18th August 2015 at 3:20pm
There’s already a generation of adults who don’t remember life before the internet – they’re the Smart Generation.
Since the dawn of the commercial internet era in the 1990s, rapid advances in digital technology have transformed the way we live our lives, communicate, work and do business. We now have networks, systems, data capture and processes in place that are more sophisticated than ever, making people and organisations more efficient and agile.
The Smart Generation will continue to drive change as their expectations for technological solutions to every part of life increase. Their impatience with anything left in the old ‘paper-based’ world and their demand for faster, slicker, more intuitive and environmentally-friendly innovations are forcing all of us to change how we live our lives.
Here are some of our thoughts on the trends and innovations we expect to catch the attention of the Smart Generation – if they’re not doing so already. From mobile apps that allow us to make purchases in new and innovative ways, to Smart Glasses that allow the visually impaired to see – the only limitation is imagination:
Revolutionary Smart Glasses – the future of assistive technology
As winner of the Google Impact Challenge 2014 award, Smart Glasses can improve vision for a range of eye conditions. According to inventor Dr Stephen Hicks they could become an everyday reality for blind and partially sighted people:
“The glasses don’t actually restore sight, instead they enhance images on a screen in front of you. They’re fitted with an adapted 3D camera that processes images through a computer and projects a brighter, more defined version on to your lenses. For example, if you approach some stairs the camera will highlight their outline.”
There are around two million people in the UK living with sight loss that significantly impacts their daily lives. Over 90% of these people have some remaining vision and Smart Glasses will help those with very limited vision to harness what sight remains.
Smart Glasses should be available in high street opticians from as early as 2016.
Mobile money: The rise of the super apps
‘91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone, 56% of people own a smart phone and for 50% of users their mobile is their primary internet.’*
Given these ever-growing statistics, it’s unsurprising that mobile money is on the way to becoming the norm.
The launch of Apple Pay has already changed how many of us make purchases. The ground-breaking contactless payment technology has just launched in the UK and it’s expected to be used by the majority of retailers and banks within the coming months and years.
Wireless payment is changing the retail landscape forever for buyers and sellers. With the mobile pay trend in full swing, Google’s Senior Vice President of Americas Sales, Dennis Woodside, believes “mobile money will be the norm” as more and more mobile services and apps will spring up with pricing transparency set to disrupt traditional retailers as technology helps consumers find the best prices.
Plastic from thin air – taking steps to save the environment
Winner of the Popular Science Innovation of the Year award, Newlight Technologies has created a market-driven solution to cut down global warming.
With around 660 billion pounds of plastic produced every year and the manufacturing process producing three times the weight of this in carbon dioxide, you don’t need to be an expert to know that this is extremely damaging to the environment.
That’s what led Newlight Technologies’ CEO Mark Herrema to ask this question as far back as 2003: “Why can’t we use greenhouse gas emissions as a resource to make materials?”
Years of research later, Newlight Technologies successfully created a carbon capture technology that combines air with methane-based greenhouse gas emissions to produce a plastic material called AirCarbon™ – it performs exactly the same way as most oil-based plastics but costs less.
Packaging, smartphone and computer companies are amongst the first to sign up.
Real-time is imminent
Our data capture capabilities are now so sophisticated that we’ll soon move on from just recording data to making market-driven changes in real-time.
Using TV advertising as an example, you would run TV adverts, analyse the data, and months later you would have the information needed to assess your campaign strategy. But now the opportunities are endless – you can run many different ad types to many different demographics simultaneously, then measure, tweak and target on the spot.
The Smart Generation’s demand for real-time information and capabilities will only grow, as will their need for constantly improving productivity. Digital innovation gives all of us the opportunity to become more effective in what we do and how we live. We use technology to do pretty much everything nowadays – from keeping us fit, to checking where to go on holiday and managing money. Our recently upgraded Standard Life app lets you review your life savings and top them up when you want to, on your mobile. The Smart Generation would expect no less.