Bluetooth Smart Technology

POSTED BY on Nov 24 under Uncategorized

What is it? oh! is it the stuff that lets my remote ear piece communicate with my smart phone? It is indeed! Bluetooth technology has come a long way from just connecting your ear piece to your Bluetooth enabled smart phone. Bluetooth is today being used as a communication protocol on a variety of sophisticated applications.

devices

The industry has taken Bluetooth technology to the next level by introducing what is called Bluetooth Smart Technology. Vebinary is also working on several such applications using Bluetooth Smart or more commonly known as Bluetooth Low Energy as we speak. Bluetooth Low Energy is the more power friendly version of the Bluetooth protocol. While the power-efficiency of Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Smart makes it perfect for devices needing to run off a tiny battery for long periods, the magic of this technology is its ability to work with an application on the smart phone or tablet you already own.

I will talk about another industry terminology in my next blog called Internet of Things, commonly known as ‘IoT’. Classic Bluetooth or the older brother of Bluetooth Smart provided the means for device communication and manufacturers built hub devices like PCs, smartphones, cars and tablets to take advantage of these connections. Now, because of Bluetooth Smart, the world is exploding with an incredible array of devices connecting to these hubs. A projected 30 billion devices will enter into the IoT ecosystem by 2020. Analyst firms all over the world recognize Bluetooth Smart as a key enabler in the Internet of Things.

Vebinary plans to be right in the thick of this technology and is coming up with an array of products in this space. Stay tuned for some new and exciting product launches in the coming months.

RFID who?

POSTED BY on Jun 22 under Uncategorized

The term RFID is being thrown around a lot these days and I thought I shall make this concept a bit easier to understand for the non-techies visiting this blog.

RFID – Radio Frequency Identification

Long checkout lines at the grocery store used to be one of the biggest complaints about the shopping experience. We are now seeing these lines slowly disappear with the smart labels, also called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags replacing the ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) bar codes. RFID tags are intelligent bar codes that can talk to a networked system to track every product that you put in your shopping cart.

Imagine going to the grocery store, filling up your cart and walking right out the door. No longer will you have to wait as someone rings up each item in your cart one at a time. Instead, these RFID tags will communicate with an electronic reader that will detect every item in the cart and ring each up almost instantly. The reader will be connected to a large network that will send information on your products to the retailer and product manufacturers. Your credit card company will then be notified of the total amount and this amount will be deducted from your account. No lines, no waiting. We are talking 2020 here, which is not too far away.

Passive RFID Tag

 

There are two kinds of RFID tags, (a) Passive (b) Active

Passive tags are tags that almost always relies on the power generated by the RFID reader to communicate. You can see the application of this technology on expensive clothing and large items when not removed beeps while you walk out of the store pass through the reader.

Active tags are tags that has a battery inbuilt and does not rely on the power generated by the reader. So these tags can be read even from 100 feet away in some cases.

For more info on this technology please click on the link below…

Wikipedia

New Kiosk Launch: Stay tuned for more updates…

POSTED BY on Jun 9 under Uncategorized

Successfully developed from scratch all components and the software to go with it and launched a coooool looking parking Kiosk for a customer in the parking industry. Stay tuned for pictures from the launch.

Here is a version that was work in progress at the time this picture was taken.

2013-08-09 10.04.05

There is always someone that will be willing to do it cheaper but at what cost?

POSTED BY on Jun 9 under Uncategorized

You get what you pay for…

 

Cheaperatacost

Vebinary into building kiosks

POSTED BY on Nov 16 under Uncategorized

0208_ppa_400

Vebinary has partnerd with a big name parking company to build parking kiosks. To build such kiosks requires a lot of skilled resources that Vebinary has been successful at recruiting top talent in this area to come up with such cool kiosks. We can’t wait to see the first version roll out to the field. Stay tuned for pictures of this beautiful kiosk.

Do your business need a mobile app?

