New Trends and Innovation
The world continues to be shaped by technological advances. Technologies have enabled innovative changes, greater productivity, and new offerings in business, government, and social organizations. For futurists, entrepreneurs, and public policy activists, its critical to understand these new emerging technologies to deliver benefits to society. We’ll look at the most recent tech trends, what the future of innovation looks like, and what it all means to our present and future.
Recent Trends and Innovations
This past year has been one of the new additions to innovation that are transforming the industry in different ways. It seems as though these new tech trends have built up over the pandemic when technologies seemingly hit a pause. Companies are increasing their spending on technologies and services, and the necessity of digital transformation is apparent. The annual spend on tech is forecasted to hit $2.3 trillion according to the IDC Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide.
So, what are the emerging technologies making the biggest splash in our lives this year? The list comprises 5G technology, driverless driving, sustainability efforts, IoT solutions, advanced quantum computing, and augmented reality. Let’s dive deeper into these technologies and their benefits.
Overall, the deployment of 5G slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic. But coverage should be available in many more areas by the end of 2022 on a global scale. PWC cites that roughly 80% of the U.S. population has access to 5G coverage at home or work.
Smartphones are the most prevalent use cases for 5G speeds. But there are many more places where 5G will help power innovation and improvements. The industrial setting is one example of why enterprises will adopt the technology. 5G is both fast enough and reliable to use for artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and sensor technology. These use cases will enhance energy, transportation, and healthcare to name a few.
Even though there’s quite a bit of a runaway for 5G to reach maturity, research is presently happening on 6G research. The goal of 6G is to enable almost instantaneous connectivity that brings together the physical, human, and digital worlds.
There are several cars today that have capabilities that are close to self-driving. Features like adaptive cruise control, lane-centering assist, multiple cameras, radar, and sensors allow drivers to drive almost hands and pedal-free in some cases. These cars come from makers like Cadillac, Ford, Infiniti, and BMW.
Tesla, Alphabet, and Waymore are companies pushing the total autonomous vehicle experience. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX has stated that he plans to have Robo-taxis on the road shortly.
Of course, some significant tweaks and changes are necessary to enable this emerging technology. Existing infrastructure, laws, and attitudes in society must embrace these trends. While some regions have allowed autonomous vehicles on the roads, this market is still very limited. These vehicles still have much ground to cover to become a future technology.
In the past decade, we’ve witnessed climate change in action. Rising temperatures and extreme weather are big issues in the coming years and future. We’re increasing our reliance on data centers, cloud computing, and connected devices. These capabilities require more energy consumption and higher carbon emissions. Our supply chains require increased flexibility, resilience, and diversification to handle more frequent and severe weather events.
Environmental sustainability solutions have become more important than ever. More and more companies, particularly in tech have made sustainability a key business priority this year. These environmental goals have turned into strategic plans and roadmaps which make these initiatives highly achievable.
A key subset of these sustainability goals is new technologies that allow for greener energy choices like renewable energy and solar. New startups in this sector are being funded when investors are becoming more conservative about the businesses, they take part in.
The Internet of Things encompasses many other technology trends and innovations including smart agriculture, energy grids, connected devices, and autonomous vehicles. These solutions include Wi-Fi connectivity which allows them to access the Internet and each other. Homeowners today use appliances such as smart thermostats, doorbells, and garage door openings to managing home activities.
IoT devices must increase their performance, integrity, and reliability to support these rigorous applications. In the State of IoT 2021, the number of connected IoT grew by 9% to 12.3 billion worldwide. 5G technology is expected to help drive the market growth for IoT in the next several years. Yet, we’re still at the beginning stages of this trend, and forecasts indicate that the number of IoT devices to be around 50 billion by 2030.
Advanced Quantum Computing
It used to take months or even uses for yesterday’s supercomputers to compute complex calculations. With a quantum computer, you can now accomplish these processes in minutes. The benefits of advanced quantum computing will benefit numerous industries. For example, the discovery of new medicines could be cut down for pharmaceutical companies.
The new opportunities that quantum technology could bring are why the investment in R&D continues to increase. Due to these expenditures, the current challenges with quantum computing such as scaling will likely have breakthrough solutions to address them. Collaborations between research centers, academia, and corporations will likely increase to help the R&D into quantum move in the right direction.
Devices with more augmented reality capabilities are more prevalent than ever today. That’s made way for the leap during virtual reality devices. We see less clunky, more portable VR devices such as glasses that allow us to connect to our phones and have VR experiences from anywhere.
All these innovations are paving the way toward extended reality in the form of the experiences that the metaverse hopes to bring. The metaverse allows users to access a shared virtual world through various platforms and devices.
