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How 3D Printing Technology is Making Waves

how 3d technology is making waves

Imagine a world where we have the capability to generate solid, three dimensional objects from a specially designed printer connected to a computer. Although it might sound like this idea …Read More »

How to Get More from Your Business Credit Card

insight to how to get more from your business card

A business credit card is one of the easiest ways to lay the foundations for a positive credit history. It’s easier to get accepted for a business credit card than …Read More »

Decision-Making Techniques to Keep You On Top

decision making techniques

When you’re a business owner, decision making can be even more stressful than usual. If you want to be a superior leader, decision making is an essential skill. Knowing how …Read More »

New Exciting Technologies of 2018

new exciting technology of 2018

Technology is always changing, and one of the best things about new technology is that products are always getting better, offering a higher level of convenience and more intuitive. From …Read More »

2018 Mobile Marketing Trends

2018 mobile marketing trends

The consumer market is shifting in favor of mobile users at an unprecedented rate. Mobile devices are the most popular products for accessing websites, apps, and e-commerce sites. As we …Read More »

Security Features of the New iPhones

security features of the new iphone

The new iPhone XS and XR have finally dropped and with them, an abundance of security features. Thanks to the latest iOS update, iOS 12, your phone is safer than …Read More »

What to do When you Make a Mistake with a Client

If you want your business to succeed, you know how important it is to provide quality service. But bear in mind that no matter how dedicated you are, accidents can still happen. You could be in the middle of working on a client’s project when your computer crashed, your distributor could have misplaced an order, or your billing department may have sent a client the wrong invoice. Now your client feels let down.

 

So what do you do now? One of the first things that comes to mind is to correct the problem so that you can prevent it from happening again with a different client. However, don’t just leave the disgruntled client hanging.

It pays to have a plan in place for when something like this happens so that if and when things do go wrong, you can fix them as efficiently as possible before you lose a client. What you should not do is to blame someone else to save your reputation, pass on a superficial solution to try and buy yourself extra time, or turn your back on the problem and hope it will go away. Remember, maintaining your integrity is important, and even if you’ve messed up, your client will respect your honesty.

What to do When You Make a Mistake

  • Accept it: There’s no point denying it, it’s not just going to disappear. You need to know exactly how and why this happened. Find out what your company promised your client, exactly what the client was expecting, and what the client got or did not get. Don’t make assumptions, talk to every member of your team who was involved in this transaction.
  • Don’t hide: If you find out about a mistake before your client does, be upfront about it and tell them. This can go a long way to restoring their confidence in you and increasing the possibility that they will use your business again.
  • Communicate: The first thing to do is to apologize. Then let the client know what you are doing to try to fix the problem. Let them know how long it will take you, and be realistic with your timeline. Always keep your word. If the client calls you and for some reason, you cannot answer, always return their calls promptly. If other team members have to answer the client’s calls, advise them how to do so.
  • Be empathetic: Put yourself in the client’s shoes. Don’t attack them even if they are angry, after all, it was you who made a mistake. If you take a fair approach to the client, you may even still be able to retain their business. You must re-earn their trust by fixing the problem promptly and continuing to deliver a great service.
  • Explain what went wrong: Don’t skimp on the details; your client deserves to know exactly what went wrong. Reassure your client that the situation is under control and that it will not happen again. Keep a positive tone but be realistic. Ask questions and be prepared to listen to what your client has to say.
  • Present options: Depending on the type of mistake and why it happened, the solution may not always be cut and dry. For this reason, it’s important to give your client some options. For example, you could offer a refund, an alternative service or a discount to make up for the impact of the error.
  • Maintain perspective: Sometimes it’s hard to keep a sense of perspective when you feel you’ve let your client, your team or yourself down. However, try to keep your reaction proportional to the mistake you’ve made; don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Unless it’s a life or death situation, most mistakes can be corrected fairly quickly.
  • Create a protocol: Discuss the problem with your team. Learn from your mistake and create a strategy to deal with future mistakes. You may have to make some changes to the way your company functions, with the technology you are using, or within the structure of your personnel. Don’t be stubborn, be prepared to make adjustments to improve the quality of your service and reduce the risk of future errors. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Mistakes to Avoid When Interacting With a Client

  • Assuming the client is always right: If your client is requesting a product or service that you feel does not meet their needs, tell them. This can prevent things going wrong before you deliver the goods. If you remain silent and just go along with it, you may get blamed later and lose the client and potential referrals.
  • Not handling criticism: If an unhappy client is offering fair criticism, take it on board and learn from it. This is not the time to get defensive. Research shows that 90 percent of dissatisfied clients switch to a different service provider. Try not to let your client walk away feeling that they should never have hired you in the first place. A disappointed client can cost you more than you may think.
  • Not maintaining regular contact with your clients: When you have completed a transaction with a client, don’t think your job is done. You need to contact them from time to time, even if it’s just to see how they are doing. Keep them abreast of new products and services which may benefit them.
  • Avoiding answering questions: If a client asks you a question and you are not sure of the answer, don’t avoid it, and don’t provide an answer that may not be accurate. Admit that you are not sure and explain that you will find out straight away. Don’t leave them hanging, do your research and get back to them as soon as you can. Communication counts for so much!

Mistakes will happen; no business can be run flawlessly. The important thing is to learn from your experiences and ensure that you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Image – https://alphastockimages.com/

The Best Office Pranks

For years practical jokes have been used as a way to welcome or “initiate” employees into a new or unfamiliar office environment. The great news is that harmless pranks are an excellent way to help promote camaraderie and an overall positive attitude in the workplace.

firecracker keyboard

When pranking is done the right way, it also helps more isolated or introverted people feel included. Whether you’re planning on a simple prank or a more elaborate prank, we’ve got some great ideas for you to try.

Office Pranks Using Common Household Items

Try the following pranks using only these simple items found around the house.

Wrapping paper: You will need at least a few hours to complete this prank, so try to accomplish this on their day off. Just take all of your leftover wrapping paper from the holidays and cover everything in their office. This includes the desk, chair, walls, and individual items such as the computer, stapler, and even pencil cup.

Add some colorful bows and ribbons for an extra bit of flourish. If you want to get creative, place “To” and “From” gift tags on each item, too. When your coworker returns to work after their short break, they will have plenty of “presents” to open. This prank is pretty popular around the holiday season, but it’s certainly funny any time of the year!

sticky notes on car prankSticky notes: For this prank, your office mate needs to be away from their car, truck, van, or other vehicle for a short while. While they are preoccupied, take sticky notes and place them over every inch of the car. It’s possible you will need at least a few hundred.

