No matter where you call home, 2020 has brought unprecedented in more ways than one. With such a large portion of working and studying populations having developed a strong dependence on technology in order to accommodate their “new normals,” we can expect a transformative year ahead when it comes to its innovations in a post-pandemic world.
1. Dissemination of digital health innovations
The adage “necessity breeds innovation” couldn’t be more applicable. Though the healthcare industry is known as being less flexible in technological accommodations, the World Health Organization is hopeful that digital health services can make proper care more accessible to larger populations around the globe. Including the implementation of smart devices, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other popular developments, advancements in healthcare technologies beginning in the next year could dramatically change the way millions of people seek care.2. Continued remote work and reliance on videoconferencing
Initially employed to safely continue work and schooling before the staggered reopenings of businesses and educational institutions, remote work has taken precedence for much of 2020.
With businesses, universities, and school districts already anticipating virtual accommodations to extend through some of the new years, these innovations have connected colleagues and peers not only to each other but have introduced users to new strategies for productivity. Zoom, having first launched in 2011, became the leader in this area of digital communication technologies at the start of the pandemic, but has since gained a collection of competing platforms that also support remote work.
Even after it is safe to return to in-person spaces, a large number of companies have already considered offering remote options to employees. Educational institutions are no different, as recommendations have been made to continue some portions of the curriculum in virtual settings after the return to conventional classrooms. With such flexibility, work-life balances could look very different come 2021.3. Doubling-down on cybersecurity procedures
Jobs were not the only thing to transition online this year–even organized crime followed suit. In an increasingly digital-dependent age, the protection of data has become adamant as it has presented itself as a valuable target for online fraud and scams.
This illicit trend surely will not slow on its own, but greater investments in security services in the coming year may thwart these threats in digital spaces. While there is an awareness of the dire need for increased security, the technology has simply not evolved quickly enough to deter sophisticated cybercrime. Not only will these security innovations certainly be adopted by companies and tech-savvy individuals, but also by the average user who gains greater insight on the risk posed by being online.
4. Smoother integration of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in everyday life
AI may sound abstract and far-removed from simpler technologies, but it is actually the source of much of the smart home devices and services already in our homes. Using programs like forecasting, diagnosis, as well as speech and pattern recognition, AI has quickly made its way to the forefront of technological innovation in the past several years.
Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices have already been widely integrated into homes around the world, serving as leading assistants in home automation. With the growing popularity of these products and their applications, it's safe to count on seeing more complex iterations of commercial AI in everyday circumstances.5. Technology developed in the name of humanitarianism
Niche communities of tech developers won’t be the only proponents of altruism in 2021. The catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed a spectrum of need in communities across the globe, and technological innovations have already been implemented in order to combat such issues.
One of the few leading the charge is a mobile app developed by a startup based in Paris. This software assists local businesses, wholesalers, and even large food retailers to sell surplus food inventory and donate remaining supplies to food charities, which ultimately saves nearly 120,000 meals every day.
As the world begins to envision a post-pandemic society, focused efforts will need to help remedy food, housing, and economic crises. Mirroring the strategies of these collaborative developments, technology will likely be repurposed to better serve struggling communities. Also, in 2021 expect that a lot of Youtube channel owners will buy youtube views.
If there’s a significant pattern to note, it’s that technological innovations have always aptly reflected the needs of its users. With that said, the developments of 2021 are bound to advance the things we’ve learned from technology in this trying year.