If you are a business owner with products or services to proffer, you need a way to get your information “out there” for the masses of potential consumers to engage with and experience. Enter technology. There are a variety of ways to work with and use technology to your continued advantage.
Everybody seems to have a mobile phone. They are practically extensions of oneself at this point. You use your phone for shopping on all levels, ordering food, purchasing tickets, research, and entertainment, and the list goes endlessly on. This is why you need to engage with a professional company for mobile application development.
Can you imagine seeing your company as an app on a smartphone? Consider the endless ways you can meet your customers’ needs and meet them where they are at that moment. When they need something, they press the tile and the world which is your company opens up for them to engage with.
If you think that creating an app is a daunting prospect, think again. A team of developers will meet with you to discuss your ideas and gain knowledge of your company. If you already have a website in place, they will use that as a building block in the creation process. Next, they will create a bespoke solution that will grab your app users’ attention and keep them coming back for more.
The term social media has different connotations for different groups. While the distinctive platforms connect people socially on a personal level, they can be masterful tools to wield to create a professional online presence.
Create company accounts on a variety of social media platforms for maximum exposure. You can use Instagram to create curated stories about your company and any social programs you and your employees support. Show your followers who you are and what you stand for. Make videos on TikTok showing how your product functions in different settings. Craft expert videos for YouTube showing tutorials and guides for how to use your products. Use Twitter to keep your followers up-to-date on the latest product releases or offer teaser tweets for upcoming events.
Here is a quick overview of how to use social media to help your business.
An actual human employee is certainly not part of the technical equation; however, if you notice an increase in digital traffic across apps, websites, and social media platforms, it may behove you to designate an employee to monitor these. Having either a full-time focus on these areas or adding it as part of a current employees’ job description will prove beneficial.
When your company can respond to comments, whether they are positive or negative, and answer questions about your products or services, that immediate attention to social media will show the world that you care enough about their thoughts and concerns to be attentive and respond. If a dissatisfied customer posts something negative, or even an honest review that does not reflect well for you, your employee can acknowledge their issue and offer to remedy it.
This is all done in the public eye and reflects transparency. All of this effort further advertises and promotes your company. Today, consumers want to know more than the product they are purchasing. They want to know the values and ethics of the company behind the product.
I’ve been very lax in uploading the last three Podcast episodes which feature me chatting to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk. I will upload these as audio episodes to keep the Podcast in order.
During this time, I have been experimenting by recording the interviews on video and in some cases, adding additional links within the videos.
This is incredibly time-consuming as the audio from James is lost if using the sound from the cameras and is lower quality. Thus in some cases, I have used a mix of both the BBC stream and camera and when I’m recording at home, I can also use a recording from a Blue Snowball Microphone.
For those interested, I’m using a Sony Xperia 1 stabilised by a DJI Osmo 3 Mobile. In the case of the third video, I also recorded the interview on a second static camera using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
The first two videos are 1080p using the Xperia 1 front-facing camera and the third uses both phones rear-facing cameras and thus is rendered in 4k.
I hope the video recording add value to the interviews, I would be very interested to hear your views?
Another year passes and as we move into 2019 we can look forward to another year of unstoppable advances in technology.
If I was able to predict upcoming tech, I’m happy to suggest that my number one for 2019 will be the folding mobile phone with potential devices from LG and Samsung already breaking cover in various forms.
[videopress WcnyB1iG hd=”true” autoplay=”true”]
Both companies have already demonstrated their flexible display technologies and with the Mobile World Congress in February coming up soon, we should expect demonstrations of foldable, rollable or bendable screen tech from these companies.
Artificial intelligence is sure to continue its unstoppable march towards self-awareness (I jest!!), but all the same, we should be seeing multi AI ‘bots’ training directly with each other very soon! Who could forget the Facebook AI bots which invented their own communication language shortly after being switched on! More of this in inevitable, hopefully with the necessary safeguards in place.
The big 3 tech companies continue to advance home-based smart technology with integration into every part of our lives, add to this more AI and who knows what we should expect from the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple.
Holograms are a little way off, but augmented reality is making leaps and bounds with more advanced filters on spectacles providing with illusionary-holographic images a reality soon.
Phone batteries continue to provide us with more and more screen time and further advances in battery and charge technology will give us even more excuse to distract ourselves on a daily basis.
This year we look forward to the beginnings of the 5G roll-outs, giving us impossibly fast download speeds, but also extending decent internet speeds to rural areas of the UK.
