It seems that nearly every day we learn about some great tech innovation that will change the trajectory of our lives. Technology that catches fire often evolves to affect our social interactions, business communications, and even how we monitor our health and finances or keep ourselves entertained.
Secure, reliable digital spaces make distance learning and remote work more than just an option or a luxury. Such capabilities transform how we work, and it makes education more accessible to all while reducing cost. Apps even allowed us to keep businesses afloat while we were locked in our homes and kept us in touch with family, friends, work associates, and healthcare providers with a click at a time when we needed them most.
Talented tech innovators like those at Yalantis.com are leading the way when it comes to app development.
Top 8 Tech Trends to Watch This Year
There are technologies that originally filled a niche and grew to become an indispensable part of our lives. Some didn’t even exist 10 years ago, but we couldn’t imagine life without them now.
Have you ever sat around wondering what to do with yourself when the internet goes out, your smartphone dies, or your favorite website is down?
Platforms that began as time-wasters serving mostly an audience of teenagers are now essential marketing platforms that every business needs to master. They’ve even created new occupations like Social Media Manager and career opportunities like Influencer.
What’s more, free, open source code makes acquiring technology cheaper and more accessible to everyone from budding entrepreneurs to SMBs and corporations. You no longer need expensive, complicated licensing agreements and software to enter markets and remain competitive.
Whether you’re a developer, a business leader, or simply a fan of technology, here are eight key tech trends that we believe will serve you well in 2021 and beyond.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Underpinning almost every tech innovation is a group of technologies that fall under the umbrella of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Machine Learning (ML) and other predictive technologies, such as self-learning algorithms, help us better understand and shape our environments. They’re also invaluable for assisting with digital transformations and in sectors like healthcare, cybersecurity, law, and other data-driven fields.
Examples of tech that falls within the realms of AI include:
- Big Data
- Natural Language Processing (NLP)
- Deep learning
- Systems monitoring
- Computer vision
2. Automation and Robotics
This seems like as good a place as any to delve deeper into this set of emerging trends. Automation and AI go hand-in-hand, and they will have possibly the largest effect on our lives in the future. Both also seem to instill the most fear in workers and the general public due to an outsized presence in science fiction.
While it’s true that automation will displace a large number of service, industrial, and even many white collar workers, it will also improve efficiency and create new industries and career opportunities. Robots and other forms of automation will take care of the drudge work, freeing time for self-development and increasing the need for more people-centric careers.
For example, automation can read X-rays faster than a team of radiologists, allowing healthcare providers to interact more with patients. Teachers can provide personal attention to students, and jobs that don’t have predictable outcomes, like day care providers, therapists, and plumbers, will remain relatively safe.
3. 5G and Enhanced Connectivity
I remember laughing hysterically when re-watching the 1995 movie, Hackers. One of the group of “hackers” was bragging about their 28,800 Kbps internet modem and was called a liar because such speeds were thought impossible at the time. Those of us reflecting on our current capabilities as soon as next year will probably have the same reaction as 5G becomes the new norm.
Don’t believe the negative hype surrounding this trend. Reaching speeds to 10G, it will support the kind of increased connectivity and reliability needed for business and pleasure. Five G will provide nearly instantaneous access to other applications while improving stability of emerging technologies like edge computing and IoT.
Not only that, imagine how amazing gaming, mobile computing, and streaming services will become!
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
Even non-techies have heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), but few really know what that means. In the simplest terms, IoT connects us all in the digital realm through the internet. The most common applications are home systems, security, and supply chain management. While IoT is yet evolving, expect most of the developed world to become almost seamlessly interconnected in the not-to-distant future.
5. Mobile Apps
Mobil applications are inescapable conveniences that are improved by a number of technologies on our list. Great examples of growth by necessity are food delivery and grocery apps. These have not only kept our bellies full and bodies at a safe distance, they’ve allowed restaurants and shops to remain open and provided income to displaced workers.
Mobile apps are also the primary platform for voice search, another trend to watch and incorporate into your development toolbox.
Other uses for mobile apps include:
6. "As-Service" Platforms
If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember the hassle of purchasing software, loading it on your device, and paying for a license. If you had to load it on more than one device, you’d have to pay more. Then, there were also concerns – not to mention added expense and hassle – of challenges like device or software incompatibility, maintenance, and constant upgrades or patches.
As-service platforms have done away with all that while also improving access, lowering cost, and doing away with the other issues inherent in purchasing applications. These cloud-based services include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Desktop-as-a-Servi8ce (DaaS).
7. Extended Reality (XR)
This trending technology is fast veering from gaming and sci-fi to include applications in healthcare, engineering, and other sectors that are aided by the ability to produce realistic visions of possibilities. For example, doctors and researchers can model various outcomes to determine the best course of treatment or build better products.
What is XR?
It’s a catchall term that consists of immersive technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). Each of these technologies work in slightly different ways to blend virtual environments with the real-world. They allow us to manipulate and transfer concepts and ideas through visualization.
For example, doctors could explore treatment options and outcomes before they’re used on patients. Engineers could build more efficient roads or try new traffic patterns through more realistic modeling. Extended Reality is great for web development during the modeling phase.
None of the tech on our list will be usable unless it’s secure. Advanced technology makes life more convenient. Unfortunately, it also makes us less secure if it isn’t built and implemented with security as a priority.
Those same innovations that allow us to work from home, power our business and home systems, and make life generally more efficient, pleasant, and productive also enable criminals to invade our physical and virtual spaces.
Cybersecurity isn’t new, but it is improved by other emerging technologies like AI and enhanced reality. It’s not only essential to every facet of our lives and technologies, it’s also an excellent career choice. While Cybersecurity spending is expected to increase to $105 billion by the end of this year, there are currently 3.5 million unfilled positions in this field. Both numbers are expected to increase.
Final Thoughts About Trending Technology
Technology evolves, sometimes faster than we expect. Over the past year, developers and business leaders have been forced to fast-track emerging technologies in order to rise to the occasion and retain their relevance.
Successful developers possess keen insight, creativity, and a knack for innovation. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, it pays to discern trends from fads and pay attention to evolving societal needs and wishes.
We’ve tried to provide an overview of some technologies that we believe will continue to shape or support social or business trends, industries, and organizations alike. We hope you’ll use this information to create solutions that make life better for your audience, whomever they are or wherever they’re located.