Category Archives: Technology

Technology News Coverage

2 out of 3 Emails Are Now Opened On Smartphones; Desktop Users Are Engaged More [Data]

Email marketing is changing and is largely driven by smartphones and devices. Here are some of the interesting data points – though mostly for US consumer devices, but India data won’t be too different in the next 1 year.

  • 2 out of 3 e-mails are opened on smartphones which clearly indicate the popularity of smartphones.
  • 45% of mail opens in Q2 2014 was on smartphones while the number increased to 48% in Q3.
  • Desktop saw 34% mails being opened on it in Q3 2014
  • 14 of the 50 states in USA showed a leaning towards desktop preferences while 6 new states showed preferences towards smartphones in Q3 2014.

map mi 1

  • Tablet usage has picked up by the day in Q3 2014. These gains were however at the expense of desktop computers.
Device usage by time of day
Device usage by time of day
  • iPhones and iPads saw 59% of all mail opens in Q3 2014 which is an increase of 4% over Q2 2014
  • Android stood at a steady 6% while Blackberry, Windows and Kindle Fire held 5% of all mail opens.
mail-open by device preference
mail-open by device preference
  • Desktop user stay longer on emails while tablets topped when it came to speed from mail open to click through.
  • Of the other 36 states that was not inclined towards desktop, 11 states showed high preference to mobile devices.
  • Smartphones were device of choice when it came to retail apparel, retail non-apparel, media/entertainment/publishing etc.
  • Desktops were preferred in automotive and financial segments while both desktops and smartphones were a choice for travel and hospitality.
email opens by vertical
email opens by vertical
  • Desktops topped when it came to email read length which was followed by smartphones and then came tablets.
  • Automotive related emails had the longest read length, followed by financial services, media/entertainment/publishing, travel and hospitality, retail apparel and retail non –apparel, in that order.

– Link to the report.

How Can Aadhar Be Used To Improve Safety In Real World

[Editorial notes: There has been a huge debate over security for customers using taxi cabs. And the government wants to promote Aadhar authentication for matrimonial sites). Truly speaking, Aadhar has several use-cases that needs to be thought through. Read up this guest piece by Nilesh Sangoi, Meru CTO.]

The recent incident in Delhi has given a jolt to the entire cab industry and all of us are working on building the necessary safeguards. The most important challenge is how we ensure that such serial offenders and psychos are stopped at the gate and not allowed to enter the system in the first place.

In our country, any documents like driving license, police verification etc can be forged, so the first challenge is how to verify the identity of the person with 100% assurance. The second challenge is how we ensure that only the person authorised by the cab company is actually driving the cab and not any unauthorised driver who is not verified or trained by the company. Third challenge is lack of availability and access to centralised database of criminal records that can be verified.

aadhar-taxi-security

We’ve been thinking hard how to use technological innovation to solve some of these complex problems and help improve overall safety of women passengers for the entire cab industry.

We reached out to Sanjay Jain, who is an independent director on the board of Meru Cabs. He was the Chief Product Manager at UIDAI (better known as Aadhaar) during the initial period of design, implementation, launch and roll out on a massive scale. Aadhaar is the best example of a technology innovation to solve a complex problem for the benefit of masses and today, it is the only solution available that can provide unique identity of any person in the country.

It identifies a person based on fingerprint or iris scan, which is near impossible to forge or duplicate. The authority also collects the address proof and other relevant documents of the person while issuing the number, thus the address verification is also reasonably ensured.

With the help of Sanjay Jain and Khosla Labs, we have been able to deploy a simple app on Android phone integrated to a fingerprint scanner or an iris scanner which connects to the Aadhaar database with an open API to verify if the Aadhaar number belongs to the same person. There has been a large scale enrolment for Aadhaar especially in the SEC segment relevant to drivers and in the cities that we operate in.

As a first step, we have started capturing and verifying the Aadhaar number of all our drivers and also helping the enrolment of drivers who do not have Aadhaar number. This will alleviate the risk of a driver entering the system with a forged driving license to a great extent.

Over next few months we are also exploring the option of online driver identification inside the cab every few hours before a booking is assigned through Aadhaar biometric scan. This will be a foolproof way to ensure that only the authorised person is driving the cab. Currently there are challenges in having a biometric scanner integrated with the driver’s data terminal and its smooth functioning, but we are confident of resolving this issue over next few months.

Now comes the most difficult part of getting online information about the driver’s background check. This we believe can be achieved in following ways:

1. Government can take a lead in creating a centralised database of all persons with criminal background and linking them with Aadhaar number. This database can then be made available through open APIs to check the criminal record of any person by sending the Aadhaar number.

