Published on April 19th, 2018 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Superpowers, Tech Utility Belts and the Dark Knight
In 1939 one of the most memorable superheroes of all time appeared much to the cursing of criminals everywhere. He was The Batman. The Caped Crusader, wearing a cowl and winged cape inspired by the ornithopter sketches of Da Vinci, began his life of fighting crime with a clear distinction from other superheroes of the time and even today – he had no superpowers. Bob Kane conceived Batman as a hero that relied upon his strength and intelligence to outwit his foes. It didn’t hurt that he was also a billionaire and pretty hunky, too. The Dark Knight continues to inspire and captivate people of all ages.
When it comes time for Bruce Wayne to don his Batsuit it always includes the versatile Bat Utility Belt. As Batman cruises around in the Batmobile, jumps from buildings and uses one of his 127 martial arts styles to defeat lawbreakers he has the Utility Belt to support his skills. It always seems to provide the right tool at the right time. Just when he needs it, the Batman can use a Batarang, the Batrope, the Batclaw and even thermite grenades. That’s just a few examples taken from the dozens of important Bat weapons available as part of the Utility Belt.
Today smart businesses are using emerging technologies to give their employees, clients and customers superpower help that can make Batman envious. It’s a technology Utility Belt of sorts. Business processes, services and products are leveraging augmented and virtual reality, internet of things and artificial intelligence to enable users with power previously unavailable or difficult to attain. Consider the superpowers that are becoming more commonplace and equipping user Utility Belts:
- X-ray vision. By mashing together layered 3D models and AR glasses, technicians and engineers can see “inside” complex pieces of equipment like engines, vehicles, generators or computers. Medical students can see inside the human body through VR training. An electric company worker can see through concrete and blacktop as augmented reality presents power and water lines under a street on an augmented reality tablet. Onsite, on demand x-ray vision is giving users a window to information that is timely and useful.
- Super intelligence. The proliferation of machine learning and artificial intelligence is also unleashing new superpowers. Doctors are being assisted in diagnoses with AI such as IBM Watson. Companies are using AI to support call center employees so they can answer questions from customers quickly and accurately. Essentially when any person needs a large volume of information to help make decisions, they are made extra smart by “thinking” computers.
- Super strength and agility. Manufacturing has been transformed by robotics as assembly lines now run 24/7 with robots never getting tired or weak (except maybe in power outages). Robots are also helping build homes and offices with unprecedented complexity. Robots can also work in dangerous locations, sterile environments and handle hazardous materials.
Pick a favorite superpower and there is probably a technological equivalent today. AR and VR solutions are providing ways for users to “speed” across the world in an instant just like The Flash. IoT sensors are giving people an extra “Spidey Sense” to provide information or cause devices to function automatically.
No doubt Batman is going to use all of these technologies at some point to take on adversaries like The Joker. Just like us, with no superpowers he needs the help. It’s also a reminder that we can supply our users with technology Utility Belts that help them meet their needs faster, better and safer.