This pandemic of COVID-19 is not only going to affect the economy of the world but will also have a major impact on the day-to-day life of people across the world. It would be naïve to expect that the things would return to the way they were before this pandemic. There will be major changes in all spheres of a person’s life. People are heavily dependent on a lot of businesses and technologies. This crisis has impacted a lot of businesses in a negative but in turn it has opened the floodgates for some latest technologies to swoop in.
These emerging technologies were already in use but not in a major way. But since latest norms have been released keeping COVID-19 in mind, usage and necessity of these technologies have skyrocketed. Such increase in need and popularity of these technologies can be trimmed down to the fact that these technologies keep in check all the basic norms that have been issued to tackle COVID-19. They keep human-to-human contact to the minimum, automate processes and in addition also improves the productivity during this phase of social distancing. So let us have a look at some of the emerging technologies that keep helping businesses post COVID-19 phase too.
1. Cloud computing:
Though the applications that have cloud computing embedded were already gaining attention of users but this pandemic has provided it a launch pad to reach the potential that it actually possess. It has a unique ability to access remote servers and on top of that it can store gigantic amount of data. This storage capacity feature of cloud computing has to come to fore in these difficult times to benefit a lot of audience. Looking at its benefits and the pace at which it is growing it is safe to say that cloud computing is going to have a major say in post COVID-19 world.
As we are all familiar with the fact that since the spread of this virus, people are instructed to work and study from home. This in turn has zoomed the demand of cloud-based video conferencing and teaching. Cloud service vendors such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams recognised this need in advance and upgraded their functions along with providing resources to meet all the necessary demand.
Youku and Ding Talk, which is an all in one platform of Alibaba Group, launched the “Attending Class at Home” program which will provide students a brilliant learning environment along with convenient learning tools. “Online Classroom” function has been made available for students of all institutions, be it schools, universities all across China. This initiative can support millions of students to take online classes across the country and can also reach schools which are located in vast rural areas.
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As students and professionals are getting accustomed to this style of work and study, businesses and educational institutions will be bound to make full use of this technology. Without a doubt, demand for this technology is expected to grow but the important aspect would be to make its access easier in mobile applications.
2. Virtual reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR):
In this ‘staying at home’ period, VR has become the go-to option for entertainment to a lot of people. According to reports, the number of people using VR headsets to play various kind of video games, go on virtual travel destination and get involved in some other online entertainment has spiked by a large scale in this isolation period. Since lockdowns has been increasing with the passage of days, human are very much looking to have human-to-human interactions. This desire of humans has been looked after by various social VR platforms like Rec Room, Bigscreen, Altspace VR AND VRChat.
Businesses are looking to jump on the gravy train by training employees, holding conferences, collaborating on projects and connecting employees virtually through these VR platforms. To provide you with an example we will have to take to the world of scientists where they are using a VR software platform called Nanome to collaborate on coronavirus research and potential treatments.
Emarketer, which is a VR headset maker claimed that HTC recently held its first virtual “VIVE Ecosystem Conference” in VR only. 2,000 registrants from over 55 countries took part in this March 2020 event. The interesting fact about this event was that it became the first physical industry to be fully replaced by extended reality (XR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
Businesses across the globe have experienced the extent to which this technology can be used and don’t be surprised you see these virtual conferences becoming the new norm post this pandemic phase.
3. 5G Connectivity:
The hype around 5G has been circulating for over a year now and it is yet to be widely available for use around the world. It is regarded as the next-generation of connectivity and is rightly called so. 5G is not just a modified version of 4G but in actual is a complete new network infrastructure. Its potential know no limits and entirely transform the way mobile networks function but despite of this also telecom providers have been slow to let it mix the public as they are offering only limited amount of 5G service.
The reason behind this hesitancy of telecom providers was doubt revolving around demand from the customers for 5G services. However, scenario has changed post this COVID-19 pandemic and we can see 5G materialising sooner rather than later. As working and studying from home in large numbers has increased the load on networks, demand for higher bandwidth has started circulating.
CCS Insights, back in October predicted that by mid-2023, 5G technology will reach one billion users and in that too in less time as taken by 4G. However, since people have realised the urgent need of faster data sharing along with increased connectivity speeds, we can see a roll out of 5G Technology much quicker than anybody expect. Due to this quicker rolling out, the time comparison with 4G to reach a mark of 1 billion users will reduce even further.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI):
It is a no-brainer that consumer behaviours won’t go back to the way they were pre COVID-19. We can safely assume that consumers are going to buy more services and goods online and more & more people will work from a distance. Governments have allowed some leeway to the companies to start working again in order to reduce the tremendous loss of economy all across the globe. Now Artificial Intelligence is going to prove extremely beneficial for these companies to adapt to the new trends.
Industries that will most benefitted by this AI technology includes retail and supply chain. AI has machine learning and advanced data analytics in its arsenal to help companies detect new purchasing patterns and provide a non-forgettable experience to their online customers.
AI tools go through rigorous amount of data analysing in order to learn underlying patterns, predict human behaviour, detect human speech and images, enable computer systems to make decisions on its own and do many other spectacular things. Systems that have AI enabled in them continuously learn and adapt on their own. This feature of AI is going to prove extremely helpful to the companies in their pursuit to adapt to the new normal post this pandemic.
5. Voice-Tech in Mobile Apps:
Fear of spread of coronavirus by touching the mobile phones, which a normal human touches 2600 times per day, has forced the users to anyhow reduce the number of times they touch their mobile phones. Voice tech in mobile phones can prove to be a revelation in this aspect.
According to a survey from Comscore MobiLens Plus, it was found that US smart speaker owners have already been using their gadgets to ask basic questions, play music, get latest updates on traffic, sports, weather and on some other areas.
This voice-tech feature will continue to reach other smart-home gadgets which are most likely to add fuel to the spread of germs through their physical contact. Various entertainment components, TVs, light switches, plumbing fixtures, electric appliances, alarm systems are using this voice control function and this as a whole will drastically decrease the spread the germs causing coronavirus.
Situation and trends in the business world are going to change on a large scale. Some technologies which were known to the world but were not fully in use have come to the fore during this crisis. These mentioned technologies are supporting a lot of businesses to keep their business on track during this pandemic. Other businesses which are looking to get up on their feet and desperately want to regain their mojo should definitely take a cue from these companies and businesses to add these technologies in their infrastructure.