The Future of Medical Technology: Gamification and Living Better Lives

Gamification in medical devices

Humans learn through play. Anyone who’s ever watched a group of children knows this, but we often think that games are only for children. That our brains somehow leave play behind when we finish maturing and get regular jobs. However, psychologists have repeatedly told us that one of the best ways for us to keep learning, growing, and to live better lives is to take time for play. It is a necessary component of our lives, and it’s hard-wired into our brains.

This is where the recent gamification craze came from. In short, gamification is when you turn a task into a game so that people want to participate in it, instead of forcing themselves to do it. It works in the workplace, the classroom, and even around the house. And thanks to advances being made in technology, gamification is becoming an ever-larger part of our day-to-day lives.

Changing Your Behavior is Easier When It’s a Game

One of the biggest examples of gamifying behavioral change, according to The Medical Futurist, is the mobile game Pokemon Go. For those who haven’t played it, it’s an augmented reality game where you have to physically go to a location, and use your smartphone to see, target, and catch wandering monsters for you to then make more powerful. This game was a massive success, and it led to thousands of people meeting up at parks, walking through their towns, making new friends, and getting exercise.

Now, that wasn’t the express purpose of the game (which was likely made the way it was for maximum possible immersion), but the side benefit was that because people were playing a game they engaged in a lot of activities they normally wouldn’t. People often say they want to get out more, make new friends, and exercise, but they rarely do. With the introduction of a gamified element, though, suddenly they couldn’t wait to change their behavior.

This quirk of human psychology, when combined with our ever-advancing technology, has the potential to really help us. As another example, there are apps out there that track your workout regimens, and level you up as if you were a character in a roleplaying game. While it’s useful for tracking your progress at the gym, it’s the idea of earning “experience” points and building up your digital self that keeps a lot of folks pumping iron and pounding the pavement. Even though the reward is purely in the mind, it’s the game that changes that person’s behavior, and gets them to do something healthy they might not otherwise be willing to do. This same tic, if properly catered to, could get us to do everything from eating our vegetables, to taking our medicine.

What Will The Games of The Future Look Like?

Gamification is a huge bandwagon at the moment, being used for everything from scholastic achievement to corporate training. However, this ability to motivate people isn’t going away any time soon, so the only thing that’s going to change is how technology incorporates our love of the game.

It’s possible, for example, that as our Internet grows even faster that we’ll be able to have fully-immersive virtual games with friends, allowing us greater human connection and enjoyment. Training scenarios could allow for everything from EMT proficiency with car accidents, to police tactical simulations. These simulations could provide us with personal avatars like Iron Man’s Jarvis to help us keep our schedules, making us feel like superheroes. Even something as simple as brushing our teeth or eating healthier could be gamified, with a little creativity on the part of developers.

If you’re working technology that will help us change our lives for the better, contact us today! We have the experience and solutions to help!

Revolutionize Fleet Management With Telematics Solutions

Revolutionize Fleet Management With Telematics Solutions

The introduction of Telematics solutions to the fleet management industry continues to prove worthwhile for different businesses. Fleet managers can now remotely assess vehicles thanks to the enhanced GPS tracking solutions. The ability to monitor driver behavior and manage vehicle maintenance adds to the ballooning list of benefits from these technologies.

Telematics brings together telecommunications and informatics systems to empower fleet managers. Wireless Telematics devices collect data on various aspects of the vehicle and help companies make informed decisions on how to manage their fleet.

Talk of Telematics began way back in the ’70s as the internet started to gain traction in the technology world. Telecommunication networks have since expanded on a global scale, and transfer of data has steadily become child’s play. Satellite connections or cell phone networks are all that is needed to transfer Telematics data to central units in real-time.

What can you do with Telematics?

From a central dashboard, you can monitor the current location, fuel consumption, and speed of your cars. VPs also get an opportunity to assess the productivity and profitability of the fleet. The fast-paced growth of technology has ensured that the applications for fleet Telematics solution have no limit at the moment. Vehicle-based businesses continue to make the most of adequate connection systems world over.

