Smart devices are everywhere.
Chances are, you’re reading this article from one right now.
Smart devices make our lives easier, more convenient, more efficient, and in truth — more enjoyable. They make you feel like you’re living in the future.
That’s because smart devices offer a person a variety of futuristic applications. Control your TV using a device equipped with voice commands. Track your health with a device that wraps around your wrist. Soon, smart technology will even make the journey into your office.
A “smart” office will make use of devices that connect to the Internet, have wireless capabilities, and operate autonomously to drive efficiency and convenience, but with a purpose to grow the success of your business.
Below, we predict a few examples of smart technology that may appear in your office in just a few years. So let’s rev up the DeLorean. We’re about to make our way to the not-so-distant future.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality is one of the most talked about technologies today. VR devices immerse a person into a digital world that generates realistic images and sounds. This can make a person feel like they’re physically in an imaginary environment or situation.
VR capabilities pose an infinite number of possibilities. For example, educators can use VR devices designed for the classroom to help students visualize lesson plans and actually interact with the subject matter.
Of course, this tech can easily apply to financial services as well.
During those crucial first client meetings, you could use VR devices to give people an interactive presentation. Instead of a PowerPoint slide with a simple cash-flow report, it isn’t too farfetched to imagine placing a VR headset on your client and literally walking them through each stage of the financial lifecycle. Clients could visualize a financial path that suits them best.
You could even show them a world where they’ve already achieved their financial goals. Wouldn’t that leave a lasting impression?
Augmented Reality (AR)
The biggest difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is the level of immersion.
While VR is completely immersive, AR blends the virtual world with real life. You might be familiar with AR technology already. Holograms often make their way into the AR discussion because they project 3D images into the real world.
Think of how engaging your annual reviews would become if your conference table lit up with a hologram of your clients’ financial pictures. Using AR devices, you could also make changes to their financial picture together in person, or even remotely. That would be a meeting they won’t soon forget.
According to Goldman Sachs, the virtual reality and augmented reality market could generate as much as $142 billion in revenue by 2025. So it’s likely you’ll see more of these devices on the market soon.
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)
No, we’re not talking about sentient robots or murderous computer programs like in the Terminator.
Today, artificial intelligence in real life bears little resemblance to the sci-fi movies we love. In fact, you probably use A.I.-enabled devices without realizing it — especially if you use a smartphone. For instance, 65% of smartphone owners use Voice Assistants like Siri and Cortana (both forms of A.I.) to regularly execute tasks. These special computer systems use self-learning algorithms to adapt to behaviors and make decisions.
A.I. could be the key that unlocks greater performance and new strategic opportunities within your business. The more you rely on technology to effectively run your business, the more data you naturally create. For humans, scouring that data for actionable information can become tedious.
But A.I. does a lot of the heavy lifting by analyzing common trends and insight within your business and generating personalized reports. Not only will that save you time to focus on big-picture strategies, it allows you to make more informed decisions quicker for your clients. That kind of reliability won’t go unnoticed, and will help propel you to become your clients’ primary, go-to financial advisor.
Who could have guessed that fashion and technology could pair so well? Gone are the days of bulky calculator watches. Today’s wearable smart devices are as sleek as they are practical. Take the Apple Watch for example. This device helps you stay on top of your day by notifying you of appointments and sending short messages.
Other wearables like smart glasses allow you to see virtual information in the real world. These glasses employ the same concept as AR, except the projected data is only visible to you.
Some wearable devices come equipped with geo-fencing capabilities. That’s a feature that alerts you of important or relevant information when you’re physically close to a specific location.
Picture yourself wearing a pair of smart glasses and walking past your conference room. You could be able to see the day’s meeting schedule and agendas for that location. Quick snapshots like this can keep you and your staff productive and on the same page.
Why did driverless cars make a list of smart office devices? Well for one, they could make a positive impact on your daily commute. Imagine a future without the stress of a traffic jam, where traffic patterns move as quickly and efficiently as possible. Road rage could be a thing of the past.
And, because you’re not driving, it isn’t unbelievable to think you’d get some work done in the car. You could host conference calls, answer emails, or simply plan your day. That would give you more time to focus on high-priority tasks at the office.
In fact, 30 companies have already begun building autonomous vehicles, according to Business Insider. You might see these cars on the road very soon.
Can You Picture it?
A few years ago, it would seem crazy to consider any of these tech advances as actual business tools. Today, it’s a different story. Smart technology is on the verge of becoming a core business solution, which means the time to get a head start on this innovative tech is quickly running out.