Woocommerce VS Shopify

In the digital world, online businesses are increasing rapidly. People are opening online stores in the hope of getting more customers. However, setting up an online store is not as simple as it seems. Many retailers or businessmen face difficulty while deciding on a suitable E-Commerce platform.

When it comes to E-Commerce then nothing can match up Woocommerce and Shopify. Both are unique and bring the best for the clients in their manner. There are a lot of doubts in an online store owner’s mind. If you are someone who wants to expand your business with the support of online means then this article will surely benefit you.

What is Woocommerce?

Woocommerce was launched in 2011 as a free open-source E-Commerce plugin, which enables holders of patents to make adjustments as per their need. The plugin is designed for WordPress-based sites.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a forum for online business. The E-Commerce application development was done in 2006 to assist retailers. Anyone can build their store online and sell products.

The following features will generate a better understanding of which option is adequate.

Differences between them in terms of –

  1. Customization 

Woocommerce: The WordPress Plugin Woocommerce provides multiple customizable options to its users. For example, store owners can work on the checkout page and delete, rewrite or change the quantity. You can alter the homepage and many more.

Shopify: The E-Commerce platform permits owners to customize and edit their online stores. A business owner can sell any number of products. They can put pictures and videos too.

  1. Payment and Security 

Woocommerce: Business owners enjoy full control with the assistance of REST API. It is an application programming interface that uses HTTP for building APIs. They can pay and receive payments through PayPal, Square, and Stripe. Woocommerce is a secure place as it utilizes Sucuri, which is recognized for the protection of websites from cybercrime and hackers.

  • The E-Commerce plugin reports all the details about APIs, extensions, etc. The holders of the stores receive a ‘verified owner’ tag for clarity and transparency.

Shopify: Payments can be made with the help of PayPal, Apple Pay, or Amazon Pay. There are credit card options as well. Store owners have to pay about 30% to Shopify in case they are involving a third party. That’s why clients have to depend on Shopify Payment for ease. The platform is secure due to the SSL certificate.

  1. Combining 

Woocommerce: You can attach with a third party like Hubspot for expanding your business. Retailers are allowed to take as many orders, prices, and several commodities. A business owner can select his location along with the local language and currency of their residing country. There are more than 400 valid extensions at Woocommerce.

Shopify: Shopify has more than 70 themes for store owners. Shopify has prepared a mobile web app framework for its users, which enables customers to shop from anywhere with their phones. If the owner wishes then he has the option of trading on platforms like Amazon and eBay. Shopify allows users to link their stores with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

  1. Cost

    Woocommerce: Woocommerce can be installed free of cost. If you are running a small-scale business then it will amount to $200 or so. It is quite reasonable.

Shopify: Shopify is on the costly side. Its subscription plans will range from $29 to $299. Shopify takes 30% of earnings if a third-party plugin is inserted. There is a 14-day trial option. Shopify provides any time service to store owners. There is no fee for high traffic in the store.

Why Woocommerce? 

Merits

  • The service allows easy and limitless customization.
  • They can pick a nice theme and edit the homepage, contact details, etc.
  • Woocommerce is cost-effective.

Demerits

  • Woocommerce can be difficult to use.
  • The store owners have to do most tasks while using Woocommerce and are not promising to measure your business growth.

Why Shopify?

 Merits

  • Shopify enables businesses to sell on other sites such as eBay and Amazon.
  • You can take a 14-day trial for certainty without any payment details.
  • The platform is suitable for beginners. They provide a 24-hour service too.
  • The yearly or monthly plans also comprise limitless storage, domain, and hosting.
  • You can analyze your business.

Demerits

  • Shopify is expensive for small businesses.
  • About 30% is paid to Shopify when third parties are present resulting in dependence on Shopify Payments.

Conclusion

Woocommerce is tough to use. Shopify has a system that makes it look easier to newcomers. On the other hand, mobile application design and development brings hustle-free customization. Shopify helps in attracting more traffic at high rates. You can decide according to your requirements.

 

 

 

 

The Simplest Guidance For KNN Algorithm

In this blog, we will talk about the KNN algorithm (K-Nearest Neighbour) which is considered to be one of the simplest and widely used Machine Learning algorithms based on the Supervised Learning technique.

Where did KNN basically start?

KNN was born when two officers of USAF school of Aviation, Hodge and Fix wrote a technical report in 1951, and the research was done for the armed forces.

So, when do we basically use this algorithm?

The main motive of the K-NN algorithm is that it assumes the similarity between the new data cases and the available data cases and classifies the new data point into the category that fits in the most appropriate available categories. KNN can be used for both regression and classification predictive problems but data analysts normally use it for classification problems in the industry.

