Join over 120+ tech professionals by guest blogging for CitizenTEKK. We encourage submissions. If you’re a startup, developer, programmer, investor, mentor, or other thought leader in the startup and developer community, please don’t hesitate to apply!




Build forms to make smarter, faster decisions with WizeHive

Category: Technology

There are 178 posts published under Technology.

Mobile Pay: The Digitization of Money

For years the smartphone has made life simpler. It has given us the power to make phone calls, send text messages, send and receive emails, surf social networks, and more – all in the palm of our hands. For many people, the smartphone is something that they simply “can’t live without.” And if you’re one of those people, the latest developments in the mobile world are only going to make it that much harder to drop your device. Specifically, you may find that by this time next year your wallet will have also been replaced by your smartphone.

According to mobile technology firm NN4M, mobile payments are primed to be the next major defining moment in the world of payments, signaling a boom in the number of virtual transactions and a significant shift in how consumers pay for goods. While person-to-person payment options such as Venmo and SquareCash have grown in popularity over the last few years, 2015 is expected to be the year when widespread adoption of mobile payment practices finally takes hold.

The Three Major Players

One of the biggest indications that mobile payment is here to stay - and grow – is the adoption of these technologies by the biggest players in the mobile world – Apple, Samsung and Google.


In 2014, Apple announced the release of Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service that lets users make payments using the latest Apple devices, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and more. Apple Pay allows users to make in-app purchases with one click, and also allows users to make real-world purchases by hovering their device over specified readers. While the announcement didn’t come as a complete surprise, Apple’s adoption of the technology accelerated interest in mobile payments and is just one of the reasons why mobile payment is expected to be a touted topic in 2015. One challenge with Apple’s approach to mobile payments, however, is that it is largely dependent on adoption by retailers, as a specialized card reader is needed. While Apple Pay is already accepted at thousands of retailers worldwide, it will take continued consumer demand for the service for all retailers to adopt it.


Another indication that mobile payments will be on the rise in 2015, is Samsung’s recent acquisition of LoopPay, a mobile-payments technology start-up. Samsung announced the merger early last week, and buzz around how the tool will work has garnered much attention. LoopPay seeks to replace your wallet entirely by storing your credit cards, debit cards, rewards card, and even your ID. And, unlike Apple’s method which requires retailer adoption, LoopPay works with nearly all existed credit card readers. Though the tool does require users to open an app to make the payment, once the app is open users can hover their device, click a button and get on with their day.  Without the need for specific technology to be adopted by retailers, LoopPay has already made its way into 10 million locations, and has been voted as one of the top mobile payment options in America.

Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay is not only an indication of their desire to compete in the mobile payment world, but to their commitment to make a smart life for everyone. This acquisition is the latest in their line of moves that encourage synced devices, intuitive usability and a seamless blend between technology and human interaction.


Google Wallet, which was originally released in 2011, is another mobile payment option that is expected to spur the growth of mobile payment popularity. Though the application has garnered criticism for perceived security concerns, the app received a push in 2014 with the announcement of its Gmail sync feature – which allowed users to send money to other via email. Those individuals who receive money via Google Wallet payment, can use the money instantly for in-app purchases, or can “cash-out” and have the amount sent to their bank account.

The End of The Traditional Wallet?

While wallet manufacturers don’t have to worry just yet about declining sales, the latest developments in mobile payment options are certainly exciting, and showcase the deep interest that both consumers and tech companies have in this avenue. And though security and privacy concerns may slow complete adoption of mobile payments, 2015 is certainly poised to be the year where it all begins. The only question now, is which mobile payment will you use?


Top Smartphone Features to Look for in 2015

The evolution of smartphones has now reached such a rapid pace that perhaps it makes more sense to say that smartphone tech itself exists in a dynamic state. Before new devices and features even hit the market, manufacturers and consumers alike have set their sights on the next big thing. Imaginations run wild and it’s not long before companies are pushing products that toe the line between plausibility and science fiction. Remember when the notion of a curved screen seemed fantastical? So when some of what is being predicted for 2015 sounds equally farfetched, keep in mind that it’s today’s hopes and dreams that form the basis of the technologies in our pockets tomorrow.


