Let’s get the ten major tech trends driving the fourth industrial revolution – trends that we believe trends will forever alter how we do trade and live our lives.
The convergence and interchange of multiple technology trends at once drive the fourth industrial revolution to be different from previous industrial processes.
Tech Trends Transforming the World
As processing power has grown and the size of computer microchips has shrunk, we’ve fastly become used to computers and gadgets getting lighter, more affordable, smaller, more powerful, and more ubiquitous. (For instance, today’s average smartphone is more powerful than the supercomputers of 10 years ago.) Looking ahead, probably the next giant leap in computing power will come from quantum computers – computers that are so fast and powerful that they can be used to complete new, previously impossible assignments that traditional computers aren’t capable of.
Connected and Smart Everything
You’re undoubtedly acquainted with the Internet of Things (IoT) from devices like intelligent TVs, smartwatches, and smart thermostats. The IoT guides the increasing number of intelligent, connected devices and objects capable of gathering and transmitting data. In terms of products and devices – although that is a crucial consideration for businesses – and in the spaces we live and work. From intelligent, connected factories and offices to entire smart cities, the rooms around us will increasingly be equipped to monitor what’s going on and act accordingly.
Datafication of the World
Ubiquitous computing and the IoT are massive contributors to the sheer volume of daily data. Humans are also developing masses of data through our daily activities, alongside this machine-generated data, which shows no signs of slowing down. The good news is companies can use this data to create better products and services, improve business processes, improve decision making and even build new revenue sources. But businesses must also be mindful of the threats posed by data, particularly around data privacy and security.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
All that generated data is a core enabler for AI, making incredible leaps in the last few years, particularly for “conversational AI.” For example, in 2020 alone, smart speakers responded to 100 billion voice commands – 75 percent more than in 2019 – all appreciations to AI. The takeaway for businesses is that, as the interactions with machines become increasingly intelligent, clients will expect all forms of products and services to feature some AI credentials.
Extended Reality (XR)
XR is an umbrella term illustrating the spectrum of immersive technologies: virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. XR was chiefly known for immersive gaming, but nowadays, it is deployed across a wide range of industries. It is being employed to create more immersive, personalized experiences for customers and workers. For instance, customers can now try out products virtually – like digitally placing a new sofa in their living room to notice how it examines – and employees can understand in immersive, engaging ways. Companies must consider adapting this and create immersive ventures for their customers and employees.
Digital trust is the confidence users place in organizations to create a secure digital world, where transactions and interactions can be securely, safely, and efficiently. Many – myself included – acknowledge blockchain and distributed ledger technology will recreate a central role in increasing digital trust and constructing interactions more secure. However, the technology has some way to run before it’s truly accessible to organizations. The solution may partner with the many new innovators and entrepreneurs making real headway in the blockchain space for many businesses.
These days, the materials utilized for 3D printing can be pretty much anything: plastic, concrete, liquid, metal, powder, or even chocolate. As a result, entire houses can now be 3D printed. It has the prospect of transforming manufacturing. In short, 3D printing offers manufacturers the ability to make things that can’t fast be produced with traditional methods, facilitate the manufacturing process, and build highly personalized products (even unique one-offs) while eliminating waste and lowering costs.
Gene-editing and Synthetic Biology
Gene editing can have certain advantages when “bad” genes are witnessed – genes that could jeopardize the fitness of an organism or its descendants. Gratitude to new gene-editing technology, these harmful characteristics can, in theory, be altered. In this way, gene editing could deliver drastic leaps ahead in the fight against disease – in humans, animals, and crops. While gene-editing tools can be utilized to make small changes to DNA, synthetic biology can affect seaming together long strands of DNA and inserting them into an organism. Consequently, the organism may behave differently or have entirely new abilities. Think of exciting new products like cultured meat, and it’s effortless to see how transformative these technologies could be.
Nanotechnology and Materials Science
Materials science (the domain of studying and manipulating materials) and nanotechnology (the science of controlling cases on a small scale, at the atomic and molecular grade) have given us some incredible advances, from minor computer chips, smartphone displays, and lithium-ion batteries, to stain-resistant fabrics. This trend could deliver breakthroughs in electric car batteries, make solar energy more affordable, and provide other advances to make the world better.
New Energy Solutions
Nuclear fusion is often lauded as the pure and potentially inexhaustible energy solution for the future, but there’s a concern – keeping a fusion reaction takes more energy than it produces! But now, thanks to passages in magnet technology, we may see a nuclear fusion reactor have a net power output by 2035. Another compelling zero-carbon energy key is green hydrogen. Water is divided into hydrogen and water through electrolysis without creating any byproducts with green hydrogen. Historically, this process brought so much electricity; green hydrogen was unfeasible. But renewable electricity sources may change this. For example, as surplus renewable electricity is becoming available on the grid, that extra energy could, in theory, be used to conduct the electrolysis of water.
The essential lesson from all these crazes is we’re documenting an age of continual and fast evolution, where multiple tech trends blend and feed into each other to deliver massive changes. It means the days of incremental tech upgrades are gone forever for businesses. Instead, continual change is the way of the future.