Computing power has risen exponentially in the last few decades. The events of 2020 have come with unprecedented disruptions to the economy and our daily lives. The effect has been to place technology and data as the fundamental drivers of 2021 technology trends.
AI and Data will be in every aspect of the business, from maintenance processes to auto upgrades for vehicles. In this article, we’ll examine how the 4th industrial technologies will transform industries, including healthcare, education, and eCommerce.
Artificial Intelligence and Data
Artificial intelligence and big data will be at the top of 2021 technology trends. The ubiquity of mobile data and cloud computing is bringing AI closer to our workplaces and homes. From businesses to industrial plants, organizations are using complex algorithms to make sense of their data.
The lockdown has accelerated the adoption of AI for healthcare services. Providers are using it for contact tracing, and it has helped slow down infection rates. It can also be useful in determining the availability of doctors. That means AI is already an active tool for managing the spread of illnesses.
The priority for healthcare providers is data integration and security. Professionals are using smart devices to improve outcomes and the quality of care. The number of patients with wearables has tripled since 2017.
Wearables generate data that can integrate with patient information and health records. Accurate and real-time data can enhance the rate of diagnosis and treatment. Smart devices will also make it easier to track symptoms, which will cut down the cost of healthcare delivery.
AI can also add value to businesses by enhancing lead generation processes. Organizations can interpret real-time data to determine which products to restock. In e-commerce, it can improve home deliveries with sensors and accurate data analysis.
AI may also offer solutions for transport challenges that resulted from the lockdown. However, self-driving cars are yet to meet the standard levels of safety. As machine learning becomes more sophisticated, robot-cars may become effective enough for the hectic roads.
Self-driving software can enhance safety for drivers and reduce cases of car accidents. The application can assist users in detecting obstacles while driving. Autonomous systems can manage fatigue by enabling drivers to switch to auto mode while on country roads.
Cobots and Collaboration
Another of the exciting 2021 technology trends that will transform the workplace is cobots. Cobots are robotic devices that can collaborate with humans to complete critical tasks. They may include smart wearables or industrial equipment like robotic arms.
One of the features of cobot that sets it apart from a conventional robot is that it is lightweight and portable. The compact nature of the robot makes it easier to use it for industrial applications. There is currently rising demand from both SMEs and large organizations for cobots.
Additionally, they are not as expensive as conventional robotic machines. One of the reasons robots are driving 2021 technology trends is because they can enhance work conditions and safety in the workplace. Organizations can anticipate a higher return on investments by using more affordable robotics technology.
Cobots can predict faults and repair defects, which reduces maintenance tasks and costs. Another way collaborative Cobots can cut expenses is by reducing hazards and accidents in the factory. They are better than conventional robots at applying sophisticated algorithms and sensors to avoid obstacles. Therefore, personnel is safer when working in hazardous environments.
5G and Edge Computing
5G and Edge computing are the backbones of most innovations emerging in the 2021 technology trends. 5G infrastructure has the bandwidth capacity and lower latency rates to support the use of IoT devices and software.
In a slow, unreliable network, the amount of data collected in real-time cannot seamlessly integrate with applications. 5G improves the interactions between sensors and promotes the coordination of data. It provides faster access to ensure the devices are always in touch with the system.
Edge computing is another critical part of Cobots, IoT, and many of the 2021 technology trends. It allows businesses and industries to perform tasks and provide IT services through the cloud. Its central feature is that the data centers are closer to the user.
The proximity of data centers increases the bandwidth making it faster than conventional cloud systems Edge computing improves accessibility to information by both IoT devices and humans. It also eliminates most latency issues and speeds up data processing and analysis.
Both 5G and Edge computing will also enhance automated conferencing. Individuals and users can use conferencing features to connect to work colleagues in remote locations. With a better quality of audio and video, the potential applications for automated conference calls are virtually limitless.
Transportation and Aerospace
When looking at upcoming 2021 technology trends, businesses have to consider the pandemic’s impact on the supply chain. The events of 2020 have brought many industries to a halt. Organizations across industries are trying to identify opportunities while planning for contingencies.
As the e-commerce market grows, one area of interest is the last-mile delivery service. It is one of the most challenging aspects of delivering products from the source to the final destination. Transport services experts report that it is responsible for 53% of the total cost.
One of the biggest logistical problems for last-mile deliveries is navigating high traffic areas. Since most consumers are in an urban setting, companies must develop an effective logistical system. Transport companies must also find a solution that does not contribute to emissions and noise pollution.
Despite the challenges, there are already companies looking into autonomous robots for last-mile delivery. They have sensors to detect obstacles and can carry small payloads such as foodstuffs and electronics. They can be useful in cities where traffic is always going to be a challenge for vehicles to navigate.
