Tech trends in the 21st century
It’s the 21st century. According to the old Sci-Fi movies, we should all be going to work using rocket belts, have flying car in our garages and be able to go halfway around the world on a hypersonic airliner by now, right? Well, we might not be that far off.
Humanity has progressed from agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution and it is now moving to an information revolution. Besides the wars, revolutions and natural disasters that have so far marked our century, I believe the 21st century will also be defined by its technology.
There isn’t much in today’s society that hasn’t been changed or improved. This is why one can easily become overwhelmed by the variety of Web 2.0 tools that are available online today. However, if we take a step back, we can sum up all the tech trends in the 21st century in a 4 item list. Let’s check it out together.
- Internet of Things (IOT)
Probably the most discussed innovation of the 21st century is the Internet of Things. When it comes to new frontiers in business and technology, one area that has business leaders rushing in is IoT. Basically, the Internet of Things connects everyday objects with each other and the Internet.
There are plenty of helpful and promising applications in this space, and large companies are already experimenting with ways to turn into profits. Among the most prospective domains are consumer electronics, automotive, and healthcare, as well as intelligent buildings and utilities.
The numbers being forecasted for the Internet of Things are truly spectacular. BI Intelligence finds that the number of everyday and enterprise devices that will soon be connected to the Internet — from parking meters to home thermostats — will be huge: 9 billion by 2018, roughly equal to the number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable computers, and PCs combined.
- Wearable Technology
Within the Internet of Things, we can probably say that wearable technology will be some of the most important of all the interconnected objects. In addition to transportation and appliances, human beings will also be outfitted with a variety of sensors that constantly collect data and relay it through the Internet of Things.
The integration of wearable technology is all but inevitable and many tech giants have recently made the move to wearable items. Smartwatches have been around for quite a while now, and the implications and uses of wearable technology already influence different fields, from medicine, sports, education, gaming, and music.
For example, the clothing and fitness world is already embracing FitBit and other similar products that help monitoring steps, heart rate, body temperature, and various other physical attributes. Be sure to ask me about my FitBit challenges.
- Big Data
The amount of data in our world increases massively day-by-day. Big data is about capturing, storing and analyzing large pools of data from customers/consumers, suppliers, partners, operations, employees etc. Not just any data, but the select data that will provide insights on what customers are up to, what they are thinking, and what’s ahead in the market.
According to a McKinsey report, US companies from almost all industry sectors have, on average, hundreds of terabytes of data stored per company, and the amount is growing as companies gather more and more information with each transaction and interaction with their customers. Basically, the way to compete in today’s hyper-competitive global economy is to become a data-driven enterprise.
Imagine how much more information will be available once people adopt smart cars, smart refrigerators, smart watches, and other IoT innovations become a commonplace. I believe balancing all this data against the need for personal privacy will be one of the most profound challenges of the 21st century.
- 3D printing
If the Internet was the culmination of the 20th century, 3D printing will surely compete for its equivalent in the next century. While the concept of 3D printing has been around since the 1970’s, it has only been in recent years the technology has flourished, both commercially and in the consumer market.
Today, the number of companies and schools using commercial 3D printers is growing quickly and the printers are being used for rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing and mass customization. In fact, commercial 3D printing is currently being used in engineering, the medical and dental industry, fashion, footwear, eyewear, jewelry, military, education and more.
These are the 4 tech trends that I believe will mark the 21st century and will be remembered in the “history books” 200 years from now, but please let me know if I forgot to include something in the comments section below. I’m looking forward for your thoughts.
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