While this project sounds daunting due to involvement of various government agencies, just think of how difficult was Aadhaar project when Nandan Nilekani came up with the idea a few years back – that has become a reality today. There is enough talent available in private sector who is more than willing to help in such eGovernance projects for the greater good of the society.

2. While the above suggestion can take time to implement, we are proposing that all cab operators and aggregator companies come together and implement a centralised driver reputation agency on the lines of various credit agencies.

If any of the company encounters a driver with criminal background or a serious safety complaint from a passenger is received, the information can then be fed into the centralised registry for the benefit of other companies. Companies can also gather information about criminal background of a driver through the informal network of other drivers, who are from the same village and then get the information independently verified.

We think these steps will go a long way in improving the overall safety for the women passengers while traveling in cabs. . Safety is a complex issue which cannot be solved by one company alone but will need a sustained and systematic approach and collaborated working within the entire ecosystem.

[Reproduced from Meru blog.]

Weekly Roundup : SAIF Partners : JustDial, Zomato Launches Mobile Ads, One Plus One On Amazon

Nov 24th to Nov 29th saw  a lot of funding activities. There were also as many new launch of products and initiatives.

In case you missed something,  here is all that you should know from last week’s updates.

Funding:

Delyver Raises INR 6.5 Crores In funding
Diesel Efficiency Startup, Loudcell Secures Investment From Indian Angel Network
VentureNursery Angels Invest In Search and Discovery Platform FindURClass
Aureus Analytics Raises $850,000 From Angel Investors
Open Source Chat Platform, Scrollback Secures Seed Funding Led By Jungle Ventures
Jewellery Startup, Velvetcase Secures $1mn From The Chennai Angels
Healthcare Startup Qikwell Secures $3mn Funding Led By SAIF Partners

Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales:

SAIF Partners Sells 2.41% Stakes In JustDial for INR 255 Crores [30X Returns]
8k Miles Accquires US-based SERJ Solutions
News Corp Acquires 25% Stake In PropTiger For $30mn
Zoho Picks Up Minority Stake In Zentron Labs

New Launches, Initiatives:

Zomato Introduces Mobile Ads On Its App
A Look At Government’s Efforts To Improve India’s ‘Ease Of Doing Business’ Ranking
Eat Dosa. Pay Via NFC Cards : iKaaz Integrates With Adigas In Bangalore
GSF launches M-Accelerator Programme Focused On Mobile-First Startups
Uber Goes Free For This Week. A few Thoughts.
Amazon India Goes On Exclusive Spree : Brings Grasim Onboard + Pranab Mukherjee’s Latest Book
Housing Partners With Tata Value Homes; Launches Interactive Home-Buying Feature – Slice View

Product Launch:

OnePlus One Phones Launching Exclusively on Amazon India [December 2nd]

Good Reads:

Talking About Entrepreneurship Phases, This Founder Has Seen-It-All. Meet Rohan @UnPluggd
Dark Night Of The Soul: The Star Wars, Mahabharata And A Startup Founder
Premortems : What’s Going To Go Wrong? [#Curated]
Between Ola And TaxiForSure : Two Amazing Marketing Campaigns
Android One Is The New Battleground Between Online And Offline Retailers
This Chart Explains Why Google Conducts GOSF

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» Useful Links :Submit Your Startup (for review) | 10 Commandments

A Look At Government’s Efforts To Improve India’s ‘Ease Of Doing Business’ Ranking

India ranks at a pathetic 142 among 189 countries when it comes to ease of doing business in India. And the government is taking certain efforts to improve this.

Some of the activities that are planned by Ministry of Commerce in near-term are:

1. Importer Exporter Code (IEC) application will mandatorily be online w.e.f. 1st January, 2015 and IEC will be issued within two working days. This would not only obviate the need for paper application but also expedite the decision making.

2. Service Delivery – Activities related to Developers and Units in SEZs were identified and timelines for completion of the said activities were prescribed and implemented. It was launched on 14.08.2014 in all Zones. This is being monitored by Development Commissioners regularly.

2. Digitization and online processing of various activities relating to SEZ Developers and Units has been introduced in all Zones from 01.11.2014. The option of either filing applications online or in hardcopy is available to Developers/Units till 31.12.2014. Thereafter, from 01.01.2015, only online applications for all activities (except for setting up of new SEZs) will be entertained from Developers and Units.

