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Technology - whatever next?

09 Jan 2014

2014 will mean many things to different people but, for those of us who grew up with a particular movie genre, this is the year Back to the Future promised us would see the invention of the hover board, ready for the 2015 January sales.

Whether this remains a pipe dream or will become the creation of the year, there is one thing to be said - technology is always evolving, growing, and being developed for a variety of needs.

Advertising, for example, has become increasingly interactive, drawing you in and submerging you into a virtual reality. Walk into a selected Tesco petrol station and the advertising shown to you whilst you wait in the queue will be based on your gender and approximate age. Stand in a certain spot in London's Victoria Station and you will appear on a large screen, standing next to an angel figure, who is (somehow) selling Lynx - you become part of the advert for all to see.

The technology that's really caught my eye recently has been workplace based digital badges, created predominantly to encourage teamwork and analyse the success of projects. Individuals wear the badge as they would an identity badge and, as they engage in conversation, it monitors the length of their conversation. Furthermore, the device is designed to be able to analyse speech patterns and body motion, increasing the potential for both qualitative and quantitative data.

So, what benefits could we see from this type of workplace technology? According to this paper, they could include:
· Increased analysis of social interactions in the office, exposing organisational dynamics and recurring behaviour amongst staff members
· Companies having a better understanding of how individuals work and what can be done in the future to improve the productivity of teams
· Revealing how persuasive people are being during conversations and even how effective someone is at negotiating - essential for any sales position.

With these steps being taken by some workplaces, there is the potential for questions surrounding employee privacy; will they sign up to be a part of this system, and what if only one team member opts in? However, it's undeniable that this is an impressive step and they will continue to come.

Now, how about those hover boards?

What are your opinions on workplace technology - has it gone too far, or not far enough? Please leave your thoughts below.

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