Square Off, the team that introduced the world to the smartest chessboard, has come up with their latest innovations – Square Off Neo and Swap.
Square Off Neo, an ultra-affordable, automated chessboard, and Swap, a first-of-its-kind, multi-board game device, have scored big – raising more than $625,000 from 3700+ backers in no more than 29 days. On the last day of their campaign, Neo and Swap stood at 1253% funded over the goal amount of $50,000.
So how did Square Off manage to grab the attention of backers?
Square Off’s products function in the upcoming realm of connected board gaming, with a focus on automated movements, adaptive AI, multi-gaming, global connectivity, and personalized coaching – all at an affordable price point – making the boards quite desirable in the innovators and early adopters’ circles.
Square Off launched their pioneering automated chessboard in 2016. For the first time, players could connect with and play against other players from around the world, on their very own board through the power of telerobotics. What started with the first successful Kickstarter campaign, turned into more than 20,000 satisfied users, over $4 Million dollars in revenue, and $1.6 Million in equity funding from investors like Kstart Capital, India Quotient and RB Capital.
Speaking about their recent success, Bhavya Gohil, CEO, said, “The last few months have been an exciting and enriching roller-coaster ride. We went into this with utmost faith and conviction in our idea and while we knew it has legs, we were absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the response we received. However, this is just the beginning for us. With Neo our vision was of the quintessential chessboard that’s meant for every home and with Swap we’ve attempted to revolutionize the board gaming surface and hence experience altogether. We are pushing the envelope for smart, automated board games and we plan on following it up with more innovations in the near future.”
Features of Square Off Neo
Square Off Neo is the next generation of smartboard games that is taking chess to the future. It’s a lighter, faster, affordable chessboard for every household that’s packed with adaptive AI that can be challenged up to 30 difficulty levels, personalized chess coaching, and 1.5X faster movements. With a seamless, no-press movement of pieces and an absolutely silent machinery, the board is quite an update from its predecessors.
Features of Square Off Swap
Square Off Swap offers users the convenience of playing multiple board games on the same surface. Think of it as a pioneering console for board games. The board comes with four games – Chess, Draughts, Halma or Connect 4 – to begin with and it also allows players to develop their own games which can be played on its 8X8 checkered surface. Like Neo, Swap too is globally connected – so whether your opponent is in a different room or a different continent, the game still goes on! Swap also packs in the Blitz Chess feature which introduces speed chess to the Square Off range of products.
Speaking on the journey ahead for Square Off, Atur Mehta, Co-founder & CTO, said, “Since Kickstarter comprises of tech and innovation enthusiasts, it makes for the perfect testing ground for innovations like ours, before we launch the product into the actual market. We’ve received a lot of valuable feedback and insights over the last month and our next step is to head to China to complete the R&D and work on the mechanics of the boards. We aim to start the delivery for both the boards by June 2020.”
3 ways how leaders can adapt to the changing landscape by AI
Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. It is breaking boundaries and pushing the limits across every industry. It is changing the world around us and significantly impacting our professional lives.
AI is drastically transforming business functions — manufacturing, logistics, finance, operations, customer support, etc. — and is opening doors for new jobs. It is also broadly reforming all business stakeholders’ job roles — including frontline executives, C-suite executives, vendors, suppliers, distributors, and customers.
When technology has such massive potential, how can companies remain oblivious to it?
We are going through the Industrial Revolution 4.0 that will transform the way we work forever. Many scientists and business gurus predict that this revolution will have a more significant impact than the internet revolution of the ’90s.
If you look closely, then you will realize that what they say is true. The following points illustrate the differences in a tabular form.
|Internet Revolution||AI Revolution|
|1. Encouraged human-to-human collaboration.||1. Is encouraging machine-to-human collaboration|
|2. Video conferencing, emails, and social media are the three best examples of the Internet revolution.||2. Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) will revolutionize human-to-human collaboration forever.|
|3. Allows managers to send and receive timely notifications and alerts.||3. Allows managers to analyze reports and enables them to base their strategies on data.|
|4. Allows managers to allot tasks to their team members.||4. Allows managers to monitor the performance of their employees and provide corrective action.|
|5. Allows the support team to provide help to customers via phone, email, and call.||5. Allows the support team to install chatbots that gather essential customer information and provide answers to trivial questions.|
|6. Allows employees to work from remote workstations and serve customers from geographically distant places.||6. Allows the company to install Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that performs functions quickly without human intervention.|
|7. Gave rise to new jobs such as data entry, form filling, payroll management, etc.||7. Is automatizing trivial jobs. AI is thousand times efficient and a million times faster than humans. It also eliminates human errors.|
|8. Collates business-centric information in a single repository and provides access to all business stakeholders.||8. Not only collates information but also finds out patterns, structures, and errors in data.|
The above table lists 8 reasons for how AI is transforming businesses globally. AI will find more applications in the coming times, and leaders need to be ready to welcome them.
