Here Come The Robot Lawyers And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(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 — A “robot lawyer” is offering to help refugees claim asylum.

The chatbot that made a splash last summer by overturning 160,000 parking tickets is back again, but now it is helping provide free legal aid to refugees. Through a simple-to-use chat interface on Facebook Messenger, “DoNotPay” can “help refugees fill in an immigration application in the US and Canada.” (Source: The Guardian)

Why this is important for your business: 

First, this is a pretty good service to use in your business if you employ immigrants that need inexpensive help with immigration paperwork. Secondly, here’s another example of artificial intelligence technology that’s automating process and creating new opportunities – which may have an impact on your future business. Thirdly, the fewer lawyers involved, the better.

2 —Vimeo has a new way for video creators to make money.

Vimeo has added the ability to upload and watch 360-degree videos to its video platform. Currently, viewers can watch these videos using the Vimeo mobile app on the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

Per CNET, “Vimeo’s move makes it one of the first worldwide marketplaces for creators to sell 360-degree videos directly to viewers” through its Vimeo Pro and Business memberships. These members pay a fee and can “choose options for renting, buying or subscribing through the company’s Vimeo on Demand service.” Video creators also get a big payout: “90 percent of the revenue after transaction costs.”

3 — Fitness startups are adding VR to their reps.

Startups like VirZOOM and Gemany-based HYVE have begun to incorporate virtual reality into fitness devices. Michael De Medeiros, editor of VR Fitness Insider, believes we are “roughly two years away” from VR fitness being a “360-degree, full-body experience.” (Source: Fast Company)

Why this is important for your business:

Virtual reality continues to creep into mainstream business, providing a better way to market and deliver services. If your business is visual (think roofing, landscaping, design, construction, real estate to name a few), then virtual reality technology may be an important part of your plans in the near future.

 4 — Salesforce has unveiled its new AI feature, “Einstein Vision.”

Customer Relationship Management software giant Salesforce has announced a new project called “Einstein Vision” that lets developers “add advanced image recognition and analysis to apps running on the company’s sales and customer service platforms.” (Source: GeekWire)

Why this is important for your business:

Example: you’re selling goods and you want to know the optimal amount to purchase and then place your goods on a store shelf to match consumer interests. Einstein will look at data in Salesforce and other sources to predict the best way to do this. The idea is to “automatically analyze large amounts of data, from a variety of sources, to make predictions that guide decisions and actions by Salesforce customers.”

5 — You can now access your Office calendar through Alexa.

Amazon has announced that all Alexa-powered devices, including the Echo and Echo Dot, now work with Microsoft Office 365 calendars. The Marks Group is a Microsoft partner. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

“Hey Alexa, tell me my schedule today!”“Hey Alexa, cancel that meeting with Loren!” The possibilities for a small business are endless. Alexa already has support for Outlook Calendar, but this integration could lead to “Amazon Echo speakers inching their way into corporate offices.”