Automation is changing the way we live and work for good. Automation—a technology in which processes are performed with no human assistance—has been widely used for centuries for thousands of applications. Consider some of the ways in which automation is infiltrated into your everyday existence, from automobiles and computers to household appliances and electronic systems. Factories rely on automation to efficiently produce parts and save on material and labor costs. In the 1950s automated control systems changed significantly when “discontinuous automatic control” was developed for computerized electronics, etc. The everyday automation uses of the past are very different than the automation disruption of today.
The New Era of Automation
Today, automation is emerging at rates most can barely keep up within almost every industry. One of the main ways in which automation has changed is through the use of devices, new technology, and the Internet. The control factor has essentially evolved. For example, rather than controlling your car manually, many new vehicles offer automated driving features. Rather than managing your thermostat from the home, you have the option of adjusting the temperature remotely on your smartphone while you are away. While TV remote control is nothing new, remote control of nearly everything in your home and around you is only recently possible (in the last decade).
How Automation is Changing Our Everyday Lives
With advancing technologies, automation potential continues to rapidly infiltrate among the masses. Modern devices and apps are scattered by the thousands to perform as controllers. Human intervention still plays a large role in most automated technologies, but that is soon changing for many systems. Depending on how you fit into the technological explosion, you may or may not be exposed to some of these examples of today’s automation disruption:
- Automated fast food ordering via touch screen
- Tablets on the restaurant table in which you can place your own order
- Tableside automated payment systems
- Automated food-to-table delivery systems
- Self-checkout systems at the grocery stores
- Online shopping from any device
- Automated retail point of sale systems
- Handheld rental car return systems
- Warehouse robotics used to simplify and improve accuracy in the ordering and packaging process
Home and Business
- Automated home surveillance and protection systems
- Fully automated video surveillance for buildings and property
- High-end surveillance and security systems for the government, military, retail, and most industries
- Automated driving in which vehicles react in certain scenarios
- Autonomous cars with no steering wheels or pedals as early as 2019
- Automated driver ticketing when the law is broken
- Existing vehicle systems such as GPS, smartphone connectivity, backup technology, etc.
- Smart devices and apps in which you can manage everything in your home on-site or remotely
- Speakers systems
- Appliances and electronics
- Energy tracking and alert systems
- Door locking systems for homes, property management, etc.
- Home security and neighborhood watch systems
- Window coverings
- Kitchens and Baths
- So Much More…
Manufacturing and Industrial
- Automated equipment that in some cases eliminates human labor
- Scientific applications for research and development
- Programmable controllers
- Machine vision in which robotic inspections are performed
- Automated energy efficiency controllers
- Robotics for welding, machining, assembly, painting, and more
- Computerized voice response for support centers, retail stores, and businesses
- Credit card processing without human intervention
- Automated phone disclosures
- Desktop and automated voice call centers using agent-assisted automation
- Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) for programming instructions, logic, sequencing, timing, etc.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) in which technology replicates human thinking via pre-programmed software can be automated
- Machine learning in which systems can identify purchasing patterns, make predictions, etc.
In many ways, the impact of automation is advantageous for industries, especially the high-tech industry in which new innovations for services prevail. Managed Services Providers such as RackCo are immersed in the cutting edge of automation in order to offer clients high-end services at a time when companies are continually migrating to cloud-based solutions. The impact of automation includes more benefits than risks, but it may reduce the need for human labor and costs may fluctuate. As with any new technology, there are cybersecurity risks and environmental considerations as well. In any case, automation has become the foundation by which we live and work and represents business productivity for tech companies and nearly every industry. The automation disruption is taking center stage as an affirmative action that continues to change the world for the better.