Thriving on New Technologies
Many technology trends of today are proving to have a large and favourable impact on companies. Trends such as IoT, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Augmented Reality are playing major pivotal roles in transforming businesses. These new technologies are not only enhancing companies within the technology sector, but also helping companies within other industries to thrive, flourish and advance.
Big data in the world of fitness is growing more and more everyday. Through the use of wearable technologies, such as Fitbit and Nike+ Fuelband, documenting your fitness has never been easier. These activity trackers record the user’s exercise and movement throughout the day and send it on to the respective app, where the data is saved and monitored. The data received by these companies then enables them to tailor and enhance their app and its updates, based on their users’ data, which in turn, increases an app’s popularity.
Furthermore, it is through big data that apps are able to create a customized experience for the user, an aspect that makes fitness apps so popular. For example, the Fitbit app automatically syncs the movement captured and converts it into data on your smartphone. Your wearable technology is constantly transmitting data in real time You are able to track your averages, set yourself daily targets and compare stats with friends. It is this seamless immediacy that is achieved using big data that makes fitness apps so popular.
The music company Next Big Sound has harnessed big data to effectively predict the next ‘big thing’ in music. Gathering data from Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and Wikipedia has enabled NBS to recognize well attended music streams, download sales, as well as views and likes, which in turn allows them to make an education decision on who is likely to become successful in the industry. The company’s analytics have provided invaluable information that not only benefits those seeking to be musically in demand but it also results in company revenue for NBS.
Billboard, a highly reputable magazine that famously publishes music charts, now publishes two charts based entirely on NBS’s data. Furthermore, NBS has worked alongside major brands, such as Pepsi and American Express, to advise on music-related marketing and sponsorship, aspects of the two companies that have billion dollar budgets1. Through NBS’ use of big data, the company has achieved phenomenal success.
Internet of Things
The agricultural industry has been enormously enhanced through the use of IoT. Installing sensors in tractors has given farmers access to easily view data about their crops, and in turn, through combing those sensors with advanced data analysis, agriculturists are able to see when the most effective time to plant crops would be, as well as how to best yield these crops2.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, we will need to produce 70% more food in 2050, then we did in 2006, in order to continue feeding the planet’s growing number of inhabitants3. Farmers are using the IoT platform to meet this demand, by harnessing its ability to provide greater insight into production capabilities.
IoT may well be the future for smoother transportation. It will have enormous benefits for both private and public transportation, that will, as a result, prove tremendously beneficial to businesses in a number of ways.
Connected infrastructure with connected vehicles with will help reduce traffic, as well as accidents. As a result, roads will becoming significantly less hazardous and congestion will be eliminated. IoT can also collect data through sensors and smart software used in public transport, which will help predict when a vehicle needs maintenance, significantly reducing a company’s repair costs. In addition, vehicles carrying produce can be fitted with sensors that monitor temperatures to ensure that goods are delivered in a safe and sanitary condition.
Hertz, who have recently started providing IoT connectivity, have enabled their customers to retrieve their rental vehicle in a convenient time and location. The IoT connectivity has given users a 24 hour call service in the vehicle, creating a highly simple and user-friendly way of getting in touch with a Hertz call center4.
IoT will have enormous impact on supply chain management by tracking assets. It will allow companies to make educated decisions, enabling them to be more time efficient, as well as saving large amounts of fiscal outgoings. DHL and Cisco have predicted that IoT asset tracking solutions could generate more than $1.9 trillion in the supply chain and logistics sector5.
Investment and Insurance
The Hartford, an investment and insurance company, has recently put a new infrastructure in to effect that includes a private cloud, significantly changing the delivery of IT services. By using cloud computing, companies like The Hartford will have insight into the needs of customers, agents and clients which they can then wield to improve their business structure. Bound to see major improvements within their company, benefits such as reduced costs, business continuity capabilities and refined system availability are all aspects of this advantageous platform.
Many of the major social media platforms use cloud computing to manage the continuous expansion of users that they experience daily. Instagram, for example, was created in 2010 and launched from a single computer. The social media app proved so popular that, within a matter of hours, the server was on the verge of crashing. As a result, Instagram made a move to the cloud to manage the proliferating activity. Half a year later, Instagram had 3 million active and regular users6 and has remained one of the most used apps worldwide.
Augmented Reality is having a dramatic impact on healthcare. Several apps, softwares and AR technologies that have been developed show the enormous potential AR has to completely revolutionize the healthcare industry. One such AR technology, AccuVein, is using the technology to help nurses and doctors get an exact location of a patient’s vein. Vinny Luciano, AccuVein’s marketing specialist, says that 40% of IVs miss the vein on the first go. The handheld scanner that projects onto the skin, showing the vein, will greatly assist medical professionals, especially in children and older patients7.
Another company, Medsights Tech, have developed a software that creates precise 3-dimensional reconstructed models of tumors. Augmented reality, in this case, gives doctors and surgeons the ability to view a tumor with x-ray views in real-time, avoiding radiation exposure in the patient7.