A digital transformation is underway. In warp-speed, tech is allowing us to function at home during the coronavirus pandemic safely. For most of us, there is no other option. Moreover, several tech sectors are booming and taking center stage for the future of society as we know it. Companies are getting out of their comfort zones and utilizing emerging technologies to expand their production lines and products.
We’ve been following this technology revolution, citing below the innovations that will become the evolution of our society:
These days, paying in cash is a health hazard. As a result, fintech app usage is up 72%. With stores and bank closures, customer purchases and payments have been forced into the digital space.
Yet, the majority of consumers, particularly of older generations, have always been wary of using these services because they were not FDIC-insured. Now, the financial services industry must pivot and provide digital services quickly to accommodate the changes of the last two months. Square recently received a bank charter. The LendingClub acquired Radius Bank. Investors are turning to fintech apps to purchase alternative investments. Even Glint Pay, a gold-purchasing app, has increased its user-base 718%.
The US government is also looking to fintech to help save the economy. The IRS gave the green light for eligible recipients to receive their $1,200 stimulus checks electronically on apps such as Venmo and Chime. Paypal, Intuit, and Square are now key players to compete for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans while big banks continue to scratch their heads.
3D printing manufacturers have also stepped in to tackle the shortages in medical equipment around the world. In Italy, 3D printers are manufacturing masks and valves for ICU respirators. The European Commission is calling for companies to print various masks and 25,000 ventilators for respirators. As a result, the non-profit, Open Source Mask, created a site to collect and share 3D models that can be downloaded, printed and tested for free. Trademarking designs are no longer a top priority in this space as manufacturers know that time, not bureaucracy, is crucial.
We usually associate virtual reality (VR) with the gaming industry. VR is shaping up to be an emerging technology for corporate collaboration. Ford Motors, for example, created a Virtual Design Studio. Now, car designers working from home can use virtual reality to collaborate and design the next generation of cars.
Last week, Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, officially became a billionaire. It makes sense since many sectors are turning to the app to keep operations going remotely. Virtual happy hours, wedding showers, and family gatherings are going down on Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Houseparty, to name a few. On the corporate side, employees are attending company meetings and conferences with the click of a button, proving that virtual meetings are possible for any business as long as there is buy-in from every employee.
Even the education sector has benefitted from virtual communication platforms. While universities are no stranger to online learning, online classes have now expanded to the elementary school level. Telemedicine is also now allowing physicians to conduct medical consultations remotely, most likely saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in patient commutes and reaching more patients as a result.
The idea of drones all over the skies is no longer a futuristic vision (or even fear). In Malaysia and Spain, the flying devices are policing the public, reminding them to stay home. Drones are also sanitizing streets in countries all over the world, keeping city workers out of harm’s way, and delivering essentials when needed.
In ICUs, robots are helping medical teams treat quarantined patients, helping medical workers care for patients. Robots have also stepped into our lives in unique and interesting ways. Here are some examples:
In Tokyo, students virtually walked for graduation on robot-mounted iPads.
Robots are also helping the environment and sorting trash at recycling centers.
Robots are now chefs in restaurants.
They are serving food in China.
And serving PPE in India.
In London, thousands of robots are packaging groceries in warehouses.
They are also delivering groceries to people’s front doors.
Drones are not the only things disinfecting the streets. In China, miniature war tank-looking robots are spraying down walkways (and climbing stairs).
Robots are reminding people to use hand sanitizer. They also go the ‘extra mile’ and dispense it to others hands-free.
The elderly are even using robots to stay in touch with family and friends.