Technology we expect to see in the office in coming years

Offices throughout the world are currently undergoing a technological revolution, as more and more tech is being produced specifically for workplaces. Many business owners are eager to save as much money as possible by implementing eco-friendly technology within their companies, but there’s also a lot of good PR that can be created through becoming a business that utilizes this type of technology.

Alongside this, companies can do their bit for the environment by installing and using green technology within the workplace, and it can also be a selling point to customers – and even potential staff – that you do this.

If you’re interested in finding out what the future holds for technology in offices, read on:


Wireless chargers
Many companies are in the midst of developing tables that come with wireless charging ports, which means you won’t have to connect any wires or cables to your PC. This will certainly help with health and safety (wires often cause trip hazards within offices), but they’ll also help to make offices look neater and smarter thanks to no dangling wires.

Tracking sensors
If you want to be able to keep an eye on your employees, these sensors could be the answer. Badges can be equipped with sensors that track an employee’s movements throughout the day. Far from being snooping though, the badges can actually help employees as they monitor behavior and activities. For instance, they can highlight the need for more ergonomic furniture, or can show which departments need to be seated closer together if they need to speak to each other often, but are on other sides of the office.


Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is something people have been talking about literally for decades now, and it finally looks like it’s going to become a reality. In the office, we could seen have AI computers that are able to respond to our emails or decide whether or not it’s the right time to interrupt us concerning incoming phone calls. This will remove the need for these mundane tasks, which may only be minimal but can take up a large amount of time during the day. If it makes offices more efficient, it has to be good!

Office drones
Office surveillance can be a touchy subject, as many employees are likely to dislike the idea of having cameras installed in their workplace. However, they can help to keep theft at bay, and can ensure that if a break in does occur, you’re able to catch the culprits.

Now, imagine being able to have cameras that are mobile, and which can move along corridors to monitor the goings-on of both employees and those up to no good.

These drones can even represent members of the company, as they can be equipped with monitors and cameras to transmit real-time video images. This means you could have a chat with an employee while working from home, so you can still keep an eye on what’s going on in the office.


Robot workers
Rather than replacing employees with robots, this refers to the fact that many employees will soon be able to telecommute, but to still have a physical presence in the office. There has already been a huge increase in the number of people that telecommute, and this is only expected to increase further in the future.

However, robots such as the Suitable Technologies Beam tele-presence robot could allow us to be in the office. This robot is 5 feet tall and can send a video stream of its surroundings to the employee, who can then see what’s going on in the office. This means that, even when you’re telecommuting, you can still see and hear everything that’s happened that day – no more missing out on important meetings because you couldn’t be there in person!

3D printing
Many people in the design world have been intrigued by the idea of 3D printing since it first became a possibility. Now, though, companies will soon be able to have their own 3D printers within the office, which can make creating prototypes and models much easier.

3D printers work by building a 3-dimensional object of something by adding materials layer-by-layer. This is done through a computer generated design, and it can use a range of materials to create the 3D object.

Not only can this be used in the office, but 3D printing also has applications within the medical world, as it can be used to create prosthetic.


Wearable computers
That’s right, Google Glass is only just being tested, but it’s set to become the next big thing. For the workplace, it has amazing applications, with users being able to take photos and videos of events, for example, as well as overlay information onto the real world, such as statistics or emails to make for easy referencing.

Motion controllers
Have you ever seen a sci-fi film where a character controls a computer with a simple wave of a hand? Well, you could soon have this type of technology within your office, literally at your fingertips. Gesture control technology can allow you to use your computer with hand gestures that are completely natural, such as waving or pointing. Much like the gesture control seen in gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii or the Xbox Kinect, it can be used to ensure you no longer have to use a mouse or keyboard anymore.

Cameras and LED lights are used in prototypes to monitor hand gestures, and it can then complete the required actions on screen. At the moment, the technology is near-perfect, with gestures carried out up to a millimeter of accuracy. Obviously, the companies working on this type of technology want to make sure it’s perfect before it’s released!

What kind of technology do you want to see in the future? Let us know!

This guest post was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of Cloud Technology Solutions , the premier Google provider of Google Apps.

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