Participants of the upcoming ‘International Conference 2023 on Exploring Colossal Technological Advances of 21st Century in Science, Engineering & Technology’ (ICECTASET-2022), which will take place in Abu Dhabi from the 12th to the 13th of August, 2022, will be enlightened with insights on the biggest technological developments of our time, such as the ones below.
Industry analysts have long been predicting that edge computing and complementary 5G network offerings will witness significant growth as major cloud providers deploy more edge servers in local markets and service providers in telecommunications are pursuing 5G deployments.
The global pandemic has not significantly changed these forecasts. In fact, the impact of COVID-19 on workforce and operational practices will continue to be the primary driver for 80% of edge-focused investments and model business change in most industries over the next few years.
Edge Computing, In Essence
First of all, it is important to address what ‘Edge Computing’ is. Edge computing has to do with the idea of bringing IT services closer to service consumers or data sources. Fueled by emerging use cases such as IoT, augmented/virtual reality, robotics, machine learning, and telecommunications network functions that require service delivery closer to users, edge helps solve crucial challenges of bandwidth, resiliency, data sovereignty, and latency. It augments the hybrid computing model where centralized computing can be used for compute-intensive workloads while edge computing helps meet the demands of workloads that require near real-time processing.
Repositioning data infrastructure, applications, and data resources to the edge can facilitate faster response to business needs, improved flexibility, more significant business scalability, and more efficient long-term stability.
Edge computing is more significant than ever and is becoming a primary concern for organizations defining new cloud-based products or services that leverage local processing, storage, and security capabilities at the network edge through billions of smart things called edge devices.
This will be an even bigger matter of concern even as autonomous vehicles become more common, as new ways of working post-COVID-19 require more distributed computing and data processing power without incurring debilitating latency, and as 5G adoption is driving a whole new generation of augmented reality systems, real-time application solutions and games on mobile devices.
Key Edge Computing Developments That Will Be Discussed At ICECTACSET 2022, Abu Dhabi
As edge computing becomes increasingly important to business strategy and operations, the developments listed below are the trends that participants will get to learn more about at the 2023 conference in UAE and eventually exploit for their own benefit.
- Edge Computing Powered By AI/ML
Until recently, pre-processing data through state-of-the-art technologies or gateways presented its own set of impediments owing to the increased complexity of data solutions, particularly in use cases with a high volume of events or limited connectivity. Now AI/ML-optimized hardware, containerized analytics applications, frameworks like TensorFlow Lite and tinyML, and open standards like the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) are driving the interoperability of machine learning and making on-device machine learning and data analysis at the edge, a reality.
Machine learning at the edge will facilitate faster decision-making. Additionally, the merging of edge and AI will further drive real-time personalization. However, without adequate thresholds in place, anomalies can slowly become norms. Advanced policy controls will facilitate greater confidence in actions taken as a result of data collected and interpreted from the edge.
- Partnerships Between Major Cloud & Edge Providers
It is predicted that a quarter of organizations will enhance their business agility through the integration of edge data with applications built on cloud platforms by 2024. This will require partnerships between cloud and communication service providers; some pairings are already starting between wireless carriers and popular public cloud providers.
The systems that organizations can leverage to facilitate real-time analytics are already beginning to expand beyond data centers and traditional deployment locations. Computing devices and platforms closer to end customers and/or co-located with real-world assets will become an increasingly critical component of this computing portfolio. Such edge computing strategies will be part of a larger computing structure that also includes public cloud services and on-premises locations. In such scenarios, the edge provides immediacy, and the cloud facilitates big data computing.
- Edge Computing Management Will Come To The Fore
Even as edge computing becomes as ubiquitous as cloud computing, there will be an increased demand for scalability and centralized management. IT managers deploying large-scale applications will need to invest in tools to harness incremental changes in their functionality so that edge computing solutions and data can be tailor-made and developed from the processor level and deployed consistently and easily, like any other mainstream storage or computing platform.
The conventional approach to data center or cloud monitoring won’t work at the edge. Due to the rather volatile nature of advanced technologies, organizations should shift from monitoring the health of the devices or applications they are running to monitoring the digital experience of their users. This user-centric approach to monitoring considers all components that can impact the user or customer experience while dodging the blind spots that usually lie between the infrastructure and the user.
If there’s still an argument that hybrid or multi-cloud is a reality, the growth of the edge reinforces this truth – when we think about where data resides, and applications live, it will be in many places.
The edge discussion is very different if you’re talking to a telecommunications company, one of the public cloud providers, or a typical enterprise. When it comes to the cloud-native ecosystem, there are many technology solutions vying for customer awareness and interest. While telecom giants are already expanding their NFV solutions to the edge, there are plenty of options for enterprises. The edge becomes part of the globally distributed nature of hybrid environments, so users need to work closely with their vendors to ensure the edge doesn’t become an island of technology with a specialized skill set.
