Tech Breakthroughs In Lockdown
It’s been just over a year now since the UK entered a national lockdown. Just over a year since the majority of people had to rethink the way they worked and how to carry on as best as possible with their normal lives. One of the main things was the change to working from home for many. Whilst there are many industries and businesses that we already knew roles could be worked from home many new businesses had to suddenly adapt and find a way to have their staff work from home and still provide a service to their customers.
Tech played a big part in this and many people had to have a crash course in being able to use a PC or laptop and then learn how to use new software and tech accessories to perform their job. When it came to leisure time we also had to adapt and find new ways to entertain ourselves and also keep fit and active. With outdoor activity being restricted this became a problem for many. Sales of home gym and treadmill equipment skyrocketed with many retailers selling out and 2nd hand equipment often fetching more then new prices on the various auction websites and 2nd hand online market places.
The UK’s transformation to a more digital world had to happen pretty fast more or less overnight. So here at Dorset Tech we thought we’d take a look at some of the more important pieces of tech that helped us get through Lockdown for both business and leisure purposes.
Let’s start with the main one, the internet! Most of us were already clued up on what it was and what it can do but for many we probably never even scratched the surface with it’s potential. Using it for basic browsing and insurance quotes once a year. All of a sudden in March 2020 the internet became our main tool and source of information for many things. People of all ages had to learn how to browse, email and use basic software tools to get by and see loved ones.
As our working lives altered we had to adapt and Zoom became a mainstay for many for everyday life both work and pleasure. Early in the pandemic Zoom saw its users increase from 10 million to 200 million per day as people started to use the communication tool to work and stay in touch with loved ones. Even Zoom had to adapt and increase it’s security to cope with the situation and help keep people safe as many Zoom meetings had uninvited guests joining.
This was another business tool that saw an increase in users early in the pandemic. Teams userbase more than doubled at the start of lockdown, going from 32 million in March to 75 million by the end of April. Mainly used for workplace communications, Microsoft Teams suddenly became a vital cog for most businesses.
We all love a Netflix binge and with many of us suddenly having more free time and less options to do things in this free time we had to entertain ourselves at home. Subscription TV suddenly became one of the main ways to not get bored. Not surprisingly at the start of Lockdown in 2020 the top films on Netflix were all virus based films. Netflix for instance has seen an increase of 37 million subscribers more then the same period in 2019.
Home Gym Classes:
At the peak of the pandemic outdoor exercise was limited to once a day and for many this wasn’t enough. Add in walking the dog and this meant for many they weren’t getting their daily dose of exercise, especially those who are really into fitness or training. Treadmills became hot property and 2nd hand prices soared to more then the out of stock new items. Many subscribed to the remote fitness services like Peloton etc. Paying for a treadmill and then remote studio class TV package. Celebrity fitness gurus held daily lessons too online that became huge. For many it was their first experience of home training and it quickly became important and a source of keeping busy.
The unmanned aircraft industry also gained some recognition during the pandemic. The NHS trialed using drones to fly vital supplies to remote locations and islanders. Supplies were shipped between hospitals using drones too. We always new drones could be useful but the pandemic gave us a hint at just what their capabilities could be. The army and emergency services are all heavily investing in drone technology to see if they can become an integral part of their workforce.
One part of the pandemic was the issue with handling cash and the hands, face, space motto. This meant many companies stopped handling cash payments for goods and services and went to contactless and digital payments only. In 2019 just 23% of payments were made by cash with over 50% made by card payments in 2020. Financial technologies or (fintech) saw a massive increase in demand due to the pandemic and companies wanting to avoid any cash handling by staff.