New technology can bring changes to the way your business operates. That’s why anticipating new tech is essential for making sure your company is prepared.
Here are five new technologies coming out soon that will definitely be changing our businesses.
IBM is in the thick of the smart contract revolution. They define smart contracts as:
“…programs stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met. They typically are used to automate the execution of an agreement so that all participants can be immediately certain of the outcome, without any intermediary’s involvement or time loss. They can also automate a workflow, triggering the next action when conditions are met.”
This means that instead of signed agreements that can be altered, edited and muddled, a smart contract is put on the blockchain (a ledger of transactions) where it can be executed or changed in any way that all parties must approve. From there, both parties can perform different actions, such as releasing funds or sending a notification. Once the contract is complete, it can’t be changed, and it’s only viewable by the parties involved.
Most financial, collaboration and operating systems in the next few years will adopt smart contract capability to provide us with a quicker, more secure and more productive way to implement our processes.
Weeklong Battery Life… Or More
IBM has another project in the works with smartphone maker Samsung to create chips that use much less power and allow batteries to last for a week or even more.
Is this technology needed? Maybe not. According to a 2022 article from Cosmos, researchers have figured out how to more than double the lifespan of high-voltage lithium-ion batteries using a coating that protects the core elements of the battery from eroding. Batteries in automobiles made by Tesla and other major car manufacturers continue to last longer as the technology gets better. And a number of other companies are also in advanced stages of developing longer life batteries, including NanoBolt lithium tungsten, Zinc-manganese oxide and organosilicon electrolyte.
As battery lives expand, our employees using mobile technology will show increased productivity at a much lower cost. Cars will run more efficiently and energy costs will be tempered. This is all on a fast track.
We both know that passwords aren’t the most secure thing in the world. Even with multi-factor authentication (where you get a text message or email to another device to confirm sign-on), there are lots of ways to get around a system’s security. Which is why biometrics are the future.
Soon you will access devices only using a fingerprint, an eye scan or facial recognition. You’re already seeing this option in use on your smartphone, airport security and even some supermarkets. More is on the way, and it’s going to start being the preferred method of security. Which is why, according to industry reports, the global biometric technology market—valued at $34.27 billion in 2022—is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 20.4% from 2023 to 2030.
And it’s not just for device security. Companies like Whole Foods are using palm scans to allow consumers to pay for products. Offices around the world are using biometrics to allow security clearances in their physical workspaces. So say goodbye to that password, and get ready to be scanned. That’s going to be the norm pretty soon.
Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of speculators were snapping up open wasteland around major metropolitan areas. Why? Because they’re seeing the future and the future is autonomous trucking.
Already there are dozens of companies, including one recently funded by Microsoft, that are either building or retrofitting existing trucks to drive by themselves. While Elon Musk and others are still trying to figure out how to navigate a driverless car around a city, these smart entrepreneurs have figured out that doing the same thing on an open highway is a lot easier, with a lot less distractions.
Driverless trucks will still need a human in the passenger seat. But the trucks can go for longer hours and are thought to be safer and more fuel efficient. They will speed up the flow of goods while lowering costs for both the transportation company and the businesses that use them.
So why the land grab? Because those trucks will go only so far before being taken over by a real driver or offloading their goods in a designated space outside of a city, hence the need for a sort of waystation.
One thing’s for sure: driverless trucks are coming soon and their impact on our freight costs will be substantial.
Last year technology firm Boston Dynamics launched its Stretch warehouse robot. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, this video is worth a million. Stretch loads and unloads boxes and crates, puts them on or off pallets, then moves the pallets to different locations. It’s all happening by remote control. At around $75,000, the robot pays for itself in about a year… and it doesn’t require health insurance, paid time off or training.
Popular? You bet. When I last looked, there was a waiting list. Not standing still, the company just this past month released another robot called Atlas, a very human-like and nimble worker who doesn’t need workers’ compensation either. The company hasn’t released pricing for this little guy yet, but I’m betting whatever it is people will pay. It’s likely to cost a lot less than an employee, assuming you can find one in these tight labor times!
Robots in the factory are assembling cars, checking inventory, sorting products, packing boxes, scanning for safety concerns and transporting goods from one end to the other. Many of these machines are being used by companies like Amazon and Toyota. But as the price of the technology continues to decline, it will also become a part of any small or mid-sized company in the very, very near future.
Of course, there are other big techs coming that will disrupt our businesses. I may be one of the few, but I’m still a believer that Amazon will get its act together and turn around its Alexa division from an unprofitable mess to a service that will let our businesses do more with our voices in the office. Plus, there’s self-service and drones and the Metaverse and ChatGPT and other conversational AI tools on the way, too. Exciting times to come.
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