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This year’s CES show – a glimpse of our future in tech

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CES show

Your next car will probably connect to the internet. So will your TV and doorknobs. One day, you may even adopt a robot companion capable of analyzing its environment and reacting to your actions in real time.

A glimmer of the future was on show this week at CES the giant consumer trade show in Las Vegas. An amazing 170,000 people attended the show and this year’s annual featured over 4,500 exhibitors, including tech companies of all sizes from all over the world.

It was clear to see that the industry is pouring substantial amounts of resources and investment with a hope that the latest tech trends such as AI virtual assistants, connected cars and the infamous foldable screen, will soon become parts of our daily lives.

The conference was also a chance for dedicated tech watchers to make predictions about upcoming innovations and inventions that may become popular, or those that may inevitably flop.

One such tech trend in question, is that of the foldable screen. Companies including tech giants like Lenovo and Dell have all produced their version of the new technology. Lenovo show the ThinkPad X1 Fold, a windows foldable tablet which, when folded resembled a compact book. Although that sounds impressive, not everyone is that positive about the future of foldable screens. Tech experts and analysts have suggested that the device could be unpopular because of high price tags and limited use due to a lack of durability.

Google and Amazon were among the biggest names at the trade show, both very confident about the capabilities of their own personal assistant. Google claimed its version is now used by more than 500 million per month in over 90 countries. Studies conducted, indicate that most people use these assistants for basic things like playing music or turning the heating up. Still, Amazon remains persistent and intends for users to start doing more complex thing likes paying bills through Alexa.

As we know, autonomous cars are still far from ready for the market, however tech companies highlighted features that could assist people in driving more safely.

Samsung demonstrated a vehicle with its Exynos Auto V9 computing processor, which is able to run applications on a number of screens and collect information and data from up to 12 cameras. This particular system was designed to simultaneously provide both entertainment like videos to passengers in the back seat and safety-assistance apps to drivers.

Amazon once again, wasn’t to be defeated and boasted its automotive proficiency, showing off cars from luxury manufacturers like Lamborghini and the auto start-up Rivian which now include Alexa personal-assistant capabilities. Auto safety features may just be the most practical and useful innovation to come out of CES this year. Apps that alert drivers to blind spots or assist them when parking automatically, should be a huge advantage to consumers.

Lamborghini at CES Show

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Cloud telecom infrastructure with Etisalat

Inside Telecom Staff

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Cloud telecom

UAE Telecoms giant Etisalat has announced its plans to work with an association of global tech leaders to introduce a new vendor platform that will aim to provide cloud telecom infrastructure and host developing futuristic technologies and services.

The creation of this respected group is aligned with the company’s corporate-wide programme launched to ‘cloudify the network’-dubbed ‘Sahaab. Sahaab is an Arabic word that means cloud. The programme will focus on deploying the right criteria of hardware-centric telecom services and software-centric cloud services.

The group itself consists of NEC as the prime overall integrator, Netcracker, Redhat, Juniper and Dell who will all collaborate with Etisalat to install and roll out the second generation of NFV (Network Function Virtualisation)/ SDN (Software Defined Networking). These two technologies are closely related and commonly associated with the enablement of smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT) and the upcoming 5G future.

The infrastructure will be built against industry leading architecture developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The most recent technologies will then be set up to provide the highest levels of performance, agility, elasticity, and well-organized and efficient operations. The technologies include Network Function Virtualization Orchestrator (NFVO) from Netcracker, Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller from Juniper-Contrail, Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) from RedHat-Openstack, and a collection of automation and operations tools like Ansible, Zappix, git-lab, ELK, and Bacula.

Esmaeel Hammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development, Etisalat said:

Today’s announcement is of strategic importance as this platform will be a pillar for Etisalat’s long term strategy of driving digital technologies to empower our services and build the infrastructure to incorporate emerging technologies. As we transition into the digital future, it is essential to invest and implement the state-of-art methodologies in cloud computing by engaging with global leaders. This will ensure services on our network are agile and provide the best performance for major projects like Expo 2020, World Government Summit, AFC Asia Cup among others.”

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The role of immersive technologies in the telecom industry

Fayza Bjayou

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Telecoms industry

Immersive technologies can have a defining role in the world of telecoms, creating a broad scope of opportunities to support the changing, complex nature of the telecoms landscape. The industry at present, makes large investments in maintaining and developing its infrastructure, to ensure that technology across industries is represented by seamless, uninterrupted services. Deploying augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can offer significant support to an increasingly complex system of services that require ongoing operational maintenance.