If you really want to leave a lasting impression, you can use one type of color for each part of the car – windshield, doors, windows, and roof. Create patterns or write a special message. Since sticky notes are lightweight and easy to remove, they won’t cause any damage to the vehicle at all.

Use just one sticky note: If you don’t have hundreds of sticky notes at your disposal, it’s possible to create the perfect prank with only one. Write the words “Voice Activated” on a note and stick it on an appliance in the kitchen. A toaster, microwave, or coffee maker will be perfect. If the item is new to the break room, even better! Employees will see the note and attempt to “command” the appliance into working.

Balloons: Enclosed offices or cubicles can easily be filled to the brim with balloons. Enlist the help of others to blow up the right amount of balloons in a short period of time.

Googly eyes: Purchase Googly eyes in bulk. Now you can decorate small items in the kitchen or shared space. Place them on appliances or items on your coworker’s desk. Or, take them to your boss’ office and redecorate their photos.

chia keyboard prankKeyboard Chia Garden: Even those without a green thumb can participate. Simply swap your coworker’s keyboard with an old one (can be purchased at thrift stores for a few bucks), and shake a little potting soil inside. Carefully spread the tiny Chia seeds in between the buttons. Spray a little water, add some sunshine, and in a few days, you will have a mini keyboard garden growing on your victim’s desk.

Office Pranks With Easy to Use Technology

Change their desktop background: To warn you ahead of time, your coworker may think there’s something wrong with their computer! First, access their computer and capture their current screen (just hold down the Control and Print Screen keys simultaneously). Then save the captured image. Next, go to their Control Panel and save that image as their desktop background. It will look exactly like their current desktop, but without the ability to click or open programs.

Use a Chrome extension: There is a Chrome extension called nCage that you can download to a coworker’s computer. This… unique extension changes every single image in your browser to Nicolas Cage. They may realize something is wrong pretty quickly after they visit a few websites.

Use Autocomplete: Enter funny words or phrases into Microsoft Word’s Autocomplete feature. There are a lot of possibilities for this prank. For example, every time they type their own name, you can automatically change it to “Fool”. For something a little more subtle, replace a word with a misspelling. For instance, change the word “Work” to “Werk.”

Change the screen orientation: This computer prank changes how you view the desktop screen entirely. Just go to the computer’s Control Panel, then select “Display”. There you can change the orientation settings by selecting “Landscape.” This flips the screen to a very confusing landscape view!

Use their mouse: If your boss or coworker has an optical mouse, place a tiny piece of Scotch tape over the bottom. The cursor will stop moving as a result.

Change their homepage: Another simple yet effective one. You can go into a person’s browser preferences and change their homepage to a website of your choosing. It’s better to pick a funny or ridiculous website instead of the company website. For some inspiration, try out this video.

Rules of Etiquette for Office Pranks

Finally, just a few rules. Pranks that go too far are no fun for anyone, so as long as you stick to some common etiquette, you shouldn’t have a problem.

  • Make sure no one can get hurt. If there’s a chance someone will fall or hit something because of your prank, this could result in a serious injury or a costly bill from the hospital. Just keep it safe.
  • If someone expressly says they don’t want to be pranked, try to respect that. Sometimes individuals don’t appreciate being tricked, and that’s okay. Keep these pranks between yourself and those who you think would enjoy it.
  • Don’t bring up serious subjects. If you are in a position of management and you prank employees by stating “You’re fired!,” “You’re getting relocated!,” or “You’re working over the weekend!” it might evoke a strong reaction. Try to maintain some sensitivity.
  • Be prepared for retaliation. If you prank others, you should definitely expect them to get creative and return the favor as well!

Five Customer Service Rules You Should Know

We may not realize it, but our lives are ruled by the companies that surround us. Whether we’re job seeking from our iPhones, sporting the latest sneakers from our favorite running shoe company, or rolling out our Lululemon yoga mat to get in some exercise for the day, we’re surrounded by brands. And when these brands don’t meet our needs or fulfill their promise, we turn to their corporate number for help resolving the issue. Often, our only point of contact with these companies is with their customer service representatives.

 

A strong, positive customer service experience often leads to repeat business, referrals, and loyal customers. Dealing with a cranky customer service representative can tarnish a company’s reputation, customer by customer, regardless of how good their product is. Here are some surprising statistics about customer service and its effect on customers: https://www.helpscout.net/75-customer-service-facts-quotes-statistics/

  • 78% of consumers have, at some point, bailed on a purchase because of poor service.
  • After one negative experience, a customer needs to experience an average of 12 positive experiences to reverse their negative impression of a company.
  • People share negative customer service experiences 2.3 times more often than they share positive customer service experiences.
  • It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep existing ones.
  • Consumers reported that 50% of the time, their questions were not answered by customer service agents.
  • 75% of consumers think it takes too long to get to a real agent on the phone, and 67% of customers last year hung up the phone out of frustration on this specific issue.
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer is feeling.
  • 81% of companies considered to have excellent customer service are outperforming their competitors.

What all of this means is that companies who put the effort into developing an excellent customer service team reap the rewards. They outperform competitors, save on customer acquisition, keep their names out of the negative reviews, and get more repeat business.

Even if your company has a reputation for having awful customer service, it’s never too late to turn it around. Here is a list of the five most important customer service rules to instill in your customer service team-members, and frankly in employees throughout your organization:

  1. Every Single Interaction Matters – No Exceptions. If you’re tired or having an off day, when the phone rings or an email pops up, you have to be able to turn it on. As a customer service representative, it’s important to remember that YOU are the face of the company to this customer.
  2. You represent the entire organization. You alone are responsible for how they feel when they walk away from the conversation. You have the power to make or break this person’s day.
  3. No Such Thing as “Not my Job” – Most companies known for their strong customer service instill an organization-wide mandate that no person is too good for a particular job. If help is needed, employees pitch in for the greater good of the company. Creating this sense of community and mutual reliance makes each team member feel supported and able to effect change.
  4. Autonomy and Empowerment- When customer service representatives are trusted to make decisions on their own regarding customer requests (refunds, compensations, giveaways, etc.), this sense of autonomy makes them feel able and excited to help. Rather than putting a customer on hold to “check with their manager,” an agent can decide if, when, and how much to give to keep a customer happy. Allowing employees the chance to get creative can also result in huge benefits. Empower your people to do good work, and they will!
  5. Incentive – As much as we hope to find a job we enjoy so much that we would do it for free, this isn’t the reality of work for most of us. So,
  6. incentivize your employees! Offer customer service representatives a bonus or reward for positive customer feedback. When incentives are combined with a good company culture, employees show greater workplace satisfaction.
  7. Listen – One of the most frustrating things when you’re on the phone with a customer service representative is repeating yourself over and over again, and getting the same response. Good customer service representatives know how to listen, and actually hear what you are saying, and then respond accordingly and appropriately. Feeling heard is often the only thing we really need when we feel a company has fallen short or taken advantage of us. To feel heard can often validate a disgruntled customer, and soften their feelings of anger.

