By Liam Quinn, Sr. Vice President, Sr. Fellow, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies
Dell Technologies has always believed in the transformative impact technology can have on our lives. However, often overlooked is a core tenant of why technology is such a powerful driver of human progress: its ability to connect us in more meaningful and immersive ways to our environments, our cities, and most importantly, one another, the interconnection between humans, machines and elements of the physical world around us.
Over the next decade major innovations will emerge to change our cities, our homes, how we work and play, and how we connect with our fellow humans. To better understand the technological shifts that will take place we’ve been partnering with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) to examine what the world will look like in 2030.
In April we released the first installment in this three-part series exploring the future of the economy, and in July we released the penultimate installment looking at the future of work. Today we’re unveiling the third and final installment – The Future of Connected Living. What we discovered is a world on the verge of profound change, driven by a confluence of emerging technologies such as edge computing, 5G, AI, Extended Reality (XR) and IOT.
Forecasting the Future of Connected Living
As our lives become increasingly connected with the digital and physical world, IFTF and our experts believe five shifts will revolutionize our daily lives:
1 | Networked Reality: Over the next decade, the line between the virtual and the real will vanish. Cyberspace will become an overlay on top of our existing reality as our digital environment extends beyond televisions, smartphones, and other displays.
2 | Connected Mobility and Networked Matter: The vehicles of tomorrow will essentially be mobile computing data centers, traversing the arteries of our digital cities. We will ride inside these mobile data centers, trusting them to take us where we need to go in the physical world as we work and interact in the virtual spaces available to us wherever we are.
3 | From Digital Cities to Sentient Cities: Through the confluence of emerging technologies and an expansive system of links between humans, machines, and everyday objects will emerge. New data about how we engage with our infrastructure will inform resource allocation and increase sustainability. Cities will quite literally come to life through their own networked infrastructure of smart objects, self-reporting systems, and AI-powered analytics.
4 | Agents and Algorithms: By 2030, we will each be supported by a highly personalized “operating system for living” that is able to anticipate our needs and proactively support our day to day activities to free up time. Imagine a world where rather than you having to interact with multiple apps, intelligent agents will understand what you need— from a night out on the town to a new deck on your house.
5| Robot with Social Lives: Lastly, by 2030 personal robots will finally be ready for primetime. They’ll emerge from factories and laboratories to become our partners in life – enhancing our skills and extending our abilities. Robots will share newfound knowledge to their “social robot network” to crowdsource innovations and accelerate progress.
The significance of these imminent shifts isn’t lost on businesses today. In a survey by Vanson Bourne of 4600 business leaders across 40+ countries, 56% said they would welcome people being fitted with technology that controls computers with their mind (brain computer interfaces). Additionally, an equal amount of business leaders said they would welcome day-to-day immersion in virtual and augmented realities.
The Data-Driven Decade
At the core of these emerging and transformative technology trends is the common currency called data. Organizations that wish to harness the power of the new emerging technologies will need to take steps to effectively collect, process, store, analyze, manage and remediate data to keep pace with rate of rapid innovation.
We’re already hard at work with customers and partners, helping them utilize data to help bring about the connected future. A prime example is the work of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). To make Dubai the smartest city in the world, it requires IoT technologies to connect solar energy to houses and building, smart applications that use smart meters and grids that contribute to fast-service connection as well as predictive analytics for fast response, and for proper energy use rationing.
Preparing for the Future
While today’s emerging technology promises a bright future, there will undoubtedly be challenges to overcome if we are to realize their full potential. Concerns around the fairness of algorithms must be addressed, as will issues relating to privacy, security and ownership, and how governments and organizations collect and share data. Organizations are already working to tackle these issues. For instance, 74% of business leaders surveyed by Vanson Bourne said that they consider data privacy to be a top societal-scale challenge that must be solved.
I hope you’ll read the full report to discover how you can prepare for the connected future – one that’s more efficient, sustainable and livable for us all.