Evolution is an ongoing process. Similar to human evolution and cultural evolution, technology evolution is the major sought after. From stone tools to voice-enabled technology, technology has evolved and progressed. Such evolutions indicate that the world is changing and becoming more adaptable to new changes.
In the era of Industry 4.0, technology is evolving faster than ever. To keep up this pace technology also needs to follow the trends. The year 2020-21 is one such example when people and businesses rapidly adapted the new and trendy technology citing it as the New Normal.
Some of the top trending technologies for 2021 and upcoming years –
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI is intelligence demonstrated by machines, especially computer systems and its applications include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine vision. AI is certainly one of the most trusted and valuable technological evolution of our times. To improve customer experiences, to streamline business operations, and to handle and interprete large volumes of data, AI wins the battle amongst new-age technologies.
Technologists presume that AI will be smarter and superior to human intelligence. From monitoring the public areas to analysing human behaviour, self-learning algorithms will be efficient than human/manual analysis. Even for businesses, AI will be able to solve challenges related to customer behaviour which is usually a challenging activity.
Robotics, Drones, and Vehicle Automation – The emergence of robots makes a strong introduction to virtual workstation. Today and in upcoming years robots will be no less than a human workforce. During Covid-19 the use of robots in care and assisted living sectors proved to be an intelligent decision especially because of interaction with the affected ones or those who are vulnerable to infection like the elderly. The expectation is, in the future, robots can be used as 24*7 communicators or assistants. Today, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) covers vast industry sectors like Banking and finance process automation, Data Extraction Process, eCommerce Merchandising Operation, OCR Application, and other such.
A drone is a flying robot that is monitored remotely. In technical terms a Drone is an unmanned aircraft. Drones are equipped with infrared cameras, GPS, and laser that make it an apt technology to be used for photography, recreational, commercial, and military activities. Apart from these, drones equipped with proper computer vision algorithms help in delivering goods to different areas and monitoring footfalls in public areas if required.
The electric vehicle is trending these days but the days are not far when we can have automated driving cars in almost every house. Vehicle automation involves mechatronics, artificial intelligence, and multi-agent systems to assist vehicle’s operators. The autonomous vehicle ensures more safety on roads, reduces traffic congestion, and also eliminates driving fatigue.
Human Augmentation – Human augmentation is the next hot thing in technology evolution. Human augmentation means the technologies that boost human productivity and enhance human capabilities. Physical augmentation like AR lenses, RFID tags, and prosthetics infused inside humans are part of this augmentation which helps in the enhancement of human cognition, perception, and action abilities.
eSight is one of the examples of everyday human augmentation. It is a wearable glass that helps or makes a blind able to see their environment clearly with the use of cameras attached to it.
5G and enhanced connectivity – 5G is the fifth generation of cellular network that is 100x faster than 4G. 5G creates never-before-seen opportunities for businesses promising more than just faster speed. Enhanced speed, lower latency and increased bandwidth, and higher device capacity are some of the major advantages of 5G over 4G. Such advantages allow faster data transmission and interpretation, autonomous vehicles and road safety, better quality and faster streaming, etc. Apart from such benefits, 5G benefits can also be seen in different industry sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and other sectors too.
Quantum Computing – Quantum computing to perform computation uses quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement. They are believed to be able to solve computational problems such as integer factorisation even faster than the classical computing methods. Quantum computers are way faster than classical computers. The Banking and Finance sectors are one of the sought-after sectors for monitoring credit risks, perform high-frequency trading and detect fraud. Many tech giants like Microsoft AWS, Honeywell, Google, Splunk are involved in making quantum computers.
Extended Reality (XR) – Extended Reality is an all-embracing term that covers several new and innovative technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Augmented Reality (AR) for better immersive digital experiences. VR with the help of headsets provides a fully digital experience that blends out the real world through a computer-generated world. AR is an interactive experience of the real world via smartphone screens or displays. MR is the merger of the real and virtual world to produce a new environment and visualisation. It is a hybrid of reality and virtual reality that does not exclusively belong either to the physical world or the virtual world.
Extended Reality lets users to experience their everyday real-time warnings like reminding washing their hands before or after touching any infected area or places, or things. So, it would not be wrong to say that Extended Reality (ER) is all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions through computer-generated technology and wearable.
Blockchain – Blockchain is a robust system of recording information that makes it difficult to hack or change. It is actually a secured digital ledger that is used to record transactions that are distributed across the network of computer system on the blockchain. In simple terms, Blockchain is the set of data which can only be added to, not to take away from or change. Several industries like FedEx, IBM, Walmart, and Mastercard are stepping into Blockchain.
Personalised and Predictive Medicine – The healthcare sectors are at the boom in terms of technology transformation. Prediction of health, fitness, heartbeats, etc using smartwatches are now everyday activities but the main area of interest or attention is personalised predictions in medicines and treatment. It is expected that in upcoming years new applications of predictive healthcare and the introduction of more personalised effective treatment along with personalised assistant in case of unavailability of nursing staff will ensure better outcomes.
The Last Corner
Technology development is not the result of one or two years but a gradual process. To add to this, our behaviour and lifestyle are dependent on technology development. Covid-19 impacts can be considered as one such example. Many of us have become part of the new normal 2020-21. These trending technologies will have major impacts on our behaviour, lifestyle, and future.