Posts Taged canvy-team

Canvy Team, Canvy, contact management app, modern communications

From voice to text, to voice again – are communication skills changing?

In a recent feature on their website, WSJ proclaims that phone calls are dead, and their function now goes to the voice chat, or, to be more precise, to your VoIP software of choice.

Seems like texting has lost some of its appeal, while phone calling is just appealing to telecom providers. The audience migrated further on the Internet and back to voice communications with the VoIP (Voice over IP) technology – and again the rules and habits change once more.

Oh, and now there is another thing – recording your voice messages and sending them as you would do with the texts. All the warmth of your voice, without the constraints of small talk…

 

The ever-changing, ever-elusive communication

 

Great communication skills – now that’s a thing a lot of people aspire to. It’s not the first time we brushed this subject, in close relation with our contact management app. Because it helps to have a digital ally in this fight for best practices. Who to call, when, and on what channel – that may indeed be a dilemma. Of course, with an algorithm in the mix such decisions may become easier.

But no longer that we have used our minds to compute the latest trends in communications, that a new generation brings its own preferences to the table. Or is it the same generation, in a new phase?

Regardless of the driving factor, communication just cannot be pinned in a static manner. As a butterfly that would duplicate itself and fly away from the Insectarium each time the collector tries to close the cover, the main means of communication just cannot stand still.

 

Perhaps it’s just a matter of percentages

 

I read somewhere that introverts highly appreciate the text communications, because they reduce the unpredictability that infuses phone calls. A text can be taken in at your own time, and there is less pressure on what the reaction speed is concerned. Of course, the dreaded “seen” markup has made quite a few ravages, but still, texting feels more comfortable than calling when it comes to introvert people.

Now, we used to have discussions centered on the idea that the 80s “geeks” are now tech leaders. Perhaps the next step would see the temporary minority alpha types coming back into the limelight in bigger numbers. It only makes sense that for example texting would not be enough for such characters. Phone calling would probably not be their first choice either, not when they have free VoIP calling… Makes sense, right?

Depending on the majority percentage (in terms of personality types, social types and so on), we might witness an alternation of favorite means of communications.

 

The communication constants

 

Whatever the communicating means we fancy (as we’ve seen above, these tend to vary over time), if we stick to a couple of golden rules, we have strong chances to come through as skilled communicators.

What do we have to pay attention to? Again, we looked online for a coherent, preconfigured answer. This time, we skimmed through an article from Grammarly that points out that we should hone the following skills:

  • Listening
  • Clarity
  • Openness
  • Empathy
  • Energy

To quote the same source “developing good communication skills enables a person’s intelligence and ideas to shine through. It’s worth the effort”.

How about training one of the skills above each week, starting from now?

Canvy modern communications tech

How can I improve my communication skills – a recurring question that says a lot

There is a recurring type of question on forums, which are one of the information sources when working for a communications/productivity app. In various ways, people ask and discuss about the effect modern communications have on humanity, on society, on the people’s ability to meaningfully interact. They also ask for advice on improving their interpersonal skills and their communication.

Now, although the question is inoffensive, the answers to it might be stingy for some tech enthusiasts. We won’t go there. Suffice to say, as we did in previous posts, that when you are in control of your communication channel and devices, instead of them controlling you and your time – you should be OK.

 

Is silence a thing of the past? How about peace of mind?

 

When was the last time you experienced silence at home? As in you (or you and your friends/family members) communicating in a noise-free environment. No background music, TV, desktop, laptop, no phones ringing, nobody shouting from a screen, while being on the other side of the globe… That kind of thing.

This tech noise is so viral that it became addictive – and we take it for granted. A piece of music here, a video there, someone sharing this and that through various channels… We seem to be continually exposed to this stream of content. We communicate in a totally different way than we used to. We are developing new abilities or skills. But are we losing the old ones?

As mentioned above, when were you last aware of a moment of silence? Did you enjoy it or did it feel weird, or even unsettling? Consider how meditation is described – and note that the continuous stream of data that we live in, if not controlled, is the opposite environment to the one needed for meditation.

