iPhone X is coming, AR apps are booming

ar apps from apple

Earlier this October, Apple released an article on its developer website. It provided more details regarding how to better develop and present augmented reality based effects using the ARKit platform. Apple also encouraged all developers once again that right now is the best time to launch more software products using ARKit. After the releasing of its AR developing platform and iPhone 8/X, Apple has become the most active promoter of AR technology.

iPhone X will be available to general consumers this Friday, so the iOS 11 has been receiving frequent updates. Utilizing the most advanced TrueDepth camera, iPhone X will be able to detect users’ dynamic expressions and 3D data via facial recognition function. Animoji is the fruit for this 3D facial recognition technology as it could collect users’ facial expressions and reflect as real-time dynamic emoji expressions.


See AlsoApple R&D spends almost $ 3 billion on self-driving and AR

The Value for AR Apps

Apple believes this technology will be valuable for AR apps. So, they offered a link inside the article that allows developers to submit their demos or apps to be embed into the TrueDepth camera module. This will allow developers to review apps before actually developing them. iPhone 8/X won’t be the only stage for Apple’s AR show. Thanks to the newly designed iOS 11 for iPad and the super power data-processing ability, iPad Pro no doubt will be the better showcase for Apple’s ARKit.

From the positive feedback developers around the world are very interested in improving and producing their AR apps on Apple’s platform. We have reported several popular AR apps compiled with ARKit, such as AR Measure, NEDD AR and so on. So far, most of the ARKit apps are focusing on entertainment and games. But recently, one AR app that also came from ARKit is becoming viral among businessmen and professionals. It is called Graphmented made by the company Badr, an Egyptian data analyzing and processing company.

Excel Sheet Wizards


Graphmented is able to convert and present 2D data charts in 3D/AR form. Users can insert data or documents from cloud drives like iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or sync data directly from Google Sheets. Graphmented will automatically transform the data into visual 3D image and show them in the AR style. Graphmented also allows users to interact with the AR 3D image in real-time, which means you will be able to drag or move 3D images to let your presentation become more impressive and interesting. For people who need to make presentations regularly, this ARKit app definitely will not only be fun, but also productive. Right now, Graphmented supports CSV, Excel, Google Sheets, and other mainstream digital chart formats. It also offers recording, mirroring and other functions to help users perform a better presentation. This video gives us a more direct impression on how Graphmented could help presentations for work.


Apple constantly promotes and spends effort on optimizing ARKit and iOS 11. Coupled with positive attitudes towards the AR industry from developers, we should have the chance to welcome more practical AR apps like Graphmented. Compared with VR, which is facing the predicament of the shortage of good and useful content, augmented reality probably will become more popular and the better choice for customers.

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Apple and GE Digital to bring industrial IoT apps to iOS

Apple and GE Digital to unlock power of IIoT on iOS

The advanced industrial predictive and analytics capabilities of General Electric’s Predix IIoT platform will come to Apple’s iOS tomorrow, with the release of the Predix software development kit [SDK].

The new SDK is designed to equip developers with the tools required to build powerful, native apps that combine the advantages of an established industrial internet of things [IIoT] platform with the simplicity and familiarity of Apple’s handheld devices.

GE Digital, the 125-year old company’s digital transformation arm, has been making moves to cement its place at the centre of the IIoT by expanding Predix to the edge. Its advances in edge computing allow enterprises to run predictive analytics as close as possible to data sources, such as pumps, temperature and pressure sensors, and turbines, opening the door to efficiency and cost savings.

The platform is aimed mainly at aviation, healthcare, transportation and oil and gas companies, to help them monitor the equipment that GE provides. With Predix growing in capability, this latest announcement makes the solution more accessible to end-users and the developers looking to use it in new ways.

For example, a Predix app might alert a user on their iPhone of an issue with a wind turbine and enable them to collaborate with colleagues elsewhere to inspect and repair it, serving up relevant data to everyone involved instantly.

Read more: Alan Turing Institute to monitor Amsterdam’s smart, 3D-printed bridge

IIoT territory gains

“GE is an ideal partner with a rich history of innovation across the industrial world in areas like aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and energy,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad.”

Following partnerships with business heavyweights including Accenture, IBM and SAP, this is another blow to Microsoft’s historical claim to the end-user device sector. As analyst Raghu Gopal of CCS Insight explains in a blog post, “By standardising on Apple products for its employees, GE is likely to shift most of them away from Windows-based products, making this a noticeable loss for both Microsoft as well as PC makers.”

“Although such changes tend to happen over several years, this is an important win for Apple, given GE’s reputation as a venerable and conservative company. It’s another example of Apple finding a place in Microsoft’s heartland.”

With the myriad of data generated by IIoT, the challenge has become how best to distil data and metrics into critical information and make it easily accessible and actionable – and iOS is well placed to meet this need.

Read more: Push navigates IoT data deltas with Diffusion 6.0

New insights on iOS devices

The new Predix SDK will be available to download from 26th October. It represents a clear stride by Apple into the industrial space, with Mac products and IOS devices becoming the default for GE’s 330,000 employees.

While clearly a boost to the aims of both companies, some doubts remain over to what extent Apple can convince industrial decision makers.

“Apple says its sales team will pitch GE’s Predix platform to its customers and developers in the industrial space, as it encourages other major companies to adopt and deploy Apple devices to their workforces,” says Gopal of CCS Insight. “However, we’re sceptical that an operations team in an industrial customer would choose this IoT platform based on a recommendation from an Apple salesperson.”

