Do Nature’s Editors Want Another French Revolution?

first_imgBy glorifying the French Revolution without mentioning its atrocities, Nature’s editors give a terrible message about terrorism.It’s called the Reign of Terror: a year of rampant beheadings by government-santioned mob rule in France in the years 1793-1794.  Under dictator Maximilien Robespierre, a prototype of totalitarian dictators to come in the 20th century, the Revolutionary Tribunal ordered 2,400 individuals guillotined.  Another 30,000 died in the revolution.  “Softness to traitors will destroy us all,” Robespierre said, motivated by radical atheistic ideals of the Enlightenment.  He is famous for justifying this reign of terror with the proverb, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.” Ironically, when he called for another purge in 1794, his fellows had enough and added his skull to the pile of eggshells.Many historians see the French Revolution as an attempted follow-up to the American Revolution that went horribly wrong. Though the revolutionaries proclaimed “Liberty – Equality – Fraternity” as their ideals, those ideals were denied the many who lost their heads. The French Revolution paved the way for a new dictator, Napoleon.  The contrasts between the American and French revolutions are many. Why, then, would Nature whitewash the latter?It is no coincidence that the eighteenth-century French writer, intellectual and activist Voltaire, a leading Enlightenment figure, was both an outspoken and irreverent satirist of religion and a leading proponent of the natural sciences as the successor to religion and philosophical reasoning as the main route to knowledge. The Enlightenment culminated in the French Revolution, and the resulting 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which explicitly protected free speech, including the right to freely criticize religious views.The occasion for this editorial was last week’s terror attack on 17 French citizens by Muslim extremists.  Perhaps that’s the reason for the reference to the French Revolution. But by not mentioning the bloodbath that followed, Nature’s editors put themselves in the untenable position of rationalizing anti-terrorism with terrorism.Throughout the editorial, freedom of speech is exalted, including satire.  Many would agree.  But their favorite target for satire is “fundamentalism” and religion of all sorts, as opposed to science. This gave them another opportunity to glorify the French Revolution:Fundamentalists throughout history have sought to subjugate freedoms, including freedom of expression and thought. More than 200 years ago, France rejected them with a “Non!” that echoed across the world. It has done so again.The editors let Islam off the hook, fail to mention anti-Semitism, and essentially lump all religions together:The terrorists who murdered 17 people, including 8 staff members of the French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, falsely claimed to act in the name of Islam. On the contrary, the perpetrators represent a fanaticism that would stifle freedoms and science in the Arab and Islamic world, and beyond.Satire, wit and mockery remain surprisingly effective ways to voice dissent, and to highlight the absurdities, hypocrisy, injustice and oppression of authoritarian regimes and religious obscurantism.The killing also attacked other symbols of the Republic, including a kosher supermarket — one symbol of a multicultural society — and the police. One of the officers killed, Ahmed Merabet, was Muslim, and his brother aptly remarked that the killers were “false Muslims” and that Merabet had been “proud to represent the French police and to defend the values of the Republic — liberty, equality, fraternity”.What’s another movement Nature’s editors point to as a good example?Those rights are increasingly being eroded, however — ironically, often in political overreactions to terrorism — including through anti-terrorism laws that roll back civil liberties, increasingly invasive surveillance states and government oppression of legitimate dissent such as the Occupy movement.There was one passing moment of self-reflection in the editorial:But the right to criticize, and even to mock, religion, fanaticism, superstition and indeed science is not only rightly protected by law in France, but is enshrined there, as in many countries, as a fundamental human right.In that spirit, our commentary will do just that.Well, thank you Nature!  You have just acknowledged our fundamental human right to criticize, mock, and satirize science.  We hope you laugh at this funny cartoon:How’s that, Nature?  You are the guys who have made a superstitious, dogmatic religion out of the Cult of Charlie and his theory of evillusion.Nature’s  editorial is really ugly: glorifying the French Revolution without mentioning the Reign of Terror, letting Islam off the hook by claiming that the terrorists were not true Muslims, failing to differentiate between Christians who teach “love your enemies” and Muslims who attack them, treating science as superior to religion without mentioning where science’s own ethics come from, whitewashing science as a “main route to knowledge” but ignoring its own tendencies to obscurantism, glorifying the Occupy Movement’s bums who broke laws and left filth in their wake for no focused reason, and calling the kosher supermarket a “symbol of a multicultural society” without calling attention to the anti-Semitism of the terrorists. Nature proclaims the French Revolution’s ideals that paved the way for Napoleon, when it was the American Revolution with its declaration that rights come from our Creator that produced the greatest source of freedom the world has ever seen.Apparently, Nature’s solution to Islamic terror would be to send bums to “Occupy ISIS” and have them draw cartoons mocking Mohammed as they crap in the street.  Good luck.  Eggheads would roll, but it’s not clear anyone would like the omelettes.As far as “enlightenment” goes, listen to Dennis Prager, a Jew, describe which is more rational: atheism or belief in God.(Visited 26 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Why is fashion a major challenge with smart clothing?

