All posts tagged technology

Wired for a better rural future

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Wired for a better rural future

Tech April 20, 2019 13:45

By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation weekend

Rollout of fibre optics in remote villages aims to boost education, healthcare and local economies under the ambitious Net Pracharat programme

REDUCING inequality, creating opportunities for people in rural areas and building the competitiveness of the country.   These are the cited reasons behind the government’s programme to bring digital infrastructure to all people throughout the country and to increase their knowledge and access to services as they use the Net Pracharat network.

Ajarin Pattanapanchai, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, said they have educated people throughout the country on how to utilise the infrastructure network of Net Pracharat.

This is being done because the programme will have long-term benefits that include both economic and social impacts for the country.

With Net Pracharat, all Thais will have equitable and affordable access to several sources of information and services, including for education, healthcare, e-commerce and government services, said Ajarin.

This would lead the country toward the path of long-term stability, prosperity and sustainability, Ajarin said.

Hard infrastructure

The Village Broadband Internet (Net Pracharat) project’s infrastructure was completed in December 2017, when MDES and Telephone of Thailand Public Company Limited (TOT) laid down the last of a fibre cable network targeting 24,700 rural villages throughout the Kingdom.

One of Thailand’s national flagship projects, Net Pracharat aims to ensure reliable digital infrastructure and equitable access to information and communication technology throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is responsible for 3,920 villages in border areas, and the remaining 15,732 target villages in rural areas.

In 2019, the ministry continues to emphasise the use of Net Pracharat, with volunteers in 24,700 villages, as the young generation and community leaders work to coordinate the project. They report to the ministry about the daily functioning of the high-speed internet Net Pracharat network, other infrastructure-related suggestions, as well as the other needs of local people.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Interior (MOI), training sessions have already reached one million local people.

The ministry has also focused on the community digital centres in each village, transforming each locale into a learning centre for the Net Pracharat project and allowing further development of the network to advance local community economic benefit.

The ministry this year will emphasise creating applications and other uses on top of the Net Pracharat infrastructure including e-commerce, telemedicine and education.

The additional activities will include Thailand Post’s Point of Sale (POS) initiative to create a logistics platform for delivering products for the villages in support of local e-commerce through OTOP and community enterprises.  It aims to expand the POS infrastructure, offering e-marketplace, e-payment, and e-logistic services for the local digital communities, from 200 units to 5,000 units.

About 900 people have already brought some 1,700 product items onto the platform and created revenues of Bt20 million for community enterprises.

This year, the ministry will also focus on finding ways to leverage the Net Pracharat infrastructure for public health benefits. The 30/10 megabits per second (Mbps) network speed as is not enough for establishing telemedicine, so the ministry, working with the Ministry of Public Health, will next upgrade the network speed to 100 Mbps to enable it in 10 locations.

Fibre optics for schools

Fibre optics will also be deployed this year by the ministry to support school initiatives, bringing high-speed internet to 2,000 to 3,000 schools throughout the country, including the Border Patrol Police School. The Ministry of Education will also be involved.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society will also build the fibre optics network to reach over 800 Tambon Health Promoting Hospitals, the first level of the public health service system in  communities.  “The initiative delivering fibre optics to hospitals is to encourage telemedicine to become a reality throughout the country,” said Ajarin.

The ministry is also working to prepare for the 5G era, as it establishes a 5G test bed and conducts 5G field trials at a digital park in the Eastern Economic Corridor.


Apple expands recycling effort under watch of Daisy the robot

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Apple expands recycling effort under watch of Daisy the robot

Tech April 20, 2019 13:44

By The Nation weekend

Apple has announced the expansion of its global recycling programme, which will quadruple the number of locations to which US customers can send their iPhones to be disassembled by Daisy, its recycling robot.

Daisy will disassemble and recycle select used iPhones returned to Best Buy stores throughout the US and KPN retailers in the Netherlands. Customers can also turn in their eligible devices to be recycled at any Apple Store or through as part of the Apple Trade In programme.

Apple has received nearly 1 million devices through Apple programmes and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year. In 2018, the company refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and helped divert more than 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said that advanced recycling must become an integral part of the electronics supply chain.