Here’s some of what you can expect to see:


Affordable Premium


In 2014, Chinese manufacturers started forcing the big players in the Android gear space to scramble to keep up with devices like the ZTE ZMAX. This year the phone to watch for is the OnePlus Two, an upcoming release from the Oppo spinoff. Unlike the OnePlus One, which was plagued by issues ranging from sexist marketing to its confusing invite-only pre-order system, the Two may just deliver the promised flagship-grade specs in a mid-priced device.


Monster Specs


LG revealed the G Flex 2 at this year’s CES, but as exciting as its amazingly durable flexing curved screen is 2015 won’t be the year of the curve. The upcoming release of the G4 is much more thrilling. Leaked specs suggest that this device featuring Snapdragon’s mobile technology is going to be hot with shutterbugs thanks to a juicy 20.7 megapixel camera. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is also rumored to have some bodacious specs that will make up for the disappointing sales of the S5.


Slim Lines


If you think a phone can never be too powerful or too thin, check out the Oppo R5 and the Vivo X5 Max. The former may not be on the lips of many outside of its home market (China) but will be soon thanks to Oppo’s ability to squeeze solid specs into what is nearly the world’s thinnest phone at 4.85 mm thick. The latter measures in at more than .1 mm thinner, however, making it half the size of the Nexus 5 or LG G3. Other than that, both phones have remarkably similar features – including their rarity. Much easier to get in the US will be Blu’s Vivo Air, a 5.1 mm device that will cost just $199.


True Customization


Forget being able to customize your display – that’s so last year. Think of Project Ara as the LEGO of phones, making 2015 the year modular devices will finally hit market in a limited pilot. You get a phone built to your specifications featuring (almost) everything you could want in a handheld. Like a second battery for twice the power, a bigger speaker or even something as nichey as a night vision camera. Planned obsolescence and the unending upgrade cycle may be a thing of the past starting later this year.


If nothing above sounds like the phone of the future you’ve always dreamed of, don’t despair. Smartphone manufacturers who are serious about competing with Apple aren’t going to rest on their laurels while tech fans and artists sketch out concepts for the next big iPhone release. The one constant in the smartphone world is that everything is always changing and change happens fast. Keep hope alive for long enough and soon you’ll wake up to the device of your dreams.


Switching from iOS to Android

Thinking of switching from iOS to Android? This post will help by addressing some of the areas of hesitation or concern, particularly as it relates to the new iOS continuity announcements.  more


Why You Should Work at a Startup

Startup communities are cropping up all over the world. Global News called 2014 ‘The Year of Startup Communities’. Almost every day, a new accelerator program is announced. We prefer the announcements and results coming out of existing accelerators than to hear another one has been born, but still - the spirit of the entrepreneur is spreading. Since anyone with a computer and an internet connection can start a company, and learning to code is becoming cooler than ever; the growth and unwavering hype around everything startups does not look like it’s going to slow anytime soon.


If you’re reading this you might already have an interest in startups. You might not have a ‘big idea’ right now, and might not be an innovation leader yet - but have you ever considered working for a startup? Your interest doesn’t need to be as a co-founder, and you don’t need to aspire to be the next Zuck - startups need good people and people need to do work they’re passionate about. You don’t even need to necessarily have experience - fresh grads and startups are a great match.


Here’s why we think YOU should consider working for a startup:


