The next wave of technology
Whether you think the singularity is likely or not, and regardless of how you feel about Industry 4.0, it certainly seems to be the case that we are now firmly in the early stages of an exponential growth of technology.
Technologies including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) have been in existence for some time and are hailed as a gamer’s paradise. However, the way they are now being adopted by companies to give them a competitive edge in the market is remarkable.
Whether this relates to:
- car manufacturers giving customers the opportunity to see their custom-built car without the need to manufacture anything;
- training providers putting trainees in real life situations in safe and cost effective ways; or
- gaming apps providing new ways to ignite excitement for their users,
businesses are finding innovative ways of benefitting from the freedom that technology can provide.
The current hardware is only in its first generation, with improvements and refinements yet to make it to market. Processing power is increasing all the time, which removes some of the barriers for creating virtual worlds. In short, anything is possible; the only pre-requisite is innovative thinking.
In addition to the suite of reality technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) is continuing to transform industry, continually developing to meet consumer and business needs.
Are companies adopting new technologies?
There seems to be two sides to that question.
Events such as the Wales Technology Awards and the Festival of Innovation really showcase the innovative work that Welsh companies are undertaking in the technology industry. They are fantastic platforms to not only celebrate the advancements of technology but to also congratulate those companies that are furthering technology within their business and their industry.
On the other side of the coin, it is believed that a significant number of companies have no plans of incorporating the latest technologies into their future business strategies. This feels a lot like the early days of computing where many businesses did not believe that computers would have an impact in their industry. Only this time it is not a wave of new technology that is approaching; it is a tsunami.
Over the last year, CEMET (The Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies) has helped many businesses successfully adopt VR, AR and MR and have implemented numerous data science and AI solutions for clients. They have also advised companies on other technological advancements including Blockchain and procedural narrative generation, cybersecurity and internet of things (IOT) products.
Matthew Smith, Commercial Manager of CEMET commented:
‘We have noticed a huge acceleration in the pace of innovation within businesses over the last three years, brought on in part by an increased expectation from their customers. The largest change in attitude we have witnessed is within Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Perception used to be that these technologies are reserved for academia and large companies, but they are not as scary as they appear and incorporating these tools into your business can lead to significant gains. Many of our clients have harnessed the power of AI to automate process, increase customer interaction and increase customer retention.
It is important to understand that Emerging Technology creation and adoption is not just for tech companies; at CEMET we support a wide variety of businesses that work across all sectors and most of the technology is not industry specific. For example, Cross Reality (XR) can be used for sales, retailing, marketing and promotion, training and education, gaming, social interactions, engineering and design modelling and many more’.
All businesses should view research and development (R&D) as imperative. It should be the first item on the agenda of every board meeting: what is going on outside of our business and what are we doing to capitalize on the opportunities being created?
Companies who invest capital in researching and developing new technologies with the aim of incorporating them into their business should ensure they claim R&D tax credits. Qualifying companies could claim back up to 33% of their R&D costs.
Matthew Jones, Managing Director at LimestoneGrey, added:
‘Embracing and adopting the latest technology in your business is imperative if you want to keep pace with competitors and try and gain that competitive edge. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, the advantages of being technology centrique normally far outway the costs of doing so. Plus, if you are eligible to access the R&D tax credit relief, the cost is dramatically reduced, providing you with the capital needed to reinvest in future projects.
LimestoneGrey provide free consultations to determine whether your company could qualify for the scheme which can take place pre or post project. We would urge companies to speak to a professional so that they do not miss out on this generous relief.’
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