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Our homes and lives are already being transformed by Cloud Technology and the Internet of Things

Which Cloud-based technology trends should we be monitoring

How are some of the most agile organisations already taking advantage of cloud-based technology trends? Here are our views on the cloud technologies that will help drive efficiencies for Housing Providers of all sizes, now and in the future.


1 – Wearable technology for business

The consumer wearables market has been dominated by Apple and Fitbit.  Now, the business world is discussing how wearables could drive efficiency and customer experiences.   Interestingly, Gartner predicts that by 2018, two million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment.

Being able to track remote workers and operatives could help with ensuring safety and managing an efficient scheduling function.


2 – Mixed Reality Holographic

Innovations such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Occulus Rift are bringing technology and real-life ever closer.  The travel, leisure and retail industries are already using mixed reality to both improve the customer experience and win new customers.  For an example, see Ted Baker’s first virtual store, with panoramic photography and 3D Mapping.

The NHS are also starting to think about how similar technology could be used. For example, could holographic contextual signage replace the confusing maze of blue and yellow lines traditionally used to guide patients through hospitals? A relatively simple step forward, but once implemented, an efficient way to manage signage and improve the overall patient experience. 

Could Housing inspections and surveys be carried out and recorded using this technology?


3 – Predictive Analytics

Savvy retailers are already seeing massive profit hikes by leveraging predictive analytics.  Being able to identify which customers in certain parts of the world are most likely to buy a red dress in June is becoming an established part of retail forecasting.  We’ve also seen some tentative trials to capitalise on this tech trend in the health sector.  Accident and emergency departments are starting to think about how they can use predictive data to track the spread of disease and quickly stem epidemics or organise shift patterns for their paramedics.

Within a Housing Associations Repairs and Maintenance team, will predictive analytics be able to predict the parts and spares required, along with the skilled resources dependent on weather conditions?


4 – Voice & Gesture Recognition

Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri are probably the two biggest examples of commercial success in this area and it’s an area global technology giants are investing heavily in.  Tech giants aside, other industries are also using voice and gesture technology to streamline their businesses.  Surgeons have already started trialling Xbox Kinect technology to consult and sift through medical images, such as X-rays, in the middle of an operation without having to stop and scrub up.  BMW now use voice-controlled radios in their cars.

Will Housing Repairs engineers be able to consult a library of manuals via voice technology?

Posted Sunday, February 12th, 2017 by Andrew Westhead

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