Is LiFi Set to Replace WiFi?

Is LiFi Set to Replace WiFi?

How’s your WiFi today?  Fast and reliable?  Maybe it’s being slowed down by the number of people on your router, or even the number of routers attached to the same fiber-optics.  Did you know that multiple routers broadcasting around each other can actually slow each other down?

A brand new technology being tested now could do away with all these problems.

Light Fidelity, being abbreviated as LiFi, is a wireless communication technology utilizing a wholly different wavelength of light than our standard WiFi and radio systems.  Using frequencies within the visible light spectrum, LiFi is already capable of transmitting data at 1 gigabyte per second, 100 times faster than standard WiFi.  In lab conditions, it has reached up to 240 gigabytes, the equivalent of downloading 2 dozen HD movies, per second.

The existing WiFi technology is theoretically capable of such speeds.  However, the routers which broadcast this radio signal use nearly 95% of their power to cool the hardware.

The new technology works through LED lights that transmit data by pulsing on and off thousands of times per second.  This speed is far too fast for the human eye to see, instead appearing as normal constant light source.  The inventor of this technology, German physicist Harald Haas speculated an environment where, “All we need to do is fit a small microchip to every potential illumination device and this would then combine two basic functionalities: illumination and wireless data transmission.”

One condition of Light Fidelity is being touted by some as a severe limitation and others a clear advantage.  While WiFi can pass through rooms with its radio signals, because LiFi operates in the visible light spectrum, it is unable to pass through solid objects.  It is therefore limited to the one room where the light source is emitting.  A limitation to be sure, but one that many are selling as a much more secure form of wireless data transmission.

Because of this condition, it will likely be implemented in tandem with existing data transmission technologies.

According to an article at The Stack, “Airlines, the oil industry and intelligence bodies have already shown interest in the technology due to its potential for secure wireless data transfers.”  PureLiFi, the company co-founded by Professor Harald Haas, is now valued at GBP14 million, and the technology is expected to grow to nearly USD 9 billion by 2020.

Should this new market grow as expected, as was said by Professor Haas in a 2011 TED Talk, “In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion LiFis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener and even brighter future.”

This article was written by Benjamin Williams and originally published on TraDove.com.
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Is Your Business Utilizing New NFC Tech Trends?

While people may still be arguing about the overall gimmickyness of the Apple Watch, several features of it and other smart watches are sure to stand out as innovative ways to implement emerging marketing technologies.  One of these is near field communication (NFC), a passive radio signal with an ever-growing number of uses.

In an article quoting market strategists’ advice on upcoming mobile trends, Massive Media CEO Lindsay Smith held up high customer interactivity and simplicity on mobile devices to be an inescapable expectation of consumers in the near future, and NFC technology as the way to do this, stating;

“Tap your mobile phone here for more info. Tap here to play. Tap to enter. These are new interactive media that are on the market right now. Globally, 80% of smartphones are Samsung and come pre-enabled with NFC. Brands such as Tesla, Paramount Pictures, Virgin and Google have already used NFC to bring their signage and campaigns to life. In the near future, these technologies will become integral to the future dialogue between customer and company.”

And indeed the list of NFC-enabled devices is already quite long and will continue growing.  Already well established in credit and debit cards, NFC is now being implemented into mobile devices like smartphones and smartwatches, phasing out its parent technology, RFID, primarily due to NFC’s improved Security.

Says RFIDinsider on NFC,

“ . . . a finely honed version of HF RFID, near-field communication devices have taken advantage of the short read range limitations of its radio frequency. Because NFC devices must be in close proximity to each other, usually no more than a few centimeters, it has become a popular choice for secure communication between consumer devices such as smartphones.”

So what can NFC tech do?  More and more all the time, it seems.

What started as a basic chip in cards to passively transmit payment information is working its way into many facets of daily life.  In addition to consumers’ cards and devices transmitting for payment methods that companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google have adopted, NFC tags are being placed into many other items, most commonly ‘smart posters’.  These NFC tags can be read by consumers’ devices in a similar manner to scanning a QR code to launch a website, receive information or access a promotion.

