiency and productivity. Huge amount of time and money is spent to search, select, interview and hire the perfect candidate. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Machine Learning (ML) integration into human resources (HR) practices make organizations better as AI applications helps the HR Team to analyze, predict and diagnose for better decisions. According to a report published by Grand View Research in February 2020, the human resource management market is anticipated to reach $38.17 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 11.7 % from 2020 to 2027.
Delhi based startup, ReferHire, has created a peer-to-peer (P2P) networking platform to bring together organisations and those seeking newer career opportunities. Jobseekers have to identify the companies they are interested in and then ReferHire introduces them to peers in those organizations. These peers help job seekers in placing their application internally in the organisation and assist during the recruitment process.
Culturro, Gurugram-based startup has developed an Artificial Intelligence-based NLP bot platform Agnya which helps companies to build the right workplace experience and identify the drivers. It recommends actionable insights for HR heads and also influences behaviour modification in individuals to create the desired workplace experience. Post action, it constantly monitors the progress.
Bengaluru-based Equiv.in launched AI tool which aims to solve talent assessment and hiring while keeping diversity in mind. Equiv.in is exclusive for women, differently-abled individuals, members of the LGBTQ community and army veterans where the jobseeker can sign up with AI Equiv tool. Some of its clients include Indeed, ThoughtWorks, Infosys, Societe Generale, Microsoft and Blackrock.
Similarly, 19th Mile has developed Analytics-driven automated sales coaching system that provides personalized, data-driven coaching to sales representative. The app tracks individuals’ daily sales activities using data from its inbuilt mobile CRM or from the organization’s CRM and uses it to intelligently coach users towards meeting their specific sales targets.
On the other hand, HireSure.ai uses blockchain technology to store employment-related records. Its predictive tools use AI to offer insights related to employee compensation and offer acceptance behaviour, which helps companies increase their offer-to-join ratio. This brings down hiring costs by up to 50 %.
Hiring is a challenging process in any organization and if not addressed efficiently they end up losing good candidates. There is also rapid evolution in business dynamics and therefore several startups are using new age technologies to fill up these gaps.
- 3007 Views
Insurance, through Crowdfunding
With the emergence of Uber and AirBnB, ‘Sharing Economy’ has proven to be beneficial on a real-time basis across multiple industries, including transportation, real estate and hospitality.
Even in the Insurance sector, numerous InsureTech start-ups are enabling P2P or crowd-based models that leverage crowdfunding. It allows for more people to be insured by aiding underserved markets. Collective purchasing yields preferential pricing to those subscribed to peer-based insurance programs.
Acknowledging this innovative approach, insurance, financial services and e-commerce sites around the world have begun to offer crowdfunding approaches to covering expenses. For instance, Love Upgrading is a crowd-funded insurance service offered on WeChat, China’s voice and text messaging app. Clients on the platform can pay an initial premium of US16 for one year of insurance with USD 8,000 of coverage. By sharing the link on WeChat and invite friends, the insurance amount can be raised upto USD 15,000.
Similarly, China’s second-biggest e-commerce player JD has launched a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding platform, Coufenzi, which allows participants to invest in a movie of their choice, with deposits as low as ~USD 20. These deposits are then bundled into the company’s wealth management and insurance products that pay a fixed interest rate.
On the other hand, Friendsurance follows similar method to offer cheaper insurance to customers using an innovative peer-to-peer method. Customers can connect online and create their own insurance pool. Small claims are paid out of this pool, with bigger claims covered by traditional insurance.
To leverage the power of crowdfunding, number of insurance companies are partnering with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Wishberry to raise funds. On the other hand, some insurers like TIAACREF are hosting campaigns on a dedicated social network called the Communities, on which members can discuss their financial health, exchange ideas and host campaigns.
In today’s age of technology-enabled collaboration, crowdfunding has a great potential to make inroads in insurance focussing on under-served population. Given the ever-growing proportion of non- or under-insured individuals, crowdfunding could be a lucrative way of addressing mass market needs, especially individual disability benefits, retirements and pensions, as well as group plans.
- 1897 Views
The Ship Robots
The astounding progression of robotic technologies is playing a key role in the future of all industries. According to International Federation of Robotics (IFR), from 2020 to 2022 almost 2 million new units of industrial robots are expected to be installed in factories around the world. Like many different industries throughout the world, robots are impacting the maritime industry as well.
Take for example, SeaRobotics which has developed a Hull cleaning robot that helps save fuel and improves the efficiency of a ship. Their Hull BUG is a small autonomous vehicle which attaches itself to the underside of ships, using a negative pressure device that creates a vortex between the BUG and the hull. Sensors provide obstacle avoidance, path cleaning and navigational capabilities. A fluorometer lets the robot detect biofilm and then it uses rotary brushes or water-jets to scrub the fouling film off.
