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Holidays were made for the Internet of Things and tech innovation

JudyGoldman

 

As my friend Michael glanced at his Fitbit step count, he said he was looking forward to the upcoming holiday weekend. “It’s a chance to disconnect,” he said. “Oh, really?!” I replied.RunningWomanPost.PNG

Even though Michael and I may put our digital work lives on hold for a few days or even just a few hours, I knew that our tech toy box would be open, as well as having ample digital assist from the enabled world around us.

As technology innovates, so do the ways we enjoy life: in the way we exercise, the way we shop, the way we travel and the way we have fun.

Smart health and fitness
On weekends I like to replace concrete and steel with pine trees, dirt paths and clear streams. While using a wearable tracker helps me make sure I get my 10,000 steps in each day, there is a growing trove of personal health devices and apps that are becoming vital aids in improving one’s health and health care.

Retail therapy
Holidays are also a great time to exercise my credit card. Virtually or IRL, shopping is getting easier. Technology innovation is moving the retail experience from hunt-and-peck to find-it-on-your-phone. Mom-and-pop stores are going digital, Amazon is experimenting with drone delivery, and big box companies are accelerating that change by tailoring their stores to complement digital platforms.

For example, The Home Depot combines mobile technology and location-based services guided by ideal customer experiences to make a closer connection between the way consumers buy and the store’s environment. Recently, The Home Depot’s Daniel Grider, vice president of IT, talked with HPE Business Insights about the store of the future and what’s ahead in retail tech.

Automation is a key component of the evolving retail experience, making our shopping time shorter and more direct, keeping shelves stocked and helping us find what we’re looking for faster so we can include other activities in our time off…

Teching it on the road
…like travel. Holidays for me are often synonymous with road trips. Driving an hour away to a state park serves as a refreshing retreat. And I’m never alone. At the least, I’ve got my GPS companion. Thanks to emerging advances in the auto industry, in the not-too-distant future, I may be able to get a little reading in during those drives when cars switch to auto pilot. According to tech expert Theo Priestley, “The car is literally a really powerful computer now.”
Priestley mentioned other auto features available now and in development, such as self-braking and self-parking.

Cars aren’t the only vehicles driven by innovation. If taking to the sky is in your plans, you can go from booking a flight, to navigating airports, to tracking your luggage when you land in Omaha and your bag continues on to the Bahamas.

Gaming control
From apps that help us find our football stadium seats to networks that handle a million fan selfies (felfies?), we’re connected more than ever at “the big game.” Technology greets us at the ticket booth and creates networks that help us have a good time with our friends and our devices, whether the team wins or loses.

Although I like sports, hiking and car trips, I also enjoy watching the latest VR stories from The New York Times and other media outlets. Many industries are exploring how virtual reality can expand human understanding of other cultures and help us view life from unique perspectives.

And did I forget to mention, Pokémon Go?

So, during the holiday weekend – and every weekend – I have no expectation of being disconnected from technology, but I look forward to the ways technology makes my time off healthier, more efficient, relaxing and fun.

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About the Author

JudyGoldman

My work at HPE gives me a way to share my passion for emerging technology, connecting people to innovation, and sharing stories that help others engage with and understand the world around them. I'm a digital nomad, often found traveling with my micro companion KC, a 6-1/2 pound mini Dachshund.

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