The two most unique characteristics of KNN algorithm is that it is a non-parametric algorithm i.e., it does not make any assumption on underlying data and it is sometimes called a lazy learner algorithm as it does not learn from the training set immediately. Instead, it stores the dataset and performs an action on the dataset at the time of classification.

Case Study

Let us consider an example to know it better. Suppose, we have an image of an object that looks similar to a leopard and panther, but we want to know whether it is a leopard or panther. So for this identification, we will use the KNN algorithm, because it works on a similarity measure. Our KNN model will find the similar features of the new data set to the leopard and panther images and based on the most similar features it will put it in either category.

What are the applications of KNN algorithm?

The KNN algorithm is considered to be the most popular algorithms for text mining.

  • The agriculture sector also makes use of KNN methods for climate forecasting and estimating soil water parameters.
  • In the domain of finance, predicting the price of a stock is done with the help of KNN methods on the basis of company performance measures and economic data.
  • The doctors can easily predict whether a patient, hospitalized due to a heart attack, will have a second heart attack,
  • The implementation of KNN algorithm also makes an estimate of the amount of glucose in the blood of a diabetic person, and helps doctors to prescribe medicines accordingly..
  • Companies like Amazon or Netflix use KNN techniques when recommending books or other accessories to buy for the customer or movies to watch as per their choice of interests.

How does KNN work?

In simple understanding, when we have a data set with two different kinds of points which are labelled as Label A and Label B. And we are asked to figure out the label of a new point in this dataset using KNN algorithm, we do it by taking a vote of its k nearest neighbours. K values normally remain in between 1 to infinity, but in most cases it is less than 30.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of KNN algorithms.

Some Advantages of KNN algorithm includes:

  • Being one of the simplest algorithms, it is easy to interpret with quick calculation time.
  • It is versatile and has high accuracy as compared with other supervised learning models
  • There is no requirement to make assumptions about data or build a model.

One of the other hand, some disadvantages of KNN are:

  • The quality of data highly affects the accuracy and so, a huge amount of data may lead to a slow prediction stage.
  • It requires a high memory as it needs to store all the training data and storing all of the training data makes it computationally expensive.

The very common question that might have raised in your minds after reading the above sections is Do I need to learn Python or R (or any other programming language) to use KNN?

Well! It is somewhat partially true that we need to learn at least one of the programming languages to carry out such machine learning algorithms. No doubt, KNN can be performed on GUI based tools like KNIME, but lets still have a working knowledge of how to implement it in Python.

You can check out its implementation using R in Understanding the Concept of KNN Algorithm Using R.

In the below example, we will learn the following steps which are needed to be performed to implement KNN algorithm using Python Programming:

Step 1:  Here, we shall be using the iris data set containing 3 classes of 50 instances each, where each class refers to a type of iris plant.

The k-nearest neighbour algorithm is imported from the scikit-learn package with all the other necessary modules which include KNeighborsClassifier, train_test_split, load_iris ,numpy and matplotlib.

Step 2: Once we have completed loading our dataset, the next is to create feature and target variables using X = irisData.data and y = irisData.target as described below.

After that, we have to split our data into training and test data using the train_test_split module. Once splitting is done, it’s time to generate a KNN model using neighbors values.

Foremostly, we have to fit the data into the model using the knn.fit(X_train, y_train)

Step 3: Once the model is fitted as shown above, we can predict on the dataset which the model has not seen before and then calculate the accuracy of the model print(knn.score(X_test, y_test))

Step 5: Finally, let’s generate the plot showing the testing dataset accuracy and training dataset accuracy with n_neighbours represented on the x-axis and accuracy on the y axis.

The ending lines

From our above blog, we can finally conclude that KNN is an effective machine learning algorithm that is quite easy to implement for small datasets such as credit scoring, prediction of cancer cells, image recognition, and many other applications.

We have grasped the knowledge of why we basically use the KNN algorithm with the help of some real-world examples. Then we have understood the working principle i.e., firstly, it calculates the distance between all points. Then, it tends to find the k points that are closest based on the previously calculated distances. Finally, the category is chosen containing the majority of the surrounding points.

Hope you all have enjoyed reading it!

Acknowledgement: We are thankful to Mr Ram Tavva, Senior Data Scientist and Alumnus of IIM- C (Indian Institute of Management – Kolkata) for writing such a wonderful article. He has over 25 years of professional experience having specialization in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.

 

Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and another technology Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are popular technologies that promise to revolutionize organizations that are struggling and striving for digital transformation. Both combined AI and RPA result in Intelligent Automation that helps to empower rapid and quick end-to-end business process and a lot more stuff.

AI has been around since the 1960s. AI is nothing but computers performing tasks that require basic human intelligence for accomplishment. AI has transformed the lives of many people providing them with solutions that aided in better and easier living.

