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The Smart Clock – Mantra’s IoT Experiment.

IoT is emerging as a disruptive technology and is growing significantly, as consumers, businesses, and governments recognize the benefit of connecting inert devices to the internet.

With breakneck speed, the Internet of Things (IoT) has branched out of the B2B and industrial markets where its concept first took root and exploded into the consumer market in a major way. IoT extends beyond just “smart homes,” that can gather useful data and automate some of our everyday activities. It seems like almost every consumer device will be equipped with IoT connectivity. It joins sensors, devices, data and connectivity together to make the Internet a mesh of Things which can interact, exchange, act with intelligence and transfers data inside networks. Though it is still evolving but it’s promising and pragmatic applications are seen in all verticals, there are already a number of consumer products that use the IoT technology.

With companies joining this new epoch in technology, we also are building our “Smart Clock” (right now in prototype), which is inspired by Ingrein Clock (a kickstarted project).

For Quick Prototyping we started with readymade circuit boards Raspberry PI / Arduino / Particle.io,  including various sensors to have a fair idea about the components and modules required to build the final product . We also started minifying the board and breaking down the circuit to absolute components that are required in building Smart Clock. Before proceeding further let us know

  • What is Raspberry PI?
    It’s a mini computer with GPIO pins. The device is quite powerful and is able to run complete Operating Systems like Linux. It simplifies a lot of hardware and software specs altogether.
    We just need to connect any hardware module to the GPIO pins and then program Raspberry (in any language) though Python has a lot of libraries for raspberry.

The device will cost around 2-3K. One can get started using Raspberry PI soon.

  • What is Arduino?
    Arduino Board has a micro-controller and a set of digital and analog I/O pins to communicate with other hardware devices.
    Arduino is more hardware oriented since it does not come up with installed Operating System.Arduino also provides you its own programming development toolkit where you could submit your code and the software mounts the code to micro-controller. We do not have language choices here but one must know the basics of C++. We can turn this Arduino into any smart device we want to and we can use multiple sensors. Optimized-IMG_20160726_153747

While building this Smart Clock, we did couple of experiments on Raspberry PI and Arduino. For example, we face problem to check whether the meeting room is empty or not, for that we added PIR motion sensors to Raspberry PI and programmed it in Python.

The next task was to exchange data between Raspberry PI and server so one could get the status of the room from his mobile. We implemented Mqtt/Mosca for this (node.js). Now if there was any motion, the PI would send a message to the server and the same could be retrieved on the mobile. This was a simple exercise just to get started.

The next current task we are doing is trying to put minimal required components and sensors together to build a Smart Clock (expected to be changed). Optimized-IMG_20160726_154021

Mantra’s Smart Clock:
A smart clock could read your notification alerts and check other daily tasks.

Currently we have picked one feature that is the clock could tell whether someone from the family is about to arrive. For example at evening, if you are coming from office, as soon as you are near your home- around 200-400 metres away, the clock would notify about your incoming and hence someone at your home could start preparing beforehand whatever you want – food/snacks etc. The clock will be connected to internet and will come with an app that keeps pushing user state to the servers.IMG_20160726_153904

Smart Clock quick points:
– Connectivity: the clock will come with an app which will be used
to connect with clock using Bluetooth. The clock will be configured
using this app such as connecting it with internet and other basic
setttings.
– Currently we are only focusing on very few activities such as
notifying family members about activities such as notifying member is about to arrive ,
weather and app notifications

Prototype Technical Specification:

Connectivity: Bluetooth/Wifi
Sensors:          PIR motion detector
Board:             RaspberryPI/Arduino

The project is currently under progress. We are customizing the circuit board with lesser components, what are needed only.

For a complete updates on “Smart Clock” and other latest technology, approach Mantra Labs at hello@mantralabsglobal.com.

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

Chart, sunburst chart

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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