Radical Tech Innovation: The Impact on Incumbent Industries
Radical innovations are tech developments that change an existing model entirely. For example, the iPhone was the first smartphone that revolutionized the way we communicate. It changed how we interact with each other. But, with the exponential growth of technology, we will soon see other radical innovations. Here are the ones that are creating an impact.
Autonomous vehicles are a technology that many companies have tried to achieve for many years. But the truth is that an autonomous car needs to leverage many other technologies that weren't developed enough before now. However, with the new innovations in artificial intelligence methods, computing power, and big data, we have reached a point where an autonomous car can be a reality.
Companies like Tesla and Alphabet are working to see who reaches the goal first. Tesla is pretty close, with the autopilot features on its models. One of the main challenges right now is the need for faster connectivity, which the 5G technology promises. But the 5G technology still has some hurdles to overcome to be fully rolled out worldwide.
When this technology reaches a fully developed point, which will be sooner than later, it will change the way we move. It will start with cars and trucks, but could later be airplanes and trains. After all, there are already military drones that are controlled by people miles away. It is not so far fetched to believe they could be autonomous, at some point.
Edge Computing :
Right now, the computing technology leading the market is cloud computing. It works as a centralized technology where providers have all the computing power in one location and customers can access that power through the Internet. Edge computing, on the other hand, is based on taking computing power as closed to the customer as possible. Even with fast Internet connections, users can experience delays when using cloud services. So, companies like Amazon and Google are exploring with letting their devices do some of the processing, and only syncing with the cloud later. This will reduce latency and bandwidth use, overall giving a better experience for the user. Take Google’s Chrome as an example. The company wants to implement offline modes where some websites show even when they aren't connected to the Internet..
Quantum Computing :
Quantum computing, as the name suggests, is the use of quantum physics to do computation processes. It uses the three quantum mechanical properties, which are superposition, interference, and entanglement. In the last few years, computing power has reached new heights, and we can do many things with it. However, there are some things than even the most powerful computers of today can’t do. That's where quantum computing will take over and solve the issue. There aren’t yet commercial applications for this technology. There are only a few quantum computers in the world, mainly by big companies like IBM, Google, and Microsoft. partnership programs
For example, IBM offers partnership programs for any company that wants to have access to their quantum computer to carry out research projects. Quantum computers aren't close to becoming the new standard household computer, but it has the potential of powering many changes in our society.
Some experts believe that we, as humans, have two possible futures. Either technology gets out of our hands and controls us, or we use technology to augment ourselves and become some kind of cyborg. It sounds scary either way, but at the pace technology is growing, the cyborg may be the most positive outcome.
Human augmentation consists of using technology to enhance our bodies, abilities, and cognitive processing. It can be in the form of prosthetics, artificial organs, or even wearable devices. For example, night vision glasses are a form of human augmentation. Another more recent development is the prototype that Elon Musk's company Neuralink presented this year.
The Neuralink prototype's ultimate goal data sciences to help patients with spinal cord injuries. It plans to create a chip that will read our brain signals and maybe predict with data science and AI what the person is trying to do. Later, the technology could be used to connect the brain with the rest of the body. The company has only made trials with animals so far, but the potential for success is huge.
After only a few decades of the Internet and personal computers, technology has taken over our lives. And the parts that aren't related to technology yet will soon be taken over. All these smart devices that we have in our home, in our bodies, or carry around are constantly collecting data.
Tech companies have taken advantage of this data by creating profiles of their users. The most famous uses are from social media platforms, but almost all companies are already using personal profiling to increase their revenue. They use machine learning and AI algorithms to collect all your personal data and create a profile of who you are.
In addition, they use psychology to know how they can manipulate your brain into buying their products or spend more time on their platforms. This has its own privacy concerns because all of this is done without user consent. Most people don't even know this is happening. But this technology has huge potential for digital marketing strategies.
Medical 3D Printing
Finally, medical 3D printing is the use of 3D printing technology for creating organs. Imagine a world where anyone in need of a kidney or heart transplant can buy one and get it printed in a few hours. This could be possible with this technology. The scientists applying this tech use cells from different body parts to generate completely new organs. They are still in the research stage but are nearing clinical trials.
Technology is creating radical innovations every year. Some of these are autonomous vehicles, edge computing, quantum computing, human augmentation, personal profiling, and medical 3D printing. They aren't fully developed yet, but they are well on their way to creating impact. And if they all come to fruition, they will change our world as we know it.
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Artur MeysterArtur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.