  1. Startups need good talent arguably more than large companies do. Lets face it, large companies have enough man power to get things done while they are busy looking for more staff. They’re going to get by. But for a startup, every day missing a key skill or knowledge can be crippling.
  2. Second-to-none experience to be gained. In large companies there are teams of people working on key tasks or objectives. You won’t always get a chance to try something new. Startups need confident and ready risk-takers. The best lessons and experiences come from diving in and having a go because there’s simply no time to waste! With your contract you’re handed a lot more responsibility at startups than you might find at established companies, which leads us to number 3…
  3. Maximum impact. Being with a company from its humble beginnings means you get to see your passion and hard work make real impact over time, influencing the outcome of the team’s work. Been chipping away at your established workplace for years, but not feeling fulfilled or like you’ve made an impact? Startups are everywhere and they’re ready for your influence. Alex Lynn of Real Ventures told MTL NewTech last month that people working for startups benefit from seeing the future before it happens - meaning these people are also shaping the future.
  4. Savvy graduates need not be just a number. Large companies are full of faces. Numbers, even. Fresh grads are often lured by well-known brand names and companies with impressive history. But will you be just another number? Choose a startup and you might just skip years of waiting for promotions, waiting to be noticed and waiting to make an impact - for your moment to shine. You can step into high-level positions right away, or maybe even just something closer to the job you really want; you don’t always have to spend years working towards that if you find the right fit at a startup.
  5. Increased flexibility. Although a lot of companies are switching it up to let you work remotely, (P&G major announcement last year, Work From Home Program) many startups don’t have offices yet and working from home or the nearest cafe with WIFI can often be the norm. Plus, if your startup hooks up with a local co-op space, you’ll experience a fresh and new kind of environment. These kinds of shared spaces can spark creativity and innovation just by being surrounded by people equally as passionate from other like-minded companies doing all kinds of different and amazing things.


Busbud CEO and Co-Founder LP Maurice, a leader in the Montreal startup community thinks you should work for a startup too. “I think that startups offer some of the most exciting career opportunities right now, partly because you can learn a lot very rapidly, partly because you can play an active role defining your work environment, but mostly because of the potential to have a big direct impact on society.”.


Even the PPLCONNECT Co-Founders Jenviev Azzolin and Denzil D’Sa left a large, Fortune 500 company to begin PPLCONNECT. Jenviev shares her view on the appeal of startups;


Startups offer very meaningful experience, especially for young graduates eager to learn quickly and accelerate their career. Typically, startups have very little to no hierarchy, which means you can gain a wide-breadth of experience and exposure to complex corporate challenges, which would otherwise be reserved for more senior employees. At the end of the day, you can have a major direct impact on your team, end-users and tackle a worldwide problem.


The trending keyword here seems to be ‘impact’. Having an impact in your daily work ultimately leads to fulfilling work. And the best part? The growth of startups means that supply of ready and willing startup employees is always low. If you find a startup you’re passionate about and you’re an intelligent person smart enough to know when to take risks, then the chance to shape the future is yours for the taking.



How Curved Screen Technology is Making its Way Onto the Market

In the world of consumer electronics, it seems like there are new innovations all the time that make their way onto the market. In screen technology, the most recent innovation is curved screens.

Of course, if you are familiar with going to the movies, curved screens is nothing new. Cinema screens are often curved due to the way the picture is projected onto the screen. Curved screens are now making their debut on a much smaller scale, like the television and smartphone market.

How Curved Screen Technology Works

On a curved television, the image projected onto the screen is obviously rear projected and provides a much wider field of view than a standard flat screen television. The goal of a curved television is supposed to be to provide a cinema-like experience on very large televisions, like th 78-inch UHD TV from Samsung.

The curves bend outwards on the side of the screen. The further you are away from the television, the less you even notice that the image you are watching is being emitted on a curved screen. The actual curves are only noticeable when you are within a few feet of the screen, but from any viewpoint, the picture quality is extremely sharp. On some of the television screens, there is a way you can switch to a flat screen if you prefer, by simply pushing a button.

While smartphones certainly do not fall into the category of “very large” screens, there are certainly benefits to having curved phones or tablets. The curvature on a smart phone reduces any reflections that diminish from the screen’s brightness, contrast and color. The curvature also directs ambient light outside of your line of sight.

Curved Screen Devices Currently Available

Samsung and LG have led the way when it comes to curved screen technology. Both companies released curved television screens at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The two companies also released curved phones within the last year. One of the most prominent curved smartphones out on the market right now is the LG G Flex from T-Mobile, which is indeed flexible. This phone’s screen quality is pinpoint sharp.

