It can get a little scary when thinking how fast the human species is advancing. Technology is moving forward at such an alarming rate that buying a product becomes a notable risk due to the pace at which it becomes obsolete. Technology has progressed more in the last 20 years than it had the previous 100 years before, and new discoveries will only increase the rate at which we develop technological devices in the years to come. This has had an effect on how certain roles are administered in the workplace. What used to be guaranteed job placement could start being replaced by self-service devices, eliminating the need for employees such as waiters, tellers and maybe even drivers.
We are all familiar with films such as The Terminator and I, Robot. The Terminator in particular has become a reference point for the consequences of what an overly advanced future could look like. Last year, a robot in a Volkswagen factory in Germany accidentally grabbed a worker and proceeded to squeeze him against a metal plate until it ended in his death. Although completely unintended by the robot registering the man was a car part, it still represents dangers. Perhaps the biggest danger right now is the inconsequential role humans will start playing in the work space. Mobile ordering is growing in convenience and popularity by the day.
Restaurants have been the most recent to implement this trend. It sees waiters falling by the wayside, with tables instead hosting interactive menus whereby patrons can digitally order food and drinks off a touch screen, with the order being sent straight to the kitchen. Some venues will still employ people to bring the food out once ready, however, others will notify you on the screen at the table when the food is ready to come and collect from the counter.
McDonalds has seen their market share fall consistently over the last two years, and one method they have discussed implementing to improve the customer experience is digital ordering. It first launched in California last year and is starting a world-wide spread. The meal you order is delivered to your table using GPS to locate you. When one thinks about it, this should become normal in the not too distant future as competitors will need to keep up with the ever changing environment.
Another self-service action that shouldn’t be unusual in the not too distant future is contactless payments. We are all used to paying by cash or with card, but in the US and the United Kingdom it is a growing possibility to use contactless payments. Snap Scan and others have been known about for some time, but services such as Apply Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallet see customers pay by simply holding their devices close the payment machine with very minimal interaction. Banks have started offering wrist bands which one can top-up with funds, and you simply hold the band up to the payment machine without having to press any buttons. The Apple Watch uses Apple Pay to great effect, as it makes contactless payments just that bit easier. The sky is the limit when considering this form of payment, as it would make public transport, stadium admission and vending machine purchases so much easier. Tellers in supermarkets will only be good for packing your groceries into shopping bags for you.
Taxis might become futuristic fairly soon, as Google is busy perfecting a driverless system. The system relies on GPS and motion sensors to ensure a driverless ride is possible. This combined with contactless payments doesn’t sound like such a daft idea.
This added convenience of technology innovation combined with the social media age has done very little to improve our ability to communicate in the current decade. We are now more content to send an email or use Whatsapp. The days of picking up the phone or making house calls are slowly fading away. Activities that people would do which required human interaction is now possible in the comfort of your own home, secluded from the outside world. Poker playing can now be an online profession, as websites such as MobileCasinoCanada.ca continue to boom as a result of the digital age. Ladies no longer need to gather for bridge games, as they can do it online on a tablet. According to USA Today college students are becoming numb to the world around them as they fall deeper into their social media accounts. They went on to state that compared to the 1980’s empathy levels in university students are now 40% less as a result of social media. It is a fairly common sight when sitting in a restaurant to see a family all engrossed in their media devices instead of enjoying each other’s conversation. With interaction levels falling lower and lower in developed countries it could just lead to a drive in reducing the amount of communication customers need to make with service employees.
Luckily this trend isn’t likely for some time, as there are plenty of people who require employment, and the employment positions in question are essential for creating a vast majority of most countries jobs. However what seemed like something out of science fiction is slowly being a reality. Who knows, maybe one day your flight from Chicago to London might be piloted by a computer.
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