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Flying cars and driverless vehicles have almost become a cliché of futurism since the early days of sci-fi. Today’s transport, however, reveals a cliché that is quickly proving itself to be true. With autonomous technology invading both our automotive and aerospace industries, accelerated by the demands of COVID, our transport is moving faster than we thought.

The importance of technology in education is becoming increasingly undeniable in schools around the globe. As the future steadily approaches us, today’s students and teachers simply cannot exclude digital literacy and technological competence from the skillset being learned. COVID has accelerated the integration of technology into schooling, as remote learning has required innovative solutions to everyday lessons.

Australia’s reform to its national assessment program, NAPLAN, to include digital literacy in its testing is a clear indication of the necessary advancements of education in keeping up with the times.[1] COVID has meant that learning these crucial digital skills has become a top priority and students and teachers alike will benefit from this long-term. Online learning, innovative technology and digital abilities as seemingly niche as coding, are now essential for students’ preparation for the future.

Last year threw a spanner in the works of human movement. While we were on an unwavering trajectory towards an urbanised and globalised world, widespread lockdowns sent us back to the confines of our homes, into the borders of our own countries and towards suburbs beyond the cities. With a new balance of working from home and at the office, and real estate booming beyond the major cities, we are seeing a version of our future emerging faster and more differently than we ever could have predicted. The notion of city living is expanding in its definition as are the innovations that are accompanying it.  

In previous generations, the role of technology in everyday life was clear, with each innovation finding a clear role in serving the interests of the individual. Not only was the role of technology clear, but its distinction from humans was clear. People used a computer when information was needed or used a phone when a call needed to made, but its role as a servant to the human was evident.

The notion of robots or technology overtaking us was the stuff of science fiction and had no real substantial basis in the real world. However, as our lives have increasingly centred themselves on our technology, these distinctions between human and robot, servant and master are becoming less and less clear.

We often think of emerging technology as the field of high-level businesspeople and Silicon Valley tech wizards. We don’t often see today’s innovations as being a tool for enhancing accessibility, increasing affordability and empowering equality.

However, recent developments have seen it do just this. Here are 3 fields in which technology is making everyday life more affordable and more accessible for the everyday consumer.

With vaccines emerging and a new year ushering in a renewed demand for some kind of back-to-normal routine, society’s return to work is front of mind for many professionals. However, having adjusted effectively to remote work, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment. Many businesses, leaders and workers are questioning whether returning to work is a viable decision and are rethinking how our new work life could look.

The moment we are in gives us the unique opportunity to abandon the costs and inefficient practices that have been forces of habit for decades and decide which parts of our work life are worth keeping.

The need for environmentally sustainable moves in business has been common knowledge for years. However, while many businesses have implemented changes and strategies to address this, many others have been held back by the need to maintain profits and ROI.

Along with lockdowns, shopping frenzies and social distancing, COVID has brought the technologies that we once reserved for years down the track right to our doorstep. While Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have slowly but surely been infiltrating our daily lives in recent years, COVID has accelerated this to an unprecedented extent.

Whatever the circumstance, one thing we can be sure of is that the future is coming. No matter the success of the standards and systems of the past, disruption is inevitable. Incidentally, it is in crises that the future often arrives. Think back to some of the biggest technological innovations of the past and you will find yourself in the greatest wars and struggles of history.

COVID is no different. The past few months have seen the future that we knew was awaiting us arrive far ahead of schedule bringing with it the innovations and solutions that we were promised in a decade.

It may sound like something out of a sci-fi film, but technology firm Promethean recently trialled the use of an interactive hologram teacher in a London classroom. Known as a ‘HumaGram’ this holographic educator is touted as being highly interactive and extraordinarily lifelike.[1]

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