Automating Tasks

RPA is not a physical robot. It’s a software bot that can automate mundane and repetitive tasks by eliminating human errors and increasing efficiency and productivity a notch higher. RPA bots can automate rule-based tasks, like filling in the forms, scraping web browsers, extraction of data from docs, and much more. RPA can help businesses in a wide arena of fields like financial services, insurance, healthcare, human resource, data entry, customer care, accounting and more.

Bots are great for businesses looking for:

  • Security – Foolproof protection
  • Ease of use – No programming required or no expert help needed
  • Scalability – Can undertake the increased workload
  • Non-disruptive – Doesn’t require major changes
  • Flexibility – Can adapt to other needs
  • User-friendliness – Easy to operate
  • Centralization – Can be controlled for one central location

So, what’s RPA?

Software bots that can automate repetitive business tasks are the RPA. The bot acts as a virtual assistant and can work on uncomplicated tasks. Unlike your human employee, the bot doesn’t get bored doing repetitive tasks and works with utmost efficiency as instructed.

How can RPA help your organization?

  • Accuracy – Minimizing human errors
  • Reliability – Work 24×7 without delays
  • Speed – With improved efficiency bots can complete tasks 5 times faster
  • Compliance – Follow rules precisely and creates audit trails
  • Improved Employee Morale – Employees get precious time to focus on productivity and not processing.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is the simulation of the human intelligence process done by computer systems. This process includes reasoning, learning and self-correction. The machine can reason out by using the set of rules and data embedded and reach a conclusion. The machine can learn by acquiring new information and also using the input data. The machine can lastly, self-correct itself by learning from the successes and failures. The most popular AI applications are machine vision, image recognition, chatbots, speech recognition, sentiment analysis and many more.

AI has the ability to replace human labour and automate end-to-end tasks. RPA on the other hand works in conjunction with humans to automate repetitive tasks. AI can use unstructured inputs and based on that develop its own logic. RPA on the other hand uses only structured logic and inputs to get the work done. The combination of RPA and AI can create a fully empowered autonomous process, also known as Intelligent Automation.

Applications of AI and RPA

Both these technologies are fully different from one another. RPA is extremely efficient and does only what it is instructed to do. While on the other hand, the AI can teach itself to get the task done. RPA falls short as it can only automate rule-based tasks. With AI, RPA can bridge the gap and get the work fully automated and done.

AI is the computer’s ability to mimic human intelligence, whether it’s solving a problem, debating or recognizing an image. RPA follows a specific set of rules and its algorithm helps to automate the task. AI is focused on doing human-level work that requires logical thinking. RPA is a software bot aimed at reducing human efforts, like payroll processing, data transfers, forms processing and so on. AI is a step ahead as with AI the system can filter out poorly formatted forms and other unsuitable documents that can’t be accepted.

AI + RPA = The Ultimate Combination

These two technologies can come together and form a robust combination known as Intelligent Automation (IA). This automation can automate frontend and backend processes and orchestra the work across the human-bot workforce teams.

Reasons why you need to opt for AI+RPA = IA with you:

  • Higher productivity
  • Eliminate human errors
  • Improve data management
  • Utilize human labour for more productive tasks and not processing work
  • Save overhead costs
  • Get complete process transparency 

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence has the capability to make RPA smarter, faster, better and more efficient. A combination of the two results in the birth of Intelligent Automation which can take your business to newer heights of success.

Robotics VS Automation – Know the Difference

Industrial Automation, Test Automation or Robotic Process Automation – ever heard about these terms? Are robotics and automation the same? If not, then what’s the difference? This write-up will get all your queries cleared once and for all.

 

Coming from a non-tech background, automation and robotics might sound like the same thing, but ‘NO’, they are different. 

 

So, what is automation and what is robotics?

 

Automation – When one uses computer software or physical machines and other technologies to accomplish tasks that could have been conducted by humans is automation. There are different types of automation ranging from the simple ones to complex types. Automation can be divided into 2 types – Industrial Automation and Software Automation. 

 

Why Automation?

 

The main advantage is that automation ensures a predictable and stable production process that can be tailored specifically to perform the process most effectively.

Social Mdia Automation

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 Robotics – It’s a branch of technology that incorporates the process of creating, designing and utilizing robots to perform a task. An industrial robot is a standard machine that is controlled by an internal or external computer to perform complex series of movements automatically. Equipped with audio, visual and tactile sensors, there is a wide range of robots that are enabled by a pre-determined program to perform a wide range of activities. Many branches of robotics are not linked with automation and function smoothly.

 

Advantage of Robotics

 

These robots substitute humans in hazardous environments like high-temperature zones, radioactive environments and so on. These robots are designed by an automated system to carry out multiple tasks automatically with numerous variables. 

Evolution of Robots

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Automation VS Robotics – What You Need! 

