Innovation in the world of technology – National Science and Engineering Week

British Science Week takes place 5th-14th March 2021 and is a celebration of all things engineering, mathematical and – most importantly for us – technology. It’s a chance to not only celebrate science, but also to celebrate innovation, and a good opportunity for us to look at all the innovations in technology coming to us over the next year and beyond.

As we know, COVID has dominated our lives for the past year. As such, without being able to take a trip into the high street to buy goods, online shopping has become a major player – and the experience is changing. We don’t neccessarily have to search or browse an online shopping website to find our product any more – instead, we can open up the chatbot.

Chatbots are nothing new. They have existed for years and have worked in the same way as telephone answering systems, with the aim being to connect you to the right person who can help you. However, chatbots are getting smarter. They provide a conversational experience to help you with product recommendations, reviews, and support. When they can’t help you, they’ll alert an actual employee to step in and assist.

More and more companies are also using augmented reality to support with online shopping too. Augmented reality is a mix between virtual reality and the real world, superimposing images and graphics over real world photos or video. For instance opticians can impose how a particular pair of glasses might look on you simply by submitting a photo of yourself to their system.

Continuing with the shopping theme, a new technology called Ultra-Wide Band is expected to gain significant traction this year. An advancement of contactless payment, Ultra-Wide Band can detect objects with extreme precisions, such as your debit card or smartphone, and can accept payments from them from a distance. Now contactless can truly become contactless – you won’t even have to take your payment method out of your pocket!

Virtualised experience have become the norm during the pandemic, with video meetings via Zoom being the usual form of communication. However, we have all certainly missed that face to face, 121 contact. Although there’s no substitute for that, technology firms are trying to make up for it with true virtual meetings.

Virtual Reality will allow us to wear VR headsets and be in the same “room” as our colleagues in hologramatic form. Some VR products, such as Oculus Quest, are even being bundled with business based software focused around colleagues collaborating virtually.

As we start to come to the end of the pandemic with the introduction of the vaccines, the question remains about how many of these technological innovations will continue and how many will fall by the wayside. However, one thing will always remain true – it never hurts to know about digital and the ways in which it can potentially change your life. If you’re on the Positive People programme, speak to your Change Coach today about options for digital training.