Remember a few years ago when Big Data first became a big thing? Then along came the Internet of Things (IoT) and blew everyone away. And nowadays Artificial Intelligence has literally taken over the world (well not quite literally, yet).
In today’s era of technological innovation, new breakthroughs are being made every day, and with these new innovations come a plethora of new technical terms for us to keep track of.
Here are 5 new tech terms you should expect to hear all about this year:
We’re all aware of the Googolplex – the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros made famous by search engine Google – but the soon to be famous zettabyte (ZB) is equally as unfathomable.
Thanks in large to the rise in smartphone technology and cloud-based software, the sheer volume of data the world is now consuming and producing is almost immeasurable – but if you were to measure it, very soon it would be in zettabytes.
A zettabyte consists of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of data, and according to Cisco, annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 ZB per year by the year 2021 (which accounts to 278 Exabytes (EB) per month).
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
While it might not be diagnosing life-threatening illnesses or identifying extremist content on social media like its cooler AI counterpart, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the software that automates the often repetitive tasks people don’t want to do. And according to Gartner, the RPA market is set to achieve $1 billion in the next two years.
From generating automatic email responses to processing transactions or configuring software for business processes, there’s huge potential for organisations to employ RPA software. For instance, American Express Global Business Travel currently uses RPA to automate refunds for cancelled airline tickets.
We use our smartphones all the time, yet we all know there are a few select places where they should remain in our pockets – in the cinema, for instance, or during an exam, or on a first date (hopefully), and the most obvious of all, on an airplane.
But new light-based technology will soon make it possible for us to not only use our phones on aircrafts, but even connect to the internet during take-off and landing by using overhead LED bulbs that turn off and on millions of times every second (it’s so fast, it is undetectable to the human eye).
With the ability to send data 100x faster than traditional wi-fi, Airbus has already been working on installing li-fi technology on its aircrafts, and li-fi capabilities appear in the code of Apple’s latest iOS operating system, suggesting the technology could become hardwired into devices in the future.
Quantum computing has the ability to solve much more complex problems than classical electronic computers can. By utilising quantum bits (qubits) instead of binary digits (bits), the data doesn’t have to be limited to two defined states (0 or 1) any more, making quantum computing much more flexible by allowing computations to be performed in parallel.
Scientists have been researching in this field for decades, and we are still a few years away before quantum computing becomes mainstream, but there have been a number of significant breakthroughs in cryptography, forecasting, aviation, as well as data analysis and interpretation.
When 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) first came on the scene a few years back, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Nowadays, this new 3D printing technology has been used to print all different types of things, from plastic, to food, to human tissue and even metal.
The next item on the horizon for 3D printing in 2019 is what is referred to as Autonomous Architecture – robots that can print entire buildings, and build walls with numerous layers, within a matter of hours.
In our age of widespread digital disruption and transformation, we live in a truly exciting time and while we may have to try and wrap our heads around a whole new set of technical terms, the innovations we’re seeing take place are worth it.