Technology creates a place and gets acceptance across the globe; with the convenience it offers! There have been remarkable digital transformations and tech innovations this year that will keep making our lives easy and safe for years to come.
Have we ever wondered how the recent technological trends, innovations, and digital transformations are making our lives easy and safe?
Here are the top technological trends and innovations we need to be thankful for in 2019!
1. Edge Computing
Cloud computing has revolutionized the world very rapidly and has become an inevitable part of everybody’s life. But, with time, some limitations of cloud computing have started to surface, the most significant being latency. This led to the need and idea of edge computing.
Edge computing is a distributed computing idea meant to optimize cloud computing systems. With edge computing, data processing is performed at the edge of the network that means near the source of the data. In short, instead of transmitting it to the data center, the data is processed by the local computer or server (or the edge-enabled device) itself.
In edge computing, as the data is not sent back to the central server, the data is processed by the edge-enabled devices in real-time. This reduces latency and results in a faster response.
Edge computing is also very useful in remote locations with limited (or no) connectivity to a centralized location, with mini edge data centers enabling local storage of data.
2. Kubernetes in Container Services
Kubernetes is an open-source, portable system or platform for managing containerized services to include automating application deployment, scaling, and management.
When one container running the application goes down, another needs to start to prevent downtime. This is what Kubernetes manages for us!
Kubernetes helps by restarting the failed containers, kills the failed containers, and replaces them as needed. For stable deployment, Kubernetes provides load balancing and network traffic distribution if the traffic is very high.
It further allows you to mount the storage system of your choice automatically and provides automated rollouts and rollbacks. Altogether, Kubernetes has revolutionized container services.
3. Smarter and Safer Voice Assistants
Voice assistants like Google Home, Alexa (from Amazon) and Siri (from Apple) have continued to impress the world.
Google Home (a combination of Google speakers and Google voice assistants) that enables users to use voice commands to interact with various services through virtual assistants grew smarter to become Google Nest. The latest evolution here is Nest Hub Max that helps you keep in touch with your family even in busy routine, entertains you with a 10-inch HD screen and stereo speakers, and most importantly makes your smart home even smarter with smart home devices that can be controlled from one place.
Siri has become more secure in 2019 when it comes to users’ voice data. This year Apple launched a major software update for iPhones (iOS 13.2 update) that allows users to opt not to have their voice commands stored and saved in Siri (data shared with Apple). Users can now also delete all Siri recordings off Apple’s server.
Amazon introduced the Amazon Echo Studio in 2019 that along with Alexa, helps you control your smart home devices with your voice and wraps you into studio-quality audio in a 3D soundscape. Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa also got smarter and safer in 2019. Similar to Siri, now Alexa allows the users to instruct it and get all their voice inputs deleted. It has also added settings that allow you to opt for automatically getting the recordings deleted every 3 to 18 months.
4. AI-Driven Chatbots
While chatbots are not a new thing anymore, AI-driven smart chatbots have made a difference for many businesses in 2019. These converse with the users, ask questions about the user’s preferences, understand the users based on this, and offer relevant responses. These utilize artificial intelligence to imitate the human ability to absorb information and learn and can process information faster and give better results with time.
AI-enabled chatbots are now acting as HR personnel within the HRMS portals. These chatbots are helping in employee retention by engaging in conversations with employees to understand their moods and reporting the same to the HR managers.
5. Identity Management with Blockchain
The year 2019 saw a rapid rise in awareness about blockchain and its consequent popularity in various spheres. Being a decentralized ledger not owned by one party, it promises better security in all streams.
This is what introduced the idea of identity management using blockchain. There will be one common platform for identity verification that can add security in monetary transactions. With public-key encryption, this common platform can be used to validate anybody’s credentials while still maintaining the confidentiality of the person’s actual data. As this platform can be used with ease worldwide, monetary fraud can be reduced to a high extent.
Identity Management on the blockchain platform has the potential to make the world safer and bring it closer.
6. Smart Homes with IoT
Talking about the latest trends and digital transformations, the contributions of IoT cannot be ignored.
Smart home IoT apps provide interactive home experience to residents. The home appliances and household devices to include TV, ACs, fans, microwave ovens connect with the internet and can be monitored and controlled remotely. These IoT systems have successfully resulted in convenience, comfort, energy-saving, and above all security!
7. GDPR Compliance Implemented Worldwide
The year 2019 marked the year of global data security with the GDPR compliance. With the norms getting stricter and their implementation being enforced strongly in 2019, there is no escape or possibility of ignoring GDPR compliance anymore.
GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation has been the most significant data privacy regulation in two decades. It is a regulation for data protection and privacy meant for citizens of the EU and EEA. As it also addresses the transfer of personal data outside this zone, it virtually impacts the global market. Anything on the web is available across the world, so this compliance has become an obligation world over.
GDPR compliance is not just a regulatory obligation. It offers numerous benefits to businesses when seen in a larger perspective. It ensures your business better data security and thus improved customer confidence. It helps your business align with evolving technology and also cut-down the maintenance costs for your business by prompting discard of any obsolete applications and software.
GDPR compliance ensures that you value your customer’s preferences and rightly utilize customer information. This results in a safe and happy customer and is thus expected to improve business for compliant companies.
8. Design Thinking Approach to ML and AI
Design thinking has spread its wings to machine learning and artificial intelligence by helping simplify the complex design issues and develop a human-centric perspective focused on end-users’ needs.
Design thinking in AI and ML project design helps the designers think from a human-centered perspective and evaluate how the users will use the AI product to accomplish the required task.
With the design thinking approach of empathizing to understand the users’ needs, ideating, defining the problem, testing, and prototyping, improved AI and ML applications are being created with designers thinking from the users’ perspective.
9. VR for Training
The use of virtual reality in training has gained immense popularity recently. More and more companies are leveraging this and getting remarkable results.
For various difficult field jobs with dangerous work conditions and environment, extensive training is needed before sending the new staff on the field to ensure their safety. But, the training cannot be successfully accomplished without making the trainees realize the intricacies and difficulties they are expected to face in the actual field or real environment.
Virtual reality has opened new doors in the field of training. With VR, an environment similar to the on-field conditions is created. With the use of VR devices and wearables, the trainee gets the feel of the environment he will be expected to face in the field. His mistakes will lead to virtual accidents that imitate the odd possibilities in the real field. This will then help the trainee improve and get more cautious before entering the field.
The simplest example of this is the VR driving simulator, which can be used during the initial stages of your driving training, to help you understand the basics of driving. Haven’t you tried it yet?
10. Automation & Autonomous Things
This year, we also saw a rise in automation technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent business process management due to the combination of Machine Learning and automation tools. Moreover, a lot of investments have been made on things surpassing human intervention like robots, drones, self-driving vehicles, smartphones with gesture recognition. These are all part of Autonomous Things, which are likely to change the regulations and human-to-machine intervention.
In short, 2019 has been a year full of technological innovations and digital transformations.
As rightly said by Franz Grillparzer,
“Drink and be thankful to the host! What seems insignificant when you have it, is important when you need it.”
So, this Thanksgiving, let’s take the opportunity of thanking these technological trends and innovations for positively impacting the lives across the globe.