Monthly Archives: February 2017

Germany and Its Technological

Germany has been internationally recognised for its inventors and innovations over the past few centuries. From producing writers such as Goethe to rival England’s Shakespeare, artists, poets, philosophers and composers to inventors and scientists such as Hans Geiger, Rudolf Diesel, Johannes Gutenberg, Albert Einstein and Karl Benz, the Germans have been consistently leaving their mark on the ever-developing field of creations and technology. At German universities particular emphasis is placed on the sciences and research and development facilities.

This continues to the present day, with the country displaying its technological prowess in everyday situations like travelling on a high-speed intercity train, going to the supermarket and returning your bottles to machines for extra money or withdrawing money in a bank complete with television screens and 24 hour access to ATMs in a foyer. Germans are particularly fond of their high quality, environmentally friendly cars such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes. In W├╝rzburg, the city in Bavaria where I’m staying for a year, there seems to be an unusually high number of phone shops selling tariffs and handsets. In a city of 130,000 I counted 12 phone shops in the very centre of town. They are all very hi-tech and futuristic-looking in order to entice the average consumer.

As a British student, living in Germany for a year as a casual observer brings to view just how important embracing technology is for the Germans. Take any German taxi and it will be a Mercedes. Land at any German airport and you will see sponsorship of technological innovations by companies such as BMW in Munich Airport. Even the German trains at the cheaper end of the scale are efficient and modern. Germans have been using bendy buses since the end of the 1970s.

They seem to have escaped the stereotype of still living in the 1980s, complete with awful perms, bad fashion sense and terrible music. German teenagers are very similar to British teenagers, both being influenced by American music and television. With new technologies being introduced to Germany, there is a call for new German verbs to also be created, but I doubt that the literary giant Goethe would approve of ‘facebooken’ (to Facebook) or ‘downloaden’ (to download). I’d like to sum this up by pointing out that I’m living in the richer South of Germany, but I have travelled quite extensively across the country and technology is more a part of daily life than can be said for Britain. Certainly, there is no central hub for the best services like the core region of South East England. A fairly even distribution of large towns and cities across Germany means that all regions are well connected and the spread of technology and the lifestyle it brings is all across Germany.

Some Useful Modern Technology

It is extremely difficult to keep up to date with all of the impressive technological innovation being offered nowadays for organisations to run in their offices. Let’s face it, it isn’t all helpful to all businesses but there are of course some great and sometimes overlooked nuggets out there.

The combination of a smart, nicely located office space that embraces some of the relevant technological advances may have important benefits for both the everyday running of a business, as well as how a company is perceived by its clients. For instance, its fair to say that a company that frequently presents ideas to visiting clients would be better perceived with a specialist audio visual system, as opposed to the kind most of us have seen before which have a habit of faltering mid presentation, requiring an IT specialist to run in and get the thing up and running again. That’s only one example of how advancing technology can impact your company. Below are a few more examples:

Another common example is that of video conferencing. With the advent of Skype along with other systems on the mass market many of us are a lot more mindful of this sort of communication than we used to be. The thing is that for those market sectors that constantly need to hook up from nation to nation through video, maybe for crucial meetings, a dedicated, professional system is required. There are lots of companies offering these types of systems and they can have a dramatic impact on the professionalism of a company, particularly if you often communicate with important clients through video and audio.

IPTV is yet another modern technology which is all around us, usually without us knowing it. This technology is employed in lots of ways, one example is for sending video information over a high speed broadband internet connection, IPTV is the technology that drives the BBC’s iPlayer. IPTV is also used for digital signage which we come across at airport terminals, railway stations, home improvement stores and inside of large office buildings. IPTV has a huge role to play within the offices of many organisations with regards to the networking of an array of digital information. An increasing number of companies are realising its potential and adopting it.

So to summarise, not all businesses will want to consider each new bit of technological innovation that presents itself on the market but there are many important ways that certain instances of the new digital explosion can really make an enterprise function better, and essentially, impress their clients.

Impact of Technology on Marketing

Technology is advancing in a pretty big way. In the last century alone we have experienced technological innovations and inventions that could have only been dreamt about by those of old. What seemed impossible back in the 60s has now become a reality and an integrated part of human life today. Technology isn’t just given to the privileged few, today everyone is now able to use them freely for whatever they see fits their lifestyles and personality.

Here are the key points on how it affects the over all product that you would be marketing:

Product introduction is now made simpler and easier. The internet has affected how products and services are presented to the general public. It is reviewed and developed based on how they want people to perceive the product and how it is to be used. Feedback is immediately given by the users and it is through this that product innovation is created and has caused an environment of continuous evolution. It makes the interaction between end-users and manufacturers more direct and in sync, taking out the middle man in sales more often than not thus affecting more of how the product is going to be priced.

Price, the internet allows information on products to be gathered by clientele/customers so easily. This allows the consumers to make a comparison of products and quickly decide on which they feel would be best worth their time and money. With the growing number of smartphone users being able to check out products as they are on the go makes a good medium for the users to quickly go through the process of choosing what products to buy even before they reach the counter.

Promotion and its varying disciplines such as advertising, direct marketing, public relations are all easily disseminated to the general public via many technological methods and tools such as websites, smartphone applications, email and text messaging. These tools are so versatile that in capable hands, gives the marketing professional to personalize the product in anyway that they see would fit the end-users.

