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GOOGLE DUPLEX: FRESH NEW TECHNOLOGY BY GOOGLE UNDERSTANDS AND INTERACTS WITH CONVERSATION

Relief is on the way for your busy days, or for those who absolutely hate wasting time on the telephone. Imagine scheduling appointments, making reservations at restaurants, and conducting all of the time-stealing tasks throughout the day that keep you on hold without ever picking up the phone or even sitting down to type out a text or email. How is this possible? This ultra convenience is being developed with new technology, called Google Duplex, that is coursing excitement through amazed onlookers and taking the concept of Alexa to a whole new level, and freshly just announced at Google I/O 2018.

Google I/O is an annual conference presented by Google. It is intended mainly for developers, but savvy observers realize that it’s also when Google makes some big product announcements. This year, CEO Sundar Pichai amazed the audience when he demonstrated the innovation of Google Duplex by showing off actual conversations that had the technology make phone calls, schedule an appointment for a hairdresser, and even inserted a personalized, “mmhmm” to the conversation. By the end of the phone call, Google Duplex had successfully scheduled an appointment for a haircut as the ultimate assistant without the hairdresser at the salon realizing she was speaking to AI technology in place of a live person.

Pichai explained how this interactive technology that not only routinely and remotely goes through the steps of a process that has been programmed into a computer chip, but actually picks up on the nuance of the conversation to the point of redirecting its response when the conversation takes unexpected turns. He further demonstrated an example of having Google Duplex call a restaurant to make a reservation, and the person on the other end of the phone presented confusing information. This new technology didn’t miss a beat, even responding with a casual, “Gotcha, yes!”

Keep your eyes and ears out for this advancement in the ultimate assistant to be rolled out for you to use after testing and complex training is complete. Testing for Google Duplex is expected to take place this summer. Listen to the live conversations and learn more about this new technology on Google’s published blog post. Google hopes that it will not only be a virtual assistant that interacts and responds like a real human voice but also for it to be able to automatically and immediately update information on sitemap searches such as holiday hours.

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APPLE WATCH RESPONSIVE DESIGN

After hearing that a dev/jailbreaker named Comex had already hacked a browser onto the Apple watch (source), we at MOBO decided to get one step ahead, ensuring our site was responsively designed and adapted for the Apple Watch.

We spent a fair amount of time researching if anyone has done this yet (preparing website’s for Apple Watch visits), and from what we could gather, no one has really done so thus far. As such this Apple Watch responsive design was very much a shot in the dark, we had no previous research to go on, nor any solid technological implementation practices by anyone else, and very little user experience usage or history to go by.

So luckily it has been a few fun days working with the Apple Watch and hacking the browser, doing all the work off our own backs and just generally playing around with settings.

In the end we’ve opted for a very simple implementation, giving our users 4 options:

  1. iMessage.
  2. Email
  3. Twitter profile
  4. Click to call us which hooks up to the standard calling API

We’ve integrated this through 3 main responsive/device detection techniques, currently we’re mainly relying on User-Agent String sniffing from the PHP side ($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];) as well as certain HTTP headers to detect Apple Watch’s browser –  we’ll have to keep on eye on this method as further developers implement their own Jailbreak browsers. We have also got a backup CSS media query, but we really don’t want to rely on that as it involves loading the whole original site in the background, which is just pointless.

This is very much a still a work in progress, follow us on Twitter / Facebook for updates.

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF OUR DIRECTOR/WEB DEVELOPER

We’ve noticed over the past few years that our general studio manager, who plays a very varied role in our company, from being a director, through to getting his hands dirty in all types of web development, seems to have a fairly robust and rigid daily routine. Noticing this we decided to task Alex with tracking an average day and reporting back to us, here it is:

Alex had this to say:

Over the last few years I’ve developed the same rough routine, not necessarily in the same order or even the same day, but I segment each task into a separate repeatable routine, that way no matter where I need to do that task I can carry it out in the same modularised way.

The thinking behind this was you can save minutes on each task just by being efficient, and over the course of your life these saved minutes quickly add up to months, even years. For example, I never wait for anything… boiling the kettle? Do something else whilst it does so (in my case morning squats).. waiting for a download? Don’t just sit there, do something else at the same time. This may all sound very full on and hard work, but I believe in a rough mantra of: “Work thoroughly, relax hard”, if you work solidly for each task and just get it done, the minutes you save can then be put towards real solid relaxation that actually pays off.

7:30 Wake Up
Check for any critical/important emails then briefly scan all notifications on phone.

7:40 Breakfast
50 squats and stretches whilst kettle is boiling.
Cereal with milk and Black Coffee, always.

