At OJO Solutions, we provide and develop mobile applications and integrate systems to help organisation get the best use out of technology. By defining the way technology should be used, we help organisations understands what they should be using, how they should be using it and what benefit it will have for them.
But technology is constantly evolving, and it has been for a long time. Did you know the first VR headset was created in 1838? The first modern computer in 1946? The first digital robot in 1954 and the internet in 1983? We were building digital things before a lot of the other technology came along, so organisations have to stay alert as to what’s coming next.
We’re undergoing a digital revolution and it’s changing the way we are doing things in quite a dramatic sense. If you’re in your 40s or lower, your ability to adopt new skills and learn new technologies is much great than people in their 50s and 60s. However, if you’re 70 and up, your ability to adopt those technologies is slightly higher because you’re out of the working environment, and it’s that setting that creates a lot of confusion because it’s where the change happens most.
Finding the balance
Technology must have a purpose, and we have to think about why it exists. There are two key responsibilities that technology has: the first is to make life easier, however surprising that may sound; the second is to sustain our lives and the planet. We have to evaluate our individual pieces of technology to understand what its purpose is – my perception of what makes life easier is different to yours.
To make life easier, it must be easy to use, and a huge part of that is the experience of interacting with a device. Most of us have smartphones which are more powerful and have more potential than our laptops at home. I could run my entire organisation from my smartphone – the office landline is virtualised through my mobile phone, everything I need is in the cloud, all the programmes I use have apps that I can use – the only reason I still use a laptop is for comfort of using a full-sized keyboard.
Data, AI and all things automated
If you wanted to automate something 10 years ago, you’d need a group of very clever people and a lot of money to make one piece of data go from point A to point B. In the cloud-based world we now live in, we can do it ourselves with just a few drags and drops. We no longer need those very clever people working on basic automation, so their focus has turned to machine learning and artificial intelligence, and we now have the capabilities to do some very impressive things in that space.
By making a machine cognitive and allowing it to understand basic rules, it can look at and comprehend things faster than we ever could. Not only can in compute data very quickly, it can then talk to and understand different bits of data at an incredible speed. Machine learning simply requires us to allow a device to access that data in order to carry out tasks and changes its approach dependent on varying parameters.
Big data is vital to everything we do now – it helps us understand everything that is going on. If I want to know whether my business is going to be here in five years’ time, I can look at trends and the information of what’s happening. Just by joining bits of data together, it’s possible to understand if an organisation is meeting its’ needs, if they’re performing as they should be and, most importantly, if they have missed any business opportunities.
The Internet of Things
There is a whole world of technology that we don’t directly interact with, yet we could be. In many buildings there are simple receivers that are used for burglar alarms – but can also capture room temperature, the time and even footfall. We can make those receivers intelligent by using that data for various processes. For example, if we know there are people in a room, then how many people? Should the heating be on or off? Is it dark, do the lights need to be on?
We’ve used similar technologies with charities to create a ‘smart’ home for people returning from rehabilitation following brain injuries. Before, we didn’t know if they were safe around the home on their own – were they sleeping, eating, drinking? But by installing a series of switches and sensors, you can track their actions without invading their privacy.
For example, you could assume that at 11 o’clock they had a cup of tea because the tap ran, the kettle was turned on and the fridge was opened. You could see when they entered and exited their bedroom to assume whether or not they’re sleeping. All of a sudden you have all this data that can improve someone’s quality of life because carers know that outpatients are okay left on their own.
Learn from the past, don’t run from it
If we take a step back, we’ve been in this place before. The industrial revolution was a huge transformation – the world changed overnight and just like that we had to adapt. We can learn from the first industrial revolution as we enter what is being branded as the fourth. As we move forward we need to think about how we can use technology for good, and as long as we focus on that then the tech evolution will serve its purpose in making our lives easier, as well as protecting us and our planet.
If you want to make sure you and your business are making the most of the technology evolution, we’re here to help. Chat to one of the team today by calling 01225 220155 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.