The influence of technological advancements on industry
Technological advancements have influenced the evolution of many industries over time and have had many effects on how we live and work. There are continued debates to whether technology improves or worsens our way of life and the world that we live in. Technological progressions have created efficiency and benefited many industries and lives, but some also argue that technology alienates people and is a cost to our environment.
Technology: Providing innovative solutions to challenging problems
There are many companies that are using science and technology to make the world a better place. Singularity University Global Summit brought together organisations, which are solving the world’s most pressing challenges. These challenges include the supporting of: disaster resilience, the environment, health and learning. Solving these challenges means ensuring basic needs are met for all people. It means improving quality of life and mitigating future risks both to people and our planet.
To name a few of these innovative companies, LuminAid make portable lanterns that can provide 24 hours of lights on 10 hours of solar charging, aiding disaster resilience during the dangerous nights after natural disasters strike. Although much is said against technology and the environment, technology has also been developed to help our environment as well. BreezeMeter uses big data and machine learning to deliver accurate air quality information in real time. In the health industry, surveillance tools for identifying infectious diseases have been developed by Unima, to allow professionals to diagnose diseases at the point of care. Technology can also aid our learning. Iris.AI is an artificial intelligence system that reads scientific paper abstracts and extracts key concepts and allows users to navigate to topics across disciplines.
Technology and the education industry
Delving deeper into some of the industries, education technology is also advancing. Schools around the world are using new software to personalise learning. In some schools, pupils have playlists instead of textbooks, which they use to access online lessons and take tests. The software assesses children’s progress, lightening teachers’ marking load. However, by 2012 there was one computer for every two pupils in several rich countries. Concerns have been raised that if handled poorly, devices can actually distract children from learning. A Portuguese study from 2010 found that schools with slow broadband and a ban on sites such as YouTube had better results than high-tech schools.
Technology and the real estate industry
Technology is also changing the real estate industry and the way people look for new houses. Potential buyers are using mobile apps and search engines to search for house listings before ever reaching out to real estate agents. They are expecting to find high quality photos, virtual tours and drone footage, while searching for homes online. The house could potentially be their dream home. However, if a house isn’t shown to its best effect online, viewers will not click and therefore never view the house in person. This is a huge challenge for real estate firms, and it is crucial they stay up to date with new technology to remain competitive. PropTech, which aims to innovate the way the real estate industry works, will be able to lower the cost of doing business, while improving productivity for everyone involved. Find out more about PropTech in the real estate industry here.
The nature of how we work is changing
In all of these industries, technology is changing how and where we work. Cloud based technology, the Internet, Email, online file storage and streaming media allows workers to be anywhere at anytime and allows businesses to continue to operate effectively wherever their workers are in the world. People can work efficiently from home and stop their long commutes or from co-working spaces. In turn, these shared workspaces are often sustainable and environmentally friendly, where people from different industries can come together to share different ideas.
These spaces can also place focus on bringing people together specifically from the same industries, which have similar interests. In the EdTech industry for example, these collaborative spaces allow people from education organisations, startups and entrepreneurs to learn from and inspire one another. These spaces act as a place outwith the independent company office for a growing community of people to come together and help transform an industry – made easier and more efficient through technology. The role of technology is impacting many different industries and the way in which we live and work – both positively and negatively. However, as discussed, it is often the key to providing industries with new and innovative solutions to challenging problems.
Author: Fiona Murray is a 25-year-old MSc Digital Marketing student and Honours Business Management graduate from Scotland. An enthusiast of all things digital and travel related, Fiona has experience living and working in the UK,USA and Asia, and has traveled extensively in order to further her experience of other cultures. Find out more about her on LinkedIn.