Disruption in the digital era is wearing attractive new stripes: it is shedding its negative implications and transforming our lives and lifestyles for the better! Just check out how disruptive technologies are changing our lives if you doubt it— think online dating, mobile payments and cheap travel bookings!
The emergence of taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber has enabled luxurious travel in air-conditioned cabs with door-to-door service, right at your fingertips. And be it the payment of these cab fares or any payments at several supermarkets or malls, there is a possibility of using payment wallets like Paytm, Freecharge, PayUMoney, etc. instead of carrying cash or cards (and remain hands-free).
Technological advancements are happening at lightning speeds around the world – be it 3D printing services, self-driving cars, or even our digitally connected smart homes. Some of these have the potential to achieve long-term betterment of the society we live in. For example, self-driving cars aim to reduce the number of accidents and may possibly help to get rid of traffic lights in future.
So, where does India stand with regards to social, technology and digital transformations?
Here's a quick look at life-changing, technology-driven social innovations that are slowly shaping the face of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India:
Ride on Digital Wagons
Say goodbye to the inconvenience of train travel—digital technologies from Wi-Fi to water sensors in the loo are swiftly transforming into new-age railway experiences. A long-term project, which is underway, is of digital LED screens displaying passenger related information at stations, in place of the earlier loudspeaker announcements and long queues for enquiry at ticket windows.
Travelling Ticket Examiners now wield IT-enabled handheld terminals to optimise sale and reservation of vacant berths, issue real-time receipts to travellers and maintain a paperless, transparent account of seats sold.
Other train tech plans include online booking facility for disposable linen, integrated braille displays, bio-vacuum toilets, and more. Additionally, you can tweet or post complaints — or appreciation — in social media and expect a quick response from the hitherto fuddy-duddy Indian Railways!
Whether you are travelling alone or in a group, you need not worry about food, especially on long journey trains. There are many railway tiffin delivery services being offered at different railway stations for which you just need to confirm your bookings online or on WhatsApp, or via phone / SMS.
As part of the 'Digital India' and 'Smart City' initiatives by the Indian government, a high-speed rail corridor is being built between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, where a bullet train will cover a distance of over 500 km in just two hours.
Ring Out the Electronic Register
The iconic cash register of all movie hold-ups is on its way to extinction! The emergence of apps that transform tablets or smartphones into mPOS (mobile Points of Sale) has allowed all kinds of businesses (even small ones) to free up valuable real estate that would have otherwise been used up for the POS counter. Now, sales staff can walk around the store with their as customers debate what to buy, and convert their interest into sales, improving revenues and customer experience.
Reach for the Clouds
Cloud computing has ushered dramatic change for individuals and organisations alike. One of its most visible benefits is location services, popularly known as GPS. The ability to find almost any place across the globe is very liberating for anxious travellers and commuters, whether the address is local or global! No more being at the mercy of directionally challenged friends, or lost cabbies!
Organisations are able to operate with far greater efficiencies and reach customers too. All thanks to the mountains of data storage they have access to in cloud, full of information from which they can glean insights and create new services for the market.
Cashless Money & More
Customers have never had it so good: why to visit the branch when the band can come to your doorstep! Online and mobile banking have ensured that you can transfer money, change pin, track deposits and shop to your heart's content from anywhere you, please!
Digitisation has not just eased the rush at the physical bank branch but introduced time and effort saving initiatives such as Bank of Baroda's pioneering cash recycling ATMs. The bank's tech-driven solution from Hitachi enables using deposited cash for ATM withdrawals reducing the frequency of loading cash in the bank's ATMs.
These and other social innovations were highlighted at a recent event in Mumbai, the 'Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2016', which focused on digital transformation and infrastructure development in India.
Hitachi, a dedicated Social Innovation Partner in India's digitisation journey, organised the event in partnership with Times Network in Mumbai. The event showcased Collaborative Creation and technologies for high-speed railways (supported by Japan), use of IT and ICT for increasing railway capacity and reliability, digital banking, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing for robust IT infrastructure, and more. The forum saw lively discussions and ended on a positive note with participating organisations Open to Suggestions to enable India's digitisation journey.