POSTED BY on Feb 17 under Uncategorized

Mobile Apps
I came across this article and thought it was interesting. It identifies why you need or not need a mobile app. Enjoy!

Why does your company need a mobile app?

Why should you worry about your web application security?

POSTED BY on Sep 8 under Uncategorized

At a time when identity theft is a common concern, protecting the personal information of anyone visiting your Web site is something that every business should be thinking about.

Cyber Security

While legislation may vary from state to state in terms of how much you’re required to do to protect your customers’ personal information, putting measures in place — and letting your customers know you have done so — is good for business, pure and simple.

This is a general concern that is definitely climbing, given the rise in attacks on small-business web sites and web applications. Usually small to medium businesses don’t have an in-house IT departments, a security officer or strong security infrastructure which makes it easier for hackers to walk away with sensitive data.

Beyond these worst-case scenarios, though, there’s also the simple fact that consumers don’t like doing business with a site they can’t trust. “Having a privacy statement [and trustmark] plays a big role in where consumers will purchase online,” Hodge said. “Those that don’t are missing a competitive advantage. It increases consumer confidence, which means more purchases.”

TRUSTe, for example, will help you develop and/or update your privacy statement, issue a trustmark or privacy seal for display on your site, perform ongoing reviews to make sure you are compliant with relevant jurisdictional requirements, and provide support in resolving any disputes that may arise over your privacy practices. Annual fees for this service are based on revenues generated on the site and start at around US$600.

Best Practices

If you don’t have any kind of privacy measures in place, then it’s probably time you did. Following are some best practices to consider:

1. Ensure that your Web site has a true and accurate privacy statement that is easy to read and understand. It should include information on what customer data is collected and tracked, the parties with whom this information is shared, and how customers can opt out. Provide a link or reference to it on the home page so it’s easy to find. Also make sure that your terms of service are consistent with that policy to avoid confusion.

2. Don’t cut and paste your privacy statement from another site. “Remember, it’s a legal contract,” Hodge said. “Take a few minutes to make sure it is accurate for your business.”

3. Register with a privacy organization and post a seal of approval or trustmark on your site. This should be prominently displayed on the home page, with the privacy policy statement, on the shopping page, and next to any online forms that collect information from customers.

4. Create a page that educates customers about your site’s information security practices and controls. Explain how card payment information is protected during transmission, while on your server and at your physical work site.

5. Create an FAQ page that includes questions and answers on how customers can protect themselves when shopping online.

6. Do not collect credit card details by email. This is not a secure communication method.

7. Encrypt sensitive information during purchases. “You can get a certificate from your domain name, SSL (secure socket layer) or other provider that specializes in encryption services,” Hodge explained.
Clearly state your purpose when collecting information from visitors. “If you are collecting email information for sending out an e-newsletter, be very clear that is what you are doing. And don’t forget to provide a link to your privacy statement,” Hodge advised.

8. Make sure any online marketing services you use meet industry standards for privacy and that they are certified.

9. Don’t keep information you don’t need. When it comes to maintaining a secure site and customer privacy, look at your data retention, advised Martin Elliott, senior business leader at Visa. “If you don’t need it, don’t store it. That reduces your security risk,” he told TechNewsWorld. Establish a retention policy, Brunetto suggested. “This determines how long you need to keep data and how much. Figure out what is sensitive data and what you need to have in place to protect it.”

Thanks to Denise J. Deveau from TechNewsWorld for these insights and best practices.

How to obtain government contracts by enhancing your current website?

POSTED BY on Aug 4 under Uncategorized

Here are some tips that might help businesses enhance their website to be more attractive to government contracts. Having said that, I think these tips are for any corporate website. I encourage companies to consider revamping their website if it has been a while since they worked on it. It would not only help you have the latest content but also help in SEO.