“Apple is pioneering a new path to help push our industry forward. We work hard to design products that our customers can rely on for a long time. When the time comes to recycle them, we hope that the convenience of our programmes will encourage everyone to bring in their old devices,” she explained.

Daisy is now able to disassemble 15 different iPhone models at the rate of 200 per hour, recovering ever-more important materials for re-use. Once materials have been recovered from Daisy, they are recycled back into the manufacturing process. For cobalt, a key battery material, Apple sends iPhone batteries recovered by Daisy upstream in its supply chain. They are then combined with scrap from selected manufacturing sites and, for the first time, cobalt recovered through this process is now being used to make brand-new Apple batteries — a closed loop for this precious material.

Apple also uses 100-per-cent recycled tin in a key component of the main logic boards of 11 different products. The company’s engineering of an aluminium alloy made from 100-per-cent recycled aluminium allows the new MacBook Air and Mac mini to have nearly half the carbon footprint of earlier models. Starting this year, aluminium recovered through the Apple Trade In programme is being remelted into the enclosures for the MacBook Air.

To further its research into recycling, Apple has also announced the opening of its Material Recovery Lab dedicated to discovering future recycling processes. The new 836-square-metre facility in Austin, Texas, will look for innovative solutions involving robotics and machine learning to improve on traditional methods like targeted disassembly, sorting and shredding. The Lab will work with Apple engineering teams as well as academia to address and propose solutions to today’s industry recycling challenges.

Apple continues to expand its programmes to ensure devices are used for as long as possible. The number of Apple Stores and network of authorised service providers has grown to more than 5,000 worldwide. Last autumn, Apple rolled out a new method for optimising iPhone screen repairs that allows thousands more independent shops to offer the service. Apple has also launched a battery replacement and recycling programme for all of its products.

Now Apple has released its 2019 Environment report, which contains additional information on the company’s climate change solutions, including its recent announcement that 44 of its suppliers have committed to 100-per-cent renewable energy for their Apple production.

Plastic surgery: a radical new process to breathe new life into old plastic

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Plastic surgery: a radical new process to breathe new life into old plastic

Tech April 20, 2019 13:42

By Patama Chantaruck
Special to The Nation

Plastic waste is plaguing our planet. In total, people have produced more than 8 billion tonnes of plastic. Half of all newly manufactured plastic becomes trash in less than a year.

It is projected that in 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. PET is one of the most common manufactured plastic polymers (approximately 10-per-cent of total plastics produced per year), is a key ingredient in food and beverage packages and in the fibres of cloth. Historically, most of this material has not been recycled, the primary reason why 8 million metric tons of PET plastics are estimated to go into the ocean each year.

Plastic recycling is collapsing in many parts of the US. Demand for recycled materials has declined because there is too much trash in the sorting mix. As a result, many recycling companies are trying to claw back their profits by raising the cost of their services. In turn, cities like Philadelphia are resorting to incinerating their recyclables for energy, even forcing Memphis International Airport to send its bins straight to landfills. According to the California treasurer, Fiona Ma, “it’s a crisis in the recycling movement right now”.

To help address this problem, IBM recently announced a novel “selective digestion” recycling technique that can significantly streamline the sorting process and turn the PET commonly found in food and beverage packaging into a renewable resource, rather than trash destined for our landfills and waterways.

In the coming years, advancements like VolCat will make plastics recycling more efficient and more versatile in treating a wider range of material types than its predecessors.

Unlike traditional mechanical recycling, future plastics recycling will break down both coloured and clear plastics, as well as dirty and clean containers, producing a high-quality final product that is 100-per-cent recyclable. It should be noted that mechanical recycling can only be used on clear, pre-cleaned containers and results in a material that’s only reusable when combined with new PET.

Plastic bottles, containers, and PET-based fabrics will be collected, ground up and combined with a chemical catalyst in a pressure cooker set to above 200 degrees Celsius.

With heat and a small amount of pressure, the catalyst is able to digest and clean the ground-up plastic, with the process separating contaminants (eg, food residue, glue, dirt, dyes and pigments) from material that is useable for new PET. The useable matter, called a monomer, takes the form of a white powder, which can be fed directly into a polyester reactor to make brand-new plastics.

For people at home, future recycling advancements will mean no more sorting, rinsing and separating used containers, wrappers and plastics. All polyester waste can go directly into the dustbin and out to the curb for collection and from there to a recycling facility, to be digested and transformed into new and renewable material.

