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Virtual reality is an interactive three-dimensional environment, where people are completely immersed in computer generated environment and usually use head mounted displays to effect their immersion, eliminating any interference from the real world. Augmented reality on the other hand is a new, exciting and interactive environment, where users maintain a presence in a real world. It combines real life imagination with computer visuals and other effects that use head-mounted, graphical information and hand-held displays features.

Augmented reality is appealing to the marketers, because through manipulation of the technology, they communicate with customers in an interactive and entertaining way to realize profits. Print media companies, for example Esquire Magazine, sees AR technology as a way to generate excitement about their products. By turning the magazines in different directions, different images are yielded and this appeals to the customers bringing good returns to the company.

Augmented reality mobile phone application has benefited the property industry, as users are able to view facts and advertisements on land, landholdings and properties for sale at a go. AR application users can aim their cell phones at the property to gather details about it. AR application users can also switch on the cell phone’s global positioning system application to acquire information on the assets that are far away.

Apart from real estate and print media industries, augmented reality is applied in medical procedures as image guided surgery, military training, robotics, engineering designs and consumer designs. Lately, AR applications have been used in acquiring information on tourist sites, chart subway stops and restaurants. Interior designers also use AR application to set their merchandise in an exhibition room for convenience and easy access by the customers.

On May 6, 2010; the US stock Market was down by 300 points and was trending lower. This was contributed by reduced investor confidence in the markets and economy with concerns over European debt and the possibility of Greece defaulting.

Electronic trading provides faster payment of claims by reinsurers; provide better and reliable data to reinsurers, internal process improvements, cost savings and more liquefied markets. Electronic trading enables improved internal/external audit through claims tracking, managing reinsurance assets, and credit control with reinsurers, easier assessment of reinsurer performance, tracking of reinsurance broker activity. It contains programs, which enable the manipulation of large amounts of data over a short period of time.

The flash crash happened because the computer algorithm was not able to manipulate the magnitude and complexity of trading by the Waddell & Reel Financial, which was trading 4.1 Million dollars of futures contracts using a computer formula that dropped 75, 000 contracts over the market in twenty minutes. The complexity of trading forced the computer to instruct other computers to trade with no regards to time and price and was bought by the High Frequency Traders (HFT) thus the drop in prices and the potato effect brought by the HFT’s trading bark and forth. 

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), which could try to standardize the circuit breakers across all financial markets, could have prevented the flash crash. It also could bound the high frequency trading, renovate the stub quoting system or limit all buy and sell orders, by placing upper and lower limits on the prices, in which the stocks can be bought or sold.

The Valero’s refining dashboard was to be developed based on plant tools and equipment reliability, stock and account management and energy utilization. Monitors were to be set up in the head quarter’s operation room, where plant managers could analyze the efficiency of operation of each refinery in Canada and the USA. There was thus an interconnection from the highest administrative level to lowest employee level in the organization.

The Valero dashboards displayed data on each plant’s history of production and current production data. Separate dashboards were developed to display statistics on power consumption for each unit of the firm and each plant. Managers were able to share the best practices with one another and make changes in the equipment to reduce energy consumption, while maintaining the production targets.

Valero requires information systems on its goals and measures, which include: information on environment and environmental safety, information on its functions and operations, information on the benefits it has brought to the communities living around its refineries and information on its products and services. These are its mission and vision for profits and growth.       

Valero dashboards were not effective in steering the company as they contained irrelevant data. They focused on what management can control within a narrow range and left out what was beyond their control, which is in a wider range. The uncontrollable aspects are what contribute to the company’s prosperity. Valero should have developed environmental monitoring parameters, which have a wider range effect. They affect how refining and processing of crude oil and gas is done.

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