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We May Be Selling Technology, but Are We Using It?

We May Be Selling Technology, but Are We Using It?

By Jillian Haage

In today’s world, everything is fast-paced. Sometimes it can feel too fast and even overwhelming. It almost seems that everyone is expected to accomplish more due to the general access to advanced technology on a consumer level. We may all be buying and/or selling these forms of technology, but are we really using it to our advantage? I’ve found most employees of both manufacturers and distributors use less than 5% of the technology available to them.

For example, in years past you would pick up the phonebook to make a reservation at a local restaurant. You would then get out your daily planner to document the date and time of that reservation. After that, you may call your coworker or significant other to let them know of the reservation, so they can also record the date and time. As the date of that reservation approaches, you may pick up the phone again to confirm the time, just to be sure. You can see where I am going with this…

Now, just open an app on your handheld device, put in the location at which you would like to dine, and all available establishments are shown, immediately. You are then able to select your location, date, and time with a tap of the screen. Your reservation is now made and has automatically been added to your calendar, which can then be shared with your coworker or significant other. Four steps have been consolidated into one!

Imagine if you didn’t know about that app and still did things the “old school” way. The back and forth phone calls, note-taking and constant organizing can be quite time consuming, and that’s just to make a dinner reservation! What about all the other obligations of the day? Everything from hailing a cab, making a reservation, turning on a light, checking the weather, keeping a calendar, etc. is being done faster with today’s technology. These technologies are designed to make the “simple” tasks of the day easier so that we can spend more time accomplishing the larger, more complex goals.

I work for a great company in Leviton Manufacturing, Co., which is launching some of this cutting-edge technology every day.  However, I question if everyone in the industry is using this technology to make their lives easier and more productive.

For example, our Wi-Fi dimmers and switches have many uses. One use that I often point out is, they can be used as an astronomical time clock. What that means is it knows your location, daily sunrise and sunset times, as well as daylight savings. Once you set the light to turn on at sunrise or sunset, you’re all set. No need to reprogram for daylight savings, etc. The app used to set up the Wi-Fi switch or dimmer is free and much easier to use than the older time clocks that are on the market, not to mention virtually the same price. No hub or bridge needed, just the Wi-Fi switch or dimmer. On top of this being a time clock, you can also use Alexa or Google Home by simply saying “Alexa, turn on kitchen,” or whatever you named the load. You are also able to monitor from your app and turn on/off from anywhere in the world!

Now, you might wonder why wouldn’t everyone buy that vs. the old school in-wall time clock? What I find happening is that people are under-educated about these products as well as scared of the app setup. As soon as I mention “app” or “Wi-Fi” to the older generations, they seem to regress to the old version versus giving it a try.

I think, as an industry, we need to start focusing more on these new technologies and how they can make everyone more productive and, hence, more valuable. I am 30 years old and have had the advantage of growing up with some of it, which has made it easier for me to adapt. I am not sure that can be said for some of the workforce that is older than me. Before I know it, my son will be teaching me what is “new,” and I will be the one scrambling to keep up. If we all take the time to take advantage of what is available to us, instead of just saying “I’m good, I’ve always done it this way,” just imagine how productive and valuable we could really be.

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