As technology develops, its influence in all areas of society continues to grow. Five examples in five different industries are data protection in finance, patient-driven analytics in health, wearable technology in fashion, visual and augmented reality in travel, and global online networks in entertainment.
Finance: Data Protection
Since the beginning of time, information has been society’s most precious asset. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the early hunter and gatherer tribes collected and shared data on places to build shelters and fertile hunting grounds. Today, global businesses use the names, addresses, dates, and numbers we upload into our social media accounts to market a wide range of products and services, from electronics to clothing, books, hair products, and everything in between.
As technology continues to develop, information becomes more and more vital. It is especially true in finance, an industry closely linked with all personal and business areas. For an individual, data protection entails safe online transactions. For a business, among many other things, it represents evidence of a solid credit history for a corporate loan.
Health: Patient-Driven Analytics
An electronic health record (EHR) is the “systematized collection of patient and population electronically-stored health information in a digital format.” In layman’s terms, it means having your medical history in a cloud database for your doctor, other approved physicians, yourself, and certified hospitals all over the world to access.
If you get sick while on vacation in the Bahamas, a local medic can gain access to your information from a hospital in New York City. If you are stuck at home, EHRs allow for the practice of telehealth and other remote-based personal care solutions.
As such, patients themselves have access to more detailed information on their physical status and are better involved in the decision-making process. Furthermore, the data gathered from people all over the world can then be analyzed to gain knowledge on diseases, patient reactions to medications, and even the probability of a global pandemic.
Fashion: Wearable Technology
When people think about wearable technology, most often picture an Apple watch. A smaller group would imagine wristbands, rings, bracelets, and other types of health-related monitors that measure everything from heartbeat to blood pressure and the number of steps you take in a day.
While these devices certainly fall into the category of health, there are better exponents as it pertains to what the fashion-tech boom truly represents. One example is Uniqlo’s Heattech Collection, a series of leggings, crew-neck shirts, turtlenecks, V-neck shirts, and Johns that use lightweight materials to keep you cool during the summer and warm in the colder months of the year.
Another is Nike’s Adapt technology, a lacing system that uses electronic components to automatically adapt to the shape of your foot and how you walk.
Finally, we have Cute Circuit’s Sound Shirt, an item of clothing that will soon allow deaf people to enjoy music by using touch sensations in real-time.
Travel: Visual and Augmented Reality
The advent of virtual and augmented reality in all industries could not have come at a better time. And one could argue that few areas have been more influenced by it than the travel industry.
In the past, if you wanted to see the Great Wall of China, you either had to go there or settle for videos and pictures from books, magazines, and your family and friends. Today, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With VR and AR, tourists can take part in realistic experiences that rival the real thing at a fraction of the price.
And it doesn’t stop there. Soon, people will be able to see and touch previously extinct architectural wonders and even experience life as it was lived centuries ago.
From a corporate perspective, travel agencies, hotels, city tour offices, and other tourism-related businesses can use AR and VR to promote their destinations in an exciting, cost-effective way.
Entertainment: Global Online Networks
Netflix was the tip of the iceberg. Almost a quarter into the 21st century, the growth of digital streaming media outlets has been larger than anybody could have ever predicted. No matter who you are, where you live, and what you do, you can access a wide variety of movies, TV shows, and music at the touch of a button.
In the gaming industry, the effect of technology has been even larger. As of 2021, more than 100 million people worldwide play games like Grand Theft Auto, League of Legends, and World Warcraft. And this doesn’t include mobile devices.
As we have seen, the effects of technology can be found in all industries and all walks of life. If things have changed so drastically in the past few years, one can only wonder what the future might bring.