In another collaboration, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), has partnered with SEA-KIT to create robotic oil-cleanup vessels
Another solution by SeaDrone, can perform underwater Inspections in lieu of Dry Docking (UWILD). The solution is designed in a way that provides an end-to-end hull inspection solution, inspecting a vessel in 1 hour and creating a certified report that can be quickly shared with the stakeholders.
An alternative use case for robots in the maritime industry is strengthening of anti-piracy measures. ReconRobotics has developed a small, dumbbell-shaped robot that can infiltrate the main deck of a boat for stealth inspections. Magnetic wheels allow it to crawl up the side of a ship onto the deck and manoeuvre around. Cameras enable the operators to see what’s happening in real-time, even during the night, with the help of infrared sensors. The company has recently been awarded a contract by U.S. Navy to develop the Recon Scout XT micro-robot for them.
Promare, a U.K. ocean-research nonprofit, in partnership with IBM will unveil their new, fully autonomous ship - Mayflower on Sept. 16th, across the Atlantic Ocean. This autonomous ship will follow the same route on which the original Mayflower travelled 400 years ago.
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is chiefly propelled by solar power, with a diesel generator on board as backup. IBM will power an onboard “AI Captain” with the ship leveraging edge computing for its AI and navigational smarts. All the data processing must be available on the ship because a vessel in the middle of the ocean can’t rely on satellites or cloud connectivity.
As COVID-19 shifts global structures and accelerates innovation, we can easily visualise how robotic technology could help ships continue operating through future pandemics.
Credits : Akhil Handa
- 1781 Views
Negotiating with AI
Negotiation is a fundamental business skill—one that is inextricably linked with human emotion and psychology as much as economic calculus. Many companies negotiate countless contracts a year, ranging from facilities rentals, technology licenses, sales, employment or strategic partnerships. One of the biggest challenges, companies face in negotiating contracts is that they span such a wide variety of topics. Even the best-trained negotiators may struggle when parsing through a contract that is outside of their purview.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of performing many tasks that enhance human labour and thinking — so it only stands to reason that it can provide an advantage in the negotiation process as well. There are several levels on which this is happening.
As salespeople or customer service reps interact with customers electronically, they may be able to take advantage of real-time AI recommendations to help guide the engagement or transaction. Rather than monitor singular conversations and interject recommendations on a case-by-case basis, the AI-based negotiation system digests lots of conversational data across lots of sales reps to try to understand where there are coaching opportunities, new training opportunities, value prop improvement opportunities, and product improvement opportunities.
AI can also be applied against transaction or customer relationship management (CRM) data, to sift through responses and engagements to determine where and how companies may be missing opportunities. Also, there are chatbots that can be trained to bargain with customers.
Estonian startup Pactum, which provides an AI-based commercial negotiation tool, was engaged by Walmart to automate negotiations with part of its global supplier network. Pactum's AI-based negotiation tool starts the process by interviewing the customer, recording all the required information surrounding the negotiation, and determining the value for each possible tradeoff in the contract for the customer. Pactum's team then builds the negotiation flows.
Project Debater is the first AI system that can debate humans on complex topics. Project Debater digests massive texts, constructs a well-structured speech on a given topic, delivers it with clarity and purpose, and rebuts its opponent. It can analyze a proposition and automatically highlight the best arguments for and against it, factoring in both logical and emotional impact. Eventually IBM predicts, Project Debater will help people reason by providing compelling, evidence-based arguments and limiting the influence of emotion, bias, or ambiguity.
Perhaps one day, robot lawyers will go forth to negotiate on our behalf. But, in the meantime, A.I. can be used today to improve humans’ negotiation tactics.
Credits : Akhil Handa
- 2121 Views
In the current dynamic universe, companies are finding ad-hoc approach of running continuous upgrades to large monolithic platforms increasingly tedious and inefficient. Progressive organizations can no longer count on the rigid systems that require weeks of rework to support a new business process. Enter Micro-services! It is a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple APIs.
In recent years, adoption of micro-services architecture is becoming a proven success strategy in the software development industry. According to the report by Red Hat, organizations are using micro-services to re-architect their existing applications; as much as the technology being used for brand new applications.
Micro-services offer numerous benefits for application architects and development teams. These include flexibility around implementation technology, scalability and cloud readiness. These benefits align well with the growing demand of a new system that can adapt to the demands of digital business in highly competitive ecosystems. For instance, early adopters like Airbnb, Disney, Dropbox, GE, Goldman Sachs and Twitter have seen development lead times cut by as much as 75 percent, thanks to the adoption of micro-services.
