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Purdue discovery clears way for human body to work as robust communication network for electronic devices

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West Lafayette, IN, Dec. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A group of Purdue University researchers have discovered a new way in using the human body as a robust communication medium for networking electronic devices in and on the body that promises to be far more secure and low-energy than any wireless system.

Shreyas Sen, an assistant professor in the Purdue School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said this advancement allows devices to communicate through the body instead of sending a signal through the airwaves that could be hacked. The technology has several pending patent applications through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

“We can achieve secure connectivity within devices in or on the body and even among devices on different humans and machines, at orders of magnitude lower-energy than wireless,” Sen said. “The applications are fascinating.”

Among the possible uses for the human body as a communication network are implanted medical devices, wearable devices, secure payment technology, authentication applications and the millions of devices that fall under the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

One important application could be in medical devices. An example of using a body as a wire is a doctor reprogramming a patient’s pacemaker or other implantable device without making an incision. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently recalled nearly a half million pacemakers because the federal agency was concerned hackers could gain access to the pacemakers through security loopholes – possibly allowing them to change the settings of the pacemakers or to turn the devices off. Using the body as the means to set the pacemakers could prevent such concerns.

Human body communication would be far more secure than a wireless body area network because it is more difficult for an attacker to gain access to the physical signals, Sen said.

“We are enabling the physical medium, but on top of that you have software-based authentication-based protocols. Only if you are part of my trusted group, then I’ll give you more information. I may choose to include someone as my trusted group or exchange information with a stranger,” Sen said. “With wireless, a criminal can snoop my signal. By using the body, you are making it harder because the criminal has to come and touch me.”

Human body communication also needs orders of magnitude less power than a wireless body area network, leading to a longer lifetime for the battery of implanted medical devices, dramatically increasing the time between surgeries.

Other applications could take form in social settings, letting new friends share contact information or virtual business cards securely through a simple handshake. The advancement in human body communication will allow a handshake to be a secure exchange of data or even password. It also will allow a smart watch to interact with an implantable medical monitor and allow a doctor to reprogram a medical device inside a patient with a simple touch, Sen said.

Personal usages include streaming music to a wireless earphone by connecting it to a smartwatch through the body, allowing the earphone to last much longer in a single charge.

“The body is a very good conductor, thanks to its high-water content. So, you can use the body as a wire,” Sen said.

The human body picks up interference from the world around it such as FM radio signals. However, the Human Body Communication system developed at Purdue suppresses these interfering signals and allows for excellent communication between devices. Purdue researchers have published their findings related to this technology in ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED), IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC) and IEEE Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (Click here for more information).

By solving this problem, the body can now be used in countless ways as a communication medium. Purdue is looking for industrial collaborators and potential licensees of technologies to find other uses for the human body communication.

“The field is wide open,” Sen said. “There are endless applications for how the human body communication can be used to enrich our lives.”

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university’s academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at innovation@prf.org.

Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044, tjcoyne@prf.org
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Press Release

Frontier Airlines Expands Partnership With Points To Enhance Travel Redemption Program

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Frontier leverages Points Travel services for members to gain access to over 300,000 hotels
TORONTO, Feb. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — the global leader in powering loyalty commerce, today announced that it has expanded its partnership with FRONTIER Miles, the recently reinvented frequent flyer program of low-fare carrier, Frontier Airlines to leverage Points Travel services, the industry leading white label hotel platform for access to over 300,000 hotels at the click of a button.

Through a single integration with Points’ Loyalty Commerce Platform, which powers Points Travel services, FRONTIER Miles members now have the ability to redeem miles when booking on over 300,000 hotels across the globe. This significant program enhancement is following a successful partnership launch this year with Points and Groupon when FRONTIER Miles leveraged Points’ platform to offer Groupon customers the opportunity to earn up to 5 FRONTIER Miles per dollar spent when buying eligible Groupon deals.

“With the introduction of our recently reimagined FRONTIER Miles program, we’re excited to expand our relationship with Points, growing our redemption capabilities to more than 300,000 hotels, and ensuring the redemption of miles is made even easier and more rewarding for our customers,” said Tommy Langhauser, senior manager of loyalty and partnerships, Frontier Airlines. “The addition of mileage redemption for hotels through Points allows us to give our passengers added flexibility in redeeming their FRONTIER Miles for any part of their next vacation and beyond.”

Frontier Airlines first partnered with Points in 2011 to offer a number of Points’ Loyalty Currency Retailing services, including Buy, Gift and Share to enable its members to get more out of their participation. The introduction of Points Travel services and overall closer collaboration with Points will ensure the recently reinvented FRONTIER Miles loyalty program can continue to better engage their members, generate incremental revenue and drive new member acquisition.

“We have been proud partners of Frontier Airlines for many years now, and are thrilled to be able to further expand our relationship,” said Rob MacLean, CEO of Points. “We look forward to leveraging our platform to power new features for Frontier to attract new members, and to deepen loyalty and flexible engagement opportunities with its existing members.”

Points Travel can be quickly integrated into any loyalty program’s web and mobile properties to create a highly-converting, travel eCommerce offering that is program-branded and leverages the capabilities of the Points Loyalty Commerce Platform. The user experience is simple and intuitive, taking members from consideration to purchase in just a few clicks, ultimately rewarding members with thousands of points or miles as well as being able to redeem points for bookings at thousands of hotels and car rental companies around the world.