 

The functionalities are different and yet you need to know what will work for you and what won’t. Everything depends on your business structure and the needs of your organization. 

To know what works for you and what doesn’t, you need to know a few things about your work process.

 

Do your employees engage in repetitive tasks that require minimal logic and thinking? If yes, then these monotonous tasks can be taken care of by automation. Software automation is great for performing virtual tasks. However, for physical and laborious tasks, robotics is the answer. Again, a robot can perform physical tasks, but it needs to be programmed to ensure the repetitive hazardous physical task is performed smoothly.

 

Obviously, there are overlapping functions between automation and robotics. Robots have already come into the world and started automating physical tasks like manufacturing. Many kinds of automation have no connection with physical robots. Similarly, many branches of robotics have no connection with automation. 

 

Automation in Detail 

 

Many industries are interested in implementing automation to reduce labour costs and increase efficiency without compromising on time. As stated earlier, there are 2 kinds of automation – Software Automation and Industrial Automation.

 

Software Automation

 

A computer tool programmed to perform repetitive tasks following certain logical instructions like humans is Software Automation. GUI test automation is a great way of testing computer programs. 

 

Other types of software automation are:

 

Business Process Automation (BPA)

 

Tech-enabled automation for business processes that are used for digital transformation and improving service quality to save costs. Restructuring human resources, integrating applications and utilizing software apps for the business processes is what BPA stands does.

 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

 

programs exactly the same way as a human operator. Although not as efficient and intelligent as humans, but they work quite smoothly with good ROI and seamlessly integrating into existing business processes.

 

Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)

 

IPA is an extension of RPA using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to work like humans and making decisions based on sentiment, logic and past activities. This software bot is more intelligent than static RPA. 

 

Industrial Automation

 

When automation and robotics come together – then it’s called Industrial Automation. It’s all about controlling and handling the physical processes. This kind of automation involves control systems and physical machinery to automate the tasks within the processes. Amazon is a perfect example. There are various machines used for industrial automation like CNC machines are common when it comes to manufacturing. Robots are only one kind of such a machine.

 

Robotics in Detail

 

Robots are programmable machines that are can perform a series of actions semi-autonomously or autonomously. With actuators and sensors, robots interact with the physical world and being reprogrammable they are more flexible than other machines. 

 

In industrial automation, robots are used in a flexible way to automate tasks. AI enables robots to take in instructions from humans and function seamlessly. 

 

All Robots are NOT Automated 

 

Yes, some robots are autonomous, but not used in automation. For example, a toy line-following robot functions autonomously, but cannot be used in automation. It’s not automation because it’s not performing any specific task. It becomes automation when the line-following robot transport medicines around the hospital and does a specific job.

 

Robotics VS Automation – Choosing the Best

 

If you are looking for investing in automation for your business, then decide based on the following factors:

 

What process do you wish to automate?

 

For virtual tasks go for Software Automation.

 

For physical tasks, opt for industrial automation.

 

Determine if your physical tasks can be performed by a robot, if so, then robotics is the solution. If not, then look into industrial automation and get going.

 

Have further questions? Then, let’s start talking and see what works for your business.

 

Cloud Computing – All You Ever Wanted to Know

Cloud computing is a term used for anything that includes delivering hosting services across the net. There are 3 main categories of these services like IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a service) and SaaS (software as a service). Cloud can be public or private. A public cloud can sell services to anyone on the internet. Whereas, a public cloud is a data centre or a proprietary network that supplies hosted services only to a limited number of people with access and permissible settings. Whether it’s public or private, the goal of cloud computing is to provide scalable and easy access to computing resources and IT services.

The name Cloud Computing was inspired by cloud symbols and is often used for representing the internet in diagrams and flowcharts. Cloud infrastructure includes software and hardware components that are required for proper implementation for a cloud computing model.

How does it work?

Cloud computing allows client devices in accessing data over the internet from databases, computers and remote servers. The internet connection links the front end (that includes accessing client browser, device, network and software applications) with a back end that includes servers, computers and databases. The back end actually operates as a repository, store data that is accessible by the front end. Communication between the front and the back end is handled by a central server. The central server relies on protocols for facilitating the exchange of data and uses both middleware and software for managing the connectivity between the divergent cloud servers and client devices. Usually, there is a dedicated server for every application.

Examples of Cloud Computing

Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365: Accessing Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 through the internet is easier and more productive as work presentations and spreadsheets can be stored in the cloud and are accessible anytime, anywhere from any device.

Email, Calendar, Skype, WhatsApp: With Cloud, one can access their personal data from emails, calendars, Skype and WhatsApp remotely, from any device and wherever and whenever they want.

Zoom: A cloud-based software zoom is a platform for audio and video conferencing that can be used to record meetings and save them on the cloud. Users can access these recordings anytime from anywhere.

