Week 12: Innovations to curb people from driving up the curb

Hi world, it’s my second last blog entry! This week I’ll be covering existing and up-and-coming IoT technologies that will help to boost road safety. Yes, I have been inspired my the show and tell Mr Abey Choy presented in class last week. I love Thailand because my Dad calls it his second home. He’ll make a trip down once or twice annually just to take a break from work and enjoy his mango sticky rice and indulge in all the authentic tom yam he wants.


Here’s a cute pic of my favourite couple in BKK last year, MY PARENTS!

But apart from the beautiful land of smiles, something dark lurks in the back. Although it has received a lot more attention now in new media regarding the upsurge of death and injury rates due to road accidents, the pressing issue is still not gaining the attention it requires.

Do check out Mr Abel Choy’s page, advocating Road safety for Thailand for updates on his efforts to promote and raise awareness of the salient and crucial problem.

Firstly, there are some seriously cool technological efforts aimed at prevention of road accidents. Apart from the vehicles, the roads have been technologised! These upgrades in the roads are made possible by smart sensors and… smart cement! Yes smart sensors sound right and apt, since they’re already a type of technology. But smart cement, it sounds foreign but essentially, they are cement equipped with sensors! Essentially, the roads will be jam-packed with these smart sensors that are connected to the computers at the headquarters. The sensors will provide frequent updates regarding the status and conditions of the roads. It will be able to “sense” if the roads are gradually wearing out or if any parts of the road require immediate attention (potholes or damage from accidents). This is especially helpful for larger countries like the US. With these updates, we will be able to activate the prevention measures to ensure that we amend these minor structural defects before they get worse.



In fact, it’s already happening! Although IoT is deemed to eventually take place in 2020, some early adopters are already testing these technologies in hopes to continuously refine them! For instance, HIKOB, a IT and services company is currently testing their IoT technology in the city of Troyes in France. They call it the HIKOB wireless traffic data collection system.

Apart from the roads receiving the upgrades, the vehicles are getting geared up as well! With the use of telematics, these cars are equipped with sensors to track the driver’s driving style. This initiative is aimed at improving the driver skills and behaviour. The sensor or “black box” located in the car will track speed, acceleration, braking and how the car swerves at sharp corners. Feedback is generated and provided the drivers to educate them on how they can improve their driving. Of course not every driver is willing to listen to such feedback…


And there should be no physical force or using guns to coerce them to change…


As such, incentivisation programmes are to be implemented to encourage and motivate these drivers to be receptive to the feedback received.

Instead of including a black box in the cars, these vehicles are also experiencing a huge overhaul! Driverless or autonomous cars are slowly driving its way onto the mainstream roads. Of course, most of them are still in the testing stage and on private roads. But soon…


Fixed with (again) a myriad of sensors, these vehicles will interact with the environment and other vehicles to direct themselves.

Here’s Waymo, a project from Google on driverless cars:

Another IoT initiative involves the buses in London! These buses are equipped with a high-tech software that is devised to detect pedestrians and cyclists. This software utilises its strategically positioned sensors located around the bus to alert the bus drivers whenever it senses any pedestrians or cyclists moving close to the bus!

I am positive that these technologies will continue to grow and be enhanced and refined! I will update this space if I find new IoT features! 🙂


How IoT and machine learning can make our roads safer









Week 11: IoT will revolutionise everything you love

Hi world! Today’s blog entry will be on the Internet of Things (IoT for short). IoT is a prominent feature in Web 3.0, the semantic Web and it refers to enhanced connectivity to close to everything, including the currently inanimate items in our homes (a table or chair). To be honest, I have developed a love and hate relationship with IoT… just putting it out there. Let’s start with love… what’s not to love about the future of technology? It’s always rapidly evolving and before you know it, that newest slick smartphone you’re holding in your hands now may be deemed obsolete. I believe that the screenshot below from a Buzzfeed article perfectly encapsulates the fleeting evolution of technology:

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But there’s always the dark side of technology. Addiction and intense preoccupation. At least for now, we can still choose to fast from technology and pack up our bags to spend a few nights in the jungle. It is predicted that with the complete implementation of IoT, the Internet (digital realm) will be amalgamated with the real physical world. When this happens, the Internet becomes… (cue dramatic music) pretty much inseparable from us. In this current day and age of Web 2.0, many critical scholars are pointing out the fact that passive users are becoming zombies/slaves to technology. We are growing so incredibly dependent on our phones and the Internet that some of us can’t do without it. Why has it become so difficult for us to live without our phones or the Internet for a few days when our ancestors survived well without any of these technological tools?