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#Kinetic#Lumenus#Myo#Proxxi#ReadWrite Labs#smart clothing Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…center_img Craig Dudenhoeffer Follow the Puck Here at Readwrite — and our accelerator, ReadWrite Labs — we believe there’s a lot to learn about a new industry from the founders that are carving it out and leading the charge through innovative companies and products. We recently sat down with Jeremy Wall, Founder and CEO of Lumenus, for an interview on wearables and the emergence of smart clothing and textiles. Q:  Do you think mainstream consumers are ready for connected clothing?A: Nope, simple as that—it really hasn’t hit an inflection point where the “mainstream consumers” are looking for it. Most of the benefits exist simply for these small niche markets right now at the professional level: athletes, artists, and workplace. However, the workplace is the key there—because it doesn’t matter if you “need it” but you may be forced to wear it as part of a uniform—this is where we are seeing initial adoption.Q: What is the biggest hurdle holding back smart textiles today?A: The biggest hurdle right now for the smart textiles specifically is price… We have the capability to include a litany of amazing features on the level of the textile itself, not just bulky electronics that are sewn or attached to the fabric—but actually the fibers and polymers themselves. However, we’re at the front-end of this amazing innovation. I studied at the NC State College of Textiles, where some of the leading research in the world is done. It’s just a fact that it’s kind of stuck in the labs at this point and not ready for mass market due to cost but also building on the last question—who really needs it right now, especially with that sticker price?Q: How will the latest advancements in textile technology change the current value proposition for consumers?A: Every day we read about new technologies that are turned into companies that really just don’t have the legs to stand on. This is where my central notion of “collaborative innovation” is pivotal to the growth of our market. By combining the resources and abilities of smaller startups with larger incumbent market leaders we will see a huge influx in a number of beneficial products making it to market instead of just “runway concepts destined to remain tech-couture.”  This ability to pass by initial adopters to a larger audience (think Under Armour and HTC collaborating) gives a HUGE amount of accessible data because now you’re able to get at the millions of Under Armour’s existing clients to harness all that data—and it’s the big data play that allows all of it to be aggregated and become actionable, contextualized, and optimized for mass public as opposed to individual users. I think that the biggest piece is going to be the proliferation of the IoT and combining what would have previously been completely diaspora of data and users to a more unified source where it can be combined for all users benefit.Q: What corporations are embracing the smart textile movements and which ones are falling behind?A: Google has always been seen as a market leader regardless of sector and they’re not shying away from smart-clothing either, with Project Jacquard. However, they’re doing it right, by partnering with Levi’s to create a collaborative innovation where both parties put in their expertise where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Be honest, outside of the Bay Area would anyone ever buy a “Google Jacket?” No. And would you really buy a piece of hardware technology from the denim company Levi’s? No. That’s why combining these two into one product is an example of companies doing it right. However, you have to look at Athos as the 500-pound gorilla in the realm of smart-clothing right now and they’re struggling to figure out exactly who their customer is and how to maximize the amazing technology they’ve built—but doing it all on their own has held them back from what they could have done through meaningful partnerships, building a brand is extremely hard but joining forces with an existing brand is actually really easy, if they’re the right partner.You’ve got to look at the work Kevin Plank is doing at Under Armour and commend them, it hasn’t been their own internal innovation but it’s been the foresight to see the right markets and acquire the companies that will accelerate their path to being a market leader in tech—both hardware and software. However, you look at companies like Nike with the failed fitness tracker and have to assume that Tinker Hatfield and the E.A.R.L. isn’t the only technology they’re working on internally… but once they release it how will the market respond is the real question, because it’s all been behind closed doors, while Under Armour is the first one to let you know when something is coming down the pipeline. (With future girl as the example of their CGI team going a bit overboard, and actually setting themselves up for over-promise under-deliver because that technology is 20 years out.)Q: Is being fashionable enough? What do consumers really want from a wearable tech product?A: It’s tough out there for a tech company to know great design and but it’s near impossible for them to