Tech & Innovation

Ireland’s workforce gears up for era of drones, carrier nodes and hologram business meetings

By Business & Finance
14 July 2014
Gary Hopwood

Workplaces in Ireland could be transformed within the next two decades by technology and processes that do not even exist today according to a new study commissioned by Ricoh.

The survey reveals widespread eagerness to use new technologies that can enhance and simplify how employees interact with colleagues and information.

More than 700 employees from Ireland and the UK were surveyed by Coleman Parkes Research and many showed strong foresight when considering innovations set to arrive.

Employees predict that within the next 20 years they will be able to send virtual assistants or holograms (59%) to attend meetings on their behalf. When pressed to think even more boldly, they consider the next batch of innovations to include drones; Bluetooth from brain-to-brain; and carrier nodes which are small devices fitted to the ear that allow audio and video data to be transmitted directly to the brain as electronic signals.

Other innovations that employees expect to have readily available within the next decade include touch-based interactive devices (69%), augmented reality glasses (56%) and the ability to perform all tasks by voice recognition (56%).

Yet despite the widespread excitement and value placed in a tech evolved workplace, less than a third of employees (29%) say their company has a strong appetite for creating new ways of working and deploying technologies to make the future a reality.

Gary Hopwood, general manager, Ricoh Ireland said: “We carried out this survey because we wanted to know how people want to work and what’s important to them going forward. The Irish workforce appears to have a great appetite for new technologies that can improve their productivity and the way they work. Irish organisations that do not act today to build a more digital, agile workplace will struggle to compete in the future. This heightens the need for organisations to review and adapt their ways of working, and putting themselves in the best position to benefit from future digital innovations.”