Drinking from the Tech Firehose

Drinking from the Tech Firehose

-Consumer Tech Trends Impacting Enterprise Learning

By Catherine Upton

If you haven’t recovered from the tech hangover at the Consumer Technology Show, get ready. The rapid pace of development is like drinking from a firehose. What does this mean to those of us working to keep up with all our tasks with an eye to how to do it better? Our editors have provided some insights and implications for enterprise learning.

The State of Data

In 2000, we entered the Digital Age- death to analog devices. This one trend changed the language of our future to digital. Digital devices proliferated and permeated all aspects of our lives. Even young children are bonded to their parent’s iPads.


Source: CTA.tech

With digital proliferation, came connection. In 2010, the Connected Age was born. We use our devices to connect with individuals and communities, content and work. Facebook, and the like, changed the way we socialize, date and even marry. Streaming services like Netflix are smart and predictive.  Now, our digital devices, communities and cars are interconnected.

This digital transformation created a digital footprint of all things we do, like, buy, sell and more. This data is aggregated and consumed by machines and fuels AI applications. We are entering the Data Age 2020.

[“The new Internet of Things is the ‘Intelligence of Things,” –Steve Koenig, VP of Research, Consumer Technology Association]


Future Technology Ingredients

This next stage of technology is emerging in today’s consumer technologies. Voice Computing, 5G, AI, Robotics, Biometrics, and Blockchain are the ingredients for the next generation of technology. We see Digital Assistants with voice activation prevalent in most consumer devices. The voice interface will be the interface of the future- no more typing.  AR/VR, Digital Health, and Vehicle Technologies and Resilient Technologies are here today.

[“We spent the last 30 years connecting people. We will spend the next 30 years connecting things,”–Brian Modoff, EVP, Qualcomm]


Source: CTA.tech

5G Development

The development of 5G networks will allow overwhelmingly fast transfer of data. Large videos will download in seconds versus minutes. Problems will be solved in seconds with massive data searches and AI interfaces. 5G phones and fixed wireless broadband will be accessible from most major cities by the end of this decade. 5G will connect our cars, homes, appliances and work life.



The Intelligence of Things

Digital Assistants, embedded AI and smart Machine-Learning place intelligence in our environments. It delegates our simple tasks to automation. No more shopping lists as Alexa will know what’s missing in our refrigerator. Apply this to the workplace, and Alexa-like digital assistants will find missing information, assist our decision-making and in many cases, do mundane repetitive tasks so we can create and solve. AI- embedded chips are on our phones that learn, “Say Hello Siri.” Associate our behaviors into one stream vs many singular activities, “Joe’s calling.”


Source: CTA.tech

Voice assistants will be everywhere. Alexa, or the like, are in our cars, appliances and workplace tools. Support for AI services, deliverables and tools will determine the winners and losers in the marketplace. Voice will be the interface going forward…less carpel tunnel syndrome in our future.


We are so early in the AI game. Yet, Alexa already has 60,000 skill lessons across 20,000 different platforms. Imagine where we’ll be in 5 years. Almost all repetitive training will be conducted by digital aides. (See article on AI-based learning by Sam Adkins.)


Source: CTA.tech


A truly 3D immersive environment is possible with Virtual Reality (VR). With VR, we can now expand our reality to the stars to “explore where no man has gone before.”  TESLA has developed a VR suit, TESLASUIT, where you can be transformed and enter any VR environment. The full-body haptic feedback, motion capture, thermo controlled suit reinvents virtual reality. We have moved from VR glasses to VR presence.


Pictured: TESLASUIT by TESLA Source: CTA.tech

Japan is expanding the VR experience to with VRZone, a VR amusement park. Players literally come into the zone and plug in. Imagine using this application to create an ERZone, MarsZone or SeasZone for study and exploration. Training can become immersive with programs like OilRigZone for fire safety training, etc.


Source: CTA.tech

Augmented Reality (AR) Expands Boundaries

AR has moved off your phone to other devices. Like VR, AR now has headsets, glasses and mirrors that can place you in an AR environment, show you a new haircut or try on a virtual dress.   Today, we see AR in used in mapping, shopping, in sporting events- See that yellow line in NFL games? Museums are leveraging AR to augment content and create visualize experiences like life as an Egyptian in 6000 BC.


Source: CTA.tech

Digital Health Promotes Behavior Change

Digital devices have given us insights into how simple activities like walking 10,000 steps a day can save a life. Today, Apple has the largest health history archives in the USA thanks to the Apple Watch.


Pictured: Digital Health Applications: Diagnostics, Health Watch, Sleep Monitors Source: CTA.tech

Imagine if these same techniques were used in the workplace. By wearing smart sensing technologies, workers in hazardous jobs could alter course when gases are detected. Truck drivers who are overly fatigued could be rested. The underlying technology and software for all these practices are being honed in the consumer market. Those high value industries will be the next to test, deploy and benefit from these developments.


The pace of change will continue to accelerate over the next 5 years. AI, AR/VR and many new innovations will enable and empower us as consumer and workers. We are moving from the horse and buggy era to a supersonic jet in years versus decades. Hold on tight to that firehose.

Source: “CES 2019 Tech Trends” by Steve Koenig, VP, Market Research, Ben Arnold, Sr. Director, Innovation & Trends & Lesley Rohrbaugh, Director, Market Research. Download PPT at: https://www.slideshare.net/intlces/ces-2019-tech-trends?

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