Artificial intelligence, internet of things, autonomous machines, blockchain, virtual reality and 5G connection are already reality and their applications are expected to grow a lot in the coming years. Will so-called exponential technologies eliminate companies that are not “technology”?
This is the provocation that author Steve Brown of the book Innovation Ultimatum does to his readers. The old phrase innovate or die is more current than ever. These emerging technologies will allow innovative entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs from all over the world to transform sectors and promote incredible advances from the business point of view. On the other hand, those who do not embrace this new reality will face great challenges in terms of competitiveness.
Ignoring these technologies can be costly for many businesses. It is important to learn about them, measure their impacts on the sector, check the possibilities and start the transformation in order to build the future. This future will often not be easy to build, but it is very necessary for the survival of the business. Two important effects will be observed: automation and increased capacities.
Automation will bring speed to processes, increase quality and reduce many existing costs. The increase in capacity, on the other hand, is about raising human skills by combining the machine with human intelligence. The technologies will create the bridge between the physical and the digital as never before possible, so it is worth knowing each one of them:
The term was coined in the 50s of the last century and today it is already a reality in our daily lives. When we receive recommendations for purchases in an e-commerce, our emails are automatically directed to the spam box, the social network recommends new friends or content that may interest you, our phone recognizes our face to release access, recognition systems voice that automatically generate subtitles, etc … we are dealing with intelligent systems that have been programmed to replicate human skills and intelligence with great efficiency.
Today, most systems use a technique called machine learning (machine learning) that uses examples and inputs to train and refine data, making systems and outputs even better.
This wonderful technology can be used in various contexts and industries to explore and discover, improve decision making, predict future behaviors, solve complex problems, process images and voice, in addition to creating new content.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Until recently, the implementation of the Internet of Things concept was limited by issues related to cost, performance and structure. Today, we have the combination of inexpensive sensors, low-cost computing power, connectivity, cloud storage and high-performance compact batteries that enable the adoption of IoT applications to advance. The central idea of the technology is to connect objects, machines, infrastructure and even our bodies through sensors linked to intelligent processing technology. Some applications of this technology are already in our daily lives such as smart watches and other wearables, smart thermostats, smart traffic signs, monitored elevators and motors, etc …
In 10 years, it is estimated that for every person in the world there will be 12 thousand sensors! Smart cities, factories, services and agriculture will be transformed by the massive use of sensors.
Robots, drones and autonomous vehicles until recently were a sci-fi movie thing however they are already reality and promise to advance much more in the next decade. Today, robots are being massively incorporated into industrial production lines, drones used in military operations and to spray on plantations and autonomous vehicles are harvesting on large farms under the supervision of humans.
In addition to agriculture, industry in general and military applications, autonomous machines will perform tasks now performed by humans with great efficiency such as security, transportation, fire fighting, maintenance in difficult to access areas, civil construction, etc … dangerous, repetitive and high effort with great efficiency.
Blockchain technology has become famous worldwide for its application in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, but its potential goes far beyond just that application. The blockchain promises to reduce transaction costs, improve traceability, provide security and transparency for various applications that can be structured using the technology. The most obvious sectors of this transformation are finance, health, logistics, real estate and even the way elections are held. It can record a population’s health history, freight manifests, financial transactions, smart contracts, certificates and a multitude of other possibilities.
In short, blockchain is a database logic for storing information. Some characteristics make it special, such as decentralization, data distribution and immutability, that is, once the information is placed there, it cannot be changed. This brings an idea of reliability in a world of mistrust, making it very attractive for the development of new applications.
- Virtual, augmented and mixed reality
This technology changes the way we interact with the digital world. It creates the bridge between the physical and the digital, allowing us to cross over to the digital side. The augmented reality will be the new information display, allowing you to visualize data and interactions that were previously unimaginable. Virtual reality will be an immersive link to learning, leisure and work experiences.
This technology has already been applied in the health sector for the treatment of stress, anxiety, phobias, rehabilitation of patients with chronic diseases and many other situations. In education, it has also been used to create simulations to train pilots, doctors, athletes and workers from almost any sector.
One of its main qualities is also one of its limitations for applications in the business world until then: when the user is immersed in the digital world, he is often disconnected from the physical / real world. This issue is being resolved through a hybrid approach to combine the machine and the human, allowing the use to increase productivity, improve the quality and speed of decision making in the user’s daily life.
5G is a mobile telecommunications network connection technology. It brings more speed in data transmission, energy savings that will improve battery life, simultaneous connection capacity, greater stability and less connection latency. All of these added benefits create new possibilities for user experience and will also enable more applications using the internet of things concept.
Smart, connected cities depend on the massive flow of data that will be possible with technology. The so-called industry 4.0, with connected machines transmitting data, will also be leveraged with 5G technology.
Experts point out that the new great opportunities and maintaining the competitiveness of the current ones will have to dominate some or all of these technologies. Adaptation and preparation for change are the key words to deal with these changes. In fact, the impacts and possibilities that these 6 technologies bring seem to be very important for any manager or leadership of our companies not to be concerned with this revolution. Apparently, regardless of the sector in which our company operates, it will also have to be a technology company.
Felipe Ost Scherer