In the last couple of months, we’ve dived into the world of traveling and retail - together, we’ve investigated the big challenges, solutions, and future possibilities of the airport industry and brick-and-mortars. We’ve looked into rising trends and the demands of millennials, and we can boil it all down to a single, simple, yet hugely important question:
How do we keep up?
According to Deloitte, the way forward is the integration of disruptive technologies, not just into the company itself, but as an extension of each other. The harmony between these technologies in a company is called the symphonic enterprise. Just as mismatched sounds create a discord, technologies can fail to deliver if they don’t work together in unity. In this blog post, we’ll look into some of the predictions of the technological future.
Embracing Disruptive Technologies
So what exactly are the disruptive technologies of 2018? We’ve mentioned the techs before in various blog posts in the last year, i.e. as technology trends in 2018 or trends that shape the future of the retail industry. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are all examples of trends that increasingly shape the way we navigate as both companies and consumers.
For example, AR Windows have already been introduced at the the NFR Retail Show in New York and at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. AR Windows are displays that mirror reality, using AR technology to offer passers-by an interactive experience through moving characters, interactive games, or product information. This poses a valuable opportunity for both consumers and companies - consumers can engage with the product, and companies offer customers the experience they seek, simultaneously gaining real-time important insight in their reactions and the effect of the campaign.
Indoor Navigation is no exception to the disruption - in our field, we see endless possibilities in the use of AR in gamification, interactive exhibitions, or augmented live feed wayfinding.
Man vs. Bot No More! Introducing The Hybrid Model
Many people connect automation and artificial technology with rendering human positions superfluous. But are the machines really stealing our jobs? In the symphonic enterprise, they aren’t. Deloitte predicts that humans and AIs will become co-workers, supporting each other, and increasing value and efficiency in their own area of expertise.
This hybrid model, humans and machines working together, may sound very sci-fi, but the idea is actually already quite established in many ways. Imagine calling your colleague every time you need a piece of important and very specific information, like the address, phone number, parking opportunities, and surrounding cafés and hotels of someone or of an area. You could maybe get the right information from the right colleague, but it’d be much easier to use a search machine - with you in charge of deciding what information is important to you.
This approach is transferable to many fields, for example HR. In the Global Human Capital Trends report 2017, 77% of the over 10,000 respondents reported that they’ll either retrain people to use new technology or redesign jobs to better take advantage of human skills. AIs will have to be trained and someone (humans) needs to do the training.
Another possibility is customer relations. As consumers grow increasingly empowered and informed, efficiency is a key feature in many customer interactions.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Robot
Perhaps you’ve run into the funky, bespectacled, purple haired communications manager at Lufthansa, Mildred? Who also happens to be a bot. She was introduced in 2016 to run the dialogue on Lufthansas Facebook messenger app and to guide customers to the best available fare based on their inputs - freeing communications staff to focus on other personal customer interactions, brand definition, brand awareness building etc.
As an extra feature, Mildred uses Google Geolocation to guide you to the nearest airport.
Navigation inside the airport, however, is a whole other story. MapsPeople is currently involved in the development of the service robot ‘Kugle', a danish robotics project that will allow passengers, personnel, and visitors to be guided to their destinations in airports, hospitals, and other large venues. Kugle will be a physical robot as well as an applications platform, making it possible for developers to customize the robot to other services.
The Symphonic Customer Experience
What do modern consumers want? Well, we can’t claim to know precisely, but we do know that millennials seek meaningful interactions and involving experiences. Technological advances working in unity is a significant step toward building not only a symphonic enterprise, but a symphonic customer experience as well.
We can think of many industries that would benefit from a more symphonic approach to IT. Retail, airports, universities, hospitals, convention centres, office spaces etc. - it’s really all about rethinking the way we work, to create a valuable experience for customers and employees.
At MapsPeople, we use our partner network, each partner specialized in their field, to build the best possible solution for our customers. The world of Indoor Navigation is evolving and adapting to the increasing demand of engaging and time-saving solutions in private and corporate situations.
Want to know more? Read our showcases to see our technological solutions to the challenges of our clients.