How Smart Technology has changed our everyday life
During research on the topic of ‘Smart Technology’, I looked into the different ways that smart technology has changed and the various aspects that it has changed.
The first aspect that I looked into during my research was Smart Helpers. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri in iOS are all examples of smart helpers. They enable the user to use their voice to communicate with the device and the device will talk back to them. In 2017, EY surveyed a group of UK households who and they reported that nearly a quarter of all UK households have 1 or more smart helpers. 41% of those households said that they plan to own a smart helper in the next year. Smart helpers can help you do almost anything these days: playing something on the TV, turn on lights around your house or listen to the radio. 10 years ago people would have thought that using your voice to ask a computer to do something for you would have been crazy.
Another one of the aspects that I looked into during my research for this report was Smart Homes. A decade ago, most people would have never thought that you would be able to turn your lights on or put your heating on without even being in your house. You could be at the other side of the world and turn your light on. It’s almost like magic. However now things like this are becoming the norm. Lights and heating aren’t the only things that have made homes ‘smarter’. Smart TVs and toasters are also items on that list. Really anything that is or can be connected to the internet or can be connected to the internet is a ‘smart device’. 42% of UK millennials say that they would pay a premium just to get new gadgets before anyone else, compared to 18% for older age groups. That data was from a 2019 report published by EY.
Health is one aspect of life that has been affected by smart technology. Smart watches, manufactured by the likes of Fitbit, Apple and Huawei have been invented to help users keep track of their steps, sleep and other health activities. Fitbit were one of the first companies to enter this market when they released their first smart watch. Apple released their first Apple Watch a few years later, which could do a lot more than the Fitbit ones, like answering text messages or turning smart lights on. In some cases, smart watches have saved lives. There are numerous stories where Apple’s smart watches have told patients of conditions they have or symptoms of diseases before they even noticed themselves or had gone to the doctors. If it wasn't for the Apple Watches those patients could have died.
Communication is another aspect of people’s lives that has changed dramatically in recent years. Especially with social networks evolving, places like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Before social networks, digital communication was limited to things like traditional text messaging, emails and using internet forums. But social networks feel more instant to users and the big ones are free to use as long as you have an internet connection. Social networks are more than just messaging friends. For example, Facebook lets you play games and compete with your friends. Instagram lets you buy products you see from posts, like clothing straight from the app without the need of opening a separate app. There’s another upside of social media too: they help people stay in touch with people who they’ve not talked to in years. For example, it helps people keep in touch with friends from when they were at school or university, something which wasn’t that easy to do when you email and text messaging was the only real way of staying in touch.