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What’s a Headless CMS?

What’s this Headless CMS I keep hearing about?

A Content Management System (CMS) is an online platform that helps with organising and displaying documents, blogs, wikis, or even websites. CMSs deliver most of the web content through browsers but now there’s pressure to deliver more than just html pages. 

Smartphones, wearables, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), and AI-enabled voice assistants are delivering visual/audio and even sensory content that falls out of what a standard html document was originally designed for. This is where the concept of a headless CMS comes to the rescue. A headless CMS separates how the content is managed and how it is presented. Headless is the principle of not forcing the content to be in the same form in which it might be presented; that is, content does not have to be saved or delivered as a html format. With this operational imperative, immersive experiences, whether in the guise of virtual or augmented reality, can be managed by a headless CMS which is now structured to distribute any type of digital information.

A headless CMS stores and manages the content as data (files) and live feeds (connections with data streaming options). With this approach the content manager, as the person delivering the goods to their audience, is free to transform the content into presentations that include many of today’s cutting edge technologies, such as: 

  • The delivery of VR/AR experiences as presentations; simulations; digital twins; or panoramic remote instances which control distant processes or machinery in real-time.
  • The implementation of AI visual/speech-enabled agents to aid us by providing information, recommendations and other assistance.
  • The design of visualisations related to IoT or complex data analysis, to facilitate understanding and enhance engagement ( and the list keeps growing…)

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So, what’s the value of a headless CMS?

What was the value of a CMS, when all you could do before they became popular was to hand code html pages whenever you needed an online solution? A nanosecond of consideration (or perhaps a bit more) provides a list of benefits: 

  • The time saved through streamlined processes. 
  • Cost reduction gained through content development becoming accessible to non-technical staff.
  • Risk mitigation through having access to a much larger pool of potential content developers.
  • More control by having a workflow which could include moderators and QA personnel.
  • Enhanced security since all web-pages were addressed by industry-accepted security protocols; and more.

All these gains are now paralleled when people shift from their CMS to a headless CMS model, as custom purpose content that previously would have required software development and technical oversight is transformed into non-technical workflow, still requiring artists and designers, but not the software and technical business analysts of old.

 

How does the headless CMS improve content development and distribution?

Content, regardless of its source, is always classified and accessible: Data and digital assets that were used for earlier projects are not lost in the mountain of material that may have been left behind. Since all material is managed by the headless CMS, every piece of data and digital object is always ready to live another day under a completely different content presentation (for instance, turn your old video into an AR experience.)

Economic value: What could have been a custom purpose, time-limited, silo experience (AR/VR, complex data visualisation, etc.) Can now be an experience that can be managed by your headless CMS. You may wish to extend such experiences to generate new value (for instance, recast a visualisation from just exposing the variables that drive certain business transactions or behaviours to perform forecasts for different scenarios, with the further implementation of AI support.)

Integration of new Solutions: New functionalities within the headless CMS are much easier to develop and deploy since the functionality can be easily encapsulated as a module of a much larger set of modules that form the system. These modules connect and support each other, but are designed in a way that changes to any of its parts does not negatively affect the running of the system.

Uniform Security rather than piecemeal efforts: Any product that is not designed, built, and distributed under a uniform system will always have its security protocols questioned (and rightly so.) A properly configured headless CMS must include the appropriate security protocols to satisfy industry standards. Each product, as a published content type, will be stamped by the umbrella security protocol of its headless CMS, ensuring a better reception by its audience.

The Headless CMS is not going away. They are here now and will continue to grow in acceptance and value. It is no longer a decision of whether you should invest in a headless CMS solution but rather when. 

Digital Twin Technologies: The Game Changer in 2020

Have you heard about the latest technology trend “digital twin?” While it is not a new idea, the term has been gaining huge momentum in the modern era. The concept has been in existence since the initial days of in-depth space exploration. However, with improved connectivity along with the advent of high-end technologies like IoT and Virtual Reality (VR), the overall hype around the technology of the digital twin has been spreading lately.

