The pace of technology seems to be faster and faster. Every day we are bombarded with terms such as ‘blockchain’, ‘Augmented Reality’, ‘Internet of Things’, to name but a few. But what does this all mean?
Here at Primitive Social, we love keeping tabs on the latest tech trends - so we have compiled our top tech trends for you to bust out next time you’re in a meeting and your boss starts talking about blockchain…
Ok, we might as well get this out of the way. There has been a large amount of hype around blockchain. Depending on who you ask, it’s either the technology underpinning the currencies of the future, or it’s a passing fad. We think that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
While blockchain undoubtedly gained most of its fame from Bitcoin, the technology isn’t necessarily linked to currency. To encapsulate the concept in the simplest of terms, blockchain is a framework which allows us to record data in a way which doesn’t require us to trust those with whom we interact.
For example, if you handed your friend twenty dollars in a room where everyone was watching, then everyone would agree that your friend received twenty dollars. Your friend couldn’t deny it.
Blockchain is the digital equivalent of this and has wide ranging applications from property transactions, to healthcare records, to insurance. Unfortunately it is poorly understood by a lot of corporates, so this is a great reason to improve your own knowledge.
We recommend reading this article for a quick primer.
AI is huge. The major companies such as Facebook and Google know it and have dedicated a great deal of resources to developing their capabilities faster than their rivals can. China recently invested $150bn in order to develop its own capabilities.
The world was stunned when Google’s AlphaGo beat a human at ‘Go’ - after training itself to play the game. But what comes next?
We will likely see more human-like interactions from AI as shown by Google Duplex. Additionally we will hopefully leverage AI to speed up our own workflow.
Increased automation does come at a cost however, as businesses will be able to realize savings through replacing human employees with AI.
VR is often perceived as a bit of a gimmick due to its association with games, but critics shouldn’t dismiss the technology so quickly. VR has been successfully piloted in fields as diverse as medical training, education, and military drills.
VR technology did get off to a bit of a rocky start however, with users reporting nausea from motion sickness, and poor pixel density. With Facebook investing heavily in this field, these teething issues seem to have been resolved, and developers are racing to make smart VR applications.
Some of these have been demonstrated recently with Facebook creating a VR version of its social network where user avatars can interact.
Data is rapidly becoming the new oil. Companies sit on vast troves of it, but many of them don’t use it in a meaningful way.
Increasingly, startups are appearing which help companies leverage their data to gain insights into their business, and their customers. More and more techniques are emerging which allow companies to manipulate and visualize the data they have and generate reports.
This technology has wide-ranging applications from startups, to healthcare, to Fortune 500 companies, and even government.
It’s likely that big data already affects you on a daily basis. If you are a Facebook user then the adverts you see have been tailored to your friends, interests, and browsing habits. The data is then applied via algorithms to deliver products to your newsfeed that you are more likely to click on.
This is an exciting time to be alive, in a world where we are making enormous technological advances at an ever-quickening pace. While there are definitely issues in the implementation of this technology, more is going right than is going wrong.
It’s always worth keeping an eye on what the technology sector is developing and seeing how it could apply to your business.