These five rules of customer service will help you build customer loyalty, avoid losing sales and build a good reputation for your product and company name. These aren’t hacks or tactics, they are consistent behaviors that the company and individual employee have to live by each and every day. There isn’t a shortcut for excellent work, but by putting in the effort to train your staff to listen, make decisions, and be empathetic, you will see the reward in your profits.

There are countless instances where companies go above and beyond for their customers and made lasting positive customers for life. One customer service representative ordered a pizza to the office of the man she was on the phone with because she overheard employees in the back say that they were hungry. An airline passed out free tickets to over a dozen passengers for answering trivia questions correctly. A representative from a shoe company sent flowers to a woman after hearing that she was undergoing health issues – AND she upgraded the woman to VIP customer status for life, for free.

There are dozens of stories like these online – proof that a little bit of kindness and extra care go a long way with customers. Answering the phone and being ready to handle anything on the other end with grace and understanding is something that can never be replaced. When it comes to customer service, maintaining this understanding of your customer can be enormous in not only acquiring customers but retaining them as for years to come.

The 7 Different Types of Managers – Which are you?

When you’re first thrown into a management position, how do you handle workflow, delegation, and conflict resolution? Managers have different styles for taking on some of the more difficult aspects of leadership while others “let things be.” But how do you know which style is right for your team?

Quality leadership involves finding a balance between knowing when to be “tough” on team members with deadlines and when to offer flexibility.

Effective managers know how to improve efficiency and morale at the same time, and when it’s done right, top executives and bosses notice. To help you find ultimate career success, here are the 7 different types of managers and how you can decide which is best for you.

1. Autocratic

This one is considered the most “old-fashioned,” so we’ll get this out of the way right at the beginning. This is a leader who is in complete control over everyone else, leaving little room for flexibility or input from others.

There are benefits to this style. Decisions are made rather quickly, and deadlines are more likely to be met. Resources and instructions are very clear and there is little to no confusion in following orders. This doesn’t mean that ongoing training and education isn’t provided for workers, however, and it also doesn’t mean they don’t have opportunities to grow.

Unless there is a special circumstance, any instructions given by autocratic leaders should be followed to the letter. In many cases, this truly could mean the difference between life or death. For instance, when a Head Surgeon is giving directions to a surgical student there is absolutely no room for error or veering outside of the strict structure of the requirements. Employees who seek creative positions are far less likely to respond to autocratic leadership.

Who uses the autocratic management style?

  • High ranking military officers
  • Police officers or first responders
  • Medical professionals overseeing students or nurses
  • Leaders in manufacturing and heavy industry

2. Affiliative

For a business to be truly productive, there must be a certain amount of trust in a fellow co-worker. In opposition to autocratic managers, affiliative managers are more relationship-focused. They are best at resolving issues or conflicts between team members and keeping up employee morale.

Affiliative managers are also good at recognizing the skillsets of each individual. So if a project goes off the rails, this type of manager can identify what tasks a person is best at and assign new roles or responsibilities as needed.

Extroverts particularly thrive in building relationships in the office. They know how to guide others through stressful situations to preserve a harmonious and happy work environment.

Who uses the affiliative management style?

  • Human resources managers
  • Therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists
  • Mediators

3. Coaching

Coaches aren’t just for athletics. Professionals know how to use coaching techniques in the workplace to bring out an employee’s natural strengths.

This style relies much on encouragement, but also plenty of feedback as well. Sometimes an individual needs to know where they can improve performance, and a coach can skillfully explain where a person went wrong and how they can make it right in the future.

For this management style to truly work, employees must be willing to learn, change, and try new things. Otherwise, coaches will face pushback or even defiance.

Who uses the coaching management style?

  • Any management position that requires training employees
  • A “life coach” or personal development coach
  • An athletic coach or personal trainer
4. Democratic or Participative

This style of management involves everyone. Democratic leaders allow each team members’ voice to be heard at work.

This style allows for the highest level of feedback from workers. There are many ways to do this, including brainstorming sessions on how best to complete a task. When used occasionally, it is very effective. However, when used too frequently, a lot of time is wasted in the discussion process instead of actually accomplishing anything.

The concept of teamwork is key here. Ultimately, however, it is the manager who has a final say in all decisions, usually lending itself to the majority. Democratic leaders often find that this allows for more loyalty from the group.

Who uses the democratic or participative management style?

  • Office supervisors or coordinators
  • Branch leader or team leader
  • Operations manager
5. Pacesetting

Pacesetting follows the concept of “leading by example.” In this setting, managers set a high standard for employees by working hard and meeting the needed deadlines themselves.

If not done correctly, pacesetting can lead to a poor work ethic or a decline in company culture. This is because employees must work at a certain “pace.” Instead, these managers should set clear, but achievable short term and long-term goals.

More than that, it is vital to prevent the “burnout” and high turnover rates that sometimes occur when this is put into practice. Healthy work schedules and balance gives the best results for pacesetting.

Who uses the pacesetting management style?

  • Managers who oversee sales positions
  • Team leaders in retail and food service
  • Directors in hospitality
6. Visionary

Do you like to inspire others? You might be a visionary. Visionary leaders motivate their teams to perform well. They accomplish this through the concept of making work meaningful for their employees. Because everyone is working towards a shared vision for the company as a whole, this empowers everyone involved.

Those who use this style should use caution and pair a visionary style with real, tangible goals and timelines. This keeps employees grounded and rooted in the company’s expectations as well as goals for success for the future.

