Innovative ways technology has benefited 3 different groups
The technology consumes a lot of heat. Yet there is no doubt that without technological innovations, many groups would remain underserved.
Consider those affected in the early days of Covid. Isolated from loved ones, many relied on cloud-based platforms like Zoom to stay in touch. At the same time, those in need of non-emergency medical care have sought and used telehealth options in record numbers.
In other words, technology can be a friend as well as a foe. Admittedly, it’s a handy scapegoat when things go wrong. At the same time, it can be a valuable asset in achieving overarching societal goals and creating a better quality of life for all.
Below are some of the major technical inventions that have benefited specific groups in recent years. Each testifies to a thought “beyond the beaten track”.
1. Serve as a safe technological “bridge” for young device users.
Gen Z and Gen Alpha kids wear a “tech native” badge by default. However, young children and tweens are not ready to take on the responsibilities of having full Internet access. It’s non-negotiable that they need to learn the skills to navigate the web. They simply should not be exposed to its temptations or dangers too young.
The answer to this conundrum may fall on devices that essentially bridge the gap between toys and fully-fledged technology available to everyone. In its exhaustive Gabb Wireless kids phone review, tech journalist Brad Anderson recognizes the benefits for parents of buying a phone designed specifically for kids. As he notes, the Gabb Wireless Z2 includes texting, photo taking, and calling features. What it does not include is access to the App Store or the internet.
Products like the Z2 show that thoughtful technology can be used to protect young people from ‘Wild West’ technologies they are not ready to face. This allows children to develop smarter technology habits and navigate the wider confines of the internet.
2. Help low-income families break out of the cycle of debt-poverty.
Harvard University has been the incubator for many inventions over the years. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a Harvard graduate spent his early career fighting poverty through the use of technology.
Leveraging the expertise he honed at his alma mater, Rohan Pavuluri co-founded Upsolve. The nonprofit aims to help struggling low-income families determine whether or not to file for bankruptcy. Those who decide to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy could improve their situation in the long run can follow the process online.
Pavuluri is not advocating Chapter 7 bankruptcy for everyone whose debt has become crippling. Still, he believes Upsolve provides an affordable and fair platform for those who could benefit from a bankruptcy filing. By making bankruptcy accessible to everyone, he believes his technological solution will give many individuals and families a fighting chance against poverty.
3. Open doors to teleworkers with disabilities.
Working from home has received a huge boost during the pandemic, but not everyone can easily transition from an office to a residential setting. For example, workers with disabilities may face barriers when engaging with co-workers or customers when not in the workplace.
Organize virtual meetings: how to interact smoothly during videoconferences if you are hard of hearing? To tackle this problem, Zoom offers transcription services for live and pre-recorded sessions. Transcripts let everyone involved know what’s going on in real time so the conversation can flow smoothly. They’re not perfect, but they allow teams to keep moving forward without friction.
Like many emerging markets, the creation of more exclusive work-from-home environments for workers with disabilities is gaining momentum. From make biometrics more inclusive to develop training sessions that meet the needs of all participantsthe ground is ripe for more technology-driven products and services to address professional barriers.
Children. Low-income families. Remote workers with disabilities. They all benefit from smart applications of technology. So while the tech may get a bad rap from time to time, it does feel good.