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Here is recent information on five technologies that may affect small businesses.  

Twitter

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that Twitter activity is dominated by a small percentage of the overall population. In fact, just 10 percent of U.S. adults—send 80 percent of the tweets. Only around 22 percent of American adults today use Twitter, and their median age is 40. The median age of all U.S. adults is 47. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this information is important.

Many small businesses use Twitter as a marketing platform. That’s why it’s important for business owners to know its demographics. For example, if only 22 percent of American adults are using Twitter, what about the other 78 percent? Are the target customers there?

Mobile Wallets

Mobile payment adoption in the U.S. is quite low—just 20 percent as of October 2018. Retailers are wary of how the provider of mobile wallet platforms will use their data. Another reason is that retailers are reluctant to spend money on tech that may not yield significant ROI, given the low adoption rates of mobile and contactless cards across the country. (Source: Digiday)

Why this information is important

Whether retailers should accept mobile payments or not depends on their type of customers.  If it’s a type of business that attracts people who use mobile payments more than others, the retailer might consider mobile payment.

Drone Delivery

Wing Aviation LLC, a Google subsidiary, has become the first drone operator to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an airline according to Bloomberg. The approval gives Wing Aviation the legal authority to begin dropping products to customers. Initially, it plans to begin delivering small consumer items in two rural Virginia communities.

Why this information is important  

Drone delivery is now real. Google, Amazon and others will be providing this type of delivery service which is expected to become common over the next ten years.

Cameras that Can Guess a Person’s Age and Gender

Retailers could soon be using a new technology that enables cameras to guess a customer’s age, gender or mood as he or she walks by.

Why this information is important  

Creepy but it’s real. According to the Associated Press News report, the aim is to use this information to show customers targeted real-time ads on in-store video screens.

Robot Recruiter

According to a Tech Crunch article, several companies are now developing robots to use for recruiting. A few examples include VCV.AI, HireVue, AllyO and Arya.  

Why this information is important  

Recruiting and interview tools using AI will be commonplace over the next few years even in small companies. The robot would be very useful for remote interviews. This technology will not only speed up and standardize the recruitment process but will also help remove bias.