The Pandemic is Helping Businesses Embrace Technology

Sep 9, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the global healthcare system and forced businesses to re-think their strategies to become adaptive. Undoubtedly, the crisis has sparked a newfound appreciation in the power of technology.

Technology solves problems it wasn’t originally created to solve. Speech recognition, facial recognition, gesture recognition, QR codes, and digital money – none of these were created to cope with the Covid-19 crisis, yet they’re rapidly becoming a part of the “new normal” post-crisis environment.

As the need for digitalisation increases, organisations work towards adaptive transformation through innovation. For the economy to bounce back, we need to find alternatives to minimise physical contact. Touchless technology is soon to become the norm across every industry.

Speech Recognition:

Apple introduced Siri in 2011, which led to the emergence of voice assistants. At that time no one could’ve predicted voice recognition to become a driver for tech innovation. With machines being able to decipher the human language, voice modulated speech systems will see major advancements in the years to come.

Amazon, for instance, offers Transcribe, an automated speech recognition (ASR) service. Brands can use this service to add speech-to-text converting function to their applications, which would help users to receive a text version of the transcribed speech. Similarly, Google’s AI-driven Cloud Speech-to-Text tool can help businesses to integrate the Voice User Interface (VUI) functions within their services.

With the onset of the pandemic, several industries are resorting to voice-modulated alternatives to minimise physical contact. Thales, a Paris-based firm has introduced a voice-recognition ticket machine called Transcity, which helps travellers print tickets. while maintaining social distancing.

According to Doug Brown, an executive at ATM maker NCR, next-generation ATM’s could be able to handle complex tasks and answer customer queries using the speech recognition technology. Other uses could be for touchless lift activation, door voice activation and more practical everyday uses to reduce the spread of the virus. 

Facial Recognition:

Since its inception, facial recognition technology has stirred discussion around privacy concerns. Since the coronavirus outbreak, several businesses are adopting this technology for security purposes

For instance, the Russian government used technology to monitor whether people adhere to social-distancing rules. 

Kuang-Chi Technology, a Chinese company has programmed an algorithm to recognise people wearing a mask and report anyone with a fever. 

Technology that can recognise your face can unleash an array of opportunities and automation in the workplace. Uber, for example, has been using this technology to verify the identity of its employees. Other brands such as Facebook and Snapchat have integrated facial recognition to provide improvised customer service. Several companies have introduced facial recognition-based thermal scanners to enable contactless temperature screening.

Technology is rapidly being integrated into everyday activities to reduce human touch on surfaces. From ATM’s, wallets, identity cards to airports, and healthcare – everything will be automated using facial recognition technology. It has gained a spot in several industries and will keep widening its horizons.

Digital Money:

Digital payment platforms such as PayPay, GPay, Venmo, and Apple Pay have gained a significant amount of traction in recent years. The lockdown has sped up the adoption of digital payment solutions.

The future of digital money is a journey of transformation. The need to reduce physical contact will change the way companies and consumers relate to one another. As businesses are forced to move their operations online, the cashless payment trend will grow post-pandemic era.

Richard Crone, CEO of Crone Consulting expects contactless payments to increase by 20% this year. Digital money has become more of a necessity than a matter of convenience. Businesses have started incorporating contactless payment solutions, enabled by other techniques such as facial recognition, QR codes, or near-field communications (NFC).

To remain relevant, brands need to adopt the latest technology within their operations and ramp up innovation to gain competitive advantage.

LSPR offers a 5-day Strategic Management course, and other courses, which support leaders and teams to create effective business strategies during times of change. Get in touch with us to know your training needs.

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