If this new research breakthrough is adopted by the plastics and recycling industries, people at the grocery store buying a bottle of soda or punnet of strawberries will know that the plastic they purchased won’t end up in the ocean and in just over 30 years, outweigh the fish.

Patama Chantaruck is vice-president of Indochina Expansion and managing director of IBM Thailand.

Ransomware ‘hero’ pleads guilty to US hacking charges

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Ransomware ‘hero’ pleads guilty to US hacking charges

Tech April 20, 2019 06:33

By Agence France-Presse

2,060 Viewed

A British computer security researcher once hailed as a “hero” for helping stem a ransomware outbreak and later accused of creating malware to attack the banking system said Friday he pleaded guilty to US criminal charges.

Marcus Hutchins, whose arrest in 2017 stunned the computer security community, acknowledged in a statement pleading guilty to criminal charges linked to his activity in 2014 and 2015.

“I regret these actions and accept full responsibility for my mistakes,” the 24-year-old Hutchins, known by his alias “MalwareTech,” wrote, noting that the charges related to his activity prior to his work in security.

“Having grown up, I’ve since been using the same skills that I misused several years ago for constructive purposes. I will continue to devote my time to keeping people safe from malware attacks.”

Hutchins in 2017 found a “kill switch” to stem the spread of the devastating WannaCry ransomware outbreak, prompting widespread news reports calling him a hero.

Months later he was arrested after attending the Def Con gathering of computer hackers in Las Vegas.

The case drew fire from critics who argued that researchers often work with computer code that can be deployed for malicious purposes.

A federal indictment unsealed in Wisconsin accused Hutchins and another individual of making and distributing the Kronos “banking Trojan,” a reference to malicious software designed to steal user names and passwords used on online banking sites.

According to the indictment, Hutchins was part of a conspiracy to distribute the hacking tool on so-called dark markets.

He was released on bail while awaiting trial, allowing him to continue working for a security firm. He had maintained his innocence and won support from many others in his profession.

US prosecutors did not immediately respond to an AFP query about the case. But court documents published by the news site ZDNet showed Hutchins could face up to one year in jail on each of the criminal counts along with financial penalties.

Other counts in the indictment were dismissed, according to the court papers.

Study finds universal shortage of cybersecurity staff

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

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Study finds universal shortage of cybersecurity staff

Tech April 17, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

2,022 Viewed

DomainTools, a leader in domain name and DNS-based cyberthreat intelligence, yesterday announced the results of its study, “Staffing the IT Security Function in the Age of Automation”, conducted in conjunction with the Ponemon Institute.

More than 1,400 security professionals based across the Asia Pacific (APAC), US, and UK provided answers on the impact that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will have on the staffing of cybersecurity functions. All respondents in the study are responsible for recruiting, hiring, promoting and retaining cybersecurity staff within their organisations.

Results clearly indicated a shortage of cybersecurity staff across geographical regions with 78 per cent of all respondents admitting their teams were understaffed).

According to respondents, automation will provide a partial solution to the problem, relieving cybersecurity professionals of time-consuming and non-cost-effective tasks, such as malware analysis, which is either already automated (50 per cent), or is planned to become so in the next three years (56 per cent).

Only 35 per cent of respondents, however, think that automation will reduce the headcount of their cybersecurity function: 40 per cent even expect an increased need for hires with more advanced technical skills.

“Within just one year, the perspective around adoption of automated technologies has notably shifted among cybersecurity professionals,” said Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.

“Contrary to the popular belief that the rise of automation will threaten the job market, organisations now feel these technologies will help ease the current strain on resources, and offer the potential to promote job security for highly skilled staff, while strengthening cybersecurity defences.”

UK and US respondents were much more confident that automation will improve their cybersecurity staff’s ability to do their job (59 per cent and 65 per cent of respondents, respectively) than were APAC respondents (48 per cent), who were also more likely to distrust AI as a cybersecurity tool (37 per cent of respondents, compared to 31 per cent in the UK and 24 per cent in the US).

