New Technology: Risk vs Reward

It will come as no surprise to hear that we here at Ubamarket love new technology. Whether it’s hardware or software, a supercomputer or an app, new technology is an incredibly powerful tool – it has the ability to topple the status quo and in a short space of time make the unthinkable become the ordinary.

But to quote Uncle Ben (the character from Spider-Man, not the rice retailer), with great power comes great responsibility. Despite all the advances that come as a result of technological innovation, new systems also present unique new challenges; if these challenges are not overcome then problems will ensue.

The example of self-scan checkouts in supermarkets illustrates this point perfectly. Earlier this month the University of Leicester released a report revealing how the implementation of self-scanners in supermarkets has caused a notable spike in theft. To be more precise, the study – which analysed data from nearly 12 million shopping trips in Britain, the US, Belgium and Holland between 2013 and 2015 – found that introducing self-checkouts has caused the rate of loss in supermarkets to increase by 122%. The report also stated that even honest shoppers had been guilty of enjoying a ‘five finger discount’ due to frustrations with the technology not working seamlessly.

The message to take away from this research is that despite all the advantages posed by new technology, when there are flaws in new systems they are open to be exploited. It demonstrates the importance of leaving no stone unturned in accounting for potential pitfalls when launching a new piece of technology. If corners are cut, or important factors are overlooked, then both businesses and consumers stand to suffer.

Needless to say, Ubamarket has been ruthless in its preparation prior to its very, very exciting launch… coming soon!

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