Given that businesses have unique needs, API integrations and customizations are necessary for the success of Telematics systems. Once the right model is in place, fleet managers have an easy time picking out relevant data. Such data will reveal the state of their fleets and help them reduce costs as they streamline services.

Monitoring fleet activity comes with the benefits of controlling costs better and complying with government regulations. As fleet owners seek cost-effective ways that boost accountability and improve productivity, we are bound to see more innovative products introduced to the market.

Vehicle makers have joined this bandwagon. Smart cars will be already installed with OEM Telematics systems to connect them to smart traffic technologies. Customers can look forward to high returns from their fleets.

Reliance on data

Fleet management has now entered into a phase where companies cannot expect to succeed without data and technology. Businesses should seek to take these changes in their stride and strive to deliver proactive and predictive services. Rather than putting out fires, Telematics enables companies to plan ahead.

Digitized data allows you to aptly take care of the needs of today’s techno-savvy clients. Telematics technology ensures that you can give your competitors a run for their money without being unnecessarily hard on your employees.

Constant phone calls to drivers are soon becoming a thing of the past as the fleet management software gives you a full picture of your fleet. You’ll be better placed to optimize schedules for different vehicles using near-real-time data. Telematics allows you to ditch manual paperwork and focus the time and resources to step up productivity.

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Increased productivity

Although Telematics solutions have been around for over ten years, only 40% of fleets use this technology. This statistic does not mean that the benefits are not adequate. Organizations that take time to plan a Telematics implementation carefully have enjoyed a high return on investment (ROI).

Incorporation of Telematics also has a hand in decreasing the risk factor. You get to save your company loads of out-of-pocket expenses that often arise in the event of an accident.

Top productivity features include:

  • Route optimization
  • Total cost of ownership
  • Vehicle health monitoring
  • Near-real-time tracking

Coolgear continues to offer top-notch solutions to clients in an industry where compliance mandates are on the rise. Contact us for customizable Telematics solutions and we will help you enhance service delivery and facilitate efficient dispatch.

Standardized USB Devices for the Medical Industry

USB devices have long had a reputation for simple plug-and-play connections. As more and more of these devices are deployed to people’s homes or they wear them everywhere, this is an increasingly valuable feature. People want to hook them up and use them without the help of a computer expert. They want to be confident that the gadgets which monitor their health will keep working reliably.

Using a USB connector is a good first step, but it’s not the whole picture. The software which accepts data from the devices needs to understand it. Widely accepted standards for USB medical devices make achieving this goal possible A device that complies can work with software from multiple vendors, and patients and medical professionals can use the applications that best meet their needs.

USB for the End-User

Personal health devices (PHDs) aren’t just found in hospitals and medical offices anymore. They’re increasingly available to patients wherever they are for ongoing monitoring of their status. Diabetics and people with high blood pressure can catch abnormal readings and take action in time to avoid a crisis.

The physical interfaces for PHDs include wireless, USB, Thunderbolt, and others. USB offers the advantages of high speed and ease of connection. Most desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones offer a USB connection. It’s more reliable than Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Inexperienced users can make mistakes that compromise the security of wireless connections, but a USB cable is a safe data conduit. Newer versions of USB are backward compatible with old ones. The current standard is USB 3.1, and a still faster USB 4 is expected to appear this year.

Standardization at the Data Level

Medical devices deal in specialized data, and they need a high level of reliability without room for misinterpretation. Every device sends data using a particular format and data model. The software needs to understand them in order to do anything with the data.

Much of the industry has adopted the IEEE 11073 family of standards to maximize interoperability. It provides a framework for data which is independent of the transport mechanism. The standards define roles for agents, which are devices that collect and transmit data, and managers, which receive and process it and may direct the agents. The standards include specializations for different kinds of agents, such as heart rate monitors and thermometers. Each specialization has its own data model.

