All Systems Operational 

Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021

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The global pandemic has reshaped our nation by fast-forwarding digital transformation.

To survive the waves of uncertainty businesses are left to re-engineer digital strategies to support sustainability and change. The biggest change for many has been adopting remote working as a norm, and technology is what made this possible.

Trend One – Internet of Behaviours 

Internet of Behaviours is about using data on daily activities to drive positive behavioural change. Take for example the smart software in supermarkets which tracks human behaviour to prevent theft shrinkage levels, by knowing if items have been picked up but not scanned, enables the likes of self-checkout tills to shut themselves down and alert the appropriate member of staff. This impacts the customer by making them more aware of their actions in real-time, and hopefully less inclined to steal.

Internet of Behaviours does create ethical implications which stem from why the data is being gathered. For example, travel insurance companies using health data to decide on the cost of the premium to the individual.   

Trend Two – Total Experience 

Total experience means the ultimate combination of employee, customer, and user experience, with the aim to improve it for all the parties involved.

This trend plays a great deal in helping combat the obstacles inflicted by Covid-19 by enabling companies to capitalise on the likes of remote working, this has been made possible by platforms such Microsoft 365 where all data can be stored and accessible in the same place and in terms of communication Zoom and Teams have brought the board meeting room to our living rooms.  

When you consider this in a retail environment, it means delivering amazing customer experience in the store, whilst making employee’s work more efficient or satisfactory in any way. 

Having product availability is one of the most important things to customers as having lack of stock can cost the minimum 5% of the sales, especially when you stand the chance of losing your customers to your competitors. Our technology, which utilises machine vision, processes existing surveillance images in real-time which gives retailers instant inventory data. This solution is capable of more than just giving insight into inventory by showcasing the shrinkage levels which are caused by accidental damage and theft. Our solution is also capable of identifying patterns over time from reoccurring behaviour.

Having consistent stock not only improves customer experience but also makes employee work more efficient by taking away manual counting and instead adopting an automated data-driven processes.

Trend Three – Privacy-Enhancing Computing 

Data privacy has become a big ethical tick list that businesses should strive to achieve and with the availability of privacy-enhancing systems this can now be obtained. 

The three main features privacy-enhancing computation provides is:

  1. A trusted environment where sensitive data can be analysed or processed
  2. Performance of processing and analytics in a decentralised manner
  3. Encryption of data and algorithms before processing or analytics

Take for example our edge-based machine learning solution which works by tracking customer behaviour patterns around the store, but it does not store track or store identifiable information about the customers as they shop.

The more time spent on the pattern formations the more trained our solution becomes, this simply means that our solution can only become more advanced as the time goes on.

Edge-based means that the images are processed where they are captured, and only the output metadata is sent to the cloud for storage. Our solution is highly privacy-focused which ensures no images leave the device and is compatible with existing IP camera infrastructure, this ensures that privacy is respected for all parties involved.

Trend Four – Anywhere Operations 

Throughout the pandemic, the anywhere model has had to be adapted especially with the normalisation of remote working, where accessibility is key.

The Hark Platform is a management tool which can be used to understand and visualise energy and asset performance from ‘anywhere’ in the world. Intelligent asset monitoring is a great example of the ‘anywhere operations’, as it allows remote access to energy monitoring insight and automated control. An example is the lighting changing depending on the ambient lighting detected outside. 

If you are ready to take on the emerging trends, get in touch with our team to start your journey! 

Mike Jeffs
Mike Jeffs
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Further Reading

clothing rail in retail store

Post-Covid Retail is Battling 2 Major Issues: Does IoT Solve Both?

It’s interesting isn’t it, how a single industry, like retail, can be simultaneously faced with two completely opposing challenges? On one side of the spectrum, the typical grocers are having to tackle rapid spikes in bulk buying alongside big-spending seasons, which results in supply chain and stock issues.

Read More

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