Credit for these tips go to Issac Barnes from www.govplayers.com

1. Hire A Good Writer and Editor

With technology advancing rapidly around the globe, websites have become the new “face” of businesses. Therefore, it is crucial to invest adequate time and funds into the design and content of your website. One of the first things you will want to do is to hire knowledgeable writers and a strong editor. While the design of your website will make an initial impression on prospective clients, it is the content that will draw clients in and ultimately make the sale.

2. Make your “About Us” Page Memorable

Make sure your “About Us” page content is unique to your company. Your content should be clearly written and reflective of your mission, vision, and goals. No one wants to read “fluff,” so make every word count by keeping your content succinct, informative, and engaging. Here are a few sections your “About Us” page should have:

Company Description
Mission Statement
Team Bios
Small Business Certifications (i.e. Woman Owned, Minority Owned)

3. Make Your “Products and Services” Page Enticing

Put some thought into the products and/or services your company will provide. Your “Products and Services” page should highlight the things that separate your company from other companies.

What makes your company better than the competition? What do you offer that is unique and needed? Rather than offering and listing every product and/or service possible, find your niche and aggressively market it.

4. Make Your “Contact Us” Page Straightforward

How will potential customers, partners, and employees reach you? Your “Contact Us” page should provide website visitors multiple ways to easily contact you, including:

Mailing Address
Company phone number
Company Fax
Social Networks (i.e. Linked In, Twitter)

5. Include Product and/or Service Codes

If you are eying government contracts, depending on your products and/or services, there are different classification codes that you may need to display. These codes are very important to potential customers and should be displayed prominently on your website. The following sites offer examples of classification codes as well as ways to locate the codes that apply to your business:

Government Contracting Codes
DUNS

6. List Past and Current Customers

In order to win government contracts you must be able to demonstrate past performance. Past performance means that you have successfully done business with customers in the past. When you bid on a contract this is a must. You don’t have to list every previous customer, but it is important to include major projects or buyers. Moreover, try to include customers from different areas of government to show your scope.

7. Maintain Consistent Design

Many successful government contractors have poorly designed websites, so obviously this isn’t a requirement. However, at a minimum, you should ensure your design choices are consistent across all your business materials–including your business cards, letterhead, marketing materials, and website. In today’s world, your website will most likely provide potential customers or partners with a first impression of your company. Therefore, it is essential to have a good web designer or developer that develops your site. Vebinary provides both those services at very nominal rates.


8. Choose a Good Content Management System if you have content that changes regularly

A content management system is a framework that allows you to edit your website content without having to write code. With a CMS, you will not have to pay a web developer for every change you make to your content. One of the most popular CMS out there is WordPress.

50 Essential Chrome Tips

POSTED BY on Jun 23 under Uncategorized

I came across this great post from David Nield on the 50 essential tips on using the Chrome browser. I hope Chrome users like it. Below is the link to the article but in case the link goes inactive I have reproduced David’s article. Thank you David for such an awesome compilation.

Link to the original article on CNET.com

Behind its no-frills, stripped-down exterior, the Google Chrome browser hides a wealth of useful features and functions.

Read on to discover some tips and tricks you can make use of to unlock the power of Chrome. Oh, and chip in with your own in the comments at the bottom.

1. Pin tabs

Pinned tabs shuffle along to the left-hand side of the screen, take up less room and in some cases (e.g. Twitter), they glow if there’s an update to the page. They also keep their places whenever you start up Chrome in the future. Right-click on a tab title to access the pin tab option.
2. Log out with incognito mode

Like most browsers, Chrome has an incognito mode that disables history logging. Open up an incognito window whenever you want to quickly check how a site — such as your Facebook page or Google+ profile — looks to someone who isn’t signed in as you. If you’re using Windows, Control+Shift+N opens a new incognito window.
3. Browse files

Chrome offers a rudimentary file explorer — try typing ‘C:’ into the omnibox and hitting Enter to look around.
4. Search by site

All the usual Google operators apply in the Chrome omnibox. Type ‘site:’ followed by your keywords to restrict a search to a particular website, for example.
5. View background tasks