Next Decade of Trends and Innovation
Between all of the top tech trends of today, it might be hard to imagine what the ten years could look like. However, the technology sector is ever-changing, and the growth can take less than a year. The impact of these trends shapes future jobs, policy, and health care to name a few.
Understanding and learning how these trends benefit and change our lives is important to be proactive in what implications these technologies have on people. Let’s look at a few of the technology trends that will shape the next decade.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
These two are big buzzwords today and will continue to be important tech trends over the next decade. Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will grow much faster in the coming years. AI and ML are still in the early development phase currently. However, as technology progresses, we will have more sophisticated applications of these technologies.
Consumers have more demands on businesses to personalize their experience and understand their needs. AI and ML will play a huge role in dealing with customer experience and grievances faster. The enhancements expected over the next decade include machine vision, language processing, pattern recognition, and real-time AI. These capabilities will improve industries such as health care, transportation and logistics, cybersecurity, and more.
Low-code and no-code programming is the direction we’re headed in. There’s the possibility that it will work through ML to write and develop software. Or it may work through graphical interfaces that are used for programming. That would allow for drag-and-drop actions and simple modal windows that could handle creating even the most complicated applications. Even for individuals who have limited coding skills, these solutions will enable them to create software on their own.
Software 2.0 will allow organizations to scale rapidly and deploy more AI-based applications, speed up digital transformation projects, and reduce development costs. Shifting to this type of programming is essential for organizations that want to move towards cross-functional collaboration and be more agile. Business and IT must work together effectively to ensure the business and technology goals are met.
Blockchain Technology and related Use Cases
Blockchain technology allows data to be added only to existing data. That means that someone can’t change or delete it. The security and transparency of the blockchain are the main benefits of the technology. Today, there are well over 60 use cases that exist in hundreds of sectors.
Smart contracts, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), distributed ledgers, and public and private chains are among the use cases for blockchain. Still, it is the digital currency, called cryptocurrency that remains the most popular and widely known use.
The benefit to organizations who use the blockchain include solutions like software & hardware wallets, Decentralized Applications (dApps), and Enterprise infrastructure deployment. RegTech, InsurTech, FinTech, Internet of Things, and logistics are among the big sectors with great potential in using the blockchain.
Implications of Technological Trends
As these tech trends change our day-to-day lives in the present and future, many implications should be considered. The speed at which these important breakthroughs are coming in the past few decades indicates the need to be adaptable. Like many other things, technology can oftentimes be a double-edged sword. As a society, we aren’t typically known to be open to changing and adapting.
Advantages of Tech Trends
New technology is a huge investment during the early days. But one of the main goals of technological advances is to make things less expensive for organizations and people. Once a technology matures, it should significantly reduce the cost of existing processes. This makes the solutions provided by these technologies more accessible.
Enable more Connectivity
Just think of how technology, as it exists today, helped enable the world to stay home for almost two years. Electronic methods of communication like email, instant messaging, and video conferences were able to replace the traditional in-person small talk and meetings to allow workers to feel connected. Internet and applications such as Zoom could handle the increase in usage with fewer issues than expected.
Enables Innovation in a Variety of Fields
The enhancements made to technology rarely only affect just one industry. Innovation in medicine can have applications in other areas like banking or manufacturing. Just one example is how IoT devices are making waves in everything from helping us get into our homes when we’re locked out to improving agriculture by making smart farming possible.
Drawbacks of Tech Trends
Can take away Jobs from a large Segment of the Population
Technology enables efficiency and lowers costs that may come at the cost of destroying jobs and employment outlooks. Robots are taking over many of the manufacturing processes that used to be handled by manual workers. People must learn to adapt or pursue education in fields that support future technology to avoid their jobs being greatly reduced or replaced by future technology.
Negative impacts on Lifestyles and Social Behavior
A society that’s more reliant on technology has caused an increase in social anxiety leading to people becoming more comfortable communicating via chat apps or messages over physical interactions. With more leisure time due to technology, is often used to consume more content, indoor activities, and a dependence on gadgets for entertainment.
Increased Global Warming, Climate Hazards, and Polluted Environment
The increased reliance on computing power that many technological innovations rely on isn’t so great for the environment. While sustainability efforts have dramatically increased in recent times, one could argue that it’s almost out of necessity as we’re witnessing more and more climate events that are impeding logistics, farming, and other essential industries.
Being reactive or dismissing these tech trends will put you at a disadvantage quickly. Adapting and leveraging new technology trends means taking a proactive approach to understanding how to use them in your organization. Although some of these innovations are still early, many use cases could be utilized in almost every industry.
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