Who uses the visionary management style?

  • CEOs and other C-level executives
  • Learning and development managers
  • Public speakers or presenters
7. Laissez-faire

If there was a style that was a perfect opposite of autocracy, it’s Laissez-faire or “hands-off” management. In this case, the leader is more like a mentor than a true manager.

Laissez-faire is all about delegation and allowing your team members to step up and make decisions for themselves. While there is little guidance, Laissez-faire managers must also provide the needed tools for success.

While this is the most “relaxed” form of management and is popular among workers, researchers say that this is also one of the least productive methods of leadership.

Who uses the Laissez-faire management style?

  • Startup companies
  • Creative firms, such as advertising agencies
  • Leaders in art, photography, and graphic design

Facebook Targeting The Younger Generation With Their New Messenger App

Every parent’s worst nightmare just came true, thanks to Facebook. With the social media giant launching their latest app targeted at children as young as six, there have been huge debates around the world. While most technology companies do not usually make products with children under 13 in mind, Facebook hopes to be the first to have an app for kids aged six to 12. However, is this good news for everyone?

 

Known as Messenger Kids, the just-launched app from Facebook goes where no other technology company has gone before. Many older children and a huge portion of the adult population are already on Facebook, so the company has decided to target those not yet on the social media platform: younger children.

This, many say, is a clever way of introducing children as young as six to social media and increasing the followers of Facebook.
Enabling children access to a messaging app does seem like a good way to help them adopt technology in a healthy way, though not everyone is pleased with the launch. A large number of parents have expressed unease at the company targeting young children. Is there truly any reason for this?

What Does Messenger Kids do?

The newest app from the stable of Facebook is much like its standard messaging app, but more limited in scope. Children can text and video chat, and they can add filters or playful drawings to the photos they send. According to Facebook, all filters and animations are age-appropriate.

However, children have minimal control over how they use the service. Children using the app need to have a Facebook account set up by their parents, who also enter the information of the child into the app and select the people the child chats with on the app. The child also needs to be friends with their parents on Facebook in order to use the app.

Facebook stated that the whole purpose of Messenger Kids is to provide children with a “more controlled environment” for social and digital activities. Children already use the mobile devices of their parents, so the company decided to come up with technology meant for kids. The company also said that it has spent several months talking to parenting groups, child behavioral experts, and safety organizations to ensure the app is not only stellar but also very safe for kids to use.

Aside from using the service to chat and send photos and videos, children themselves have no control over the app. Children will not be searchable within the app and parents have to approve every new contact request. Facebook says this will keep parents informed about who their kids are talking to while also giving them a controlled amount of freedom.

Facebook has also added that the information collected from kids will not be used for marketing purposes, and child accounts will not be automatically be converted to adult accounts when the user turns 13. The company believes such monitored usage of the app will help children adapt well to technology and enable them to use social media more responsibly as adults.

What’s the Debate About?

Parents and child experts have obvious reasons to be wary of young children using social media. While most parents think that Facebook will only intrude into young lives with this new app, others believe that children’s access to technology is inevitable and will happen sooner rather than later. Besides, there’s the concern about children giving out personal information, which hackers and cyber criminals could use for unethical purposes.

Not too many companies have ventured into the kids market. This is because of the federal law (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, known as COPPA) that requires services targeted at children to get verifiable parental consent for collecting, using, or disclosing personal information (photos, videos, contacts, messages, location, etc.) from a child under 13. Since most companies do not want the additional hassle of obtaining parental consent, they do not make services aimed at children under 13. And yet, here’s Facebook being brave with an app targeted towards six-year-olds. Clearly, they understand the barriers and see the benefits that are possible.

Many parents think there’s already too much technological interference in their kids’ lives. Whether it’s the TV or the mobile phone, or the Internet, kids today spend a heaping amount of time in front of screens. However, because the internet has permeated every aspect of our lives, it only makes sense to offer options for those parents and children who see the positives in controlled exposure to social media.

There’s a massive amount of evidence that proves the harmful effects technology has on kids. Scientific evidence shows that children who use social media for more than three hours a day are more prone to suffering from mental illness like depression and anxiety. The social skills and abilities to actively listen and show empathy are also affected by the excessive use of social media and technological devices. Because of studies such as those that have shown the negative effects of excessive screen time, parents really have to make informed decisions about what kinds of limits they place on their kids’ usage of social media.

These days, there is the added danger of cyber-crime and cyber bullying. Children are vulnerable and often expose personal information that could be used for unethical purposes. This poses a huge risk and can get children embroiled in unknown dangers. Children are also keen to develop unrealistic expectations from others when their social skills are affected. Since there is no physical communication involved in social media, it can be difficult for kids to learn how to interact with others in real life if they are too dependent on technology as their social life.

The question is: do kids aged six to 12 need a messaging app? The answer is no. They meet friends at school and spend a large part of their day with them. They do not need to chat with them online when they are home from school. They need to spend time outdoors, actively engaged in sports and other activities, spend time being productive doing things like walking their dog, and of course, doing their homework!

Children most importantly should be using their time to interact with their parents and peers, focusing on their studies, and engaging in other constructive activities. However, when it comes to leisure and free time, they should be able to use social media, at the discretion of their parents, if they deem it a worthy option for entertainment.

Although Facebook has claimed that it will not share the information collected from kids with its marketing and advertising partners, only time will tell if this is entirely true. The app is part of Facebook and the company states in its privacy policy that the information collected from users can be used for marketing purposes.

What’s Next?

The Messenger Kids app has been launched in a preview mode on Apple’s iOS devices and will be made available to more people in the coming months. If the app is successful, then Facebook is set to reap more profit and most likely gain some new users.

How to get a Canadian Phone Number

Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy. However, its constitution recognizes the king or queen of the United Kingdom as its Head of State. The Head of Government is Prime Minister Justin Pierre James Trudeau, and Governor General Julie Payette represents the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II. Canada is located in North America, its capital is Ottawa, and the administrative divisions include 10 provinces and three territories*: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon*.

The estimated population of Canada in 2017 was 36,708,100. Also in 2017, there were 14,987,520 fixed telephone lines (i.e., landlines) and 30.45 million cell phones.

Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding sells the largest selection of local, mobile, and toll free numbers in Canada. The numbers have instant activation with commitment. The local and mobile numbers are SMS optional.

