If you’re looking for technological innovations that are a bit closer to home, 2021 might have the right technology and services to make homeworking easier and more secure.
2021 also promises tech trends in aerospace, retail and autonomous , read on.
Working From Home Tech Innovations
As the world battles with the coronavirus pandemic, working from home might be a trend that is here to stay. According to a survey conducted for CCS Insights, 60% of business leaders in Western Europe and North America expect at least 25% of their workforce, and in some cases, all of their staff, to work at least partly from home even when the pandemic is over.
Tech companies are saying we can expect more innovations to aid working from home.
“Security is definitely part of our predictions when it comes to working from home activity, and that could be a package. Not just an extra line, but maybe a separate router, maybe a router with security, maybe some other services on top, even things like IT support because a smaller company might not have a remote IT support person,” says Marina Koytcheva, vice-president of forecasting at CCS Insights.
According to a survey conducted for CCS Insights, 60% of business leaders in Western Europe and North America expect at least 25% of their workforce, and in some cases, all of their staff, to work at least partly from home even when the pandemic is over.A survey conducted for CCS Insights,
Tech companies have also created extra software features to help people collaborate while working from home. Digital whiteboards like Miro and Mural have seen a surge in popularity – Mural has added more than a million active users this year.
Its technology gives staff a visual representation of a project that everyone can add to.
It has been a horrible year for the aerospace industry. One of the industry’s biggest customers, the airline sector, is cancelling or delaying orders as carriers cope with a collapse in air travel.
Despite that horror show, aerospace companies say they are committed to research and development, in particular developing planes that have a much smaller impact on the environment. In September, Airbus unveiled three concept hydrogen-powered designs.
Next year should see Airbus sign an important deal with Germany, France, Spain and Italy to develop a large drone – the Medium Altitude Long Endurance unmanned aerial system.
The so-called Eurodrone is due to start flight testing in 2025.
Also in 2021, Rolls-Royce have said we should watch out for an electric aircraft called the Spirit of Innovation. The company hopes the sleek machine will break the world speed record for an electric aircraft by flying at more than 300mph.
It’s also not been a very good year for many retailers. The trend towards online shopping went into overdrive, as customers were stranded at home during lockdowns.
Retailers that survive may face a new technology in 2021.
It’s been reported that Amazon will expand its Go store chain – shops that don’t have a checkout.
For customers it would speed up shopping as they can pick up the products they want and just leave the store. A clever combination of cameras and artificial intelligence tracks what they have taken and bills them when they leave.
More than 20 stores are running in the US and the company is expected to start opening Go stores in the UK in 2021, although the online giant has not announced those plans yet.
As well as saving money on the space needed for checkouts and the staff to run them, Go-style shopping also minimises contact with surfaces, which could be an attraction in a post-Covid world.
According to Max Hammond, a senior director and analyst at Gartner, UK grocery chains are going to be monitoring how customers respond to the technology and considering whether to take it up themselves.
“Does the customer experience warrant the expense for these retailers? At the moment, I think that’s a tricky business case for them to come up with even though we’re seeing a lot of proofs of concept,” he says.
Autonomous Car Innovations
On the streets of Phoenix, Arizona more than 300 cars are operating by themselves, collecting and dropping off passengers with no human driver at the wheel.
It is part of the Waymo One service which, in a first for such an autonomous service, was opened up to the public in October.
With the backing of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Waymo is leading the way in autonomous cars in the US and in 2021 it plans to extend the service in Phoenix and beyond.
“As we continue to gradually scale up our capacity, we will open up our service to more riders through a fully public app. We look forward to making Waymo One available to more people in more places too,” a Waymo spokesperson said.