7:55 Further check of phone/social media

8:20 Ride bike to work

I don’t always ride my bike to work, but in the summer I try to as often as possible. It takes me 21 minutes to ride my bicycle to work (tracked with Strava!) or 25 minutes to drive due to the traffic in Cardiff

My bike rides are tracked with Strava to monitor efficiency and the overall ups and downs in travel time. (Bit of a data nerd).

8:43 Arrive at work

9:00 – 10:00 Go through all work emails

I try to only check emails in bulk, constantly checking emails multiple times an hour is so ineffective, so much time is wasted opening the browser/mail app, refreshing, checking, waiting, scanning, replying, I find it best to save all those variables for designated checks and get it all done in one bulk go, much more efficient.

10:00 Team planning meeting, briefly discuss what’s on the agenda for the day

10:30 – 11:00 Social Networking

I have a list of web blogs in a bookmark folder that I can open all in one go, I scan through all of these every day to check out the latest tech and web news, anything from the latest web design tools through to SEO news

11:00 – 11:05 – Snack and Coffee
In this case it was a MyProtein cookie, banana was saved for just before my ride home.

11:05 – 12:30 – Project Work
Clients projects, websites, blog posts.

12:30 – 13:00 – “Website once overs”
Health checks of sites, hosting, blog performance and updating of software.

13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch
Usually soup or salad brought from home, in one of our MOBO chill out areas.

I’m finding it increasingly more important to get an hour away from the office chair/screen, I spend the majority of my life in the same position and staring at the same bright iMac – it’s vital to get some time away and let your body and eyes chill out.

14:00 – 14:45 – Client emails and Client Catch Ups via phone/email

14:45 – 17:00 – Web Development and Coding of new/existing projects

17:00 – 17:30 – Final project tidy ups, check Google Analytics / Webmasters for key client sites

17:35 – 17:55 – Bike ride home!

18:00 – 23:00 – Home

Dinner, video games, further checks of work emails every now and then throughout the evening, prepare clothes/lunch and lay out breakfast for the next day.

No TV? Yeah I don’t watch TV, if I do I will watch episodes of TV shows directly online (Netflix, on Demand etc), with no adverts. So much time is wasted on adverts if you watch TV. If you spend 4 hours a night watching traditional TV, 1 hour of that on average will just be adverts.

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CLOUD BASED EPOS SOFTWARE EPOSOFT GOES LIVE!

At Mobo we were incredibly humbled when asked to design the Eposoft website; and with a lot of code and a lot more coffee it is finally live! Being the tech geeks that we are we love designing for fellow passionate techies, with the Eposoft.co.uk team being just that!

What does Eposoft do?

The company offer cloud-based EPOS software to businesses all over the globe, specialising in the takeaway industry. Permitting the hungry to order their takeaways through a slick, modern system eposoft.co.uk adds value to the takeaway industry, allowing such companies to bring their business into the modern age of ordering. Being the brains behind the ordering system of Slice, the latest pizza joint in Cardiff, they are already making waves locally.

Their homepage explains:

‘At Eposoft we provide a unique website and online ordering system through which our clients can receive orders online and also allows them to take orders within their takeaway or restaurant in no time using our multifunctional Epos software’.

Pricing 

Where such services are infamously pricey Epostoft.co.uk aims to open up the market, rolling out cost effective solutions to ensure great customer service within the industry.

The Company Director states:

‘We created Eposoft.co.uk as there was evidently a need and a space for it in the market, with low-quality, dated systems being bought that were incredibly overpriced. Offering 3 different packages we help local and national takeaway stores and chains streamline their business and satisfy customers’.

Check out Eposoft.co.uk’s new site and tell us what you think!

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MOBO BRANCH OUT INTO 3D VISUAL RENDERING AND VR

Here at MOBO we are are constantly expanding on our suite of digital services, now adding 3D Visual Rendering and VR into the mix.

3D Visual Rendering & Virtual Reality Cardiff

Employing in-house 3D specialists who boast an impressive track record, our team has worked on many projects with various types of clients, working creatively to bring strict briefs to life. Utilising the immense possibilities Unreal Technology can provide, our team works to ‘bring projects to life’, whether that be visualising a new building for a construction company, a football stadium, or a new office space; the sky really is the limit when it comes to Virtual Reality (VR).

Using a VR headset, our team can imagine room-space like no other, providing an unparalleled visual experience that never fails to impress.

Working with clients from all industries in every corner of the country, this national service has already been made use of by various Welsh firms, with the below images all 100% rendered.

3D Visual Rendering and Virtual Reality

So, whether you are based in Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham or even Edinburgh, be sure that MOBO can deliver an exceptional 3D Visual Rendering and VR service. Due to the fact that this service is new, we are offering competitive rates for VR work. For more information  contact us today and speak with any one of our friendly team members.