Growth rate in Vietnam’s internet services to soar

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

The Vietnam Internet Ecosystem Forum in Singapore on April 13 discussed the development of the Vietnamese internet economy. Read more at
The Vietnam Internet Ecosystem Forum in Singapore on April 13 discussed the development of the Vietnamese internet economy. Read more at

Growth rate in Vietnam’s internet services to soar

Tech April 16, 2019 16:55

By Viet Nam News/ANN

SINGAPORE – The high rate of technology adoption in Vietnam presents vast opportunities for growth, according to Le Hong Minh, co-founder, chairman and CEO of technology company VNG Corporation.

In the field of mobile payments, for example, Minh said that by demand alone, “five years from now, Vietnam could have 40 million transactions per year, 40 times the current capacity of the banking system”.

However, “Vietnam still faces challenges to fully exploit this opportunity,” he said at the Vietnam Internet Ecosystem Forum held in Singapore on April 13.

“Vietnam lacks people who really understand and are fully committed to this tremendous change,” Minh said. As a result, businesses still lag behind consumers in technology adoption.

Minh said that to bridge this gap in human resources, one of VNG’s goals is “to excite talented people to work in the technology industry in Vietnam, in whatever capacity they can.”

Based on his extensive research of Vietnam’s macro-economic development, Dr. Vu Minh Khuong of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore expressed optimism about Vietnam’s economic performance, but stressed the importance of strategic reform and digital transformation to sustain that growth, especially in the current global economic climate.

“Information and communications technology (ICT) adoption will affect all internal and external factors influencing the growth of the market,” Khuong said.

Vu Minh Tri, vice president of VNG Cloud Services, and managing director of VINADATA, noted that cloud computing had tremendous potential.

“The current trend is to have inter-connected facilities, opening up huge opportunities for IT companies to tap into the budget for infrastructure development, which normally makes up 60 per cent of a country’s GDP,” he said.

A panel discussion on the cloud computing sub-sector in Vietnam also pointed out that gaps which exist across multiple verticals, from retail to government, could be filled by cloud computing solutions.

Alex Smith, the APAC technical lead for Microsoft Azure, expressed confidence in the ability of the “public cloud to remove barriers of entry for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), hence democratising the market”.

Partnering is also an excellent way to transfer knowledge and expedite progress.

“The problems (regarding cloud computing services) that they solve in Vietnam are fundamentally simple. Hence, with the right stewards with enough experience, progress will be seen much more quickly”, said Wilbur Le, vice president of corporate development at LEAP, an investor in cloud computing companies.

VNG, in joint efforts with Hanh Trinh Viet, a community organisation that connects overseas Vietnamese experts with Vietnamese companies to find solutions to challenges of common interest, aims to provide a sustainable channel for communication and collaboration with IT communities abroad, to connect with more Vietnamese talent and to inform them of the opportunities and challenges at home.

The forum also highlighted opportunities for overseas professionals to take part in Vietnam’s exciting market.

The forum featured leading organisations in Southeast Asia like the National University of Singapore, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, ST Telemedia, SEA, Kyber Network and VNG Corporation.

The event attracted over 120 participants from various industries and backgrounds, generating passionate participation from the audience.

Enabler of digital transformation

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Enabler of digital transformation

Tech April 16, 2019 16:08

By China Daily/ANN

2,113 Viewed

China makes headway in application and commercialization of 3D printing, paving way for high-quality manufacturing, end-user engagement

From aircraft units, car parts to musical instruments, 3D printing technology is pushing the limits of what can be made out of materials.

While relatively young, this new technique has established itself as one of the most disruptive technologies in decades.

According to consultancy Statista, the global 3D printing industry’s output value is projected to reach $23 billion by 2022.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital profile. It is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing that features hollowing out a piece of material with a milling machine.

“‘Additive’ means laying down successive layers of material until the object is created, and each of these can be regarded as a sliced, horizontal cross-section of the eventual item,” said Michael Agam, president of South Asia at Stratasys, an additive manufacturing solution provider based in the United States.

Stratasys provides technologies that are used to create prototype, manufacturing tools and production parts for industries from aerospace, automotive, healthcare to consumer products.

“3D printing enables you to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods,” Agam said.

Falling product costs, ease of customization of goods, as well as government incentives are helping China emerge as an Asia leader in additive manufacturing.

China’s 3D printing industry is expected to reach $7.68 billion in output value, or one-third of the global market by 2020, according to a forecast by the China Industry Information Institute.