Also, businesses have to contend with rising customer expectations for affordable and fast delivery services. Software applications will interpret data to determine the best routes to travel. Algorithms can enhance customer experiences and improve other aspects of eCommerce, such as tracking goods.
One of the other exciting 2021 technology trends is in space travel. Recently, SpaceX unveiled the next-generation space vehicle named Starship. Starship is part of the company’s mission to establish a human colony on Mars.
Starship is set to launch in late 2020. The vehicle can deliver payloads into up to 100 metric tons. In the future, the company plans to use Starship to launch satellites and equipment to space.
Starship may be the first to send humans into orbit and other planets. It will also transform transportation services for intercontinental travel. The vehicle will pass through space as it transports passengers to other parts of the world. The time it takes to fly from the USA to Australia may come down to 30 minutes.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality describes the superimposition of the real world with a virtual environment. It is different from Virtual Reality, in that VR replaces the real world with virtual objects. The application of VR and AR has had an impact on virtually every industry. It has a wide range of uses, from education to telemedicine.
In industries, VR and AR can improve quality assurance. A professional can employ visuals to examine parts. Staff can offer expert assistance and suggestions for process improvements. It is an increasingly valuable tool for plants with distributed operations.
Other than offering remote expert assistance, another application is in training. Professionals can provide guidance using tools available through virtual reality. It can simplify the sharing of information on emerging technologies such as veterinary laser surgery.
Virtual reality will also change the eCommerce experiences for consumers. Using visual media and artificial intelligence, the buyer can examine products from the comfort of their home. The immersive tool allows users to explore the merchandise on display before making a purchase. It can also reduce the risks for both consumer and seller by reducing rejected orders.
While the technology has been in the pipeline, it has had one major challenge. It can be complicated to link the media content with the product on display and provide an ideal experience. However, augmented reality algorithms have shown promise it improving the experience.
VR software and devices can enhance face recognition to help organizations and Security companies authenticate their personnel. Applications in some workplaces have shown that it can improve staff productivity.
Digital Technologies in Education
Another area that has been hit by the lockdown is the education system. Policymakers in education have been compelled to turn to digital technologies. As a result, one of the 2021 technology trends is that learning will no longer be confined to the classroom.
The changes will affect the education system across the board. Right from grade school to college campuses, Videoconferencing and web-based apps are now easily accessible to students. With those tools, there is also the opportunity to enhance the experience. Some schools are using gaming and virtual reality devices to make education more exciting.
One tool that may transform education forever is Mixed Reality (MR). It describes the merging of augmented and virtual reality to provide richer experiences. Elements of the virtual environment can integrate with real-world objects.
Mixed reality will enable students to manipulate objects in science, geography, and art classes. One example is the Microsoft HoloLens that can overlay visual assets and project it into the real world. Users can also share what they create, allowing for ideas to be exchanged in virtual space.
Using smart algorithms, teachers can tailor classes to the student’s individual needs. It can improve accessibility to include students with disabilities and special needs. Reports from Gallup show that teaching 87% of professionals believe in using creative tools such as VR.
Immersive experiences can have a significant impact on education. Some studies suggest it improves information retention by between 40 and 60%. It, therefore, can decrease the amount of time it takes to train students and new employees.
Advancements in education should also help students adjust to the rapidly evolving economy and the job market. AR and VR can help improve skill acquisition. The immersive nature of the medium can also introduce students to new experiences. It may make teaching concepts such as empathy a more intuitive process.
Home Automation Systems
The market for Smart Home systems is set to grow to $52 billion by 2022. In the last decade, Google Home and Alexa have become the most popular smart systems for residential consumers. Any device that can connect to automated systems can now be part of a Smart Home application.
Smart systems can enhance comfort by making it convenient to make adjustments in your immediate environment. You can automate your light fixtures to switch on when you get home. Your home automation company can help you integrate everything from your air conditioner to the water heater.
One common application for smart home systems is security and accessibility. Facial recognition features and sophisticated algorithms have enhanced the identification of intruders. You can monitor different areas of your property and provide access to the house while you are away.
Another advantage is that automated applications can improve coordination with security companies. By using smart home applications, homeowners can reduce incidences of false alarms.
Integration with other technologies such as blockchain will make security applications more robust. The distributed ledger system has proven to be one of the most formidable means to secure data. The merging of those applications will significantly enhance home security processes.
Information became universally accessible after the invention of the Printing Press in the 15th century. It transformed human progress and influenced our modern culture. The information age is set to change our world in even more dramatic ways.
The technologies of the 4th industrial revolution will impact the economy, education, healthcare, and even the workplace. The ubiquity of mobile devices and applications has provided an avenue for the steady progress towards the fourth industrial revolution.
There are still challenges to overcome, such as privacy and data security. In some cases, there is a limit to access to equipment due to high costs. Nonetheless, the 2021 technology trends come with countless opportunities for every industry.