These numbers work as follows:

  • Your customer dials the number.
  • Global Call Forwarding routes the call to your phone anywhere in the world.
  • You receive the call on your phone or business telephone system.

All of these numbers are toll free to callers.

Buying a number is a straightforward process, as follows:

  1. Select Canada as the country.
  2. For a toll free number, select a prefix and then select a number.
  3. For a geographic number, select a locale, choose the SMS capability if desired, select a city, and select a number.

Global Call Forwarding offers local and mobile numbers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

Area Code Chart

The following graphic is an area code chart for Canada. An overlay is an area code that covers a region currently assigned to other area codes.

Population and Telephone Usage in Provinces and Territories

The subsequent paragraphs discuss each province or territory, its population, landline estimate, and cell phone estimate. The basis for the telephone estimates is configured by the provinces or territories’ percentage of Canada’s population multiplied by the total number of landlines or cell phones.

Alberta

Alberta lies east of British Columbia, west of Saskatchewan, and south of the Northwest Territories. To the south, it borders the US state of Montana. Its capital is Edmonton, and its largest city is Calgary. Tourist destinations in Alberta include Banff, Canmore, Drumheller, Jasper and Sylvan Lake. Alberta’s 2017 population was 4,286,100, and it had 1,749,968 landlines and 3,555,394 cell phones.

British Columbia

British Columbia borders the Pacific Ocean and Alaska to the west, Alberta to the east, Yukon and the Northwest Territories to the north, and the US states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana to the south. Its capital is Victoria, and its largest city is Vancouver. British Columbia has a diverse economy with service industries dominating its GDP. Its 2017 population was 4,817,200, and it had 1,966,811 landlines and 3,995,950 cell phones.

Manitoba

Manitoba borders Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut to the north, Hudson Bay to the northeast, and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south. Winnipeg is Manitoba’s capital and largest city. Agriculture, energy, forestry, mining, oil, and tourism dominate Manitoba’s economy. Its 2017 population was 1,338,100, and it had 546,332 landlines and 1,109,977 cell phones.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick borders Quebec to the northwest and the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast. The isthmus of Chignecto connects New Brunswick to Nova Scotia on the east. The Bay of Fundy is to the southeast, and the US state, Maine, is to the southwest. New Brunswick’s capital is Fredericton, and its largest city is Moncton. Its economy depends upon agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining, and tourism. Its 2017 population was 759,700, and it had 310,177 landlines and 630,184 cell phones.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador consists of Labrador on the mainland and the Island of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean. Labrador borders Quebec to the southwest with the Atlantic Ocean on all other sides. Newfoundland Island lies southeast of Labrador. St John’s, on Newfoundland Island, is the capital of the province and its largest city. The economy depends upon mines and quarries in Labrador, oil production from offshore platforms, the fishing industry; in Newfoundland, there are paper and lumber mills and agriculture.

Tourism is also important during the months of June through September. The province’s 2017 population was 528,800, and it had 215,903 landlines and 438,649 cell phones.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories border on Yukon Territory to the west, the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean to the north, Nunavut Territory to the east, and the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the south. Its capital and largest city is Yellowknife. Its economy depends upon its natural resources, which include gold, diamonds, natural gas, and petroleum. The Northwest Territories’ 2017 population was 44,500, and it had 18,169 landlines and 36,914 cell phones.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia lies southeast of New Brunswick, and water surrounds the Nova Scotia peninsula: the Gulf of St Lawrence to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, and the Bay of Fundy to the west. Nova Scotia’s capital and largest metropolitan area is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the world’s largest exporter of Christmas trees, lobsters, gypsum, and wild berries. Other sectors of its economy include defense and aerospace, the film industry, tourism, information and communications technology, and Michelin tires.

The province’s 2017 population was 953,900, and it had 389,467 landlines and 791,276 cell phones.

Nunavut

Nunavut Territory constitutes the major portion of northwest Canada and of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It borders the Northwest Territories to the southwest, Manitoba to the south, Hudson Bay to the east, and the Arctic Ocean to the north. Its capital and largest city is Iqaluit. Mining, along with oil and gas exploration dominate the economy, which also depends upon arts and crafts, hunting, fishing, whaling, and the New Canadian High Arctic Research Station. The territory’s 2017 population was 38,000, and it had 15,515 landlines and 31,522 cell phones.

Ontario

Ontario is the most populous province in Canada. It is home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Toronto is the provincial capital and its largest city. Manitoba lies west of Ontario, and Hudson Bay and James Bay are to the north. Quebec is to the northeast and east, and five US states, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York are on Ontario’s southern border. Ontario’s economy includes manufacturing, power generation, natural resources, and auto production. The largest single employer in the national capital region is Canada’s Federal Government. The province’s 2017 population was 14,193,400, and it had 5,795,012 landlines and 11,773,669 cell phones.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the smallest province in land area and population. However, it is the most densely populated province at 25.25 persons per square kilometer. Its largest city and capital is Charlottetown. PEI lies in the Gulf of St Lawrence north of the Nova Scotia peninsula. Agriculture, the fishery, and tourism are the basis of its economy. The province’s 2017 population was 152,000, and it had 62,060 landlines and 126,087 cell phones.

Quebec

Quebec is the only province with a predominantly French-speaking population. Its capital is Quebec City, and its largest city and metropolitan area is Montreal. Natural resources, aerospace, information and communications technology, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry drive Quebec’s economy. Quebec borders: to the west, Ontario, James Bay, and Hudson Bay. At the north, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, to the east, the Gulf of St Lawrence and Newfoundland and Labrador. To the south, Quebec borders New Brunswick and the US states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. The province’s 2017 population was 8,394,000, and it had 3,427,179 landlines and 6,962,967 cell phones.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is a landlocked province with Alberta to the west, Northwest Territories to the north, Manitoba to the east, and the US states, Montana and North Dakota, to the south. Its capital and largest city is Saskatoon. Saskatchewan’s has a diverse economy. Service industries account for 41.3%. The remainder of the economy includes mining and petroleum (13.0%), wholesale and retail trade (11.7%), transportation, communications, and utilities (9.1%), manufacturing (7.7%), agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (6.8%), construction (5.1%), and other (5.3%). The province’s 2017 population was 1,163,900, and it had 475,208 landlines and 965,475 cell phones.