When you first look at it and hold it in your hands, you might think it’s a broken or fake phone, but it’s not. According to LG, the phone may be bent flat up to 180 degrees and you have to be careful not to bend it inward or twist.

You may be thinking that it might be too difficult to hold a curved phone or find a case for it or even store it flat. A curved phone might actually fit into your pocket easier than a flat phone because it can use the curvature of your leg to sit. And if you store it in your purse, it would be a lot easier to find than a flat phone due to the probable amount of flat accessories you keep in your purse as it is.

Electronic manufacturers know that this is the year for curved screen technology. The next time you walk past a television or smartphone display, you might need to take a second look. An electronics device with a curved screen is no joke, it’s actually one of the latest developments in technology.


Tips to Write an Amazing Press Kit/ Press Release for Startups

Startups need press coverage. There are so many examples of how one good exposure in the media has sparked a viral story across the internet. It sounds easy, but a lot of legwork goes on in the background to make this happen. And that’s if you’ve even got the time/resources to spend ‘doing’ PR for your startup. In most cases, a bootstrapping startup’s team members will be wearing every hat in the book; coding, marketing, funding - media relations and PR can easily be pushed aside. People will tell you PR doesn’t work for startups and it’s low priority. You do need to make sure you’re laser focused on building a good, solid product/service - but keep PR in mind. It is possible to be smart about Startup PR.

Here’s how to build a great press kit that will do a lot of the work for you. (Click the image below to expand)

Also check out the PPLCONNECT Media Kit to refer to as an example.


Infographic messages expanded:

What is a Media Kit? A media kit contains resources that members of the media would need to run a story on your startup.
-Logos: be sure to include both web and print appropriate files
-Screenshots (if applicable): web and print appropriate files
-Press Releases: add these as you release them, be consistent
-Backgrounder: 1-3 page summary document (preferably PDF) with extra background information about company history & other useful information
-Awards & previous media recognition: this is the place to holla freely about your awards and media coverage to date
-Contact details for further information: writers need to know who to contact for interviews or product demonstrations. Make it easy for them!

1-2 Formula to Get it Done
1. Spend a week collating the pieces of the kit & getting them live on your website. We know your time is valuable in a startup, so grab a co-worker or a friend who might be in the PR field and some coffee and get cracking.
2. Dedicate an hour each day that week, and by Friday polish & publish the kit. That five hours will pay you back five-fold by acting as your new 24-hour PR pitch-deck. Once it’s done you’ll have a great base that will only need updates and tweaks when things change.
Tip: Find yourself an enthusiastic public or media relations student in 3rd year at a local university and get them to intern on this as a summer project #GiveAndTake #WinWin

Add your flavour. Tech companies may need a heavy & technical review guide as part of their Media Kit… If you’ve had a particularly good run with awards or previous media coverage, it’s easy to see how things can start to get long and (potentially) boring. Keep it fun where possible by adding your unique flavour to how you present and write the entire kit. The more engaging it is, the more likely viewers will spend more time there.

Edit, Edit, Edit! Have someone with a keen eye for design and proofreading take a look at the kit. Check that presentation is uniform where necessary, fix any typos and refine the layout.

Final Advice. The important thing is to have a bare minimum press kit available at least. Right now you can start by putting a contact email address on the website for media enquiries. After that work towards getting at the very least some press releases & useful graphics that the media can use in a story. Don’t feel like you have to have the whole kit ready before uploading. When we began working on our press kit we came up with two lists, one short and one long:
1. All the press kit elements we are happy to start with (shorter list)
2. All the press kit elements we would love to have (longer list)
Get started with the first and work slowly towards the second over time.

Click here to download PPLCONNECT + also share your advice in the comments on creating a media kit!



Zombie Apps: Mobilizing Lotus Notes

Some have pronounced Lotus Notes/Domino dead, a career killer, a zombie app. Lotus Notes is facing unprecedented user resistance due to perceptions that it is difficult to use and outdated with a tired user interface. In fact, this might also be one reason that IBM recently re-branded Lotus as IBM Collaboration Solutions. Despite these perceptions, CIOs should be wary of rip-and-replace strategies for Lotus Notes.

