Amazon is forging ahead with its delivery drones, while NICE, the business systems optimization firm, advocates robotic process automation to streamline back-office processes. Robots are an increasingly realistic proposition for big businesses looking to forge ahead and form the next wave of innovations to revolutionize business.
Some technology replaces human beings – other bits enhance their productivity potential. Here are five smart bits of office tech that will already help you to get ahead of your rivals. These are the sorts of things you could – and should – adopt right away to make a difference in the short term while preparing for the medium to long term effect of the drones and robots.
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1 The internet of things
It’s already here, and it’s already transforming the way we do business. It’s a means of connecting real-world objects in a virtual network by using unique identifiers. The most-used example is the fridge that can determine when you’ve run out of milk and add it to your online shopping list.
In industry, it means that computer systems could boost many more processes. On factory production lines and in supply chain logistics, open protocols and connected systems talking to each other has already resulted in huge increases in efficiency and productivity.
2 Stir Kinetic Desk M1
It’s a stand-up desk, and a little bit more besides. Its immediate function is that of the ultimate hot desk – a curvy, sleek workstation that’s ideal for busy agencies or the shop floor. That organic form features soft, rounded edges designed to aid circulation in your arms and wrists while you type.
Even better, it’s connected to the cloud, so as soon as you put your laptop on it, you’re signed in to your network. Plus, the very fact you’re standing at it will help your productivity and sense of well-being.
3 ZUtA Portable Pocket Printer
Great for start-ups and even better for meetings at client offices, the ZUtA is a tiny printer that isn’t restricted by its size. With a wi-fi connection, it will print directly from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone onto any size of paper. Perfect for getting an instant hard copy of the flow chart you just put together over a working lunch. It takes about a minute to print out a side of A4, so it’s slow, but its portability far outweighs that.
4 The Conference Mate
The Conference Mate is the compact speaker that will pair with your smartphone and let you get colleagues involved with those unexpected yet important phoned-in briefs. Non-Bluetooth devices can also join in via a 3.5mm audio jack. Perfect for big companies who are looking to add flexibility in a world where working on-the-go is essential.
5 Moleskine Smart Notebook
If you’re an ideas person who prefers sketching out concepts on trusty old paper, the Moleskine Smart Notebook is something you might be interested in to combine the best of old and new. By downloading the Creative Cloud app to this Moleskine, anything you doodle can be quickly transformed into a digital file.
The app uses special markings on the pages of the notebook to capture your sketch. This is then converted into an SVG file – and if you have an Adobe Creative Cloud account, your image can be quickly transferred into Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for a designer to get to work on. That’s especially of use when time is of the essence – or when your sketches need to reach teams in different countries.
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