It’s hard to imagine our lives without the constant connectivity of our smartphones, and yet just a few years ago we lived in such a world. What about the cloud and GPS? Can you imagine a week of your life without using these information technology tools? In a few short years, we will be saying the same thing about today’s emerging technologies that, for the moment, seem surreal and intangible and yet will soon be taken for granted aspects of our daily lives. Did you ever think you would be on the brink of robotics applications in industries across the board, or virtual reality for that matter? These are just a few of the emerging trends in information technology to keep your eye as their will inevitably be applications for them in your business, even if you can’t imagine how right now.
Emerging Information Technology Trends for 2016
Internet of Things
The device mesh phenomenon is born of the fact that we are now a mobile world, with each person carrying somewhere between 3 and 5 mobile devices, according to the latest figures. While these devices are connected to the internet, they aren’t always connected to each other and this is what we will see the change in years to come. Soon the Internet of Things will emerge in the mainstream and bring us a world where our increasing number of mobile devices and tools from phones, tablets, and watches will all be connected to each other through secure cloud platforms.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are also on the brink of a breakthrough. PlayStationVR, to be released this fall, is just the gaming side of this experience. We will begin to see virtual realities emerge in all aspects of the industry from design to safety and already exists in the application of tools like GIS software that allows you to create in-depth visualizations of the future. Augmented reality, which consists of overlaying digital information in the real time world, is another area in which ArcGIS is already being leveraged.
Everything is Data
With more and varied connected devices, as well as new machines that can perform tasks and collect data autonomously, we will soon begin to see forms of information that never existed before. Big data infrastructures will continue to expand, and new streams of information will demand not only new analytical tools but entirely new business models based on services more than tools.
Machine Learning and Autonomy
Machines are only getting smarter. Not only are they capable of performing monotonous tasks, allowing humans to focus on more skilled labor, but they are also growing in their ability to learn things on their own and communicate with each other. As part of the Internet of Things, we will begin to see machines playing more of role in our daily lives, whether it’s robotic arms in logistics, AGVs, or drones.
Information technology will never cease to change and therefore continue to surprise us as it becomes all the more integrated into every aspect of our lives. Businesses can’t afford to neglect these emerging trends and how they might be applied in your unique circumstances. ArcGIS users are poised to take advantage of all of these trends already. If you want to learn more about how that is possible and how to plan for the future, give ROK a call for our mapping expertise.