One of the side effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic nobody foresaw was the need for new digital technologies. It was innovations in 2020 and 2021 that caved the world from a complete economic meltdown, as billions of people were forced to spend their time in their homes, unable to go to work. Digital technologies saved the day, as they allowed a huge percentage of workers to work from home.
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Never before in human history has this happened and many people liked it. The productivity went up, the costs came down, and overall, people were happier with their jobs. As we are approaching 2022, it would seem that advances and innovations made in 2021 will drastically alter our daily lives.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Originally intended as a stopgap measure until VR takes hold, augmented reality (AR) now has a life of its own. The 2016 Nintendo’s hit game Pokémon Go has demonstrated just how effective AR can be when employed intelligently. We have all witness hordes of people walking around like zombies, staring at their phones and trying to catch them all. The game sold millions of copies and was an absolute hit for years. Even today, five years after its release, people are still playing it. That only proves that AR is a mature technology that only lacks proper implementation and we can see it happening in 2021 and beyond.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality is a term that has been around for quite some time, yet it still hasn’t reached broad masses. The reason for this is simple, it just costs too much. The price tag that comes with the equipment needed to make it work is too high and not everyone can afford it. However, that has started to change in the last couple of years. As the prices drop, we are seeing more and more content developed specifically for VR. One industry that stands to gain a lot from it is online gambling. Things like online live dealer casino games will be completely transformed with careful use of VR and its potential. This is at the moment the technological cutting edge and plenty of companies are struggling to get on the first floor before it takes off.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There aren’t many terms in the digital world that cause such a stir as artificial intelligence. Opponents of AI demand caution and even a ban on its development. Listening to them makes you feel that Judgement Day was a documentary about Skynet and its rise to power. Proponents claim that it is all nonsense and that AI is a perfectly safe technology. As usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle. While it is true that AI can help us immensely in many fields, it is also true that caution is needed and major safeguards will be needed before we even think about deploying it. The risk is simply too great to be ignored.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Automation is nothing new, especially in manufacturing and areas where human labor isn’t needed. However, some developments in 2021 confirm that we are in the middle of the 4th Industrial Revolution and its results can be extremely dramatic. Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is any process that uses either robotic or software enhancements to speed up the workflow. The most obvious consequence of RPA adaptation is a reduced workforce. This alone creates a whole new set of problems, as many jobs will simply disappear in the next 50 years. The issue is what to do with so many excess workers without a job. This will be a major challenge developed countries will encounter in that time frame and something that will require a great deal of thought to solve.
Quantum computing has been (and still is, in some cases) a Holy Grail of the IT industry for the last several decades. Although huge leaps have been made in developing it, a true quantum computer is still ways off from becoming a reality. The good news is that even with limited application, this technology has been extremely valuable, as it has introduced computers that are vastly faster and thus superior to the ones we have been using. The first commercial use of these new machines is expected in the next few years and its revenue is projected at $2.9 billion by 2029. It doesn’t seem much, especially compared to revenues generated by the entire industry, but it is a good start and a sign of things to come in the not-so-distant future.
The Rise of 5G
Despite what you may have heard from your uncle on Facebook, 5G won’t give you coronavirus or activate the microchip you received during vaccination. What it will do is allow cheap and fast Internet access to people who don’t live in or near major population centers by providing coverage for their phones. For the first time, Internet speed for wireless devices will be able to compete with those delivered by cable. That is why pretty much every mobile carrier in the world is frantically trying to upgrade their network and bring it in line with the new standard. It will allow us to use applications previously unimaginable on old networks and connectivity that we could only dream about just a few years ago. Things like the Internet of Things will become reality in the next several years, all thanks to global coverage of the 5G network.
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Businesses will require the reskilling of the Next-gen workforce to be trained in 2021 tech trends such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Internet Of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence.
Technological evolution speeds up exponentially. Because each generation of technology improves over the last, the rate of progress from version to version speeds up. To see this, imagine making a chair with hand tools, power tools, and finally assembly lines. Production gets faster after each step.
Emerging technologies like social distancing technologies, composable enterprise, AI-assisted design, differential privacy and biodegradable sensors as among 30 to drive technology innovation for the next decade.