Conformance to IEEE 11073 greatly simplifies the job of connecting a PHD and using its data. Applications which understand a device’s specialization will be able to ingest its data, give reports, and issue alerts with few difficulties. Adherence to these standards is a sign that the manufacturer takes the product seriously for medical purposes.

The Medical Applications USB Stack

In between the data model and the physical connection are many protocol details. The USB standards include the Personal Healthcare Device Class, which is supported in the application rather than the operating system’s USB driver.

The Continua Alliance, a consortium recommending standards for medical systems, has endorsed the Medical Applications USB Stack. This implementation brings together the standards at the application and USB levels. Application writers don’t have to deal with the low-level issues, so they can focus on the user experience and data management.

When people’s health is at stake, it’s important for devices to “just work.” The availability of these standards lets medical professionals confidently recommend devices and software that work well together. Compliant USB devices are easy to configure, work reliably, and are compatible with a growing body of software.

Coolgear offers state-of-the-art USB medical devices that earn patients’ confidence. Contact us to find out more.

USB Technology and Cyber Security Threats: Understanding the Necessities and Dangers Surrounding USB Storage in Medicine and Beyond

Medical USB Technology

The medical industry is drenched in technology. Intricate AI-powered surgery robots and high-tech anesthesia equipment fill surgery rooms, computers and laptops litter nurse stations, and MRI machines and powerful PCs back up teams of expert radiologists. 

At the heart of all of this powerful equipment is a small, often discrete, USB connection.

USB connectors and ports breathe life into all of these devices. They supply protocols for communication between machines, can be used as a power supply for smaller equipment, and are even used to transfer patient files remotely between locations (i.e., thumb drives, external hard drives, etc.). Medical technology relies on USB daily, and USB connections play a critical role in medical IT architecture.

But, all of this USB tech also introduces risk. To be fair, USB technology itself isn’t the risk. USB connections open up gateways for internal threat actors to access confidential patient records. Hospitals struggle with their USB ecosystem. These ports that exist on virtually every piece of medical equipment require forward-thinking and strategic planning to minimize risk.

USB and Risk

According to Verizon’s 2018 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report (PHIDBR), over 55% of ALL security breaches in the medical industry come from inside threat actors. Healthcare is the only industry in which internal actors are the biggest threat to an organization. This makes internal security the single most critical channel of risk prevention. And, USBs rank towards the top-of-the-list when it comes to reducing internal threats.

USB drives that house information are incredibly portable, convenient, and easy-to-use. But, they’re also easy to abuse in the wrong hands. Whether it’s a former employee who wants some form of revenge against your healthcare system, a sophisticated threat actor looking for physical hardware, or merely an unaware employee, someone who accesses a USB drive that hasn’t been secured can easily do damage with the files contained within.

There’s risk anytime you’re dealing with portable drives that carry sensitive information. And, there’s also a risk in any communication protocol between two or more machines. So, what do you do? You have to use USB cables; they’re absolutely necessary in the medical industry. How do hospitals prevent USB security issues?

3 Ways to Reduce USB Security Risks

#1) Zero Trust Security

Originally coined by Forrester Research, Zero Trust security involves baking security into your everyday operations granularly. According to Forbes, 66% of external and internal actors are abusing security privileges in the healthcare industry. Instead of blaming the individual, healthcare needs to discover how it is that over half of their employees are capable of abusing privileges in the first place.

Zero Trust security leverages segmentation and perimeters to ensure that systems, cloud resources, and databases are protected in layers. Part of this involves tracking user access routes, using location services, and certainly monitoring logins. But, it also involves securing the physical resources in a structured manner. Who can check out USB drives? Can they plug them into any system? If so, is that safe? These are the questions you need to be thoroughly examining.

#2) Actively Review USB Activities

Securing your USB assets is one thing, but tracking them is an entirely different monster. But, it may be one of the simplest ways to ensure that data leaks are dealt with accordingly. One way to do this is to use a tracking system paired with something small — like QR codes. Another way is to keep USB data transfer under lock-and-key.