AWS Lambda: With Lambda developers run code for applications and back end services without provision and managing the servers. This pay-as-you-go model scales with the organization for accommodating real-time alterations in data storage and usage.

 Why use Cloud Computing?

Self Service Provisioning 

The end users spin up compute resources for any kind of workload on-demand. The end-user can provision computing capabilities like server time, network storage and eliminate the need of IT administrators for provision and management of computing resources.

Elasticity

A company can freely scale up and scale down computing needs as per their needs and requirements. This helps to save costs and manage investments according to the need of the hour.

Pay Per Use

The compute resources are managed at a granular level that would help the users to pay based on the resources and workloads that have been utilized.

Workload Resilience 

Service providers implement resources for ensuring resilient storage and also keeps user workload running and moving across multiple global regions.

Broad Network Access

The user can access cloud data and also upload data from anyplace with an internet connection by using any device.

Migration Flexibility

Want to move workloads to different cloud platforms automatically? Then, it’s possible without burning a hole in your pocket and also utilizing new services as they merge.

Multi-tenancy and Resource Pooling

With this feature, multiple customers can share similar physical infrastructure or similar applications without compromising on privacy and data security. With resource pooling, cloud service providers aid multiple customers from similar physical resources. The resource pools are large and flexible for servicing the requirements of numerous customers.

Top Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cost-cutting – With Cloud computing, organizations save on costs and don’t have to spend money on buying and maintaining any equipment. In this way, capital investment costs go down. Additionally, Cloud computing cuts costs related to downtime, as downtime rarely happens, companies don’t need to fix issues related to downtimes like handling cloud data centre operations and the like.

Mobility – When a piece of information is stored in the cloud, it means the data can be accessed from anywhere through any device without any internet connection. Corporate data can be accessed via smartphones enabling remote employees to stay updated with co-workers and clients.

Disaster Recovery – Worried about data loss? Data storage in the cloud guarantees users to access the data quickly in the event of any emergencies like natural disasters and power outages.

What’s possible with Cloud Computing?

  • Creating cloud-native applications
  • Testing and building applications
  • Storing and recovering data
  • Audio and visual streaming
  • Embed intelligence
  • SaaS on-demand software

Have any more questions? Then, let us know and allow us to resolve all your queries related to cloud computing.

Artificial Intelligence & Web Development – The Untold Truth

Web development is embracing technology and coming up with more secure, scalable and feature-packed applications. Enhanced user experiences and personalized content is something that appears relatable. The web department world is looking for smart applications with personalized UX design. On the other hand, AI or ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is rapidly spreading throughout the tech world and soon would become an integral part of our lives.

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AI in Web Development:

If you have a business, then it’s mandatory in contemporary times to ‘have a website’. AI can play a vital role in web design and development. Did you know that many web development companies have started creating AI-enabled websites? AI has already become an indispensable part of the web development world but still more needs to be done.

Let’s find out how AI has contributed to web development and helped in creating user-friendly websites.

Chatbots

With an eCommerce website, you need AI-powered chatbots to reply to your customers. AI in chatbots helps in increasing business sales as the machine predicts correct reactions and appropriate responses for user queries. Data encryption, behaviour analytics, and multi-functioning authentication power chatbot security communication are some of the AI technicalities that are used to develop an advanced functioning website for connecting human behaviour with technology in a seamless way.

AI-enabled chatbots are capable of replying to multiple customers at the same time and operate 24×7. The responses are more or less accurate and scripted with the aid of machine learning. If you have an eCommerce website, then it’s time to make AI a part of your world and never look back.

Voice Search

In 2016, Google Assistant was launched and the voice-based search came into the world. All the credit goes to AI technology for working on voice command. Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Home – all are using AI for recognizing and responding to voice commands. The core idea is to enhance and facilitate the customer experience. Customers find it much easier and simpler to speak and search on the web, rather than to type and search.

If you have a website, then voice search adaptability can act as a great tool to rule the market, as consumers prefer using voice search that requires less time and energy. AI plays a vital role in providing consistent and clear communication between the website and the customers. In the near future, websites will start using AI for voice search adaptability and to stay ahead in the digital world, don’t give this one a miss.

Marketing

With AI and Machine Learning your website can collaborate for making market predictions and acting on them. Artificial Intelligence can help find out:

What your customers are planning to purchase next?
Which are the disliked products?
What are the devices used by customers to browse the website?
When is the ideal time for the customer to shop for your products?

These are just a few of the questions that the AI questions can answer. AI helps to bridge the gap between the business and the customer. Businesses adapt themselves in marketing analytic techniques for achieving better results and increasing the ROI.

Not convinced yet? Then, take a look and find out some of the advantages of implementing AI for web development. 

