Business and Technology News from NUS

Month: March 2019

Leveraging Retail Skills Within an Increasingly Digital Domain

Countless students graduating from the National University of Singapore will have gained an impressive skill set which can be geared towards future business success. They are likely already well aware of the importance of digital technology if they hope to fully maximise this professional momentum. However, is it possible to marry traditional concepts with the ever-changing world of the Internet? What steps should be taken by students who are on the cusp of beginning their own virtual business venture? These are very important questions and knowing the correct answers could very well define a winning approach from a long-term perspective. Let us therefore briefly look at the answers to both subjects.

Traditional Versus Modern: Are the Rules Still Applicable? 

Any Singaporean tech startup firm will first need to address the notion of supply and demand within the online business community. This is arguably the easiest to translate into the digital domain, as the inherent variables have not changed. The only major differences are that supply may represent an intangible product (such as a mobile application) and demand will often relate to the whims of the associated customer base.

The other major point to consider is the role of innovative product development in relation to digital businesses. Many firms tend to focus upon short-term “pitches” that are not particularly centred around a specific product. In other words, they represent little more than viral trends. While this might be great for generating short-term sales, such a perspective could fail in the event that an even trendier idea is presented to the public.

Online ventures which tend to weather the storm will normally target a very specific demographic with a product or service that solves a discrete problem. This results in brand loyalty as well as the potential for a long-term investment opportunity.

Starting Off on the Right Electronic “Foot” 

Transforming the ether of a business dream into a tangible reality can be challenging; even for the most experienced business professionals. Many variables need to be taken into account and one of the most pivotal involves the deployment of a robust and scalable e-commerce platform. E-commerce solutions provide the digital “fuel” required to propel a budding business venture into the stratosphere of success. It is therefore critical to make the most informed decision as soon as possible.

Singaporean freelancers will need to work with a solution that is advanced enough to handle challenging business tasks and still simple enough so that implementation is simple. Modern e-commerce packages should also offer a host of utilities and tools that can be selected based around the needs of the firm in question. Not only will these features help to eliminate costly errors down the road, but they can ensure that a website is up and running in no time at all.

Singaporean students have a veritable wealth of online business opportunities at their fingertips if they choose wisely. This is why making the appropriate decisions today will lead to positive results in the future.

5 Trends Shaping Media and Entertainment


It’s safe to say the way we get our information has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. We no longer rely on the radio and cable tv for our information. Instead, we use social media and digital services to entertain and inform us. Though you may think entertainment technology has hit its peak, you’re mistaken. Here are the five trends that are shaping entertainment technology.

Data-Driven Development

Several years ago, cable companies responded to consumers by researching rating and public interest. However, these decisions took days, even weeks to make. Why? Because the technology just wasn’t advanced enough. But now, companies are using real-time data to develop software and services for the consumer. Through real-time data, companies can quickly understand the consumer and enhance customer service.

5G Network

Most of us aren’t aware of how smartphones work in connection to wifi. We only know whether our wifi connection is strong or not. But as entertainment shifts to online services, and more people rely on wireless communication, it’s putting pressure on bandwidth. Thus, telecom industries need to meet the growth of market demands. In response to the demand, new 5G networks create high-speed communication for its users, changing the way we receive our information for the better.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and are becoming mainstream and giving people a real glimpse into the future. The global VR market is estimated to increase to $26 billion US by the end of 2022. But what does this mean? Services such as Facebook 360 and YouTube 360 will be able to expand, allowing users to experience and interact with content. As the culture shifts to experience-based demand, entertainment technology will focus on this sphere.

Convergence in the Industry

Streaming services, TV companies, social networks, and telecom are all trying to get a piece of the pie. In a race to put their name on the map, companies are trying to converge their services, consolidate them to increase profit and users. For example, AT&T and Time Warner merged and Disney acquired most of 21st Century Fox. As the competition increases, companies are consolidating to stake a claim in the marketplace.

From Cable to Video Streaming

With 2.5 billion people using smartphones globally, there’s a definite shift from cable television to video streaming. Though cable is still being used, it’s expected to decrease by 25 percent by 2022. But the debate between cable vs. video streaming makes it hard to pick sides. Cable typically offers more channels. However, it’s simply less flexible for people who are on the go or don’t own a tv. Through their smartphones, they can still stay connected to series and movies.

Though these are current trends, media and entertainment are continually evolving as companies are continuing to push the boundaries to serve consumers better. By the speed of change, we can only guess how entertainment technology will shape the world.

