Throughout all of history, from the information revolution, the digital revolution, the industrial revolution, the agricultural revolution and back even further, the edge in business was always gained by technological advances – from sharper sticks and rounder wheels to modern multicore processors and wireless broadband.
With the pace of technological growth ever increasing, a whole new set of devices look set to shift the way we do business.
Here, we take a look at four of the most revolutionary:
1. Wireless power
One of the oldest ‘new’ technologies, wireless electricity was first proposed and prototyped by legendarily eccentric genius Nikola Tesla all the way back at the turn of the century – it’s just that it’s taken the rest of us the better part of a hundred years for the rest of the world to catch up.
Now that the cost and scale of executing the physics involved are becoming cheaper and more accessible to the tech-heavy startups of the silicon age, transmitting electricity without the need to anchor yourselves to walls and cables.
This is especially useful for freewheeling creative companies, or those based on a large amount of communication and mobility, as it means the end of being chained to a desk, or searching a train for the one available socket.
2 Flexible Screens
The display technology OLED is already seeing use in mobiles, tablets and TVs, providing high-definition displays. The next step in the development of this display technology will allow us to do away with glass displays totally, with prototypes developed by companies such as Samsung boasting bright, shatterproof and totally flexible displays with HD capability.
Whilst a lot has been said about this technology in terms of its impact on entertainment and interior design, the business advantages to a lightweight flexible display are potentially huge – whether that means turning up to a pitch with an HD video screen neatly folded into your briefcase, or setting up ad-hoc conference calls without having to find a room with anything more than a router, a socket and a wall.
3. 3D printing
Long hailed as the next big revolution, 3D printing is still set to unleash its full potential on the world. At the moment the objects printed are generally small and the equipment to do so is expensive, but as the technology slowly grows we’re seeing more and more possibilities for intricate models and moving parts.
This means that soon, designers will be able to instantaneously swap and print out prototypes, not to mention have them ready for short notice pitches, conferences and meetings. This is in addition to opening up markets for small yet complex items that would otherwise take a lot of manufacturing time to be distributed globally by small firms, and not to mention being at some point able to 3D print your own stationary and office supplies.
4. Cloud Computing
Much like 3D printing, this is a technology that’s already around, but set to deliver way more in the future than it currently can. As connections get faster and memory capacities greater, running entire programs online and remotely will allow businesses to collaborate on media projects globally without the need to travel, and share large amounts of information.
So there are a few technologies that look set to shake up the way we operate as businesses.
Are there any others that we’ve missed, or do you know of any innovations on the horizon? If so, we’d love to know, so why not drop a comment?
About the Author: Ed Hitchman is a writer, blogger and no stranger to the innovations of the corporate world. He recommends Hardware.