 

Caught between taking advantage of great technology and protecting our private lives

 

While communication companies urge users to ask themselves whether they are “taking advantage of this greater level of choice”, some develop apps that include ways of protecting our private lives. More recent studies acknowledge certain uncertain effects of the increased technology usage over the human brain. Even our development may be influenced, depending on when (at what age) the unlimited tech access managed to convince us to go over a certain limit.

You may find out just how huge a part of the users’ life modern communicative platforms became, for example, from this study. The most time-consuming platforms rank in accordance with the users’ geolocation, so if you are from another part of the world they won’t fit. But each region has its own favorites, when it comes to communication channels, which are all ruled by global hubs such as Facebook, WhattsApp or Skype.

Just to be clear, by protecting our private lives, we don’t mean (this time) the data protection side. No, it’s simply about leaving room for personal, face-to-face communication. Putting a screen between and the others does not count – regardless of whether we communicate through it or we merely stare at it while addressing real people by our side.

We’ll close with a suggestion that could provide more insight on this week’s topic – this article.

 

511 startups map

Mapping the global tech – where are the most important startup players located?

It all started with one of our collegues being curious about startups, unicorns, the most important players in the field and their geographical location.

As we live in an age where you can find something about anything online (unless you need to dig deeper, and find some unique research data), we Googled it.

 

The Startup Blink map

 

We found a website that maps the global startup ecosystem. Their research center provides all the data needed “to draw comparisons, view rankings, and make better informed business decisions”.

The startup ecosystem rankings here feature the strongest startup hubs in the world, but also show the smaller cities and countries the chance that are significant in the global picture.

Not all features are accessible without registration, but, for a quick glance, this platform is satisfactory enough. You may check it out here.

 

Segmented startup maps

 

Segmented can be local, as in concerning specific world regions – we ran a search by this criteria, too.

Here is a Canadian startups map, a “crowdsourced map of the emerging technology scene in Canada”, where community members can edit and claim places.

It can also be by type of startups. CBInsights features this type of maps – here is a “state of US insurance tech startups”, while on this page you may find out which are the “top travel tech startups around the globe”.

If you have in mind a certain location and search for it, you may find specific startups maps. For example, such a map is available for Raleigh.

For those of you interested in the highest values and performance, you can go back to CBInsights and see this beginning of 2018 map focused on the most funded VC-backed tech startups (the map featured at the beginning of our article).

 

Is your tech business part of any of these maps? Do you have any other examples of tech startup maps? (Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a comprehensive online map for our region.As startups are gaining traction here, perhaps it’s only a matter of time.)

 

Canvy phone manners courtesy

Vintage rules of business etiquette – an interesting perspective

From the times when getting along with people was so important that it got dedicated instructional materials, we found and watched a couple of videos depicting the office etiquette and telephone courtesy. It proved quite an exercise. Comparing manners, habits and expectations throughout the ages never gets old.

So, what were the rules of business communications in the 50’s?

 

The office etiquette video

Oh my, those times do seem much simpler, in some ways. Of course, people are still people, whatever the times. Not everybody would have looked or behaved as in instructional videos back then. Important issues were not part of the picture, either.

But hearing someone talk about “enjoying your work” or “enjoying the people you are working with” does make a lot of sense, in a comforting manner. While some may see such materials as cliché-istic or narrow-minded, they provided an image of what was considered of common sense in the society at the time.

The rules, or rather recommendations, provided in the video are meant to serve as a starting point. Each could choose to go his (in this case, more like “hers”) direction from there on.

You can watch it with amusement, nostalgia or criticism, but the office etiquette video is still interesting to see.

For example, the instructor opens up the office job course with this: “You’re starting a new career. It can be fun, or it can be hard. It all depends on the way you look at things”.

 

The telephone courtesy video

In a more theatrical style, the second instructional video set out to show what is right and wrong in phone-based business communications.

As in the first video, one may find it hard not to think about how the employees look like superheroes. Always neat, polite, fresh, un-stressed, calm and generally happy about their lives. They all look like A-grade adults who are willing to focus on their job-related activities and who always find the energy and even the initiative to do it.

