In order to keep up with the tech industry, it is important to be aware of the future and trends that will be emerging in 2021. 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years to date. This just goes to show how quickly the world can transform. Due to the pandemic, everything about life has to be changed in one way or another to cope with the new normal. Tech is already a fast paced, evolving industry so it is no surprise that new adaptations are made even quicker now to accommodate.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

According to the Forbes article, the number one trend in tech will be artificial intelligence (AI). AI will be a major tool in improving the pandemic because the algorithms in AI are able to learn from past data, say from hospitals, to determine new solutions that humans may never have concluded. AI has access to massive amounts of data about the pandemic, such as: how each patient was impacted, and the recovery process, that humans would be ill-equipped to process in a timely manner. AI will then use this data to predict the best possible solution. With machine learning capabilities, AI is even more skillful at predicting the correct outcome.

2. Robotics, Drones, and Vehicle Automation 

 According to the article, “In recent years we have seen the emergence of robots in the care and assisted living sectors, and these will become increasingly important, particularly when it comes to interacting with members of society who are most vulnerable to infection, such as the elderly.” In order to keep the elderly population safe, they are going to have to interact with others as little as possible. As states are opening up, human interaction is increasing and the risk for those whose immune systems are weak only continues to grow. The only way to eliminate this risk for those populations is to eliminate human interaction as much as possible. This is where robots come in, it will be interesting to see if robots will be able to evolve to the point of providing the comfort a real life human could provide.

3. As-A-Service 

“‘As-a-service’ – the provision of services that we need to live and work through cloud-based, on-demand platforms – is the key that has put the other tech trends we talk about today in reach of anybody.” As-a-service (aaS) is popular because once your enterprise shifts to aaS you gain access to the most current technology with lower prices because your cost of ownership is less. Your employees will no longer focus on maintaining the infrastructure because it is managed by a provider.

4. 5G and enhanced connectivity

5G is a trend because as technology progresses the source where we get access needs to do the same. As our applications get more advanced and quicker, so do the sources they need to run on. “3G made web browsing and data-driven services useful on mobile devices, 4G led to the growth of streaming video and music platforms as bandwidths increased, and 5G, likewise, will open more doors in terms of what is possible.” As the capabilities of networks increase, our technology usage and abilities will only continue to grow and be more available to users than ever. 

5. Extended Reality (XR) – Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/MR).

“These terms cover technology that uses glasses or headsets to project computer-generated imagery directly into the user’s field of vision. When it is superimposed over what the user is viewing in the real world, it is AR. And when it is used to place the user into an entirely computer-generated environment, it is VR.”  These technologies are going to be very popular because they simulate real life as much as possible without the actual risk of interaction. This can be extremely helpful for situations in life where interactions need to take place such as schools or  for those in the medical fields.VR/MR also allows humans to practice situations for training purposes that would never be possible before such as surgeons practicing virtual surgery. 

With a global pandemic, life as it was will not go back to “normal” for a very long time, that’s to say if it will ever return back to how it was before. The pandemic has shown how life can function virtually. With new technology, it will be interesting to see how much the world will shift to depending on these services. As we all continue to work from home and try to figure out how to bring this pandemic to an end, tech will only continue to advance further.