Many of us have watched movies like Minority Report, Total Recall, and Back to the Future. Movies like these tend to stick with you for a while, and they’re usually worthy of a Friday night movie binge. Maybe it has a little something to do with all those memorable and anatomically-incorrect scenes, but odds are, it probably relates a little more to the public’s general fascination with far-off, futuristic technologies.
But if you haven’t noticed, these “far-off” technologies aren’t as far-off as they once were. In fact, many of them are here already – like the virtual vacations the Terminator takes in Total Recall, the motion-controlled screens from Minority Report, and the hoverboard Marty McFly rides in Back to the Future. The really cool part about all of this, though, is that not only are these technologies here, but many of them are entirely accessible to the average Joe – which is great news to the business world.
With these recent advances in technology, come the opportunity for business owners and professionals in all industries and at all levels of growth to innovate and expand in ways never thought possible. Data is rich, efficiency is at its highest, and new business models are taking over faster than the zombies did in World War Z.
But how exactly is this happening and where can you see these innovations play out firsthand? Just about anywhere. Here are a few notable examples you can check out for yourself, and maybe… just maybe… something on here will click for you and the future you envision for your business.
Larger companies such as Amazon and Facebook have part of their colossal, Sauron-like eye on drones, and, as a result, they have some rather impressive projects in the works. For Amazon, this means a guaranteed 30-minute delivery, and for Facebook, global internet connectivity.
But for smaller companies, the possibility of drone integration is mostly centered on cost-efficiency and safety. For example, CyPhy Works is actively pursuing drones for a variety of services like pizza delivery and firefighting, and other companies are currently employing drones to monitor farmland or follow traffic conditions.
While drones can be considered more of a necessity and looked at as an effective way to take the human element out of dangerous or time-consuming activities, virtual reality is all about the experience – improving the interaction a consumer has with a business. Take Lowes for example. This Fortune 500 Company recently built virtual reality rooms called Holorooms inside a few of their stores. Inside a Holoroom, a customer can design a room, build it from the ground up, and walk through the final layout. From here, they can get a physical feel for their future kitchen or bathroom, making it considerably more likely for expectations to be met.
Virtual reality is also being used to treat people with social anxieties, brain damage, and PTSD, to educate children in subjects that are difficult to visualize, and to train employees and law enforcement. While these types of integrations can be seen as just another way to cut costs, its primary function should be viewed in terms of ‘experience.’ A police officer training in a virtual world produces entirely different results than a police officer training at a shooting range. And a child experimenting in a virtual science lab is considerably more effective than a child reading about science in a textbook.
Biometrics has been around for a while now; however, small business owners still consider it to be a technology designed for corporate environments. But as Network World puts it, “Biometrics isn’t the stuff of Hollywood, the CIA or Fortune 500 firms trying to stop corporate espionage.” It’s more commonplace than you might think it is, and these days, it’s a very basic piece of security, privacy, and employee verification processes.
From retina scanners to fingerprint readers, these forms of biometrics are good for business. They secure data better; they keep your brick-and-mortar business more contained, and they can verify an employee’s physical presence more effectively. You can purchase a fingerprint reader for a few hundred dollars and use it to secure individual devices or to track employees clocking in and out.
Whatever it is you decide to do, technology is a very important piece of your business. It can make you more efficient, more productive, and all-around more successful. If you have any questions on how to implement modern technologies into your daily operations, give us a call today. We’d be happy to chat technology with you.