There’s no doubt that virtual and augmented reality is the next big thing. From Pokémon Go to Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR, it’s an exciting time for brands looking to deliver a unique experience for customers. Despite its origins in gaming, many people believe there are opportunities for businesses to use virtual reality in the workplace.
You can slip on a pair of virtual reality goggles to interact with customers and colleagues in a real or imagined environment, with real-time translation that eliminates language barriers. You can also use virtual reality to train customer service staff, walk around a new office building, attend a conference, interview candidates and more.
Although the cloud has been around for a while now, tech brands are developing new software to help businesses enjoy more flexibility and control of their data. One of our favourites is the Intel Compute Stick, which plugs into your TV and transforms it into a computer, with its own quad-core processor and connection to Bluetooth and Wifi. You can keep it in your pocket and work from anywhere.
Another great cloud tool is the Double, which gives you a physical presence at work when you can’t be there in person. It’s a robot on wheels that’s controlled from your laptop or desktop, allowing you to live stream from anywhere. You’ll be free to roam around your office and attend meetings, or just stay in the loop on day-to-day activities.
Everyone knows how wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbit are helping people stay healthy, but wearable technology is also becoming more useful around the office. You can use your Apple Watch for video calls, checking your email and accessing your calendar on the run, or pop in a Sony Xperia Ear to take calls, get messages, read the weather, or find your next meeting—all without picking up your phone.
The Myo armband lets you control your phone, computer and other devices using gestures and motion. You’ll be able to control presentations with a flick of your wrist, or switch between applications and seamlessly control technology, touch-free. Another one to look out for in the near future is the Ciret Bracelet, which turns your wrist into a mirror image of your phone screen. You can use your arm to read emails, use social networks and get work done.
3D printing is one of the hottest technologies of the year and has the potential to transform your workplace. The printers themselves are becoming more affordable and are now even available at Officeworks. They use computer-generated models to build 3D objects from hundreds of layers of thin plastic, without any waste.
So what can you print in 3D? The possibilities are endless. You may like to print office supplies, desk organisers, storage or gadgets for your office kitchen. 3D printing is also ideal for creating customised versions of your products, or providing hands-on training for employees around the world.
The rise of the mobile workforce means that helping your team communicate and collaborate is more important than ever. Online collaboration software is evolving to meet this need, so you can drive productivity, no matter where your employees are located. Here are a few of our favourites to consider:
· Microsoft Sway is a new addition to the Office family, allowing you to create and share polished reports, newsletters, presentations and stories across all devices. You can back everything up to the cloud and easily share or embed presentations on your website. It’s like PowerPoint, with an edge.
· Asana is a project management tool that’s ideal for complex teams working across different locations. You can track projects from start to finish, with clear responsibilities and next steps, so everyone knows what they should be doing.
· Over three million business users around the world use Slack every day for real-time messaging, group chat, archiving and search. It integrates with apps and software that your business is probably already using, with full access across all devices. Forget group emails and trying to find the latest update on that project—Slack pretty much does it all.
Get in touch with our team to find out how we can evaluate your existing technology and provide recommendations that will support business growth.