Smart technologies combine technology, sensors and Internet connection to make everyday tasks easier. They have been so widely adopted that they are starting to transform sectors traditionally far from technology such as sports, finance or education. Here’s a few examples from each sector.
Smart technologies making an impact on our day-to-day life
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Smartphone, Smart TV, Smart Cities, Smart Home, Smart Car… As you can see, more and more products include have the word “Smart” in their name, which seems to have become a requirement to sell any new technological innovation.
Are all these offers that come to the market really Smart?
According to the consulting company Sogeti, for a technology to be considered truly intelligent, it must meet the following five requirements:
1) Be based on an electronic device or system
2) Have a permanent connection to the Internet
3) Have sensors to gather information
4) Be able to process and learn from this data
5) Offer an interactive users interface
When a Smart technology meets these conditions, it has the ability to transform the way we do things. And it does so even in sectors that have traditionally stayed away from the technology. Here are three examples.
Improve your swing by using your mobile
Smart Technologies have been used in professional sports such as athletics or tennis for years. And now they are breaking into the amateur sport as well.
For example, Zepp Play Football and Zepp Golf are two solutions that use intelligent technologies to improve user’s performance in football and golf, respectively. They both function in a similar way: a sensor installed in football socks or golf gloves collects data on your swing or kick, which you can then check as statistics on your computer or mobile device.
This allows users to access a lot of information about their performance (as if they were professional athletes) and even to create a customised training plan to keep improving workouts. Watch out, Iniesta or Sergio García!
Your bank fits your pocket now
Like sports, finance is another sector which hasn’t readily accepted technological innovations. However, in recent years Smart technology application in the financial sector has allowed the creation of a whole new category of financial products and services called FinTech (an abbreviation which comes from ´finance´ and ´technology´). Thanks to technology, queuing up at the bank or at the ATM to handle our money may be coming to an end.
Smart technologies applied to banking already allow us to do things as useful as access or manage our accounts 24 hours from the computer, phone or tablet; activate or deactivate our credit cards; pay in stores with mobile services such as Apple Pay; send money to anywhere in the world only with a verbal order through apps like Azimo; make inquiries and procedures with our banks 24 hours over a Facebook chatbot; or change money to any currency from your mobile without leaving home with services such as Barcelona-based Kantox. And this is just the beginning: the FinTech sector in Spain has quadrupled in the last three years, according to Finnovista and is already taking away significant numbers of clients from traditional banking.
Goodbye blackboard, hello collaborative board
Luckily, Smart technologies have also broken into the educational arena. And they do it through collaborative presentation solutions like wePresent, which convert the traditional classes in which the teacher recites the lesson and students take notes into interactive learning sessions in which everyone participates.
In this way, a blackboard transforms into an interactive screen on which a teacher presents contents and students can send their contributions wirelessly through their mobile devices, which are replacing one-time notebooks.
All contents are available on the school´s intranet so there is no need to take notes or make photocopies: the only concern both for students and teachers is to make sure that everyone understands the lesson. And it seems to work: different pilot programs conducted in collaboration with companies such as Google or Samsung in Spanish classrooms indicate that students using Smart Technologies are more motivated, more participative and get better marks.
As we can see, new technologies are making an impact on our day-to-day life, transforming a lot of sectors and also creating new categories such as FinTech. Public Relations professionals need to know this new landscape which offers thousands of new possibilities when it comes to creating fresh, surprising and incredible actions.