In order to reduce the number of documents for exports CBEC has taken measures to merge Foreign Exchange Control Form (SDF) with shipping bill and packing list with commercial invoice. Accordingly, necessary changes in the software would be made by 31st March, 2015. Further, in order to dispense with terminal handling receipt at JNPT, Ministry of Shipping would automate this activity by 31st January, 2015.

With these reform initiatives the mandatory documents required for exports would be reduced from seven at present to only three. Similarly, for the purposes of import, efforts are being made to reduce the mandatory documents from 10 at present to 4. An inter-ministerial team headed by DGFT is also visiting JNPT next week for understanding the various processes in the field and streamlining the same.

 

Introducing : BigHub. A Community Platform For Entrepreneurs And Doers.

When we launched forum, we didn’t anticipate the kind of discussion, debates the forum will be used for. Over a period of time, we started realizing the need to scale up forum and to create a bigger community platform that not just enables discussions, but also discovery.

Meet : BigHub. A platform for founders, doers and geeks to discover and engage in meaningful discussions.

BigHub : The startup community platform
BigHub : The startup community platform

As I mentioned earlier in the ‘Yappy Birthday’ announcement yesterday, we are focused on creating great platforms and hub is the first step towards that. The BigHub entails not just the discussion platform, but also a great event discovery platform.

Quite often, we have been asked

‘Where are the cool tech / startup / industry events happening in India ? In Delhi ? Bangalore ? <MyCity>?

Well, the Event platform is what you were looking for. If you are an organization that conducts startup/tech realted events/conferences/meetups, add your event details and we will drive visibility to you.

BigHub : Startup And Tech Events
BigHub : Startup And Tech Events

And ofcourse, there is no signup on BigHub. Go ahead and signin using Facebook or LinkedIn id (we don’t push anything in your social stream).

TL;DR : NextBigWhat is all about enabling startup and tech communities to discover/learn from each other. BigHub is our comprehensive offering to the ecosystem, the community of doers, entrepreneus, geeks and investors.

» Discuss/Debate/Have fun! «

Got feedback? Please share: ashish@nextbigwhat.com.

– Ashish/ on behalf of Team NextBigWhat.

Inside Facebook News Feed Algorithm : Why Facebook Shows/Hides Certain Updates To Fans

How Facebook decides which news to show to your page fans is still a mystery. Folks at Buffer have unearthed some interesting trends.

Following are some of the reasons why Facebook decides to show your content in the news feed.

  • Posts with lots of comments / likes (i.e. engagement), especially the ones that receive a high volume of likes, comments, or shares in a short time
  • Post types that users seem to prefer more than others (e.g., photo, video, or status update)
  • Posts that reference a trending topic
  • Link posts
  • Videos uploaded to Facebook that receive a large number of views or extended viewing duration
  • Posts that tag other pages within the text
  • Posts that are liked or commented on by one’s friends
  • Posts from pages that one interacts with often
  • Post types that one interacts with often (so if you like videos, you will see more videos).
  • Posts from pages with complete profile information
  • Posts from pages where the fan base overlaps with the fan base of other known high-quality pages
  • Images and videos that have not previously appeared in the Open Graph
  • Links that have not been posted before. [Via/Buffer]

Facebook ofcourse doesn’t like clickbaits and low-quality articles. Do take a look at this video about the quality of your Facebook page’s fans and how this might impact the engagement on your posts.

You should also check out Mark Zuckerberg’s Q&A on Facebook feed algo.

 


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Data : 40% of India Inc. Lost Top Talent to Startups

Many of the best and brightest of India Inc’s talent are bailing out of their high-paying, prestigious jobs with big corporates to join start-ups or set up their own business. The IT/Telecom sector has witnessed the maximum (40%) talent movement to startups followed by ITeS, Retail and the Manufacturing & Engineering sectors.

Startups Vs. Corporate Jobs
Startups Vs. Corporate Jobs

The survey by TimesJobs has a few interesting takeaways:

- Freedom to innovate and positions/designations are pointed out as the key factors luring top talent to startups, by nearly 60 per cent of the respondents to the TimesJobs survey.

- The attraction of having a position of power and of being in a leadership role is the maximum at the middle level. 65% organisations said that maximum talent movement is at the middle level and 55% of middle level managers are attracted by the designations offered.

- The experience range of these high-value job-hoppers lies between 5-10 years, said 48% of the survey. The fact that middle level employees are getting to exercise leadership positions at startups is the biggest factor driving them to leave reputed & established organisations.

