19 Aug

The most exciting new technology you should know about: CEEDS System

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CEEDS stands for Collective Experience of Empathetic Data Systems. It is a new technology being developed in Europe whose goal is to improve cognitive abilities in people by creating a system based on sensory data which changes the amount of complexity in the data being displayed based on the physiological reactions of the user.

The idea is that the data in a display system would be more effective if it became sensitive to whoever was interacting with it. This project has currently received €6.5 million under the Future and Emerging Technologies Scheme, and has 16 research partners involved across 9 different European countries: Finland, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy, and Hungary.

It is designed to enhance cognitive abilities in the user of the eXperience Induction Machine (XIM) by gauging their stress levels and interest in different data areas. The XIM then guides the user to data areas that it believes will be more interesting to them, which can help increase the effectiveness of a student as they study.
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Most of the interest in this new technology is from museums because the XIM can offer visitors with a completely personalized and interactive environment in which they can learn about subjects that interest them. The XIM that is on site at the Bergen-Belsen memorial site in Germany has been used there for over two years. The CEEDS team is already discussing the placement of other XIM units in various museums around the world.

Some of the other uses that the XIM may have include a virtual retail store environment in which a shopper could look through various items and receive suggestions based on their reactions to different products that are presented to them, as well as being used to visualize soil quality and weather changes in Africa which could help increase the crop yields of local farmers.

Although these early systems involve a large room and a number of sensors that are worn by the user, there are many implications that this concept could become lighter and be made to fit into a device like a smart phone. If a database was able to track the user’s reactions by facial expressions alone, it could then change and offer suggestions to the user which would provide the user with more meaningful content to them.

Shrinking this type of technology into a smart phone requires the use of more than one camera on the phone to better track the facial expressions of the user. Although having multiple front-facing cameras may seem like a far-off concept, Amazon has actually already released a phone with four front-facing cameras that are designed to power its head-tracking 3D effect. However, this Fire Phone is in a good position to be used for watching the way a person reacts when shopping online.

There are many implications that this new technology may have for people, particularly when considering the future of the online retail market. As it develops, CEEDS will continue to meet the needs of various groups across the industries, from museums to online stores.

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14 Aug

How to Build a Good Company Culture

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For as many executives out there, there are just as many opinions on what the meaning of company culture is, and what it’s significance is. If you are just starting up a business, your primary goal needs to be creating a great product. Once your company begins to grow to include more than just a few dozen employees, it’s time to take a serious look at establishing a good company culture. Here are six pieces of advice to follow that can help you establish good company culture.

Name the Leader

Taking this simple step of naming who is responsible for the culture in your company is hugely important. This person has to be someone you trust and who understands the cultural tone you want to set in the company.

corporate-cultureLeadership Sets the Cultural Tone

It doesn’t matter much what you want the cultural tone of your company to be unless the leaders are upholding that. Your focus could be teamwork, transparency, or customer satisfaction. Whatever it is, if you have leaders that are not acting it out, you will never reach your company cultural goals.

Get Organized

The way your company is organized will help drive the culture of your company. One example of this was when Apple had their design team reporting directly to the CEO. By placing obvious priority on the product designers, they set a tone in their business of being product-driven.

Have an Offsite

Taking some time to bring all of your leaders and employees together on an offsite retreat is a way to bring everyone together to focus on building up the culture in your company. Be bold and ask your employees what they think about your current culture and what changes they would like to see made. Although having an offsite might not answer all the cultural questions in your company, it will help you see where you are, where you need to be, and how you can get there.

Focus on Priorities

It’s important to know exactly what your priorities are and to focus in on them. Most likely, that will be customer satisfaction which will help drive sales. That means gathering a team of leaders within your company that can stay focused on customer satisfaction.

Learn to Communicateno-feedback-wanted

Learning to communicate the culture to all of your employees will help them see the vision and will inspire them to reach towards your goals to create good company culture. Keep in mind that if you’re not doing the other things on this list, communicating culture won’t get you far. You have to be an example of culture to your employees along with the other leaders in the company.

Is a Company’s Culture Determined by Design or Default? Entrepreneur Jay Wilkinson, President of Firespring,  shares his company’s secrets to a vibrant culture that attracts and keeps great talent.

Final Thoughts

Growing a good company culture as early as possible is important for ensuring that your company will be more than a business that makes money; it will be a business that makes a long-lasting impact on the world. As you continue to grow your company, bring in new employees that already have the qualities you are looking for that will help make your culture be what you want it to be.

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