You don’t need us to tell you that we’re entering some pretty exciting times as far as technology goes. The concepts that have shaped sci-fi movies and novels since William Gibson’s 1984 novel, Neuromancer, are coming closer and closer to life. We can create almost anything we desire without putting our hands on it and we can almost entirely enter worlds that don’t exist in our own reality. But these advances are better for more than just living a sci-fi fantasy. They have some serious applications for businesses that can help a startup excel.
Entering new worlds
Let’s start by talking about 2016’s most hyped technological entry. We can’t ignore the launch of VR platforms that have tested the boundaries of our existing technology. They might be advertised primarily for gaming at the moment, but businesses are excited about the potential uses of these alternate realities. Some are already using them to create virtual stores for people to browse as new ecommerce experience. Others are using them to design and view designs in industries like architecture. Then there are those using them to create 3D streaming experiences in fields like medicine to give a much closer, more in-depth education.
It might seem like the less popular family member of its cousin, VR, but augmented reality might actually be a lot more ready when it comes to application in the business of the day-to-day. AR devices like smart glasses don’t take you into a new reality, but rather they overlap the existing one with digital images. Those digital images can then be edited, moved around and worked with. For a lot of businesses, this means taking care of things like admin, emails, and managing your workload without having to sit down at your computer. You might even be able to use AR to fit a keyboard on your arm so digital communication is easier than ever.
Getting hands on
Seeing and manipulating images from a digital world is all kinds of cool and very useful. But there are a lot of times when businesses need to have something they can inspect and use in physical space. 3D printing goes a lot further than helping with admin and marketing and its applications helps us to make decisions based on physical evidence. Production teams of all kinds are using 3D printers to create prototypes and models that inform the design and manufacturing process much easier than the cumbersome methods we had before. From watches to automotive parts, it’s a lot easier to summon it from thin air to see how it works in the real world. In manufacturing and engineering, it also makes it a lot easier to make specific parts, whether you’re trying to specialize your production process or making repairs without having to wait ages for your supplier.
The brand of a business is one of its most important assets. And one of the best things a brand can be is different, even shocking. You don’t have to have a radical message, however. A radical way to deliver a strong, simple message can be just as good. QR codes have been around for some time now, but that doesn’t mean they’re done being relevant to businesses that want to show some innovation. All you need to look at is guerilla marketing campaigns like Made By Stupid’s codes that take you directly to the app or site being advertised.
Your people are your best resources
You can’t forget the human side of the business even as you delve into all new kinds of exciting tech. Luckily, you have tech to make sure you don’t do that. When you talk about measuring employees, most business owners think of productivity and workflow. However, the best businesses care for more than that. They want to make sure their employees’ well-being is always under consideration. That’s why some are starting to use wearable technology along the lines of Fitbit to track things like their employees’ activity. We all know the dangers of spending all day at a desk on the computer, for instance. Now it’s easier for employers to make sure that their team is looking after their health as much as their work.
A lot of the kinks of these new technologies are still being worked out, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty already ready to use. The businesses that stay on top of the tech, nowadays, tend to be the most successful. Might be time to think about how you start incorporating some of these.