Technology has never stopped evolving. Every year it seems like more and more advances in technology are being made in various fields — medicine, communications, business, education, transportation — you name it, there will most likely be something advancing in that field. And a lot of it will have something to do with the technology those fields use.
That means that as a tech user, as a possible job seeker now or in the future, as a human being living in this current era of technological advancement, being aware and on top of these tech trends is important — not only to stay relevant and informed but also to suss out possible skills that you need to learn or develop in order to advance your careers or keep abreast or even ahead of your competitors in your business.
Top Tech Trends in 2021
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence has been around for ages. But it has been building up steam in the past few years. AI has helped collate and interpret large amounts of data that helped us make sense of the damage the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the world. It also helped in getting scientists working on vaccines or possible cures, collecting data from tests and studies, which normal human eyes might miss, made easier and more accurate with the advances in AI.
Self-care-related things like AI-powered personalized skincare, relaxation, and breathing exercises applications, and tools that aid sleep is benefiting from AI advancements. These things, though often overlooked, are essential parts of keeping ourselves sane and reducing stress.
Contact tracing and monitoring the speed and spread of the infection has allowed governments and the World Health Organization to make informed decisions regarding the regulation of business and commercial activities. Businesses started migrating their stores to the cloud, creating online shops for their customers. AI continuously analyzed customer behavior, predicting buyer trends, and giving businesses a peek into how a customer would behave, which products they would gravitate to at which time of year. This helped businesses stay afloat and even thrive at a time of severe economic uncertainty. And with each AI tool update, the abilities of AI systems keep getting better.
5G, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR)
Faster, more reliable connectivity, that is 5G. It means faster page or video loading time. It also means connectivity without being tethered to a certain place (unlike fiber-based networks that keep you bound to where your wifi modem can reach your device).
It’s not just that, though. 5G will enable users to use AR and VR programs even when they are out of range from their home wifis. The significance of this does not only apply in gaming. Various tools used in education actually use AR and VR technology to create a more immersive experience for students. And with the pandemic forcing children to temporarily be homeschooled, better AR or VR experience helps students remain engaged in their virtual classes.
AR and VR
AR and VR are also used in other fields like medicine and in the world of business. Advancements in these areas can help doctors better diagnose patients that they see virtually instead of in person. Or customers could make more informed choices in their purchases as they look at their virtual selves wearing the clothing they intend to buy without needing to go to the actual brick and mortar store.
These advancements have also given birth to innovative tools for remote work. Companies already have their preferred tool when it comes to conducting virtual meetings. Further advancements in this area will only improve the experience. Remote work also has a positive effect on the environment. It helps businesses apply and achieve company strategies to go carbon neutral. Not driving to the office and saving energy by not having as many people using lights and other appliances in the office can create a significant dent in a company’s carbon footprint.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Smart homes are all the rage now. Imagine being able to check if you have turned your stove off or if you’ve locked your house door or garage without having to drive back home. Smart homes can be controlled from your mobile device or computer. This wonderful innovation is thanks to the Internet of Things.
Many appliances and other security measures can now be controlled remotely. Even modern smart cars can be controlled by either your phone or your car remote. The ease of how we can now do things like have our car park themselves, or the AC turn itself on before we reach home is what makes the IoT trend so popular. It serves one of the purposes of technology — making our lives easier.
There are a lot of technology trends and advances to look out for as 2021 plays out. The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how far technology has developed. We can look forward to better healthcare, better ways of shopping, more involved virtual classes, and a better environment and tools for remote work.