Societies worldwide have adopted modern technological innovations. Over
5 billion people
own mobile devices globally. Toddlers are now given tablets for entertainment. Gyms are filled with fitness enthusiasts listening to their favorite music artists on this year’s smart phone collections and latest headphone brands.
Along with the accelerated technological stream has arrived multiple analyses of the corresponding implications on public health, privacy ethics, daily convenience and work life. With a saturation of technology development companies racing to be the most “cutting-edge”, it’s vital to take a moment to review the latest and greatest in innovation.
What Types of Technology are Pushing the Envelope?
The past few years have witnessed a boom in new technological advancements. It’s estimated there are 1.35 million tech startups around the world in 2021. With an ever-growing landscape of technological innovation has arrived a slew of contemporary and specific development categories:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics – With the industrial robotics market set to be worth over $80 billion in 2024, companies are integrating AI into everything from surgery robots to car-manufacturing machines.
- Data – One of the most popular computer science roles, data science has only increased in demand. Innovations in interpreting and visualizing information continue to perform well. With 90% of the world’s data generated in the past two years alone, the necessity for improved data technology has become more pertinent.
- Sanitizing – With the onset of COVID-19, we’ve witnessed a boom in sanitization technology. As sectors like healthcare expand, these technological advances are bound to continue at commercial and consumer levels.
- Virtual Reality (VR) – Gaming popularity has increased in recent years, and VR has only amplified this demand. VR is now being leveraged not just for entertainment, but to enhance daily life.
- Computing – This aspect centers on refining algorithms to improve performance. As computer science technologies develop, capabilities to run complex program simultaneously, rapidly transfer data and execute tasks improve.
What are a Few Notable 2021 Innovations?
If you are interested in predicting about what advancements the new decade will offer, 2021 is a good place to start. Although what seems like an endless flow of technologies is released every year, there are a few notable innovations that stand out:
- Social Robots – Although daily integration of robotics is still too pricy, robots are gradually becoming more and more involved in different industries. For example, this year, scientists in Hong Kong who developed the famous cyborg, Sophia, released a new robotic medical assistant, Grace. The demand for this technology arose out of the need for more healthcare workers during COVID-19.
- Compact Sanitizing Devices – With the pandemic wreaking havoc on a global scale, new sanitizing technology has been in demand for everyday use. Verilux created a clean wave portable sanitizing wand to easily and quickly clean items like cell phones, car keys and remote controls using UV light.
- Data Trusts – Although private companies amass large data collections, they do not always effectively prevent this information from being hacked. That is why the European Union initiative The Trust Project is spending €7 million budget on amassing and protecting user data. As opposed to relying on private companies, this program would handle transferring sensitive data.
- Augmented Reality (AR) – If VR places users in simulated environments for entertainment or education purposes, AR draws on simulations to assist people in their daily routines. One shining example is Amazon’s April 2021 announcement of a salon that uses AR to reveal to customers how they will look after using specific products.
What are Some New Computer Technologies?
Although 2021 has witnessed several exceptional progressions in technology, most of these developments have hinged on computer capabilities. Apart from innovations in AI and robotics, data, sanitizing and virtual reality, the computer science sector has witnessed leaps in advancement over the past few years. Some new computer technology includes:
- Edge Computing – Although cloud computing ushered by companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google has completely changed the game when it comes to data storage, the new trend is edge computing. Although not a replacement for cloud systems, edge computing allows organizations to draw on specified information more quickly, accommodating quick-thinking machines dependent on data to implement decisions.
- Quantum Computing – Based on the concepts of superposition and quantum entanglement, this technology can easily query, monitor, analyze and act on data. Quantum computers are faster than standard machines and are being developed by technological heavy-hitters like Microsoft and Google. Quantum computing is expected to be a $2.5 billion industry by 2029.
- Internet of Things (IoT) – The IoT is the concept of connecting devices and people to networks to better gather and share data. Although not a new concept, IoT has recently become more and more integrated into daily consumer and business life. Statista forecasts 50 billion IoT devices will be used globally in 2030.
- 5G – The source of much controversy in 2020, 5G internet is a mobile network that will provide better speed, reliability and capability for internet users. 5G is projected to be available in 30 countries by the end of 2021.
What Future Technologies are Being Developed?
There is no doubt the past several years have yielded technological jumps never seen before. This rapid progress begs the question: what advancements in innovation will the next decade offer? As technology is rapidly innovating, it’s crucial to note some important technologies that are currently in development:
- Advanced Digital Health Tracking – Tech companies are inventing the next wave of health tracking innovation. One example is Q Bio, an organization that is creating a health scanner that renders your “digital twin” to visualize current and potential health ailments.
- Bionic Medicine – This year has been monumental for optical research, as Israeli surgeons successfully implanted an artificial cornea into a blind 78-year-old man. Progress in this sector is anticipated, as scientists around the world are developing multiple technologies that address specific types of blindness and other health conditions.
- Self-Driving Commercial Vehicles - Although self-driving cars have been in the public domain for a few years now, companies like Mercedes and Peloton are exploring the possibility of self-driving freight trucks. These organizations argue self-driving trucks would be safer and more efficient. To prevent an employment crisis, these self-driving vehicles would still require an employed passenger as a safety precaution.
- Energy Innovations – The future is bound to offer a plethora of energy innovations. For example, as electric vehicles are integrated more into daily life, battery charging time is a big concern for drivers. Research teams are already developing technology to shorten battery charging durations.
Innovation is the Future
The last decade has experienced accelerated innovation like the world has never witnessed before. Considering current technology developments and future inventions on the horizon, there is no question the next decade will yield a similar accelerated progress.