Understanding the Evolution of Binary Technology


Humanity has been responsible for many great innovations throughout our history. We have created the wheel, civilizations, technologies, and digitalisation that has profoundly changed the world we live in. Invested heavily in encouraging our own progression as a species, we are accountable for some of the biggest evolutions in this world. From the creation of homes and then towns, and now onto cities, to the evolution of binary as a counting system to a digital coding response system, we have created this world to be everything that we want it to be. Some of these innovations were naturally inevitable, and others were propelled forward by our insistence on advancing our reaches through technological advancement and rapid digitalisation.

Take binary, for example. The depths of binary technology started out as far back as 600 years ago. Initially believed to have been introduced from Gottfried Leibniz (co-inventor of calculus) in 1703, anthropologists at the University of Bergen, Norway, were the ones to have discovered that binary may very well go back far beyond Leibniz. They were studying the culture and language of Mangareva (a small island in French Polynesia) when they were amazed to discover that the ancient civilisations of the island used what appeared to be a mathematical system that comprises of both base-10 (decimal) and base-2 (binary) systems. What they also found to be intriguing is that, even if the ancient people of Mangareva did employ such binary and decimal arithmetic, the current generations no longer use the counting system.

Either way, the reality is that binary has been a critical component, a foundational building block of civilisations for hundreds of years. Initially used as a mathematical system, binary has now evolved to become a technology that serves as the foundational coding component for most – if not all – digital devices, including computers and laptops. From binary to text, the reality of binary these days is far more advanced than the humble mathematics system it started out as. While binary has in the past been sent using physical systems like semaphore and morse code, it is today sent using electricity, light, and radio waves. This is done in the form of fibre optic cables, Wifi, and wires.

Instead of boxes and envelopes, however, binary is “shipped” via the worldwide web through “bits”. The ones are ‘on’, and the twos are ‘off’. Computers and other digital devices use electrical signals that carry either on (one) or off (two) numerations. The ones and zeros are not considered numeric as such, but rather as percentages of the voltage. As such, everything is coded as a series of binary symbols, or ‘numbers’. This data is represented on screen behind the scenes as a sequence of ones and zeros. Therefore, all information that a computer, for example, processes, takes the form of binary (a steady stream of ones and zeros in seemingly random succession). Binary is known as the base-2 system because there are only two digits to select from.

Welcoming the Digital Age of Virtual Shopfronts and Online Company Profiles


We have single-handedly created the world we live in through continuous perseverance in the pursuit of our own progression as a species. And this is the result. We rely more on tech and digitalisation than we ever have before, to the point where we are literally immersed in it. With this in mind, we have been placing more and more emphasis and importance on expanding our own exposure through digital portals (i.e. online). These days, everything from the way we educate or entertain ourselves, to the way that we shop and do business, has gone online. And, as we all know, websites are the core format of online presence.

Even though there are hundreds of thousands of websites operating around the world, it is not easy to get a website perfect – especially in the beginning stages of its inception. Creating a website is very much an ongoing process of elimination and trial and error. What might seem like a brilliant, show-stopping concept in one’s mind might not relay perfectly when it comes time to bring it to fruition on the screen. Website design is an aspect of any business that demands attention to detail and intricate overlaying. It is rare – if not impossible – for a website to come to fruition seamlessly.

It is only the websites that have the most potential for impact, the strongest design, and the best concepts, that will survive as the landscape becomes more competitive. Perfecting website design takes time, practice, money, and patience. Quite often there will be moments of error, and lessons along the way. At the end of the day, the core of strong website design in this digital age is about laying out the details of the process at every step, ensuring room for error and allowing for adaptation in the case of errors occurring.

A strong website is a mark of a strong company, idea, or individual. There is something exciting about bringing to life a website that perfectly encapsulates the visual branding of the concept. Having a website that is empty and lacklustre is not enough. For a website to be truly impactful and successful, it must be done thoughtfully and creatively, as well as professionally. Sometimes, a moderate understanding or personal background in web design is enough, and sometimes the concept needs the utmost of professional input – even (and especially) if that comes from other sources.

Therefore, it pays to bring a website designer or a web design team into the process early on. Whether you are scouting out a company that can offer fantastic website design Coffs Harbour, or a web developer to bring onto your team as it grows, the facts remain the same. Having a website is not enough anymore. This is the digital age, and the importance of having strong website design has never been as fundamentally important as it is right now. The worldwide web is becoming more competitive by the day, and it pays to have the right professionals on your side helping bring the vision to life.