Yukon

Yukon borders Alaska to the northwest, the Beaufort Sea to the north, the Northwest Territories to the east, and British Columbia to the south. Whitehorse is its capital and only city, although there are also seven towns: Carmacks, Dawson, Faro, Haines Junction, Mayo, Teslin, and Watson Lake. Yukon’s economy consists of mining, tourism, manufacturing of furniture, clothing, and handicrafts, hydroelectricity, and trapping and fishing. The territory’s 2017 population was 38,500, and it had 15,719 landlines and 31,936 cell phones.

When Tech Goes Too Far: New GM Vehicles Offer Shopping While Driving

About the New General Motors (GM) App

A new application from General Motors (GM) now allows you to order your favorite cup of Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts coffee from the open road. However, this has led to many asking is this convenience or a detriment to safe driving?

 

GM has decided to embrace newer in-car technologies by offering a suite of services from your vehicle. The cars with these features include 2017 and 2018 GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick vehicles. These vehicles come already equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots. When sitting in the car facing the dashboard, you will be able to view the “Marketplace” icon on your computer screen. Roughly 4 million vehicles should expect to see the change over the next year and a half.

The app isn’t just for coffee, either. Many retailers have partnered with GM to sell their own various products and services. This unique blend of technology can apply to transactions such as booking a hotel room or ordering a meal from a restaurant chain.

Technology and Distracted Driving

Of course, certain groups are not entirely happy about this change. Even though it is illegal in many states to talk on a mobile phone while operating a vehicle, it is still a very common occurrence and one that causes accidents every day. The National Safety Council reports that “cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.”

It’s safe to say that not everything about this application is, well, safe. Distracted driving involves texts, phone calls, emails, social media, music applications, and more. This new in-car shopping app is just one more item that could be added to the list. And it’s not just because a driver only needs to push a few buttons to operate the app, such as “Book a Hotel”. They can also be distracted by the considerations behind the decision, such as “How much money can I spend on a hotel room?” or “How long do I need to stay at the hotel?”

According to the American Driving Survey, United States residents “drove a total of 2.45 trillion miles” in 2015. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year. Consumer brands and retailers, for this reason, should take some level of responsibility in allowing drivers to simply drive.

What the App Offers

Driving distractions aside, the team at General Motors believes that this application is a convenient way to give people the resources they need on a convenient platform.

GM Vice President Santiago Chamorro explained there are certain services that are inaccessible from a person’s regular route. This new tech now paves the way for busy professionals to make purchases or reservations while making use of time during the daily commute.

The argument is that this app allows drivers to handle things from their phones with greater convenience. Instead of a driver pulling out their phone, or pulling over to the side of the road in order to get to their phones, which puts them in danger or lose valuable driving time, this app allows them to have a greater amount of control. With just a few convenient clicks of a few buttons, they can reserve a parking spot or find the next gas station. For instance, instead of picking up your phone to call TGI Friday’s for a table reservation, the app can do it for you hands-free.

Here are the six categories and the brands GMC has partnered with to bring about a more unified driving and commerce experience:

  • Fuel up: Shell and Exxon
  • Find Parking: Parkopedia
  • Order Food: Applebee’s, IHOP, Wingstop, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and delivery.com
  • Reserve Table: TGI Fridays
  • Reserve Hotel: Priceline
  • Shop for Car: GM dealers and discounts for car parts, accessories, and services such as tire rotations

The entire platform has been financed by these diverse merchants. While the market is still unsure how much in revenue GM is receiving from these brands, there are plans to add options for vendors in the future. And of course, GM also uses the app to earn additional revenue from their current clientele. They offer data packages and other GM subscriptions that are available while consumers drive. If you are still unsure how this application enriches your driving experience, you’re not the only one. However, for passengers who are not in control of the vehicle, there seems to be great value to these options.

How the App Works

It’s likely you’re going to see more instances of in-car eCommerce in the near future. So how does this application work? GM’s app uses what’s called machine learning in operating the technology. Machine learning uses your current location to decide what to sell/ market to you. Here’s what GM has to say about it:

“Marketplace… leverages machine learning from real-time interaction data, such as location, time of day and a driver’s established digital relationship with third-party merchants, to offer highly personalized experiences.”

To pay for your purchases, the application saves your credit or debit card information so you don’t have to pull out your wallet every time.

To their credit, GM has explained that the app has a limited number of options on purpose so that drivers do not find themselves scrolling, searching, or pressing buttons for their entire trip. The process, they explain, is about as fast as finding the right station on the radio.

Tips to Prevent Tech Distractions

Now that corporations will be targeting consumers from the front seat of their car, this is the best time to develop new habits to avoid distracted driving. Many organizations will offer advice such as turning off your phone or allowing your passengers to run the GPS. Others suggest stricter methods such as shutting off the radio altogether. However, remember that you know yourself better than anyone, including what tends to keep you sidetracked. Make a short list of the ways you can personally keep your eyes on the road and away from what distracts you.

If you need your phone for directions and maps, you can still keep yourself safe by setting your mobile phone to “auto answer.” This way, if you get a text or phone call while driving, it sends back a response that indicates you are too busy to respond at the moment.

Before hitting the road, complete all the tasks you would normally accomplish in the car. This includes charging your phone and streaming your music playlist. Technology is a valuable tool, however, it’s important to use it correctly. We encourage you to explore new ways to make your busy day less hectic while remaining safe on the road, especially if you’re going to be making the most of technology with GM’s new shopping app.

Why You Should Keep Educating your Team

As a team leader, one of your most important roles is to keep your team educated. This means ongoing training so that your personnel can keep up with the latest products, standards, and practices related to your business. In order to keep educating them, you have to maintain vigilant attention to your company’s vision as well as the goals and deadlines of the project at hand. It is also important to maintain your own motivation; only when you participate wholeheartedly in a project will your team be motivated to be there alongside you. There are a number of advantages to ongoing training; here is a look at some of the ways it pays to keep your team continuously trained.

 

Boosting Productivity

Training and development is an excellent way to increase productivity and retention. Don’t give in to the temptation of cutting back on outside training such as workshops and conferences for your employees because this can actually cause you to lose out in the long run. Studies show that employees who are well-trained are much more willing and capable of assuming a higher level of control over their assignments and they need less supervision when on task. Not only do they offer better customer service, but they also enjoy their work more.

