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Amsterdam’s Environmental Saviour: The Circular Economy
Financial Tech

Amsterdam’s Environmental Saviour: The Circular Economy

Raw materials are a finite resource. As the number of industries which rely on these resources increases.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
We Spend 87% Of Our Lives In Buildings. Make Yours A Strategic Asset
Future

We Spend 87% Of Our Lives In Buildings. Make Yours A Strategic Asset

Everyone remembers that feeling of horror when you read your first Google Privacy Agreement. I still feel uneasy now.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
8 Years On, Amsterdam is Still Leading the Way as a Smart City
Apps

8 Years On, Amsterdam is Still Leading the Way as a Smart City

The Startup Capital of Europe is a Hub for Tech and Innovation There are 1281 bridges in Amsterdam. This might seem like a fairly throwaway fact to most of us, but to the Amsterdam Smart City Initiative, it’s a huge leap forward. Because until this year, we didn’t know how many bridges there were. With […]

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Smart Cities: Ordinary Citizens Were The Missing Link All Along
Future

Smart Cities: Ordinary Citizens Were The Missing Link All Along

A single tweet from a student in Seoul reduced annual car trips by 2.3m It’s easy to feel alienated from the smart city conversation when all you hear about are hi-tech concepts like self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. But so far, the lessons learned from actually building a smart city have taught us that we […]

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Finally, the EU is giving you control of your banking data
Financial Tech

Finally, the EU is giving you control of your banking data

No, it’s not R2D2’s cousin. PSD2 is the second iteration of an EU banking directive, and its main aim is to protect consumers. Now we all know that banking legislation isn’t usually considered exciting, but PSD2 is arriving in 2018 to shake up the system and give bank customers control of their financial data, and businesses an opportunity to compete in the financial services.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Health Apps: From Lifesaving To Life-Threatening
Apps

Health Apps: From Lifesaving To Life-Threatening

eHealth is here. If you’ve ever had a consultation with your doctor over the phone, checked how many daily steps you’ve taken with your wearable, or used those do-it-yourself weight, height and blood pressure checkers in a waiting room – then you’re already part of the revolution.

And it’s a revolution we need. The demand for health services is outstripping supply and will be put under further pressure as populations continue to swell. Technology for collecting and connecting geographical disease data has the potential to prevent epidemics like Ebola and Zika, and track the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. Apps and serious games can soothe the mental health crisis. And caring for an ageing world population can be made more efficient with sensors and remote online services.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
IoT is the Future of Healthcare – it’s Cheap, Advanced and Universal
E-Health

IoT is the Future of Healthcare – it’s Cheap, Advanced and Universal

A United Healthcare System with the ‘Internet of Things’ Health is the most important thing in life. IBM, who have invested over $4 billion in healthcare technology acquisitions, promises the Internet of Things will supply better care for patients and relieve the pressure on healthcare staff – all while saving providers money. In 10 years, […]

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Better quality products. Less wastage. Fewer labour costs: AI has been misunderstood
Artificial Intelligence

Better quality products. Less wastage. Fewer labour costs: AI has been misunderstood

Many of us are already using AI; our Spotify accounts are recommender systems that create personalised playlists, we play video games with AI opponents, and translate text just by pointing a phone camera at the words. Artificial Intelligence is a broad term used to describe the ability for a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour. A big part of this is machine learning; creating computers that can learn new rules and parameters without the need to be manually programmed. The technology has been misunderstood and misrepresented for many years (thanks Terminator), but now companies and consumers recognise the value and potential of artificial intelligence.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
How the Internet of Things will Future-Proof your Company
Internet of things

How the Internet of Things will Future-Proof your Company

What is the ‘Internet of Things’ and why should I care? The Internet of Things is already changing your life. The simplest definition is ‘things connecting to the Internet and each other’. This sounds very basic until you realise this means your fridge can send you a text to let you know the milk has […]

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Why it’s a good idea to build a chatbot for your business
Artificial Intelligence

Why it’s a good idea to build a chatbot for your business

A robot that chats with your website visitors? Doesn’t sound customer friendly at all, does it? Personal to say the least. Well, the opposite is true actually. Building a chatbot could be a real asset to your website. In this blog we’ll explain why.

