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Eid in the digital age

  • Published at 05:39 pm June 11th, 2018

Things are about to get a whole lot more interesting

Life has changed in many ways with the advancement of digital technologies, and so has Eid. Most people can’t find any photos of an Eid day from a few decades ago, because there were none, unless they hired someone from a photo studio. Now, people can’t decide which photos to keep and which ones to delete. Actually that has changed too, you can now keep all of your photos on Google photos. What else has changed and how has that changed Eid? Let’s take a look.

NFC salami

The murubbis waiting with a stack of tenners to be given out is a sight that says Eid more than most things. The phrase “ajke toh ore Eid” may have been derived from this very practice. But digitization is going to change that soon. With delivery sensation Pathao announcing the launch of its mobile wallet, you might soon witness teenagers asking for salami or Eidie money not by eyeing greedily at your stack that came from your hard earned money, but brandishing their mobile phones at you. NFC stands for ‘near field communication’, which is used to transact between mobile wallets and payment points. So, basically, if you have a mobile wallet, you hold your phone near a payment point, have the software determine the details of transaction through medium like the QR code, and the payment is made. For the younger ones that won’t have mobile phones yet, they will have to be happy with the good old-fashioned paper money.

Eid shopping without ‘dhakkadhakki’  

Online shopping, of course, is hardly new at this point. But if you consider the supplementary support now available, such as automation of process, online shopping has become a real option that people can genuinely consider. People are buying panjabis and other clothes online. Women are communicating with their dorji on Viber. With more processes being system integrated faster and faster, which just means making specific steps possible digitally within the whole shopping process, it is now a convenient option that people can trust. It might not be so far ahead when a congregating online platform will squeeze buying unstitched clothes, sending them to the tailor and delivery to home into a mobile app.  

“Google, do they have another jamaat at 9?”

If you miss the Eid prayer in the morning you can ask Google when is the next one and where? The Google Assistant feature can look things up for you, that’s not breaking news. But the Google CEO Sundar Pichai just announced a special update for Google Duplex. They have been working on this for years, as Sundar said. This program, part of the product Google Home and Assistant, will be able to make calls on your behalf and set appointments for you. The new AI talks like a human, and through thousands of test calls it’s proved to be indistinguishable from one. So, once that rolls out, it will not just contact thousands of institutions, but put up its findings on… wait for it... Google. Essentially, it will eliminate your need to call a friend and ask, “Hey, I missed the first Eid jamaat. Do you have one after 9 in your area?" If this doesn’t sound like a big deal, give it time.

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