Chrome is powerful enough to have its own task manager. Hit Shift+Esc to see what’s running in the background (typically extensions and offline caching tools), alongside your open tabs, and how much CPU time and memory space each one is taking up.
6. Hide extensions

If you want to clean up the toolbar but don’t want to uninstall all your extensions, you can hide them instead (right-click, Hide button). This can come in very handy for extensions that work mainly in the background.
7. Change version

As well as the stable version, Chrome is available in three more versions, which get increasingly more cutting edge and less stable — Beta, Dev and Canary. Visit the Chrome Release Channels page to switch between them.
8. Use the keyboard

There’s a wealth of keyboard shortcuts that make Chrome easier and faster to use, but here we’ll just mention two of the most useful — Ctrl+click to open up a link in its own tab and Ctrl+W to close the current tab.
9. Add desktop shortcuts

Right-click on a web app on the New Tab page and choose ‘Create shortcut’ to add a link to it from the Start menu, desktop or taskbar.
10. Check memory usage

Enter ‘chrome://memory’ into the address bar to see where all of your RAM is going. Try ‘chrome://chrome-urls’ to see the other diagnostic shortcuts that are available.
11. Drag links

If you find clicking on links somewhat old hat, try dragging them to the omnibox or the tab bar.
12. Visualise bookmarks

Add bookmarks to the bookmarks bar, then remove their names in the Bookmarks Manager to be left with a row of compact favicon shortcuts.

13. Edit most visited sites

If there’s a thumbnail on the ‘Most visited sites’ page you no longer want to see, click the cross in the top right-hand corner of the image to replace it with the next most visited site in Chrome’s list.
14. Rearrange apps

Click and drag an app on the Apps page to change its position — drag to the far right to create a new page of apps.
15. Go full screen

See more of the web in full-screen mode — F11 toggles it on and off.
16. Change History

Head to chrome://chrome/history and you can remove specific pages from your browsing record via the check boxes and the ‘Remove selected items’ button.
17. Enlarge text

If your eyesight is poor or you’re using a huge monitor, you can increase the default text size via Settings > Web content > Font size.
18. Forget everything

Clear everything in Chrome’s memory by hitting Ctrl+Shift+Del, ticking all of the boxes (from history to cookies), selecting ‘the beginning of time’ as the timespan and clicking ‘Clear browsing data’.
19. Change the theme

Like Gmail, Chrome comes with a range of official and unofficial themes — click ‘Get themes’ on the Settings page to browse the selection.
20. Go further back

Click and hold on the back button to see a list of recently visited pages for the current tab.
21. Jump tabs

Hit Ctrl+ to jump to that tab in Chrome — Ctrl+2, for example, will open the second tab from the left.
22. Go offline

Keep emailing even when your online connection is down with Offline Gmail from the Chrome Web Store. Google promises more offline apps are on the way.

23. Analyse pages

Right-click on a web page and choose ‘Inspect element’ to see the HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other resources it’s made up from.
24. Import data

Chrome can import bookmarks, browsing history and more from Internet Explorer and Firefox via the Import bookmarks and settings option on the Bookmarks menu.
25. Remote desktop

There’s a beta Chrome Remote Desktop app in the Chrome Web Store that lets you access your other machines that have Chrome running. Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.
26. Pick up where you left off

Rather than opening a set URL or the New Tab screen when you start Chrome, you can opt to relaunch the same tabs that were open when you shut it down — visit the Settings page under ‘On start-up’.
27. Send to phone

The Chrome to Phone extension available in the Chrome Web Store is developed by Google and can send links and other information straight to your Android device. You’ll need to install the mobile app too.
28. Stay in sync

Sync some, all or none of the following by signing into Chrome with your Google account: apps, bookmarks, extensions, auto-fill data, passwords, open tabs, omnibox history, themes and settings.
29. Do your sums

Type a calculation into the omnibox to see the result in the suggestions without even hitting Enter.
30. Search elsewhere

On the Settings page under Search, you can set the omnibox search to query sites such as Facebook, Last.fm or Wikipedia by default.
31. Make more room

Drag out the edges of any text input box to give yourself more room to express yourself.
32. Save to Google Drive

Chrome doesn’t have this option yet — in the meantime, set the default download location to a folder being synced by the Google Drive desktop client.

