If you had a busy week on your hands, which didn't leave you much time to remain updated with the things happening in the world of tech, don't you worry, we have got you covered. www.indianweb2.com brings to you the tech wrap up of this week.

1) EY’s Tesseract Aims To Speed Up Future of Automotive Industry With Blockchain

Blockchain is all set to make huge waves in the automotive world, courtesy England headquartered multinational professional services firm EY’s new project. The global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services is currently working on “Tesseract,” an integrated platform that will be capable of digitally logging vehicles and trips onto a blockchain while allowing a multi-party vehicle ownership.

According to EY, the new platform will bring a much needed relief to the shared-use vehicle ownership customers by solving some of the fundamental problems associated with the market. In addition to this, Tesseract will also be significantly enhancing the whole shared ownership experience through the integration of mobile technology with vehicles.

The new platform will allow its operators to innovate, commercialize and scale new mobility businesses and revenue models. The project is expected to result in an increase in vehicle utilisation, reduce wastage and ultimately lead to creation of a greener and much more sustainable transport world.

2) WhatsApp To Launch A Standalone App For Business Accounts

After verified Twitter handles, Facebook pages, Instagram profiles, it is now time to welcome verified WhatsApp profiles. Seeing the huge way in which the app is being utilised by businesses all around the world, the Facebook-owned messaging service has now started the process of verifying verifying business accounts. Not only this, the app, which boosts of having over 1 billion users, is also planning on soon launching a standalone app for corporations to chat with customers. The information was uncovered from a recently posted page hidden in WhatsApp’s support website and a thorough analysis of the app’s code.

The support page, “Verified Business Accounts,” the messaging service shares that it has now started verifying business accounts and how each of the verified WhatsApp profile will have a green checkmark right next to their username. The verification will testify that the particular account and number officially belongs to a business.

3) Uber Drivers Will Now Have To Take Selfies Before Each Ride

In order to build confidence among Uber users to use its services anywhere, anytime without giving a second thought about security, the global cab-hailing superpower has introduced a new feature that requires Uber drivers to take a selfie before accepting rides.

Aimed at avoiding duplication of driver details and curb the slowly spreading trend of impersonation by unregistered drivers, the newly launched facial recognition ID approval system for drivers is already live in Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Lucknow. It will soon be rolled out in other Uber Indian cities as well.

Whenever an Uber driver takes a selfie for validation before beginning his/hed ride, specific features of the driver are extracted from taken image and matched to the image available in company records. In order to provide a smooth experience to both its customers and drivers, the process takes place in real-time at in the IT backhaul.

4) Airtel, Symantec Join Hands To Provide Cyber Security Solutions To Indian Biz

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator has signed a strategic alliance with Symantec, a cyber security provider to provide cyber security solutions to businesses in India.
According to the agreement, Airtel will be the exclusive cyber security services partner for Symantec in India. Not only this, it will further distribute Symantec’s enterprise security software in India. The deal period or the terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

This strategic alliance comes amid an increase in cyber attacks over the past few months, including incidents like Petya and WannaCry that disrupted systems across the world.

5) Robotics and AI Venturing Attempts Among Reasons For Vishal Sikka’s Exit From Infosys

Once the poster boy for IT success in India, Infosys seldom finds place in the newspapers nowadays. Whenever it does manage to grab some place, it is mostly for all the wrong reasons. This time around the once IT superpower of India is in the headlines for the shocking departure of its high profile CEO, Vishal Sikka. The thing that is making people in the corporate world wonder the most about this particular exit is what was the real reason that made Sikka hang his boots and walk away.

Sikka, “the outsider”, had been trying hard to save Infosys’ sinking shape and had even succeeded in doing the same at certain places. He was the first one who brought some stability to the company’s market performance since it had begun going down the hill almost a decade ago.

Since assuming power and taking a stock of the matters at the company, Sikka observed that large scale automation was slowly making the company’s back office processing and IT support irrelevant. He realised that in order for Infosys to survive and flourish in the coming years, it will have to embrace innovation.

The rapid automation that the world is witnessing today makes moving into emerging sectors like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics an obvious move for IT firms, but unfortunately, Infosys was no where to be seen in the creme de la creme of these sectors. Sikka tried changing this scenario and changing the company’s direction towards these disruptive sectors but was met with unhappy faces of the company’s founding members, who over the years have become comfortable with making profits through labour arbitrage and don’t want to take any extreme chances.