Most hospitals have access to a plethora of USB drives, cables, adapters, and hubs. You need to monitor this equipment and check for any suspicious activities.

#3) Glue Security Education to Onboarding and Beyond

While GI Joe’s tagline “knowing is half the battle” may have been applied to an evil metal-faced villain, it’s instantly applicable to USB security. You can create the best processes, glue expensive and robust security to your IT architecture, and create dynamic role-based access systems; if you aren’t training employees on how to use USB — you’re going to have incidents.

And, training shouldn’t be exclusively an onboarding phenomenon. You need ongoing training. Do your employees understand the roles of USB? Are they aware of how data transfer can impact security? If not, they should be.

Final Thoughts

While USB technology can be used by internal employees to expose your healthcare organization to risk, It’s also a vital part of standardizing the healthcare IT ecosystem. USB cables, drives, hubs, and connectors are the spirit of your equipment. Through the proliferation of USB, connected devices such as medical ID bracelets and other machines, more and more systems will be able to communicate efficiently.

Technically, a USB hub (both external and internal to a computer) should prevent an attacker from stealing data from adjacent USB-connected devices. But that’s not the case in practice.

As it turns out, some USB hubs don’t sufficiently secure the communication lines between USB ports and the computer, an oversight which attackers can exploit to steal sensitive data.

The purpose of medical technology is to aid in the care of patients. With USB standardization, healthcare professionals can bypass many of the roadblocks that keep them from their patients and deliver more optimized care.

In the medical industry, there’s no room for error. You need innovative technology products that are paired with excellent customer support. If you are currently building a device that relies on USB technology, we’re here to help. 

Interested in purchasing superior USB solutions for your healthcare setting? Contact us.

The Future of Medical Technology – 3D Printing

medical printing technology

3D printing is finally reaching that point where it’s common in an industrial sense, but it hasn’t quite become something a majority of households have access to. However, the technology is poised to be adopted on a much larger scale even than it already is, and to make inroads into a lot of areas that we don’t usually associate with it. 

One of those areas is the medical field, which is likely going to step up its use of 3D printing as it becomes capable of doing more and more things.

Take a moment and picture a scenario where patients no longer have to wait for a transplanted organ. With 3D printing, this can be a reality.

In bioprinting, the 3D printer, or more accurately the bioprinter, creates human tissue by using ‘bio-ink’ which contains thousands of living cells. Medical researchers hope to use this technology to make transplant organs.

In theory, the process would start with taking tissue cultures from a patient; printing these cultures into the shape of the intended organ, then having the organ transplanted into the patient. Since the organ is made from the patient’s genetic matter, the chances of the body rejecting the organ greatly reduce.

As exciting as it sounds, 3D printed-organ transplants are still a thing of the future, but 3D printing is already being used in the field of medicine as we speak.

This technology is already seeing a lot of use in the medical field, and one of the primary areas it’s revolutionizing things is with prosthetics. 

What 3D Printing Can Already Do

  • Customized prosthetics

Organizations such as Enable have played a vital role. Organizations are now printing feet, legs, and splints for children. The increasing popularity of customized prosthetics is down to their costs and durability. In the past individual pieces would need to be hand-assembled based on the measurements of the user, but thanks to 3D printing and computer modeling a custom prosthetic can be printed out in a relatively short period of time once the measurements are typed in. This allows for fast, custom items to be made right onsite, and even though the modeling allows for near-infinite customization, these 3D printed prosthetics are only a fraction of the cost of more traditional models.

  • Hearing aids

Today, most hearing aids are 3D printed with stereolithography technology, which offers many benefits. Although stereolithography doesn’t allow the use of more than one material for the device’s structure, multi-jetting makes it possible to simultaneously have a rigid interior and a soft coated exterior for comfort.

  • Dental applications

Invisalign are custom-made aligners that represent an application of 3D printing in the dental field. The custom fit allows it to apply the right pressure on the teeth, moving them in the intended direction.

