Technology is on the Verge of Delivering True Consumer Convenience

People use and depend on technology because it ultimately makes daily activities easier to do, saving them time or money, or both.

For the last three decades, we’ve witnessed how computing power can radically change the way we get things done in our personal and professional lives. Technology companies, from innovative startups to multinational corporations, have pushed us forward into a world of convenience.

Many of the big name consumer technology brands of the 1990s and early 2000s were offering services to save you money. Think Ebay, Amazon, E*Trade, Priceline and others.

In more recent years, technology has been focused on saving consumers both time and money. Think Uber, OpenTable, Zocdoc, HotelTonight and others.

It appears that we are turning a corner into uncharted territory, where technology will offer consumers a value that they haven’t seen yet. This third benefit may prove to be the most meaningful one.

This value will come in the form of consistent convenience, with the help of automation and consumer data.

Artificial intelligence, paired with information about an individual’s preferences, will enable a new level of convenience. Technology will help you to move through your daily tasks, mentally and physically, by providing assistance in ways that seem impossible today.

The capabilities of connected hardware and smarter software are improving so rapidly that you will soon be able to accomplish things without you having to try or think about it.

And the possibilities are endless.

For example, imagine a world where products/services are automatically purchased on your behalf right before you actually need them, even if you have never purchased them before.

As a more tangible example, picture a scenario where you wake up in the morning. The ‘connected devices’ in your kitchen make your coffee moments before your alarm goes off, then have the weather forecast and local news automatically read aloud to you. Then, minutes later, your Uber ride is automatically requested, based on the schedule on your calendar and the current traffic conditions.

Much of this can, arguably, be done today with some degree of scheduling, planning and automation.

In the near future, software will be able to do it all for you, before you ask. How? Because your habits, preferences and feedback make it possible to accomplish this through inputs and repetition.

If you think that this stuff will begin to happen far in the the future, think again. If you aren’t familiar with the concepts of artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart devices, it’s worth a look. The things that today’s computer programmers are working on may soon be in the marketplace of your mobile app store or available on the shelf of your local retail shop.

The future is already here, although it may not be evenly distributed.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS