Disruptive technologies

The following are examples of disrutive technologies

a) Mobile internet, ubiquitous access to the internet through a mobile device. This could lead to applications enabling more efficient delivery of services and workforce productivity

b) Automation of knowledge work, automation of knowledge worker tasks through advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural user interfaces. This could lead to some types of knowledge worker tasks and jobs could become fully automated.

c) Internet of things, embedding sensors and actuators in physical objects to bring them into the connected world. This could lead to improvement of health of patients with chronic illness through remote monitoring.

d) Cloud technology, computer service delivered over the internet with minimal or no local software or processing power required. This is leading to a reduction of IT costs for companies and governments. New business models including all types of pay-as-you-go service models.

e) Advanced robotics, Advanced robots with enhanced senses, dexterity and intelligence, thanks to advancement in machine vision, artificial intelligence, sensors and actuators. This could lead to substitute robots for human beings in a growing number of service jobs such as cleaning, maintenance and driving.

f) Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles, cars, trucks, aircraft, and boats that are completely or partly autonomous (e.g. from drone aircraft to Google’s self-driving car). This could lead to an impact on safety, CO2 emissions, more leisure time for drivers, and productivity in the trucking sector.

g) Next-generation genomics, advances in the science of sequencing and modifying genetic material with the latest big data analytics capabilities. This could have a profound impact on medicine, agriculture and production of substances such as biofuels.

h) Energy storage, batteries and other systems that store energy for later use. In developing countries, battery/solar systems have the possibility to bring power to remote and abandoned places.

i) 3D printing, additive manufacturing process that builds layers to create a 3D solid object from a digital model. This allows people to create objects that are difficult to produce with traditional techniques.

j) Advanced materials, materials with incredible attributes e.g. synthetic skin, new composites, nanoconcrete, transparent solar cells, graphene. Graphene and carbon nanotubes could help create new types of displays, more efficient batteries, biomedical devices, composites….

k) Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery, the ability to extract so-called unconventional oil and gas reserves from shale rock formations. This technology could significantly increase the availability of fossil fuels for decades and produce an immediate boom for energy-intensive industries.

l) Renewable energy. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro-electric and ocean wave hold the promise of an endless source of power without stripping resources. These sources are being adopted at scale in advanced economies.

A further disruptive technology deserves special mention: blockchain. This technology has recently emerged and experts expect a high impact on business and economy.

Source: “Disruptive technologies advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy” by McKinsey Global Institute, May 2013.

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