In addition to such helpful items, though, 3D printing has also been used to make implants, surgical tools, and other devices used in hospitals and at doctor’s offices. While it’s far from the industry standard, it is becoming more and more common.

Every day, 3D printing technology continues to find new application areas in medicine. These applications are sure to change how we look at medicine today.

What 3D Printing Will Be Able To Do

We have only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to 3D printing’s medical applications, according to The Medical Futurist.

These are some of the areas 3D printing is expected to have more impact on as time goes by:

1. Bioprinting

Picture a future where, if you needed a new heart or a kidney, doctors could take a small sample of your own genetic material and make you one in a matter of a few days, or even a few hours. A future where skin grafts could easily be made from the patient’s own skin, or where we could copy and paste stem cells in order to use them for whatever applications were necessary at that moment.

Though the printing of 3D organs is still in its early stages, some doctors believe that it will be possible to have 3D printed tissue structures capable of performing the functions of an organ, making some transplants unnecessary.

The major obstacle of having a 3D printed organ, however, is the rate at which cells die. The key to this is devising a way to keep the cells alive while the organ is being printed. For now, the focus is on how to bind together printed organoids, to have them function like an organ.

2. Printed pills

On more than one occasion, doctors tend to prescribe various pills to treat particular ailments, but imagine if you only needed one pill.

The precision of 3D printing makes it possible to have a pill designed to contain several drugs, each with corresponding release times. Already, a ‘polypill’ which contains three different drugs is being used to cater for patients suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

3. Surgery rehearsals

The use of 3D printed models to rehearse surgery procedures can shorten the time taken to conduct operations while minimizing patient trauma.

4. Localized production

Imagine if a pharmacy didn’t have shelves full of specific drugs. Instead, they had a device that automatically mixed up prescriptions from a pool of general molecules, allowing them to make what people needed when they needed it? 

The custom made nature of the products printed through 3D printing will promote localized production. Digital files of drug designs will take the place of warehouses packed with boxes of medicine. These files will be available for download by hospitals allowing them to print the drugs using the locally stored raw materials.

As long as the hospital has access to the devices and raw materials, medicine can be made more readily available.

The challenge this introduces is how to ensure quality control of the printed drugs; shifting responsibility from suppliers to the location the drugs are being made.

The advancements made in 3D printing technology presents a future that could make it possible to print whatever we can dream of. All of this, and more, has the potential to be our new reality in the next few years.

The beauty of 3D printing is two-fold when it comes to the medical field. On the one hand, it decentralizes manufacturing, allowing hospitals, clinics, and in some cases even the patients themselves, to make what they need onsite in a relatively short period of time. This means there’s less need to stock things, there’s no need for transportation, and it greatly reduces the costs for manufacturing items. On the other hand, though, 3D printing allows for the unique manufacturing of new medical technologies that can be produced on a larger scale. From making copies of human organs, to creating fully-functioning teeth ready to replace any damaged ones that you have, this technology makes all sorts of things possible that would once have been found only in the pages of science fiction.

Which of these possibilities are going to be further explored, and which of them will come first, is impossible to say at the moment. However, as 3D printers become more accessible to smaller practices, and to individual’s homes, we are going to be able to make more and more things on-demand as we need them. And that will lead to a medical revolution.

Our products are currently being used to drive some of the leading tech on the market. If you’re working on new and exciting advancements in medical technology we’d love to help! Get in touch with one of our product specialists today!

The Future of Medical Technology: The Merging of Man and Machine

medical technology cybernetics

If you’re a fan of science fiction, then you’re familiar with the idea of cyborgs. The merging of man and machine has given us characters as varied as the Cyberdyne systems Model 101 terminator, and classic heroes like the six million dollar man. And if you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, you’ve no doubt seen that real-world cybernetics are making big strides as well.

One prediction that’s been made is that cybernetic augmentation won’t just be out of necessity, in the future. Instead, it will be something people do deliberately.