Consultancy IDC estimates the country will pour in $1.9 billion into the sector this year. This makes it the third-largest market behind the US and Western Europe.

Beijing has homed in on a series of policies to advance 3D printers. In the past, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the industry regulator, had released the National 3D Printing Industry Development Plan (2015-2016), which established goals for the sector’s innovation and commercialization.

Separately, the ministry came up with a second action plan later in December 2017 to give a further boost. In its latest move, it included the sector in the nation’s strategic emerging industries list, heralding massive opportunities for related companies.

But the technology itself has experienced challenges over time. At the early stage, most of the 3D printers were used for rapid prototyping – meaning, mimicking early-stage product mock-ups. Commercialization was not imminent.

“Even though there are amazing innovations nearly every day in the way 3D printers are used in key industries, including automotive, aerospace and medical, we believe that we’re still just scratching the surface of the potential for 3D printing as an enabler of digital transformation,” said Tim Greene, research director at consultancy IDC.

Industry experts, however, have noticed a gradual paradigm shift. According to Agam, the sector is on the cusp of a transformation from prototyping and design to real-life manufacturing and end-user engagement. This year could herald such changes.

Conglomerates are leading the pack, with GE celebrating the 30,000th additively-manufactured fuel nozzle tip on a 3D printing device at its aviation plant in the US a couple of months ago.

Under the additive manufacturing method, the number of parts in a single fuel nozzle tip was reduced from about 20 pieces previously welded together to one whole piece. The nozzle tip’s weight was cut by about 25 percent.

“Today, there are hundreds of big planes flying between cities around the world and carrying machine components,” noted Mohammad Ehteshami, the former head of engineering at GE Aviation who now runs GE Additive, a new business focusing on the latest manufacturing techniques like 3D printing. “Tomorrow, you won’t need to do all of that. You’ll just print what you need.”

At Siemens, additively-manufactured turbine blades can be cooled by complex internal channels, thereby improving their functional efficiency. Such technology now allows novel geometries that were not possible before.

According to a report released by the German conglomerate, additive manufacturing enables rapid prototyping resulting in up to 75 percent of former development time, and is more sustainable by consuming up to 65 percent less resources, by reducing gas emissions by up to 30 percent and generally by creating components with longer life spans.

Experts believe that China is quickly closing the gap on the technology’s application and commercialization.

“The Chinese market is always intensively competitive, because here people want to do things fast and they put their heart and soul into it,” said Benjamin Tan, vice-president of Asia-Pacific at Ultimaker.

Founded in 2011, Ultimaker has built open and easy-to-use 3D printers, software and materials that enable professional designers and engineers to innovate.

According to Tan, the lead time for delivering a certain product in China can take roughly three days, other than three weeks or three months that are commonly required in other markets. Such market competitiveness has proliferated the use of 3D printing in the country.

“3D printing could be as simple as designing a phone cover, or as sophisticated as designing a rocket. But we have a role to play here, by shortening production time and allowing just any imaginable structure to be created with polymers, metals or even ceramic materials,” he said.

Similarly, Stratasys unveiled the voxel-level 3D printing solution during the TCT Asia trade show in February in Shanghai. It allows users to exercise control of their design at volumetric pixel level with access to more materials.

For instance, the company has teamed up with a carmaker in China to allow customers to customize car body patterns using 3D printing solutions, which Agam hailed as a “true revolution”.

“Till now the 3D printing remained largely a B2B business. This is for the first time that customers can come and actually have an impact on what the products are going to look like,” he said.

Speeding up production and shortening supply chain are not the only game-changers. The need to come up with tailor-made designs that are flexible to meet end-user needs lies at the heart of 3D printing, he said.

Some of the most advanced 3D printing applications will be driven by Chinese companies, in light of the high level of government incentives to promote the industry.

“Customers and end-users are expecting new things at a much faster pace than before, prompting companies to come up with new products at a pace that could never be achieved by traditional manufacturing,” Agam said.

Materials play a critical role in the process. While plastic remains the most widely used material for 3D printing, the use of metal as “ink” will become more popular in 2019 and beyond, and more material companies are joining the fray.

