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This is a common sight in Jakarta with hundreds of these cafe’s on wheels providing hot tea, coffee, juice, water and even instant noodles (Mie) to workers.
Busy executives living in large cities such as Jakarta have little time to shop for food, let alone cook it. So getting groceries delivered to your house or just ordering food from your favorite restaurant makes perfect sense.
Technology has revolutionized the way people shop for clothing, find vacation rentals and flag down taxis or even an ojek. Now it is shaking up the world of eating.
Food delivery apps for smart phones have transformed the food ordering concept. Anybody can now order a Domino’s pizza in minutes with their favorite toppings through the mobile app or website and then track the order till it arrives hot to your doorstep. In fact the online and mobile ordering comprises the most significant growth factor for such fast food businesses.
Online and mobile ordering is a win-win for consumers and for the company with better customer experience. Online is where people are and can view the entire menu, discounts and specials in front of them. They can take their time in ordering and the accuracy of the orders is higher, leading to significantly higher customer satisfaction.
Logistics companies like Foodpanda.com are further helping fuel this change by providing outsourced delivery services that carry piping-hot meals to homes or offices from fancy restaurants that normally don’t deliver. These have been very successful and the restaurants have benefited greatly by extending their reach without investing in riders and sophisticated tracking systems. Restaurants, ideally, would want to work with such companies because they could pay a fixed fee for a guaranteed level of service instead of spending money on running delivery services — including the hiring and coordinating of that kind of work — themselves.
The delivery companies rely on algorithms that calculate factors including road conditions, customer location, how busy restaurants are, driver performance and the desired temperature of the food (cold sushi versus hot pizza), pinpointing the right driver and the optimal delivery route. One of the biggest advantages is developing quality standards for delivery.
A new crop of start-ups are popping up like berrykitchen.com and blackgarlic.id will cater, deliver meals and even ready to cook pre-sliced ingredients for a gourmet meal to your doorstep. Others aggregate local chefs in an easy-to-search website to deliver food to you such as kuliner.id
Specialized food delivery plans are a boon for athletes and weight watchers who are on a rigid calorie meal plans. Even diet specific plans such as the ‘Mayo Diet’ or ‘Atkins Diet’ plan are on offer. Services are also available for new mothers, convalescents and even diabetic or other nutritionally specific diet plans that can be selected online to be delivered to you.
Yet another facet of technology apps in the online food market in Indonesia are dining apps such as Zomato or Qraved that have restaurant listings and customer review posts. Makanluar.com offer reservation bookings and in some instances, they’ve even tied up with online-cab companies like Uber to offer rides to customers to and fro the restaurant.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are currently being delivered by supermarkets but soon you will be able to access more services that will connect you directly to the farmers to get farm fresh food directly. The convergence of easy to build online shops with payment gateways and delivery systems empowers this growth.
It is a whole new world waiting to unfold with the estimated that food based eCommerce growing tenfold by 2020 as people grow more comfortable with buying things online, aided by discounts and customer reviews that keep them shopping. At every point with every new wave, consumers are opening themselves up for the next level. The mental block of transacting online is going away.
Did you sleep well last night? Your handy dandy fitness tracker can tell you precisely the time in deep sleep, light sleep and even the minutes that you lay awake in bed. Sensors will detect walking, twitches during sleep, heart rate, calories and even grams of fat burned. Data is transmitted to a smart phone usually via Bluetooth. Whether you’re interested in your sleep quality or the number of calories burned on the treadmill, this information is literally at your fingertips.
Interactive technology that provides biofeedback is now a trend making waves, its users, according to The Economist, “are an eclectic mix of early adopters, fitness freaks, technology evangelists, personal-development junkies, hackers and patients suffering from a wide variety of health problems. What they share is a belief that gathering and analysing data about their everyday activities can help them improve their lives – an approach known as self-tracking, body hacking or self-quantifying.”
Technology is now no longer confined to your office table or pocket; it is now wearable as fitness trackers, smart watches, smart glasses, smart jewelry, smart shoes and even clothing. “As we have more and more sophisticated wearables that can continuously measure things ranging from your physical activity to your stress levels to your emotional state, we can begin to cross-correlate and understand how each aspect of our life consciously and unconsciously impacts one another,” says Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Micro and investor in mobile health startups.
Until three years ago it was nearly impossible for ordinary people to get a read-out about the state of their bodies. Now dozens of wearable technology products have exploited the miniaturisation of computer components and the ubiquity of smart phones to create an industry that is expected to reach $50bn in sales by 2018, according to an estimate by Credit Suisse.