- Over 60% candidates with 2-5 years experience move to startups to explore their creative side and about 67% of the candidates with 5-10 years experience join startups for better positions and designations.


Plug : Looking to work for a high growth product startup? Find your next gig @NextBigWhat job board.

Coffee With Two Friends : UX And UI [#Talk]

Hi! I am a User and today is the world’s most user friendly day. Today is so special that I can see a silver lining around me. Wanna know why?

Today I am about to take an interview of User Interface (UI) & her brother User Experience (UX) at their home. Yeah! You are welcome :)

I am sure this will be good. They invited me because they want to share intuitive tips to help those guys who really want to make their mark in this field. In this almost career oriented interview; You will know what UI & UX really stand for & how you can shine your way with some basic foundations that will lead you to the magical world of UI & UX. Also you will know why they have such great chemistry when working together!

So, right now I am siting between some wire-frames, colors, sketches & stuff and waiting for UI and UX. Oh! There is UI!

Me:  Hello UI! You look lovely & where is UX?

UI: Hello User! UX will be join us in a couple of minutes. By the way, thanks for doing this interview. I appreciate it.

Me: My pleasure UI! You look just like a perfect combination of simplicity and beauty. I think this is the one of your most striking quality, right?

UI: Thanks User! & yes it is. I would say that a simple version of me should be able to relate people more effectively & more accurately. It has always worked.

Me: Okay! Let’s get started with this one, we really want to know what you really stand for? Why people need you? Please describe yourself clearly because there are lots of interpretations around us about you. You know…people talk!

UI: Well! There’s no need to web yourself about my interpretations. I am telling you what I really stand for,

I provide a system for a user to interact with the product / service. The design of this system is a mixture of needs, experience and assumptions.

If I talk about the purpose of creating me then it is true that my designs vary according to the idea of creating me but the goal of these designs is not to provide eye-candy to the user, it is all about generating a nice experience by using it and make a right impact of the brand in the user’s mind and heart.

Long story short; let me show you some examples to clear this out and they can also help you to understand my bonding with UX:

product ux brown table

puu

 And people need me because actually they care about their needs and they care about others needs too. They always try to figure out solutions to their problems and needs & when they get it, there comes UI. Me!

They start to build, give a shape to this solution & I am the ingredient of this whole solution. People keep changing me though until they find the best, simple & easy way to operate this solution. After all! Who doesn’t likes easy.

And you know what the best part is? During this whole process, they are actually helping those who are facing that similar problem but not getting success to find cure of it. So, Actually I exist for help.

Well, here is a thing I want to say! If you are expecting some hot-shot fancy words for this little biography, then you will be disappointed. Sorry about that. Trust me, I am simple as a pie, sweet pie :)

Me: Great! Well, I am not expecting any of that; even I am a fan of a blank white paper. :D just kidding. Okay! So, my next question is related to those fellows who are really interested to begin a career in designing User Interfaces but they really are confused where to start? What are the basics?

Actually, even some Graphic Designers ask me this question often, so…What do you suggest?

UI: Graphic Designers? Okay! I got it. They’ll definitely think that UI design is a very serious, hard and kind of boring stuff. That is so not true. Trust me guys, it’s really fun and you are the best folks to get full leverage of it because you have the recommended foundation of Graphic Designing. All you need to do is get yourself in. Let me tell you how.

First of all, you have to be clear that UI design isn’t limited to only website design, the range is huge. You can find me anywhere; in websites, apps, ATMs, vehicles, even chair, cooker, knife etc. So, all I am saying please don’t cage me in websites. But for the love of Internet & you guys, here are some basics to start your UI journey:

In the Name of You

To take something from good to great, better you start to live it, and I know You are good. Let’s get started to Live!

  1. Not a much of an web surfer? Be it.

Take a plunge in the ocean of internet & you will find valuable gems every day. If you want to make your own style in UI designing, then bring your keen eye on styles of others first. Search interesting topics, themes & conceptual websites besides your favorite ones. I am sure you are aware of ‘Discovery Science Channel’s slogan. What was that? Exactly, ‘Question everything.’ You better start applying it.

Have you ever think that what concept or what feature you like most in your favorite website which brings you there again & again, what do you think about the design, does it look good to you, is it comfortable to use, what do you think about other similar websites, are they better or worse & based on what? Tease your curiosity & note down everything which you find useful.

