By Sanjay Gupta, VP and India Country Manager, NXP Semiconductors
As the world is accepting to live the ‘new normal’ caused by the sudden outbreak of Covid19 pandemic, technology around us is going to change in ways more than one. While technology itself has been continuously evolving since ever, the Covid19 pandemic is going to leave a lasting impression on this evolution as well. The pandemic is going to change how we do business, how we trade, how we work, how we produce goods, how we learn, how we seek medical services and how we entertain ourselves; and technology will hold the answer to these questions. We will see a contact-less society emerge post Covid19, which will transform the way we interact, ensuring minimal human intervention. We will see a greater focus on the evolution and rapid adoption of new-age technologies in both our professional as well as personal lives, as innovations based on disruptive technologies will assist in social distancing and maintaining hygienic practices.
From online shopping to e-learning, from contactless payments to a greater usage of drones and robots for surveillance and deliveries, we are going to witness a transformation like never before. Automation is going to find a wider acceptance and much needed investments. Technologies and businesses around autonomous vehicles, autonomous warehouses, robotics, drone-delivery systems, and 3D-enabled manufacturing are going to be in the fast lane to adoption.
Here are 5 key technology trends we are going to witness in the post Covid19 world:
- E-commerce and Robot Deliveries
COVID-19 has transformed online shopping from a good-to-have to a must-have around the world. But ecommerce needs to be supported by a robust logistics system. Since deliveries by humans are not virus-proof, many delivery companies and restaurants in the US and China are attempting robot deliveries. However, before robot delivery services become prevalent, delivery companies need to establish clear protocols to safeguard the sanitary condition of delivered goods. As per KPMG, more than 82 per cent of consumers intend to buy from brands which have taken measures to improve their product and supply chain hygiene.
- Digital and Contactless Payments
Since currency bills carry a risk of virus transmission, contactless digital payments, either in the form of cards or e-wallets will become the norm so as to avoid the spread of COVID-19.As per Statista estimate, total transactions through digital payments will reach US$4,769,370m in the year 2020 that is a growth of 15% YoY. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst in the growth of digital payments. In India, though the digital payment transactions dropped by 30% in the first month of the pandemic owing to lockdown, but industries where transaction were happening like utilities, online donations and entertainment witnessed increase in the number of digital payments.
- Robots and drones
This pandemic has provided a strong push to adoption of robots and drones in multiple areas. From drones being used to disinfect areas to robots providing food and medicines to patients, we are already seeing it all!
Telehealth has emerged as an effective tool in fight against COVID-19. While wearable IoT-enabled devices can track vital signs, teleconsultations can make initial diagnoses based on symptoms identified by patients, providing essential primary care.
- Virtual gyms & Wellness centres
COVID-19 has created a new market for virtual gyms and wellness centres almost overnight with multiple websites and apps being launched to replace physical gym coach and yoga instructors. These apps are using advanced technologies for doing real-time physical exercises with your new “virtual” friends and tracking your physical exercises using camera technologies. This new business is posed for a steep growth in times to come in this new world.
Due to the lockdowns imposed in large parts of the world, many organizations have asked employees to work from home. Backed by technologies like VPNs, VoIP, virtual meetings, cloud technology, work collaboration tools and even facial recognition technologies, work-from-home has indeed started emerging as a more productive model for many businesses. Besides, working from home also saves commute time and provides more flexibility to employees. However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach here due to varying nature of business of organizations across the globe.
We will also see a greater adoption of deep-tech solutions based on Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality enabling work-from-home, distance learning, home-based fitness and immersive entertainment making it a part of the new normal. However, along with it will come a greater scrutiny around aspects like cyber-security, privacy, and data localization, and it is expected that we will see a greater redressal of these concerns as well.
Being one of the fastest growing economies, India has the most unique offering – its young and talented workforce. And this workforce will hold the key to these innovations for a smarter world ahead. We need to understand that Covid19 is not in itself inventing this new world, however, it is the catalyst that is fast bringing the new order to the forefront. As people will switch towards digital/online interfaces for every service possible in the post Covid19 era, we at NXP will be right there, enabling that ecosystem by establishing secure connections for a smarter world.