Looking at how technology has positively impacted our lives during an uncertain situation
The coronavirus has been spreading across the world, forcing many countries to lockdown borders and their country.
With this unique situation, technology has helped us overcome barriers and digitally transform our lives.
China has especially had to enforce strict measures, and with this, it has pushed forward new technologies that have forever changed the landscape.
But what happens after the coronavirus ends?
Many are talking about the current situation, but what happens to technology after everything clears, and people leave their quarantine zones and vaccines are successful in being spread worldwide.
In an uncertain situation, this article helps look at the positive as we explore technology trends that have emerged during the COVID-19 case and are potentially here to stay.
1. The Use of Virtual Experiences
With social distancing a requirement for many countries, many services have closed their doors, including museums, art galleries as well as gyms and fitness studios.
Most of us will now be at home, spending our time in front of our electronic devices, looking for ways to entertain ourselves.
Although nothing could replace going into a studio to sweat it out or exploring a museum of its wonders, this technology has since made a significant impact on our lives.
Some museums have already created digitized experiences, especially for those who cannot make it to exhibitions across the world.
Here are some awesome examples:
- British Museum: London — explore an interactive timeline of the world: https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
- African American History and Culture — this gives a view of what the museum offers: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/national-museum-african-american-history-and-culture-interactive-museum-tour/
- National Gallery Victoria Melbourne — A 6-year digitization project with more than 75000 works: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/virtual-tours/
This trend has also shifted to games as well.
Games like Assassin’s Creed have released updates where gamers can explore Ancient Egypt and its sites with a guided tour.
Even events have gone online
Many enterprises like Adobe have used virtual events as a way to engage audiences online rather than hosting events at the current time.
Physical events can cost millions for the host, and by virtualizing functions, it can help reduce costs as well as have a greater reach to people.
With COVID-19, many of these services have started to transform early digitally, and it is expected to see this trend post-coronavirus as well.
2. Rise of Healthcare AI
Artificial Intelligence has been around for a while and only has recently made it to more mainstream uses. The more common use cases have been around voice AI assistants like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and more.
What many might not realize was that the early detection signs of COVID-19 were discovered through multiple AI startups across the world. Through tracking a vast amount of data and keywords, they were able to find patterns that indicated early detection signs of a virus breaking out.
Post-coronavirus, we will potentially see more attention focused on healthcare or science AI startups, especially ones that can assist for future pandemics.
What’s impressive is the potential that AI can be used not only around data sourcing and scraping but also diagnosis software.
Startups like Nanox, which is a mobile digital X-ray system, utilizes AI-based software to help diagnose infections. The plan is to install these in public places such as airports or train stations so early detection of medical conditions can be discovered.
3. Centralization of Retail and Food Distribution
We all know that hospitality has been struck in recent times. With as many as 75% of all restaurants in New York shutting down from the COVID-19 situation, it has spurred an interesting scenario.
Although delivery has played a pivotal role in getting food to consumers (with apps like Grubhub, Ubereats, and more), some innovation has come out during COVID-19. These are some exciting trends we might see more of even after the coronavirus situation has subsided.
Contactless Delivery / Driverless Deliveries
Delivery has seen a significant increase, with the industry growing 300% faster than your classic dine-in options.
Companies like Meituan in China, as well as Ubereats, have implemented more contactless delivery options, especially in infected areas. This is to ensure not only the safe delivery of the food but also drivers.
In the future, this might continue to be an option, with deliveries potentially becoming more efficient through this method.
Even better are autonomous vehicles designed to deliver food from the store to the house. Dominos is already playing with the idea with their “DOM” unit, and China has already been experimenting with this technology within their market.
Although not necessarily a technology change, the use of “ghost” kitchens will become even more prevalent.
But what is a ghost kitchen?
A ghost kitchen is where virtual brands are produced without a brick and mortar location. These are necessary facilities equipped to create a variety of foods with lower overhead costs than having a dine-in option.
This means Mexican, Chinese, and Western foods could all come out of the same kitchen under different brands.
With the growth of food delivery, especially during the COVID-19 situation, these services will foreseeably increase for obvious cost reasons.
4. More Mobile Workforces
I am not going to lie.
I always thought to work from home was unproductive.
With so many distractions like Netflix, food, kids, and more, it can be an environment, when not managed well, could eat into your productivity.
But with the COVID-19 situation, many workers are now forced to work remotely, which raises the question, can a large mobile force be feasible?
If it is successful for individual companies, this might open up remote working as a viable option for employees. This could mean better employee morale but also reduce overhead costs for the business.
I have many friends who were not allowed to remote work, and now their employers are considering it as an option down the line.
In my opinion, this will continue to become a significant focal point for all companies throughout the world.
5. Tracking Applications
With lockdowns enforced in certain countries, some are taking more extreme measures to track those who are at risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.
Although some countries are asking for its citizens to download specific applications to track movement voluntarily, others are looking to enforce it.
Countries like Russia and China are forcing citizens who are diagnosed with coronavirus to download applications to keep track of locations.
There have been other applications created to help track hotspots in neighborhoods and proactively provide notifications, indicating possible chances of you being in contact with someone infected.
With many of these types of applications becoming much more popular recently, this trend may continue onto other things after the coronavirus, including safety and neighborhood threats and more (Like Ring’s Neighborhood App).
Although the pandemic has caused widespread panic throughout the world, technology has helped ease tensions and boredom.
From innovation in healthcare, delivery of food, and remote working, these trends look like they are here to stay rather than as a temporary measure.