Let’s look at 3 ways how leaders can adapt to the changing landscape by AI:
1. Jobs are transforming at a fast pace
Every business has to comply with government regulations and has to keep the customer’s interest in mind. This gives rise to specific trivial jobs that eat up the employees’ time, such as form filling, collecting customer data, creating reports, data entry, payroll management, etc.
The Internet revolution of the early ’90s gave rise to such jobs. The economy improved by leaps and bounds as employment opportunities rose exponentially. But companies realized that humans have a downside as well. We aren’t good at maintaining records and are prone to making errors. In some cases, companies made heavy losses due to human errors. But due to the lack of any suitable alternative, they had no choice.
With the emergence of AI, companies have to bear the negative consequences no longer as it can handle trivial jobs efficiently and eliminate human errors. Realizing this advantage, companies are investing heavily in RPA and other software such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. ERP systems, such as Sage 300Cloud, is helping companies manage business-critical operations like manufacturing, logistics, finance, supply chain relationships, and inventory management at the click of a button. CRM software like Sage CRM allows companies to instantly resolve customer queries, strengthen customer bonds, manage payroll management, and easily monitor employees’ performance.
As jobs’ nature is changing, managers need to keep an eye on the corporate world’s new realities. AI is revolutionizing yesteryear jobs, and companies need to be quick in transforming their functions. Even a small delay can degrade their status from leaders to laggers.
2. Conduct periodic training sessions for your employees
Training is a necessary element for all employees. It allows them to understand the changing demands of the industry and enables them to upgrade their skills. Gone are the days when a college degree guaranteed a managerial post. Today, if you don’t polish your skills, you will be shown the door.
In the cut-throat competitive world we live, it’s essential to hold training sessions for your employees and upskill them. Failing to do so will make your workforce obsolete and negatively impact the overall functioning of the company. For example, AI has made all the front desk jobs redundant. You no longer need a human to sit on the front desk and answer people’s questions. An AI can engage with thousands of callers simultaneously and provide them solutions. This helps the company to serve more customers and also save money.
But sometimes a chatbot doesn’t know what to do. In such conditions, it forwards the query to its human counterparts, who then take up the issue and provide unique solutions or recommendations.
This is where training plays a significant role. You will have to train your support service team to handle chatbots. They should have working knowledge of programming chatbots and employing troubleshooting algorithms when required. This strategy will increase the productivity of the employees and allow them to focus on issues that require human ingenuity, emotions, and intelligence, such as:
a. Brainstorming marketing strategies
b. Building target segments
c. Creating niches
d. Charting financial plan
e. Designing a Vision, Mission, and Values (VMV) statement
f. Studying competitors
3. Planning for the future
Forecasting the future requires a strong foundation on data to help the management team understand the changing business landscape. A combination of logic and creativity is essential for estimating how the industry shapes and performs in the future.
AI provides a fertile ground on which companies can build their bases. Other technologies, such as Machine Learning, Web Application, Neural Networks, Data Analytics, etc. also play a crucial role in carefully analyzing the market.
It also provides a blueprint that allows companies to allocate resources optimally and use them judiciously. The COVID-19 pandemic has displayed how useful AI and related technologies are. They have breathed new life into businesses. By integrating AI with ERP and CRM systems, companies have been able to do the following:
a. Retail stores suffered a massive loss in footfalls. AI helped them set up online portals, segregate customers based on their needs, wants, and wishlists, and thus increase demands.
b. Non-COVID patients were discouraged from visiting clinics. AI allowed doctors to provide primary healthcare to patients remotely. It also sends timely reminders regarding medicines, healthcare articles, and allows patients to arrange one-to-one sessions with doctors.
c. AI-enabled ERP systems check the inventory levels from time to time. As soon as the number of raw materials falls below the set threshold level, it automatically places orders with the vendor.
d. Since social distancing is the only way to avoid contracting the virus, the accumulation and disbursal of products in/from the warehouse have become a problem. AI-enabled ERP systems control robots that help in storing and moving products from point A to B smoothly.
e. Companies are finding difficulties in serving their customers appropriately as public transport facilities have either shut down or are not functioning at their optimum level. AI-enabled CRM systems have come as a boon. They are enabling the support team to provide top-notch services through video-conferences and calls.
f. AI-enabled CRM systems also record each customer’s specific details and suggest ways to effectively deal with them.
The AI revolution is creating ripples in the business landscape. The customers’ aspirations, stakeholder relationships, transaction procedures, and support processes will undergo a massive transformation. You cannot survive without incorporating AI and related technologies in your business blueprint in times of cut-throat competition.
Managers need to revamp their business processes and mold themselves according to the changing times. This article will enable managers to focus on the three main points — The changing nature of jobs, the importance of conducting periodic training sessions, and forecasting a good plan for the future — and help them make winning strategies for their business.