Maintaining Communication

There is no such thing as too much communication, and this should be an integral part of all employee training. Make sure that you and all members of your team are on the same page all the way through each project. Employees need to be updated on the progress of the project on a regular basis. Though regular face-to-face meetings are very important, it’s not always convenient to call everyone together as this can impede progress, particularly if your team members do not share the same geographic location. Other good ways to keep your employees on top of the project’s ongoing status is through email, memos, conference calls, and video conferencing. Let your team know how important communication is for meeting long-term training goals and also addressing any challenges that are being faced, and encourage them to make suggestions.

Rewarding Efficient Performance

Another key factor to maintaining adequate training and motivation to learn is to reward individual and team performance. Recognition of achievement is a great way to provide positive reinforcement and encourage excellence among your employees. Use your company newsletter to announce specific achievements and goals that have been met. Take the time to make personal phone calls to commend high achieving workers. In recognition of team efforts, take your employees out for lunch, post-performance charts in the workplace or on your company website. Make these acts a regular part of your corporate motivation strategy.

Offering Your Team a Challenge

By setting your team-challenging goals, you are offering a stimulating way to learn new skills or to brush up on old ones. Your employees will work hard to meet new challenges and to achieve excellence. Make sure that the training goals are realistic and can be attained within a reasonable amount of time. Don’t forget to equip your team with the tools to succeed. They will soon lose motivation if they lack the tools required for the job. This doesn’t only include the necessary equipment, but also internal support, materials, and regular communication.

Keep Poor Performance in Check

Poor performance can lead to a downward spiral of decreased motivation and can undermine the whole point of ongoing training. Your team will rely on you to manage group members who are not participating fully, without causing conflict. Resolve such issues as quickly and diplomatically as possible. Avoid turning a blind eye to poor performance, otherwise, it will soon get out of hand and affect your team and their efficiency. Be clear about the changes you expect to improve performance, and if necessary explain what additional action will be taken if goals are still not met.

When and How to Use Praise

Praise is an important part of keeping your team educated, but remember, if praise is to be productive, it must be specific so that the individual is aware of what he or she has done to earn it. Clear and detailed feedback will help your employees understand their strengths and will ensure that you do not appear to be patronizing. Use praise conservatively; if you praise everything, it ceases to have any value. Try to avoid adding conditions to your praise; otherwise, it will come across as false or as a requirement for something else.

Another important thing to remember is that praise should be timely. If you wait too long after an event to make positive comments, they will have lost their impact. A good way of reinforcing praise is to coincide it with some form of recognition. Some possibilities include an achievement award, a write-up in the company newsletter or a gift certificate.

When and How to Use Constructive Feedback

There is an important difference between constructive feedback and criticism. Constructive feedback is given with forethought and with the intention of creating an empowering experience. Criticism, on the other hand, consists of being judgmental and most often creates negative feelings and loss of empowerment. While individuals and teams are inspired by constructive feedback, criticism can lead to resentment, loss of motivation and poor performance.

As part of your employee training, consider how you can strengthen your bonds with your employees and encourage them to fulfill their maximum potential. Remember to listen to suggestions from your team; their input may lead to new breakthroughs, especially if you are not afraid to try out new methods. Staying abreast of concerns and disagreements within your workforce will enable you to diffuse them before they get out of hand. It will help instill your employees with confidence in your leadership skills. Use training to address weaknesses in your company and to strengthen these areas. Don’t forget that before you begin training your staff, you should be personally up to date with the latest information to maximize the effectiveness of the team. An investment in your employees’ continuing education is an investment in your company as a whole.

The Importance of Updating Your Software

Your computer software is never the same for long. Whether you use Windows or Mac, software updates should be expected every few weeks, and you most likely know all about those annoying pop-up messages alerting you to upgrade. This gets annoying and frustrating for many when trying to do the simplest things like sending an email or complete pending work.

 

So, like most people, you probably inordinately keep hitting the ‘remind me later’ button and delay the update by days, weeks, or months. Who has time for this?!

Most of us keep pushing back software updates because of two reasons: we don’t have the time to keep our computer running while it updates to the latest version, or we don’t realize the importance of software updates so we avoid them. However, ignoring these important messages is detrimental, no matter how much time we “think” we’re saving in the present moment.

The Importance of Software Updates

Software updates are necessary for the average person, however, they are even more important if you are a business owner who does a great amount of work on the computer, so it’s really important to know that delaying upgrades can put you at huge risks.

The Risks of Outdated Software

Running an outdated software can also lead to your computer crashing at inopportune moments and if you take the chance, you risk losing all your files.

If you are an entrepreneur or online business owner, there are several important reasons why you need to perform software updates regularly. Even if you don’t have time when the message pops up, you should set aside some designated time when you perform all necessary software upgrades.

Here we highlight some of the most important reasons why performing software upgrades is necessary.

Security

It is well known that hackers and cybercriminals are more powerful than ever. The moment a new software update is released, they find ways to hack it and get access to personal data and other valuable information. Every software upgrade comes with a few bugs, and each new update fixes the problem. Cybercriminals take advantage of the vulnerabilities in these programs and use them to sneak into computers.

When you keep your software updated all the time, bugs and other vulnerabilities are less of an issue. Even when cyber criminals try to look for a way to hack into your system, they will not be able to get in if they can’t find a vulnerability they can use. Keeping your system updated at all times gives better protection and security against online threats.

Speed

Isn’t it annoying when your computer takes forever to startup? It gets even more annoying when files take a long time to load or the browser takes ages to open. When you try to download high-resolution videos or play games on your computer, it can get even slower, or worse, crash. This happens particularly when you run on outdated software.

Every time you upgrade your software, you give it a speed boost. Each update makes your computer faster in areas like starting up, loading files, or playing games. This is because each software upgrade fixes the bugs that existed in the previous version, leading to enhanced performance and faster speed. If you think your computer is too slow, you might need a software upgrade.

Security of Your Documents

When you think of how practically everything is stored digitally these days, your files, documents, and other valuable data suddenly seem far more at risk than ever. When your computer runs on an outdated software, you are at risk of downloading malware even without realizing it.

Certain types of malware can not only wipe out your documents but also transmit the bug from your computer to a remote server and vice versa. Malware today is more sophisticated than ever. You won’t even know your computer was infected with malware until it’s too late.