Wearable technology is the vision of interweaving technology into the everyday life, of making technology pervasive and interaction seamless. These devices are part of a new wave called the Internet of Things (IOT) or “Smart Everything,” referring to the increasing connectivity between humans and information from objects around us. It is thought that technology like phones or cameras might even get integrated into garments that fit personal style and the functionality that fits your lifestyle.
Calculator watches in the late 1970’s to digital hearing aids in 1987 and the Bluetooth headsets were the pioneers of wearables. Other memorable devices were the tie pin with a video camera and earrings with hidden microphones. As wearables such as Apple Watches and Fitbits gain traction, a rising number of startups are driving innovation in this space by incorporating clothes and accessories with super-smart technology.
The four major technical challenges that have to be addressed before truly flexible touch-enabled wearable products are commonplace are the display, the battery, the touch, and their integration.
If you are in the market for a wearable technology device, be it a fitness tracker, smart watch etc, here are some points to check before you empty your wallets:
- Battery life: How long will a charge last you? This is dependent on the sophistication of the technology, how much power it requires, battery type, and how you use the device.
- Screen type: Is it monochrome of full-color LED touch-screen displays.
- Water resistance: Make sure to check a smart the specs if this is important to you.
- Case and strap materials: Look out for hypo allergic materials in a variety colors for customisability.
- Apps: Before you make a buying decision, check out the available apps for the smart device you’re considering. Apps can add a lot to what you can do with your fitness tracker, smart watch or wearable camera.
- Most importantly check out whether your smart device is compatible with your android or iOS smartphone.
WhatsApp has become the number one instant messaging application for smartphones, thanks to its simple yet effective and free (when used over WiFi) platform. In addition to basic messaging, WhatsApp Messenger users can send each other images, video and audio media messages and now even calls.
The broadcast and group chat functions are also becoming more popular amongst users and proving to be very effective for lots of friends and even for marketing purposes.
It’s easy to organize an event with WhatsApp, you start a group with those you want to invite (as long as they’re on the app), send out the info, so that every member can see the responses and get involved with the conversation/arrangements/dates etc.
As with any social activity, there are etiquette tips to keep in mind. Here are our 7 tips that apply to virtual communication, especially on a Whatsapp group.
- Be selective
One of the not so useful features on this application, which I am sure will be addressed soon is the lack control to decline a group invite and then to leave a group quietly.
Also, groups can soon become noisy. You can look down at your boring, blank phone one minute, and the next, you have 50 WhatsApp messages awaiting your input. It can be overwhelming if you have lots of groups on the go, so be selective about when to start a new group and with whom.
- Leave a group – without offending anybody
If you leave a WhatsApp group, the other members get a message saying ‘So and so has left the group’. Best to politely inform the group and exit.
- Update your profile
Change your profile – ‘Hey there! I am using WhatsApp’ is impersonal. Add your name and a fun quote as your status
- Be wary when reading a message and NOT replying
Be it an advantage or a curse, if you’re in a conversation with just one other person, they can see the time you read their last message. So if you opt to read and not reply, friends may feel snubbed. It is better to wait till you have time to read AND reply, even if it to tell them that you will respond soon.
On the flip side, Be patient
If your friends take an extra five minutes to answer you, don’t panic. They could be in a meeting, driving, having lunch, in the movies etc… Even if they were “last seen” a while ago, this doesn’t mean they should answer you at once!
5. Manage your notifications
Turn off your notifications so your phone doesn’t wake you in the middle of the night. Also if you are part of a large group, you can even choose to mute the notifications and check out the conversations at your leisure.
- Watch your posts
Bombarding fellow members of a group with pictures, videos and audio also goes against the unwritten set of rules. Unless you’re clever with the settings, all the images received are automatically saved to the phone’s image gallery taking up valuable space.
Remember a group chat is not the place for a one on one conversation.
- Contribute But Don’t Spam
If you are a group member, contribute to the conversation. Don’t spam with unnecessary chains and forward messages. Do not just lurk in the background. If it is irrelevant, politely inform and leave the group.
What other things do people do that bother you in your group chats?
Once you get the hang of it, WhatsApp is a convenient and economical tool used to communicate with loved ones and friends around the world. You can instantly share photos, videos and links and generally just take advantage of the fact it’s free to use.
In the midst e-revolution, we change our gadgets almost as often as we buy new clothes. Electronic equipment, especially computers, are often discarded by households and businesses not because they are broken but simply because new technology has rendered them obsolete and undesirable. Sometimes, the new software is incompatible with the older hardware leaving customers with no option but to buy new ones. Data from a single-day recycling collection event revealed that more than 50 per cent of rejected computers are in good working order, but they are discarded nonetheless to make way for the latest technology.