Lotus Notes and the Domino Server represent far more than just an email solution. True to their new branding, they are collaboration solutions used for many purposes like applications, databases, documents, sharing files, communication, calendars, and activities management. Huge investments have been made in the use of its reliable, full featured, and stable development platform which allows complex applications to be built that meet the exact needs of the business. Some may be surprised to learn that Lotus also supports both SaaS environments and offline use on demand.

At first glance, IT managers may decide that getting rid of Lotus is a good idea, but on further inspection some of the intricacies of this decision begin to lead former anti-Lotus crusaders to a change of heart. “Many migration projects have failed because IT managers underestimated the cost of moving away from Notes. In one case the business was trying to move Notes apps to SharePoint, but even after several years the migration remained incomplete, and had grown into a multi-team project across several countries, and users complained that the migrated apps lacked the functionality they had previously enjoyed,” says David Akka, Manager of UK and Nordics for Magic Software. “In another case, a migration away from Notes, initiated due to a merger, was cancelled because user requirements for apps were too difficult to meet with other systems.”

A migration project from Lotus Notes will often have hidden costs that eliminate the perceived savings. Unless a company is willing to abandon its significant investments in digital assets based in Domino servers, the savings in annual maintenance fees by switching to Outlook or Google for email are often surpassed by the expenses associated with converting Domino databases, applications and other assets within the Lotus realm. Many IT managers conducting the initial cost-benefit analysis of email migration have overlooked the costs of rewriting legacy Lotus Domino-based solutions.

Don’t worry zombie killers, we’re not making an argument that Notes should be retained as an email platform because it is just too hard to replace the related Lotus Domino apps. On the contrary, one can make the move from Notes and implement new collaboration solutions while leveraging the legacy Domino solutions in a coexistence model that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. So why do we say you need to make a move from Lotus Notes?

As most users can tell you, the Lotus Notes client is a memory hog, bringing overall system performance to a crawl and the user interface is dreary and drab. Many users report bugs that have gone unresolved for far too long and system administrators complain that upgrades are too few and unreliable. They muddle on using workarounds for what should be ordinary tasks and suffer from a lack of integration options out-of-the-box.

But as implied in our title, we get to the real reason: Lotus Notes and Domino are not mobile friendly and they desperately need to be. Lotus users want to access underlying capabilities on their smartphones. The traditional desktop Notes interfaces does not transition to mobile well at all, requiring too many windows, too many clicks, and too much mouse and keyboard interaction. The ubiquity of smartphones in the workplace requires interfaces that leverage touch screens and single finger input for faster user experiences and greater convenience. The changing nature of mobile usage represent a context-shift that demands the redesign of collaboration workflows as well. These are the realities of dealing with a mobile workforce that is in need and on-the-go.

CIOs with good survival instincts are demanding solutions that leverage its stable environment for imports, legacy data and business logic. The solutions they are finding are process-based integration and multi-channel application development platforms. Application development and integration platforms with Lotus Notes and Domino adapters can be used to create modern feature-rich desktop, web and mobile apps with intuitive and optimized interfaces that match the needs of enterprise users regardless of whether they are connected via a mobile phone, tablet, web browser or desktop computer.

Mobile apps built on top of Lotus Notes and Domino perform efficiently, look cool, and scale to any number of users. CIOs can beat the zombie apocalypse by directing their organizations towards integrated mobile solutions that leverage their existing investments in Lotus applications. The benefits may be far more than mere ROI, they could mean CIO survival.



The Internet of Things Has Arrived — Here’s How Your Company Can Succeed

 For success in a market that’s changing our everyday lives, you have to know how both sides of the Internet of Things must work together for users.

At its annual 2011 developer conference, Google announced it had developed Android@Home. The technology was designed to connect household appliances, making nearly everything in your home controllable by your smartphone. It made news — not because it was a new idea, but because it supported an old one: The Internet of Things was one step closer to becoming reality.

It turned out that Google’s initiative wasn’t quite ready for prime time, but it reinforced a desire people have had since the mid-20th century: smart devices that communicate with one another makes life easier.

