TOP 10 MOST INFLUENTIAL TECHNOLOGIES IN 2021
In our modern, technologically-driven world, rapid innovation has been a reality for some time now. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen innovation speed up like never before, at least in certain sectors. The pandemic has also seen the introduction of new and exciting concepts.
Here are the top 10 technologies that have undergone rapid growth and been highly influential globally in 2021.
- Digital Conferencing
Digital conferencing is not new, but the pandemic has made it a household concept. Various platforms like the Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and others have come to the forefront in providing the digital conferencing services, allow people to connect no matter where they’re located. It became an indispensable concept for remote workers, education, and entertainment, along with many other fields. It has played a crucial role in creating virtual offices to help conduct businesses as usual.
- Contactless Devices
Contactless is not one technology, but a collection of technologies working on various principles to provide contactless service access to users. This is not new, but the pandemic has boosted the popularity of contactless devices. In 2021, contactless systems and devices are used for identifying individuals seeking access to buildings and facilities, facial detection in the airport immigration section, operating disinfectant dispensers, vehicle detection in parking areas and even in contactless card readers where you don’t have to swipe your card.
- Distributed Cloud
As the volume of data we use keeps increasing globally at an exponential rate, the cloud concept has evolved into the distributed cloud. Though many functions are handled by the central cloud storage, most other operations and data handling are conducted by different storage functions distributed over a wide geographical area. Distributed cloud reduces latency, so it’s a boon to industries like AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) which need to process enormous amounts of data in a short amount time.
- Online Education
During the pandemic, schools closed globally and students have had to stay home for a long time, triggering a revolution in online learning. Numerous e-learning apps and software have thrived during 2021 as a result. Virtual tutoring also has gained new strength. Online education is not new, but it has seen unprecedented growth and has become one of the most influential technology sectors this year.
Though blockchain made Bitcoin possible, it is not applied to cryptocurrencies alone. Its possibilities are vast and lately it has found applications in finance, healthcare, digital asset management, logistics, and more. A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger where information related to each transaction is stored in a sealed, time-stamped, and hence tamper-free digital block. The next transaction’s information will be found in the subsequent block. A chain of countless such blocks makes up the blockchain, which provides the highest levels of security and privacy, peer-to-peer, low-cost transactions, and amazing speed.
Telehealth or telemedicine is another sector that has seen a boom during the COVID-19 era. As people were locked in their homes, telemedicine became the saviour for those who were suffering from ill-health. The concept, with the help of advanced communication techniques like smartphone apps and video conferencing, helped unite physicians, paramedics, and patients even when they were miles apart. This technology has significantly helped deliver healthcare quickly in remote geographical regions.
- Internet of Behaviour (IoB)
Internet of Behaviour or IoB is a concept that sprang up from the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Using data analytics and valuable insights about customer behaviour, the IoB framework designs paradigms to further influence their behaviour in a way beneficial to them as well as for the business. It is thus a valuable e-commerce and marketing tool.
- Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) helps in making virtual additions to a given real environment with computer-generated elements, creating a setup that is real but has virtual elements to enhance it. This has useful applications in education, healthcare, media, gaming, e-commerce, and many other fields. The virtual elements help us to better understand the real environment.
- Decentralised Finance (DeFi)
The power and possibilities of Blockchain technology have lately given shape to a new form of financial governance called Decentralised Finance (DeFi). This is a large peer-to-peer network that does away with any centralized authority such a bank or financial institution. Transactions take place between people in a one-to-one fashion, which is faster, more secure, and cheaper than conventional finance. A DeFi setup provides most financial conveniences such as loans, investment opportunities, and insurance.
- Digital Twins
This new and exciting concept involves creating a digital replica of a system that exists in the real world, including its processes and assets. You can study the real environment by creating a simulated situation in the digital counterpart. It has applications in research, smart-city planning, and logistics. Therefore, any mistake can be performed and perfected by repetition on the virtual twin before committing it to real-world systems or processes, saving an enormous amount of time and money, especially in large projects.
Though many of the above technologies and concepts either popped up during the pandemic or found enormous growth and popularity during the period, they are not going to come down in importance for a long time, even as the pandemic eases.