Technologies are getting smarter, everybody know this, but not everybody is aware of just how smart our Technologies are becoming. It’s not just GPS capability in smartphones or smart appliances that improve efficiency. These technologies are just the tip of the iceberg. Smart technologies are around us every day but we just don’t realize that they are there. Examples are surveillance cameras, clothing, cars, buildings and much more. Smart technologies today are being invented and developed to watch us, help us, and get smarter because of us. So in technical terms, smart technologies are used to collect data, analyze this data and apply this to everyday uses.
A good example are the in-store surveillance cameras. In the past, the quality of this videos was poor and blurry, so you couldn’t actually make anything out of the footage. But today, smart technologies can make something out of this; First of all there is software now that can clean up video footage so we can better see details. And secondly, the big old cameras can be replace by new cameras which film in a much better resolution while still being low cost.
These cameras nowadays aren’t just used for police use like in the past. Today, companies are also tapping into these video streams and they use high-speed computer analytics to do a shopping analyses of the store, based on the security camera footage. So the security cameras expose a wealth of sales and marketing data and now companies use smart technologies to read into this.
The footage shows customer movements like what products they stop in front of, how often do they stop in front of these products, is the counter at the end of the row attracting movement or not. Using smart technologies, they don’t need to watch the video in the evening to analyze the footage. It’s all automated and software can analyze the video and produce data. When stores use the camera footage of not only inside the store but also outside the store, they can get a lot of useful information.
Great-Britain is the country at the moment that has the most advances practice in using cameras to analyze traffic patterns and look at high-crime areas. They have cameras all over their cities and towns which capture 24/7 video footage. They then use high-speed analytics to analyze the traffic flow, people movement, crime and more.
And it’s not just video footage but they also record audio. After a video is recorded, they can audio zoom in and listen to conversation that are happening at intersections, for example. No one is actually going to listen to these conversations. Smart technologies are used to automatically search for keywords or phrases in conversation. Now this technology is already used in Great-Britain, and it is predicted that other countries will take over this smart technology in the future.
Another example of how innovative these smart technologies are is the clothes you wear. They can also have technological components in them. A simple example are helmets like bicycle, sky or motorcycle helmets that can be used to mount a small high-definition camera on so it can record HD videos. This is called “The Helmet Hero”.
A key characteristic of smart technologies is being small. So an example of this are the high-quality videos that can be taken from a very mall lens that’s just clipped to or embedded in your sunglasses. These can then be uploaded directly to Facebook or other social media platforms. So a real life example of this can be that you’re for example walking on a beach or hiking a mountain, you can take a picture with your glasses and upload it directly to your Facebook.
Wearable technology even goes beyond this. Adidas created an ‘intelligent football boot’ that can upload performance data like maximum speed, minimum speed, number of sprints, distance you took for a sprint, etc. So this is a true training device that keep track of your entire training regimen. This started with a football but it will probably spread to other sports as well.
To go even more further, the US military developed mart underwear. This underwear has micro sensors that can monitor respiration, heart rate, body posture and skin temperature. So they can analyze what really happens with troops when they are in the fields. All the data is transmitted wireless and can be monitored in real-time. So if somebody has a problem or has been wounded, they already have body monitors on them. This same technology can also be used for professional athletes. It can track hydration levels, heart rate and other things.
This smart underwear can also be used for medical applications. Instead of wearing heavy monitors all the time, people who need to be monitored can wear this underwear. The collected data can be automatically streamed to the doctor’s office. So this would be less expensive and more efficient.
The real exciting thing of it all as that thing we always so of technologies from the future are really becoming reality. Like the Siri technology that Apple created. With Siri, we have an ultra-intelligent electronic agent with us at all times. And now we still need a smartphone to use Siri, but soon, we won’t. So you could be walking around hands-free and asking things to yourself like what’s my next appointment, where’s the nearest Starbucks or write an email without needing anything more than for example a piece of jewelry with the right technology in it. Most people and businesses see a smartphone as the technology of the future, but why not create a small device without a screen and use voice input only.
It’s sure that in the future, we’ll see more smart technologies coming up. Especially with all the processing power, bandwidth and storage which continuous to expand. The wealth of information coming from cameras to clothes can be gleaned, stored and transmitted. And this data will grow, giving us access to new and usable knowledge that can enhance both business and life. So you can already start thinking how you or your company can work smarter with all these new technologies at your fingertips.