More Than Human

A cyborg is anyone whose physical functioning is either dependent on, or advanced by, a mechanical or electronic device according to Dictionary. That is a pretty broad definition, and it includes both senior citizens with pacemakers, as well as people with prosthetic limbs, and who wear contact lenses.

That last one might be particularly important when it comes to understanding the potential future of this aspect of the medical field. Contact lenses have been around for a long time, and the idea behind them was fairly simply in the beginning; rather than wearing corrective lenses on your face, put them directly into your eyes. However, as contact lenses became easier to make, and more reliable to use, they became more popular as cosmetic items. Whether someone would rather have blue eyes instead of green, or an actor needs to have that bright red, the-devil-is-in-me look, this simple device expanded from being something used to correct legitimate problems people experienced into something that fulfilled a very different role.

According to The Medical Futurist, cybernetics offer the same sort of potential, but to the nth degree.

As an example, imagine the not-too-distant future where we have developed working, cybernetic eyes (or at least corneas). These eyes will allow those who have been blind to gain vision, true, but they could do much more. Perfect vision on the level of a high-quality digital camera, along with the capability to zoom in from a long distance away, or even to record images and video to be seen later makes it more than just an eye; it’s a body camera straight out of a cyberpunk spy thriller. It might also have the ability to see in night vision, infrared, or other modes, as well!

If such a thing existed, who wouldn’t want to have that instead of the eyes they were born with? Especially if their vision is less than optimal, and this technology could offer them something so much better? You could extend those questions to practically every part of the human anatomy, and ask why someone wouldn’t want an upgrade. Artificial muscle fibers meant to help those with degenerative conditions could turn a healthy person into a superhero. Digital skin implants could allow someone to have a tattoo that can be changed at will.

The list of possibilities goes on and on, and it’s only limited by our own creativity.

Popularity, Cost, and Difficulty

While it’s hard to imagine people voluntarily undergoing drastic augmentation for procedures they don’t need, it isn’t tough to imagine that technology could grow so advanced that we reach a point where some implants could be done as simple, outpatient procedures. As the technology advances, and the cost comes down, things that we once considered on the cutting edge (smartphones and tablets, for example), will become more affordable and available to the wider population.

When it comes to cybernetics, that offers up all kinds of unique possibilities.

If you’re working on new and exciting advancements in medical technology we’d love to help! Get in touch with one of our product specialists today!

The Top Three Most Common Product Design Mistakes to Avoid

When you set out to create something new, you quickly find out how deep you’re in. This is uncharted territory! You’re on your own now! It can be scary, it certainly can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be something that you do alone, without any help or guidelines along the way. Instead of diving in blindly, it is extremely helpful to come up with an efficient plan backed by healthy amounts of research, so you can ensure your idea will make its way through design, development, manufacturing, and marketing into a concrete product that will sell. 

Below, we’ve outlined the top three mistakes that developers make that can easily put a business — large or small — at risk. Keep these key points in mind when you’re starting your product development journey so you can easily avoid disaster. 

Lack of a Plan 

The first and perhaps most important step to developing a product is to outline a detailed plan for it. Ask yourself what it is that you want from this product. What is its purpose? What is your consumer market? Why? How will you appeal to that key demographic? What will your marketing look like? How will you roll out the product to the design team? The manufacturer?

These questions may seem silly or obvious, but if you haven’t thought each one of them through and made a written document of how you plan to address each portion of your plan, then you will not be prepared along the way. You can’t anticipate every issue that may arise, but you can think through as many as possible and put down some solutions on paper.

Ensure that your plan includes an approximate timeline of all foreseeable deadlines with a little flex time built in for cushion. A copy of this plan should be copied and given to (or clearly communicated in another fashion) your suppliers and manufacturers, as well as those on the marketing end responsible for the product launch. Not only will you be more prepared, but other stakeholders can be more prepared as well — and you’ll have a working document to refer back to if needed for accountability measures. 