Ultimately, we are not about to be overrun by killer robots and 2019 will be bringing some pretty astounding new technology, strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride.
I talked on air with James Hazell from BBC Radio Suffolk about my predictions for the coming year. Have a listen and don’t forget to Like, Subscribe, Share and Comment and I will see you very soon.
Dashcams have officially become commonplace in society. As more and more drivers use our roads, the chances of accidents increase and being able to accurately document such unfortunate incidents has become more important than ever, especially with the rise in fraudulent claims.
I spoke to Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk about the use of dashcams and also helmet cams for cyclists and my personal recollections of having to use video evidence to report a motorist.
With the incredible rise in popularity of on-demand streaming services from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play, NowTV, Rakatun and more, there is now no better time to watch our favourite movies and TV programmes.
We are not just simply watching TV, we are ‘consuming’ it! This fascination and above all, choice of programming has led millions of people to ‘binge’ on entire TV series over short periods. Evenings can now be spent watching multiple episodes of a series, with seemingly limitless content being served up automatically at the end of each episode, with entirely new content provided at the end of series.
The BBC have not ignored this either, they too are releasing entire series on their platform iPlayer whilst broadcasting the series in the standard week on week format on traditional television.
Now we are all comfortable with the digital switch-over, the set-top boxes can now begin serving up content over the internet without us even realising this is happening, the broadcasters have found their pot of gold.
Personally, I am a massive Breaking Bad fan, now enjoying it’s spin-off prequel Better Call Saul, both available on Netflix, but switching to Amazon Prime for The Grand Tour and watching movies on Google Play, all available using low-cost devices from Amazon, Roku, Apple and many more!
We have now turned a corner, once this technology was the go-to place for our kids, now we have embraced it, there is no going back. Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Google and Sky are now the streaming big hitters with astronomically large budgets, high-quality content and the power to break the traditional status quo enjoyed in the UK by the BBC and ITV.
Now WE decide what we watch.
Listen to my interview with Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk, where I talk enthusiastically about my personal experience of binge-watching streaming TV.
The Gadget Man
If you have enjoyed reading and listening to this episode, please remember to Like, Subscribe and Share!
The Steadicam was launched more than 40 years ago and since then we have become accustomed to seeing smooth video at sporting events and in movies, most famously in the classic horror ‘The Shining’ with Jack Nicholson. This high-end equipment costs many thousands of pounds and thus keeps it well out the reach of hobbyists or home users.
Orwell Bridge Motion Timelapse
Over the past few years, the technology associated with expensive motion picture equipment has found its way into the consumer market, once heavy and cumbersome, the large motors needed to stabilise heavy camera equipment has now been replaced by tiny brushless motors powerful enough to steady our mobile phones.
As a commercial drone pilot, I have experienced DJI’s camera stabilising technology first hand using their drones which employ identical techniques to keep footage smooth in windy conditions, so I was excited to experience the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Smartphone Stabiliser.
The Osmo Mobile 2 allows for the capture of extremely smooth footage using an Android or iPhone to capture the video itself. The mobile device is slotted into a rubber padded clamp, balanced manually using the adjuster on the Osmo. This initial adjustment means that the device doesn’t have to work as hard to stabilise the device and thus extends the life of the battery and motors when in use.
Orwell Bridge Motion Timelapse
DJI provides an app for both Android and iPhone to directly control the device via Bluetooth LE 4.0 and also includes a USB socket to allow you to charge your phone. DJI state up to a 15 battery life, so you should be able to comfortably use the device and maintain your phone battery life with plenty to spare.
After installing the device, you switch on the Osmo by long-pressing the button on the handle, the Gimbal springs into life, balances your mobile device and suddenly it appears to float in mid-air, silently holding your phone completely steady!
You can use the DJI GO app to take movies, photographs, panoramas and even Live Stream to Facebook, YouTube an more. The Osmo can be set to smoothly following your hand motion, removing judder whilst filming or can be set to maintain the position of the phone.
DJI Osmo Mobile Stabilised Video
For more advanced uses, there is Timelapse, Hyperlapse and Motion Timelapse. All of these modes produce really impressive results, my favourite was Motion Timelapse which allowed me to take speeded up sunsets and even panoramic shots of large structures, by setting the start, middle and end points of the movie, choosing a lapse time and the number of frames, when you click Go, the camera very slowly pans and produces a smooth and stable sweeping timelapse video, it was very impressive. The standard tripod screw mount at the base of the Osmo allows you to attach it to a tripod, so no tired arms when producing your masterpiece.