Compared with the current state of affairs, the people depicted in these videos all look like as if someone was taking care of them. Meaning that they needn’t worry about how they need to shop, cook, clean, pay bills and generally run around stressed before or after work.

In this context, the characters that yelled, were impolite, incompetent or offensive (the bad examples) were quickly tackled by the majority of professional, polite, in-control employees.

To quote the video: “Good manners please our customers. Bad manners only irritate them” or “The telephone is meant to work for us. The important thing is how to put it to work properly. God telephone manners aren’t difficult, they are easy, natural”

 

A contemporary exercise

You may look at the way you interact on the phone, after having browsed these videos above. Do you have good telephone manners, or bad ones, for example?

Contemplate and compare. What great things have we added and what did we lose in the process of evolving along quite a few decades?

If you were to merge the best of the present and the past – as seen in the videos, what would that image look like?

 

 

426 Capture

Holograms in communications, perhaps not as far away as you might have thought

We find out from Digital Trends that at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems conference in Montreal this week, the researchers at Queen’s University in Canada unveiled a hologram system.

The TeleHuman 2 may be the “first truly holographic video conferencing system.” It works through a system of depth cameras that capture a 3D version of a person, combined with a set of projectors at the other end. The projectors are positioned in a cylindrical tube or pod, and they recreate the 3D image in it.

 

Work in progress

The hologram generated by the TeleHuman 2 flutters and glitters, much like when the electricity cuts off holographic communications in science-fiction movies. As the team admits, there is still a lot to be perfected.

*OK, you may say, but what about TeleHuman 1? The first version of the system featured in the emerging technology section of some online media websites in 2012. Here it is, as presented by the same Digital Trends publication. The project included other potential uses, as well as a cost estimate for this technology.

The same developer – the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University in Ontario now works on TeleHuman 2. Their goal is to allow remote interlocutors to face each other “with a fidelity that, at least when it comes to angular accuracy judgments, cannot be distinguished from reality. No helmets or glasses required, and without obscuring parts of the face.”

The targeted audience – of course, the business audience. Upgrading video-conferences to holographic conferences has been yet another decade-old dream, waiting for advanced technology to make it possible.

 

 What would holograms bring into modern communications?

Firstly, compared to Virtual Reality (VR), holograms come without the annoying gear and the weird isolation needed to separate the virtual images from the surrounding real environment. One should be able to watch an image as if it spatially exists in all its dimensions, in the setting of the receiver’s real environment.

Secondly, holograms compare to the current means of business (and personal) video communications. Currently only the face or the upper part of the interlocutor is visible, and picking up on body language signs is difficult, as well as confusing – says the Canadian Team. As a future goal, they want to want “to expand the TeleHuman 2 to encompass an entire room while cutting its cost to make it more viable”.

We leave it to you to imagine how meetings would look like when using this technology. Or to rememorize movie images – since this technology was featured in many series and films.

 

Canvy recommendation IoT map

Know your IoT

This week, we found a comprehensive IoT ecosystem map. It belongs to Postscapes, it is interactive and it manages to capture the strategic lines in this field.

Have a go, explore this interesting map and also their website. The most passionate of you can even find it useful to browse their DIY section. Branching out of their main menu, the topics you can find there are numerous and can inspire you, as they did us.

Canvy top apps Android iOS 2017

What apps would you take with you on an Internet-connected island?

We know, our scenario has some gaps. Apps are not like books, once you have Internet access, you can download and install as many as you want to.

But let’s say you can’t use the island wireless for getting new apps, just for getting the old ones online. And there would be a limited number of choices – just 7 applications.

In other words, what are the most popular types of apps right now? And what categories do they belong to? We’ll use the latest official yearly reports for this.

 

The 2017 tops – the podium

There is a definite need for a plural here. Due to the fact that we have two major operating systems/environments competing for people’s preferences – we have a double set of winners for 2017.

On the Android side, as measured by Play Store downloads, the leading app is the controversial FaceApp.