  • Effective digital marketing techniques can be used to attract target consumers. AI can sense the pulse of the target audience and thus help the digital team create a foolproof strategy to fetch in more business online.
  • Making search easier and faster. With AI one can get relevant customer experience and interaction. Website and customer interactions get better, faster, and quicker (even without the human touch). AI also provides a personalized experience of the store virtually.
  • AI can help suggest trending videos, music, vlogs, and blog posts that are relevant and can help attract the target audience for the respective brand. AI also helps show the audience the relevant content that would interest and appeal to them.
  • There are countless AI tools that can change the face of web design. ADI (artificial design tools) can change the look and feel of a website. For example, Wix and Bookmark are credible AI tools that can help you create a website in seconds with abundant options for customization.
  • With analytic tools powered with AI, web developers can check how their designed and created websites works in real-time. Thus, with AI, web developers can understand which design looks best and how to define them.

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Final Thoughts

AI can be effectively used for web development and maintenance. Machine learning programs along with AI can create a multi-purpose website for your brand and help you achieve traction with users. This calls for developers to put in efforts and learn more about AI technology and its usage.

 

How blockchain is accelerating the real-time IoT operation?

IoT is budding technology and it is expected to grow at a rate of 32 percent with an installed base of 25.1 billion units by 2021.(1) Security is the major concern as IoT devices have connected to several hundred other devices. Unsecured IoT devices have an easy target for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). When a programmed system will send a repeated number of requests to the central server, then it might cause a denial of service request for authentic users. Blockchain, a distributed ledger technology has the potential to address the loopholes of IoT security.

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a myriad of interrelated & interconnected objects(2) that can collect and transfer data over a wireless network without human intervention. In this way, IoT connects people, places, and products by offering value creation. Data is transmitted to the IoT network via sophisticated chips, sensors, and actuators embedded into physical items. IoT analyzes this data to transform insights into action. This will lead to a new way of working and impacts strongly on business processes.

IoT: A Convenient Form of Smart Life

Cost-efficient Data Management

Blockchain can provide a cost-efficient mechanism to manage the enormous amount of data that has been generated by IoT devices. For serving end-customer needs, the data must be collected and trusted with prime importance. Blockchain can provide a trusted link that can scale the whole system of IoT devices. Blockchain can provide a decentralized and publicly accessible network for efficient data transactions for IoT. Blockchain can issue certificates by which IoT data can be retrieved in any location. Blockchain-based IoT certificate management system(3)can provide user privacy and data integrity for users.

Efficient Data Management System of IoT and Blockchain

Decentralization of IoT applications

The IoT visualizes a connected world where things can communicate measured data and interact with each other. IoT is a digital representation of the real world that includes smart homes, wearables, smart cities, healthcare, the environment, smart grid, and many more. Blockchain has materialized the concept of smart contracts. The smart contract automatically executes in a set of predefined conditions. Smart contracts will active whenever a transaction will take place in the form of cryptocurrency. The process of decentralization is common in both IoT and blockchain. This will make sure that every device is a copy of the application that interacts with the network individually. Day-by-day devices have been embedded into the physical items and hackers can get open access to an abundance of devices and data. Blockchain and smart contracts can attenuate major issues by creating audit trails and tracking the history(4)of transactions.

Blockchain is leveraging the decentralization of IoT devices

Final Thoughts

Meanwhile, IoT and blockchain function differently. Blockchain works at the cloud level while IoT works at the device or sensor or network level. Blockchain links the backend systems and provides flexibility and trust to the trusted links. However, IoT is in a nascent stage, it requires enhanced scalability and efficiency to integrate with different systems. Most of the organizations focus on IoT for digital transformation and blockchain is their least priority. The integration and pattern of blockchain should be user-friendly so that IoT can efficiently connect with blockchain. There is requires a plethora of research on suitable linking with IoT and Blockchain.

Application of blockchain in the media &entertainment (M&E) industry

It is forecast that blockchain investment can increase upto a CAGR of 82% in the media, advertising, and entertainment industry.(1)Around 55% of media executives recognize blockchain as the top-five priority for their organization. More than 83% of executives are elaborating on the blockchain investment in the next three years. Several enterprises have set up a plan to develop a blockchain revenue model in their organization. Recently in 2018, Microsoft has developed a blockchain solution for content rights and royalty solutions.

How does Blockchain work?

Blockchain can be shared among a distributed network of computers without any need for central authority or middlemen. Since the database is distributed across the network. Consumers can access a similar version of data in real-time. Henceforth, decentralized management of the database helps faster processing of transactions and proves to be an emblem of a cost-saving tool.