- Convergence Of IT & Operational Technologies Is On The Way
Resilience may be the business term of the year, thanks to a pandemic that has exposed most organizations’ shortcomings in this area. IoT-enabled devices (and other connected devices/equipment) propel the adoption of cutting-edge solutions where infrastructure and applications are placed in operating facilities. This approach will be essential for real-time inference using AI models and digital twins that can identify changes in operating conditions and automate remediation.
It is also predicted that the number of new business processes deployed on the edge infrastructure will grow from less than twenty percent today to more than ninety percent by 2024 as IT and business technologies converge. Organizations will begin to prioritize not only extracting insights from their new data sources but also integrating that insight into processes and workflows using industry-leading capabilities.
Mobile edge computing (MEC) will be an integral facilitator of supply chain resilience in 2021. By means of the MEC, the ecosystem of supply chain enablers has the capacity to deploy AI and ML to access near real-time insights into consumer data and predictive analytics, as well as visibility into the most granular aspects of highly complex demand and supply chains. For organizations to be competitive and successful, IT managers will need to deliver MEC-based solutions that facilitate an end-to-end view of the supply chain available 24/7 – from the point of manufacture or service to its distribution.
- Edge Computing Will Facilitate The Adoption Of A Connected Ecosystem
Edge computing doesn’t just enable and enhances the use of IoT, it also makes it simpler for organizations to take part in the connected ecosystem with near-zero network latency and bandwidth issues. Companies can benefit from the scalability of edge computing to quickly expand into other profitable businesses without incurring huge infrastructure costs. Companies can now get to profitable and fast markets through the power of the edge and the easy processing of data.
- The Pandemic Has Spurred Innovation In This Area
There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to take the hype out of the efficiency of technology. Take IoT technologies such as edge computing-enabled computer vision – from social distancing to thermal imaging to ensuring safety devices and operational changes such as daily cleaning activities and sanitation, computer vision is a key technology for accelerating solutions that turn raw IoT data (extracted from video/cameras) into actionable insights. Retailers, for instance, can use computer vision solutions to identify when people are violating the store’s social distancing policy.
- Private 5G Adoption Will Increase Exponentially
Use cases such as shop floor automation augmented and virtual reality in field service management and autonomous vehicles will propel the adoption of private 5G networks. One can expect more maturity in this area over the coming year.
- Edge Computing Gives Data Security A Boost
Data efficiency is enhanced at the edge compared to the cloud, which reduces internet and data costs. The extra layer of security at the edge improves the user experience. Edge computing isn’t dependent on a single point of application or storage either. Instead, it distributes processes across a wide range of devices.
As organizations embrace DevSecOps and adopt a “design for security” approach, the edge becomes a primary consideration for the CSO to enable secure cloud-based solutions. This is particularly vital where cloud architectures alone may not provide enough inherent resiliency or security to provide the continuity of services required by stand-alone solutions, virtual or augmented reality experiences, or transaction processing. However, IT managers need to be aware of the pace of change and the relative immaturity of management and monitoring systems at the edge; therefore, today’s edge-based security component or solution will likely need to be revisited in 18-24 months.
Augmented reality technology is one of the leading innovations opening up new growth points for organizations all across the globe. It is predicted that the augmented reality market will reach $198 billion in 2025. The number of mobile AR users currently alone is expected to reach 3.5 billion.
With a huge market to tap into, providing augmented reality experiences can be a competitive advantage in many industries. Improved technology also allows for more improved efficiency in the workplace. The following are some of the augmented reality trends that participants of the upcoming engineering conference 2023 in Abu Dhabi will learn more about.
- Rapidly Developing Mobile Augmented Reality Technology
Mobile augmented reality has many clear benefits that make it the focus of much of the technology’s attention. Many users already own an AR-enabled smartphone, so they don’t have to go out of their way to get a costly and bulky headset. Mobile devices, by their very nature, are very portable and easy to carry around in almost any space.
- APPLE ARKIT 5
The latest version of Apple’s open-source mobile augmented reality development toolset, ARKit 5, offers significant improvements over ARKit 4. Some of the most significant improvements include expanded support for better motion tracking and better face tracking in the UWC (Ultra Wide Camera) on the iPad Pro (5th Gen). App Clip Codes also facilitate AR experiences that can be enabled through a quick scan.
Location anchors have seen improvements since their introduction in ARKit 4. Location anchors enable improved navigation solutions based on augmented reality. This allows application developers to place virtual objects with a specific latitude, longitude, and altitude on the screen relative to the positions of real-world objects. For example, location anchors can display a three-dimensional icon or text in space next to an iconic building. Support for this feature has been extended to London and other US cities in ARKit 5.
