Posted:December 10th, 2013|By:elisekrucler
Arguably, the user interfaces of the future will be defined by the physical limitations of the screen. Creating a compelling user experience within a finite (and limited) space without compromising on usability is the perennial challenge for mobile device and TV manufacturers. But when witnessing the rise of the wearable technology trend, coupled with recently leaked pictures of the LG Flex’s controversial ‘curved’ screen design, the notion of the ‘traditional’ pixel-based user interface must evolve.
In addition, many believe the loss of the buttons and switches that created tactile intimacy between us and our handsets means the UI becomes the anchor point between the consumer and the device. So, how do we create true junction between the physical and a 2-D, pixelated world?
According to scientists at MIT, the user interfaces of the future will step into the third dimension as pixels make way for atoms. A ground-breaking initiative at the Institute has seen the creation of atomic user interfaces that don’t just manifest light, they also reproduce matter. Now allowing us to shake hands with someone a thousand miles away, MIT’s new UI, inFORM, has transformed popular executive desk toy, the Pinscreen, into a digital content rendering tool which converts digital instructions into physical form. It can also detect human interaction through Kinects sensors and react to that. The details of the project can be read here.
By bringing physical interaction back to our relationship with technology, we could all enjoy a future where we substitute the smiley or the ‘like’ with a real handshake.
Posted:December 9th, 2013|By:elisekrucler
In recognition of reduced staffing levels across the industry over the Christmas period and network operators introducing network freezes, Fluidata will be conducting a network and provisioning freeze from 6pm, 16th December 2013 through to Thursday 2nd January 2014.
Throughout this period please note that no core network configuration changes will be made. This is to ensure existing services are not affected by a lack of resource by the network operator. Fluidata support will, of course, be available 24/7 over the Christmas period for any emergencies or outages. Orders placed on the automated SEP platform will not be affected by this freeze and will be accepted and continue to activate as normal.
Should you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your Account Manager or the support team.
Posted:December 3rd, 2013|By:elisekrucler
It was recently announced that BT have won further contracts by local councils to be responsible for additional rural broadband roll-outs, beginning with Oxfordshire and Dorset early next year.
Through BT being awarded this latest contract, it has reduced hope of niche operators delivering stronger and faster services in the area, such as FTTP rather than FTTC to businesses and households. Yet tax payers’ money has been used to fund, what might not be, the latest and fastest technology. While BT continues to monopolise the project and gain state-aid funds, smaller more focused companies are missing out on what could only provide more options for the consumers on an open platform.
The B4RN innovative, a community-led project to bring high-speed broadband Internet connectivity to rural Lancashire, is one of the niche ISPs waiting to hear if they will be accepted for the state-aid funds. Through B4RN addressing the lack of connectivity in the rural north, it is now supplying 1 Gb/s to business and consumer premises, customers have been able to experience faster services than if they were served with BT.
Having competition in the broadband market is important and that is where the Fluidata Service Exchange Platform has a unique advantage. A spokesperson from BT mentioned;
“It is up to the local council to decide who they work with on rural broadband. Having said that, a key consideration is that any network which benefits should be open to all ISPs to use. That way, local monopolies are avoided and customers have choice”.
What that quote fails to mention is that there is an alternative and that is Fluidata’s Service Exchange Platform (SEP). SEP allows any ISP access to not only the largest networks, including BTs, but also niche providers such as IFNL and Gigalclear but also alternative technologies such as Satellite or mobile. This ensures these networks become open access and that consumers have choice of which provider and ISP they use.
Key players involved in observing the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) process is the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA). When learning of the contract signing they released a statement which included this comment on the process:
“The fact that the county councils are unwilling to support alternative, lower subsidy, more future-proofed solutions in difficult to reach areas speaks volumes about the process. In at least one case BT is part of the committee that made the recommendation not to support the local scheme. It is obvious why BT doesn’t want projects like this to go ahead; they don’t want lower subsidy schemes to be supported. It is less obvious why the local authorities are unwilling to get the maximum bang for the taxpayer’s buck.”
Obviously BT and some local councils are not aware of such innovative and competitive solutions that already exist meaning smaller niche players can actually be considered. Hopefully the remaining councils and government money will find its way to these truly next generation network operators as they currently or plan to connect into Fluidata’s award winning Service Exchange Platform.
Posted:November 28th, 2013|By:elisekrucler
Last night was the Top 100 Tech Track Awards presentation event sponsored by the Sunday Times, Hiscox and Barclays. This is our third year running that Fluidata has made it into the list and this year we even had a feature in the iPad version of the Sunday Times.
With growth exceeding 40% year on year for the past 5 years the business has benefited from a number of big client wins and continues to serve the industry with our Service Exchange Platform. It just shows that while the focus in the industry may be on applications that there are still opportunities in building world class networks that support the next generation of services and businesses.
With plans to stay in the Tech Track in the coming years the team are working hard on developing our products and services further to meet this ambition.
Posted:November 20th, 2013|By:simonstokes
We stand, not at the beginning of the information revolution but on the river bank moments before the banks burst and change the landscape forever. As our far more learned peers will tell us the future is like the Chaos theory; every development, every variation, every idea has the potential to change where the river bank breaks and what change it will bring with it. In this article I have selected some of the biggest topics in our virtual river – Big Data, IPv6 and The Internet of Things. These areas are intrinsically linked and are symbiotic to the increase in information. But this is not the problem in my eyes, the problem or the perfect storm is the hardware we use to handle and interpret data is no longer fit for purpose.
Let us start with IPv6 and understand why I have come to this controversial conclusion; in a standard IPv4 IP communication our home routers send request to our ISP (or other) DNS. The DNS servers then queries all the possible locations your data could be sent to. In v4 this is 255.255.255.255 or roughly 4.3 billion locations, expand this to the capability of IPv6 and we find ourselves filtering through a hexadecimal list of undecillion of possible locations. The amount of processing power needed is exponentially higher, in fact so much higher that ISP’s are not able to process a single IPv6 address and are instead allocating huge chunks of IPs to individual customers. So whilst we have a huge amount more IP’s available we cannot use anything like the intended quantity. Why? Simply because the hardware is not capable.
So this brings us on to the internet of things, for those still struggling with the ever increasing terminology this refers to the communication over the internet of one machine to another without human interaction. This allows for a huge array of possibilities like your fridge ordering more milk when it senses you are running low or even more intelligently notices an out of the ordinary milk consumption and an increase in the amount of people using the front door. Clever stuff! However, only if we have enough IPs. In this topic what I want to consider is how we make sense of this data? If we need to programme and process all of this data we need servers and power. Looking at the info graphics prepared by organisations like Cisco we see the data now recorded in 2013 will exceed all the data ever collected since the beginning of time. I imagine this will double next year.
The info graphic above introduces the Zettabyte a unit so large that I have to explain it to every person I mention it to. So processing, storing and making sense of this data is going to require a huge revolution in hardware capability and more than that a huge reduction in the cost of this hardware. Failure to achieve this will limit the successful implementation and usefulness of advances such as the Internet of Things and leave the information revolution adrift awaiting rescue.