Regardless, the move is likely to help GE’s need to modernize its image, adding design and UX appeal to a company that found form in the early days of electric power generation and lighting.

Read more: Akamai launches intelligent platform for IoT

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Internet of Business

Oracle gives its cloud-based business apps an AI boost

Oracle business apps get AI boost

Smart factories and connected warehouses are among the business functions set to benefit from new AI-powered Adaptive Intelligent Apps from Oracle.

Modern artificial intelligence (AI) shouldn’t just be capable of supporting “sophisticated decision science”, but also do it in a way that it is hidden from users and embedded in the software that they use to perform day-to-day work tasks.

That’s the view of Steve Miranda, executive vice president of applications development at tech giant Oracle. At the company’s Oracle Open World 2017 conference in San Francisco, the company has today announced new AI-based apps for employees in finance, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, commerce, customer service, marketing and sales.

Read more: Oracle beefs up its IoT efforts in smart factories push

Adaptive Intelligent Apps

The new Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps are built into existing Oracle Cloud Applications, making it possible for “business users from across the organization to quickly and easily take advantage of the latest advancements in artificial intelligence,” said Miranda.

By embedding AI in existing apps, he explained, the company has eliminated the need for integrations in order to combine “first and third-party” data with advanced machine learning.

The announcement builds on the company’s first introduction of its ‘adaptive intelligence’ concept in its customer experience (CX) apps earlier this year. Now, it is expanding the reach of AI across a much wider swathe of its cloud-based enterprise applications.

Read more: Bloodhound Project teams with Oracle in world land speed record attempt

Smart manufacturing and logistics

In theory, any of the business functions set to benefit from these new apps is likely to have some kind of IoT data from connected devices that could potentially prove useful for fuelling AI-based decision-making – but it’s clear that supply chain and manufacturing professionals are particular targets.

In supply chain, for example, new AI capabilities in Oracle’s Supply Chain IoT applications will crunch through data from connected equipment in warehouses and logistics centres. “The applications use predictive analytics and machine learning techniques to detect and analyze key signals in device data and then to act on these insights through their associated business functions and connected processes,” said the company.

In manufacturing, similar thinking applies. New AI-powered capabilities will enable companies to more consistently meet their production goals, based in part on the intelligence that comes from plant floor machinery. According to Oracle: “The new capabilities drive factory and shop floor improvements by demonstrating how incident detection, root cause analysis and smart resolution are performed within minutes in a connected factory.”

Some of the data powering Adaptive Intelligent Apps, meanwhile, will come from the Oracle Data Cloud, which the company claims is the largest third-party data marketplace in the world, with a collection of more than 5 billion global consumer and business IDs and more than 7.5 trillion data points collected monthly.

Read more: Oracle broadens IoT cloud offering with four new solutions

Substantial opportunity in AI arms race

The market for AI and for AI-enabled applications is “substantial”, according to David Schubmehl, an analyst at market research company IDC. “We expect this to be a rapidly expanding area for both enterprise and commercial development as organizations race to embed predictive and prescriptive capabilities into their applications portfolio to deliver smarter software solutions to customers,” he said.

In other words, this could be a money-spinner for Oracle if its customers prove to get as hooked on AI-based decision-making as the company clearly hopes they will. But big competitors such as SAP, Infor and Microsoft are also working hard to embed AI into the software need to run smart factories and connected warehouses – so AI is fast becoming an arms race.

The quality of ingested data, however, looks likely to be an important differentiator, Schubmehl claims, as it will determine the resulting recommendation, action or output delivered. “Vendors with a strong foundation of first and third-party data to fuel machine learning have a clear and distinct advantage in the market, providing strong, targeted AI-enabled solutions for their customers.”

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Internet of Business

ELSE raises $3M seed capital providing connectivity to IoT apps through nanosatellites

ELSE, a Swiss company that provides internet connectivity to IoT and M2M applications through its network of low-earth-orbit (LEO) nanosatellites raised a $ 3M seed round. Airbus Ventures led the round with participation from other investors as well.

How Astrocast Works

ELSE, or Elegant Systems Engineering will provide a network technology called Astrocast by deploying its satellite constellation into low-earth-orbit. Initially, it will deploy two demo satellites followed by the launch of 64 satellites in the first quarter of 2019.

Astrocast enables companies to monitor remote assets and machines. It consists of a terminal, satellites, a ground station, and cloud system that provide REST APIs.

After an IoT application/system is integrated to Astrocast’s NanoLink terminal, assets/machines can send sensor data to the company’s low-orbit satellites. From the satellites, data is transmitted to a ground station from where it is sent to Astrocast’s cloud system. Hereon, the data is accessible from REST web services. A key value proposition is that a company can track sensor-based data of ‘things’ (assets) without building its own communication network.

Interestingly, Thuraya, the renowned mobile satellite operator, has formed an alliance with ELSE. Thuraya is also helping the latter with sales and regulatory issues. “This agreement forms the foundation of an extensive framework and exciting long term collaboration towards providing a progressive platform for our partners to offer services beyond basic satellite connectivity,” said Thuraya’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jassem Nasser.

Thuraya plans to offer connectivity for M2M and IoT applications. Its alliance with ELSE will help the company offer these services to its existing and new client base.

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