Virtual Reality

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Tech Trends for Small Businesses to Consider for 2018

April 18, 2018 - 6:14 pm
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When it comes to business and technology the future is already here. Worlds are truly colliding as virtual worlds are becoming more and more connected to the real, physical one. More than ever, companies have to wrestle with every new idea that comes along and decide if it's worth jumping on the latest technological advances or wait for the next big thing. In 2018, we’ll see these tech trends come into even sharper focus or begin to make a significant impact.

 

Internet of things

This one has snuck up on us without many realizing what was happening. We now have the ability to virtually connect many appliances using our smartphones with the power of wireless technology. From turning on the porch light to communicating with our new smart beds, everything is beginning to effortlessly link together.

Ecommerce

Today, brick and mortar shops are facing an uphill battle against internet giants like Amazon, which offer any item a consumer may want from the comfort of their home. Driving to the mall and interacting with people has become less frequent as ecommerce has become the preferred way to shop for customers. The battle continues to rage on as local stores close. Don’t expect the trend to end anytime soon, but one has to wonder how far this can go before consumers get cabin fever.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality can help your business offer a new kind of customer experience. After all, 3-D is so passé. Currently, the world of virtual reality is contained in the world of entertainment and video game players, but the technology is growing and its potential uses for teaching appear to be endless.

Subscription model

Companies are finding more ways to get consumers to purchase subscription services instead of the one-time-only type of purchase. Why settle on having a consumer purchase just one shirt from you when you can entice them to purchase a whole wardrobe every month?

Automation

The Roomba vacuum was only the first step in what is the rise of machines that is upon us. More and more, robots are doing the tasks real people used to have to do, but now it’s costing them their jobs. Some experts say automation will force the creation of new job sectors, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Blockchain

While many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the idea of the digital currency known as Bitcoin, Blockchain has made its way to the forefront of the tech industry with a concept that is a little simpler to grasp. It is a technology of managing access and information. Most think of it as a public ledger of bitcoin transactions that are able to verify various transactions without breaching data security. It also has the power to eliminate some roles in business such as brokers and agents, which will become more of the norm as time goes on. For now, many companies are using the technology to work with cryptocurrency purchases.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality has been used mostly by gamers, especially when you think about how many people interact with the virtual world of an online game such as Pokémon Go. It is estimated that some of the world’s biggest brands are working on ways to use this technology to enhance shopping in brick and mortar stores.

Chatbots

While consumers complain about how various companies use phone trees of communication, many businesses have taken to using chatbots rather than hiring live receptionists. Chatbot technology has been used for websites as well with fictional characters ready to help you with your questions, taking the place of real employees. Expect to see more of the same in the coming months in the areas of dining, travel and hospitality services.

 

This article was written by Jeffrey Totey for Small Business Pulse