Technology Trends Worth Watching at in the COVID—19 Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic proves how important is technology in a world that abruptly got pushed into demands for digital payments, working from home, robotics, and telemedicine.
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” an old English proverb that explains how the primary driving force for creating new things is a need. Tech helps to reduce the spread of the disease while the workforce remains open in the middle of a global recession. Humans have always lived better through technology.
Technological trends play a fundamental role as they keep societies moving in the middle of quarantine lockdowns since no one knows when the pandemic will slow down and eventually cease, tech —now more than ever— has a long-lasting impact beyond the present.
This list compiles in brief manner tech trends that help societies to keep working; it also considers their effects on economics, how we trade, produce, learn, entertain ourselves, and seek medical advice.
Robotics & Drones
COVID—19 made humans realize the importance of and reliance on human interactions to make things work. Businesses that are labor-intensive such as manufacture, retail, logistics, and food, got the worse impact of the lockdown.
In response, developers provide a strong push to roll out the use of robotics and research on that niche, countries use robots to surveil and enforce lockdowns, disinfect areas, and the delivery of goods to those staying at home.
The pandemic severely hits countries that rely on low-cost labor and the most vibrant high-tech economies are also the most intensively automated nations. Robotics isn’t just physical hardware, as it also requires the sophistication of the software.
There’s a sharp criticism of the use of drones —as they replace human labor. And at the same time, provide new jobs for those in the private robotics sector— and new policies take place to provide training and social welfare to the labor force as the transition towards automatization takes place.
The previous respiratory disease outbreak of 2002 paved the way for the growth of online businesses. Business-to-consumer and business-to-business are segments that the COVID—19 pandemic shaped from superfluous novelties to necessities around the world. From online happy hours in bars to hashtag-driven sales of hardware, online shopping needs the support of a robust logistics system.
The possibility of contagion severely hampers In-person delivery, and many delivery companies throughout the world chose a model where goods get mobilized at a particular location instead of being delivered directly to a doorstep.
The social distancing aspect led to e-commerce giants in China to ramp up their development of robot delivery systems. However, the delivery companies need to set up a group of dynamics and protocols to guarantee the condition of the delivered goods.
Contactless & Digital Payment Methods
Real money is a delivery vehicle for the virus, causing the pandemic. That fact led countries to implement several measures to ensure that bills and coins are clean before they start circulating in the economy. With contactless digital payments —such as cards and e-wallets—,, consumers can pay for goods, services, and utilities.
An estimation by the World Bank states that about 1.7 billion people are not in the banking system and have problems accessing digital payments quickly. While the push and availability for these methods of payment are positive, these instruments rely on internet availability, networks to convert cash into digital format and devices to conduct these operations.
The COVID—19 pandemic creates disruptions to global supply chains. As the implementation of social distancing takes place, factories and businesses shut down while the demand for food, goods, and personal protective equipment is in soaring increase.
Technologies like cloud computing, blockchain, big data, and the Internet-of-Things are contributing to a supply chain management system that improves constantly
All the countries in the world implemented the shut down of schools and universities. Educational institutions began to offer courses online to ensure that the quarantine didn’t disrupt education. The technology involved in distance learning is similar to that of remote work, and it encompasses —but not limited to— Virtual & Augmented reality, 3D printing, and Artificial Intelligence teaching.
The main concern with distance learning is the possibility that technology can create a divide in regards to income level and digital readiness. Distance learning puts economic pressure on parents that need to stay at home to watch their children, facing a decrease in work productivity.
COVID—19 proves the cardinal importance of digital readiness. This factor enables businesses and life to continue as usual. At the same time, social distancing measures are implemented as the world constructs the required infrastructure to support a digital world that can stay current in the latest technology in a post-COVID —19 environment.
Millions of people have lost their jobs due to COVID—19. The financial burden falls into the most vulnerable persons in societies. As digitization continues and the pandemic unfolds, the labor market has changed dramatically. How tech mitigates the impact on the larger workforce is a fundamental issue in all industries that deserves attention to a human-centered solution.
Online Entertainment & Streaming Services
Social distancing forces people to stay at home while reducing in-person interactions. As people remain at home, they need to find activities to do, and human creativity flourished in the internet age of confinement. Audiences have turned their attention to online streaming, virtual visits of museums, raves, orchestra concerts, and gaming surged during this outbreak.
Telemedicine is an effective way to contain the spread of COVID—19 because it provides essential primary care. From fitness trackers to computerized chats can make initial diagnoses following the symptoms and information provided by patients. In countries where the cost of medicine is high, telemedicine becomes a fundamental issue where insurance coverage is a recurring topic.
Telemedicine requires tech literacy to function as well as an adequate internet connection properly. Medical services are the most regulated of quotidian businesses. Doctors are only able to provide medical care to patients that live in the same jurisdiction. And regulations were not written while taking into consideration the present dispensation.
Not all jobs can be done from home, a disparity that becomes evident in the case of police services, some aspects of manufacture, and healthcare.
Many companies asked their employees to work from home. A practice enabled by technologies like virtual private networks, work collaboration tools, facial recognition, voice-over-internet protocols, virtual meetings, and cloud tech would allow people to conduct their businesses; while preserving the privacy of their homes and preventing the spread of the virus.
Working from home saves commuting times, provides hour flexibility while imposing challenges to workers and employers.
Fundamental issues such as internet security, tech support, privacy and labor law, and income tax issues surface when businesses tell their employees to work from home.
Some employees feel lonely and report losing work and life balance.
If the practice of working from home becomes a commonality, employers might decide to reduce costs by hiring people from other regions where the labor is cheaper in comparison.
As with all regarding tech, trends are variable, and what trends today might not be the case the following week, month, or year. So keep in touch with us as we bring you the latest on our website regarding these topics.