It has been revealed that the digital twin technology is expected to grow from $1.8 million to reach around $13.5 million by the time of 2025. 

What is the Digital Twin Technology?

A digital twin can be stated in terms of a visual representation of some physical system, process or object. The fact that makes this technology so interesting and functional is that real-time data from meters, sensors and other relevant sources can be utilised for informing the respective digital copies of the given assets in a typical virtual space. This allows for the overall monitoring as well as analysis and opportunities for optimisation, future simulation and machine learning.

Importance of the Digital Twin 

For the upcoming future, the concept of the digital twin helps in providing the most value in equipment management. The digital twin is also capable of providing property managers as well as building engineers the capability of:

  • Visualising and monitoring building equipment along with systems in real-time
  • Connecting contrasting systems and promoting traceability through a common digital thread
  • Optimising building operations with top-end predictive analysis
  • Troubleshooting equipment from some distance

The given insights into the inner system of buildings and how the same can be improved could imply major savings in maintenance repairs, operations, utility consumption, and optimised IoT-based asset performance.

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Outbreak of the Digital Twin Technology

Just like other high-end technologies such as blockchain, the technology of the digital twin is also estimated to be utilised in a myriad of industry verticals. The overall use of digital twins is going to extend much beyond the concept of commercial real estate – reaching far into other industries including city planning, manufacturing, healthcare and marketing, to name a few. 

As per a recent study, it is estimated that around 21 billion connected endpoints and sensors by the end of 2020 will be existing for the digital twin technology. While the overall assurance of such predictions are yet to be analysed, businesses are still excited about what this would imply for the commercial real estate industry. 

For example, when digital twins are amalgamated with VR technology, the natural interaction and immersive views that VR technology has to offer might ensure tweaking designs to make the same less cumbersome and more intuitive. At the same time, simulations can be implemented in real time for observing what the given product in action would appear – enabling rapid-speed design phases. 

We recently interviewed digital transformation influencer Antonio Grasso. In our chat Grasso explores the opportunities of the digital twin for businesses in the future. Read more about the digital twin and our chat with Antonio here

My COVID Story Competition

Appearition is excited to announce the launch of ‘My COVID Story’. A fun, new competition to beat the school holiday boredom blues and inspire young minds to share their experiences during the pandemic in a new and exciting way.

Students will be required to create an AR experience of their life under COVID. This may include something new they’ve learnt, how this time is making them feel, what they’ve missed, or something they’ve done that is different. The possibilities are endless. With Appearition’s EducART AR Studio they can create an experience that will be capture this time in history.

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The competition is open to Australian school kids of all ages across years K-12. The winning student in each age group will win a 2021 subscription to EducART Pro for themselves and their school. The top 5 students’ experiences in each age group will take home a published book with a full page feature of the winning experience plus 4 runners up from each age group will receive a quarter page feature.

The competition closes on 11th October 2020, so if you know someone who might be interested make sure to pass it on.

For more information on how to enter the competition head to https://educart.appearition.com/my-covid-story/ 

Appearition Insights with Jaime Donally from ARVRinEDU

In this interview, Appearition team members Mark Hillebrand and Brittney Smith sit down on the couch for an e-coffee with Jamie Donally from ARVRinEDU, to chat about immersive technology in education and the future of learning.

Jaime Donally is a former maths teacher turned instructional technology specialist. Jaime is passionate about providing new immersive learning experiences to staff and students. She provides staff development and training on immersive technology as an EdTech consultant.

http://vimeo.com/458779816

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If you would like to hear more from Jaime Donally and her work in the education industry you can find Jaime at:

ARVRinEDU Twitter Youtube

 

The Difference Between STEM & STEAM Education

Understanding the difference between STEM AND STEAM

combination of the subjects Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths are collectively referred to as the acronym STEM. On the other hand, STEAM is the acronym for the combination of Arts in addition to all subjects from STEM i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths.