Some more creative uses are beginning to surface, including in the realm of games.  Google Cardboard is a literal cardboard virtual reality headset that uses a phone’s NFC transmitter to produce its images.  Another is Nintendo selling toys with embedded NFC chips that unlock new characters and options when placed in proximity to their gaming platform.

As the uses of NFC continue to expand, what can businesses do to keep on the trends?  Will your business interact with your customers using NFC technology?  Or do you feel this is just a passing fad?  Let us know!

This article was originally published on TraDove.com.

B2B buyers reveal what seals the deals

What motivates B2B buyers to make deals will surprise most salespeople, according to a new ebook that shares buyers’ perspectives about effective sales techniques.

The Salesforce.com publication is based a review of 700 B2B sales opportunities from buyers who are responsible for a total of $3.1 billion in annual purchases. The research was conducted by John Doerr, a successful author and head of Rain Group, a sales consulting company.

“What we found was totally surprising,” Doerr said in the introduction. “Winners don’t just sell differently, they sell radically differently than the sellers who come in second place. And the winners sell differently in both surprising and fascinating ways.”

In looking at what buyers and sellers consider to be important in pursuing transactions, Doerr found enormous differences in their beliefs.

The top five facets of successful sales efforts, Doerr found, are working with buyers toward education, collaboration, persuasion, listening and understanding, according to the report – factors sellers ranked as considerably lower priorities.

Doerr distilled the key points into connecting, convincing and collaborating, and related, “Minimizing risk has risen greatly in importance and should be a core part of sales conversations.”

As part of connecting, “The words ‘problem’ and ‘pain’ should be gone from the seller’s vocabulary,” he believes. “In today’s sales arena, the buyer is already informed about what his problem is and doesn’t need to be diagnosed by the seller.”

In the next phase, convincing, three elements are essential, according to the ebook.

  • The return on investment is worth it
  • The risk is acceptable
  • The seller is the best choice among available options.

In relating the third component, collaboration, Doerr notes that sellers face complex competition.

“Educating with new ideas and insights, and collaborating, that’s the higher-level skill that every person has to have in order to sell, because that’s what buyers can and will get with the very best sellers.”

Sellers who can pull it all together can look forward not just to a sale, but to sales, Doerr believes.

“You need to recognize that if you can connect, convince and collaborate, you will develop the loyalty, develop the trust, earn the right to say to that client, this is a good way to go, but I want to suggest that this is a better way.”

This article was written by Rob Hough and originally published on TraDove.com.

Are Publishers Moving Away from Self-Hosting?

In the previous post, we highlighted the recent story of traffic to content publishers from Facebook dropping a significant amount over the first three quarters of 2015.  Despite the expected volatility of such an advertising platform, this across-the-board plummet of 30-40% among the top publishers was shocking to most. No official or complete explanation has been given by Facebook for such a widespread decline.

In a statement to Digiday, Facebook placed the blame on oversaturation of content on their platform.  With only so large an audience to reach, traffic numbers were inevitably going to go down.  However, some commentators see such a sharp decline as the result of a more directed effort on the part of Facebook.

Earlier this year, starting with the release of Facebook’s Instant Articles in May 2015, the social media company has been expanding its reach on content hosted on its own site, attempting to, as Lucia Moses puts it, “keep users in its ecosystem”.  In short, this feature allows publishers to not just share their content on Facebook, but to also upload and publish it there.  This results in faster load times of content for mobile users of the social platform.

Where this affects the publishers the most is that this feature no longer drives traffic to their own pages.  Because all the media and content is hosted by Facebook, there is no need to load it from the publisher’s hosting servers or visit their homepage.  This seems to support NowThis president’s statement, “There’s a notion that the homepage is dead.”  He goes on to say that more people now prefer to find their content on social platforms.

Within the month of Instant Articles’ release, the Washington Post uploaded 100% of their content onto the platform.  According to an article by Jack Marshall at the Wall Street Journal, the Post saw “a dip in mobile traffic to its website as a result, but that decline has been directly offset by the number of people consuming its content via Instant Articles.”  Through this new platform, the Washington Post expects its articles to become visible to more readers than it had been when confined to their own website.

