As our lives continue to blend between the real world and cyberspace, technology has kept us connected to each other. We’ve come to rely on it for many reasons, for example playing live dealer games online requires stable host servers. These servers have to be impervious to infiltration, despite cybercrime being at an all-time high. 

Digital content creation has almost reached the point where an AI can write professional articles with flawless grammar and robots can already perform complete janitorial services in any field. There are countless more examples that demonstrate the incredible digital innovations we’ve had in recent years. 

Below we’ve put together a list of the top 7 technologies that are trending in 2021.

1. Automation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has the potential to streamline countless industries. For example, instead of making people perform manual labor, companies can maximize these resources and bypass associated costs and regulatory requirements.

Contrary to what many people assume, these automated processes mainly replace non-skilled labor, and subsequently provide the foundation for a skill-based society. In fact, RPA will create jobs and even introduce new ones, in the form of technicians, programmers, and maintenance workers.

2. Cloud gaming

Gaming is quite an expensive hobby these days. Compared to most other pastimes, the entry price for enjoying the latest graphics can be a bit steep, especially considering issues such as the raw materials shortage – a problem faced by many hardware production companies.

Nvidia, Google, and a number of gaming-related companies aim to remedy this situation with cloud-based gaming. Using products like Geforce Now and Stadia, instead of owning your own gaming PC (which can easily cost an arm and a leg), these companies provide a low-cost solution that bypasses the need for user-end processing power. Through a monthly subscription service, users gain access to high-end performance at a fraction of the cost.

Image credit: Unsplash

3. Cybersecurity

These days online banking and digital transactions are a norm for most people around the world. Companies require secure digital infrastructure to keep these financial systems going. Despite many advances in digital security, these systems are still vulnerable to various types of malware, spyware and viruses. One of the more recent cybercrimes causing trouble is known as ransomware.

Ransomware hijacks systems and infrastructure, locking accounts and system access the world over. In order to resolve a ransomware hack, cybercriminals force users to pay an ‘unlock’ fee. Companies are quickly coming to the realization that older systems are more vulnerable to breaches, and only the latest tech can keep profits safe from new-age pirates.

4. AI learning

Though AI technology isn’t a new field, it’s still quite young in terms of potential. We’ve all experienced AI in daily life, and it continues to grow in ubiquity as our digital world develops. From CAPTCHA verification to smartphone assistants, AI is already used in many facets of daily life.

Prediction models and self-learning are two of the latest developments in AI. The applications for these developments are significant, in both scale and purpose. Prediction models can be used for early warning systems, to help us monitor weather changes and foresee catastrophic events. Self-learning could automate services like healthcare, alleviating strain on human resources. Self-learning AI, also known as machine learning AI, is already beginning to dominate competitive video games.

5. Advanced computing

Cloud computing has become a standard technology in many industries. Whether you’re sharing a Google Doc or have a business Dropbox in place, cloud technology has increased our interconnectivity in many ways. As the next step in cloud computing evolution, edge computing is showing promise as an effective solution for the latency inherent to its predecessor.

Instead of businesses relying on international servers and overseas infrastructure, edge computing is all about geographical location. A business in South Africa for example would have improved response times if its servers were hosted in Africa, and not the US or Europe. Faster response time is always a good thing and improves all aspects of connectivity.

Image credit: Unsplash

6. Extended reality

Extended Reality (XR) is the umbrella term for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). For those unfamiliar, VR simulates a digital environment; AR superimposes digital elements on a real environment, and MR is a combination of both VR and AR.

XR is already being used in a wide range of industries. Flight simulators are helping pilots practice from the ground. VR has allowed surgeons to practice high-risk medical procedures. Even soldiers are using virtual battlefields. From health services to military training, early XR technologies are showing great promise as effective tools for specialist occupations.

7. Remote working

From students to office workers, remote working has become a necessity for many. Over the last few years, we’ve seen increased adoption of remote work and schooling. There are a number of benefits to this shift in our way of life. Remote working significantly reduces expenses like fuel for example and has even been shown to boost productivity.

It will be interesting to see where this technology takes us. With zero-touch devices entering the market, tech users are finding that there are viable alternatives to the real-world limitations we face today. Global lockdowns don’t affect these technologies negatively, and it will be interesting to see where this transformative tech takes us. Remote living definitely reduces the stress associated with the increased vigilance we’ve developed for daily social interaction, and less stress is always a benefit.