The popularity of internet shopping has been increasing greatly over the last years and it will probably keep increasing. The main reason people head to the web to buy stuff is its speed and simplicity. A chatbot can make that process even faster and easier. But wait, we’re not talking about shopping specifically. A chatbot could be useful for any website that provides services for their customers. Good chance yours is one of them.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Recording audio with Laravel and VueJS using WebRTC (part 2)
Code

Recording audio with Laravel and VueJS using WebRTC (part 2)

It has been a while since the article on how to build the front-end of  a web application that enables you to record an audio snippet on the web-end, which then could be played back using native apps. We have talked about choosing between native, hybrid or no-app development before, and in this case we felt that using a native app would deliver the best user experience.

Last time, we ended up with a recording URL and the raw recording data. To be able to use this data inside mobile apps, we need to do a couple of steps:

Get the audio from the front-end to the back-end
Convert the audio from OGG to a more platform-agnostic and mobile native file format (in this case, AAC suited our needs)
Store the recording URL inside the database
Access the recording from mobile apps
To simplify, we will be using a simple GET request to access the recording from a mobile app. In production, you’d want to have this behind some sort of authorization layer and only expose the API you need.

IMPORTANT NOTE: At time of writing, VueJS is version 2.2.1, which means that some things we discussed in the previous article might have changed from version 1.x to 2.x. I will rewrite this article soon to be up-to-date with the changes in Vue 2.x

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
@SXSW17 Machines as humans’ new best friend?
Artificial Intelligence

@SXSW17 Machines as humans’ new best friend?

Designing emotionally intelligent machines Sophie Kleber of HUGE, New York, gave an inspiring presentation about designing emotions within artificial intelligence. A research project on people and conversational ui’s, conducted by Huge, showed that people expected some sort of relationship with their conversational user interface. These expectations ranged from empathy to emotional support to active advice. There were […]

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Will autonomous cars and Hyperloop One affect real estate?
Future

Will autonomous cars and Hyperloop One affect real estate?

I consider myself as an urban person. When I was 20 I moved to Amsterdam and I never moved back to where I came from, nor to a place similar to that. I love the vivid vibe, the people, the nightlife, the business, and the feeling that everything I need is close to me. But what if I could live in the peaceful surroundings of i.e. “De Veluwe” (1,5 hours by car from Amsterdam) and I could still travel less than half an hour door-to-door to my office in Amsterdam? I’ve been thinking about that a lot, and I’m entirely sure that I’d be living in that peaceful place, having some nature around me, the serenity, space, and so on. All this while I keep my daily life in the city.

To get to the point; I can’t be the only one who thinks that. And when I am not the only one who thinks that, then what will that do to the value of real estate? Are we facing de-urbanisation? The question here is if people would still live in urban places if technology can get them out of the city, 100 kilometres away, in around 20 minutes, at any moment they like. I’m not Nostradamus, but I think many people would exchange their apartment in a busy city for a spacious home around nature, while keeping their job in urban surroundings.

I’m always busy with new technologies and lately I can talk for hours about both Elon Musk’s “Hyperloop” and autonomous cars. I knew about both technologies for quite a while, and although both Hyperloop and autonomous cars are incredible innovations on its own, together these innovations are going to impact our world in a way we’ve never seen before.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5
Recording audio with Laravel and VueJS using WebRTC (part 1)
Code

Recording audio with Laravel and VueJS using WebRTC (part 1)

In one of our newest projects, our client wanted to be able to record an audio snippet using a web application, and subsequently open this recording in a mobile app. We knew this could be done using Adobe Flash, but since support for Flash is ending rapidly in modern browsers, and the numerous security issues Flash has, we decided to use the new WebRTC APIs that are supported in the latest modern browsers.

The development stack for this application uses Laravel for the back-end API and VueJS (including vue-resource) for the front-end. We used the getUserMedia API to handle the recordings.

Lauren Macpherson
Lauren Macpherson Director of Content, Eli5