know ‘fashion’ which is more than just good design but the psychology of trends with fit, function, and style. Fashion isn’t enough for even the fashion industry because it’s so cyclical yet hard to predict what will land when. When you add technology to that equation it almost feels like a gimmick, which is the last thing any company wants to be seen as producing frivolous gizmos for the sake of it. However, people need real contextual insights from their wearables that lead to actionable guidance and feedback. This is where it has to be designed well, but there needs to be core function that is more than just beautiful design but benefits that truly improve the day to day of customers. Again, I think a lot of this adoption will be spurred by workplace and then applied to the consumer.Q: Which enterprise industries have the most to gain from adopting wearable tech and smart clothing?A: High-risk vocational workers have the most to benefit—my company Lumenus started with the consumer as our publicly facing market—but always knew that the workplace was where we wanted to be. When you talk about trying to make safety products it’s hard to convince the consumer to purchase because safety is inherently “uncool.” Just look around at how many people wear a helmet on their own volition. However, you’ve never seen someone be too hip to wear a helmet on a job site because they’ll get fired. This forced adoption is the start, but it’s the actual industries that will see improvements from the safety, productivity, accountability, efficiency, and cost savings. Augmented Reality (AR) is a great example, really we don’t see AR in use by the average person outside of social media filters. However, companies have been using AR in warehousing, heads-up displays for firefighters, and even agriculture for quality checks and repairs in the field.Q: What has been your biggest challenge while founding Lumenus?A: The biggest challenge has been finding the right partners, when you’re working in such a nascent industry there are no market leaders for components, assembly, or even distribution. So you have to find those that are looking forward, far forward, because anyone who is just trying to play catch-up to the buzz words they heard yesterday is already behind. It’s been tough for us to find reliable suppliers for our needs because they can’t just be a small part of our supply chain when you’re trying to create something brand new—they have to be a partner. Identifying the partners who truly understand your vision not just for generation 1 or 2 of the product but for the larger solution that you’re trying to accomplish. For Lumenus, that mission is “How do we make safety ubiquitous and inherent for all people” which might sound like a grand vision but it’s truly what we want to accomplish and so we can’t just find an LED supplier who likes lights, or a PCB manufacturer who wants to get a paycheck—but finding partners that share that vision and set of values mean that they push harder on their own to bring to market products that were beyond their own initial scope of capability—simply because they know this is the future and want to be part of writing that story.Q: Which companies are doing it right? What products have impressed you?A: Without going into my full list of companies that I love  — or speaking negatively on some of the majors that have really made some mistakes — I’ll point out a two that are fairly unknown that I just think are moving the whole industry in the right direction and doing great work.MYO: They are a smaller company and one that I supported on Kickstarter back in 2015 because they were based out of my hometown and had a good mission. Today they’ve got a vision of being the future of gesture control. It’s this larger vision that has been organic in its growth since inception that identified pain points and used research and market feedback to hone in on that vision. They have made SDKs available to all sorts of operating systems and a developer portal that allows anyone to build on what they’ve created—which takes the collaborative innovation and combines it with open-source of the crowd; which to me is the ultimate goal.StrongArm Technologies: I’ll be honest when I say I don’t know if this company will be the one to dominate the market, but they have got a heck of a head start on an exciting market—exoskeletons. What they’ve done so well is start with a core market of the “industrial athlete” and with that focus had an addressable market immediately, although it doesn’t mean that market will adopt. They’ve got a good bit of momentum in a market that will balloon with competitors as we continue to see companies work on human longevity and “augmented superpowers.”Two other companies for honorable mention in the workplace wearable safety are Proxxi — helping save workers from electrocution — and Kinetic — helping industrial athletes lift properly.Lumenus is an alumnus of the ReadWrite Labs Accelerator program. ReadWrite Labs’ latest program, Alpha, is now taking startups of all stages looking to make a mark in IoT. Alpha includes desk space in our downtown San Francisco location and access to 175+ mentors, investors and corporate partners. Learn more here about our incubation program.last_img read more