“The implications are huge – the auto, industrial and medical sectors alone produce billions of metal parts each year,” Dion Weisler, CEO of HP Inc, was quoted as saying in a press release. The company believes the metal platform unlocks the speed, quality and economics to enable customers to design, manufacture and deliver new solutions.

But according to autonomous manufacturing trade group AMFG, the focus on metal 3D printing in recent months has meant that the expansion of the polymers segment – it still dominates the overall 3D printing materials market – has often times been overlooked.

It cited leading chemical companies, from DSM, SABIC to BASF and Solvay, to elbow into the 3D printing space over the last few years, demonstrating a growing interest in the sector as an industrial solution.

To adapt to that trend, Ultimaker has formed an alliance bringing together material providers. Their latest addition of three material makers in Shanghai further expanded the choice of materials and applications in a wide variety of industries.

“By making print profiles in the Ultimaker marketplace, engineers and designers in the electronics industry can benefit immediately from the ease of use of desktop 3D printing,” said company CEO Jos Burger.

eSun, a company specializing in the industrialization of biodegradable polymers, is a new member of the alliance. CEO Yang Yihu said the alliance can allow eSun to speed up eco-friendly 3D printed products by adopting renewable resources.

“The Chinese market is a lot more advanced and aggressive. So we are aiming to serve not only the industrial users but also the manufacturers,” said Blake Teipel, CEO of Essentium, another material maker that forayed into China this year.

Facial recognition comes to express delivery in Chinese cities

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Facial recognition comes to express delivery in Chinese cities

Tech April 16, 2019 16:06

By China Daily/ ANN

Cainiao Network, Alibaba’s delivery arm, announced that they have added the ability to send packages through facial recognition technology to their courier services.

Senders in China are required to show their ID cards when sending packages. However, the facial recognition technology will scan the face of senders in one to two seconds, and senders can have their packages or letters delivered without giving their personal information, according to Cainiao.

Senders need to upload information of addressee and mailing addresses via various mobile apps of Alibaba, such as Taobao and Alipay, in advance.

The Zhejiang-based company said the technology, which has received advice and support from local postal sectors and public security departments, can better protect senders’ individual privacy, and the whole process of sending packages will be simplified.

Cainiao said the pilot scheme has started in more than 300 logistics stations in eight cities across China, including the cities of Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Xiamen and Jinan.

The facial recognition technology is expected to be promoted across the country.

Get ready to adopt AI in your logistics business

Published April 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Get ready to adopt AI in your logistics business

Tech April 15, 2019 01:00

By Special to The Nation

Artificial intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly central role in this era of transformation, with many industries having already successfully adopted AI.


For example, the engineering and manufacturing industries uses AI in their production lines to help streamline production and maintenance through image recognition and conversational interfaces.

In the automotive industry, AI is being called upon extensively to enhance the self-learning capabilities of autonomous vehicles. Following the successful use cases for AI in the consumer world, all eyes are on the potential of AI to transform the industrial sector. A recent joint collaborative report by DHL and IBM examined the implications and use cases for the logistics industry in 2018. In “Artificial Intelligence in Logistics”, the world’s leading logistics service provider joined with an AI innovator to evaluate the potential of AI in logistics. The report revealed how it could be best applied to transform the industry, giving rise to a new class of intelligent logistics assets and operational paradigms.

While AI is already ubiquitous in the consumer realm, as demonstrated by the rapid growth of voice assistant applications, DHL and IBM found that AI technologies are maturing rapidly, allowing for additional applications for logistics. These can help logistics providers enrich customer experiences through conversational engagement and even anticipate new orders before the customer places the order.

With the help of AI, the logistics industry will shift its operating model from reactive actions to a proactive and predictive paradigm, which will generate better insights at favourable costs in the back office, operational and customer-facing activities.

For example, AI technologies can use advanced image recognition to track the conditions of shipments and assets, bring end-to-end autonomy to transportation or predict fluctuations in global shipment volumes before they occur. AI is able to augment human capabilities and fundamentally extend human efficiency in terms of reach, quality and speed by eliminating mundane and routine work, thus enabling the logistics workforce to be shifted to more meaningful and value-added work.

By leveraging AI into core processes, companies can invest more in strategic growth imperatives to modernise or eliminate legacy application systems. This can make existing assets and infrastructure more efficient, while providing the workforce with time to enhance their skills and capabilities.