33. Zoom

Use the Ctrl button in conjunction with your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom in and out.
34. See more suggestions

Increase the number of suggestions offered below the omnibox with a command line switch. Create a shortcut to chrome.exe with the ‘-omnibox-popup-count=’ start-up switch afterwards.
35. Find in page

Hit Ctrl+F and type your text to find keywords in a page — matches are highlighted in yellow on the right-hand scrollbar.
36. Highlight to search

Highlight a word or phrase and on the right-click menu you’ll find an option to use the selection as a query for a Google search in a new tab.
37. Reopen a tab

If you’ve just closed a tab you didn’t mean to, right-click on the tab bar and choose Reopen closed tab to bring it back.
38. Switch between Google accounts

Use the ‘Add new user’ button on the Settings page to sign in using another Google Account. You can then quickly switch between them by clicking on the user icon in the top-left corner.
39. Experiment

Enter ‘about:flags’ in the omnibox to see some experimental Chrome features you can try out, covering everything from geolocation APIs to gamepad support.
40. Paste and go

With a link on the clipboard, right-click on the omnibox and choose ‘Paste and go’ to visit it. If a link isn’t detected, the option becomes Paste and search.
41. Find recent bookmarks

The Bookmark Manager creates an automatic list of recently bookmarked links if you can’t remember which folder you saved your new favourite YouTube video to.
42. Get nostalgic

Click the globe icon (or padlock icon) on the far left of the omnibox to check when you first visited the current site. A cache clear-out or browser reinstall will reset this data.

43. Disable spellcheck

If you don’t like Chrome correcting you on your spelling, you can disable the feature under the Languages heading on the advanced settings screen.
44. Print from anywhere

Activate Google Cloud Print on your current PC with Chrome installed and you can access that computer’s printers from every other Chrome browser you sign into.
45. Pan around

Click the mouse scroll wheel on a blank part of a web page to then pan around the site by moving the mouse.
46. Send feedback

You can let the Google Chrome team know about a bug via the ‘Report an issue’ link on the Tools menu. A screenshot can be included automatically.
47. Manage handlers

Visit Content settings (under Privacy on the Settings page), then click ‘Manage handlers’ to change the applications used to handle email and calendar links inside Chrome.
48. Speak to type

On any text box marked with a microphone icon, click the icon to speak to type, assuming you have a working microphone attached.
49. Use the jump list

If you’re running Chrome on Windows 7, right-click on the taskbar icon to access its jump-list — from here you can open recently closed tabs and most visited sites.
50. Enjoy your music

Right-click on an MP3 file in Windows and choose Open With > Google Chrome if you want to quickly hear a tune without the hassle of opening up iTunes or Windows Media Player.

4 ways get customer feedback online

POSTED BY on Jun 29 under Uncategorized

I came across a really nice article on Mashable that I’d like to share with my readers. These are simple things yet go a long way in building brand loyalty. Online feedback has become sort of a must have for every budding company that wishes to get their customer’s feedback and act on it. Read on and drop me a comment if you like it or would change anything.

Do you know what your customers think about your products and services?

Successful business owners know that no matter how busy they get, it’s critical to take the time to get customer feedback. Understanding what your customers think about your products and services will not only help you improve quality, but will also give you insights into what new products and services your customers want so you can diversify your offerings. Knowing what you’re doing right also lets you make smart decisions about where to focus your energies, and it may even give you fodder for marketing. Plus, your customers will appreciate having ways to communicate with you—and know they are being heard.

While getting feedback used to be limited to a suggestion box or form on your website, there are now many low-cost approaches to getting customer input and taking the pulse of customers.

