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Who runs the world – man or machine?

They say this is a man’s world, but does it actually belong to machines? 44’s Tom Ives takes a look at some newly emerging tech and shows us why developments in technology are really all about you…

Not to sound like a Terminator movie, but we hear a lot about the rise of the machines and artificial intelligence in our daily lives – both at home and at work. Whether Alexa orders your pizza when you don’t want to get off the sofa, or your colleagues will only talk to you via Workplace Chat – tech is a huge part of our daily lives.

But it’s worth remembering it’s all designed by humans, for humans.

Who writes the code for artificial intelligence programmes? Or designs the microchips that power computers? Who administrates the data for weather forecasting? The answer for all these questions is the same – humans do.

Technology is developing rapidly and, with people in the driving seat, exciting new innovations are appearing everywhere. So how long will it be before these new ideas become a part of your internal comms mix and what problems could technological advances solve for you?

1. I never want to forget another password

Microchip yourself. Swedish company Biohax can now put a chip the size of a grain of rice under your skin – between your thumb and index finger. The chip uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, just like a card does to make contactless payments, to tell a machine who you are.

2. I never want to lose my keys again

Samsung was working with tech company Synaptics to put a fingerprint reader under the glass front touch screen of the Galaxy S8, but didn’t quite get it done in time for the launch. There are rumours that the next generation iPhone will include this tech and company Qualcomm thinks they’ve cracked it – as well as reading a fingerprint through glass, it can read it through metal too. Not too far in the future, this technology could mean that your aluminium door handle could read your fingerprints to confirm your identity.

3. I want to take pictures without sticking my smartphone in people’s faces

Taking quick pictures and videos on smartphones and GoPros is a popular pastime. But the smartphone is a blocker – a literal barrier between your face and the subject of your picture. Snapchat has branched out into hardware that can solve this problem and created a pair of sunglasses with a HD video camera hidden within the frame. So, if you see something you want to capture, you can publish it straight to your Snapchat feed via a discreet press of a button on your glasses.

4. Appointments are never convenient for me

How would you like to get your eye prescription through an app? Glasses retailer Warby Parker has an app that lets you confirm your prescription online within 20 minutes, so you can order your fancy new frames without a trip to the optometrist. And pharmaceutical prescriptions are going in the same direction. Soon, you will be able to enter your symptoms into an app, then a real-life human doctor will check your requirements and authorise (or not) the prescription.

5. I’m worried about how a family member will manage their diabetes

The Apple Watch already has a lot of health-related tech uses, but Apple is going one step further and trialling ways to continuously monitor the wearer’s glucose levels without breaking the skin. Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, has been seen testing the device himself.

Are you looking for a neat digital solution to help you with your communications challenge? If so, get in touch. We might be able to help…

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