Here I am giving you two nice online mobile recharge websites links, use them & compare them as per their design, usability & features.

https://paytm.com/

https://www.freecharge.in/

  1. Start with your own Idea instead of waiting for an opportunity 

Time is precious and waiting is not the way to respect it. So stop waiting to get noticed by some fancy pants project & start exploring with your favorite idea, here is how:

  • Take an idea and think how you can see it in a shape of website. For example let’s think about a ‘Kids Watch’
  • Yeah! Now your mind will start googling. Nice, that’s what I am talking about. Now, first thing you need to do is get some inspiration. Search some online Watch websites (doesn’t matter they are for kids or not), use them and try to understand them as per usability, design & color themes, positioning of the products, proper showcasing of the products, buying experience etc. I am sure after this your mind will start doing some rough sketches in your head. Don’t worry! It’ll be better soon.
  • Now, get back to real life. Set an age criteria for your target kids, this will make you more focused. Now, look at your surroundings. There are definitely some kids who will fits in your targeted age criteria and they are your real customers. Ask them questions which create value for your website like:

How much time they spend on internet?

Are they likely to shop online?

Problems they faced during online shopping?

Which website they find very cool?

Which color they like most to wear?

Which kind of watch they prefer sporty, designer, colorful or simple?

What about their Dad/Mom/friend’s watch? Do they like/dislike it and why?

Try to clear every doubt you have & get crucial information which will help you to design a nice and attractive Watch website for them.

  • Well! It’s time to get things together. Your own project is now ready to shape-up. Take pencil & paper & start wire-framing until you are satisfied. This process includes every single part of your project website; every click, action, positioning, work-flow of every single task etc. After that you have to get your hands dirty with software like Photoshop & Illustrator & they will help you to make cool user interfaces based on your wireframes.

This may be looks a lot but once you get inside this, your learning, your mind will guide you step by step. Automatically.

  1. Let your real life experience help you 

User interface is a way to communicate with product or service & you experience it in your real life every day. Some experiences makes you feel good & easy & some are just feel terrible and complicated.

So, how about picking up those good ones and using it in designs. Here, take a look:

coffee shop wo menu

Definitely Menu Card invention was a huge relief. As you can see how a wise organized work-flow can save your time and gives you a cheerful experience. Now think where you implement this kind of experience in your design? This could be used in a Select & Order module but a proper product description is indispensable. If you have noticed then there is tons of real life conversations you have every day that can possibly change your way of thinking designs. So, keep noticing & start implementing.

  1. Yes! Less is good

Avoid unnecessary details in your design and serve only what matters. Talking about what matters, look what  William Strunk Jr. said:

“A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”

From “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. 

Provide only the information your user need and stop flooding the screen with unnecessary additions.

calculator

error code

Your user doesn’t have time to appreciate your welcome page or taking a tour of your website. Give him what he is actually looking for & what you actually stand for. You should read ‘Getting Real’ by 37 signals, creators of basecamp.

“Getting Real starts with the interface, the real screens that people are going to use. It begins with what the customer actually experiences and builds backwards from there. This lets you get the interface right before you get the software wrong.”

In the Name of Technology

Every design in the world need tools to shape up & every tool has it’s own rules to operate. Learn rules & rule the design.

  1. Something about Document setup

Talking about website, a website could be a responsive one which is able to expand or reduce itself according to the display size of any device (http://www.nokia.com/in-en/) or could be a normal one which is best viewed on a laptop or desktop screen (http://www.jagran.com/).

So, how can we figure out a perfect document size for both kinds of websites? Look at these top 10 popular resolutions from October 2013 to October 2014 world-wide:

Stats

So! As you can see, 1366×768 is a most popular resolution right now. Nowadays most of the laptops have this resolution. That’s why you should use this resolution for your document size.

Well! Among these modern web design trends & experiments there is no special rule-set to define a perfect web layout but you can start with this:

Desktop Website:

width: 1366px  Height: 768px or infinite

width: 1024px  Height:  768px or infinite

width: 990px  Height: 768px or infinite

width: 960px  Height: 768px or infinite (try http://960.gs/)

Leave 15px margin from both sides left & right.

Mobile Website Size:

width: 480px  Height: infinite

Leave 15px margin from both sides left & right.

  1. Be prepared with examples

The time will come when your developer will say to you; “Dude! What is this design? Have you ever seen anywhere design like that? I mean…I have no idea how can I execute this?”

Familiar? Well, you will be. But there is nothing to worry about. It’s true that whatever you have done with your design, Developer will be responsible to make it function properly. That’s why it’s your responsibility to have a nice collection of examples for any particular design. It will be generous for both of you.