These are just but a few of the things and ways that technology has affected and improved on the marketing strategies of products and services. Regardless of what you are going to sell the present evolution of technology has empowered people to reach out and touch people in ways that people of the past have only dreamt of. Individuals are now more connected in many different ways at so many different levels. It would be foolish for any marketing leader to ignore the cost effective and efficient ways that technology can provide to those that use it to their advantage, cause if they don’t their competition most definitely will.

Is The Impact Of New Motor Vehicle Technology

Is The Impact Of New Vehicle Technology On Our Lives Positive or Scary?

We are living in unprecedented times where the seemingly endless explosion of technology is making it increasingly difficult to keep pace with it in our everyday lives.

Children born in the last few years will in all likelihood find their future careers have not even been thought of yet such is the pace of technology innovation.

Look at how motor vehicles have transformed over the last decade with the implementation of new ‘gadgets’ to make our journeys so much easier and safer. Manufacturers are scrambling to deliver vehicles to the market with pioneering technology that will set them apart from their opposition. However are these new inclusions actually beneficial to the driver or do they take the human element out of the decision making process? The answer is open for debate as everyone will have an opinion or argument to counter the opposing view with an equal amount of validity.

The purpose of this article is not to formulate a defined opinion one way or the other but is intended to provoke you, the reader to ponder if these new technological innovations are helping you as a driver or whether you are happy to let computers make more and more of your decisions. Does this new era of computerization have “Big Brother” overtones similar to the novel ‘1984’ written by George Orwell in 1949?

Safety Progression

It would be difficult to argue against the value of safety improvements that have been made through technology. Safety was not a priority with motor vehicle manufacturers in the first half of the 1900’s. As the century progressed so did the power and speed of vehicles which coincided with a spiraling number of fatalities. The first manufacturer to introduce a basic safety feature was Buick who in 1937 added the first turning signal indicators. Seat belts were first trialed in the late 1940’s but did not become common in the front seats until the 1960’s. However mandatory seat belt laws were not legislated in the US until 1984. Front air bags followed and were legislated as mandatory in 1989. These 2 safety features alone are estimated to have saved in excess of 300,000 lives in the United States since their introduction.

As the decades progressed crash testing improved the strength of cars along with side impact airbags. There are too many features to list that manufacturers have included in the latest motor vehicles… voice active technology, crash warning sensors… the list spirals on for pages.

The impact that these improvements have made can easily be translated from available Federal data. The annual number of fatalities associated with motor vehicles peaked in the 1970’s in the 50,000+ per annum. Since then it has continued to fall each decade as motor vehicle safety improved. If you look at Federal data released in December 2014 you will find that car crash fatalities have fallen by 25% over the past decade, which is a stunning statistic. (For more detailed information you can refer to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis)

Implementation of Technology

Putting the technology inspired safety improvements aside we now look at aspects that potentially diminish or improve the skills of the driver.

Power Steering: Most younger drivers will never have experienced driving a car without power assisted steering. Although trying to turn the large cars of the 60’s and 70’s required quite a bit of strength and determination it certainly gave you a raw feel for the size of the car you were driving. The greatest improvement that power steering assisted with was when you were required to reverse park. Personally I have to give this feature a definite tick of approval.

Powered side view mirrors: Initially the mirrors were fixed in position and a lot of vehicles were not fitted with near side view mirrors. Once these mirrors became standard skillful drivers could adjust their mirrors so that they can expose the natural blind spot and safely change lanes. However to this day I am amazed at the number of drivers who do not set this mirror to expose the natural blind spot.

Automatic transmission: Nothing really makes you feel more at one with a car than using a clutch and stick shift. There is a large part of the driver population who have not been trained to drive a manual vehicle. However the automatic transmission has taken one of the thinking processes out of driving which has made it far easier for many people to learn how to drive. I consider the automatic transmission almost a mandatory requirement for those who have to endure congested traffic each day whilst driving to work.

Front and All Wheel Drive Vehicles: This definitely has diminished the skills of drivers who formally had to deal with the natural habits of a rear wheel drive vehicles. I must admit I own both a front wheel drive & rear wheel drive vehicle & find the real pleasure is driving an older rear wheel drive vehicle (1988 BMW E30).

GPS Maps: Initially there were individual devices that plugged into the power outlet in the vehicle. However the majority of manufacturers now make a built in multi-function screen that includes road mapping to your required destination. This device has taken the dangerous practice of trying to read a street directory while driving out of play thankfully.

Steering Wheel Controls: From adjusting the radio volume, manipulating the air conditioner, to making a phone call a driver can use the controls on their steering wheel in most instances to make these adjustments. Even with blue tooth available on most vehicles many drivers still choose the dangerous practice of holding their cell phones to converse while driving.

Driver-less Cars: With Google’s driver-less car clocking up over 1,000,000 miles & other manufacturers testing the technology with promises to release it to the public by 2020 there comes some major ethical issues associated with its introduction. The main issue that springs to mind is that as the vehicle is being controlled and directed via artificial intelligence what happens in a crash situation where a moral decision has to be made? As an example let’s hypothesize that a driver-less vehicle is confronted by another vehicle and a crash is imminent. To avoid the collision the only option is to swerve to the right, however there are a dozen school children in this escape pass. How does the on board computers assess the situation to make a moral decision? I am sure that this is being reviewed as I write but it certainly appears to impose a rather difficult dilemma for the developers of this artificial intelligence. Another issue to consider is whatever decision the computer decides to make who will be responsible for the actions it took if there is major damage, injuries or loss of life?