Lack of Research 

Another glaring mistake that can happen when you’re setting out to design a new product is forgetting to do your research. There are three important components to research: understanding the product and its purpose, understanding the market, and understanding the client who will buy the product.

In order to understand the product and its purpose, you can always refer back to your planning document, which should include a vision for the product. You should always try to experience the product from the point of view of the customer; is the experience worthwhile? Does your vision for your product play out – in terms of efficacy, purpose, and aesthetics?

In terms of researching the market and consumer, you must not only gather accurate data but also thoroughly analyze it. How well do you know your market? How well do you know your customers? These are essential questions to answer by compiling data-driven research that will inform the rest of your entire design process.  

Lack of Efficiency 

Finally, the third hard-hitting mistake that product design and development teams make is a lack of efficiency, which almost always stems from a root cause: unclear or inconsistent communication. 

When you have deadlines that must be set and met, communication between the design team, developers, and the manufacturing contact person must be constant and efficient. Without it, you run the risk of deadlines being missed, which results in broken systems of accountability and weakened trust.

Your communication plan must include frequent, most-pressing updates (as to not overwhelm); friendly (not annoying) reminders about upcoming deadlines; and clear expectations regarding what standards must be met throughout each step of the process.

If your product goes into development stages but you haven’t communicated what standards must be met, your supplier will manufacture the product using standard industry expectations. If that’s not what your product calls for, this miscommunication could be seriously costly. Making sure that you are clearly communicating with all other stakeholders of the project will avoid this mismanagement mistake. 

 Looking for more information on building successful design models? Don’t wait — keep reading. Or reach out; we’re here to help. 

 

Top 10 Robotics Innovations of 2019

Over the years, machines have continuously moved out of the research labs and into areas of real-world applications such as medicine, construction, and more. With more robots playing a part in the creation of high-quality products and the completion of certain jobs and tasks, this trend is set to continue.

Every year sees advancements made in the field of robotics, and 2019 is no different. This article looks at a few robotic innovations being made;

1. Hadrian X

Hadrian X is a robotic bricklaying system with the ability to construct a house in two days. The Dynamic Stabilization Technology it makes use of enables the Hadrian X construction robot to correct for certain factors in the environment in real time; ensuring precision in its functionality.

2. Temi; the personal robot

Its sound system that makes use of autonomous navigation, as well as its smart display capabilities, allows Temi to connect its users to their various smart devices, video communications, and friends, delivering an unparalleled user experience coupled with day-to-day usability.

3. Saul Robot

The Saul Robot was developed by Xenex to aid in the fight against diseases such as Ebola. The robot does this by emitting high energetic pulses of ultraviolet rays to break down the virus’ cell walls. The Air Force uses it during the procedures of quarantine that are conducted on the aid workers.

4. Pepper

This robot makes use of multi-directional microphones, analyzing the lexical field, enabling it to assess the tone of voice and emotional states of the humans around it. This allows Pepper to change its attitude based on the perceived mood of the human. The combination of 3D and 2HD cameras make it possible for this talking humanoid robot to recognize object shapes.

5. Paro

Paro is one of the many examples of robotic applications in the field of medicine. The robot has five sensors; light, posture, audition, tactile, and temperature. This therapeutic robot is designed to aid in lowering stress levels and has been effective in assisting as well as motivating patients to relax.

6. Robotic Exo-suits

This lightweight exo-suit has introduced new ways of combining fabric design, robotic control, actuation, and sensing to increase the users’ balance, endurance, and strength. The soft exo-suit wearable robot can be used to help the elderly increase their muscular strength and can also be used in the rehabilitation of the various movement disorders that can be found in adults and children.

7. Asus Zenbo

Asus developed the Zenbo to help its users remember and even perform daily tasks. The robot can understand verbal commands, monitor its surroundings to detect emergencies, and can connect to other smart home devices such as door locks, cameras, and lights.

8. Worker Robots

The tech giant Google is rarely left behind when it comes to technology innovations. It is planning to come up with worker robots that will be able to download different personalities from cloud-based systems, and further store and display them while interacting with human beings.