If your computer stores confidential data like employee details and salary information, you risk losing sensitive information if your device is infected. Making sure you update your computer’s operating systems and software helps mitigate the risk from these kinds of online threats.

Risk of Infecting Other Devices

When you upload a malware-infected file to the cloud server, that file can infect all the other files stored there. When you send an infected file to someone else and the recipient opens the file, not only does the computer get infected, but their other files will be as well. This is how malware keeps spreading from one computer to another.

When you upgrade the software, you not only get to know about existing malware on your computer but you also strengthen the system against external malware attacks and other threats. This makes it harder for you to download malware disguised as files or software programs.

Exciting New Features

When an upgrade is released, it comes with a lot of new and exciting features. As we all know, features are at the core of your computer’s software.

Features determine what the software is or isn’t capable of. The newest versions of a software will always be packed with features that didn’t exist on the previous versions. These features help you get your job done quickly and more efficiently. An outdated version of software results in slow work, while the latest version helps you finish tasks in a shorter period of time.

Healthy Hardware

In case you never noticed, your computer’s software is linked to the health of the hardware. When the software is outdated, the hardware isn’t going to run smoothly or efficiently. A new software upgrade is created with the latest hardware in mind.

If the hardware is updated, the software will also need an upgrade. Similarly, if you are running on outdated hardware, you need to upgrade it in order to keep it compatible with the software. This keeps the two in total sync because by keeping the software updated, the result is healthy hardware that performs smoothly and efficiently.

Updating your computer’s software might seem like a mundane task that you don’t have time for. But considering all the risks that threaten your system if you run outdated software, installing regular software upgrades is something you should be doing for optimal performance, security, and efficiency.

Bill Gates Invests $80 Million in Smart City in AZ

There is an ongoing debate in the fields of technology and economics about an $80 million investment made by a group associated with a Bill Gates company. This particular investment is reportedly contributing to the development of a high-tech community outside of Phoenix, Arizona. The news has caused much speculation about the possibilities of this project and some backlash. So what’s the story, and is it all just hype?

The Smart City Project

The AZ land parcel, which is owned by Belmont Partners, is comprised of 24,800 acres. The community will be known as Belmont. According to the plan, around 3,800 acres of the property will be allocated to commercial and retail space, while 470 acres will be devoted to public schools. Add to that 80,000 residences and the population should be up to around the 182,000 mark, which makes it comparable to Tempe, Arizona. Belmont will be located 45 miles west of Phoenix.

What Makes a City Smart?

If Belmont is going to be a city of the future, the investment partners seem determined to give it a head start. The development project is said to feature all the trappings of a high-tech smart city, such as self-driving cars, high-speed internet embedded throughout the environment, cutting-edge smart manufacturing technology, and autonomous logistics hubs.

It’s currently unclear to what extent Gates, and his company Cascade Investments, is set to become involved in this project, but Arizona, known as a technology-friendly state, is welcoming the idea. Several major companies in the autonomous vehicle industry – Uber, Intel, and Waymo – are already testing their technologies in the area.

This investment is just one of several recent examples of plans to build high-tech cities from the ground up. According to Belmont spokesperson Grady Gammage, developing this type of infrastructure from the drawing board is easier and more cost-effective than rebuilding and upgrading an existing infrastructure. However, the venture is not cheap, and the returns on the investment are projected to be very long-term.

To keep the concept in perspective, Belmont is currently a very large parcel of undeveloped land, almost the size of the French capital, Paris. Experts claim that the region’s low land prices could mean an affordable standard of living for Belmont’s future residents. A further advantage is that Belmont Partners are hoping to make the most of Arizona’s current low-regulation policy on autonomous vehicles.

The project, however, is not without its critics. Some of whom claim that the development is neither smart nor a true city. Other critics have raised their eyebrows at Arizona’s ongoing water crisis, pointing out that this project will only drain the state’s depleted resources even more. To keep within legal parameters, Belmont will have to prove that it has a 100-year assured water supply before it can begin to build. This may not be an easy feat, as it has yet to be disclosed how they can make this happen in regards to being truly sustainable.

The Future of Googleville

Similarly, Google plans to pilot its first smart city in an area on the Toronto waterfront. As Canada’s largest city, Toronto is an expanding metropolis, and it is also a high-tech hotbed right now. But Google’s main aim is to improve the city by expanding Toronto’s underdeveloped areas, such as the waterfront. Google’s high tech city promises a wide array of new technologies combined with environmental sustainability.

Think self-driving cars, high-speed internet with free Wi-Fi, along with smart and efficient technology incorporated into facets such as traffic lights and street lights that communicate with each other.

Perhaps Google is more equipped for such a project than any other company; after all, they did give us a search engine that has rapidly expanded to help people navigate, communicate, and work more efficiently. After a year of brainstorming their smart city concept, Google has proposed several innovative ideas about how to develop a new infrastructure “from the Internet up.” Toronto is currently seeking bids to regenerate the waterfront area, so there is a lot of hope for this project.

Smart Cities, Big Challenges

While the smart city building venture looks great in the virtual model and may work well in Arizona and Toronto, this type of project is not without its challenges. In particular, if it is to be implemented in other parts of the country and if it involves altering a city’s current infrastructure, the challenges will be major. For many large U.S. cities, such development could pose extremely difficult when taking into consideration the concerns of long-time residents, the limitations of existing infrastructure, and the displacement of high-density jobs. These issues, however, do not come into play when the area of land being built on is undeveloped or underdeveloped.

In spite of the challenges, the U.S. and Canada are not the only countries with an eye turned towards futuristic smart cities; Dubai and Tokyo are also working on their own versions. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy is set to explore and incorporate the latest technological innovations to make their city safer and smarter than ever before. A blockchain initiative is decentralized and allows digital information to be freely distributed, but not copied.

Tokyo also has a plan to smarten its urban development. The Japanese version of a smart city is somewhat different, though. It includes the implementation of alternative fuel sources such as wind, sun and nuclear, to harness the power in mass quantities and distribute it to businesses, homes and electric cars. Yokahoma, a city just south of Tokyo, is the site of a five-year pilot program to create a smart infrastructure that will hopefully become a model for other cities.

It will take several years to see what will become of Arizona’s Belmont, and perhaps before then; we will begin to see other versions of smart cities around the world that will generate even more innovations towards improving our own infrastructure. Nevertheless, one thing is becoming more evident: when it comes to technology, the future is getting smarter.