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The Advancement of Technology Will Have Several Potential Impact Points on the Economy

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Businees shifts.

The advancement of technology will have several potential impact points on the economy:

1.Companies that develop such technologies will aid the balance of trade by exporting their products and after-sales service internationally;

2.Wireless technologies have the potential for greatly improving supply chain management. This, if adopted, could greatly enhance efficiencies for companies involved in JIT operations and logistics;

3.Preventative systems using microchip and wireless technologies could reducethe number of machine breakdowns. This could improve overall efficiency, and thus productivity. It would reduce the number of missed orders and lost


4.Service providers are likely to witness increased consumer purchase and usage of appliances with embedded technologies. These will range from mobile phones and computers to household appliances such as intelligent

refrigerators and washing machines. This will generate retail and online sales. This will have an effect throughout business from manufacturer to logisticians;

5.The knowledge management systems that will be inbuilt to websites will be able to anticipate customer orders and make 'close-fit' recommendations. This could, by its very nature, help to increase purchasing. There is, of

course, the risk that it removes an element of consumer 'thinking' with everything presented before you. However, significantly more research needs


When the internet and world wide web were first introduced, there was concern that language would be a major barrier to the development of e-business As Singh et ai (2001) state, Europe, for instance, does not have a uniform language or homogenous cultural platform. With such diverse languages, Singhet ai (2001) suggest that companies operating within a B2B or B2C environment must be culturally sensitive to both language and local approaches to business. Several e-retailers have become culturally sensitive and developed sites specific to a particular country or region of the world. Equally, it provides them with the opportunity to deliver both products and services that match the demands and needs of that country or region.

Society will be affected by the introduction of new technologies (see pervasive computing in the Technological section below). However, to what degree remains the unanswered question? Although the new technologies will most likely provide greater choice, flexibility, accessibility and 24-hour convenience (Stone,2001), this does not necessarily mean that there will be overwhelming and immediate changes in societal behaviour. Any study of diffusion theory suggests that there are those that readily embrace new technologies and those that either are 'slow' (a relative term) or who do not embrace the product at all, no matter how much time elapses (see Rogers, 1990).

Successful e-businesses and related industries will be those that understand geo demographics and the lifestyle activities of their key audiences. Equally, companies should not take for granted that the world's most powerful economies are the ones that will adapt easily and most readily to mobile commerce. Research suggests that France, Italy and Finland currently outperform the USA and the UK in moving towards mobile technologies (Stone, 2001).


Research suggests that the emphasis on physical connectivity will continue as the wired world slowly gives way to a predominately wireless one from 2007 to 2010 (Gartner, 2002). The introduction of wireless technologies and embedded micro chips will present the greatest transformational changes over the coming decade. Both the home and the work environments will be provided with a new digital architecture in which to operate. This should add to greater flexibility,mobility and agility. However, as identified in the section above, not everyone nor every country will adapt rapidly to such technologies. Pervasive computing and wireless technology In Chapter 1, we referred to the development by BT of the communication components for intelligent refrigerators. The development of intelligent systems is only one element of what IBM call pervasive computing. This can be defined as any computing device that is not a personal computer and thus includes everything from the Intelligent Refrigerator to the mobile phone'(Pearce, 2003). Another perspective is that pervasive computing is the next generation computing environments with information and communication technology everywhere, for everyone, at all times(CfPC, 2003).By 2002, there were already 325 million pervasive computing devices in existence, the view is that this figure will exceed one billion by 2005 (Pearce, 2003).In essence, these are non-traditional computing devices that have, and will, become an increasing part of the fabric of our digital world. Again, as illustrated in Chapter 1, the link between a diverse range of electronic technologies will beconvergent tools such as Bluetooth.

As can be seen from the above statistics, pervasive computing has become part of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Clearly, technology is being integrated into every aspect of our lives. The intelligent home of the future will be more than having a dedicated system that switches lights on or off,

lowers or raises the blinds. This was the prophecy of the 1950s and 1960s. It is already here.

We are already seeing larger flatter screened TVs - however, they still 'sit in the corner of the room'. In the future, all home entertainment will be linked to the internet, where the screen forms part of the wall. The screen will not only provide a myriad of television channels but also access to a range of information

from banking to voting at local and national elections. There will be no remote

control devices, the link between the individual and the system will be via voice

activation, a wireless glove or finger print recognition on any part of the screen.

Already we can write on a palmtop and have that converted into a typed

script. With a wireless glove, you will not need a palmtop. Simply writing your

signature in the air can be translated to the screen for recognition. This could be

used for signing your credit card as part of a virtual security validation. Smart

cards will contain certain information including retina identity



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