This trend is increasingly being adopted by Bigtechs as well. For example, Microsoft has opened up its Service Fabric platform which is a distributed systems platform to package, deploy and manage scalable and reliable micro-services. Similarly, IBM, Google and Lyft have teamed up to form Istio, an open technology that provides a way for developers to connect, manage and secure networks of different micro-services, regardless of platform, source or vendor. Apart from this, California based Nginx which supports the operation of around 450 million global websites including those of Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest, has set up shop in Australia to support companies embracing micro-services.
Recognizing the need to deliver value to customers faster, many banks are seizing the opportunity to implement micro-services architecture. By implementing such innovative architecture, Ubank created Australia's first home loan application chatbot, innovating and improving customer experience. Similarly, UK based digital bank Monzo is also using cloud and micro-services architecture to develop back end structure.
Micro-services can deliver better agility and scalability advantages than any other archetype. Several vendors are developing frameworks and platforms that simplify adoption of the micro-services architecture. However, we believe it will take some time for micro-services to evolve into complete and robust mainstream platform
Credits : Akhil Handa
- 2145 Views
AI in Entertainment
With the emergence of various innovative technologies, filmmakers are effectively saving time and money by automating their film creation process to a large extent. Filmmakers are utilizing AI in various stages of filmmaking, right from pre-production, production to the post-production stage.
Cinelytic, Los Angeles based startup, has developed AI software for filmmakers to predict the probability of a movie's success based on the casting of actors/actresses. If the filmmaker is unsure of which actor to cast for a role, he can enter their names into the program and see which actor might
Belgium based ScriptBook, has developed an AI cloud-based software Script2Screen to analyse the script and predict box office success or failure. The user can upload their screenplay on the platform which generates an AI-based assessment indicating the commercial and critical success of a project, along with insights on the storyline, target demographics, market positioning, distribution parameters etc.
Vault ML, an Israeli startup, launched an artificial intelligence platform 4CAST. It uses over 40 years of box office data, 4 lac plus movie scripts and numerous other film data to predict opening weekend box office sales. Its predictions are right 75 % of the time and thus it helps filmmakers in their business risk management.
On the other hand, 20th Century Fox has launched the AI/ML program Merlin to help review trailers before they are released. The AI program optimises the marketing and distribution efforts in order to generate wider publicity for the specific movie or web series. It predicts and recommends appealing clips and flags them as the parts of the trailer which the audience will enjoy the most.
Similarly, Microsoft has developed an AI speech translation engine Azure for dubbing Hindi movies into different languages. On this platform, Bollywood movies are dubbed with the help of AI in different languages.
Looking at the fact that there is a plethora of data available in the film ecosystem, many companies are coming up with innovative solutions where these softwares read the historical data about movie performances over the years, then cross-references it with the current information and thus helps in writing scripts, simplifying the production process, casting actors, composing music, editing movies, plan marketing and distribution and calculate the return of investment.
Credits : Akhil Handa
- 1784 Views
The pandemic & cybersecurity
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an outbreak of new and unanticipated business moments. As digital spreads its roots deeper, it also increases the risk and impact of cyberattacks. The World Economic Forum’s COVID-19 Risks Outlook reported that 50% of enterprises were concerned about increased cyberattacks due to a shift in work patterns alone.
A TCS report states that, cybercriminals are using the heightened digital footprint and traffic to track vulnerabilities, or to siphon off money. They are launching Covid-19-themed attacks in the form of phishing emails with malicious attachments that drop malware to disrupt systems or steal data and credentials.
Attackers are creating temporary websites or taking over vulnerable ones to host malicious code. They lure people to these sites and then drop malicious code on their digital devices. Fake websites have also been soliciting donations for daily wage earners through email links. Some Covid-19 patient count-status apps and links are laden with viruses and identity theft malware. Remote working tools such as videoconferencing systems have been hacked for vulnerabilities; recent examples on Zoom are alarming.
In such a scenario, the first step in the right direction for Organisations would be to advise their staff and customers to be more vigilant and cautious especially when opening links, emails or documents related to the subject COVID-19.
Next, organizations should ensure their detection and ing capabilities are functional while keeping an eye on the impact of having many remote workers. There are some interesting solutions available in the market. For eg. KnowBe4 delivers on-demand internet security awareness training to small and midsized enterprises focussing on threats like social engineering, spear-phishing and ransomware.
Cofense provides organizations with the ability to improve their employees’ resilience towards spear phishing, malware and drive-by attacks and further facilitate employee-sourced detection of such attacks.
In India, cybersecurity start-ups like Cloudsek offers real-time information to prevent and monitor cyber threats through its SaaS platform. Another start-up Cyware’s cyber fusion solutions empowers organisations to foster information sharing with their employees mitigating cybersecurity risks.
The pandemic presents an opportunity for full-blown innovation, a dramatic shift in perspective and the adoption of safe and resilient operating processes. The intensity and emphasis an organisation brings to its cybersecurity strategy will determine its long term growth.
Credits : Akhil Handa
- 1709 Views