2021 is way different from any other year. We say this because the year gone by had witnessed one of the worst phases in the history of human civilisation. People died, economy was hit, massive job loss followed. But there’s one silver lining visible at the end of this dark tunnel – a tremendous technology adaptation.
While people in the metro working at corporates were well tuned to digital way of life, the people in smaller towns and cities weren’t. And Covid-19 pandemic has made that possible. With schools and clinics shut for months, shops shut for weeks, people now understand online classes, telemedicine quite easily.
The new year will be high on tech. Not just because phone makers will keep bringing new phones, but there is a quantum change expected in terms of technology with AI and machine learning taking the lead.
The 5G leap
Unlike radio-waves that currently enable our internet, 5G needs deep densification of network and that could only happen with more fibre connectivity. But wait! This doesn’t mean your internet speed will increase. 5G will help us connect to one another, and one device to another in a more seamless way. Post 4G, we saw how several new industries grew up – app-based cabs, food deliveries, hyper local apps etc. Similarly, 5G will enable driver-less cars, maps, medical consultation and more things connect in a better way.
e-learning going big
“Schools should steadily adopt online learning solutions to aid the traditional classroom approach. A few more innovations that will reshape the education sector is Computer Based Test mode for examinations, Artificial Intelligence enabled remote proctoring, Machine Learning (ML)-powered exams and more,” said Beas Dev Ralhan, Co-Founder & CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.
2021 would also be a year which will see the Gig-Economy catch up even further in India. “Acquisition of new and complementary skills via Online Executive Education or Online Degrees will enable the strengthening of the Gig Economy in India where professionals will continue to work on multiple assignments by working remotely - something which has already started to happen,” said Aditya Malik, CEO and MD, Talentedge.
Fintech and payments
“Technology evolution in fintech and payments platforms will provide end consumers a superior payment experience, improved ease, speed and reliability of transactions, more personalised product offerings and advanced security measures. In 2021, AI and machine learning will continue to play a key role in cybersecurity to identify threats, enable fraud preventive measures, and just in time risk mitigation,” said Shantanu Preetam, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) PayU India.
Work from home: The new normal
A high demand for cloud service, workplace automation, collaborative workplace technologies will be observed this year. “The biggest challenge for the enterprises is to get the necessary visibility into their operations and manage the workforce productivity. Our internal research and analysis of data from ProHance across various enterprises has indicated significant increase in logged hours being put-in by the workforce,” said Kishore Reddy, VP Technology, ProHance, an Omni-Channel operations management platform.
“During the WFH period there has been an increased demand for better visibility into workforce engagement and tools like ProHance have helped enterprises meet this requirement.”
As we grow up the digital ladder, our sensitive data often stands a chance to get compromised. That calls for rigorous measures to safeguard our data. “Good digital hygiene like having strong and unique passwords, regular software updates, installing reliable security solutions and an awareness about the importance of online privacy and how to safeguard yourself could stop you and your data from becoming compromised,” said Dipesh Kaura, General Manager, Kaspersky (South Asia).
New launches on the cards:
Apple is planning to launch a 23-inch model iMac, which could be similar to 21.5-inch model but with reduced bezels. And same could happen to the 27.5-inch model increased to 30. Apple might launch AirPods X for sports, AirPods Pro Lite for budget options and a third generation AirPods. An updated iPad mini, which is awaiting an update since the last three years might see a bigger screen and removal of home button.
OnePlus might bring in 9 and 9 Pro. Web leaks reveal, 9 will get a 48MP main camera and a 48MP Ultra-Wide camera. There will be a third camera with tele-zoom feature or a macro-depth sensing lens. However, what’s exciting is OnePlus may have partnered with Leica to improve its camera. It is expected that Snapdragon 888 5G SoC will power these devices. There will be a punch-hole design and a camera hump to lodge the rear lenses.
As laptop makers keep distancing themselves from Intel processors, the latter has plans to build its own laptops with NUC M15 branding. It is estimated to be premium and at par with Dell XPS 13. Several reports confirm the new Intel laptop will get 15.6-inch screen and will be powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 quad-core processor.