This is the essence of the Internet of Things, and it’s quickly becoming reality. Just look at the success of Nest Labs and Amazon’s new shopping gadget, Dash. Some even say the future of machine-to-machine communication (M2M) is past due.

How to Succeed in the Internet of Things

The question then becomes how to ensure your company succeeds in this field. What does it take to become an integral part of a market that has the potential to change the way we live our day-to-day lives?

To even have a chance at success on the bleeding edge of connectivity, you need to know how M2M works and which components make up a successful consumer-facing product. There are essentially two sides to what we know as the Internet of Things: M2M and consumer.

M2M usually refers to the industrial side of machine communication, but it’s still essentially the term for machines — cars, washing machines, and refrigerators — that communicate with one another, usually on a network. The consumer side of the Internet of Things is what the everyday user will see and interact with.

For your product to be successful, these sides need to work together seamlessly to create a frictionless experience that users can adopt in their daily routines. Take Audi, for example. Rather than reinventing the wheel with its infotainment system, the car company chose to enhance the way people already live with technology, making it smarter, faster, and easier to use. As a result, Audi has won numerous awards and eased people into a new way of doing things.

The 5 Components of a Frictionless Connected Experience

To master this seamless experience, focus on these five components of a successful consumer-facing “smart” product.

1. The Hardware: The hardware you create must improve what’s already out there and make people’s lives easier. Before development, consider what type of data you’ll need to collect, how to communicate that data, and how to process it into usable information after it’s received. Whether your device will rely on Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or a cellular network, make sure the hardware will fulfill the requirements.

2. The Software: Once you have a good piece of hardware, the next step is making sure the consumer can use it. It doesn’t matter how great a device is; if it’s hard to use, it’s sure to fail. Consider how your software will integrate with remote devices and how users will interact with the front-end interface.

3. Connectivity: Good connectivity is essential for connecting to the Internet of Things. In the U.S., competing networks and standards can make it more difficult for a product to achieve success if it only supports one network. Creating a single portal with multiple options for connectivity can help ensure a painless and seamless user experience.

For consumer-facing devices, the faster, the better. LTE is winning out in America, but HSPA+ and even WiMAX have support in certain parts of the world. Depending on your needs, different network evolutions like LTE and technologies such as GSM and CDMA can be beneficial, but they aren’t necessarily required. The more you can do to support these various network possibilities, the more effective and accessible your solution can be.

4. Certification: This isn’t the sexiest part of product development, but whether it’s wireless certification from the PTCRB or a security certification, these procedures are essential when it comes to lending credibility to your product and ensuring that it’s standards-friendly.

5. The Business Model: This should be obvious, but developing the right business model is a critical step startups often neglect. Your product may be amazing, but if you can’t reach the price point you need or can’t figure out how to turn a profit, everything else becomes moot.

With each passing year, the Internet of Things inches closer to becoming reality. If you’re looking to break into this field or are struggling to find a profitable foothold, focusing on these key components can help you achieve success and contribute to a movement that could change the world.



Do Small Businesses Have A Need For ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP as it is commonly called, has been an enterprise-level product for several years. This is not very surprising considering that an average ERP deployment costs anywhere between $100,000 to $750,000 – not accounting for the under 50% deployment success rate and the several months it takes to get there.

Given the costs and uncertainties involved, small and medium businesses have traditionally stayed out of ERP adoption. But is that a good idea? Not any more. A recent study conducted by CompTIA found that nearly 75% of businesses with less than 100 employees today have successfully deployed business optimization tools at their workplace.

Given the rapid proliferation of such technology among small businesses, you could be seriously losing your competitive edge by not adopting ERP yourself. But is it really worth spending $100,000 on a tool that may not be offering ROI in the immediate future? A Gartner study conducted last year showed that most of the small and medium businesses adopting ERP are doing it on the cloud.

