Time to tech note

With modern technology advancing at a rate of knots, David Hathiramani takes a look at what it is hot now and that which is sure to catch fire in the near future

Time to tech note

The end of the year at A Suit That Fits is always quiet. Buying a tailored suit for yourself at Christmas just doesn’t seem in the spirit of giving. However, what the year-end does give us is an opportunity to stop and think about the past and prepare for the future. Therefore, I thought the time was ripe to round up the developments that I found interesting in 2013, as well as the big things on the horizon that I feel will make waves in the world of tech and business.

Speaking as a retail technologist, the top three things that I think made real progress in 2013 were:


Same day deliveries 

As consumers, we seem to want things faster and faster. Next day used to be good enough but same day is the new next day. 2013 seemed to be the first year where retailers really started to embrace same day deliveries. This was epitomised when Shutl, a UK same day retail technology platform, was acquired by eBay. This move showed a clear intent and it looks like over the next few years, we will see same day deliveries become the new norm. 


Order online, collect locally in a locker somewhere

Amazon, eBay and Waitrose have all started services that combine online ordering with offline local collections. eBay has teamed up with Argos and Amazon with lots of different retailers including Co-op. For the retailers losing out to the online world for sales, it makes sense to be using their expensive offline footprints to create some form of income. However, in my view, this may well be the first step out to the high street for the big online retailers, and I would not be surprised to see them start their own offline retail outlets in 2014. For smaller online retailers wanting to offer a locker collection service, external services which offer a similar solution are popping up and we’ll no doubt see these grow next year.


Lines blurred even more between different channels

There used to be a time when retailers thought in terms of offline and online sales. That’s just not how it is anymore. It will never be like that again. Smartphones are getting cheaper and cheaper. In fact, Google, with the purchase of Motorola, seems to have signalled its intent to make them as cheap as possible. The recently released Moto G is currently £139 on Amazon, so everyone in developed countries who doesn’t already have one will more than likely have one in 2014.


I’m really excited about all the new things that we’re going to be seeing in the future. It feels like we are genuinely on the cusp of dramatic change in the world and if you like technology, it’s a really fun place to be. Here are the three developments that I am looking forward to the most:


Drones and robots for delivery 

Amazon recently started promoting its research into using drones that look like little helicopters for deliveries of its packages. It stated that 87% of its current deliveries would be the right size to get carried by a drone to an address. Of course, this sounds completely futuristic, but apparently the technology is there. Google soon realised that Amazon was stealing its thunder and whispers came from Google that it was planning to use robots together with its self-driving cars for deliveries. Google was quietly purchasing robotic companies throughout 2013 so it does seem like there could be some truth in it. Whether or not this is just an ego battle between two internet giants remains to be seen, but I’m certainly looking forward to the outcome. 


The rise of the smart watch

Early on in 2013, I spoke at a technology retail summit in Amsterdam. One of the other attendees there was being a little rude to me and kept looking at his watch. I soon realised that he had in fact been subtly glancing at who was calling him. I wanted one. I ordered my Pebble Smartwatch (which syncs up with my phone) and now I never miss a call and decline calls from numbers I don’t recognise just by a watch-click. The watch can have productivity apps on it and I have found that, even with the limited apps available currently, it has been really useful. Apple have recently recruited the ex-CEO of Burberry to run their retail offerings and many have speculated that a reason for this could be the development of an Apple watch which will sit somewhere in between technology and fashion. 


Google Glass

Google Glass doesn’t seem to have made a huge impact yet. It has been released to developers to try and come up with useful applications for it. However, I’ve not yet seen anything to convince me it is a game-changer. Even the UK’s Google CEO wearing them on stage didn’t convince me that they were useful. In fact, when I asked him afterwards, it turned out that they weren’t even on. However, let’s wait and see what applications come out. I have a feeling that some really amazing uses will emerge out of all of this development work that could once again change the way we live our lives. 


At A Suit That Fits, we’re really looking forward to seeing what new technologies we can incorporate in 2014. We’re all working hard towards ensuring that customers receive fabric samples to their office by drone and that they are measured up with Google Glass rather than with the aid of a tape measure. 

David Hathiramani
David Hathiramani

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