Mizoram facing a battle with bottle


AFF Championship team profile: Laos

first_imgMinnows Laos returned to the AFF Championship finals, after missing out on the previous edition. They have been drawin in Group A.OVERVIEW Laos have always been considered as the minnows in AFF Championship history. For this tournament, this reputation is unlikely to change. Despite having shown some improvements and undergone a training camp in Spain, Laos are not expected to advance to the semi-finals. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Laos National TeamLaos. Photo from AFF MediaSQUAD Goalkeepers : Saymanolinh Paseuth, Keo Souvannasangsgo, Outthilath Nammakhot.Defenders : Thotnilath Sibounhuang, Lathasay Lounlasy, Sonevilay Sihavong, Xayasith Singsavang, Thinnakone Vongsa, Mek Insoumang, Khounsombath Phommxay.Midfielders: Phouthone Innalay, Tiny Bounmalay, Phithack Kongmathilath, Soukaphone Vongchiengkham, Chanthaphone Waenvongsoth, Bounphachan Bounkong, Phatthana Phommathep, Kaharn Phetsivilay, Chansamone Phommalivong.Forwards : Somxay Keohanam, Thatsaphone Saysouk, Soukchinda Natphasouk.HEAD COACH PROFILEVaradaraju Sundramoorthy was appointed as Laos head coach on 15 October. It was a suprise appointment as just a month earlier, French coach Patrice Neveu was still on charge of Thim Xad, in preparation of the AFF Championship. Sundramoorthy has coached since 1999 but has not gained any major titles. In 2016 he had been appointed as Singapore head coach but under his guidance, the four-time AFF champions failed to recreate their past glories. This then led to his departure as the Lions boss on 9 April 2018.V Sundramoorthy SingaporeSundramoorthy. Photo from GettyPLAYING STYLE In the run-up to this edition, Laos have become a little secretive, and very little information on them has been unearthed. In the latest friendly match, they played with a 4-4-2 formation, focusing on more defensive tatics. Soukaphone Vongchiengkham, who plays for Thai club Sisaket, is their most important player in this campaign.Keep updated on the 2018 AFF Championship! Malaysia news Tournament news Team profiles Competition venues Fixtures and television schedule Group standings  Also follow Goal Malaysia ‘s Instagram account!last_img read more

