How New Technology Will be Integrated in Our Cities and Businesses

Facial Recognition, driverless cars and more.

Anyone living in a major city can see evidence of the direction we are heading regarding technology. We are integrating advanced technology with our everyday lives and it is rapidly changing the world around us. Every important aspect of society, from transportation, to business and education is being revamped in new and exciting ways. 

Some industries have always been on the cutting edge of integrating the newest technologies into their businesses. Using new technology and techniques to help serve their customers gives them an edge in the business world. Casinos are a great example of this as they have always been keen to take up new technology. Even something as simple and inconspicuous as electronic player membership cards have given casinos more user feedback than thousands of questionnaires ever could. Every year, more companies and businesses are looking at emerging technology and devising ways to incorporate them into their existing structure. Here are some of the ways new technology will change our cities and our businesses.  

Facial Recognition and its Many Uses

Facial recognition is a powerful tool that has many possible use cases. Starting with businesses, it’s already predicted that grocery stores and malls will be the first to combine facial recognition with ads and product suggestions. Upon entering a store, computers could instantly serve you ads based on your personal tastes and interests that you share on your Facebook or other social media. 

This is just the beginning of the industries that widespread facial recognition could change. There is also the important aspect of safety. Schools and universities could utilize facial recognition to identify people that are out of place or do not have a reason to be on the premises, effectively reducing potential security risks. Also, missing persons could be identified much easier. 

Consumers are already getting used to the concept of your face being your identity and security credentials. Facial recognition is a popular security feature to access your smartphone. It’s just one step further to use this technology in place of passwords or pin numbers at ATMs, banks, and ID cards or badges in the workplace. It could even be used to travel on public transportation and planes. There are many services that could be more streamlined and efficient with facial recognition. 

Autonomous Driving

Autonomous vehicles, or driverless vehicles, will potentially have the biggest impact on how our cities look and function. While scientists and technology enthusiasts have a utopian outlook in regards to these vehicles, it’s yet to be determined exactly how this new technology will change the streets around us. Infrastructure would certainly need to change on some level, including highways, toll booths, and increased wi-fi capabilities in the cities to support completely computerized vehicles interacting with each other. There are many factors to consider, but the possibilities are staggering. 

At the current moment, there is estimated to be over one billion vehicles on the road today. The first obvious advantage of driverless vehicles is the potential to reduce congestion on our city streets. Trends would indicate that many city dwellers are becoming more comfortable with the concept of sharing transportation. From services like Uber to motorized scooter rentals, the message is clear that people are finding less incentive to purchase and maintain vehicles. Many city planners are already envisioning a world where public transportation, buses, subways and individual cars are completely autonomous and shared by everyone. 

Cashless Society

Another trend that is commonly discussed is our path towards a fully cashless society. Cash-based businesses are almost completely phased out in major cities. Many people are getting more comfortable with having a wallet with only credit cards inside, and merchants find credit cards easier and faster to deal with. While this shouldn’t be news for anyone, the next evolution on this path could be surprising.

In the advanced and crowded cities across China, even credit cards are becoming a thing of the past. Vendors there more commonly accept WeChat payments. Instead of swiping a credit card, the vendor instead scans the customer’s phone, or even electronic watches and other devices. Apps connected to these devices contain all the necessary bank account information for the customer.

Taking this concept even further is the proposition of fully cashless stores without registers or staff. This model, being proposed by corporations like Amazon and others, is already being trialed in certain areas. Instead of any interaction between staff and customers, patrons will have a facial scan before entering and exiting the store. All of their items will be electronically tallied and the cost subtracted directly from the customer’s bank account. While this is all theoretical and in the planning stages, it clearly shows the society we are heading towards. It’s fascinating how much is changing around us, and to what magnitude.