  1. Keen eye on lean things

It’s quite normal to forget things like putting a checkbox or dropdown symbol in a big wide project. But there’s where your duty calls you. Errors in minor details like rollover color, button’s shape, matching icons etc. can irritate the on user. Remember! In UI design every single part is important either it’s big or small. In below image an important (can be optional here) part is missing, find out what is that? Comment box is straight down. 

add description

  1. Developer is your friend

It’s a big yes he is. Believe it or not, but he can be a guru of yours for some major design problems. When you are working or experimenting with some designs on an ongoing project, make sure your developer is with you. He should know every story behind your design. Make a good team with him and you will be safe from some serious, time consuming and irritating problems in future & vice-versa.

  1. Learn code recipes from code chef 

A User Interface Designer + An awesome Web Developer! What a perfect combination it will be.

Don’t be limited only to design part. Embrace this lovely technology which is playing behind every damn thing on internet.

Think how delightful it will be when you design things exactly as per requirements of it’s developing part. You will know exactly what to design and what not and best part is you easily cure the problems because you will be prepared at the first place.

There are lots of resources now a days to learn basic and hardcore development languages. codecademy.com, Treehouse.com, w3school.com even youtube are some few examples to start learning basic html, CSS and other languages. And hey! You have a developer friend, remember! Now you can say ‘I am feeling lucky’.

Well guys! There is so many things to talk about this but better you experience it. All I am saying is don’t be confused, don’t be in doubt, just start & valuable things will come around.

& Hey! Use your mind palace! How cool will that be? :D

 cumberbacht

Me: Seems like you are a fan of Sherlock? 

UI: O yeah! He is sending a message to us that ‘Think & you will find the solution.’ Once he said ‘Dangerous to jump on conclusion, need data.’ How true is that when we are planning or starting to make a product. So true, isn’t?

Me: Fascinating! But UI, where is UX? It’s been a while now.

“You guys talking about me? Well! I am here.”

Me:  Oh Awesome! UX is here now. Now it’s really perfect.

UI: And no UX! We are not talking about you, we are talking about Sherlock!

UX : Oh really! Tell me User! Did she say bad things about me?

Me: Relax UX! She always saysgood things about you & you know it. Anyway, you look so happy & energetic. Where you been?

UX: I am happy & I will be because who on earth like a dull & boring User Experience?

Me: So true UX! I am endorsing your answer. So, now  you are here then let’s get to the business. Shall we?

UX: Yeah! Why not, let’s shoot.

(Read UX interview in next part ‘Talking to the UX’)

Image Credits: Quora.com, stuffyyoulook.blogspot.in, Pixel Perfect Precision & Google.

Your feedback, questions and comments about this article are most welcome.

[Ashutosh Shukla is UI designer at Solomo Media. More interested in function than form, he started his career by designing 3D models for Indian Air Force. His approach to Design is via Conversations, Observations and Reactions, trying to find reasons behind every pixel. Follow him on twitter @AshutoshShuklaG.]

Talking About Big Data, InMobi Is Serving 138 Billion Ad Impressions & Processing 420 TB of Data Every Day

now reaches 872 million active uniques spanning over 200 countries, bringing a truly global audience for advertisers wanting to reach their target consumers. InMobi now serves nearly 138 billion ad impressions every month.

inmobi-bigdata

Key InMobi Network Statistics

  • Ad requests (per day) : 4.8 billion per day
  • Events Ingested (per day) : 10 billion per day
  • Total amount of new data generated in a single day : 24 TB
  • Data processed (per day): 420 TB
  • Global reach of 872 million active uniques
  • Number of distinct analysis done directly on our big-data Hadoop warehouse : 800 per day

ShortNews: News you could use, useful data and actionable insights in a crisp and easy format. (Feedback:team@nextbigwhat.com)

Urban Ladder Launches Augmented Reality App – Living Spaces

Online furniture marketplace Urban Ladder has launched ‘Living Spaces’ – an augmented reality app for the furniture segment.

Demo of Living Spaces

The app lets users virtually place multiple life-size models of UL sofas to visualize their entire living room and select multiple color and seating options without having to involve any physical furniture. The app aims at making the interactions natural and the sofa design takes into account imperfections of the real world like wrinkled cushions and fabric folding at the edges making the user experience realistic.

Urban Ladder had earlier introduced another innovative initiative called ‘Trial Room’ where one can experience different models of UL sofas. Living Spaces is the second app to be launched in the UL Labs series after ‘Urban Storage’ which focuses on wardrobes. ‘UL Labs’ is a collaborative outreach effort where teams from Urban Ladder work with digital start-ups across the world to come up with solutions in various aspects of furniture buying.