6) After BPOs Its Time For WPO (WhatsApp Process Outsourcing)

WhatsApp has engulfed the Indian subcontinent like no other nation. The messaging app hit 200 million monthly active users in India this February as the Facebook-owned service continues its dominance in developing markets. In fact, the service has become so popular in the country that for a majority of Indians WhatsApp is India’s internet.

While app store, mobile browser, Google Assistant, Siri, email, Dropbox, etc. are important too but when it comes to India, WhatsApp has acquired a unique status of its own.

The low-cost customer acquisition tool has proved to be a great promotion tool in India. A living example of the success of the WhatsApp promotion trend is digital health start-up 1mg. Within just two years of its launch, the startup has garnered over 200 million users in India and more than 9 million downloads for its app, which helps users in researching prescription drugs and finding the lowest price possible. The best part of 1mg’s success is that its founder Prashant Tandon has not spent a penny promoting his business and all these applaud worthy numbers are courtesy WhatsApp promotion.

It seems, now is the right time to move away from the BPO trend and head towards a new one called WPO —WhatsApp Process Outsourcing.

WPO firms could be the next logical step fowler for SMS and email marketing agencies. The firms could engage with and respond to users directly, manage user databases tagged by interest, generate engaging creatives, and even become customer support channels.

7) Users, Beware! ‘Honesty app’ Sarahah is Secretly Stealing Your Phone Contacts

If you gave in to your curiosity and gave the viral ‘honesty app’ Sarahah a try, then this particular news piece might concern you. According to latest revelations made about the app, which allows users to send or receive anonymous messages, the app might be sneakily uploading its user’s phone contacts on to the company’s servers.

A report in The Intercept recently revealed that Zachary Julian, a senior security analyst from IT security consulting firm Bishop Fox was the first one to discover that the app was uploading users private information, using a monitoring software BURP Suite.

However, Sarahah’s founder Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq has denied all the claims made by Zachary Julian. According to him, the contact lists were being uploaded “for a planned ‘find your friends’ feature” that was not yet released.

8) Panasonic Launches AI Enabled Smartphones in India

Japanese tech major Panasonic has found two new offerings to spark the interest of mobile users in India. It’s India unit is trying to make smartphone users in the country sway its way by launching two new power packed smartphones, Eluga A3 and A3 Pro. Both the phones come with a virtual assistant called Arbo, which is a better version of Arbo 1.

For the unversed, Arbo is virtual assistant or digital assistant especially crafted for Panasonic customers. The virtual assistant is capable of observing its user’s behavior and based on their behavior, it keeps prompting them. This means, the user will not have to put alarms or notification for anything. It’s almost as if Arbo is its user’s digital buddy. Arbo 2 is an enhanced virtual assistant as Panasonic has added a number of new features to the virtual assistant.

Panasonic India’s new range of smartphone support an innovative design complete with a full metal body with split-screen. Its other jaw dropping features include a massive 4,000mAh battery, enhanced camera features and a 5.2’ full-HD display screen with Asahi Dragon Trial glass and a thin bezel.

9) Meet Plantoid – A Digital Plant and First Blockchain-Based Artificial Life Form

A new project currently in the works aims to blur the existing lines between technology and nature, via a new species called Plantoid.

A Plantoid is basically a mass of welded metal and electronic components put together in an aesthetic way to look similar to an android version of a plant. This is what the species is in the physical world. When it comes to the digital world, it’s a piece of software living on blockchain that its creators have named as “soul.”

The whole attractive Plantoid design is intended to catch human attention, and make them donate money via Bitcoin. The cash collected is then put to a constructive use of commissioning an artist to produce a new Plantoid. The entire process is automated with smart contracts.

The main reason behind conceiving the whole design is to give birth to a design that reproduces itself via transactions made on the blockchain. Similar to the way flowers attract bees for procreation, Plantoid is programmed to do the same with humans.

10) Nest Promises ‘Big Announcement’ At September 20th Event

If you're a big time Nest follower, then this one is huge! This week saw the company handing out a fancy invite for an event scheduled to take place on this month's 20th. The announcement makes references to couch and popcorn, suggesting that we might get to see a gadget meant for the living room, but it doesn't mention the actual name or features of the gadget that the whole launch function has been arranged for.

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