The great debate and doctor politics InTheNews for Oct 7

first_imgIn-The-News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Aug. 30.What we are watching in Canada …OTTAWA – All six federal party leaders are in Ottawa today for an English-language debate that could shake up an election campaign that’s seen practically no movement in the polls since it began on Sept. 11.Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative boss Andrew Scheer, the two front-runners, both have events in Ottawa this morning: Trudeau has a photo-op with teachers and Scheer is promising an announcement at a downtown hotel.The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh and the Greens’ Elizabeth May appear to be fighting for third place, both looking to pick up seats especially on the West Coast.The Bloc Quebecois’ Yves-Francois Blanchet has little to gain or lose in front of a national audience primarily of English-speakers, while the People’s Party’s Maxime Bernier is counting on the national debates to introduce himself as a populist alternative to the major parties.This is the first of two debates taking place this week in a theatre at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que, with a French-language version coming Thursday.Voters go the polls on Oct. 21.—Also this …VANCOUVER – A group of doctors that’s calling on all federal political parties to take action on climate change now has support from four major organizations including the Canadian Medical Association — and 19 more groups are joining the effort this week.Family doctor Melissa Lem is on the board of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and says health professionals are increasingly advocating for a commitment from parties to limit global warming while others push for better policies on issues including gun violence.Lem’s environmental association has met with representatives of all the major federal political parties, except for the Conservatives who formally declined discussions.She says health professionals are on the front lines treating multiple harms based on government policies and they’re combining their scientific knowledge with activism in an effort to improve their patients’ health.—What you may have missed …Inuit are hoping to use the alphabet to help keep their far-flung people together.Canada’s national Inuit organization recently decided on a standard way to write their language that could be understood from Inuvik in the northern corner of the Northwest Territories to Nain on the east edge of Labrador. The new orthography replaces a patchwork of nine different, often mutually unintelligible scripts.“We’ve never done this before,” said Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “It’s the first time we’re exercising our own self-determination to implement our own writing system.”Before European contact, Inuktut was an entirely oral language. Nobody needed to read or write anything down until the 1700s, when missionaries, government workers and businessmen started showing up.Those groups all worked out different ways of translating the sounds of spoken Inuktut into symbols on a page, which they then taught to the Inuit.The orthographic hodge-podge has not only made it harder for Inuit kids to get educational material in their own language, it makes it harder to communicate between the Inuvialuit in the west, the Nunatsiavut in the east and all the groups in between. —What we are watching in the U.S. …WASHINGTON – The disclosure of a second whistleblower threatens to undermine arguments made by U.S. President Donald Trump and his allies that a whistleblower complaint was improperly filed because it was largely based on secondhand information.Attorney Mark Zaid told The Associated Press in a text message Sunday that the second whistleblower, who also works in intelligence, has spoken to the intelligence community’s internal watchdog. This person hasn’t filed a complaint but does have “firsthand knowledge that supported” the original whistleblower.Trump has rejected the accusations he did anything improper.The original whistleblower, a CIA officer, filed a formal complaint with the inspector general on Aug. 12 that triggered the impeachment inquiry being led by House Democrats.The complaint alleged Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 election.—What we are watching in the rest of the world …BEIRUT – U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria say American troops have begun withdrawing from areas along Turkey’s border.This comes hours after the White House said U.S. forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault — essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the yearslong battle to defeat the Islamic State group.The Syrian Democratic Forces say the move comes as Turkey is preparing to attack Kurdish-held areas in northeast Syria.The statement warns the Turkish invasion would be a blow to the fight against IS militants.The Kurdish Hawar news agency and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also say American troops were evacuating positions near the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad on Monday.—The Canadian Presslast_img read more