EFT (Expanded Face Tracking) now supports all devices with the A12 Bionic chip and later, even without a TrueDepth camera, like the iPhone SE, so you can reach even more users. Additionally, face tracking is now supported by the Ultra-Wide camera of the latest iPad Pro (5th Gen).
This feature allows users to track up to three faces at a time.
App Clip Codes are beneficial QR code-like images that can be scanned to start a light part of an app. Integrating this feature with ARKit makes it possible to start augmented reality experiences from anywhere without having to download additional software.
The Android equivalent of ARKit, ARCore, offers the set of open-source native tools needed by developers to create augmented reality applications on Android devices. It is generally seen as a bit of a different challenge than ARKit due to the fact that special attention needs to be paid to the wide variety of hardware that exists on devices running Android. For this very reason, many features may not be compatible with all Android devices.
Last year, Google introduced a few new features for ARCore, such as recording and playback APIs. These allow developers to save video footage with AR metadata. Using data from IMU depth and motion sensors, developers can recreate the very same environment as in the video and make use of it for further testing. This opens the possibility for developers to more easily test specific environments with their software.
The Record and Playback API is not only useful for developers but also for users. This technology allows users to record videos and then apply AR effects later, as the video may contain environmental metadata.
- ARKIT Vs. ARCORE
The battle between ARKit and ARCore is not as clear-cut as you might think. ARKit seems to have the best compatibility between software and hardware, as Apple is responsible for all aspects of their devices. However, not all market users own an iPhone or iPad. ARCore is equally vital to focus on, owing to user accessibility. Despite the fact that support isn’t guaranteed for every Android device owing to hardware variation, it is crucial to include as many users as possible to remain competitive.
In terms of actual performance, the technology beneath these two frameworks is nearly identical. For example, for applications such as scene detection, both technologies use the same methods, differing most significantly at the hardware level. To learn more, register for the Scopus indexed conference 2023 set to take place in Abu Dhabi.
- Transforming Indoor & Outdoor Navigation
AR navigation is becoming more fluid and feasible than ever. More importantly, the rise of technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) antennas, Wi-Fi RTT, and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) is making indoor navigation much more feasible than in previous years. One of the most beneficial applications of this technology is the display of AR directions in large indoor spaces such as distribution centers, shopping malls, and airports.
The potential for this technology to be used by both consumers and businesses should not be overlooked. Just as a customer in a store can use indoor AR navigation to find the product they are looking for, an employee in a fulfillment center can use it to find a particular item in their warehouse. While comfortable and affordable eyewear with AR capability isn’t quite there yet, the capability for commercial AR applications in distribution centers, stores, and other industries is there. One of the leading device manufacturers, Zebra, offers ARCore-enabled mobile enterprise devices such as TC52, TC57, and TC77. These are, in fact, Android-powered smartphones with barcode scanners meant for professional use.
With inland navigation, buy-on-line and pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) services can be made much more efficient. Team members tasked with “picking” items from the store for order fulfillment can use AR directions to navigate directly to find the item instead of following coordinate directions to find the item. This eliminates the time spent sifting through many similar items and finding the right section and aisle of the store. All the support staff has to do is hold their instruments and follow the on-screen instructions.
There are some limitations to consider, such as items that have been misplaced in the store. If moved by guests or misconnected to the system, the team member can make use of AR navigation on their device to avail an empty spot on a shelf.
- Health & Augmented Reality
Augmented reality and AI are set to transform the traditional business model of healthcare by offering AR/MR-enabled hands-free solutions and AI-based diagnostic tools. For instance, Microsoft Hololens 2 can offer information to the surgeon while allowing him to use both hands while the procedure is going on.
With the continued restrictions linked with the pandemic, the utilization of augmented reality solutions is becoming increasingly crucial in addressing challenges such as the complexity of remote patient care and the increased burden on hospitals. This includes telesurgery solutions as well as also mental health apps that help people maintain their psychological balance during these trying times.
AR technology can also enhance telemedicine solutions that are booming right now. Features like drawing and annotation on the 3D screen can make communication between doctors and patients much easier and clearer. Remote support tools can also help clinicians support their patients while reducing downtime.
Combined with ML algorithms, AR technology can become an effective option for disease detection. Google, in 2020, announced that it was developing an AR-based microscope for the DoD (Department of Defense) to enhance the accuracy of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Such a hybrid device makes use of a camera to capture images in real-time, which are then processed with the help of computer diagnostics to promptly display results and diagnose diseases at an early stage. The global augmented reality industry in the healthcare segment is expected to generate close to two billion dollars by 2026.
- Augmented Reality Shopping Experiences
Augmented reality gives rise to numerous exciting opportunities in the retail sector. One such opportunity currently in the works is store mapping. With augmented reality, on-screen instructions can help a user navigate the store layout to find the item they need. With such AR-equipped devices, all the user has to do is hold their phone and follow augmented reality instructions through the aisles to their destination – the item they’re looking for.