9. Multi-tasking robots

Advancements in technology have led to the development of robots capable of performing multiple tasks simultaneously; one such robot is the multi-tasking bot. The multi-tasking bot can prepare a hamburger in 10 seconds and could be the first step in revamping the fast food industry.

10. Robotic surgeries

Intuitive Surgical has continued to push the limits of surgical robotics, making Da Vinci a pioneer and a market leader. This surgical robot makes it possible for a surgeon to control three wristed, elbowed instruments that come with an articulated endoscope meant for deep-seated lesions.

Innovations in tech are being made at an unprecedented speed. Looking for more information on building successful robotic models? Don’t wait — keep reading. Or reach out; we’re here to help. 

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Exploring the Self-Service Industry: How Kiosk Solutions Enhance Your Brand

There are different ways to channel your company’s resources and enhance customer service experiences. Some businesses want to provide a place where customers can find information, such as the directions to different vendors within a major airport. Other businesses want the target user to perform a transaction, such as making a cash or credit card payment or obtaining a product via a vending machine.

 

Creating a self-service kiosk solution is a way that a business like yours can interact directly with customers, either by providing a specific experience through self-service kiosks or by delivering multiple solutions in a hybrid kiosk/vending machine. When your goal is to build self-service kiosks, the question is whether to create different models (each design specific to the user experience) or to design a hybrid kiosk that delivers multiple products or services to customers via a single machine. At Coolgear, we develop products that are used in the designs of many types of self-service machines.

 

Getting Started

 

Before you can create the right self-service kiosk, vending machine, or hybrid kiosk/vending machine for a brand, it’s important to answer some questions about your current and future business strategy:

 

Will a self-service machine best meet the consumer’s needs?

 

You can create a machine that serves a single purpose — providing one product or service — or a machine that enables a customer to perform multiple tasks or transactions. However, remember that consumers are now accustomed to using their smartphone for everything so they won’t use a kiosk to interact with a brand if there is an easier way to accomplish it. Therefore, when designing a customer experience, be sure to decide whether a kiosk or an app is the best way to accommodate the busy consumer.

 

Can a kiosk take the place of a service rep?

 

Some customers prefer to have a physical interaction with a brand. Think of the consumer who still goes to the shopping mall to try on clothes instead of ordering through Amazon or another website. He or she may be willing to scan the price tag of a garment at a kiosk, but prefers old-fashioned consumer experiences (i.e. asking questions about a product, looking for deals on clearance racks, using the dressing rooms, and paying a real cashier).  If you want to reach targets in the same way a customer service representative would, providing an interactive kiosk could connect with targets without actually staffing employees in a physical location.

 

Will you deliver a product or service?

 

There are different types of transactions that a self-service kiosk can perform. For example, a customer can check in to a facility or event or purchase a ticket or a product. When you are at the cruise terminal, you see kiosks that allow customers to perform everything from renting luggage carts to paying for parking and purchasing sunscreen. A kiosk benefits the brand by decreasing the number of minutes required for a customer to complete a transaction.

 

Will you need to generate more income through kiosks?

 

Self-service kiosks provide diverse consumer experiences. When a customer approaches the ordering kiosk at McDonald’s, he or she can select the type of product and see an image, price, and number of calories for each type albeit a sandwich, a beverage, a snack, a salad, or a dessert that is desired. With this type of experience, a customer can be more likely to spend more. The ordering process is rapid on a touch screen display, and the customer can pay after giving little thought to the total amount of the purchase.  

 

What is a reasonable timeframe for a customer to complete a transaction?

 

Digital consumers are motivated by the convenience factor. They don’t want to waste time or go to multiple locations or machines to interact with a brand. They want your brand to streamline every consumer process, including when they want information, to pick up merchandise, or to return a rented item.  

 

We can help brands understand the increased revenue potential of custom-designed kiosks because many of our products are used in their design. Looking to start a self-service project? For more information, please contact us today.