UL Living Spaces is available on Android and iOS App stores and can be downloaded on mobiles and tablets.

Watch the app demo here:

MakeMyTrip App Stats : Apps Are Driving Last-Minute Bookings [bigMobility]

MakeMyTrip app recently crossed 4 million dowloads (across all the app stores) and here are some interesting stats that the company has shared.MakeMyTrip

  • 24% of Flight-bookings on mobile app are for same-day or next-day travel (compared to 17% on Web)
  • 49% of Flight-bookings on app are for travel in next 7 days (compared to 43% on Web)
  • 52% of Domestic-Hotel bookings on Mobile are made 0-1 day before travel (compared to 27% on Web)
  • 4 and 5 Star hotels contribute to 58% of International Hotel bookings on mobile apps, (compared to 55% on Web)
  • Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Chandigarh contribute the highest non-metro traffic on MakeMyTrip app
  • Delhi-Mumbai sector has 2.2x more bookings than the next most-popular sector (Mumbai – Bangalore)

Very interesting trend : apps are driving runtime decisions and therein lies a huge opportunity to sell unused inventories.

This Startup Is Rethinking Culture Code : No Office, No Boss, No Email.

The New New Office Culture
The New New Office Culture

[Editorial notes : The new age startups are rethinking work culture. Right from Buffer’s transparency to ‘4-days week working culture’ by some.  Entrepreneur Hernán Amiune shares the new new work culture he is setting up at his startup.]

The main reason is because the most important way to reach the best efficiency possible is allowing us to work without a boss, only 4 days a week and spend 50% more of our time with our families.

Each of these 3 factors working altogether in an office communicating mainly by e-mails and being constantly interrupted by meetings where the habits that we decided to change since the beginning of our working method 8 years ago.

Previously we have worked for big companies like IBM, HP and Intel where we learned exactly what things we shouldn’t do if we wanted to add value and work together with the best engineers in our technological entrepreneurship.

Why should we eliminate meetings?

One of the most important aspects in order to achieve our objective is to understand that we shouldn’t interrupt a programmer’s work so we can attend to a meeting.

The reason is that this kind of job demands an average of 4 hours of hard work in order to achieve good results.

As computing engineers we knew the importance of this habit and that’s why we decided to eliminate meetings, in this way each engineer could work in 2 shifts free from interruptions for example from nine to thirteen and then fourteen to eighteen.

There’s a clear concept that Paul Graham, the creator of Startup School states: ”the cost that represents a programmer assists to a meeting is always going to be more expensive than staying at his workplace” that is to say a project manager’s agenda is never going to be compatible with a developer’s agenda.

Why should we eliminate e-mails?

The second aspect that we consider fundamental is to eliminate the bad use of e-mails as task lists. When the reality is that the communication convention known as e-mail born in 1993 wasn’t conceived and is completely ineffective for developing this kind of task.

It is on this basis that we decided as an internal policy in eMT to eliminate communication via e-mail .In my particular case for example I received 5 emails instead of 55 per day .This 5 e-mails are only external communications with our clients and suppliers.

Why should we eliminate the office?

Finally the truth is that at the beginning of our startup we didn’t had the economic capacity to rent an office, and this working habit we found it by chance, and not by analysis. Then we took a proactive decision as in the previous two aspects.

After 2 years and with the economic capacity to rent an office we decided to do so with 14 other people that who conformed to be part of our team.

After a year in this office we decided to proactively work on a remote basis. Currently we are a team of 35 people in our startup distributed around 5 countries (Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico) and each of us works from our respective homes.

Why is the reason of this? The time that you waste going and coming from the office represents an extra 20% time that you have to dedicate to work, instead of dedicating that time to our families or personal hobbies .In addition, to that you have to consider the stress caused by driving or using the public transportation, apart from that you should take into account the cost that this implies as you can see all of these are clearly negative connotations.

And this is nothing new as you can see in this Forbes article with more than 100 important companies that are currently using it.

Working 4 days a week and without a boss

By means of using the 3 aspects mentioned before we are enabled to live in a reality that’s completely differs from other companies .The level of effectiveness achieved by suppressing hundreds of e-mails and without moving to an office every day allows us to work 4 days instead of 5 and without the need of having a boss to inform constantly of our advances.