Unlike traditional ERP systems that are deployed on the client’s servers, cloud ERP is operated over a third party server through an Internet connection. Also, unlike the awfully high capital costs needed for deploying traditional ERP systems, cloud ERP tools may be accessed through extremely nominal monthly subscription costs. These are factors that make cloud ERP extremely attractive. No surprise then that hosted cloud ERP solutions like Oracle JD Edwards or one from Netsuite or its partners have seen terrific proliferation in recent times.

So how exactly does an ERP system help a small business? As the name suggests, ERP helps businesses in the planning and optimization of their resources. This resource could be inventory, manpower, money, or even customer relationship. With an ERP system, it is possible to maintain data consistency within an organization. This way, every time your purchasing manager makes an additional order of supplies, the ERP dashboard immediately reflects the changes in inventory and budget so that other teams such as Finance, Sales, and Manufacturing may immediately be appraised of the updated finance and inventory status.

Another major advantage with ERP is automation of crucial resource replenishment tasks. In a traditional setup, the inventory manager is responsible for keeping track of the various inventory levels and he/she is responsible for sending new purchase orders when the inventory levels fall below a threshold. An ERP system may be configured to integrate your business processes with that of your suppliers so that decisions to send new purchase orders may be automated. This eliminates human error and reduces the turnover time; thus improving operational efficiency.

Given the growing popularity of cloud ERP, small businesses may no longer have the luxury of avoiding its deployment. If you are a bootstrapped business owner, it is highly recommended that you implement cloud ERP systems to not only ensure higher optimization of your resources, but also to bring about better efficiency in your business processes. What are your thoughts on this? Tell us in the comments below.



How 3D Modeling Changed Online Gaming

When video games were created in 1952, A.S. Douglas programmed a code that we now know as the first video game. He was writing a paper for his PhD at the University of Cambridge on human and computer interaction, and he is credited with creating the first graphical computer game, which is a computerized version of Tic-Tac-Toe coded on an EDSAC vacuum-tube computer with a cathode ray tube display.

The first actual video game was created in 1958 by William Higinbotham, and was called Tennis For Two. In 1962, Spacewar! was invented by Steve Russell and was the first game made for computer use.

The video game industry greatly improved in the 1990s when 3D graphic cards were included in video games and became standard for the visual presentation. This was applied to RPG games, puzzle games, and online casino games, examples of which you can find on Today, the video game industry is a multi-billion business with hundreds of consoles, thousands of games, and millions of players.

3D modeling has become a selling point for gamers everywhere. With 3D modeling, a three-dimensional surface of an object is processed through ‘3D rendering’ to display it as a two-dimensional image. The process of 3D modeling is done using specialized software.

Simply put, 3D rendering is similar to how photographers develop and print their photos, except in 3D modeling for games, the models the artist uses are mathematical representations of surfaces and points, or polygons and vertices. It sounds complicated, but fortunately for gamers, what they see is the final result: the game rendered in the most realistic way possible.

3D Rendering

The art of 3D modeling for games is a complicated process. Artists use real-time rendering, where images must be rendered at a fast pace. Since games cannot be predicted due to the actions of the player in the game environments, artists must use what is called real-time rendering to keep up with the game as it unfolds. Because of this, 18-20 frames per second must be rendered to avoid choppiness on the screen.

Of course, it is impossible to keep up with the number of players around the world and the infinite number of possibilities that could happen in a game. Because of this, artists use dedicated graphics software or GPUs to pre-compile as much information as possible and ‘bake’ them into the game to make rendering faster.

There are three major types of rendering used. The scanline method is preferred for video games because of its speed. Instead of rendering pixel by pixel, scanline renders polygon by polygon, making the process faster. Scanline rendering can achieve up to 60 frames per second on a high-end graphics card.


The biggest advantage of 3D modeling in games is that it has greatly improved graphics, making people, props, and locations look as realistic as possible. This improvement has made 3D gaming more enjoyable for players.

For artists, it allows greater expression because 3D modeling can be viewed from all angles and can accurately portray real colors, features, and shapes. 3D modeling for games has greatly improved the industry. Now, players can feel that they are part of the game, thanks to the highly realistic graphics artists have made. With 3D modeling, life, at least in games, just got better.