At this point, it is no secret that technology we have taken for granted for years has become the cornerstone of a comfortable quarantine existence. Businesses and their staff would be lost without communication options ranging from Zoom to Google Hangouts. Furthermore, life would seem dull without binging for hours on the exploits of large feline aficionados, and Grubhub and UberEats have meant not crying on the inside while trying to stomach burnt chicken surprises.
These platforms, however, were already geared toward making a home-centric existence less dreary. Nonetheless, a range of newcomers in technology may have been unforeseen a mere few months ago, but they have taken on an entirely new meaning for keeping us feeling calm, safe, happy, and oftentimes…fed.
1. Reservations/Booking Technology:
Booking a table at that new taco fusion joint isn’t possible, but escaping lines and curbside chaos certainly is.
This brave new world that we are now living in has a variety of novel hassles faced by both consumers and small businesses.
We have all had a nightmare or two about pushing our way through crowded stores to stock up on hand sanitizer, toilet-paper, and creamy peanut butter. On the reverse, employees of these locales have had to take on the role of kindergarten teachers in managing them.
Even the act of procuring curb-side pickup for some honey bbq wings can be a harrowing experience for both. Luckily, innovators have created digital reservations systems across essential service providers utilizing novel technology to make them faster, more efficient, and with the ability to keep us all more than six feet apart. This is in addition to allowing proprietors to properly staff their locations and keep their staff healthy.
For some, it came as a surprise to how quickly they were embraced:
“ Originally RSVD was formed to make waiting in line optional. Despite a handful of tech solutions emerging to help address specific scenarios where lines and crowds exist (Disney FastPass, TSA Pre-Check, etc.),we found ourselves still standing in lines at events, oil changes, food trucks, just like everyone else. Though we originally built RSVD for convenience and experience optimization, the same core principles of managing interaction through reservations apply during this pandemic. We quickly recognized that the need was even greater than ever for our demand management solution so businesses could safely facilitate commerce. The stakes have never been higher for employers to keep their employees and customers safe.” Terry Dry, CEO, RSVD
2. Digital Currency:
You are what you touch…
Social distancing on face value can seem as clear-cut as staying out of the office and skipping your weekly Jenga party, but it becomes infinitely more complex when it is at the heart of how we procure the items we need to stay healthy, sane, and entertained.
It is not just cash that we have to wonder how many hands have touched in a single day, but also credit cards require vigilance for any purchases that cannot be easily ordered online and require a third party swipe. Digital currency was certainly ahead of its time on this front. A cashless ecosystem would mean less potential exposure to friends, family, and vendors handling your payments, lost bets, or ice cream allowance.
While bitcoin gets the lionshare of attention by some very vocal enthusiasts, a range of digital currencies exist that can allow any type of individual to find the freedom of flexibility of abandoning their leather wallet for something far less handsy. Joachim De Koning, the founder of hybrix believes that adoption may quickly speed up.
“We believe smaller economies will start to use crypto technology for their economy. This will probably include in-game tokens, social media tokens and maybe even government tokens are a real possibility within two years from now.”
Prediction is prevention
Since the beginning of history, few things have been more important than having the technology equivalent of a crystal ball to discern anything from the need to tend to crops, bring an umbrella to work, or lay-off the hair gel.
The digital age has extended this tradition with a plethora of weather apps that can, of course, inform you of whether or not it is going to storm, but it also details a range of health information to distill anything from potential allergy flare-ups to flu hotspots.
In our current global predicament, this may be the secret weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a stellar method to keep you feeling centered during any trip out.
Enhanced testing and tracing may help to yield the ability for hot-spot monitoring on a local, regional, or national basis at the push of the button. This is equally important for every day individuals as it is for businesses, governments, and researchers.
“We are sourcing information from multiple government sources, down to a county level,” said Sheri Bachstein, global head of consumer business at The Weather Co.
In other words, while these days may be difficult for us all, solutions exist and innovators will continue to find new methods, platforms, and tools to keep you in a consistent state of Ommmmm.