In order to implement this successfully we implemented 2 important measures that you could also apply to achieve this new working method:

  1. Include exclusively proactive engineers: This means that we only hire programmers who are able to manage their time and tasks on their own without the need of a project manager .Its not an easy thing to find programmers fitting this description but with some time and effort to it is possible.

Even though we made the mistake of hiring the wrong engineers we immediately decided to take a different path regardless of how difficult it might be.

  1. Internal control panel: On the other side we designed a simple panel in which you can see which projects we are working as a company and each engineer (employee) can attach himself to. This way each one in a proactive way decides in which task they desire to take part and by taking this responsibility he or she focuses on programming.

In this panel that works as an SAAS tool we all posses a 360-degree view of what each of us is doing in real time given that we are all programmers. It’s very simple to know when someone is doing his job right or not.

Why should we implement this new working method?

In fact there may be plenty of reasons that make this working method a great choice .We also may have millions of reasons not to do it! However if we want to get the most talented people this is definitely the best option.

Over the years we realized that we could draw and, more important retain A+ level employees.

This provides a spectacular competitive advantage. Take into account that a B level programmer will be 5 times less productive than a high level experienced and proactive programmer.

Working with a high level team 4 days a week and without a boss we managed to grow in a 204% in the last year and as we all know the reason behind this is our great team.

The business that manages to adapt to this changes possible through technology will be able to form the best working group and s a major competitive advantage that will allow them to gain long term success.

[About the author : Guest article by Hernán Amiune, CoFounder of oMT, for all of Latin America, .NET, JavaScript, JQuerry and my SQL programmer. Professor at the the Siglo XXl university in Argentina. Currently focusing on artificial intelingence development.]

NextBigWhat accepts guest articles and the easiest way to get started is by dropping an email to editorial@nextbigwhat.com

Milestone Achieved : HTML5 Is Complete [W3C]

HTML5_LogoThe HTML Working Group today published HTML5 as W3C Recommendation, making the standard complete.

This specification defines the fifth major revision of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the format used to build Web pages and applications, and the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform.

HTML5 is the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform, a full programming environment for cross-platform applications with access to device capabilities; video and animations; graphics; style, typography, and other tools for digital publishing; extensive network capabilities; and more.

HTML5 brings to the Web video and audio tracks without needing plugins; programmatic access to a resolution-dependent bitmap canvas, which is useful for rendering graphs, game graphics, or other visual images on the fly; native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML); annotations important for East Asian typography (Ruby); features to enable accessibility of rich applications; and much more

Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing of running a browser on a phone,” said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. “We expect to be able to share photos, shop, read the news, and look up information anywhere, on any device. Though they remain invisible to most users, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving these growing user expectations.” [details here].

A Look At Indian Government’s IoT Plans : Smart Water, SmartAgri [And More]

The government has released a draft policy related to IoT (Internet of Things) plans and here are a few key insights.

The Goal.

To create an IoT industry in India of USD 15 billion by 2020. It has been assumed that India would have a share of 5-6% of global IoT industry.

Some of the key aspects of a smart city will be: 

Smart parking.     |    Intelligent transport system   |    Tele-care.     |   Woman Safety    |   Smart grids    |   Smart urban lighting.   |       Waste management.   | Smart city maintenance   | Digital-signage. |  Water Management.

IoT : Five Pillars
IoT : Five Pillars

The Policy framework of the IoT Policy has been proposed to be implemented via a  multi-pillar approach. The approach comprises of five vertical pillars (Demonstration  Centres, Capacity Building & Incubation, R&D and Innovation, Incentives and  Engagements, Human Resource Development) and 2 horizontal supports  (Standards & Governance structure).

Planned IoT Ideas include:

– SMART WATER : To setup Potable water monitoring tools to monitor the quality of tap  water in all government owned education institutes and public places

– SMART ENVIRONMENT:  To setup project for alarm and control of CO2 emissions of factories,  pollution emitted by cars and toxic gases generated.

SMART HEALTH (Remote) :  To setup projects for monitoring various vital parameters of patients like subtle changes in pulse, respiration, heart condition, temperature and preventive warning on early onset of pneumonia (in small children) or other life-threatening problems ,inside hospitals and at remote patient location including old people’s home and ambulance.

The plan is also to establish incubator related to IoT.

The expected cost to execute a 40 seater COE for 5 years would be  Rs. 35 Crores. Total 5 centres should be aimed which should include labs, office infrastructure and other necessities. Government would provide Rs. 100 Crores of funds. The rest of the funding would be sourced through industry by NASSCOM or any  other appointed association. [Draft Policy (PDF)]