Headline, January 17 2021/ ''' '' STUDENTS TECH SURPRIZES '' '''



CONTACT-FREE TECH : IN THE U.S. - LAST YEAR WAS an inflection point for mobile payment. For safety reasons, even cash-only die-hards, like farmers' market mechanisms and food trucks, started accepting mobile payments.

Over all 67 percent of American retailers accept touchless payments up from 40 percent in 2019, according to a survey by Forrester. Among those surveyed 19 percent said they made a digital payment in a store for the first time last May.

Hands-off technology doesn't end with mobile wallets. So-called Ultra-Wide Band, a relatively new radio tech, may also find its moment this year. The tech which uses radio waves to detect objects with extreme precision. So how might Ultra-Wide Band be used?

Let's say you have a smartphone a coffee shop has a tablet, and both are equipped with radio technology. If you're standing in front of the tablet, it can sense your phone and accept a payment from you [and not the person behind you in line]. The technology could also be used to allow employees into building and start up cars without physical keys.


Clicking through a navigation bar of a website to find an item has become a passé. A search bar that allows you to look up a specific product is faster. In some cases, chatting a bit may be even more efficient.

We have experimented with chatbots for years. Facebook has offered tools for merchants to make bots that engage with customers. Retailers like Amazon have used chatbots to answer customers' questions, and when the bots can't help, a person can hop in to take over.

Now that visiting a physical retail store has largely become impractical in the pandemic, we can expect such conversational technologies to gain momentum, said Julie. Ask a technology analyst for Forrester Research.

''This notion of getting online and researching and clicking and using a navigation window is very dated,'' she said. ''What's next after that? A lot of it is going to be conversational, whether it's text or voice.''

There are already plenty of examples. Recently, I shopped for a pair of shoes at Beckett Simonon, an online fashion brand, and asked an employee via a chat box about the correct shoe size for my feet.

More companies are also augmented reality to help people with online shopping, Ms. Ask said. Jins Eyewear, which sells prescription glasses, lets you take a photo of your face to virtually try on glasses before deciding to buy them.

Snap, the parent company for Snapchat, has teamed up with luxury brand like Gucci and Dior to offer virtual try-ons.

Augmented reality is poised to become especially popular this year because the technology keeps improving. Mew high-end Apple and Android smartphones includes sensors for detecting depth, which makes it easier for augmented reality apps to place objects like virtual furniture in physical spaces.

Expect to see a wave of new ads that take advantage of the format. This year, advertisers are expected to spend about $2.4 billion on augmented reality advertising, up 71 percent from $1.4 billion last year, according to the research firm eMarketer.


One home technology problem that the pandemic underscored was our sluggish, unreliable internet connections.

Last year as people hunkered down to contain the spread of the coronavirus, average Internet speeds all over the world slowed, in part because broadband providers were crushed by the heavy traffic.

Thankfully, Wi-Fi technology keeps getting better. This year, we will see a wave of new internet routers that include Wi-Fi 6 will focus not on speed but rather on efficiency by sharing bandwidth across a large number of devices.

Here's what that means : Let's say your family owns smartphones, computers and a game console.

If all of them are being used to consume heavy amounts of data - to stream video, for example - Wi-Fi 6 does a better job at providing bandwidth to all the devices at the same time as opposed to letting one device hog most of it.

Efficiency is especially important because more of our stuff connects the Internet, from watches to television sets to bathroom scales to thermostats. On average, the number of Internet-connected devices owned per person is expected to climb to about 4 by 2023, from two in 2018, according to research by CISCO.

As is always the case, some of these trends will stick with us while others may fizzle out. All of these technologies have to survive the test of remaining relevant afterlife returns somewhat to ''normal''.

''Buying a Pelotin, yoga mats, Apple Watches - how much of that behavior is a permanent shift versus a 12-month - how much of that behavior is a permanent shift versus a 12-month to 24-month shift as we go through the pandemic?'' Ms. Ask said. ''Consumers will always default to what is convenient.''

That means digital payment is probably here because they save time. But if we return to gyms, lots of our health-related tech purchases may lead to buyer's remorse.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Technology and 2021 continues. The World Students Society thanks author Brian X. Chen.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! the Ecosystem 2011 :

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