Part of owning a small business means that you have to be up to date on the latest marketing trends. There’s also another trend that you should keep up with, and that’s technology. In recent years, it’s been easy to keep up with technology— even though technology has been changing rapidly in recent years. However, it can be harder to keep up with tech trends in the business world.
Here’s a look at some of the current trends in technology and how they’re impacting businesses.
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Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment that appears to be as real as the natural environment. It’s usually modeled to look exactly like the natural world, but VR can contain unrealistic elements, as seen in some video games. Although VR is more widely used for entertainment purposes, some industries use it to allow their customers to become immersed in a virtual version of their business.
In a way, augmented reality (AR) is the opposite of VR. Instead of putting something real (people) in a virtual world, virtual images are superimposed into the real world. An example of AR used in business would be a clothing store allowing its customers to virtually try on clothes before purchasing them. Keep in mind that both AR and VR require devices to experience them properly.
An IoT device is a device that connects to and exchanges information over the internet with other IoT devices. There are many different types of IoT devices, many of which you’re likely already using in your daily life. This includes smartphones, smart watches, smart thermostats, smart locks, and just about any other device that has the word “smart” in it— as long as it connects to the internet and other IoT devices.
Construction managers use IoT devices to receive real-time information and insight on the progress of the construction site, including structures, machinery, and workers.
One of the most revolutionary IoT devices that have been making a huge impact in the construction industry is wearables. These devices, as the name suggests, are worn by construction workers to warn them of dangers lurking around the construction site and some can even keep track of their vitals to prevent exhaustion. Wearables can be utilized in other industries where the work environment may be dangerous.
AI is probably something you’ve already heard of, as the concept has been around for a long time. AI is the imitation of human intelligence in machines. There are many different types of AI, and you’re likely already using some form of it in your business and in your daily life.
You’ve probably heard of “the cloud”, and it refers to servers accessed over the internet and the software systems that operate on those servers. In business, cloud computing gives you access to business applications, networking solutions, data storage, and other tools and resources to help run your business. All you need is a cloud service provider to run your business in the cloud.
Machine learning is probably the most common example of AI, as it’s the ability of a machine to mimic human thinking. Computers, mobile devices, and other machines learn how to program themselves through experience, or learning.
Virtual assistants and chatbots are often used by businesses on their websites to assist customers with any concerns they may have. Powered by AI, these chatbots and virtual assistants assist customers with minor issues and bigger problems, respectively.
3D (three-dimensional) printing has been around for some time now, but not it’s becoming increasingly popular in many industries around the world. It’s an additive manufacturing process that involves layering thin layers of material to create an object from a 2D (two-dimensional) image as the model. If you’re in manufacturing or if you manufacture your own products, you may be able to try 3D printing.
All of these technologies (VR and AR, IoT, AI, and 3D printing) can be utilized in some way in almost all industries. While all may not be used in the daily operations of your business (such as 3D printing), they may be used in other parts of your business. Whether you use these technologies in your day-to-day business activities or not, it’s still important to be aware of the latest trends in technology, as they could become a bigger part of your business one day in the future. Because technology is constantly evolving, all of these tech trends could be a part of your reality one day.