New technology is making work lives easier and more interconnected. Here are a few gadgets that could change how we work – regardless of our field.
Soon virtual reality systems won’t be just for gaming. Microsoft wants doctors using the HoloLens headset to learn more about the human body or show people what it would be like to walk around on Mars. If you are no fan of flying the friendly skies for business travel, virtual reality could help you tune out the turbulence and maybe get some work done. Think about what could be possible with your own work presentations if you had access to virtual reality technology? Say goodbye to PowerPoint.
Read more: This New Virtual Reality Headset Tracks Your Eye Movements
Research from MIT last year found people actually like it when robots run the show in a work environment. And while we’ll hopefully not have robot bosses anytime soon, there’s already a preponderance of cheerful robotic assistants like Jibo, Musio and Cubic on the market to help you send e-mails, alert you to important days on the calendar, take photos and video and tell you what the weather is like outside. A telepresence robot can even help you interact with your office mates without you ever leaving the house.
Read more: New Office Tech You're Going to Crave This Year
And speaking of re-charging batteries, how many outlets and power strips and wires do you need to keep your devices running? An Israeli startup called Wi-Charge is at work on developing technology that would make it possible for lasers to get power to your struggling phone battery. The way it works is that a small transmitter installed in the ceiling would emit infrared light that would then changes into electronic energy to charge up your phones, tablets, computers and more.
Read more: Tired of Plugging Your Gadgets In to Charge? One Day You Could Power Them With Lasers.
The new wearables will do more than just help you check your email from a watch or a bracelet. Caterpillar has designed special sensors for miners that sense fatigue to prevent accidents while ones used by the NFL can detect helmet impact and protect athletes from traumatic injuries. Meanwhile, gear used by Boeing helps communicate to assembly workers so they don’t need manuals while in the field. Some smartwatches can even alert service reps to customer preferences so they can deliver a customized experience.
Read more: Wearable Tech Is Improving Employee Productivity and Happiness
Soon you could probably have an office full of voice activated, retina or thumbprint activated technology, like you would see in the movies. One company called Expect Labs is working to easily let app developers add voice activation technology to any app they create through a cloud-based software called MindMeld, and computers that you can command without a keyboard or a touchscreen may not be that far behind.
Read more: How MindMeld Is Letting Companies Add Voice Recognition to Any App