Everything seems to go too fast when it comes to technology in everyday life but it is sometimes beneficial to take a few steps back to look a little higher, a little further, and see what is happening in the medium and long term. And nowadays, the long term is in three years, ie in 2020!
The firm PwC Global recently published a study looking at the eight major trends to watch , by surveying the CEOs of major US companies. According to them, by looking at more than 150 existing or emerging technologies around the world and different industries, we can highlight eight that have already begun to revolutionize our daily lives and that will continue to move the tectonic plates of trade to the scale. international.
1. Internet of Things
This is probably the best known term and the technology with which you are most familiar. Think about Apple Watch, RFID-type bracelet, bluetooth sensor and beacon that push messages to smartphones, not to mention homes connected with alarm or heating system that can be controlled by computer, smart TVs or smart cars. can start or unlock remotely.
2. Augmented reality
Augmented reality uses the real world to display information (in 2D or 3D), with which the user will be able to interact. A good recent example? The Pokémon Go madness, which uses our environment and in which comes a world with arenas and little monsters (pokémons), but where the supply centers, or poké-stops, are real places.
Closer to home, Montreal has reached a milestone with its Montréal in History project , aiming to mark the 375th anniversary of its founding in 2017, by launching a mobile application to better track the projected animations on building facades. known and less known in Old Montreal.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality, for its part, plunges the user into a virtual world modeled in three dimensions, in which it is possible to move and interact. We obviously think of the helmet that allows to project into a virtual world, but this headset can also be grafted to a multi-sensory experience in the real world, as seen on the side of the amusement park La Ronde with its carousel Le Goliath. To a roller coaster experience already quite elaborate we just graft a virtual world, issue of generating an overdose of stimuli!
Virtual reality can obviously be broken down for other needs, helping for example the sales for a tourist destination as the Club Med did last winter , or the room reservations in a place where one can visualize in advance, what Marriott hotels are doing to boost their wedding destinations in the Caribbean for example.
Blockchain, do you know? What if I tell you the parallel economy that is based on bitcoins? The more formal definition reads as follows:
The blockchain is an information storage and transmission technology, transparent, secure, and operating without a central control organ.
In a financial context, it is a revolution that is already under way. Did you know that it is estimated that there will be no more paper checks outstanding by the end of 2018 in North America? We have made the habit of direct transfers by Interac, when it is Paypal or Square. In fact, some even argue that the blockchain could be to the financial sector what Napster was for the music industry, or what Airbnb is for the hotel or Uber for the taxi industry …
5. Artificial intelligence
Algorithms able to reproduce tasks usually exclusive to human nature, it is possible? Science fiction seems to actually materialize, with applications able to reproduce and “think” visual perceptions, decision making, language recognition and simultaneous translation. Artificial intelligence (AI) software recently managed to create two musical pieces, while Google marked minds earlier this year with AlphaGO, an artificial intelligence managed to defeat the world champion in the game of go, the Korean Lee Sedol – you must know the game of go, very popular in Asia, requires a strong a dose of intelligence and instinct, even more than the failures where IBM’s Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov many years ago.
We can expect to see features that focus on AI proliferate over the next few years, especially in terms of online questions and answers, and by extension to customer service where automated services will be used. This is already the case, in particular with the interactive agency We Are Interactive, which recently launched its BoWAI robot that discusses with the community and responds on the company ‘s Facebook page .
6. 3D printing
We also hear a lot about 3D printing but what is it really? Three-dimensional printing produces a real object: an operator draws the object on a screen using a CAD tool. The resulting 3D file will then be sent to specific software that will slice it and send it to the printer to solidify the material layer by layer until a final piece is obtained.
The principle is quite similar to that of a classic 2D printer, but thanks to the stacking of these layers that creates a volume, we are now creating objects strictly speaking, with materials ranging from paper to metal through plastic and wax. We can see obvious uses in preview concepts especially, by creating prototypes in production of cars, aircraft, buildings and consumer goods, among others.
When Amazon announced, a few years ago, its intention to eventually deliver its parcels via a large fleet of drones, these flying objects remote control (so without a pilot), nobody really believed. At least, it seemed like madness, science fiction or a happy mix of both. Yet today, we start believing it …
From a military point of view, we already know the damage done by drones when they drop bombs in hot spots in war zones, with all that implies a margin of error and costs in human lives. We also see a rise in popularity of flights in penitentiary institutions, where drones come to drop their cargo: drugs, weapons, prohibited consumer goods, etc.
The fact remains that the potential is there, both to create visuals (photos, videos) at a fraction of the cost of the productions of yesteryear by helicopter, we realize now that it will be a solution in the medium, long term, to deliver content and avoid traffic congestion, among others.
Can a robot replace a human for some repetitive tasks? Of course, as we have seen since the second industrial revolution and the robotization of major assembly lines on a global scale. And if we now asked a robot to do a little more, such as assisting a human being in a more complex task? This is already a reality in the field of health in particular, but we are beginning to see examples in tourism, especially in the hotel industry in Japan and Belgium, where the robot Mario can accommodate you in 19 different languages and accomplish several tasks that will allow employees (the real ones) to go to more complex tasks with the hotel’s clientele.
Obviously, when we look at all these technologies, we can be dizzy thinking about what the future holds for us. Well, just as well, because the future is now!🙂