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Microsoft Word Now Does Voice Transcription…And Other Small Business Tech News

By August 30, 2020August 31st, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Microsoft launched a new transcription feature for Word.

This past week, Microsoft released an Office 365 feature named Transcribe in Word. The new feature will allow individuals to transcribe audio in real time through Azure’s artificial intelligence. Although the tool is presently limited to Word’s online platform, their long term goal is to roll it into other 365 tools. With this feature, users will be able to upload various audio files to be transcribed or record a conversation straight to Word and have it transcribed immediately with the option to playback and edit the recordings. (Source: Silicon Republic)

Why this is important for your business:

This could be a game changer, because think about it: if you or your employees just want to talk into Word how do you do it now without a third-party product? I foresee small business owners using this as a way to dictate memos, write proposals and even create blog posts for their companies in a much faster way. I predict that the functionality will become advanced enough to recognize our commands with 99.99% accuracy and allow us to jump around existing documents. I also see this becoming a fantastic tool for disabled employees and workers performing field service. But will it replace the keyboard? (My company is a Microsoft partner)

2 — This battery could last for 28,000 years.

NDB, Inc. — a startup that focuses on green energy— recently finished testing their self-charging nano diamond battery that could potentially last for 28,000 years. In two separate tests, researchers found that the battery maintained 40% of its charge, greatly improving the 15% charge retention of a regular diamond battery. NDB has developed the diamond in an effort to have a battery more efficiently extract charge and is looking to make it available commercially. The battery will only need exposure to open air and does not give off any carbon emissions. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Hey, I’d be happy with a smartphone battery that just lasts the day. The takeaway here is that battery life is on the cusp of significantly advancing and that will have an enormous affect on our businesses and personal lives in the not-so-distant future. Get ready.

3 —Amazon Go’s cashier-less tech may come to Whole Foods as soon as next year.

It was reported this past week that Amazon could potentially introduce their cashier-less Amazon Go technology in select Whole Foods markets in 2021. Amazon’s technology— which was introduced in 2016 – utilizes computer vision, sensors, and cameras, and is in over 20 Go stores throughout the country. The contactless technology allows shoppers to leave the store with their purchases, negating the need to stand in line to checkout. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

So far this is just a rumor, but c’mon, we know it’s happening. Amazon Go stores are already in operation and the cashier-less model has been proven. Consumers are going to be demanding this type of quick experience more from their favorite retailers, so if you run a Main Street business you should be paying close attention.

4 — Google lets retailers customize product info in search results.

Google is now going to enable shop owners to individualize product descriptions, giving them more control in the way their product information appears in Google search. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

Why this is important for your business:

Some of the features include giving retailers the option of whether a picture appears with their product search, length of information displayed, image size, or keeping certain information from showing up in an initial search at all. Smart retailers looking to leverage their search engine optimization will be jumping on these new features.

5— Most consumers abandon a slow-loading ecommerce site.

A new survey conducted by Retail Systems Research found that 90 percent of participants were likely to desert sites that took too long to load, and 57 percent of shoppers shared they’d be likely to hop to another retailer’s site to shop for similar items. 41 percent of participants said they would simply go make their purchases through Amazon, while 21 percent of participants said—if a website is loading slowly— they would not return to that website at all. The survey also revealed that 11 percent of participants would bring up their issue to the actual business while 21 percent would take their complaints to social media. (Source: Digital Commerce 360)

Why this is important for your business:

How fast is your e-commerce site? If you’re selling products online you better make sure it’s fast. Very fast.

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