If you are already looking ahead to 2021 and are excited about what next year has to offer, then you are far from alone.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, individuals and businesses alike, and even multinational tech companies are not immune to the effects of the world-changing events that took place this year.
Fortunately, if you are looking for something to look forward to, 2021 is set to be an exciting year for new tech. From the continuing phenomenon that is artificial intelligence, to the emergence of robots within the care industry, to 5G and its potential to revolutionise remote working, all these innovative technologies will help us to navigate the changed reality that may be the world post-pandemic.
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly one of the biggest tech trends of the moment and this shows no signs of slowing down in 2021. In fact, AI is set to become even more valuable next year, with businesses using this tech to help them to understand the changing patterns of consumer behaviour.
Specifically relating to the healthcare industry, artificial intelligence can help collect and analyse large amounts of data, such as infection rates and the efficiency of measures that have been put in place to stop the spread of infection. AI will also have the ability to help predict demand for hospitals and other healthcare facilities, allowing healthcare providers to make better decisions about where to distribute resources.
In other industries, artificial intelligence will be used to analyse the changing shopping and socializing habits of consumers, as well as the effects of remote working. This will allow businesses to tailor their products and services to meet this shift in behaviours.
If you think that the emergence of 5G simply means that you can enjoy faster and more reliable webpage loading, then you will be pleased to hear that this new technology has the potential to offer so much more. In fact, 5G will affect all other new technologies mentioned within this article, from artificial intelligence, to drones, to augmented reality.
Put simply, 5G allows all these exciting new innovations to be accessible anytime and anywhere. Take Big Data for example. Imagine being able to access all that information whilst in the field rather than having to wait to return to the office?
For consumers, 5G will provide you with a quicker buying and checkout process as well as allowing you to browse and shop wherever you are, faster and more efficiently.
That being said, when discussing the merits of 5G, it is also important to assess the effects 5G has on the body and whether or not this technology is safe to use. Electromagnetic radiation, which is produced whenever wireless tech is used, has several potential impacts on the body, which require further research.
- Drones and Robotics
If even just the thought of drones and robotics gets you excited, then you will be pleased to hear that these innovative technologies will be even more advanced in 2021. In recent years, there has been an emergence of robots within the healthcare industry, especially in care and assisted living homes, and these will become even more commonplace next year as healthcare providers strive to limit the risk of infection amongst these vulnerable people.
From providing companionship, to offering more efficient ways to communicate, robotic devices will prove invaluable in these types of settings in the year ahead.
However, it is not just the healthcare industry that will benefit from these innovations, industries such as security and maintenance will also be able to take advantage of robotics and drones to streamline their processes and adhere to any restrictions that are in place.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality
Again, not something you haven’t seen already in 2020, but in 2021, you can expect consumers and businesses to both be using these technologies to help people do more things from the comfort of their own homes.
From being able to see what clothes and accessories will look like on before making a purchase online, to allowing doctors to make diagnosis remotely, to enabling students to learn from home, both VR and AR will help people to get on with their everyday lives, even if they are unable to leave their homes for a period of time.
Augmented reality will even be able to remind people to wash their hands when in a public place and even issue an alert if someone has failed to take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of infection.
- Edge Computing
Once the Cloud was the latest in computing technology, now it is the Edge. Edge computing is specifically designed to process time-sensitive data, whereas cloud computing is used to process data that is not time-driven. Furthermore, edge computing can be used to process this time-sensitive data in remote locations that have limited or no connectivity to a centralized location.
By 2022, the edge computing market is set to reach a colossal $6.72 billion, with the use of this technology increasing as the use of the Internet of Things (loT) devices also increases.
Although most people think of blockchain in relation to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the security that this technology offers can be useful in many other ways. For example, blockchain can be used in supply chain management to facilitate traceability across the entire supply chain and to ensure all transactions are both secure and transparent.
Blockchain can also be used in the cyber security sector, with cryptography being able to protect any transactions that are taking place by making changes immutable. To put it simply, a hacker would not be able to hack in the blockchain, which prevents any malicious attacks. In fact, this technology offers many benefits to the cyber security industry including decentralized storage, quicker transactions and lower overall costs.
- Internet of Things (loT)
If you don’t already know what is the Internet of Things, then it is interconnectivity via the Internet of computing devices that are embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. These devices can be placed in your car, in your smartphone, in your home appliances and even in livestock.
Many people are already taking advantage of this technology to do tasks such as remotely locking doors or heating up your house, or cooling it down, before you get home from work. However, in 2021, businesses will be able to utilize this technology to help them make better decisions, to become more efficient and productive and to enhance the safety of both their employees and customers.
Furthermore, this is only the tip of the iceberg, as forecasts predict that there will be around 50 billion loT devices worldwide by 2030, with the industry set to be worth a whopping $1.1 trillion in 2022.
Of course, these are not the only new technologies that you need to look out for in 2021, but they are the ones that will have the most impact on the way both consumers and businesses alike will be able to adapt to an unpredictable and constantly evolving year ahead.
From finding a better way to interact and engage with consumers, to ensuring employees are both safe and cared for, to creating enhanced customer experiences to stay ahead of the competition, companies within all industry sectors will have to embrace all of the above new technologies and more if they hope to not only survive but also thrive in 2021 and beyond.