The leading iOS app for the last year is Bitmoji.

(We can surely see how people like to play – a bit of (visual) fun is what lacks more in our life, as it seems).

The second place for Adroid consists of a sassy weather app – What The Forecast?!!, while the iOS fans ranked Snapchat in a similar second-to-best position. The Androiders are getting somewhat serious, but not too much, Gamification still drives the highest scores.

Thirdly, we have Boomerang bringing entertaining cartoons for the Android owners – so, the childish side of the smartphone users gets another big point. iOS reciprocates with their YouTube app, bringing video materials of all sorts to the fictional island mentioned in the title.

 

The mid-range apps, according to last years’ numbers

Android follows up with TopBuzz Video, a sort of personalized, optimized YouTube for lazy searchers – to put it shortly. The iOS users change direction and rank Facebook’s Messenger the 4th, choosing to reach out and communicate.

The fifth most loved Android app is another game – and we hear it’s a very cute one. Yarn is a gamified story that people seem to enjoy. Meanwhile, the iOS-ers stick with Facebook and its properties, ranking Instagram the 5th in the downloads’ 2017 top.

Finally, the last duo of the mid-range area are Photo Editor, in the case of Android, and who else but Facebook, in the case of iOS. Is it that iOS users socialize more than Android users? One may surely consider this conclusion.

 

Which app is the Seven Ender?

We have said just 7 apps, OK? And we mean what we said. Let’s see which entry is the last one in our tops.

For Androiders, this would be – oh, big surprise, yet another game! Bubble Witch Saga, an old-school colorful game that still stands after 20 years, according to our hyperlinked (above) source. The iOS users have definitely migrated towards an opposite (more serious) corner, and they placed Google Maps on the 7th place.

Noticing a slight standard of living (possible) speculation can come out of this application parallel, we cannot but add that, for the app producers, nuances don’t matter as long as their product rises in popularity above the other options.

Do you fit the Android or the iOS profile, according to these 2017 statistics?

Canvy Facebook WhatsApp social networks

The Facebook Messenger story – a (perhaps dangerous) success

Similar Web released a study that reveals the most popular global messaging apps in the last couple of years. The study, as analyzed by express.co.uk, clearly captures the way Facebook Messenger superseded WhatsApp in 2017, compared to 2016. Granted, the current version of Messenger launched in April 2015. It went from 600 million users initially, to 9 00 million in June 2016, 1 billion in July 2016, and 1.2 billion in April 2017.

Just as a list, here you may see the Top Google Play apps in the Communication section, as listed by the same SimilarWeb. The top two positions are similar to the study quoted by the UK publication.

What is the dangerous part in Messenger’s success?

Going back to 2016, we may well remember how Facebook forced its users to download the Messenger app, separating Messenger from their network. The move qualified as “hostile” at the time – and the users were annoyed.

However, we are now looking at an app that beat the install-at-your-free-will WhatsApp – and what does this tell us? That a forceful move is ignor-able, if time and numbers vouch for a successful outcome.

The company, or any other company could replay the same technique in theory. The results d not seem to penalize the practice in any way.

What would the practice be described as? Well, splitting one product that has been validated by the market and ensuring a similar success of the secondary project – in a move that removes the users from the control board.

The peoples’ network – the capital of any communication app

The above example was possible due to the fact that Facebook made sure they have a most valuable capital, before making their move. The people that formed their social network already established connections and cared about them. Letting go was unlikely. Facebook capitalized on this reality, which is a customary practice with this brand.

Of course, taking into account that each move that the users dislike brings about a lot of comments about how Facebook does not consider the users’ wishes, the levels of discontent seem to raise. Somewhere along the line there should be a tipping point. Some wonder, others plainly hope for this to materialize – because this approach is, in fact, offensive.

Its value of precedent makes the entire issue even more important. Facebook has plans for free, ubiquitous Internet. Facebook – the social network, has the tagline “It’s free and always will be”. This is an important factor that attracted the huge numbers of users. The users that are now capital for one very important brand. The users that now have to ignore their pride and options at each questionable change made by the network. Because it’s free and because they still want to keep in touch with their peers.