When distance stands between the problem and the maintenance specialist, disruption and delays are inevitable. In a world where businesses rely upon the seamless connection between their services and the network provided by their operator, it can cause immense pressure for both parties involved. Using augmented reality (AR) to fix maintenance issues remotely, provides a viable solution. This is a cost- and time-effective approach, that will ensure more repairs are made by the most trained and competent specialists. Immersive technology will replicate a real-life installation and maintenance situation for experts to assess. AR can be used by technicians to establish open audio-visual dialogue with an expert from anywhere in the world, which means an increased number of remote site visits and real-time consultations. Immersive technology in this context, provides double-sided benefit of both increased learning and productivity.

VR and AR can be used to effectively assist and train both current and future staff personnel. One of the major stumbling blocks faced by management in the telecom industry is ensuring consistent standards of practice and performance among their team members. AR and VR can be leveraged to boost knowledge retention and professional engagement. Immersive technologies can provide training without the need for time-consuming workshops, that would otherwise mean taking an entire group away from their work-environment – Studies have shown that this approach may boost GDP by $294.2 billion by 2030. The figures indicate the broad scope of potential in augmented reality in the workplace and offers unlimited access to those who wish to understand an area of specialty that may otherwise be difficult to facilitate in their surrounding physical environment.

AR and VR technologies can take operational performance to the next level. Utilizing such tools will ensure a more stream-line, efficient system that better responds to the advancing trends and requirements of the global market.

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En route to the world’s first Smart Hospital

Inside Telecom Staff

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Smart Hospital

Lately, it feels like 5G is the only thing we ever seem to be talking about, and for good reason. When we think about 5G, we think about the many possibilities of innovation that could revolutionize services across industries. The medical world is no exception. Based on rapid technological advancements and the growing demand for better healthcare services, Korean Telecoms giant, KT Corporation, along with Samsung Medical Centre (SMC) have partnered up, to create a 5G-based smart hospital to power new medical practices.

KT built a dedicated 5G network at the medical center, created service environments in operating rooms and also carried out test operations. Both parties intend to develop the world of smart patient care along with 5G, innovative medical practices, to improve the efficiency of hospitals.

KT, in partnership with the Samsung Medical Center, is pioneering innovative medical services for the new 5G era,” said Park In-Young, Vice President of KT’s ICT Convergence Business Department. “We will continue to further refine 5G-powered medical technology by applying VR and AR technologies for real-time education.

Both parties had been applying 5G on the premises as a means of creating improved medical services since they signed an agreement late last year. The services encompass digital diagnostic pathology, access to proton therapy information, teaching surgery, artificial intelligence-enable care for in patients and an autonomous robot for operating rooms.

The 5G-driven digital pathological analysis (conducted by SMC) is a brand new international example of using innovation using 5G technology methods and equipment for medical procedures. Tissues are taken from the patient during surgery and treated for analysis and then sent to pathologists in an adjacent room. This took around 20 minutes of walking back and forth, which made it hard for pathologists to conduct onsite analyses.

Fast and consistent access to pathological data – taken during surgery – is vital in defining and assessing the conditions of the patient and is provided by a 5G network with an extremely high speed and a very low latency rate. The network lets the Pathology Department gain access to materials which contain about 4GB of data each, thus ensuring improved medical services

This network also ensures fast access to CT and MRI data on proton therapy. The procedure required pathologists to walk about a km to the therapy center to download the files. Now, the 5G network enables them to access these files from any point in the medical center.

Surgery Education Away from the Operating Room

Surgical theatres and operating rooms are often too crowded with medical staff and equipment in order for medical students to observe closely. To resolve this issue and teach effectively, KT has produced a 5G-assisted education program with the Samsung Medical Center.

Robots for Operating Room Assistance; AI for In-Patient Care

A robot developed for the soul purpose of delivering within the operating room, is able to remove contaminated materials and medical waste for disposal. This autonomous robot can also bring in the necessary surgical supplies.

Robots for operating room assistance can reduce secondary and tertiary infection which happens through contact with medical waste and will save human resource costs in waste disposal. Furthermore, 5G enabled connectivity reduces disruption and latency in data exchange with robots and terminals.

Smart Care Giver is a creative AI supported system of in-patient-care. It provides AI services on KT’s GiGA Genie engine and enables patients to control their hospital room with voice commands and checks their medical condition with their permission. Consequently, medical staff are able to respond more efficiently and effectively to patient emergencies.

5G-Powered Smart Hospital

Collaboration between KT and the Samsung Medical Center will continue throughout the year, to further refine the services developed. 

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