From the Obvious to the Obscure: 10 New Technologies
In a rapidly changing technology industry, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest gadgets, software and tools entering the marketplace on what seems like daily basis. From smartphones to battery-powered vehicles, web indexing systems and beyond, Business Review Australia takes a look at some of 2010’s hottest technologies.
1. Samsung N230 Netbook: Samsung’s latest mini laptop is sleek, speedy and super-slim. The portable computer weighs less than 1 kilogram and is just 23.2 millimeters long—perfect for the executive on the go. The best feature of the N230 is its long battery life, which can last up to 13.8 hours. The netbook also features Samsung Fast Start that enables users to start working within seconds of pressing the device on.
2. Apple iPhone 4: Need we say more? Apple’s latest phone, its fourth in four years, finally makes mobile video calling a reality with its FaceTime feature. The 9.3 millimeter smartphone also features a 3.5 inch Retina display, making text and images incredibly crisp and clear. The iPhone 4 even has the ability to record and edit videos in high definition.
3. Cisco Systems’ Home Energy Management (HEM): Cisco’s HEM solution helps consumers monitor and manage energy consumption and budgets by providing updated household energy information. The touchscreen countertop Home Energy Controller allows consumers to view and control information on thermostats, intelligent sockets and power strips, and smart appliances such as refrigerators and water heaters. That information is sent to the utility provider who can manage data from thousands of homes while integrating with their back-end applications.
4. QUE ProReader: Aimed for business executives, the QUE ProReader allows users to treat this portable tool just like paper. Unlike other e-readers, this reader uses organic transistors on the plastic, making for a tougher, more durable surface. PDF files, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets can be viewed on the device all with the touch of your finger, bringing an end to those irritating trips to the printer.
5. Tesla Roadster: A hot sports car that can travel nearly 393 kilometers on battery power alone? Believe it. The 2010 Roadster Sport model can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and includes a suite of unique noise-reduction materials and an upgraded sound system. The Roadster is one of the only highway-capable electric cars for sale to the public, but in 2012, Tesla will begin production on its Model S Sedan.
6. Google Caffeine: In an effort to keep up with the swelling progress of the web, Google’s new web indexing system, Caffeine, provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than its last index and offers the largest collection of web content Google has to date. Whether it’s news or blog entries, users can now find links to pertinent content more rapidly after it is published than was possible ever before.
7. McAfee SaaS Web Protection: McAfee’s latest Web security solution, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), is a cloud-based platform, employing enterprise-grade reporting capabilities without any on-premise requirements. Essentially the new service detects and predicts security threats in real time, and allows IT administrators to analyze their Web traffic to identify any trends in malware—a far cry from the days when security threats were relayed after they happened.
8. eStar Truck: It’s the second vehicle to make our list, but electric-powered means of transportation are quickly gaining popularity and momentum. The eStar truck was created as a response to the demands of business and the planet. The truck, designed to replace its gas-burning counterparts in cities, can handle up to a 4,000 pound payload and can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge.
9. Monster Vision “Max 3D:” Stylish and high-gloss 3D glasses for the home have finally become a reality. Monster’s new Active 3D eyewear system is the only RF Shutter system that will work with all 3D HDTVs, allowing users to experience a new level of 3D visual immersion while watching Blu-ray movies or playing advanced video games.
10. Bluetooth 4.0: It won’t be released until 2011, but the Bluetooth 4.0 is poised to be one of next year’s hottest gadgets. Bluetooth v4.0 is like three specifications in one—Classic Bluetooth technology, Bluetooth low energy technology and Bluetooth high speed technology—all which can be combined or used separately in different devices according to their functionality. The 4.0 version will now have the ability to communicate with watches and pedometers saving power, cost and space.
Why Alibaba Cloud is doubling down in Southeast Asia
Alibaba has announced expansion of its cloud business within Southeast Asia, with the introduction of a digital upskilling programme for locals alongside acceleration of its data centre openings.
This doubling down of its cloud business in Southeast Asia comes as the company faces stiff competition at home in China from rivals including Pinduoduo Inc and Tencent and seeks to up its game in a region considered to be the fastest-growing in cloud adoption to compete with leading global cloud providers AWS, Google and Microsoft.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and second biggest revenue driver after its core e-commerce business, finally turned profitable for the first time in the December 2020 following 11 years of operation, thanks largely to the pandemic which has spurred businesses and consumers to get online.
Southeast Asia growing demand for cloud
In 2020, there was a noticeable increase in interest towards cloud in SE Asia, with the population embracing digital transformation during the pandemic and SMEs across the region showing increased demand for cloud computing.
Such demand has led to the expectation that Southeast Asia is now the fastest-growing adopter of cloud computing with the cloud market expected to reach US$40.32bn in Southeast Asia by 2025 according to IDC.
And there are plenty of players vying for a slice of the cloud pie. While AWS, the cloud arm of Amazon, is the leading player in Southeast Asia (and across all of APAC apart from China), Microsoft and Google are the next two most dominant players in Southeast Asia with Alibaba coming in fourth.
“There is no doubt that during the past year we have seen the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across all industries,” explains Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia. “Asia now accounts for 60% of the world’s growth and is leading the global recovery with the digitalization of business models and economies. Cloud will continue to be a core foundation empowering the realization of Asia’s ambitions, enabling co-innovation across industries, government and community, to drive inclusive societal progress.”
Alibaba’s commitment to Southeast Asia
At its annual Alibaba Cloud Summit, the Chinese company announced Project AsiaForward, an initiative designed to upskill local developers, small-to-medium-sized companies and connect businesses with venture capital. Alibaba said it would set aside US$1bn over the next three years to develop digital skills in the region, with the aim of helping to develop 100,000 developers and to help grow 100,000 tech startups.
But that’s not all. The company, which recently opened its third data centre in Indonesia, serving customers with offerings across database, security, network, machine learning and data analytics services, also announced it would unveil its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of 2021.
Furthermore, that it would establish its first international innovation centre, located in Malaysia, offering a one-stop shop platform for Malaysian SMEs, startups and developers to innovate in emerging technologies.
“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to FinTech and online entertainment. As the leading cloud service provider and trusted partner in APAC, we are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” says Jeff Zhang, President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
What other cloud providers are pledging in the region
This pledge by Alibaba to upskill both individuals and businesses follows Microsoft’s announcement in April that it was planning to upskill Malaysia’s population and would invest US$1bn over the next five years to build a new data centre centre in Malaysia.
This is the latest in a long line of pledges to the region by the US tech giant, which is fast accelerating the growth of its cloud datacenter footprint in Asia, expanding form seven 11 markets, and recently adding three new markets across Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. Back in February, it announced plans to establish its first datacenter region in Indonesia and to skill an additional 3 million Indonesians to achieve its goal of empowering over 24 million Indonesians by the end of 2021.
And recent research by IDC shows that Microsoft’s most recent datacenter expansions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan alone are set to generate more than US$21bn in new revenues and will create 100,000 new jobs in the next four years.
Also last month, Tencent announced it has launched internet data centres in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo to add to its second availability zone opened in Korea last year and plans to add an internet data center in Indonesia, and Google has also been pushing into the enterprise space in Southeast Asia for several years now.
Expanding data centers allows cloud providers to boost their capacity in certain countries or regions.