PC Mag Rolls Out Version for Kindle


FOLIO Roundtable


DoItYourself Surveillance Protects Home or Business

first_img Is that summer downpour flooding your basement? Did Rover get into the garbage again? Is your 50-inch flat-panel TV still in place? Find out from anywhere by using your PC to create an affordable home surveillance system that you can access over the Internet, or even over your cell phone. A professionally installed surveillance system costs at least $2000, but you can set up an uncomplicated USB-connected Webcam such as Logitech’s QuickCam Chat for $30, a wireless camera that can be placed almost anywhere for less than $200, or a complete PC-based monitoring system for under $1000.A basic surveillance system requires three things: a camera; motion-sensing software to activate the camera and to store its video or still images; and software to send the images over the Internet. Adding a wired or wireless network expands your home-surveillance capabilities.If you’re on a tight budget or you don’t want to deal with installing remote cameras, an inexpensive Webcam can serve as a bare-bones surveillance device. Many Webcams come with motion-sensing and remote-access software, but paying extra for a full-featured program may be worthwhile, especially if you want to use several Webcams of different makes (for two software recommendations, see “Cameras With Swivel”).The biggest drawback of a Webcam, of course, is that it’s tethered by a USB cable to your PC. Powered USB hubs and USB active repeater cables allow you to double or triple USB’s 5-meter length limit. Or you can wait for the convenience of wireless USB products, which should arrive soon. In fact, Belkin’s CableFree wireless USB hub may be available by the time you read this.IP cameras, on the other hand, can be placed anywhere there’s a network connection, making them ideal for homes or offices that already have a wireless network. Since they connect directly to your router rather than through your PC, you don’t need to keep the machine on to view the camera’s image in a browser. Prices for cameras with such features as night vision, remote-control positioning (pan-and-tilt controls, for instance), and zoom lenses can quickly escalate past $1000, but less expensive wireless cameras like D-Link’s DCS-5300G (about $500 online), Linksys’s Compact Wireless G Internet Video Camera (about $100 online) and 4XEM’s WLPTG Wireless Pan/Tilt IP Network Camera (about $390 online) have many of these extra features.Cameras With SwivelThe pan-and-tilt capability of the 4XEM and D-Link units let me monitor my living room, kitchen, and yard (through a window) with one camera whose view I controlled remotely, rather than having to use two or three stationary cameras. If you have pets, attach a speaker to let them hear your voice from afar.I installed three different wireless cameras on my wireless network, and though I struggled with the setup, after 5 hours I was monitoring my dog’s water bowl, my front door, and my vegetable garden from my cousin’s house across town.Of course, your network camera will only be as useful as the surveillance software that runs it. If the software bundled with your camera is difficult to use, has too limited a set of features, or is impossible to install, you can ditch it and try one of the many third-party alternatives, such as DeskShare’s $50 WebCam Monitor or iCode’s $79 i-Catcher Sentry. I found both apps much easier to configure and more useful than the programs that came with several of the cameras I tried out.Before you buy a camera-controller app, make sure its codec works with your cameras. IP cameras typically support either the MJPEG or the MPEG-4 codec, though some newer cameras support both. MPEG-4 cameras produce smaller video files, but at lower resolutions than MJPEG.Here answers to some common questions about remote surveillance cameras.How do I power a remote camera? If you want to place a camera somewhere without easy access to an electrical outlet, look for a camera that supports Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE cameras can draw power from the CAT5 ethernet cable used to transmit data, eliminating the need for a separate power line. Some cameras feature built-in PoE support, while others, such as D-Link’s $45 DWL-P200, require a PoE adapter.What else can I monitor? If you need more than audio or visual confirmation that your home or business is safe and sound, Digi’s Watchport Sensors monitor temperature, moisture, and motion. Each sensor connects via USB to a PC and comes with software that sends alerts via e-mail or cell phone. The sensors cost between $130 and $180 online.Alternatively, Motorola’s Homesight Wireless Easy Starter Kit HMEZ2000 monitoring system offers a turnkey home security system with modules for wireless cameras, window and door monitors, and wireless (but not Wi-Fi) temperature and moisture sensors. The starter kit costs about $250. Water, temperature, and window/door sensors cost between $40 and $80 each.Where do I go for help? Don’t waste too much time with a troublesome installation. Call tech support; 4XEM’s excellent support line made my setup a breeze, while an hour with a D-Link support tech convinced me to try WebCam Monitor instead of sticking with D-Link’s software. My most important lesson: If one quick call to tech support doesn’t solve your problem, return your camera for one from a different manufacturer.Setting up an external link to the Internet can be challenging on any camera. Check out the overview at and find several useful tips for installing and running an IP camera.Print, But Save GreenIf you print something every day, you probably waste a little something every day as well. The GreenPrint Home utility lets you cut down on wasted paper and ink by making it fast and easy to identify and delete unwanted pages, text, or graphics in print jobs. GreenPrint installs as a printer, so if you designate it as your default, it automatically pops up each time you print. At $35 (with a free 30-day trial), the program certainly isn’t cheap–but given the price of ink and paper, it can pay for itself pretty quickly.Send your tips and questions to [email protected] . We pay $50 for published items. Kirk Steers is a contributing editor for PC World and is author of PC Upgrading and Troubleshooting QuickSteps from McGraw-Hill/Osborne Press. 6 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now May 21, 2007 Brought to you by PCWorld This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

