Image of robots developing

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine walking into the workplace, sitting at your desk and preparing to start punching away at your typewriter to churn out endless rolls of paper notes. And why would you even consider writing and sending a letter in the post when social media makes this an instant process from the palm of your hand? Technology has changed the way in which we go about our day to day lives and this article explores just how advanced some things have become over the past few years. Take a look into the biggest transformations in IT:

The Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is paving the way for almost every digital transformation in the 21st century. It refers to anything that can be connected to the internet which, in today’s market, is just about everything. From Smart Watches to lightbulbs, speakers to fridges, our everyday items are becoming increasingly smarter, by talking to one another. Sensors and microchips are being inserted into everyday objects to record and gather information that can be used by the customers, marketers and even organisations to help keep up with consumer behaviour patterns.

In short, IoT will begin to make our lives more convenient than ever before. If you are out on a cold winter’s day, you can use your phone to switch on your smart thermostat ready for when you get back home. Older generations can use smart technology within their homes to remain independent for longer. Relatives can check up on one another through webcams and turning off lights, controlling microwaves and even drawing the curtains can all be done through smartphones.

5G Phone Coverage

5G is the fifth generation of mobile network coverage, which is the service used for sending and receiving text messages, phone calls and other activity when a smartphone or tablet is not connected to the WiFi. 5G is set to be significantly faster than its predecessor 4G, which opens the door to significant technological advancements. Aside from mobile phones, other emerging technologies will also begin to rely on the connectivity strength that 5G will offer. These will include automated vehicles such as driverless cars and even drones. Anything with a computer system in place has the potential to benefit from the connectivity speed that 5G will offer, making organisations which utilise machinery, even more efficient.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

From asking Siri to call a family member, to receiving a joke from Alexa, AI is playing a huge part in our day to day activities. AI refers to a computer system that has the ability to work, react and gather information like humans do and can do all of these things far quicker than any of us. Statistics from the Global Consumer Insights Survey in 2018, indicate that 10% of global consumers already own an AI device. This number will continue to rise over the coming years due to our ever-growing reliance on computers within our homes. The main cause for concern with these devices however, is the security around them. There have been cases of AI infrastructure being hacked, posing a risk to personal information and the ethical breaches that large companies such as Google and Amazon need to start addressing.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR and VR are two very similar concepts, but VR’s dominance is starting to plateau following the recent surge of Augmented Reality.

Virtual Reality was made extremely popular following the introduction of VR headsets into the market. This concept takes an individual into a completely fictitious environment, one usually associated with video games. The real world is completely cut off and everything that can be seen through the use of VR is completely digital, an escape from the world around us, almost like James Cameron’s blockbuster – Avatar.

Augmented Reality, on the other hand, provides users with a 50/50 environment of the real world against a digital one. Many companies have been utilising AR to market, particularly after the success of the popular mobile game, Pokémon Go! It was the first major AR game released to a mass market which saw over 100 million downloads to smartphones worldwide and generating a revenue of over $268 million. This demonstrates the clear demand and popularity of AR, turning such a revolutionary idea into an industry worth hundreds of millions.

Chatbots

The simplicity of Instant Messaging services is evident by the sheer usage of applications such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and even Skype. Gone are the days of endless emails back and forth. Many organisations have now introduced a live chat service, often referred to as Chatbots. Not only do these fully automated messaging services deal with multiple consumer requests and queries at any one time, they also allow the human workforce to focus their efforts into more demanding matters. If you want to book your car for a service, you will usually do so through a Chatbot. Bank support? Chatbot. And even checking in at an airport? You guessed it, Chatbot! But one thing these machines cannot do, is offer the empathy or human interaction on the same level as us humans, not yet anyway. That’s why many jobs and tasks such as nursing, business meetings and sales pitches haven’t been taken over by the androids.

 

Digital transformation is continuing to accelerate at an incredible speed. It has changed the way in which we socialise with one another on an individual scale, to the way in which multinational organisations conduct their business. There are no signs of it slowing down either, technology has become so essential to our everyday lives that we just couldn’t cope without it. Just look at the recent effects of a telecommunication giant losing its connectivity, we may just have to start speaking to one another again.