Influence of Blockchain in Media & Entertainment industry

Blockchain has helmed as the savior of intellectual property rights. Blockchain can prevent data theft in the media industry. It can provide a direct link between content creators and end-users without the need fora third-party channel. Blockchain has created a paradigm shift for royalty collection, platform providers, and content aggregators. BY accommodating immutable state and digital identity, blockchain can enhance the profit sharing for content creators, and media companies by accompanying a real-time consumption-based pricing manual. Blockchain can provide lessened tampering & fraud, and enhanced data quality.

Blockchain: A building block for the media and entertainment industry

Reinventing the payment method

In the era of digitization, accessing high-quality content is not a tough nut to crack. But this creates a cap on profit-sharing in the entertainment industry. Blockchain solution can curtail the costs by 40% to 80% by adopting real-time consumption-based strategies(2). Consumers can purchase single songs or watch movies on rent by enabling cryptocurrency micropayments. With the help of bitcoin cash, content creators can charge bite-sized content for their work and monetize it. Blockchain can track when and how much content has been consumed. This paves the way for pay-per-use consumption that will ultimately create the new wings for blockchain-powered micropayments.

Blockchain: Reinventing the micropayment system

Royalty Distribution

Today royalty payments have various ambiguities and creators need to sign multiple contracts for the different digital platforms. There is no universal royalty payment system in the digital market. Blockchain implements an efficient and transparent system where royalty payment can be done via the music directory. The music directory is a compilation of original digital music files that are associated with relevant identities of content creators. A smart contract is a refined initiative of a blockchain system(3)where every artist is compensated rationally.

Blockchain: A fair and transparent system for royalty distribution

Consumer-to-consumer sales

It is a common practice in the market where people share digital content without having an authorized subscription. Previously, attempts were made to legalize it but it had failed due to sheer negligence and lack of consumers’ interests. Blockchain can leverage consumer-to-consumer sales due to its distributed ledger system. In this model, peer-to-peer distribution can be tracked and controlled. (4)When subscribers share their blockchain content with their friends, the blockchain system automatically charges a specific fee from the subscribers. This provides fair and legal sharing to paid content and gives enormous opportunities to aggregators and copyright holders to enhance their revenue.

Blockchain: Providing a direct link between content creators and consumers

Final Thoughts

Blockchain is a nascent stage and it requires more research and development to become a user-friendly medium for common people. Currently, there are very few players in the market that are offering blockchain-enabled revenue model. Most of the vendors have different types of strategies to augment their revenue like partnerships, collaborations, and acquisitions. The blockchain system needs a regulatory body that can regulate all blockchain transactions and develop a standard system.

How does blockchain remodel the healthcare sector?

Blockchain helps to maintain the blocks or transactions intact and prevent it from any alteration or manipulation. It perpetuates the transactions or blocks across many computers in a distributed and decentralized manner. The global market size of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector was USD 231 million in 2018 and it is expected to increase by 63.9% in 2025 at the whopping value of USD 5.6 billion(1). Blockchain can leverage the enormous pool of data that can be utilized in data analytics for the hiring process. Blockchain technology is leveraging its potential by reducing complexity, enabling enhanced collaboration, and creating secure and immutable information. In this blog, you will zeal yourself by the unique potential of blockchain in healthcare.

Enhancing drug traceability

Counterfeit drugs are an incongruous problem in the pharmaceutical industry. It can be dealt with blockchain by accommodating QR code and IoT-enabled technology.(2)A unique QR code is written on the medicine by manufacturers which can be traced by logistic suppliers. All information is recorded on the blockchain and it gives hash ID to the logistic suppliers, distributors, and pharmacists. The hash ID can be cross verified by all the hierarchies. If any distributor tries to sell counterfeit drugs with a fake ID, then the transaction is declined by the blockchain. Consumers can also check the authenticity of drugs by scanning the QR code attached to the drug’s packaging via a mobile app.

Blockchain: Enhancing drug traceability

Patient data management

The interoperability of patient data can be enhanced by allowing data across multiple independent systems to be accessed simultaneously and immediately by sufficient permissions. It not only prevents administrative delays but also saves from unnecessary medical and financial costs.  In this process, every member has its local copy of the shared dataset. When one person edits the patient data, then it must meet a series of cryptographic criteria(3) that confirm the identity of the change happened. Every member of the community must authorize the transaction before its confirmation. After that, each local copy of the data is reflected as changed to its recent activity.

Blockchain: Efficient management of patient data

Insurance fraud-detection and claim settlement

Insurance fraud can be prevented by transferring insurance claims onto an immutable ledger, blockchain technology. According to CBInsights, insurance fraud costs more than $40 billion per year(4)which can’t be detected by standard methods. Insurers can record their permanent transaction with granular access controls to protect data security. In this way, insurers can identify suspicious behavior across the ecosystem. It gives insurers three key benefits like eliminating multiple claims from the same accident, reducing counterfeit through digital certificates, and decreasing the efforts of unlicensed brokers to sell insurance and premiums.