About the Author:
Nishant likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of modern-day and age like Web Apps, machine learning, data science, AI, and robotics. His expertise in content marketing has helped grow countless business opportunities. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of CRM and ERP Application to small and mid-sized businesses in India.
Perspectico Launches AI-based Job preparation platform for college graduates
The spread of the novel coronavirus has interrupted how graduates were preparing to enter the job market. Uncertainty about job opportunities and disruption to regular routines has led students to a stressful job search. To provide ease to students, Perspectico, an edtech startup launches AI-Based job preparation platform for college graduates. With this launch, the startup aims to create a positive job ecosystem for 2cr college students.
Launching the AI-Based Preparation Platform, Nikhil Chainani – Founder; Perspectico commented, “With our research &development we have seen that college graduates when looking for a job becomes very confused as most of the job platforms are scattered. Keeping this in mind, we built this common tech platform that will help not only have all the details on job opening but it will also prepare them to find their right job thus providing the right direction & guidance so that they can shine in their respective careers.”
This job preparation platform is India’s first relevant and guided job preparation tool. This will help the students with all the recommendations and evaluation which is required to get fully prepared for the job market.
The highlight of AI-based the platform is that it provides a market place for job openings across India to the college graduates on a real-time basis. In case students profile is not suitable, the AI Engine recommends the online course to improve their areas that need attention. A student can also undertake a self-evaluation test to measure competencies. These tests include subjective, MCQ &Situational test.
In addition, students are provided with Preparation materials, in-house courses, mentorship and interview guidance.
How AI is Transforming Insurtech
Technological advancements are continuing to transform the way we live, work, and get insurance. The insurance industry is being disrupted by tools designed to improve efficiency and accuracy; this evolution has been dubbed insurtech, and startups across the country and globe are implementing AI into their insurance coverage process.
One of the biggest benefits for utilizing artificial intelligence in the insurance sector is risk mitigation. Computers can scour through data to make more informed decisions in seconds.
Keeping reading to learn about how artificial intelligence is improving processes in the insurance industry.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
To understand how AI is transforming insurance it’s important to understand what artificial intelligence is and the many ways it can be beneficial in risk mitigation.
Artificial intelligence is a technology that helps computers solve problems and think rationally, similar to how humans make decisions. Computers can scour through tons of data to make a rational decision based on facts and critical thinking way faster than a human ever could.
Two of the most popular sectors of AI are deep learning and machine learning. Machine learning predicts outcomes and weighs risks by analyzing data to find trends and predict future outcomes. For example, a car insurance company could use data around specific age groups and genders to predict driving patterns.
Deep learning improves speed and efficiency by teaching computers to lead by example. Artificial neural networks help computers complete tasks that human workers would normally accomplish, allowing workers to focus on more high-level tasks and spend less time on repetitive ones.
Artificial Intelligence and Insurance
AIs main goal is to teach machines to make trusted, accurate decisions that are free from human error. This makes insurtech especially valuable to insurance companies who can save big by predicting outcomes and identifying risks.
Here are some of the ways insurtech companies are utilizing AI today:
- Automated underwriting
AI is improving speed and efficiency in consumer insurance through automated underwriting. This is speeding up the claims process by having customers file claims directly online rather than talking to an insurance agent. Users can submit photos of an accident and the automated underwriting software can assess damage cost instantly. Other features of automated underwriting include built-in claim tracking and reporting. SAAS software makes this possible, paper-less, and free from human error.
- Preventing Fraud and Blocking Hacking
Insurtech is also helping prevent insurance fraud. The FBI estimates that approximately $40 billion is stolen through insurance fraud each year, which in turn actually raises all customer rates while also impacting business costs. AI can track irregular customer behaviors and claims to identify fraud in real time. The technology can also help block hacking.
- Adding Personalization to Solutions
No two accidents are ever the same. Insurtech allows carriers and customers to personalize their solutions. If someone had a bad driving history but has since changed their behavior, they can request an AI tracking application to analyze their driving and then generate a rate based on current behavior. Safe drivers would be less risky to insure and be charged a lower rate.
- Offering 24/7 Accessibility for Customers
Another thing that artificial intelligence can provide is 24/7 access without having to employ 24/7 staff. Accidents can happen anytime but chat box software allows customers to get information (even at 3 a.m. on a Monday) without having to get an agent on the line. This allows insurance companies to provide around-the-clock value while saving big on staffing costs.
Artificial intelligence allows insurance companies to make faster, more informed decisions while also speeding up their processes, all to the benefit of the customer. Accurate risk mitigation ultimately gets customers more accurate rates and helps insurance companies save.
To learn about the startups that are utilizing AI to transform the insurance industry check out the infographic from The Zebra below!
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