At 485g, the Osmo Mobile 2 is very light but feels high quality in the hand, you do also have to take into account the weight of the device you are going to use. The Osmo is comfortable stabilising anything from the size of an iPhone SE to an iPhone 7s, but check your phone is compatible before purchasing, especially with an Android device.
This is the second iteration of the Osmo Mobile and DJI have successfully brought down the cost of the original model without forsaking built quality and features. If you are a budding ‘vlogger’ or like taking footage of family and friends, this may be the gadget for you. There is even a ‘Selfie Mode’ with and object tracking to keep you all in the picture wherever you might be!
At £129, the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is good value for money, has great battery life and the features are great too. I loved it!
I’ve just received an email from YouTube. It informs me and millions of others, that we are being dumped from their advertising program. This apparently is to stop ‘spammers, impersonators and other “bad actors”‘ from making money from their ‘eco-system’.
**UPDATE** 21 Feb 2018
YouTube have emailed again today to confirm the cessation of advertising revenue. The rollout of these changes was documented by Ken Heron on his YouTube channel where advertising was removed from his videos according to his dashboard. Ken meets with YouTube’s new rules and should in fact continue to receive monetisation.
Ken Heron’s YouTube video relating to this change is below
YouTube’s most recent letter confirming removal of monetisation is below. Whilst my Youtube video’s are in no way Studio Quality, they are not Spammy, Impersonating anyone or re-uploading video (unless where permission is giving such as SpaceX).
In reality, they are removing the ability for non-professionals to make any kind of money from their advertising platform (I can tell you it is a very small amount).
Simply put, people such as Casey Neistat, Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) and other extremely successful ‘YouTubers’ will continue to rake in millions in advertising revenue, whilst the less fortunate will lose all forms of income from this platform.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with being paid for high quality content, successful YouTube creators also earn massive amounts of revenue from advertising and affiliate links. Basically they continue to get the best of all worlds, whilst the less fortunate get completely cut off.
In all honesty my videos on YouTube make a pittance through advertising, however I also have a Patreon channel. This is a 3rd party channel which many YouTubers current use to make a sensible living through their hard work. If you feel somewhat inclined to support The Gadget Man site and Youtube channel, you can use Patreon to do this. Not only will this help encourage me to produce more content, it will also help towards buying better equipment to produce content.
YouTube is owned by Google who’s corporate code of conduct is Don’t Be Evil.
“2017 marked a tough year for many of you, with several issues affecting our community and the revenue earned from advertising through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Despite those issues more creators than ever are earning a living on YouTube, with the number of channels making over six figures up over 40% year-over-year. In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable.
As Susan mentioned in December, we’re making changes to address the issues that affected our community in 2017 so we can prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube. A big part of that effort will be strengthening our requirements for monetization so spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors can’t hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of you, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great.
Back in April of 2017, we set a YPP eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. While that threshold provided more information to determine whether a channel followed our community guidelines and policies, it’s been clear over the last few months that we need a higher standard.
Starting today we’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you. They will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone.
On February 20th, 2018, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones.
Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies. After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.
Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for monetization, so we’ll continue to use signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure we’re protecting our creator community from bad actors. As we continue to protect our platform from abuse, we want to remind all of you to follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Monetization Basics & Policies, Terms of Service, and Google AdSense program policies, as violating any of these may lead to removal from the YouTube Partner Program.
While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube. We’ll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear your thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge.
One of YouTube’s core values is to provide anyone the opportunity to earn money from a thriving channel, and while our policies will evolve over time, our commitment to that value remains. Those of you who want more details around this change, or haven’t yet reached this new 4,000 hour/1,000 subscriber threshold can continue to benefit from our Creator Academy, our Help Center, and all the resources on the Creator Site to grow your channels.
Even though 2017 was a challenging year, thanks to creators like you, it was full of the moments that make YouTube such a special place. Creators large and small, established and emerging, transformed their talent and originality into videos that captivated over a billion people around the world. They made us laugh, taught us about our world and warmed our hearts. We’re confident the steps we’re taking today will help protect and grow our inspiring community well into the future.
Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer”
Artificial Intelligence, Technology, News and Gadget Reviews on air, online, in print and in person