Ever-evolving technology allows us to communicate and relate to the world in new and exciting ways; it has also changed the way businesses operate. One module in our MSc Computing and Technology programmes, ‘Innovations in Business and Technology’, explores the ways technological advancements can enable organisations to offer improved products and services.
Here we will investigate some of the innovations that are transforming businesses, how technology impacts the wider world, environmentally, politically and culturally and how these tie into the teachings on our Innovations in Business and Technology module.
Usability and UX is an essential part of what makes technological innovation so important to firms. In the module, you will learn how to critically apply web-based technologies and UX design principles to create systems that are as user-friendly as possible.
UX is crucial for organisations to improve their customer journey and get ahead of market competition.
The UK opticians don’t necessarily come to mind when you think ‘innovation’. However, through innovation they are saving customer’s time and through a service that allows a virtual try-on for their glasses – all the customer must do is scan their face with a camera from their desktop, tablet, or mobile to see their chosen frames appear on their face.
Recently, more and more companies are using augmented reality in a commercial capacity. An excellent example is Northern Lighting’s Augment app. This application can place a lamp or lighting fixture of customers’ choice into a desired location. The lamps are to scale so customers can judge whether it will be a good fit and design for their home. Dulux offers a similar service wherein people are able to upload pictures of the room they wish to paint and ‘try on’ various paint colours.
The upmarket Ecommerce retailer uses Artificial Intelligence to automate administration and uses data analytics to predict demand, furthermore they are even trialling driverless deliveries. Ocado were responsible for the introduction of smart warehouses that use robots to pack customer orders and increase efficiency.
Innovative technology obviously has its benefits – when it works. But, innovations can have a far-reaching impact on human interaction, politics and the environment. Awareness and analysis of the positives and negatives around technological innovation also features in this module.
Social and health
Technology has the ability to connect people from all around the world. Proximie is a service that allows healthcare professionals to connect in real-time with their patients, using technology to provide remote surgical assistance, education and mentoring to upskill the local clinical workforce. Their main goal is to provide healthcare to those around the world who previously may not have had access.
A lot of damage to the environment can be traced back to human innovation, however the solution to reversing it is likely to lie there as well. Tesla has recently been making headlines due it’s leading stance on green tech. They are continuously making green innovations such as their electric cars and electric self-driving semi-trucks. The self-driving semi-trucks could drastically reduce emissions from freight trucks and is already of interest in the US.
Attempts to innovate do not always work, proven by Google’s disastrous Dragonfly Project in China. Google had been working on this search engine specifically for the Eastern communist country. The search engine sparked public outcry due to Google’s perceived complicity with China’s restrictive censorship policies. Essentially, they compiled a list of thousands of websites that were banned, and then integrated this information into a censored version of Google. The project has now been stalled, as a result of its exposure in August 2018 and the resulting backlash.
Some innovations are good for one company; others end up changing the industry standard forever. These organisations force their competitors to ‘level up’, and improve the consumer experience for that sector.
IKEA is an excellent example. The Swedish furniture company created an app that uses AR to visualize what furniture would look like in their customer’s home. According to Wired, ‘It was one of the very first apps to take advantage of ARKit. Apple’s augmented reality framework lets developers use the smartphone’s motion sensors and cameras to overlay digital elements on the real world.’ Other companies have since followed suit, taking their lead from IKEA.
Some companies are still in the trial stages of implementing technologies, such as American Express who are exploring blockchain. Forbes reports that ‘this credit giant is testing a way to use blockchain to give vendors more power over membership rewards’, and once a big bank adopts this technology, the rest will surely follow.
If you would like further information about studying at Northumbria University London, enquire now, or view our available Computing and Technology courses below: