Sometimes, innovation doesn’t come in the form of a new, flashy piece of technology, but instead as a novel adaptation to something that has been in the market for ages.
Both companies and consumers have recently focused on long-since forgotten devices and digital tools, leading to some pretty unique inventions in the world of technology. Although 2021 isn’t over just yet, the year has already produced some rapid-fire technological evolution.
MIT Tech Tracker: Letting data tell the story
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Real Estate Innovation Lab (REIL) has taken social listening to the next level with their latest innovation, the MIT Tech Tracker.
The Tech Tracker leverages real-time data and advanced machine-learning algorithms to understand and simplify the ever-changing world of technology by looking for trends and patterns in user behaviors. The tracker leverages the concept of social listening, a process used by brands to gauge consumer interest, providing its findings to any user interested rather than keeping it behind closed doors.
“We wanted to break through the noise and hype to analyze the path of technologies — from when they’re a kernel of an idea in an inventor’s brain to when they’re commonplace in the marketplace,” explained Dr. Andrea Chegut when asked by Facility Executive. “The Tech Tracker does that and more by replacing gut feelings about what’s ‘hot’ with actual data and machine-learning algorithms.”
So far, the tech tracker has identified 5G, virtual reality and the Internet of Things as the commanding forces of technological innovation for the month of September.
Wearable tech: A longtime industry sees new growth
Look down at your wrist — are you wearing a smartwatch? If the answer is yes, you’re far from alone.
CCS Insight found in a recent study that the market for this wearable technology has exploded amid the health scares of the past year and a half, with the market on track to nearly double in size by 2025. Reportedly, respondents are mostly leveraging the tech for data on fitness, health and wellbeing. Falling behind, however, is consumer interest in contactless payment and integration with smart home technology.
So what’s the only obstacle for this booming sector? According to one CCS Insight expert: Price.
“In our survey, we found that price continues to act as a real deterrent against the adoption of smartwatches with 4G LTE connectivity. Respondents told us that unless these devices come down in price, or simply cost the same as non-connected watches, they are just not that interested,” said Leo Gebbie.
While some consumers remain wary of the price of this technology, increasingly, the retail sector is beginning to experiment with the potential to leverage wearable devices as an extension of the customer experience.
NFTs: Corporations are entering the digital fray
Cryptocurrency first came on the scene over ten years ago. Since that very first bitcoin was mined in 2009, the sector has only continued to expand. Within that growth, the non-fungible token (NFT) space may just be one of the most popular — and confusing — aspects of the cryptocurrency world for the uninitiated.
From appearing as skits on popular late-night shows to having a newfound influence on the world of art, these digital tokens can be compared to one-of-kind baseball cards … if the value of those cards were hovering at prices as high as millions. While NFTs initially found their grounding in memes and viral videos from the early 2000s, now, the cryptocurrency even includes an original Banksy piece, a tweet made by Twitter’s CEO and the digital recreation of a popular artist’s wardrobe.
At the end of August, it became apparent that cryptocurrency was rapidly entering the mainstream as more companies began selling their own NFTs. As reported by Cointelegraph, Visa changed the corporate relationship to NFTs after announcing it had purchased Crypto Punk #7610 for 49.50 Ether (ETH) — about $149,939 at the time of writing.
As Visa’s crypto chief Cuy Sheffield explained, the company’s goal is to help clients and other companies participate in trading NFTs by getting “… a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.”
Although other companies have created and sold their own NFTs, by purchasing an already existing token Visa has significantly changed how consumers and other corporations view the growing form of cryptocurrency.
Stay ahead of technology with Faronics
If one thing’s for certain, as we enter the last few months of 2021, it’s clear that technology will only continue to evolve at a rapid pace.
In the ever-changing world of technology, it can quickly become difficult to try and keep up with what’s new and now. Stay up to date with these technology trends and others influencing the industry by keeping up with our blog at Faronics.