Top technology trends in 2021

Let’s take a look at some of the emerging new technologies and latest tech trends that are set to become part of everyday life in 2021 and beyond.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is firmly in our homes and hands already with the likes of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. But what will come next? Let’s look at predictions for this year’s trends within AI.

Smart robots.

Researchers expect that emerging technology - such as Kindred technology and Vicarious – will see artificial intelligence move from homes into factories. Businesses will turn to machines with automated learning abilities because they can complete tasks more efficiently than their human counterparts. (Better not watch any of those Terminator films, eh.)

Business: Reimagined.

Business leaders will use AI to change their business models entirely. By developing artificial intelligence that collaborates with humans, this emerging technology has the potential to become a transformational tool that shapes the very nature of what an organisation does.

Intuitive chatbots.

Businesses will turn to innovations in artificial intelligence to provide a better customer experience. For example new chatbots are able to give more human responses and use more natural language. These chatbots understand the context, not just the content of a conversation and make pro-active suggestions, rather than just answer a question. Organisations can use AI such as this to identify a hot topic among clients and then develop new products to meet this need.

Internet of Things

Our homes are getting more intelligent and personalised all the time thanks to the latest technology trends, like smart bulbs, smart thermostats, smart security and smart speakers. But the Internet of Things (IoT) takes it one step further allowing devices to “talk” to each other and share data. Analysts predict that by 2025, the Internet of Things market will include over 75 billion devices. As more everyday tasks become automated, you’ll be able to leave the machines to get on with your chores while you’re busy enjoying yourself. That certainly sounds good to us!

Internet of behaviours

What does it mean to be human in a culture that’s shaped by technology? The Internet of Behaviours (IoB) might hold the answer.

In simple terms, the IoB takes information from the Internet of Things (IoT) and turns it into knowledge about how we act. This is done using a combination of technology, data analytics, psychology, and behavioural science.

The Internet of Things is every device that’s connected online and working together in our homes, to do cool and useful things for us. When we use our devices, this creates information our service providers can hold and use (with our permission). About what we’re buying, from where, how often and how we pay for it. That kind of thing. Then the Internet of Behaviours (IoB) uses this insight to influence us. For example, letting us know about a promotion on the ice-cream we always buy at the supermarket; which we might then be able to buy with a simple voice command from our kitchen.

The IoB is set to become a powerful sales tool as businesses start sharing data gathered from devices. They might use information from fitness trackers, social media platforms, AI devices such as Alexa, and entertainment subscription services like [Netflix ](https://www.virginmedia.com/tv/netflix)to gain rich insights into their customers’ lifestyles. They can then use this to improve their marketing campaigns and develop new products or services that are better tailored to customers’ behaviours.

Distributed cloud

One hot topic in the tech world this year are public cloud options. But what exactly are they?

All the data you generate on your devices – photos, emails, videos, everything – has to be stored somewhere. Distributed cloud computing does just that, working in different countries around the world yet managed in just one place. It’s the key to letting us all operate in this ‘always on’ mobile world.

Researchers think we’ll see much more of this sort of thing in the future, predicting unprecedented growth for this next generation of cloud computing. That’s good news for all of us as we’ll be able to do more – and expect more – from our devices.

Data science

During the last five years, human beings have generated the same amount of data as we did in the last 2,000. So it’s no wonder we’re turning to data science to help us make sense of it all. Data Science is the name given to the methods, processes and systems used to look at data and then come up with suggested actions based on those insights.

Over the course of the next decade, we’re likely to see quantum computing being used a lot more in society: super computers that can fathom ultra-complex calculations much faster than normal laptops. It’s hoped quantum computers will use this big data – and much, much more – to create new materials, change the landscape of internet security and create new technologies and clever applications. Leading to medical advances and a great number of devices, that can do more for us, at home at work; everywhere really.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) allows you to interact with a simulated computer environment that looks life-like. Using electronic equipment - such as a headset with a screen or gloves with sensors - you can explore a new 3-D world from the comfort of the office or even your own home. Thanks to technological advances, VR is quickly growing far beyond its roots in gaming, with huge potential for a wide range of industries. Let’s look at some examples.

Edge computing

The Internet of Things continues to expand, with a greater number of connected devices churning out an ever-increasing amount of data. As such, there’s a growing need to use the edge of the network for processing data. Edge computing is predicted to become one of the biggest technology trends over the next decade as it offers a number of benefits to companies, such as:

  • Using Edge reduces costs for businesses.
  • User experience is improved thanks to reduced latency.
  • Edge conserves bandwidth.
  • There are fewer security risks and privacy concerns with Edge.
  • Edge overcomes some of the limitations of traditional Cloud computing, offering the chance to develop areas including mobile healthcare, smart cities, enhanced gaming and better media streaming.

5G

First we had 3G technology which led to the rise of the smartphone. Next came 4G which made browsing on our devices much faster and allowed us to do things like watch YouTube videos on the go. Now the fifth generation of cellular network technology is being rolled out around the globe.

5G is the latest generation of wireless mobile technology. Its unprecedented speed, responsiveness and ability to handle thousands of connected devices in a small area means it’s a hot topic in discussions about emerging tech trends. There are some big predictions about how it will change the way people live and work so let’s look at this year’s trends for 5G:

Virgin Media and the future of technology

Make sure you always stay connected with Virgin Media. Consider our broadband services, which allow you to connect with and use many of the latest gadgets in the tech world.

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