Since the Industrial Revolution, technological innovations have constantly transformed industry. The latest example is the emergence of what is being called Industry 4.0, a revolution being driven by the convergence of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud, artificial intelligence and robotics. Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology stands poised to accelerate the advance of Industry 4.0, with exponentially increased download speeds empowering such developments as streaming virtual reality, autonomous vehicles and smart factories. By 2025, 5G will account for 15 percent of global mobile connections, adding over $2.2 trillion to the global economy in the process, GSMA Intelligence forecasts.
While Industry 4.0 is today’s most prominent example of how technology impacts industry, it is far from the only one. Here are three other illustrations of how technological innovations are constantly driving industry forward.
One industry that has been energized by technology innovations in recent years is security. The growing popularity of voice-controlled smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home has promoted adoption of digital home security devices, such as video doorbells that let you see who’s at your door and use your voice or AI voice recognition to control when you unlock the door. Wireless technology has made it easier to install cameras anywhere on a property and to monitor surveillance footage from any location or device.
Security camera surveillance systems have also advanced. Providers such as Lorex Technology have used 4K to upgrade surveillance resolution quality, and have even developed color night vision Nocturnal security camera systems that can pick up identifying details even in low-light conditions.
Another industry being disrupted by technology is finance. Digital technology is shifting finance away from traditional banking toward an online-oriented banking model. As part of this transition, voice-control apps have become an important tool for customers to interface with online banking apps. For instance, in Singapore, OCBC Bank recently partnered with Google to introduce AI-powered voice banking. As developments such as this make it easier for consumers to do their banking online, traditional physical bank branches are giving way to virtual banks and the use of virtual currencies such as bitcoin.
As digital banking becomes more common, security for financial apps has become critical. To address this, the financial industry has developed blockchain, which uses a series of linked, encrypted records to ensures that digital tokens can only be copied once. This helps prevent digital fraud and promote online banking security.
The healthcare industry is also being revolutionized by technology. One of today’s major developments is a shift from traditional hospital-centered healthcare toward a telehealth model that minimizes in-hospital care. Consumers are now able to use mobile devices such as smartphones and wearables to access their healthcare information and share data with their providers. Six in 10 consumers now prefer digital access to healthcare for routine matters.
Innovations in robotics are also helping drive the shift toward telehealth care. Robots are helping specialists provide remote care to patients in isolated and rural locations, with the robot on-site to ask questions, provide cameras for remote examination, and guide therapy, reports the American Society of Medical Engineers. Robots are also helping with functions such as performing surgery, assisting rehab and disinfecting surfaces.
Today’s Connected World
From security systems to mobile banking to telehealth, one common theme running through today’s technological advances is the increasing integration of industry with the Internet of Things. As 5G helps accelerate the interconnectivity of the IoT, technological developments that affect one industry will tend to ripple throughout all sectors of industry, promoting greater innovation and competition.