It’s now 2018, and the vast majority of us carry a mobile device around with us every day, whether that be a smartphone or a tablet. We’ve become much more ‘tech savvy’ than we were five years ago, which has made communication and connecting with the rest of the world incredibly quick and easy.
But it is not just our personal lives that are benefitting from technology – our working lives are too. More businesses are starting to adopt and implement new technologies to help cut costs, save time and improve workplace efficiencies. Given the rate that technology is advancing, businesses now have a plethora of new solutions and products at their fingers, such as the cloud and digital data capture.
So, with the new year now in full swing, which technologies do we expect will transform business operations in 2018?
Virtual Reality (VR) video conferencing:
With more people now working away from their offices than ever before, it can often be difficult to bring teams together for a meeting or catch-up session. Flexible working has allowed staff to work from various locations and on different time schedules that fit around their commitments. But, thanks to platforms such as Skype and Zoom, individuals no longer need to be in the same place to hold actual meetings – they can do it over the internet via video streaming.
This technology is advancing even further. With the development of Virtual Reality (VR), businesses now have the ability to use this platform as a video conferencing tool. Users can pop on a headset and be transported into a completely different virtual environment. For instance, a key senior manager could be in different country and an urgent meeting has been called. To ensure they can be involved, they could simply put on the headset and be transported into a virtual world to communicate with everyone on the call as if they were all together in one place.
This futuristic technology is already generating mainstream interest, with talk of it being used to enhance gaming and audience experiences. We believe it has the power to revolutionise video conferencing as we know it.
Augmented Reality (AR):
Augmented Reality (AR) is yet another interactive technology that has come on in leaps and bounds over the past year. The technology, which overlays digital images and graphics on top of real world perspectives, is extremely advantageous for today’s mobile workforce, as it is intended to be discreet and used while on the move, plus it allows employees to operate hands-free.
Within the construction sector, for instance, juggling paperwork is often a big part of the job, but is far from ideal for staff working remotely between sites. If documents were lost or damaged, new versions would have to be printed off, which could hold up project progress and cost companies time and money.
But, AR could eliminate the need for blueprints and on-site paperwork. By wearing an AR headset, workers could pull up useful information onto their display, which could help improve their ability and knowledge about a particular job. If we think about an engineer who may have been tasked with fixing a piece of machinery, they could use an AR device to look at the area they’re repairing and could bring up details about how to carry out the work or check when that particular part was last maintained.
Users can access all manner of important information right in front of their face, without having to use a separate computer or refer to a paper-based manual, making life and the world of work considerable easier and more efficient.
With so much technology now at our fingertips, this puts bosses in a great position to improve their efficiencies, save money and streamline the way they operate. This all means a happier workforce, and improved customer service, which is great for business. With January almost over, it’s exciting to see what the next 11 months of 2018 will bring.
Will we all be working from virtual offices? Or organising our day via a digital personal assistant? We can only wait and see.