Although the trend of AI is prevalent in consumer-facing applications and clerical enterprise functions and will redefine the structure of the logistics workforce in the future, a skilled workforce remains the key to unlocking the potential of the logistics supply chain as talented people are still a major driver in the industry.

While logistics companies at the digital forefront would attract technologically savvy millennial talents, it is important to also ensure that current employees with valuable experience are provided with the necessary training to keep up with digital processes.

Chananyarak Phetcharat

is managing director of DHL

Express Thailand.

No easy RIDE for road warriors

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

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No easy RIDE for road warriors

Tech April 13, 2019 01:40

By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation Weekend

Grab,GOJEK and Lalamove fight for market share in an evolving transport and shopping digital environment

Thailand is one of the markets with the highest growth potential in the region for ride-hailing and on-demand food delivery businesses as Singapore-based Grab, the  GET app backed by Indonesia’s Gojek, and Hong Kong-based Lalamove fight intensely to gain market share in the Kingdom.

Grab: from ride hailing to super app

Launched as a ride-hailing service, Grab has grown to become Southeast Asia’s “decacorn”, a startup valued at over US$10 billion as it transforms into a super app for people’s everyday lives. It now offers not only on-demand transport but on-demand food and service delivery in 336 cities in eight countries including Thailand. In Thailand, Grab’s service is available in 18 cities within 16 provinces.

Grab boasts 9 million drivers and merchants across Southeast Asia, and the platform has been downloaded 144 million times, with about half of that number accounted for by Thailand.

Tarin Thaniyavarn, country head of Grab Thailand, said the platform serves the daily needs of Thai people. At the first quarter of 2019, the company had grown 17 times over the same period in 2018, and is committed to continue its rapid growth, said Tarin. The star performers are the ride-hailing and food delivery services.

The Thai market potential has so far been limited by transport regulations. If those limitations were unlocked, the growth of the ride-hailing sector in Thailand would be dramatically increased, said Tarin.

After six years in the Thai market, Grab’s current strategy is to market its on-demand transport service as a platform for tourists. The company successfully trialled the service in Buri Ram, and other provinces, last October during the MotoGP Buriram event. Some 200,000 tourists in the province travelled using Grab’s service.

“In Buri Ram, there are only 15 taxi vehicles, and 100,000 individual vehicles. Our solution was to help turn the existing [transport] infrastructure into a [transport] facility to serve tourists. During the trial period, 220 Grab vehicles helped transport 15,000 tourists over a week-long period and helped create transport spending of around Bt600,000,” said Tarin.

He said the project’s success will serve as a model approach for other tourism cities throughout Thailand, helping create economic benefits for the local cities and distribute the income to local people. This model is to help create economic for local cities and diffuse the income to local people. Meanwhile, tourists will get peace of mind from a secure service, standard prices and convenient payment that comes with the standard ride-hailing service.

“We will bring this model to negotiations with the government. This model addresses traffic problems in the city, diffuses revenue to local people and facilitates tourists [visiting] cities across the country. Tourism contributes around one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) each year. We will expand this model in 16 cities in eight provinces [where we have] service footprints,” said Tarin.

He said the company is resisted in Thailand, despite having contributed to the country through paying income tax, having collaborative projects with the government such as a co-marketing campaign to promote tourism in emerging provinces with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and collaborating with the local government administrations in Buri Ram to offer on-demand transport during the MotoGP Buriram event.

Under the super app concept, Tarin said, Grab has moved beyond on-demand transportation to also emphasise its on-demand delivery services for food, groceries, and parcel delivery. Thais place around 10 million orders monthly for all kinds of Grab service.

Grab Food, an on-demand food delivery service, has become the rising star business for Grab Thailand with 40-times growth in 2018. It received more than 3 million orders and completed transactions last year.

“We piloted Grab Food in 2017 before official launching it in 2018, and became the market leader in the third quarter of last year. In the first quarter of 2019, we also surged in our growth. In only one week during the Chinese New Year in 2018 in Thailand we delivered 800,000 dishes to people,” said Tarin.

