Five disruptive technology trends – part 2

Groundbreaking technologies create new opportunities for businesses and disrupt traditional business models.

How technology is advancing:

The top five disruptive technology trends – Part 2

LAST WEEK: Two of the top disruptive technology trends: Google Glass, and smartwatches, health monitors, pedometers and activity trackers.

  1. Drones

Also known as ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ (UAVs), drones have various potential uses, besides being an expensive military and surveillance technology. In the recent years drones have become mainstream, as they are notably smaller, cheaper, safer and more accessible.

So what has been done so far with drones?

  • In Peru, archaeologists are using drones to map archaeological sites and protect them from vandals and squatters.
  • In Japan, toymaker Kyosho developed an infrared controlled drone that can display LED messages while flying.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) uses drones as campus guides.
  • In Germany, communications provider Deutsche Telekom contracted a company to tag overhead telephone cables with drones to fight cable theft.
  • Pizza-delivery company Domino’s tried delivering pizza via drones. Another company in India did the same.
  • A French company has developed a forest surveillance system for real-time monitoring of fire outbreaks and the development of flames, a great innovation we can adapt in Australia.
  • Twitter is introducing people to Dronie, a new way of taking selfies.

    There’s no stopping technology from moving forward at an exponential rate. For us to remain relevant, we need to stay up-to-date with today’s emerging technologies.

  1. 3D printing

Here, three-dimensional solid objects can be created from digital models using an additive technique.

This manufacturing technique has been around for decades and has been popular across large industries such as automotive, aerospace, architecture, industrial, dental and medical. But recent advances in this technology expanded its range of applications and now it has huge innovation potential.

Benefits of 3D printing consist of cheap manufacturing, due to the lower cost of packaging and shipping for those using overseas parts suppliers. It’s also more efficient in resource usage and requires a lesser workforce.

Other benefits include the free-hand ability to create unique and complex designs, thereby boosting innovation and entrepreneurship and the rapid prototyping, which reduces waiting time from weeks to months, to matter of hours; and lower costs waste and usage costs in the process.

Gartner projected the growth rate of 3D printers to 75% this year, and 200% by 2015. By 2016, enterprise-class 3D printers are predicted to be available for under $2000.

Last year Amazon began selling 3D printers and supplies. This year they allowed 3D printing service provider Sculpteo to sell 3D-printed jewellery on its site.

Find out what things are 3D printed today.

  1. Google Wallet

Google wallet works on NFC-enabled (near-field communication) mobile devices. This mobile payment system developed by Google creates a virtual wallet in your Android device, where you can store your debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards among other things.

Online purchases become much faster, easier and safer. Go to a store with an NFC checkout system and use your NFC device to complete a contactless payment.

There are rumours that Google Wallet will soon be made available to Glass users. According to TechCrunch, Google is currently exploring ways to introduce Google Wallet’s functionalities to Google Glass. If this is true, paying and sending money to anyone will soon be one voice-command away.

There’s no stopping technology from moving forward at an exponential rate. For us to remain relevant, we need to stay up-to-date with today’s emerging technologies – they’re changing the way we learn, communicate, consume and do business.

Eddie Mahdi – Centrix Solutions


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