Interior Design Should Be a Positive Experience

design interior

Moving can be a truly exciting experience. It can also, be somewhat scary at first, but it is important to focus on all the positives moving can bring into someone’s life. Whether it’s moving into a new home in the same neighborhood or moving across the country or even across the world, it is still a new experience that requires detailed planning. From deciding on the perfect location to deciding on the interior design of the home itself, it can seem like there are limitless decisions to be made. Finding the right design will be a different journey for each person.

Before one decides to start designing their new home when they move, they must first make a series of decisions involving their personal needs. For example, are they in a functioning family unit, a couple, or a single person. All of these varying occupant sizes will be a large factor in determining the needs of a home. For example, a larger family unit may need to decide on how much storage they require versus someone who lives alone. The size of a kitchen may be of greater importance to a couple that likes to cook than roommates in college. Some people may be more interested in window covering ideas than the actual windows themselves. By first establishing the needs of the individuals in the home, it will be easier to design and decorate after.

Designing and decorating the home can be a fascinating and fun experience. For some, the house itself will follow one consistent theme. Some themes are follow modern trends such as rustic, farmhouse, or cozy cabin. Other homes may include a varying theme for each room with individual eclectic expressions. Home design is almost like a part of a person’s identity. It is a unique way of personal expression that can only be done by decorating a home. A home should be a place that makes a person feel safe and comfortable, but it should also be a place where they feel most relaxed and like themselves. Sometimes the design process seems to be put on the back burner when it is as truly as important as the mechanical functions of the home itself.

Decorating can be done in a variety of ways. From picking out furniture and appliances to paint colors and decor, it is a way to uniquely demonstrate a message from the interior of a home. When deciding on decorations, it should first be a matter of deciding where to get them from. Many people invested in making their home look as perfect as possible want to put money toward their home decor while others are just as happy with DIY projects on their walls. Personal values can be easily demonstrated in decorations. When in doubt, it can always be a good an idea for a home owner to seek the consulting services of an interior designer that will be able to assist them in making their home look the way they want. Interior designers are trained to know the best layouts for homes and the decorations that will go best with those designs.

Artificial Intelligence Tech Disrupts Industries Worldwide


When it comes to technological advancement on a global scale, it is safe to say that the innovations are near-constant and exceedingly rapid at this point. We have become so familiar and so overwhelmingly confident and comfortable with the rate at which we are progressing technologically that we generally do not see a need to slow things down. Technological innovations are coming to light all the time, and they all have their place in this world that is exceedingly moving towards complete technological innovation. One of the most recent to kick into high gear and make its mark on the world is one that has been turned into a fear in entertainment blockbusters, but should be perceived as a saving grace. Welcome to the age of AI (artificial intelligence) disruption.

While AI has been on the scene for a while now in small-scale utilisation, over the past few years it has increasingly become a focus in technological advancement, and today we are seeing it be infiltrated into industries the world over. Whether it is startup businesses asking the question, “how much does a website cost?”, or consumers wanting to get through the purchasing process as quickly as possible, all of this is the beginning of AI utilisation across industries. Despite its successes in such an early stage of introduction to the world, AI has proven itself incredibly valuable, time and again. Despite this, many still hold reservations, are still not sold on the concept. There are many reasons why they should be open to it, but there are three that stand out the most.

Exceedingly rapid automation

The increase of automation at an exceedingly rapid pace is forging stronger human/AI collaboration all round. Through AI development, businesses and whole industries are better able to spend more time on the aspects of their businesses that demand more acute attention to detail and human energy and creativity, because the more tedious, standardised aspects of business will be automated through machine learning and AI capabilities, making them easily taken care of without much – if any – human attention. This will make businesses more productive, more capable, and more reliable, due to the removal of human error on what can be crucial parts of the business.

Higher ecommerce successes

We have all interacted with chatbot capabilities online these days. It is not at all uncommon for a bot to answer basic questions and queries, and over time this is going to expand as the machine learning and AI strengths build and become more so. The inevitable result of this is that businesses that do their bidding online through the digital landscape will experience higher success through ecommerce efforts. With AI running the show, there is an increase in capability and reliability that consumers really respond to, and that is only going to expand over time.

Upgraded cybersecurity

Machine learning and AI being part of cybersecurity is nothing new, but over time this is going to balloon and expand, strengthening cybersecurity efforts and placing AI innovation at the centre of it all. We all want increased security online, and AI implementation and consistent movement is the key to that success.

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