Take this hidden price and shift it at the Internet’s level…

…and you get an arguable lack of freedom of choice. Just how much are you willing to give up because you want to be in the loop? Just how much is it worth giving up in exchange for freebies?

The big lurking issue beneath the free Internet is lack of net neutrality. You surely know the debate – fast and slow lane Internet, selected information, the bigger player gets to decide what goes on where.

The problem with this kind of fight is that it never happened. Without the influencers explaining the importance of keeping your freedom of choice, the general noise covered the incident. What never happened remains just a memory, if that. The mechanism was tested and it worked in favor of Facebook.

This proves the point that the leading-edge tech companies have the authority, build upon years of customer relationships and upon free features that dazzle the public, of imposing their point of view over the better reason or over the preferences of their audience.

Is this an idea we are comfortable with?

Unsettling future perspectives

Some acknowledge that we are not there yet, but we might be heading straight into a society of uniformity. Uniformity would not exclude variety – just think of how automation segments users into categories. You wisely keep categories, yet you feed the same message to one and all – to each in its personalized, suitable manner.

Such an image surely describes a simplified way of getting things through, but it definitely does not describe modern, educated communication. Communication as we’ve grown to understand it, means getting things back and forth, perhaps disagreeing, confronting opposite ideas. The winner is not pre-decided in real communication. If it would be, then why bother with just the show?

Or are we there yet, and we just expect the show? Perhaps Facebook just put the Messenger move too bluntly, while other brands still go through the slow-dance steps of announcing, testing, taking feedback into consideration – and finally going through with the initial decision, regardless of what users want. This way, they have something to show in the line of “at least making an effort”.

 

Canvy MWC 2018

February unleashes MWC 2018, and the mobile brands are set to amaze us once more

…or at least that’s what the public expects from the 900+ exhibitors (as listed here).

The dedicated online media already started covering this focal topic, and the latest developments are yet to come. You can browse the latest TechCrunch feature on what to look forward to at this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress or search for the specific string of news as covered by your favorite online publication. You probably won’t be disappointed.

 

What caught our eye about this year’s MWC

On a short browsing session today we’ve noticed how LG’s Vision AI managed to make the trending news. Well, tbh, some of the members of our team do have a soft spot for the latest generation LG products. Nevertheless, the fact that a suite of AI technologies aiming to conquer the hearts of mobile fans is really raising an interest illustrates that the market has a certain amount of expectations in this direction. Regardless of the brand, the company that will genuinely be capable of answering these expectations gets the benefit of breaking the ice. Of course, the functionalities should be extremely practical or even truly amazing, otherwise we are back to the late 70s almanac effect.

What we mean to say with this is that progress is a fickle thing. Prototypes and projective stories on progress are one thing, while the viable commercial products and the feel of the materialized concepts can easily disappoint. The market hunger for truly impressive technologies does not make for the said technologies.

Now, the features prepared by LG, as introduced here do not seem as exciting as one would have thought. While AI’s possibilities are infinite, using them to recommend the best photo shooting mode or to voice-control the smartphone seems way under the expectations.

 

Other brands also hint at a couple of potentially interesting unveiling-s

Launching a new wireless charger, coming up with a new, improved DeX and presenting the Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagships should be alluring enough for Samsung’s fans. You may explore more details on this topic here.

IDEMIA made a few waves with its Augmented Identity solutions. The target audience here is industry level, and the main concerned areas would be the Financial, Telecom, Identity, Public Security and IoT.

Huawei keeps its followers busy with developments on the 5G line of action, and places its AI bets in the cloud, more precisely its All-Cloud intelligent networks infrastructure.

Of course, the novelties will have in mind various areas and different financial possibilities – for example Archos will showcase 3 budget phones. The thing is not without importance, since the idea of ubiquitous Internet is still on the table, and this means all individuals should afford Internet access, be it on a budget device or on a high-end one.