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Facebook partners with more than 20 African NGOs for Safer Internet Day 2019

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Facebook partners with more than 20 African NGOs for Safer Internet Day 2019

The campaign covers most of sub-Saharan Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 4, 2019/ — In line with its commitment to building a safer online world for all, Facebook (Facebook.com) is supporting Safer Internet Day (5 February) with a campaign spanning 15-plus African countries. Aligning with the Safer Internet Day call to action – “Together for a better internet” – by joining hands with more than 20 non-profit organizations and government agencies, the campaign aims to raise awareness about Internet safety and security concerns such as cyberbullying and cyber-crime.

Facebook partners with more than 20 African NGOs for Safer Internet Day 2019

Facebook is supporting the Safer Internet Day by:

Sponsoring the printing of online safety awareness booklets.
Facilitating training sessions.
Creating a family-friendly animation to help raise awareness of the Facebook Safety Centre (https://www.Facebook.com/safety)

“We know that safety is a shared conversation, which is why we are excited to be working with so many stakeholders around the continent to make the Internet a better place,” says Sherry Dzinoreva, Public Policy Programs Lead at Facebook Africa. “Together, with Safer Internet Day as a platform, we can address emerging online concerns, so that people and especially children and the youth, can get the most from their Internet experience.”

The campaign covers most of sub Saharan Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Facebook’s highlights for the week of Safer Internet Day include:

South Africa
Facebook is partnering with The Film and Publication Board (FPB), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), Google, Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) to launch the Web Rangers Programme 2019. Facebook is also supporting this effort with educational content. Facebook’s Emilar Gandhi will participate in panel sessions to talk about how Facebook strives to keep its community safe.

“Together for a Better Internet is a call to action for every government agency, private company, civil society organisation and citizen of South Africa. A force for good, the digital world also holds some dangers. But these dangers are all created. In and of itself the internet can only cause harm if it is used expressly for that purpose. We all need to respect the rights of others on the internet, as much as we expect our rights to be respected,” says Film and Publication Board spokesperson, Lynette Kamineth.

Kenya
Facebook is supporting Watoto Watch’s Safer Internet Day event for students at Ngunyumu Primary School in Nairobi. The event is the launchpad for the “A Million Campaign”, which seeks to raise awareness about online safety among schoolchildren. Facebook is providing ad credits and safety booklets for the event.

“The Internet enables us to connect with friends and family, access a wealth of knowledge and information, and express our thoughts and creativity,” , says Lillian Kariuki, Executive Director at Watoto Watch. “Along with these positives, children also need to understand how they can manage online risks as they make use of the Internet’s resources. Our aim, with the help of Facebook, is to equip children with this knowledge.”

Nigeria
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria is running workshops on safer internet use as part of its LIFE program in Kano, Lagos and Aba. Facebook’s Safe Online trainers will run two-hour workshops in both PIN’s LIFE Centers and at schools in Kano and Lagos for this initiative.

“Working with Facebook on online safety aligns with our focus on driving digital inclusion and educating the youth about their digital rights,” Tope Ogundipe, Director of Programs at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria “This programme promises to equip the children who participate with skills and knowledge that will enable them to make confident use of the Internet in their day to day lives.”

 

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Press Release

Retail Pro International Adds Reseller in Mexico, Increasing Specialty Retail Access to Unified Retail Pro POS

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Retail Pro International deepens investment in Mexico specialty retail with addition of another reseller partnership, POS Latinoamericana.

Folsom, CA, Jan. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Retail Pro International, developer of global, flexible Retail Pro POS platform, announces deeper investment in Mexico retail by expanding their existing local reseller channel in partnership with Naucalpan-based IT company, POS Latinoamericana.

Specialty retailers will benefit most from this partnership, gaining greater access to software that top retailers like Samsonite, Puma, Oakley, Adidas, Diesel and Under Armour use to centrally manage in-store and ecommerce retail – Retail Pro.

Current efforts for Retail Pro International include a focus on helping retailers unify data and operations in Retail Pro, a platform store-management software. Unified data gives end-to-end visibility, helping retailers accomplish the following:

Uncover areas for performance improvement
Improve replenishment across channels
Increase efficiency in store operations

Retail Pro International CEO, Kerry Lemos, comments, “Mexico has sophisticated retailers, with high demand for modern POS technology that helps maximize ROI with better data-driven store management. We are pleased to meet that need with the introduction of more Retail Pro resellers to serve this market.”

Retail Pro International VP of Channel Sales for Latin America, Shaff Kassam, adds, “Retailers are equipped to make the most of their Retail Pro software through our Retail Pro Business Partners. Our partners offer local IT support and training for retailers’ IT teams and provide technical expertise and consulting for tailoring Retail Pro software to a retailers’ needs and regional requirements.”

The developer currently supports 54,000+ retailers in 130+ countries via Business Partner services. The availability of this local support in regions worldwide gives retailers advantage when expanding to new markets in the global economy.

POS Latinoamericana CEO Hector Jaramillo comments, “We look forward to helping Mexico retailers improve productivity and competitiveness with Retail Pro software. Because the technology is localized for Mexico and is easily customized for a retailer’s specific business operations, we believe retailers will be better positioned to respond quickly to industry change and increase profitability.”

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