The reason is simple. We naturally crave convenience (one of the seven deadly sins: Acedia/sloth).


As such, we desire for these advanced devices and technology to “improve” our lives or make it easier. The society changes according to the people’s behaviours. Users chase the new technological devices and crazes. People = market. And the market of consumers affect all types of organisations. Ultimately, the pursuit for MORE high tech stuff persists, leading to tech companies feed us with more advanced products. With IoT, organisations of all sorts are affected. It’s the newest and most advanced method to reach out to their consumers. It’s a matter of how you use it that can determine your success. In fact, some organisations have already tried to leverage on IoT’s connectivity to enhance brand presence.

Here are some examples of IoT integration:

Diageo Whisky

Diageo creatively re-branded their Whisky and targeted the filial sons and daughters of whisky-loving dads. IoT’s core feature is customisability and it is well illustrated in this example when the whisky company provided their consumers with a personalised video message for their Dads with every bottle. With the scan of a QR code, the Dads get to kick back and relish a gold class of smooth whisky while they watch the saccharinely sweet video created by their kids. Their marketing campaign paid off handsomely and they experienced a 72% jump in sales before Fathers day. Apart from that, the campaign also aided in increasing their brand presence among two groups of consumers – the kids (age range varies) and the Dads.

Apple iWatch

This product needs no introduction. It was first introduced in 2015 and now its second series of smartwatches have been in the market since September 2016. Tech geeks and experts are speculating the release of series 3 which is estimated to arrive later this year in September.

Some of the cool features of the smart watches in series 2 include a built-in GPS. Instead of holding on to your phone and seeing your battery drain and die off steadily, you can simply look at your wrist to check whether you’re on the right path. Secondly, it is water resistant (50 metres). It’s still not completely water-proof but hey you can still bring it swimming or splashing around in the ocean. For such a small device, it has a dual-core microprocessor. Essentially, your processing speed is extraordinary and it’ll last you an entire day! Other standard functions include responding to calls/texts and use Siri.

Amazon’s Tide button

While you might get your Dad a whisky for Fathers’ day, here’s a cool Mothers’ day gift suggestion! These high-tech buttons are called Amazon’s Dash buttons (do note that you need to be an Amazon Prime member to have access to purchasing these buttons). These buttons are connected via the WiFi and they are linked to products available on Amazon by setting up your button with your phone or laptop. For example, essentials such as clothes detergent (Tide) and even condoms. At just a press of the button, it taps onto WiFi to automatically order those essential items and deliver it to your door step. When I first saw this… I thought to myself “I HAVE BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK!” How cool are these little buttons and they’re kinda cute too!


Bringing convenience to a whole new level and it’s simple to install too:

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Here are some brilliant yet simple ads from Amazon:

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Do note that this is NOT a paid advertisement but I personally feel that these amazon buttons are amazing! And to think that it’s only the very beginning of how IoT can be used. However, with every new technology, fine-tuning is essential. Here’s a video which summarises everything wrong with the dash buttons:

Hopefully Amazon will listen and continue to improve these products!

As a Marketing student, I was interested to know how IoT will affect the advertising and marketing industry. An increase of available information of the market and the consumers will be made available to the marketers. This is where the data analytics industry will burgeon. Information and statistics will be sought after my big companies as they get to learn all about their customers. With regards to advertising, it will be adapted to the new interface of the Internet. The platform of IoT is EVERYWHERE. However, it does not equate to seeing ad banners everywhere we go. The key difference is personalisation. We as consumers will only receive specially targeted messages. It involves marketers to think out of the box and integrate IoT into their marketing schemes. I foresee a whole lot of innovative ideas and new advertising methods.