The rate of technological change is staggering, with capabilities and devices that seemed impossible just a few years ago now becoming commonplace. This holds huge implications not only for how we handle work, relationships, and family life but also for our long-term health, safety, and digital security.
While nobody knows exactly what the future holds, we anticipate the following trends to take over in the next few years:
1. Platform Governance
Businesses like Airbnb and Uber have prompted the rise of the platform economy, in which a simple app can revolutionize almost every aspect of our daily lives. When these platforms first emerged, users were excited about the conveniences and cost savings they delivered. Now, however, many are concerned about associated security risks and privacy issues.
Platform governance promises to address these problems so that users can continue to make the most of today’s top digital services. In the next few years, new legislation at both the state and federal level could place limits on platforms to ensure that they comply with labor laws, consumer privacy rights, and taxation protocol. Social media sites may be among the first to see regulation, as users express concern about sites like Facebook censoring political posts.
The platform economy remains in its infancy, so there is great potential to shape this emerging ecosystem to be as efficient, cooperative, and secure as possible. Early priorities will include innovation and large-scale social collaboration.
2. 5G Networks
Depending on who you ask, the fifth generation of wireless technology represents either a miraculous innovation or the downfall of society as we know it. The reality, of course, is somewhere in between. Offering significant improvements over 4G in terms of efficiency and latency, 5G promises to make several of our favorite mobile experiences much more practical and enjoyable.
While the use of this new generation remains limited to a select group of devotees, it will soon become the status quo. In the next few years, we expect to see it impact not only how we interact via smartphone but also the ongoing development of the Internet of Things (IoT).
With 5G supporting faster and more reliable connections for networks with numerous devices, it will be easier than ever for people to take advantage of smart home features, such as advanced thermostats, speakers, and security systems. Outside of the home, 5G could hold huge implications for the supply chain, transportation, and education.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Once limited to science fiction novels, artificial intelligence (AI) now plays a critical role in many of the seemingly ordinary aspects of life that we take for granted. AI allows computers – or robots controlled by computers – to adjust to input and make insights based on their experiences. This gives these machines a human-like level of intelligence, complete with advanced perception and problem-solving abilities.
Already used extensively in healthcare, transportation, and renewable energy, AI is now expanding its reach. While it’s impossible to truly understand the scope the technology will take on in the next few years, experts anticipate that AI’s impact will be most evident in the workforce, where robots will increasingly be capable of handling tasks once believed only available for humans. This will dramatically improve productivity in many fields but may also require a shift in how we handle employment and the ability to generate income.
4. Increased Use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Once explored primarily in the entertainment and gaming industries, augmented and virtual reality are beginning to make waves in retail, medicine, and even real estate. These immersive solutions will continue to expand into new arenas in the next few years, providing exciting opportunities for everything from marketing to supply chain and logistics.
While AR and VR largely involve headsets at present, they’re beginning to make the transition to other devices, which will provide a more seamless and enjoyable experience than the clunky apparatuses that have dominated thus far. Head-Up Displays (HUD) are already common in many vehicles but could soon see expanded use among aircraft and even bike helmets. Similarly, holographic displays are quickly becoming more advanced and versatile.
5. Cybersecurity Skills Shortage in Government
The release of new tools and technology is quickly outpacing the number of skilled employees capable of handling these solutions. Cybersecurity professionals already command top dollar in the private sector, where many enjoy incomes exceeding six figures. In government, however, the need for cybersecurity experts will be even more urgent in the next few years, especially as hackers become more sophisticated. Experts will also be called on to help develop legislative guidance to address both public and private sector security concerns.
Moving Into the Future of Tech with NerdsToGo Richmond
At NerdsToGo, we make a point of staying up to date on the latest tools and technologies. We enjoy helping local businesses and residents take advantage of today’s top tech solutions. We’re also aware of emerging cybersecurity issues – and determined to help our clients avoid today’s most alarming risks.
Our business IT services are designed to address common areas of weakness that could have a detrimental impact both now and in years to come. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and business IT services.