Since the dawn of the Information Age, technologies have been developing at rapid rates, as we’ve never seen before. We can store all the libraries of information on a computer, we can transmit this information around the globe in seconds, and we can make money from these technologies. Whether physical or software, these technologies can all be operated via a digital interface. Here are the top 8 disruptive technologies in the world today.
The blockchain is a new concept which was birthed inside of Bitcoin. In 2009, Bitcoin intended to become a finance tool, allowing for a global digital currency that can be traded and stored more safely than banks. Today, we see Bitcoin’s security feature to be more disruptive than the currency itself: blockchain. Blockchain has become a platform to build programs and smart contracts. With its immutable, distributed ledger, it creates a decentralized network that is impervious to hacks. This ledger can keep ultra-sensitive information safe and secure.
Ethereum, the second most popular token next to Bitcoin, has been the most innovative when it comes to using the blockchain for development. Smart contracts, one function Ethereum offers, can allow deals to be made and held accountable by a third party robot, whose only function is to uphold the terms given.
2. 3D Printing
Using additive processes called filament, 3D printing constructs 3D objects from a digital file. In the beginning, it was printing simple toys- but now, 3D printing is becoming essential in industries like construction and health care. 3D printing is combining with robotics to build entire houses from the ground up, yet at the same time printing out small, surgical tools to allow for accuracy in surgery.
When’s the last time you’ve had a conversation with Siri? Or Cortana? This technology has evolved far past phone chatbots, and we are now creating bots to perform all kinds of functions. A.I. plays a significant role in Natural Language Generation when humans are pulling together vast amounts of big data. These A.I. chatbots can analyze large quantities of information and help us make sense of it all by translating data into a natural language. A.I. can become the bridge between the virtual world and humanity.
4. Big Data
The ability to store massive amounts of information with easy access has given us the capacity to map out and graph large chunks of data. From this, we can see patterns in humanity on national and global scales. This information is highly valuable to a number of industries, as it allows them to understand their customer at a personal level. Google lets us take a peek into their search analytics that pulls from their Big Data.
Robotics combined with artificial intelligence is ramping up labor in all industries across the board. Self-driving cars, personal assistants, and robots all have data-pulling that can help them learn and improve themselves at their job. We're seeing a jump in robotics investments that should reach $135.4 billion by 2019, which means robotic bartenders are coming soon.
6. IoT (Internet of Things)
The Internet of Things is one of the most advanced technologies to come to the 21st Century. IoT involves tagging all physical objects with chips such as the RFID and using these chips to send massive amounts of information to a server. This information will take Big Data to another level. You may have already seen or taken part of a few data pulls, including smart fitness bands, smart home devices motion sensors, smartphones; anything that you use that connects via Bluetooth or wifi is at some level collecting data. IoT is the first major concept aside from the internet to contribute to Big Data.
Ten years ago, Virtual Reality seemed like a faraway concept that we wouldn’t see in our lifetime. Now, there is even a company called Decentraland that is providing a blockchain based virtual world, similar to the internet’s first virtual world Second Life, that will all be VR based. This goal of VR is to immerse the user in an entirely digital environment- VR as we know today accomplishes this through sight and sound… And very soon smell.
Many industries are using VR to immerse their customers in their product; to have the user feel what their life would be like if they owned that product. And for the customer, they can understand better what exactly it is that they want to buy.
8. Share Economy
You’ve probably heard about Airbnb and how renters use their apartments to rent out to others. But have you heard about DogVacay? Or Task Rabbit? Relay Rides? These are all sites that allow users to share their goods with other people for rent. Like Uber, Relay Rides allows your neighbor to borrow your car. Task Rabbit is a safe, mobile app that allows freelancers to pick up odd jobs nearby.
Many jobs can now be activated via App, and creating what we now see as a “share economy.” This is a decentralized economy within our centralized structure. Technology is pulling centralization from under the rug, and soon we will begin seeing many, many more share economy institutions.