Technological & Digital Innovation: Future Trends
What is the hottest proposition in your industry now? Describe the new jobs that everyone will be talking about in a year — and which roles you’d recommend fleeing. #MyIndustry. Read the stories here, then write your own.
Being employed in the High Technology sector offers plentiful insight into the statement of play of a number of industries and sectors. Being an Innovation enthusiast (a Tech-Geek!) makes this series massively enjoyable to write about. In this two-series post, I look at:
- Current Trends: The Current State of Play of the Technology industry before delving into the Current Hot Propositions which exist (click here)
- Future Trends: The Future State of Play of the Technology industry before delving into the Future Hot Propositions which are on the horizon (this post).
Future State of Play
As aligned to Moore’s law, technological capability continues to rapidly expand, enhancing the capabilities of our personal and business ventures. Yet the future is looking ever more promising and technology-focused as we progress in time. Immersive Technology, Blockchain, 3D Printing and Robotics all have the potential to significantly disrupt industries. Challenging the status quo, such advances are continually raising the bar set by corporates and startups alike. This will continue to be the case too as we continually battle to improve our overall way of life, slowly (or even quickly in some cases) reducing the level of hands on intervention required in our daily lives
Future ‘Hot Propositions’
However, My Industry currently incorporates a number of these aforementioned radical technologies which are pending a big boom:
As our World becomes increasing Artificial Intelligence focused, our advances and interactions with robots exponentially increases. Autonomy within My Industry has previously focused on the transition to Digital. Replacing costly paper operations with a tablet for example. Yet innovations in Robotics brings into question the role of the user of that tablet… the human.
My ‘Impact’ series blog posts on LinkedIn demonstrate this in great detail. Every week a new AI / Robotics advancement is reported. The scale of progression in this space is evident. We are rapidly entering a World which will see humans and robots living and working together as one. My own Robot Hoover (Roomba 620) is a testament to the early stages of this. Many people thought are increasingly concerned that robots will replace their jobs. In a World of stagnation, this is correct. Yet instead of assuming our same skills are to be used tomorrow, the question which we should be asking is:
“What skills do I need to develop for my future line of work?”
Whilst automating previously manual-intensive jobs, the robotics space creates extensive new opportunities. Particularly in the highly skilled space. Think of the transition from horses to cars. The stableman became under significant threat. Yet we saw the creation of manufacturing, engineering, design, supply chain and infrastructure opportunities… amongst many more. Robotics will be much the same
As per the previous example of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence outside of the robotics is the future of business and tech. Machine Learning promises to delivery solutions which continually learn from own habits and can adapt accordingly. Linking in with the next trend (Internet of Things), Artificial Intelligence clearly demonstrates strong use-cases in a number of use-cases.
These use-cases have focused on a number of areas, yet most notable innovations of late look at education (instantaneous feedback and learning companions), health and healthcare (data analytics and wellness) and transportation (autonomous vehicles).
As we progress the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning within My Industry, expect to see a big impact across a number of sectors
In its infancy, 3D Printing was deemed as the next wave of manufacturing advancements. Offering businesses (and consumers) the opportunity to load a 3D CAD-based model loaded and printed. Having owned a 3D Printer for over 2 years I witness first-hand the problems with these devices. The interfaces are not user-friendly. They are prone to error. The devices tend to require a fair amount of ‘intervention’.
However, the technology is undoubtedly the future of manufacturing. Actually, the future of a whole range of industries! Much like 3D Televisions, it took ten-fifteen years to go mainstream. The device I own is evidently an early-stage prototype. Given its problems, it is a solid prototype too. The manufacturing industry currently is adopting these devices. Undoubtedly in the future we will see new roles and new similar mainstream use-cases developed:
A BlockChain is a public ledger of transactions that have been executed in a particular instance. Initially focused upon the Bitcoin transactions, the use-cases potentially extend far beyond. Use-cases such as land-registry, financial transactions, even Internet of Things all offer increasingly stringent security and visibility around transactions which may have previously been wrought with complexity and fraud.
The problem is the comprehensive mechanism to delivery blockchain. At this moment in time, it is generally complex and early stage. Significantly non-user friendly for the average consumer or even business. Yet significant steps are been taken to progress this area. The opening of a blockchain ledger system by Microsoft and IBM, i.e. The Hyperledger, presents the radical thinkers and technologically advanced of the World with an opportunity to drive forward the innovation. A significantly hot topic with a significant role to play in the future of industry.
Google Glass, Oculus Rift, HoloLens… All high-end Minority Report type technologies which significant blur the boundaries between the physical and digital World. Technologies which are ever closer to a mass release (aside from the doomed Google Glass!). Small steps are been taken in this space, with many use-cases arising particularly in the space of medical aftercare. One of the more notable examples from Oculus Rift is to treat soldiers with PTSD.
Yet the application of immersive technologies extends beyond these use-cases to cover a whole range of scenarios. Blending the physical and digital for significant event preparation (space travel), enhancing training situations (pilots) and disaster recovery simulation (earthquake response) are all a small number of potential areas of application. Not forgetting the whole commercial application too. We are starting to see the virtual Worlds come to life with many Third Life services and applications overtaking the real-world for a small number of the significantly tech savvy.
About The Author
Stephen Baines is a Senior Management Consultant, MBA, currently working for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and pursuing a number of external entrepreneurial ventures. The views within this post are explicitly those of Stephen and have no representation of any organisation Stephen represents. If you wish to contact Stephen, please contact him via LinkedIn or his Twitter handle (@baines1986).
Read more about Stephen at Stephen’s personal website
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