Other publishers have not been so quick to jump on the social media-hosted bandwagon, and many are quite wary of making such a commitment to platforms such as Facebook.  And there seems to be good precedent for them to have these worries.  There have been instances in the past of Facebook altering its algorithm and drastically changing what content is seen by its users.

Matthew Ingram of Fortune.com points to an example in 2012, “Several major newspapers . . . created social-reading apps and got millions of followers in 2012. Then Facebook changed the rules, and their news essentially disappeared from view, along with most of those new readers.”  Many are concerned that this push from Facebook and other publishers toward outside-hosted content could lead to a similar situation.
Ingram continues, “The other nagging fear for media companies is that Facebook is essentially engaging in a large-scale bait and switch, by encouraging them to host all of their output on its platform, but then gradually turning off the traffic tap so that their reach declines. At that point, the social network can recommend a number of ways to boost the reach again—including by paying . . .”

Lucia Moses quotes technology strategist Anil Dash, who continues this comparison with YouTube, saying, “When you put all your content on YouTube, they can change the ad rates, they can essentially game the whole thing.”  Dash advises content publishers to not relinquish control of their media so quickly, as there is absolutely no certainty of the deal remaining the same.

However, both Moses and Ingram point out that because of the struggle of being noticed in an increasingly saturated field of media, many of the publishers are going along with this trend.  The next few months will see which publishers will join what camps and where the fallout of these decisions will be.

What do you think?  Is social-hosted content a wise move for publishers?  Should they hold on to their own content?  Or is this whole thing just a fad?  Let us know!

Traffic from Facebook Drops Over 30%

Traffic from Facebook Drops Over 30%

Facebook was raising eyebrows last week when news dropped that traffic directed to large publishers has plunged by around 32% across the board, and averaging 42% among the largest content creators.  These stats were reported by Lucia Moses of Digiday on Monday, Nov. 9 and stem from the analytics company SimpleReach, covering the first three quarters of 2015.

This begs the question of what might have caused this sudden plunge?  It’s accepted that there are no uniform expectations in fields like Facebook advertising.  Many things can vary, as Moses points out, “What worked six months ago to drive shares doesn’t necessarily work today. A publisher might dial up or down the number of articles it publishes in its feed, which could affect results. One publisher, speaking anonymously, said users are doing more of their Facebook article sharing via text or email, which would cut into its Facebook referral traffic.”

However, such an across-the-board drop in traffic is certainly indicative of something more than minor month-to-month fluctuations.  To complicate things, several outlets have reported that Facebook has neither discussed such traffic issues with them or with their own publisher clients.

Facebook did release a statement to Digiday stating, “[W]e’ve seen referral traffic to publishers from Facebook grow significantly, nearly across the board. As the number of posts to Facebook has increased substantially over the past few months, there has been a corresponding increase in the amount of potential posts to show any one person . . .”

Considering the greatest drops were in the early months of the year, with declines averaging a whopping 75%, this explanation seems a little less than satisfactory.  Oversaturation of the social media platform is certain to be playing a part of the in publishers losing the affiliated traffic, however Matthew Ingram of Fortune.com takes a more skeptical view of the situation.

In his article analyzing the announcement from Facebook, Ingram reiterates several of his past warnings that putting all of one’s eggs into the Facebook basket could yield unpleasant results, stating, “[T]he reality of the media’s relationship with the giant social network is that it holds all the cards. It controls access to its 1.5 billion or so users, and it does this by tweaking the algorithm that determines which updates appear in a particular user’s news feed . . . Facebook not only controls the trucks and satellites and newsstands that supply your newspaper, but also the layout and selection of all the stories that appear inside it.”

Ingram, along with others, suggest that while perhaps not malicious, such a drop could certainly be the result of something intentional.  By promoting so much of their content onto these platforms, they become reliant on its traffic and associated revenue.  Should Facebook change the rules, the publishers might come to the point where they have no immediate choice but to play along.

Do you think Facebook is manipulating their publishing partners?  Is this decline an inevitable part of an oversaturated audience?  Let us know and join the discussion with your own profession B2B profile at TraDove.com!

*Photo Source:  pdpics.com

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