Arts refers to subjects such as humanities, dance, language, drama, music, design, visual arts, and media studies. The primary contrast between STEM and STEAM, is that STEM solely centres on the subjects of science and the ideas of logic. While STEAM researches similar ideas, this technique does this through a practical approach to learning strategies utilised with the help of creative ways.

This generally appears as though students are working cooperatively to make an engaging concept or article that depends on the comprehension of a STEM idea. For example, the arithmetic of the parabola used to make compelling symbolism through artwork.

The idea of learning through the STEAM technique is not a new concept. Leonardo Da Vinci, convinced us about the significance of joining science and creativity to make new revelations. In a similar manner, Indigenous Australians have a long-standing convention of passing on various ideas and scientific knowledge in the form of songs and music. This is a classic example of the fact that science, combined with the creative arts, can result in wonders!

While both these methodologies follow a different approach, it is important for both students and educators to study and understand how each works.

Understanding the importance of STEM

Science and technology lead to the creation of new items and distinctive procedures that aid in a nation’s economy. The innovation with science education banks upon a robust data base in the realm of understanding the basics of STEM. Unmistakably, most occupations in the upcoming years will require an individual to possess an essential comprehension of maths and science. In spite of looking at these convincing realities, the average scores in mathematics and science among students are lingering behind others. Let us try to understand how STEM training can be extremely essential for the youth of any nation.

Innovation  and science is constantly venturing into each part of our lives on an everyday basis – making STEM a significant subject. Science lies in every field and occupation of our lives along with each action that we take in our day to day living. By introducing students to STEM while presenting them opportunities to analyse and investigate the knowledge and ideas related to STEM, they will propagate a new sense of enthusiasm for it.

Educational programs that are based on STEM have real circumstances to aid the students in the learning process. STEM offers a hands-on and minds-on experiences to the students. Making maths and science, fun and fascinating encourages students to enjoy education and explore a new kind of learning

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Understanding the importance of STEAM

STEAM training in schools offers individuals a chance to learn and create – utilising critical thinking and practical applications. These overall abilities are essential to growing a workforce that is prepared for the future that understands and owns the capability of tackling complex situations occurring in real life. This technique leads us to ’22nd-century skills’ – that are predicted to be around connection, care and culture.

There are a myriad of opportunities to provide hands-on learning coming up in schools and institutions around the world. These are better known as “maker spaces”. Each of these opportunities usually focuses on combining the skill of discovery, along with the learning process. They encourage the utilisation of science and tech assets, in order to achieve different phenomenal results, such as data art and gaming.

It’s fascinating to see such a significant number of STEAM ideas appearing in current mainstream society, motivating trust – especially among young women. Elements like Shuri’s character in the film Black Panther – the wise, imaginative and lively technologist – encourages individuals to move past the notions related to STEM embedded in history and embrace new ages of interdisciplinary pioneers.

Similar creative examination and assets completely understand the association between science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, on the impact they have on one another. Educators who have adapted the STEAM learning technique usually observe the students discovering certain connections among various concepts. They also notice that the problem-solving skills of their students have enhanced visibly. Moreover, they strongly witness their students being actively engaged in the whole learning process, which is usually reflected with their expressions caught in experiencing varied moments of joy. 

If we adopt the learning technique of STEAM, we can challenge assumptions that all these territories of learning are independent and move ahead of the “I am acceptable at maths and science, so I am not imaginative” perspective. This will transform the way in which the world is perceived and generate a new thought process on being connective, multifaceted and comprehensive, along with an assorted variety of ideas, expressions, and thoughts. After all, that is exactly how things and situations work in real life.

Conclusion

Both STEM and STEAM are learning techniques that have been used by previous generations and will be embraced by generations to come. The most critical aspect of choosing between the two is understanding the needs and capabilities of an individual while making the right decision accordingly. Choosing the right approach will naturally lead towards a successful futuristic learning experience.

Find out how others are using our Immersive Learning solutions and access your free EducART trial here>>