Cool New Tech for You and Your Business

The world of technology never takes a break. New, interesting, and sometimes shocking products and services are always making the news.

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The world of technology never takes a break. New, interesting, and sometimes shocking products and services are always making the news. Some are one-off failures that don't survive past the first round of user reviews. Others seem to quickly build up large followings and make huge fortunes for their inventors. The hardest part for investors, consumers, and business owners are keeping up with the rapid-fire release of apps, devices, software packages, and other tech products that have the potential to be game-changers. With 2020 well underway, here are some of the technical innovations that might just end up sticking around for the entire decade.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality, or AR, is one of the most groundbreaking developments in the world of business. Clothing retailers are just one of the biggest believers in this clever technology that lets customers try on various outfits in a virtual dressing room. You can shop from home and actually see how various clothing items look on you before you commit to a purchase. Highly reliant on HD cameras, excellent software, and the user's ability to interact with the app, AR programs are already changing the way retailers market their wares. Other business owners who have been using AR include car dealerships, barbers and hairstylists, and interior designers.

Targeted Marketing Programs

Billboards and advertising signs have entered a new age. Walk past some of the printed signs for various products in your local grocery store and you'll hear audio messages that seem to be speaking directly to you. They are. That's because some of these smart signs are able to recognize your gender, age, and general body type. Based on those and other pieces of data they see when you walk by, the device tailors a product promo just for you.

Personal Finance Apps

Personal budgeting and financial analysis programs have been around for years but are finally coming into their golden age. Some of the smarter versions of these products now can help you make a long-term, detailed budget based on specific date input and your actual financial history. These aren't monthly budget planners like the ones that appeared in the 1990s but highly sophisticated software packages that use real data to fine-tune your entire economic life, from now until retirement. Other fun, helpful apps include ones that help college-bound students uncover the schools that best match their academic and career goals. You can also use your current financial data to find student loans that make sense for the school you plan to attend. The education loan apps have been successful because students are discovering that obtaining represent an excellent educational value.

Translation Software

Downloadable software that translates your voice into a foreign language has been on the drawing board for decades but is only now reaching the marketplace. The sophistication of the programs is truly amazing. Simply speak into your phone or a stand-alone handheld device supplied by the manufacturer and your words are instantly translated into the target language. Look for more advanced versions in the next few years that incorporate wearable microphones and speakers that work faster and are able to handle complex grammatical statements.