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How Can Technology Be Used To Address Water Scarcity?

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Water is a critical resource that’s under increasing pressure worldwide. According to UN estimates, more than 700 million people face water scarcity currently and by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will live under water-stressed conditions.

Preserving water, a precious resource, is therefore a key priority for all stakeholders. In this, technology can play a central role. For example, smart meters allow both households and utilities companies to monitor water consumption more accurately and on an ongoing basis.

These devices can empower consumers to control and reduce their own consumption and enable water companies to identify leaks. In times of significant water scarcity, water meters can support measures like hosepipe bans or seasonal tariffs when necessary.

There is significant potential for the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology – a connected system of smart meters and communication networks that allow data gathering between utility companies and customers – to support more intelligent water consumption, which will be vital as urban populations continue to grow.

With the growing sophistication of cybercriminals and rising attacks against key infrastructure, the issue of security in the water industry is more prominent than ever before. The water network is part of critical national infrastructure and is coming to represent an increasingly tempting target for cybercriminals. An attack on the water system could be very impactful, due to its sheer importance to daily life.

Steven Tripper, Chief Information Security Officer at Anglian Water in the UK, warned that hackers tend to attack small suppliers as security tends to be less and that typically between 20,000 – 30,000 cyberattacks are defended against each month. Perhaps more worryingly, he points to a typical gap of 250 days between the initial incursion and discovery of the attack.

Criminals could disrupt the function of smart meters by sending multiple signals on the same frequency, flooding the airwaves and disrupting the flow of information; this would effectively be the equivalent of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already delivering significant value for the water industry. Companies can track the quality, pressure and temperature of water, at every point from the plant to the point of consumption – all in near real-time and with greater accuracy than ever before. Leaks can be detected quickly, whether within customer homes or at other points in the network. And in the long term, data can inform more evidence-based planning and demand management.

To define best practice in AMI, technology providers are working together to develop industry standards, with governing areas including security. By understanding the standards set by technology experts – and how devices meet them – water companies can ensure that their own smart meter infrastructure meets the highest security requirements.

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https://forbesmiddleeast.com/how-can-technology-be-used-to-address-water-scarcity

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eCommerce

Bulk Grocery E-Commerce Platform BulkWhiz Closes Series A Round To Invest In Their AI Tech

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BulkWhiz, an AI-powered bulk grocery e-commerce platform in the Middle East, has successfully closed its Series A funding round. The investment round was led by BECO Capital, along with 500 Startups and new investors China-based MSA Capital and Kuwait’s Capital Faith.

Founded in 2017 by Amira Rashad, with the idea to ease lives and reduce the task and cost of grocery shopping for families and small businesses by offering bulk grocery, BulkWhiz built its own proprietary AI that learns consumer behavior and personalize the experience to their needs. Since its launch, co-founder and CEO Rashad commends that their initial AI has “built the foundation for personalizing the customer experience, and for realizing efficiency across the value chain enabling us to own our entire supply chain at a fraction of the traditional cost.”

To read more click https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/340882

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Markets

Middle East travel sector spending on IoT tech to increase by 22%

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Middle East online travel and hospitality market will outpace the global market by 17% over the next three years, with annual sales exceeding $100bln by 2022

The Middle East’s travel and tourism industry is expected to increase its spending on Internet of Things (IoT) technology by 22 per cent by 2022, according to data published ahead of the inaugural edition of Travel Forward, which will take place alongside Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020 at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 19 – 22, 2020.

To read more click https://magnitt.com/news/51100/middle-east-travel-sector-spending-on-iot-tech-to-increase-by-22

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New university degree in Dubai to tap into growing gaming market

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A university in Dubai will this year begin offering a course that teaches students video­game development and digital animation to address the needs of the region’s burgeoning gaming industry. Starting in September, the University of Wollongong in Dubai will launch the four-year course in which students will learn about game design, animation, visual communications, mobile applications, journalism, graphic design and social media.

“We are trying to anticipate the kind of technical skills that students will require in the coming years and are planning for jobs that do not exist yet,” said Dr Feras Hamza, head of the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Health.“There was a gap in the market because there was no one offering creative specialisation in media. In gaming and digital animation, technology is moving fast.”

The gaming industry in the Middle East is growing at a rate of 26 per cent each year, Suzy Pallet, vice president of Informa, which organised Middle East Games Con in Abu Dhabi in October, told The National last year. She said that compared with about 3 per cent annual growth in more established regions such as Europe or the US, the Middle East was an “untapped opportunity”.

Video games are expected to generate $262 million (Dh962m) in revenue in the region this year and show a 5.9 per cent year-on-year increase in gamers to 4.8 million players, a report by German online statistics portal Statista said. The new course is designed to train students to tap into this growing market. “We will be focusing on gaming because this is about making any kind of transaction more acceptable for the audience,” Dr Hamza said.

“We want to train our students on the latest technologies but we also want to train them to think for themselves and be innovative and creative.” He said the course moved past traditional forms of media studies that were still being taught at other universities, despite being outgrown by other areas of media.

The Dubai university’s president, Prof Mohamed Salem, saidinnovation was vital.“As the world shifts away from more traditional media offerings towards a new digital landscape, it is important we introduce new programmes that support the needs of the region,” he said.

Malek Teffaha, head of communication and localisation at Ubisoft Mena, said more universities needed to offer gaming degrees to keep up with industry demands.“Potentially, there are jobs for graduates and this opens up opportunities for students to explore the field properly

Right now, the biggest hurdle is there are not a lot of educational courses helping people tap into this field,” he said. The course is accredited by the Ministry of Education and students will have a choice of receiving their degree from either the University of Wollongong in Dubai or the University of Wollongong in Australia.

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Robot deliveries will change the way consumers shop

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If you live in the U.S. but don’t live in San Francisco or a few other select testbeds, you’ll be forgiven for not knowing that robot deliveries are on the rise. But in many towns around the world, including Milton Keynes in England, robots are already a common sight on city streets.

Starship Technologies, a technology and logistics company focused on last-mile delivery services utilizing robots, is celebrating 50,000 commercial deliveries this week in 100 cities around the world. The company sees a change in consumer behavior toward more frequent demand for smaller numbers of items as key to its continued expansion.

The customer behavior is called “top up” shopping, and it pairs well with delivery robots with limited payloads but quick response times. Need pretzels? A bottle of milk? Rather than wait until the next trip to the store, a robot can have the items to your door in a matter of minutes.

“Since the robots came to our neighborhood last year, they’ve become such a popular and common sight in the community,” Gillian Bailey, a local resident in Milton Keynes who received the 50,000th delivery made by Starship in the town. “With my hectic schedule, it’s really convenient to get my groceries delivered by the robot right to my front door while I’m busy with other things around the house. Our community feels really lucky to have this service available in our area, and I know many people who use it regularly throughout the week. I’ve already made over 100 orders since Starship first set up shop here and I’ll be making many more!”

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https://www.zdnet.com/article/robot-deliveries-change-the-way-consumers-shop/

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Giving Our Skin Superpowers with Tattoo Nanotechnology

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Introducing, Tech Tattoos!

Now, before you pass judgment on what you think a tattoo can be or what they represent, think back to that opening paragraph. Tattoos have the potential to be more than just body art. Simple dots, squares, and subtle lines (if that’s more your style) could actually allow you to protect yourself, and diagnose issues before they become major medical problems!

So, how does this work?

Well, this is the brainchild of Carson Bruns, a chemist, artist, nanoscientist, and tattoo enthusiast who looked at the ink on his own arms and realized there was more potential to the world of tattoo artistry than just artwork. Indeed, these pigments could clue us on in on what was happening inside of our bodies!

In his great TEDx Talk, Carson explains how he came up with this idea and what lies ahead for all of us with turning our own skin into a space for remarkable innovation.

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Giving Our Skin Superpowers with Tattoo Nanotechnology

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Dubai installs Smart Gates at Route 2020 metro stations

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Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has recently started the installation of Smart Fare Gates at Metro Stations of Route 2020 Project.

According to the Dubai RTA, the gates are characterised by accuracy, efficiency and speed in reading details of nol cards, and picking up vital indicators, thanks to high-definition cameras fitted with 3D-Sensor Technology installed by RTA in collaboration with several specialist firms.

“The new generation of smart gates has several features such as high-performance technical features that ensure the smooth flow of riders. These gates boast of an innovative design to enhance the interaction with users through LED technology to detect the direction of entry and exit movement. The 3D-sensor technology will boost the safety and security of passengers and prevent crashing into gates, especially by toddlers and wheelchairs of people of determination and pregnant ladies. These gates will automatically open in case of emergencies or fire,” said Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.

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A team of robots fulfills an order in 1 hour

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Want orders in an hour? That will soon be a reality in more markets thanks to robots.

Automation had made large-scale, ultra-fast order fulfillment economically viable (see: Jeff Bezos world domination), but the physical remoteness of typical logistics facilities has prevented retailers from offering true on-demand delivery outside a few metropolitan markets. But by harnessing networks of tiny automated hubs, micro-fulfillment could enable retailers to store their goods in the hearts of cities while still benefiting from the efficiency of automation.

CommonSense Robotics, a company that’s leveraging logistics automation with nimble deployments of micro-fulfillment centers, is betting big on the micro-fulfillment approach, and the company just passed an important milestone: Its first 1-hour fulfillment delivery.

The delivery, which took place in Israel, comes in partnership with Super-Pharm, an Israeli health and beauty retailer. The embedded video, a clever bit of publicity, x-rays the process from order to delivery and gives a great overview of how automation fulfillment enables ultra-fast home deliveries.

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https://www.zdnet.com/article/watch-this-is-how-robots-fulfill-an-order-in-1-hour/

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Amazon’s big internet plan

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Amazon has plans to establish a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit to patch up areas with poor or no internet connectivity.

Amazon’s planned push into satellite-delivered broadband is taking shape under Project Kuiper, details of which appear in three documents filed with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) last month. The documents were filed by Kuiper Systems LLC.

First spotted by Geekwire, the documents reveal Amazon plans to put 3,236 satellites at three different altitudes. There would be 784 satellites orbiting at an altitude of 367 miles (590km); 1,296 satellites at 379 miles (610km); and 1,156 satellites at 391-mile (630km).

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the existence of Amazon’s satellite broadband ambitions, noting that it was a “long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet”.

The company is also planning to partner with other companies to bring the project to reality.

That could make companies in the space-broadband race, like SpaceX and OneWeb, potential rivals or partners. The FCC in November authorized SpaceX to deploy and operate 7,000 satellites in very low Earth orbit to deliver broadband.

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https://www.zdnet.com/article/amazons-big-internet-plan-3236-satellites-to-beam-faster-cheaper-web-to-millions/

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