Some of the consumer products like refrigerators, televisions and so on were once a lifetime purchase. These days it’s cheaper to throw that broken appliance, mobile device or TV out and buy a new one leading to ‘replace-rather-than-repair’ mentality.
So what happens to these outmoded appliances when you replace it with the latest model? Or where a battery goes when it is tossed in the trash? Around the world, end-of-life electronics or discarded obsolete cell phones, computers, notebooks, computer game consoles and other electronic devices also known as e-waste, present a significant challenge for our environment and our health.
In Indonesia, with the growth in economy and fast development in technology, the total estimated accumulation of generated e-waste from just households from 2015 to 2025 will triple.
Some e-waste facts:
- Most of the home appliances, computers and mobile phones tossed out are never recycled.
- By 2017, the volume of discarded e-products worldwide is expected to be 33 per cent higher than in 2012 and weigh the equivalent of eight of the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
- 300 million computers and 1 BILLION cell phones are put into production each year. This global mountain of waste is expected to continue growing 8% per year, indefinitely
- The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills and incinerators
- It foresees in 2030 developing countries discarding 400 million — 700 million obsolete personal computers per year compared to 200 million — 300 million in developed countries.
- For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 15000kg of copper, 350kg of silver, 20kg of gold, and 10kg of palladium can be recovered.
- It takes 250kg of fossil fuel, 20kg of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.
What can you to reduce your e-waste? How to begin?
Awareness is the key to being GREEN. Becoming aware of the effects of e-Waste is the first step in arresting this problem. We tend to forget that properly disposing of or reusing electronics can help prevent health problems, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
The single most effective way to cut down on your e-waste is to stop buying electronics. Ask yourself: Do I need this or just want a new toy?
Some conscious actions can extend your current electronics’ lifespan, especially your computers. Here are six some simple tips:
- Add memory to computers.
- Perform a ‘clean install’ of operating systems every three years to keep computers running quickly.
- Old computers generally run best with old software, so avoid upgrading to latest software unless you need to do so.
- De fragment hard drives monthly. Most computers have built-in utilities that can be set to defragment the hard drives regularly.
- Keep computers out of direct sunlight. If they overheat, their internal components could be irreparably damaged Reboot computer as needed.
- As you open and close applications, fragments of memory can build and slow down a computer. A reboot cleans out these fragments.
- Dust around your computer can trap heat inside the machine, causing cooling fan to run longer. Clean the fan on the power supply and blow out the dust from inside the computer to prevent the computer from wearing out.
Be a part of the solution is to minimize the impact your home or office e-waste has on the environment. Do not just throw away your old computer monitor or a broken phone in trash; take time to research how you can discard those in the most environmentally friendly way. Electronics that are in working condition can be donated to the less fortunate, to schools and to those who can reuse them. A simple phone call or online search can prevent your computer from becoming part of a landfill and you an environmentally conscious responsible citizen.
- Buying new equipment if you can get it fixed.
- Avoid disposable products. Only buy products that are durable, repairable and have a good warranty.
- Consider leasing equipment that can be returned to the manufacturer when it is no longer needed.
- Engage service providers who replace and refill components of leased equipment when they have been used.
- Toners and some inks are now being produced with biodegradable oils such as soybean oil, which are much less toxic than petroleum based toners and inks.
Evaluate, compare and select electronic products based on environmental attributes such as:
- Energy use. Look out for the energy star rating
- Level of toxic materials
- Ease of recyclability
- Where economically feasible, repair machinery, appliances and equipment in preference to purchasing new equipment.
- Regularly service and maintain equipment to prolong lifespan of the products.
- Check around local schools/charities to see if they can use your surplus appliances.
- There are many companies that will refurbish your old computer equipment for use by those who cannot afford new items.
- Many ink cartridges can be refilled with ink for reuse using toner refill kits.
- Alkaline batteries can be recharged.
- If you decide to buy any new equipment, check with the manufacturer about reuse and recycling options. Often these programs will take older computer parts in exchange for credits towards the purchase of new equipment from the manufacturer.
- Take electrical goods and scrap such as copper wiring to electronic recyclers.
- Cathode ray tubes of televisions and computer screens can be recycled.
Being GREEN is a mindset. Technology is often seen as a solution to all problems and the negative aspects are underplayed or ignored. Simple actions can decrease your environmental footprint significantly. Look beyond the marketing for the latest device and make conscious choices as a responsible resident on planet Earth.