The company partnered with Central Group to expand its Grab Food merchant base and to offer a multi-stop food ordering service with Central Restaurant Group. Currently, Grab Food is available in only Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen, but this year it will expand its on-demand food delivery service to at least another six cities in its footprint. It also plans to offer new service innovations such as Grab Kitchen, scheduled to roll out in the third quarter of this year. It aims to expand collaboration across food-supply chains to strengthen the food delivery ecosystem.

Additionally, Grab Express, an on-demand parcel delivery service, launched in July 2018, and is growing as e-commerce and on-demand logistics services become increasingly popular. Meanwhile, the Grab Pay payment and financial services, a joint investment between Grab and Kasikornbank, and Grab Reward, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, are also on track to expand this year.

Aggressive investment

Region-wide, the company plans a rapid expansion throughout Southeast Asia and has announced plans to raise US$6.5 billion (Bt206.6 billion) in capital by the end of this year. Grab will also seek to invest aggressively, with a commitment to make at least six investments or acquisitions across the region in 2019.

Underpinning Grab’s growth is the backing of SoftBank and other key strategic investors who have put in over $4.5 billion in Grab’s current Series H round. Last month, Grab secured a $1.46 billion investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund. Grab’s partnership with SoftBank runs deep, and the two companies have been working together since 2014.

Anthony Tan, Grab’s co-founder and CEO, said that the support from strategic investors like SoftBank and others, will allow Grab to grow very aggressively this year across verticals of payments, transport and food.

“At our current growth rates, we expect to be four times bigger than our closest competitor in Indonesia and across the region by the end of the year. As we grow to become the leading super app in Southeast Asia, we see massive opportunities to expand our business and continue to serve our customers, driver-partners and merchants across Southeast Asia,” said Tan.

Grab president Ming Maa said that among other key markets, Indonesia in particular will see Grab invest a significant portion of fresh proceeds. Grab’s Indonesian business is expanding rapidly, with revenue more than doubling in 2018. GrabFood is experience rapid growth in that nation, operating in 178 Indonesian cities, up from 13 at the start of last year, and with delivery volumes growing almost 10 times in 2018.

“In line with the tremendous transformation that Southeast Asia is currently undergoing, the opportunity is ripe for us to further grow in domains like healthcare and financial services among others. We are set to make at least six investments or acquisitions this year, and raise $6.5 billion in total capital by the end of the year,” said Maa.

GET: a second choice for super app 

GET is an on-demand multi-service application developed for Thailand, driven by a Thai founding team and backed by Gojek’s technology, expertise and investment. GET provides a range of services, including on-demand transportation (GET Win), food delivery (GET Food), parcels (GET Delivery) and financial services (GET Pay).

Pinya Nittayakasetwat, co-founder and chief executive officer of GET, said it is expanding services to cover all of Bangkok’s districts in response to growing demand. GET will soon be operating in all 50 districts in Bangkok, offering GET Win, GET Food and GET Delivery. GET officially launched its services in February and after just one month, the company saw 65-per-cent growth in user numbers, with the total number of its app downloads exceeding 300,000.

“We are a super app, we offer a platform to users that includes food, messenger, transportation, and payment,” sums up Pinya.

GET is continuing to improve its service quality, including tweaks to service speed and price. Currently, more than 10,000 drivers are registered on the GET platform.

GET was founded with the goal of using technology to improve people’s lives in Thailand, by providing access to products and services, creating more value for society by promoting efficiency and productivity, and improving financial inclusion.

GET aims to offer a choice that benefits Thai consumers. Users have more choices and that has forced GET’s rivals to improve their quality of service and reduce their prices.

The ride-hailing penetration rate in Thailand is only 3.6 per cent of the total population, while food delivery is only 1.6 per cent. Other Southeast Asian countries – Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia – have double-digit penetration. Taiwan has 60 per cent penetration in food delivery. For Thailand, it is expected to grow to double-digit participation.

There are two key reasons for the adoption lag in Thailand. The first issue is that government regulations are not yet open to ride-hailing; the second is that Thais have more specialised needs that require innovation in food delivery services.

“Thailand remains a market with a lot of room to grow, and the competition is good for the market and for consumers and the supply chain and government,” said Pinya.

In Thailand, only middle- to upper-income people can order food via apps due to the need to pay a Bt60 delivery service fee. GET’s mission is to offer innovation in food delivery service in order to lower that price point to reach the larger market of lower-income people and to let them to

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