7 technology trends from Holland Chamber of Commerce Tech Lunch

Today I went to the Business Technology Trends Tech Lunch at Herrick District Library, put on by the Holland Chamber of Commerce. Jason Kehrer, Chief Problem Solver at The Image Group, presented 7 emerging technology trends to an audience of local business owners and professionals. Throughout the presentation, we discussed how these technologies are affecting our businesses, and how to take advantage of them.

I embedded Jason's presentation at the end of this post, or view it on SlideShare: Chamber Tech Lunch - Tech Trends. Below are my notes from the event.

Video chat

  • Trend: communication is transitioning moving from voice-only and text-only to virtual face-to-face
  • Video captures emotions and body language
  • Examples: Skype, Apple FaceTime, ooVoo

The Cloud

Social networking and location-based services

  • Trend: consumers “check in” to locations they visit to earn points and notify their friends
  • Businesses offer incentives to regular or vocal customers
  • Examples: foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places

Video streaming

  • Trend: broadcasting video of a presentation or event is becoming increasingly cheap and simple
  • Portable broadcast equipment: iPod Touch, tripod, and directional microphone for around $300
  • Examples: Qik, Ustream

Multi-touch

  • Trend: interact with computers, phones, and other devices by touching their screens or trackpads
  • After multi-touch, the next phase is gesture-recognition. Kinect for Xbox 360 recognizes motion; Microsoft intends to use this technology in Windows 8. Picture Tom Cruise in Minority Report
  • Examples: iPod, iPad, Android, Windows 7, Windows Phone 7

Personal point-of-sale (POS)

  • Trend: replace large, stationary POS systems with wireless, portable devices for use in-store or on-site
  • Accept credit card payments for sales, charitable donations, etc. on the go
  • Capture customer’s signature and photo, email a receipt
  • Examples: Square, VeriSign wireless POS

Aggregation and analytics

  • Trend: filter the mass of digital content to find what’s valuable to you
  • Track customer sentiments by monitoring mentions of your business on Twitter and other social networks
  • Examples: RSS, TweetDeck

Open discussion: other technology trends

After Jason's presentation, the audience discussed a few technology trends they've worked with:

  • Pico-projectors: tiny, portable projectors that store pictures, presentations, and video
  • QR Codes: 2D barcodes readable by phone cameras
    • Put QR Codes in print or other physical locations to link to web
    • Embed vCard (digital business card) data in QR Code for people to import to their phones
    • Use analytics to track code scanning: who, when, where
  • Google Voice: a single phone number that rings all your phones
    • Transcribes voice into text
  • VoIP: phone (voice) service over your Internet connection
  • High-tech high schools: students learn to research and collaborate with modern Internet devices and technologies
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