6 Reasons Why You Should Launch a Mobile App for Your Business

first_img Listen Now Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Research has shown that the enterprise mobile app market is expected to grow to $63 billion by 2020. In 2016, the average number of apps created by businesses was 11, a 126 percent increase on the number created.The case for creating mobile apps for business is strong, but like anything, there are good and bad ways to go about it. We know now that 23 percent of all apps are used only once but also that 39 percent of apps are used 11 times or more. Timing and circumstance will strongly determine on which side of the statistics your apps will be.Here are six great reasons why you should launch a mobile app for your business:1. You have a business problem to solve or an optimization to make.The most successful apps aren’t created because businesses had a channel to fill, but because there was an opportunity to optimize a process.If this is your company’s first app, the key is to not overthink what it needs to do: Apps are best when they serve a single purpose. You don’t need an app that does everything or has an eternal lifespan, but instead you must identify a short- or long-term purpose and determine how best to get there.Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting and Marketing an AppCheck out these three examples of business problems solved by apps:The problem: The company is growing fast and we need to keep employees connected. The solution: A staff directory app with messaging.The problem: Email newsletters/blogs aren’t getting enough readership. The solution: A topic-specific app that alerts users when there’s new content relevant to them.The problem: Customers complain that you could be more innovative. The solution: A customer support app where they can access their information and get in touch with the company instantly.2. You know your audience would love an app.Does your audience look anything like this?Tech savvyCheck their phone oftenLove your content, often ask you for moreDemand seasonal offers/event invitations/time-limited/loyalty opportunitiesWant above-and-beyond customer service from youBonus: Are already using the competition’s app(s)If it does, then your audience is a perfect fit for an app.Related: How Can App Makers Improve Revenue and Keep Users Engaged?3. You know exactly what will keep your audience coming back to the app.If you have an app idea and know exactly what will keep people coming back, you’ve won half the battle. Build that app immediately.If not, be warned: Even if you have a great use case for your app, it can still fail to retain users if it’s not engaging enough. What will make your app so special and why would someone come back to it?Consider this: A large business implemented an internal communications app with news, announcements and, secondarily, the company cafeteria’s menu for the day. It turns out that the menu was the feature that kept the most people coming back. The company did the clever thing and adjusted the app to show snapshots of internal news at the bottom of the menu, which increased engagement.Related: How to Increase Mobile App Engagement With Push Notifications4. You want to be seen as innovative and cutting-edge.Very few things say “innovative” louder than companies going “mobile-first”. Using apps shows that your business is willing to innovate, rather than stick with the norm.For example, your clients would probably be impressed if you started using tablets for meetings. They might expect you to use PowerPoint or printed materials, so they would notice if you take a fresher approach.In fact, many companies use apps more for the wow factor than because they have perfect app use cases. And, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. No company can adopt a new technology and use it perfectly from the outset. Getting used to the channel is part of figuring it out and getting great at it.5. Your competition is getting ahead of you with apps.Nothing springs innovation faster than the competition adopting new technologies. The more the technology grows, the more you’re going to get questions and requests from stakeholders. It might sound obvious, but most people in large companies strongly believe that enterprise mobile apps drive competitive advantage.So, if your reason for launching apps is that “others are doing it,” we can confirm that’s a good reason indeed. No one wants to be the laggard, do they?With apps, it’s an easy win: They are no longer the cost and time sucking format that they used to be. If your competitors are doing it, chances are you can quickly replicate it using a low/no code platform.Related: The Top 5 Myths of Mobile Apps — and Why Believing Them Will Hurt Your Business6. You’re borrowing an app idea from the competition and improving on it.Following up from before, if you want to jump on the app bandwagon because your competition is all over it, and you have a great idea for differentiating your app, then you should go right ahead. You might have a zero-to-hero kind of situation in your hands.Now, here are three reasons why you shouldn’t launch an app:1. You don’t have a way of making updates to your app quickly and easily.Inevitably, you’ll have to update your mobile app after you launch it. If you are thinking of using freelance or contractor developers or a digital agency to build you app(s), ask about the costs and times involved in a few update scenarios before you appoint them.With an app building platform, you may be able to bypass this issue altogether, as you might be able to edit and update your app instantly via the platform.Related: The Dominance of Mobile Marketing Is Complete2. You think this will be your company’s first and last app.Creating your first app is great, but if you’re thinking this is the only one you’ll ever need, then you might be expecting too much from it. Apps are most effective when they focus on a specific aspect of a business and use only one or two key features at once; that’s why the average company built 10.2 apps last year.Because of that, businesses need to make arrangements for the management of multiple apps to cover a variety of business purposes and topics. You might not need this at the beginning if you’re just building your first app, but the earlier you do so, the better.3. You don’t have resource in place internally to take care of the app.If you don’t have the right resources in place to to launch and scale an app across your organiz ation then the new app may well be on a road to failure before you’ve even begun. Figuring out how to launch mobile apps across your organization can include tasks such as:Finding advocates for the new technologyDetermining whether it will integrate with existing systemsScaling app initiativesMaintaining app contentHopefully, the reasons I’ve outlined above help identify when and why you should consider create an enterprise app. Likewise, they should have highlighted when it may not be ideal to launch an app for your business.Find out more about how an online app builder is the most time and cost efficient method of creating mobile apps for your business here. How Success Happens 7 min read April 13, 2017last_img read more

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