Here are four easy ways to make customer feedback a core part of your business:

1. Conduct an online survey
Online Survery

If you have your customers’ e-mail addresses, conducting an online survey can be a great way to get range of different feedback in a short amount of time.

One of the most popular tools for online surveys is SurveyMonkey, whose low-cost, Web-based survey solutions are a natural fit for a small businesses on a budget.

SurveyMonkey customer Whitney Greer of brand consulting firm Brandularity uses online surveys extensively with her clients to track and understand brand perceptions and find out what really matters to customers. She also notes that surveys can be an effective way to validate (or debunk) anecdotal feedback before adjusting your approach or product.

“Too often a company will react to a series of customer anecdotes and comments, especially if they’re negative, by thinking they need to make big changes,” says Greer. “Surveying a wide group of customers before you turn the ship is the best way to determine what’s really a burning issue and what’s actually just an isolated incident.”

Once you’ve developed your survey, the next step is getting your customers to take it. Many companies provide an incentive for survey participation, such as entering customers into a drawing for a free product or service. You don’t have to limit yourself to just e-mailing customers your survey request; if you have a regular newsletter, you can include a link to the survey and information about the incentive. You should make sure to promote the survey on other online touchpoints, such as Facebook and Twitter if it’s open to anyone. If your primary interaction with customers is in-store, you could even load up your online survey on an iPad and ask people to take the survey at the point of check-out for an instant discount.

2. Create an online customer community

All businesses thrive on feedback, but some are more distant from the direct experience and input of their customers. And according to Thor Muller, co-founder and CTO of Get Satisfaction, “these are the companies that find it absolutely critical to have a steady stream of feedback.”

Muller’s company offers a platform for creating customer communities on the Web, on Facebook, via mobile devices and within widgets that can be embedded anywhere. Small businesses can use Get Satisfaction to connect openly with their customers to provide Q&A, peer-to-peer problem solving and feedback.

Internet startup Pixazza uses Get Satisfaction as a forum for its publisher partners to report problems and ask questions about products.

“Though we have had a few publishers post praise and suggest features, the majority of the posts are from publishers reporting an issue or inquiring about how to do something,” says Sarah Waterson, a user interface designer at Pixazza. “These posts help us fix bugs and also give us a good understanding of where improvements could be made to our application.”

3. Use a hosted feedback forum

Another approach to getting customer feedback on an ongoing basis is a hosted feedback forum such as UserVoice. UserVoice’s simple hosted forums and widgets allow customers to submit and vote on ideas for the company, which can then be turned into a prioritized list of feedback. You can also use the product to communicate with users when the ideas they’ve voted for are acted upon. And because UserVoice offers a free version of the product, any company with an online presence and an interest in ongoing feedback can set up a feedback forum.

UserVoice is also available for your Facebook Page; for example, Ubank is using UserVoice’s Facebook app to listen to their customers and actively respond to and engage with these users.

“If you aren’t listening, you aren’t going to be able to deliver the best possible product or service, and you risk losing those customers,” says Evan Hamilton, community manager at UserVoice. “Gathering feedback in an organized fashion is a great way to show your customers that you care and collect great insights for improving your product so you can beat the competition.”

4. Ask for feedback on Facebook and Twitter

Of course, if you’re just looking for quick opinions from customers, getting this feedback may be as simple as posting a question or poll on your Facebook Wall or via Twitter—you can use this approach to get fast insights into new products, new branding or even new store locations or lines of business.

For example, digital agency 360i advised its client Velveeta to poll its Facebook community for consumer insight into which new flavor packaging concept would highlight the flavors in a more prominent way. Velveeta asked fans to “pick the design that helps the flavor to stand out,” and provided photos of each (marked ‘A’ and ‘B’). The community was very responsive to the poll, demonstrating a very high feedback rate compared to other posts. The poll results later helped Velveeta solidify its decision on the new flavor packaging.

Courtsey: Mashable.com – http://mashable.com/2011/06/28/customer-feedback-2/

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