Between promises and delivery

Since it’s already been a couple of years since the tech companies circulate bold concepts in the context of the IoT, and in general, of the new tech conjecture, we may well notice the way things look a bit toned down. This is partly due to the fact that these bold concepts have had time to fail, or simply not deliver. Once this happened with flexible phones, transparent screens or smart glasses, the enthusiasm that surrounded the possible materialization of these bright ideas is bound to lose some of its oomph.

This does not automatically mean the tech bubble is deflating. It just stands to show the environment is perhaps maturing, and the viable ideas separate themselves from the less possible ones. We’ll just have to see what real surprises tech brands do have in store for their customers.

 

 

125 computer-security-padlock-hacker-163009

Get the best out of modern cybersecurity, don’t let it get the best out of you

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, just launched its own cyber-security project, entitled Chronicle. The project targets enterprises and aims to help such customers better manage their own security.

The online media debate tackles the fact that, the Chronicle project resembles other countless similar projects. It hasn’t been disclosed so far what makes this particular project relevant and outstanding in the cyber-security environment. Gizmodo, for example, wonders what exactly qualifies as moonshot about this entire endeavor, besides being associated with Google, that is.

 

Modern cyber vulnerabilities call for modern cyber-security

 

Of course, we have a Captain Obvious thing here. Who does not know this in our day and age?  Well, when you juxtapose this with the fact that modern cyber-security is still in the making, perhaps we start getting the image of a current dilemma.

Most companies are aware of the IoT dawning upon their operations. The decision makers have moved forward to implement the necessary hardware and software changes. Yet the IoT comes along with cyber-vulnerabilities like never before, some of which have already been acted out.

It’s only logical that ubiquitous connectivity can be reversed into ubiquitous hacking, and malicious parties taking control of the companies’ networks. The cyber-security experts work continually towards improving the means of protection, yet sometimes it seems that the enemy manages to be ahead of them.

This fluctuating gap between the protectors and the attackers in cyber-security leaves room for a lot of misrepresentation, fuelled by the enterprises’ real and deeply rooted concern for their critical and sensitive data.

There are no standardized solutions, there are ambiguous sets of best practice measures, and there are quite a lot brands and branded cyber-security projects. The field is crowded, and there is a lot of noise – not at all the best atmosphere for encouraging straight thinking.

 

Get the best out of modern cyber-security

 

The online media means any piece of news travels fast and has a potentially global reach. Keep updated on the trajectory of the leading brands in cyber-security. As a CIO person, even as a CEO, the latest in cyber-security is now mandatory, not optional. At least a weekly update on what happened to notable importance is well advised.

This way you have a chance of learning from the mistakes of others, instead of repeating these mistakes. Also, when approached with various offers, it is easier to discern the actually possible/doable from the mass of wishful thinking you can be presented with by a bold, yet dubiously trustful specialized brand.

 

Now, the leading cyber-security brands rarely venture in making promises they cannot sustain. Reliability and consistency is part of being successful on the market for a long time. However, when their solutions seem similar, an educated partner of discussion from your company can go through the process of understanding what makes one potential partner stand out against the others.

 

In other words, you have to make the first step, and in order to do so (and be a solid discussion partner in cyber-security matters), you need a background, a pool of thematic general knowledge. There is no universal recipe for how to keep informed on the most important matters, but it is mandatory that you do so.

 

Don’t let it modern cyber-security get the best out of you

 

…especially that, as we’ve mentioned, there is no official modern cyber-security operations set, but rather a work-in-progress phenomenon.

In conclusion, the iterations that exude complete self-confidence and reassure you that your operations are completely protected in any eventuality – not valid.

A cyber-security partner that guarantees virtually nothing, because, well, it’s a big bad world and an infinity of threats out there – also to avoid.

The key is in the previous experience, in the continuous market presence, combined with a solid agreement – look for relevant certifications, find out whether your industry’s unique considerations are provided for and so on.

It takes patience and attention, but it pays off in the end. As the representative of a company or as a privacy-concerned individual, in this field is better to leave the enthusiastic attitude at the door, and poke into each detail, calmly and in the most concerned and calculated manner – before selecting your partner.