The early 20th century was all about science, when the most renowned names – Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Max Plank, Edwin Schrödinger, Neil Bohr, and others – were all scientists.
Fast forward 100 years to early 21st century and it all seems to be about technology where the most popular names are all tech entrepreneurs – Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jack Ma, and so on.
We are living in the era of entrepreneurship, and the growth of entrepreneurship produces new jobs and creates new opportunities to improve infrastructure for better quality of services and life; thus, is in the best interest of every country’s economic growth.
As a matter of fact, in past few years, many governments have launched initiatives to support entrepreneurship in their respective countries. While such initiatives are a very welcoming change, policymakers & entrepreneurs also need to be aware of the technologies that will create the most opportunities in future.
Here are 5 technologies that are currently piloting the growth of entrepreneurship and creating new industries altogether along the way.
What used to be science fiction a few decades ago, even a few years ago, has now turned into reality with the internet of things (IoT).
Smart refrigerators that know whenever you are running out of milk and order the usual quantity from nearby store; smart grills that let you know when your food is cooked the right amount; smart homes that turn on lights, AC, TV with your favorite channel just before you return from office; and so on.
There are thousands of ways in which the IoTs have made our lives easier, and there are thousands of more ways in which they still could. The sheer amount of opportunities this technology offers is also reflected in the fact that IoT startups funding is on constant rise. And it is estimated that the IoT sector will receive about $4.8 trillion in investment over the next 5 years.
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From portable to pocket-able and now to wearable, technology has taken giant leaps in recent decades to become an inseparable part of our life, or should we say ‘of our body’.
In past couple of years, there have been many incidences when wearable devices have saved people’s life (specifically, by alerting them of their abnormal heart rate). Besides healthcare monitoring, wearables are extensively used for safety & tracking purposes. But the most exciting uses of wearables appear when they are coupled with other emerging technologies like AR/VR & Neuroscience.
VR headsets are already commonplace (at least on the internet). Smart glasses are also on their way out of the research labs. And with Neuroscience, it seems like there’s a whole new dimension of wearable technology applications.
Today, there are various neurotechnology based wearable devices that help people reduce stress, improve memory, improve sleep, enhance cognitive abilities, control physical objects (only IoTs though), and so on. And for the most part, we have only begun; there is a whole new world of opportunities to explore in the field.
In 2001, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence gave us sneak peeks into the future of artificial intelligence & robotics. Now, 16 years later, we may not have reached the point where the movie’s plot was based (much to Elon Musk’s relief), but AI as a technology has gone through some major improvements.
Primarily based on machine learning, AI is already making our lives easier & exciting – whether it is through Tesla’s self-driving smart cars, Apple’s Siri, or through home assistants by Amazon, Google, & now Apple.
Besides these, AI is being extensively used for fraud detection, for personalizing shopping experience & customer support in the ecommerce sector, and so on.
The development in the AI arena, though, is actually driven by hundreds of startups, which are collectively exploring what we can do with this futuristic technology. And it is evident in the number of AI-based startups which had been acquired by tech giants in past few years (as shown in the chart below).
Source: CB Insights
AR & VR have been around for quite some time now, but in past couple of years, these technologies have significantly narrowed down the difference between the real & the virtual world.
VR games & movies are already transforming the entertainment industry. Use of AR by home décor retailers (online & offline), museums, etc. is also in quick adoption. And during Google’s May 2017 Keynote, we saw how AR can be helpful in day-to-day life through Google Lens. Moreover, a month later (June 2017), Apple also launched its ARKit that will make AR experiences mainstream by enabling it on every iOS 11 device (so people can turn their worktable into battlefields).
With iOS 11 already out, developers have started to explore the massive potential of the ARKit. And there’s no denying the fact, it will continue to persuade developers to create more innovative AR based apps, thus, create new startups; while also revolutionizing the whole smartphone experience in the process.
Tesla Motors is currently in the limelight for being on the verge of revolutionizing the transportation industry with better & affordable electric cars. However, an entirely different & probably even bigger transportation revolution is also in the happening – drones.
Today, drones are being extensively used for good deliveries across the globe. Its other applications include firefighting, search & rescue operations, agriculture, filming remote locations – all of which previously required helicopters/cranes and considerably more human efforts. Plus, in past few months, there also have been some rapid developments in the area of flying cars (such as EHANG 184) for personal transportation, which are essentially based on the drone technology.
Considering drone’s wide array of commercial applications, analysts have predicted its market will grow more than 5 times in next five years (from $5.2 billion in 2016 to $27.1 billion in 2021).
Besides commercial uses, drones are also popular among masses for leisure activities, especially photography. Being relatively affordable & easily accessible, drones qualify for everything a product needs for mass adoption.
The drones are coming, and entrepreneurs will leave no stone unturned to capitalize on this technology.
Many of the above mentioned technologies have already been around for a few years now, but for the most part, they are still in their nascent stage; therefore, far from being perfect. These imperfections, on their own, resonate of the bundle of opportunities these sectors have to offer to the current & the future generations of entrepreneurs.
So, it is imperative that entrepreneurs, as well as the governing authorities promoting the startup growth in their respective countries, pay heed to these areas of opportunities and start capitalizing on them.
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