However, AR in retail doesn’t stop at browsing in 2022. In fact, it can help users shop in-store and at home. For instance, AR-based marketing materials can not only enhance engagement with a brand’s audience but also increase the likelihood of purchases.
Augmented reality is also very useful to help customers “test” products before buying them. Chains such as Ikea and Target have already rolled out apps that let users use AR to check out how furniture will fit in their homes. Many stores such as Target, Sephora, and others are also using virtual try-on solutions to allow customers to try on products like makeup, eyewear, and even other types of clothing like shoes. More importantly, it can be done in-store or at home. As AR technology matures, consumer convenience will only increase.
As mobile virtual dressing room technology continues to develop, so do in-store smart mirrors. In 2011, Topshop made use of virtual mirrors powered by Xbox Kinect 3D cameras. It was a great proof-of-concept that predated more advanced use cases today with better graphics and processing. According to Fortune Business Insights, the virtual dressing room market size was valued at $3.5 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach $12.97 billion by 2028.
- Augmented reality & Remote Assistance
Augmented reality can greatly enhance user experiences through support and learning. According to Owl Labs, in 2020, almost 70% of full-time workers in the United States will be working from home. Since videoconferencing is the cornerstone of teleworking, various problems emerge. How can this loss of context and the benefits of a “real world” encounter be compensated for?
When we use videoconferencing, we lose a whole dimension of context, moving into a two-dimensional space instead of three. This can negatively impact jobs such as IT tech support. Teleconferencing is limited, only allowing IT people to make suggestions so that the user can solve the problem on their own before choosing to send their device to the office for repair.
- AR-Backed, 3D Video Call Assistance
Augmented reality software can assist in at least partially restoring this lost dimension of space in the conversation. Augmented reality can make it possible for IT technicians to guide users with 3D on-screen instructions. When the user holds their smartphone camera in front of their computer requiring intervention, the IT technician can draw on the screen to point the customer to particular points of interest.
- AR-Backed Virtual Manuals
Slightly different from telecommuting, virtual manuals are a go-to technology used in various industries to improve user satisfaction and product understanding. It also has many applications in the field of education. Through object recognition, AR guides can identify objects and inform the user of their functions. It can be an effective guide for products such as consumer electronics, vehicle interiors, etc.
- Augmented Reality In The Automotive Industry
AR technology has had a profound impact on vehicle safety and usability. Tesla Motors demonstrated the possibilities of AR for the road. While they didn’t implement it the way many might imagine with headsets, they used nearly identical technologies to make it possible. With the fully autonomous driving beta now on the road and in use by numerous consumers, drivers can see exactly how the vehicle’s advanced suite of cameras constantly scans the world around them with the help of object detection and scene analysis. The outcomes of this powerful system can be seen on the vehicle’s screen, showing the car’s position in space relative to the many obstructions around it. More will be shared on this at the engineering education conference 2023 in Abu Dhabi from the 12th to the 13th of August, 2022.
- AR-Backed Head-Up Displays
Nevertheless, AR has other possible applications for drivers. It could help provide drivers with a heads-up display (HUD) through a helmet to offer them safety information without blocking their field of vision. Along with eye-tracking, this type of system and similar helmetless solutions can help drivers stay focused on the road with auditory reminders.
The Volvo Varjo XR-1 helmet is used as a proof of concept of the AR driver education system, which can help drivers learn to react defensively to obstacles that appear on the road without facing the risk of the object being actually present.
- AR-Backed Sales Tools
As in other contexts, AR is an effective sales tool that can help sell cars even when the user is at home. Similar to how one can create IKEA furniture in their living room using AR, one can also generate 3D models of cars in their driveway with their smartphone. The consumer can observe the size and details of the vehicle and even watch it move. Perhaps most strikingly, it is possible for the user to change the color of the vehicle to check out which color they would prefer before purchasing it.
- AR Glasses
AR glasses and headsets have an interesting reputation. Despite the fact that they are widely considered the future of AR technology and have been tested and used in real-world applications, they are not quite widespread yet. If they’ve made a landing point anywhere, it’s for enterprise and commercial solutions.
Inspite of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset not being priced or marketed to consumers, it is used by the military and doctors for training and surgeries purposes. The STE (Synthetic Training Environment) made use of by the US military uses AR and VR to help immerse soldiers and simulate numerous scenarios. Australian aviation technicians now use Microsoft HoloLens with software developed by Boeing to service aircraft.
Register for the upcoming conference 2022 titled ‘International Conference on Exploring Colossal Technological Advances of 21st Century in Science, Engineering & Technology’ (ICECTASET-2022), set to take place in Abu Dhabi in August this year, to learn and update yourself with insights on the biggest technological advancements.