Blockchain: preventing fraud and improving claim settlement

Augmenting the process of Clinical Trials

Nearly 85% of patients and consumers(5) are not aware of the ongoing clinical trials. Some of them are willing to accept the treatment but due to lack of awareness, they will be opted out of this process. Blockchain can augment the process of clinical trials by recruiting sufficient quality and quantity of patients. In this process, the individual patient can store their medical information by an anonymous method that can be visible to trial recruiters. Patient data can be matched for the clinical trial process and they are informed of their selection. It also fetches the streamlined communication between doctors and patients during the clinical trials.

Blockchain: Augmenting the process of clinical trials

Conclusion

Tough, blockchain has huge potential in the healthcare sector. It has certain limitations like it is new to many health professionals, misunderstood by bitcoin, a lengthy process of verification, and least government support. Since it requires training by expert IT personnel to healthcare professionals. But pharmaceutical companies and healthcare industries are reluctant to achieve its target. Often, people misunderstood bitcoin as blockchain although bitcoin works on blockchain algorithm every blockchain technology is not bitcoin. Further, it requires enhanced collaboration among machine learning, IoT, AI, and blockchain to smoothen the process of patient data management. Finally, the government needs to give support in terms of incentives that are adopting blockchain technology in the healthcare system.

How blockchain has transformed itself from cryptocurrency or bitcoin?

‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ established a denaturalized storage system for his newly launched cryptocurrency, ‘bitcoin’ in 2009. Nobody knew that within a decade, its popularity would rise to an unprecedented level that today every sector is willing to adopt the blockchain technology. in this blog, you will read how bitcoin or cryptocurrency is different from blockchain and blockchain has its multidimensional approach to various emerging technologies.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain works on distributed ledger technology(1)that doesn’t require a central authority to validate or authenticate transactions. The transactions are managed by the peer-to-peer networks that validate new blocks only after adhering to a protocol of internode communication. It is considered to be one of the highest secured designs that adhere to high Byzantine fault tolerance.

Blockchain: An immutable technology

New norms set by Blockchain

We often faced serious issues of transaction failures or ‘server down’ in a centralized banking system. It happened because the whole server is governed by one centralized web-server. People usually download from the base central server. Due to high volumes of load, it requires a high bandwidth internet connection.

But, in the blockchain, there is no centralized system. Blockchain stands for decentralization, transparency, and immutability. Here, all downloaders can download as well as upload the data. All transaction is highly validated by various decentralized channels. Downloads that happened in this method are fast, secured, and having a success rate of 100 percent. The unique feature of blockchain can be utilized by banks, government, healthcare facilities, supply chain, file storage, prediction markets, IoT (Internet of Things), energy grids, and many more institutions.

New norms set by blockchain

How cryptocurrency is different from blockchain?

Blockchain only serves the purpose of storage of information in the form of blocks in various locations. However, cryptocurrencies are difficult to counterfeit because they are based on blockchain technology. It means blockchain is the important paradigm of cryptocurrencies. The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was established as Bitcoin and till today there are thousands of cryptocurrencies with various functions and specifications.

Is blockchain limited to cryptocurrency?

Blockchain has traveled a zillion miles and it needs to travel a lot in the domain of emerging technologies like AI, robotics, space science, cybersecurity, finance, healthcare, education, logistics, supply chain, real estate, and other technologies. So, cryptocurrency is the inception of blockchain and it is not the final destination of Blockchain. Blockchain has been burgeoning and it can take greater shape in technical revolution.

Cybersecurity and blockchain

Hackers are trained to hack to the system in a centralized system. What will happen when information is stored in various locations by decentralization techniques? It will give immense security to data and if a portion of data will be counterfeited from one location, another set of data will be stored in another location. A bigger blockchain network(2) is more efficient and it is difficult to break the chain. If hackers need to trespass a system, they need to dig down a million computers that have set in different locations.

Blockchain & Cybersecurity: A secured interface

IoT and Blockchain

IoT has faced many challenges and the most common challenges are security and scalability(3).IoT is relatively a weak and fragile system and an easy target for cyber-attacks by cyber hackers. Each day, the number of devices connected to IoT grows, but in the same manner authorization and validation don’t grow. To give a more scalable and more secure network of IoT, it needs to work on the decentralized system.

Blockchain - IOT

Blockchain: Provides scalability to IOT

Final Thoughts

Blockchain has gained a rapid momentum with its security and scalability. Many emerging technical professionals are willing to accept the blockchain technology. Privacy is the major limitation of blockchain technology. If information will be shared across a million systems, then sensitive and confidential information can be leaked and it can be released in the public domain. Technical experts need to find a solution where confidential information will not be tempered and other technical and financial activities will be a seamless experience without the worry of infringement of sensitive data.