How smart technology trends are changing our lives
The turn of the century kickstarted a technology revolution that we’re still riding. The proliferation of the smartphone and the internet has galvanized this obsession with development and investment in technology trends. Such is the relentless pace of our pursuit of better and faster, that innovations become outdated in a matter of weeks. One innovation that is here for the long haul is AI and with it, smart technology. These technology trends are changing the way we live, work and interact with one another.
What is smart technology?
It’s that which makes use of AI to enable a level of cognitive awareness. And it’s able to make decisions without human intervention. The technology employs machine learning and big data analysis to perform functions that have traditionally been done by humans. In doing so, it rapidly boosts the efficiency, productivity and functionality of almost anything it’s applied to.
How does it play out in the world?
The primary way in which this technology trend is changing lives is its ability to adapt using data. Armed with information, smart technology is able to pick up patterns and alter responses accordingly. It’s also able to analyze the data to determine whether there’s a faster, more efficient way to achieve the same result. One sustainable development company, for example, used data to promote the benefits of car sharing and more affordable transportation methods. The result was the gradual removal of 415,000 vehicles from the roads of America and a decrease in CO2 emissions of 16 million pounds.
The smart city
City planners and political leaders are also seeing the benefits of smart technology as it pertains to city living. Smart cities are being built on digital technology and device connectivity that enhances quality of life for the population. From a parking meter to a bicycle helmet, to a trash can or smart vehicle, anything can be turned into a smart device. And the information that’s gathered can be used to streamline processes, build infrastructure or focus investment on problematic areas.
Amsterdam is one such smart city. The Amsterdam Smart City initiative currently includes 79 projects across the city collaboratively developed by local residents, government and businesses. These projects are all connected through wireless devices and rely on the Internet of Things to communicate with one another. This interconnectivity works to reduce traffic, save energy and improve public safety. It’s also equipped a number of homes with smart energy meters, with incentives for those who actively reduce energy consumption.
Smart technology trends are also impacting healthcare. Think about the amount of data that this industry accumulates on a day-to-day basis: patient records, medical histories, images of ultrasounds, x-rays, pharmaceutical and therapy research data to name a few sources. In 2016, there were 213 million gigabytes of health-related data worldwide. That number is set to double every three months by 2020. It’s an exorbitant amount of data. And impossible for any human practitioner to get through in a lifetime. IBM’s Watson can sift through that data, connect the dots between relatable data and give practitioners a greatly reduced summary of relevant case information in as little as 30 seconds.
Smart technology for the home
Amsterdam homes aren’t the first homes to employ smart technology. Smart home systems put the control of basic home systems and appliances into the hands of the homeowner and provide remote access – like a smartphone app or a centralized unit within the house. It’s now possible to control things like room temperature, lighting and even security systems with the touch of a screen, the swipe of a finger or even the sound of your voice. This has obvious implications for energy saving and general efficiency. Forget whether you left the oven on? Simply check your phone and switch it off with a voice command.