With so much focus on how well writers and producers of the movie “Back to the Future II” did on predicting how the world would look in 2015, let’s take a look into our own virtual crystal ball.
Forbes magazine recently looked at “5 New Technologies You Should Integrate Into Your Business,” highlighting augmented reality, wireless conference rooms, Internet of Things in the enterprise, 3D printing and wearables.
This quintet compares favorably to the “hot technologies” debated at the 2015 CI Summit in August, where panelists talked about the merits of networked AV, Internet of Things, wearable technologies and transparent video, among others.
Augmented reality, as futuristic as it might seem, may be the technology on Forbes’ list that has the most useful and widespread application. Microsoft has been touting HoloLens as a tool that can be a big piece of medical applications going forward.
“Enterprises can use AR devices like the HoloLens to show designs, collaborate remotely and see and learn new things in relation to the real world,” according to the Forbes article. Business ideas are better received when they’re shown, not told. Holographic computing devices present a unique opportunity to bring products and information to life. Best of all, AR lenses allow users to envision and work with three-dimensional data without the expenses of creating or launching.”
An episode of AV Week this summer looked at, among other issues, the possible uses of Hololens in a medical facility setting:
Wireless conference rooms help users connect offices, employees and clients in a way that “makes sharing and collaborating easier for everyone involved, no matter their location,” according to the Forbes piece, which singled out the Kramer VIA line of collaboration tools.
IoT’s adoption in the workplace will eliminate the need for manual entry of information, according to Forbes, “limiting mistakes and freeing up more time for employees to focus on applying that data and less time entering it.” In addition, connected devices will further help with employee mobility, allowing them to be more productive, no matter where they are, it says.
As 3D printers start to drop in price, we’re likely to see more companies incorporating them in their day-to-day operations. That will allow for more prototyping and experimentation of ideas, according to the Forbes article.
With regard to wearables, employers can encourage healthy lifestyles among their workforce by giving them fitness trackers. Supplying workers with smart watches is another way to encourage increased mobility and accessibility, as well as access to real-time information and updates on projects they’re trying to sell or finish, the article says.
Whichever new technologies you prefer, one thing is pretty obvious: integrators who aren’t learning every day are simply falling behind and risk their businesses getting lapped by competitors. Even if you decide not to incorporate augmented reality or 3D printing into your jobs, being able to talk to your clients or prospects about it clearly and tell them why they should or shouldn’t use it is critical.
Are there other new technologies integrators should be considering?