How will future technology change our lives
Digitization: How technology will change the way we live
The ever faster digital change will completely change the way we live today. While the development, especially in the area of data protection, will put people to the test, it also offers enormous opportunities for our future standard of living. People are often critical of many technological innovations and innovative ideas in general. Everything that means change also means adapting to new circumstances at the same time and thus leaving your own accustomed comfort zone. There are always only a few people who can imagine tomorrow's time in the present. From a historical perspective, in particular, some developments are interesting from the perspective of that time. In the middle of the 18th century, New York city planners feared that the city would sink into the dung of horses if the number of animals that were incredibly important to the economy continued to rise. There were more and more voices trying to reverse this development instead of looking for solutions for the future. There were similar fears in the 1970s, when there were fears that the mobility of the present would no longer be possible in the future, should the oil run out in the future; but the development of e-mobility makes this fear obsolete. So one thing is certain: people's innovative strength will always be based on the needs of people in the present and the future and ensure continuous progress. But one development is particularly interesting: the speed with which new ideas change the world has increased significantly over time. More has moved in the last 20 years than in the entire Middle Ages.
Therefore, in this article we want to try to take a look at the world of tomorrow to get a foretaste of what awaits us.
Why is there actually innovation?
The discovery of something new out of pure curiosity, but also to find the solution to a problem, is in the nature of man. People have always been looking for a way to move faster, build taller houses or make cities cleaner. War has always been a particular accelerator of innovation. This applies to technology, but especially to medicine. The Internet also has its origins in the Cold War, when the US was looking for a new way to expand its global communications network.
Another factor of paramount importance is capitalism itself. Due to the need to constantly develop new products in order not to be pushed out of the market by the competition, companies are highly innovative and constantly busy bringing new, even better products onto the market.
Marketing of new products - why do we need early adopters?
Many new inventions need a certain amount of time before their usefulness is recognized. The general public often stands in the way of the whole thing rather critically. In the case of inventions such as the mobile phone, however, the benefits only increase with the number of users. It is similar with contactless payment: only when enough people have the corresponding card does it make sense for the seller to introduce the devices in retail, but at the same time purchasing a card only makes sense if enough devices are available.
For this reason, it takes people who are open to new ideas and products. In marketing, these people are called “early adapters”. It is they who significantly promote innovation because they are ready to take a risk. If you buy a Tesla today, for example, you have to live with the fact that you cannot refuel at every corner and that the range is also limited. But without the buyers, the company would not be able to generate the sales that would make it possible to create a world in which e-mobility will prevail in the future.
The changing world - where is the world turning fastest?
Today the world has reached a pace like never before. While Deutsche Bahn intends to inaugurate a high-speed line between Berlin and Munich in the near future, on which the ICE will connect the two cities in just four hours, Elon Musk is already working on the Hyperloop with very specific plans. In the not too distant future, this could connect the cities in just 30 minutes. In private transport, there is currently an extremely friendly climate compared to electromobility. While the energy transition in Germany created the framework for an environmentally friendly climate future, more and more investors are placing their trust in the future industry. At the same time, autonomous driving will likely be part of the normal street scene in less than 20 years. Who knows if you still need a Hyperloop when you can work relaxed from Munich to Berlin in your “car office”.
Cashless payment only lags very behind in Germany. Sweden, as a frontrunner, is likely to be out of cash in less than three years. While credit cards still shape the picture today, NFC technology will soon be available in every smartphone. Contactless payment with the smartphone makes shopping more efficient.
The retail sector is currently going through the greatest change of its time. Most supermarkets now offer at least some terminals for payment. The annoying waiting in line is more and more a thing of the past and can e.g. be used for time with friends. Amazon goes one step further: the customer enters the supermarket and is recognized by the system, then he can simply take whatever he wants from the shelf and then leave the store again. His Amazon account will be charged automatically. The data generated by purchasing behavior can be used extremely effectively. By linking to the Amazon account, the system recognizes sociographic features, for example, and can adapt its range individually: for example, in an area where more families live, take diapers into the range. The system automatically forwards the order to the head office before the self-driving truck delivers the goods and automatically puts them on the shelves. The arrangement on the shelves themselves is of course also based on the purchase patterns of its customers.
It is similar on the Internet: ever more precise analyzes of user behavior enable companies to advertise target groups in a relevant manner. While we used to receive advertisements for shoes of the opposite sex, today we are confronted with advertisements for shoes that we were just looking for on Amazon.
Economic challenge - technology separates rich and poor
All the advantages that a digital revolution offers us also bring challenges. More and more efficient methods make humans superfluous as simple workers. The industries mentioned, such as retail, will make salespeople / cashiers redundant. The same applies to the job of the taxi driver or the truck driver if autonomous driving should prevail. But jobs will also disappear at a higher level. While the owner of a shop used to develop a feeling for which products his customers wanted, in the future data will recognize much more precise patterns. Machines and robots are thus increasingly generating our prosperity, but the profit only comes to a few, for example the shareholders of Amazon instead of the saleswoman in the supermarket. So the big question is what the distribution process will look like in the future. Do we need taxation for robots and get an unconditional basic income from it?
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