The Blog

Beat Procrastination with Zeigarnik Effect

Contributor(s): Zohwa Karim

Think about how difficult it is to leave a TV show in the midst of watching or at the very end where there is a cliff-hanger and the only thing you want in the world is to know what happens next and finish the story. Wouldn’t you like to feel that way about your tasks?

The psychological phenomenon of Zeigarnik effect proposes that making a start on something – no matter how big or small – keeps it ticking way at the back of your mind until you reach the end. It was also found that interruption during a task that requires focus can in fact improve, rather than heed, a person’s ability to remember it afterwards.

People who are prone to procrastination may learn the importance of starting tasks early or of simply starting anywhere they can. The cognitive tension associated with the Zeigarnik effect will help to pull these individuals back to work until the job is completed on time.
This effect also has implications for the techniques that we might use to learn and to recall important pieces of information. For example, the desperate tries of late night intensive cramming before the exam and hoping with heart and soul that the brain will retain the in-formation. This common practice has been debunked by this effect. But you can use it to your advantage by designing study sessions with appropriate breaks involving unrelated ac-tivities. A prolonged study period without breaks is typically less effective for information recall. The Zeigarnik effect also promotes mental well-being. Completing tasks successfully can provide a sense of accomplishment whilst increasing one’s self esteem and confidence. The development of productive work and study habits can also contribute to a personal sense of maturity and self-growth. This effect is also something many companies use as a marketing tool. It’s a leverage to make the user keep coming back and use the product.

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Our New Creative Space: The Story

Contributor(s): Zohwa Karim

Creating an environment that is welcoming to everyone is also essential. For people to want to enter the space and use it in their day-to-day working routine, the environment has to draw you in and let you know it is available for use any time. We wanted to set up our work environment to breed creativity, whether it be a brainstorming session with the whole team or an individual assignment that requires solitude. Using speciality medias, for example murals, it can create something eye catching to passers-by. Once their attention has been caught, the rest of the graphics and interiors draw them in.
But the most important part was that we did it ourselves. Instead of over-spending and relying on producers who were charging us substantially more, we reduced the budget by more than half by thinking creatively and investing extra time and effort. We had volunteers from the team including the General Manager, the UI/UX team and even two back-end developers who helped transform the place into a creative haven.

Before office image
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ECI Image Recognition

Contributor(s): Hussain Wajid, Kumail Hussain & Zohwa Karim

A power company uses drone footage that contains high resolution images of power lines and towers to inspect for issues and faults. The drone takes images after a certain interval. Because of interval delay, the footage is very dispersed.
There is no system in place to segregate the footage from the good and the bad. Human analysis of the data is very time consuming and costly. The manual rate is $15 per structure and human inspectors can do approximately 50 towers a day.
Our team is working on a process to make everything easier and automate it. They’re building a machine vision software to track and automate human analysis. Which will reduce cost by an ample amount and increase productivity notably.
ECI is an image recognition software which trains the images against some well-known algorithms to achieve the most factual results. Starting off with it, the images were classified into three classes of poles, not poles and partial poles according to visibility of power lines and towers. Then these images are trained against visual recognition algorithms and the results are evaluated.

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Watch Over

Contributor(s): Paul Lebar

Tracking the whereabouts of children is becoming essential for parents these days. Parents with children who are old enough to own a smartphone can have them text back or call them if they want to check up on them. But what about younger children who don’t own a smartphone? It is more essential to have a tracker for young children who are more prone to getting out of sight. Any parent who’s frantically searched for a lost child will likely see the appeal of trackers.

That’s where WatchOver comes in. It’s like a guardian angel for children between the ages of two and 10. WatchOver is a GPS tracker in a watch that enables parents to locate children through a smartphone app. For example, if a child were to get lost at a zoo or amusement park, a parent would be able to find out quickly where that child is. What sets WatchOver apart is its safety insight. It incorporates current, local news so parents know what is going on in the vicinity of their children.

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First Prize Winner in the Avnet Bluemix with Watson Hackathon

sniff.it is a mobile app for consumers to check at runtime what other buyers feel about a particular product. The user simply scans the barcode of the product through sniff.it. sniff.it will then gather product information & user comments from various sources. Instead of giving the user with a long list of reviews which the user will have to go through in order to come to some decision, sniff.it will do a sentiment analysis on the reviews fetched & will give a comprehensive picture to the potential buyer about the viability of a product based on what other consumers “feel” about it. This will not only guide the consumer in making an informed & educated decision but will also push the producers to produce more quality work. At the same time it will help Government auditing bodies in being able to identify low quality products (based on consumer feedback) which should be monitored/removed from the market.

Internet of things event SANTA CLARA Participation

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- The cutting edge of the Internet isn't about computers anymore, it's about everything from cars, light bulbs and more -- all connected to the cloud. ABC7 News' Jonathan Bloom was at the 'Internet of Things' conference in Santa Clara to give you an inside look at "where the world becomes the web."

Simorgh Takes Flight!

The name of Simorgh has been inspired by Farid-ud-din Attar’s work “The Conference of the Birds” – a poem written in the 12th century which recounts the tale of the birds of the world who are tired of their age-old anarchy and decide that they need to look for Simorgh - a mystical king of all the birds never seen by any of them. The birds embark on a difficult adventure passing through the seven valleys looking for their leader.
As the journey progresses, one by one the birds drop out unable to bear the challenges of the strenuous voyage. Eventually only thirty birds reach the land of Simorgh but instead of finding their spiritual leader, all they see is their own reflection in a lake. At this moment, they realize that the divinity they were seeking - the ideal leader who could guide them to greatness and unity - was within them all along. They themselves combined together are the Simorgh!
Simorgh started out as an R&D group in 2014 with a clear focus on building a workforce that could create cognitive, IoT &/or analytics based applications. Since then, Simorgh has successfully worked on a number of ideas & has now scaled into a profitable division of SPS Inc. We are working with a number of clients on some very interesting problems. We use the latest tools, technologies & methodologies to look for solutions which can help the clients bring disruption & innovation to their lines of business. The journey has been long & strenuous but it’s just the beginning – we are only in the first valley of our adventure and have many more valleys to seek.