The COVID 19 pandemic has taken the world by a surprising storm. It took some time, but nations are settling down back into a healthy routine. Yes, the lockdowns and quarantine requirements continue. But people and societies are getting back on their feet with renewed vigor and a newly found normalcy.
Digital technologies are playing a pivotal role in helping restore global normalcy. They include robotics, blockchain, digital payments, and e-learning. Telemedicine, remote work, online learning, and 3D printing are also contributing and picking up the pace. These tech advances are ushering in a new outlook and lifestyle choices. And experts predict that these innovative trends will become a norm in the future.
Top Tech Trends
Billions of students around the globe are lagging in their curriculum because of the pandemic. The abrupt closure of schools and lockdown measures put a stop to formal education in physical classrooms. But at the same time, online tutoring is bringing the middle ground. Schools, as well as private companies, began to offer distance learning courses.
They use Artificial Intelligence-enabled robots as replacements for teachers. Also, e-learning systems, augmented, and Virtual Reality technologies are currently setting the stage for a future realistic virtual education. 3D Printing is honing the students’ creative skills. However, the pressure on parents both in terms of time and monetary resources is very high.
A large number of companies shifted to work from home model. The employees find it flexible and convenient. Employers find it productive and cost-efficient. But security and privacy issues are also cropping up now and then. Thankfully, the right kind of technology can help in overcoming these hurdles.
Some of the enablers include virtual private networks (VPN), cloud storage, video conferencing tools, and collaboration tools. Facial recognition, data encryption, Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) are helping to improve workforce productivity by enhancing data security.
The internet and mobile devices have become ubiquitous in recent years. They are ideal tools for online retail shopping. E-commerce sites, web stores, drop shippers, and online marketplaces are flourishing during this pandemic. You can browse products, make orders, and complete the payments online.
The top sellers have also gone hi-tech with their shipping services to ensure package safety and social distancing. They rely on robots and drones to facilitate contactless deliveries. Although not yet in the market, many major players, including Amazon, are in the pursuit of creating man-less delivery systems via autonomous trucks, drones, AI-assisted delivery systems, and so on.
Cash and banknotes are becoming virus-spreading sources. Consequently, cashless transactions are finding widespread favor among consumers. Both central banks and private companies are assisting in these digital payment modes.
Customers can easily order and pay during the online shopping session. Besides, funds transfers and bill payments have also become convenient. The cards and e-wallets are playing a pivotal role in curtailing the spread of the coronavirus. Mobile apps and online portals make it easier to pay anything from utilities to simple transactions between friends.
Tech literate people are warming up towards telehealth services. Yes, insurance and service costs are high. But they are willing to rely on Chatbots for initial diagnosis. Personalized, wearable IoT devices are also crowding the market for preventive and diagnostics treatments. They promptly record the vital signs and share data with the healthcare provider.
Cloud concerts and online event streaming are becoming very popular. They ensure social distancing, but also entertain the consumers in large numbers. Films are getting released online to attract modern movie watchers. Museums and heritage sites offer virtual tours, while online gaming is seeing a sharp surge in recent times.
Supply Chain 4.0
Big Data, cloud computing, IoT, and blockchain are gearing for the next industrial revolution. The supply chain systems are getting overhauled to usher in modern, digitized processes. The automation ensures data accuracy, faster workflows, and increased profits.
Without the internet, none of the above changes are possible. For example, if telehealth should become normalcy, the healthcare provider must be able to access patient data in real-time and without any delay. The 5G networks are faster, extensive, and more efficiently connected. Once 5G becomes market-ready, virtual reality, AI, and IoT device connectivity will reach a new revolution.
To sum up, COVID has copious amounts of disadvantages but also acted as a catalyst for innovative changes. Modern technologies, driven by digital control and communications, are at the forefront. Nations that show foresight and digital preparedness will prosper. Their IT infrastructure gives them a competitive edge in business and social affairs. Besides, they can also administer their populace through effective e-governance. Unfortunately, there is also a flipside that requires adequate attention. As per ILO, more than 400 million jobs disappeared in the 2nd quarter of 2020. More innovation might bring in new jobs, but not without eliminating more blue-collar jobs