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What new technology should your business invest in? It’s about more than a specific piece of software or a computer brand; there are services, techniques, and system philosophies to keep in mind.

You don’t need to be an old school computer geek or a new school savvy engineer to know what to do next. These two core concepts of workplace technology beyond 2020 will help you see how your business can benefit from the newest tech.

Automation, Bots, and Machine Learning

The assembly line, assembly line robots, and pre-programmed systems were part of long, still transforming concept of completing repetitive tasks.

The concept remains the same: figure out how to make something in a systematic set of steps, then figure out how to make that process more efficient. Today, that’s not just for heavy machinery or factories. It’s for office workers, too.

How many repetitive forms do your employees have to fill out? Does your business have to pore through data for specific trends, fill in the same or similar information, or copy information from one place to another?

These simple tasks can be programmed with macros, a way of putting multiple steps into one computer task–a click or typing. The modern world of macros is called automation.

Automation has been a big discussion for years, and is both the edge and the core of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics. Basically, if any task you do can be done on the computer, an automated robot or bot can do it as well.

The challenge is making automation more sophisticated. Scanning images, audio, and video was the big trick of the last decade, but now automation works with big data–another hot tech trend that is now commonplace–to cut through swaths of details.

You don’t need to be a big engineering firm or scientific project to benefit. Simplify forms, handle menial paperwork tasks, or even analyze trends to print out suggestions. You don’t have to take those suggestions, but if they look good, why not consider it?

Augmented Reality and Information Delivery

When checking a warehouse, how do workers know where everything is? For both placing items and retrieving items, you usually need to refer to a manifest, catalog, sections, or memorization of other details.

Augmented Reality (AR) is an offshoot of Virtual Reality (VR). While VR creates a simulator world with computer graphics, AR overlays digital graphics over the real world. That can make warehousing or any other information delivery easier.

You’ve probably seen AR on games such as Pokemon Go or its predecessor, Ingress from the game developer Niantic. While the technology is still the edge of the future, the concept is simple: take a camera’s live view and add a digital image.

That digital image can change, and can be connected to other information. Doctors can use it to view notes on the real body of a patient and even get live updates from other professionals, and warehouse workers can see details about every section and row.

Anything that can be given more information can be enhanced by VR. Advertisers can place commercials, nutritional details, recipes, and more information on their products with simple codes that can be seen with AR viewers (which, at this point, is any mobile device).

The standard office can reduce paperwork use even more by having information fill up the screen of a mobile device, glasses, or other interfaces. The future of Heads-Up Displays (HUD) isn’t just here, the fictional work is falling behind!

For more information about emerging workplace technology, contact a business tech consultant.