Humans have evolved from being cavemen who used sticks to hunt for fruits to people who live in modern cities and order breakfast online. Our way of life is now completely different from that of our ancestors – thanks to innovative technologies like electricity, computers, and the internet.
In the next ten years, the prediction is that technologies would have become more advanced, and this will change how we do things, as well as help us to live a better life. When that time comes, the following are the disruptive innovations that will pave the way.
Examples of Disruptive Innovations that Will Change Our Lives
This innovative technology was designed to disrupt the banking sector, and it is currently doing that. The idea behind Blockchain is to cut down the numerous bank charges, and more important, decentralized ledgers – which are usually centralized in a given bank or consortium of banks. The technology’s key features are decentralization, transparency, and security. Through Blockchain, financial transactions can be completed without the need for traditional financial institutions.
Moreover, transactions are faster with the technology, and its by-products such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are now widely accepted as substitutes for monies, thus the term cryptocurrency. While the Blockchain technology is popular with private individuals and companies in terms of financial transactions, its underlying technology is now being used by governments for land registration, identity management, corporate registration, taxation, voting, and more.
- 3D printing
A popular saying in the manufacturing industry is that 3D printing is the future of manufacturing; this is because 3D printing is a perfect example of disruptive innovations that make life easier for its targeted end-users. With this technology, manufacturing has become faster, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly. 3D printing also enables conceptual designs to be easily printed and presented to an architect, client, or shareholder, so that they can get a complete picture of the end products.
The technology has been around since the 1980s, but not until recently that it is readily accessible and widely used. 3D printing has been used to manufacture various products – from simple ones such as shoes, toys, and furniture to complex ones such as hearing aids and rocket engine chambers (for SpaceX).
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is a popular disruptive innovation that almost everyone has heard about. It is designed to learn about the interests and behaviours of humans, and the information is used to improve user experience. This technology does this by collecting data from our online activities, search histories, product purchased, etc.
Artificial Intelligence is used on apps and smart devices to improve user experience; it is also used for protection against spam and frauds. Some of the familiar places you will see AI in action include video recommendations on YouTube; predictive completion text on email, movie suggestions on Netflix; and virtual assistants on Apple’s Siri or Google’s Home.
- Virtual/Augmented Reality
Ever since the introduction of virtual/augmented reality, the entertainment and gaming industry has not been the same again. This disruptive innovation has made it possible for us to immerse ourselves and interact with simulated worlds and scenarios created for entertainment and games.
Virtual/augmented reality is now being deployed in education, and soon, it is expected that its application will also be in sports, healthcare, architectural design.
- 5G Network
As at the time of publishing this article, the mainstream network is 4G LTE. However, 5G has already been deployed in South Korea, China, and the United States. The download speed of 4G is around 14Mbps, while that of 5G is 50.9Mbps. This ultra-high download speed will ensure smooth streaming of 4K movies and facilitate rapid adoption of autonomous cars and the Internet of Things (IoT), which require fast-speed internet
- Internet of Things (IoT)
This simply means devices that communicate and connect to one another through the internet. The idea is to make our devices work together to make our lives easier. A popular example of IoT is the smart home. In such homes, you can do impressive things such as turning on your air conditioner a few minutes before you get home; turning on your decoder from the office and recording your favourite shows so that you can watch it later; among others.
The ultimate aim for IoT to make everything in our environment smart and communicate with one another. Therefore, soon, we will be living in smart cities with smart buildings, smart roads, and other smart infrastructures.
Hyperloop is the technology that will revolutionize the transport system. This technology is made up of a sealed tube with low air pressure through which a pod may travel without air resistance or friction. The pod inside the Hyperloop’s sealed tube travels at the speed of up 1,223 km/h – about three times faster than the fastest car in the world.
The technology is expected to significantly shorten travel time, avoid damage to packages and decrease the number of delivery cars, thereby resulting in fewer emissions. Virgin Hyperloop, the leading designer of the technology, did the first human passenger test in November 2020.
Robots are machines that help humans do complex and repetitive tasks. As a disruptive innovation, it is related to artificial intelligence; as these robots are highly smart and have enhanced agility and senses. The manufacturing industry and car makers such as Elun Musk, the Founder of TESLA has benefited from the abilities of these machines, and in the future, it is expected that they will help in other sectors such as medicine, security, agriculture, and transportation etc.
Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), drones are aircraft without a human pilot on board. They are usually controlled from a ground base. Drones usage cuts across surveillance to aerial mapping, to photography and videography. Drones technology is also projected to play a dominant role in the logistics sector, especially in the area of delivery.
- Renewable energy
The current climate change problem has been attributed to the burning of fossil fuel, which is our main technique for generating energy. Renewable energies have been posed to help reduce the problem, and we now have disruptive innovations in the energy sector.
Some of the technologies used for generating renewable energies include wind turbines, photovoltaic cells, concentrated solar power, geothermal power plants, among others.
The above are a few examples of disruptive innovations that will change how we live in the next ten years. Although these innovations will improve our lives, they will come with some consequences such as job losses in the sectors they disrupt. If your sector is among those to be disrupted, then brace up for the impact. However, you are advised to get yourself prepared for the jobs of the future, by upskilling accordingly.