With the goal of sustaining a long-term competitive advantage in key technology areas, companies of all sizes must stay on top of key technology trends. The markets that are most critical to U.S. businesses and key national interests will be those of the future. A firm that is not ahead of the curve in one of these markets will find itself quickly losing market share to competitors with more advanced capabilities. There is also a distinct potential benefit to being “late,” or behind the curve. While it may be months before you come to realize the full impact of a new trend, being “late” in adopting or responding to a new technological development can have far-reaching consequences on your business and on the broader economy.
One of the first key technology trends in the twenty-first century will be the migration to mobile devices. Consumer preferences are changing, as are customer needs. As a result, the role of carriers and retailers will change as well. It is too early to say what the impact will be of the increased use of cellular devices in the home and in vehicles, but there will likely be a shift toward a fee-for-service model in most areas. This will likely accelerate the adoption of more services like video on demand, augmented reality, and voice-recognition services.
Two other key technology trends will emerge in the next few years. One is likely to be connected security and the second will be connected healthcare. As people become more comfortable and familiar with their personal digital assistants, they will start to trust them more. In turn, as key technology improvements take place, they will need less guidance from their assistants, and that will accelerate the adoption process.
Video analytics will also emerge as one of the key technology trends in the future. This includes the use of eye tracking, fingerprint recognition, and the “brain-to-body” connection. As consumers become more knowledgeable about their own health, they are likely to embrace all of the available technologies. This also includes more use of medical tourism, cellular solutions, and virtual monitoring.
Some key technology trends in the future will actually already be happening today. This includes
augmented reality, 3D visualization, and high definition images. Augmented reality refers to using digital data such as cameras or game consoles to present information that can be changed or manipulated by the viewer in real time. This might include real world shopping malls, real world video streams, and even news outlets reading real-time reports.
The other key technology trend that will emerge in the next few years will be in the area of healthcare. It will be responsible for changing the way that individuals gain access to their own healthcare, as well as providing greater access to physician visits. This will likely be facilitated through cellular solutions, wearable technologies, and possibly even the development of “smart pillows” that are capable of delivering medication through the skin. This highlights the importance of creating better environments for humans, as well as making sure that they have the technology that is necessary to stay healthy.