The combination of blockchain and IoT in the print industry has the potential to create innovative use cases.
Due to the need for added security and connectivity, the use of blockchain in the print industry in conjunction with IoT is gradually gaining pace.
Despite the rapid digitization of businesses, especially in media, the print industry is seeing continuous growth. Now, the seamless connectivity and network penetration of IoT is combining with the secure and massive record-keeping ability of blockchain in the print industry. This union is already grabbing the attention of industry leaders like Toppan printing, who along with the IoT company Wisekey, are working to create security tags that enable physical objects to be authenticated online. Similarly, there are several other cases where the pain points of the print industry, such as security and intellectual property protection, are being addressed by the application of IoT and blockchain together.
Potential Applications of IoT and blockchain in The Print Industry
Different types of printing have different functional needs and different priorities regarding improvement requirements. Here is how the synergy of blockchain and IoT can benefit different sub-sectors in the print industry.
Publication organizations that usually deal with printing books, magazines, and newspapers have content related issues, like identifying and verifying sources, protection of intellectual property, and piracy. Blockchain technology, combined with IoT, can minimize or eradicate content related issues using a number of methods. An example of this is the collaboration of Waltonchain and Loci to create a blockchain and IoT based system that collects and maps all IP data to prevent deliberate, as well as accidental IP infringement. Piracy of physical print material can be prevented by using a blockchain based registry and an IoT based tracking and authentication system to disable and detect illegal sales.
2. Security Printing
Security printing involves the:
printing of exclusive, discreetly identifiable, high authenticity documents and other printed material such as banknotes,
identification documents like passports, smart cards and special product authentication tags, and
smart, tracking-enabled packaging.
This type of printing involves embedding uniquely traceable security features into physical documents to prevent illegal duplication and forgery. For instance Arcis, a digital security company, announced a digital security breakthrough that embeds an authenticating image inside a physical document, which can be used to detect duplication. Such technological applications will enhance the tracking, security, and verifiability of highly sensitive documents, such as high value contracts and research papers. Creating smart security tags for physical objects, such as those made by Toppan, is also an example to follow while innovating IoT and blockchain enabled security printing solutions.
3. Commercial printing
Commercial printing is a broad and diverse subsector of the printing industry. It involves a wide range of printing services, from forms and brochures, to stationery, and even magazines and newsletters. Due to the variety of projects and the possible enormity of volume, commercial printers need efficient, connected, and smart printing solutions. This problem can be solved by using smart, multifunctional printers that are connected to the design sources, as well as to each other, for co-ordinating efficient printing sequences. This will save a lot of time and resources and also minimize the need for human intervention in routine tasks, allowing the human resources to be focused on the non-routine, creative functions.
In addition to these industry-specific applications, there are these general performance benefits that can be obtained by using IoT, enhanced with blockchain. This includes a productive and efficient work process, optimally managed resources, effectively utilized assets, and improved security and reliability. Realization of the potential of IoT in blockchain and the creative application of the IoT-blockchain combination will lead to many more industry specific use cases, which is why CIOs need to constantly performa pulse-check on the growth of these technologies.
The Current State and Future of Telepresence Robots in the Educational Sector
The introduction of telepresence robots in education has made learning more accessible and more engaging by bridging the physical disconnection between teachers and students.
When you hear the phrase ‘robots in education’, you can be excused for imagining a fully functional humanoid machine shouting out instructions in its metallic voice and giving lectures to a class full of half-terrified kids. However, although robots are becoming capable of socializing and have made their way into the education sector, they still aren’t capable of teaching entire curriculums to students in the interactive way that actual teachers can do. Nevertheless, for the time being, they are helping people in the form of telepresence robots by enabling teachers to teach and interact with students remotely. The use of telepresence robots in education is helping students learn better and is making education accessible to those who cannot access it due to different circumstances.
The Current State of Telepresence Robots in Education
Remote learning and teaching has already become commonplace in the world of education. The advent of the internet has spawned numerous remote learning opportunities like massive open online courses (MOOCs) and micro-credentials. As another application born from the internet and combined with robotics and sensor technology, telepresence robots are already making an impact in the field of education by extending the accessibility of education beyond schools and other educational institutions. Although they are yet to see mass adoption in conventional classroom education, telepresence robots are helping children who cannot go to regular classes due to chronic illnesses and other physically limiting conditions. Students suffering from chronic illnesses take lessons from teachers remotely through telepresence robots. These students have a telepresence robot that is equipped with a tablet that teachers from anywhere in the world can use to stream lessons. There are also cases of chronically ill students attending classes using stand-in telepresence robots and experiencing classes like regular students, engaging in two-way communication. Telepresence robots also make for excellent teachers for students with special needs, such as those having autism, helping them focus better and learn at their own pace.
The Future of Telepresence Robots in Education
As telepresence robots are becoming more ubiquitous in education, they are also being considered for use in regular classrooms. Having a telepresence robot enables educational institutions experts from across the world to interact with and teach students, enriching their educational experience. As the global interconnectivity increases, remote learning and micro-credentials will gain more popularity. This rise in the preference for remote learning will lead to a growth in the adoption of telepresence robots in education. Telepresence robots offer more interpersonal face-to-face interaction than regular MOOCs, and can potentially gain mass preference over regular online courses, and become the standard for online learning, and even the educational sector as a whole.
Although robots and artificial intelligence are getting ever-closer to functioning like humans, and the robotification of society is seemingly approaching, teaching is an area that is among the ones furthest from being robotified. However, the use of telepresence robots in education will continue to rise, to the benefit of both students and teachers across the world.
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