Top 10 Tech Disruptions Over the Past 10 Years
Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that we have seen many tech disruptions in a relatively short time.
A “disruptive technology” could be defined as one that displaces an established technology, thereby shaking up an industry and reshaping its future trajectory. A tech disruptor could also be a ground-breaking product that creates an entirely new industry.
Join our drive down the technology superhighway as we rediscover the top tech disruptions over the past 10 years and dive into what’s next.
2014: Amazon Echo Brings the IoT Home
Amazon Echo barreled into our lives this year, causing us to rethink how we might use technology in our homes. Powered by Amazon’s voice control system Alexa, the Echo started with just a few intelligent voice commands. Alexa now boasts thousands of “skills” and has become the central hub in so-called smart homes, helping to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to a much wider audience. Followed quickly by Google Home and more recently by Apple HomePod, this technology is sure to continue to grow.
2015: Autonomous Vehicles Inspire Change
The autonomous car, aka the self-driving car, is envisioned as one capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. The quest to develop technologies that could enable such a feat began to rise in 2015. Consumers have benefitted from numerous changes in car technology (think adaptive speed tech, proximity sensors, guidance systems, etc.) as manufacturers began pursuing this vision. This dramatic reshaping of the automotive industry certainly deserves a call-out.
2016: Oculus Rift Opens Up Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) as a concept has been around for decades and offers increasing value in everything from military training to surgery simulation to product development and testing. Although Google had been selling Google Glass prototypes since 2013, VR’s availability to consumers was limited until the introduction of Oculus Rift in 2016. With its launch, VR exploded into many homes. The system was a hot gift and introduced the concept of VR to a broader audience—it’s hard not to enjoy (or laugh with?) someone experiencing VR for the first time!
2017: AI Takes the Stage
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a science-fiction trope brought to life. With numerous large companies investing billions of dollars on research in this field, it’s poised to influence how we live and work in the coming years. Applications include everything from automating tasks using bots to enabling computers to answer complex, multi-tiered questions by “learning” from previous queries.
2018: 5G Begins Its Rollout
As connectivity became more ubiquitous, fast and reliable internet demand increased. It’s not enough to watch a streaming movie in the middle of nowhere—it has to be smooth! Beginning in 2018, 5G promised to bring more channels for higher speed, lower latency, and greater bandwidth for more connected devices. But 5G wasn’t exciting for smartphone fans only: the benefits had implications for healthcare, education, smart homes, connected cars, and more.
2019: 3D Printers Revolutionize the 4th Industrial Revolution
Although the technology and equipment for 3D printing were available in the mid-1980s, 3D printing was imprecise, bulky, and costly. Thirty years later, 3D printing made it to the mainstream as a disruptive technology. This disruptive technology appeared in 2019 as part of predictive maintenance in manufacturing. Smart sensors helped identify potential problems, and 3D printers built new parts before needing to be needed.
2020: Passwordless Authentication Hits Big Tech
For many of us, forgetting our passwords is a daily occurrence, but those days may be behind us, thanks to the push for passwordless authentication in 2020. While the world stood still during the COVID-19 pandemic, big tech companies like Microsoft began to push for two-factor authentication and passwordless logins, and an identity management startup called Beyond Identity launched its passwordless identify platform in April. Companies like Adobe and Facebook began utilizing new security features to give us the luxury of forgetting those complicated passwords.
2021: IoT Builds the Virtual World
Technology automation through IoT didn’t begin in 2021, but this year brought a boon for intelligent everything. The IoT connects objects in the real world—navigation systems, thermostats, your virtual assistant, Alexa—with virtual identifiers on the internet. These identifiers “talk” virtually to create a web of connections and collaborations between the devices. Although IoT has been used in home-based applications, 2021 brought the technology to new areas, including manufacturing, mining, and healthcare.
2022: ChatGPT Redefines Human-Computer Interaction
In 2022, ChatGPT emerged as the undeniable frontrunner and the most influential tech disruption of the year. Developed by OpenAI, this groundbreaking language model harnessed the power of the GPT-3.5 architecture to revolutionize human-computer interactions. With its ability to understand context, generate coherent responses, and adapt to users’ needs, ChatGPT transcended traditional chatbots, becoming a sophisticated conversational AI companion. Its applications spanned diverse industries, from customer support to creative writing, education, and even healthcare. As ChatGPT continuously learned and evolved, it showcased the transformative potential of artificial intelligence, leaving an indelible mark on the technology landscape of 2022 and beyond.
2023: Apple Vision Pro Unleashes the Power of Spatial Computing
In 2023, spatial computing, specifically the Apple Vision Pro, emerged as the pinnacle of technological disruption, revolutionizing how we interact with digital information. Years earlier, Apple’s visionary smartwatch had cemented Apple as the leader in wearable technology. In 2023, the Apple Vision Pro promises to enable users to seamlessly integrate virtual elements into their physical surroundings, unlocking unparalleled immersion and productivity. We can now see a future where the days of limited screen real estate are gone; users can effortlessly interact with a vast array of applications and data in a three-dimensional, contextually aware environment. This leap in spatial computing may solidify VR’s position as an indispensable tool and open up new frontiers in communication, productivity, and entertainment, forever changing the way we perceive and interact with technology.
Tech disruptions in the 21st century have transformed our reality into a digital-first experience. Technology is changing faster than ever. Backed by a confluence of all these giant leaps forward, the future is a brave new world. Our predictions for what’s next include:
Prediction 1: Quantum Computing Revolutionizes Data Processing
Quantum computing is poised to shatter the boundaries of traditional computing capabilities. With its ability to leverage quantum mechanics principles, it will handle complex problems at speeds that were once deemed impossible. Industries such as pharmaceuticals, logistics, and cryptography will see groundbreaking advancements, leading to accelerated drug discovery, optimized supply chains, and next-level data security. As quantum computers become more accessible, researchers and innovators will unlock the potential for solving real-world challenges that were previously impossible.
Prediction 2: Hyper-Automation Transforms Workforce Efficiency
Hyper-automation is revolutionizing the business world with advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA). By automating complex processes, companies can boost productivity, streamline operations, and free up time for creative and strategic initiatives. This transformational trend empowers workers through upskilling and reskilling, leading to a promising future where technology complements human expertise for greater success.
Prediction 3: AI-Driven Personalization Enhances User Experience
As AI continues to integrate deeply into our digital lives, offering personalized experiences across platforms becomes the new norm. Users are already encountering tailored content, services, and product recommendations that cater precisely to their preferences in e-commerce, entertainment, content consumption, and even healthcare. However, this era of heightened personalization is also bringing data privacy and ethical AI usage to the forefront, driving the need for responsible AI development and regulation to ensure user trust and societal well-being.
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CEO Brad Weber of InspiringApps joined Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Podcast to announce his new book and dive into InspiringApps’ latest insights on the business applications of artificial intelligence. The discussion explores challenges and lessons learned in growing a company, emphasizing the significance of a strong team and strategic decision-making, and predicting the future of AI from revolution to best practice. Watch the Podcast Key Takeaways AI & Automation AI is transforming how we create solutions. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a significant force in our lives, particularly through our mobile devices. AI can predict our routes and provide traffic information, making it a useful tool for automation and more. Representing one specific type of AI, ChatGPT has gained popularity because of its ability to generate content. However, there has been a backlash due to concerns about copyright infringement. Despite this, companies like InspiringApps are finding ways to integrate generative AI capabilities into products, creating more targeted solutions for consumers. We need to approach AI implementation thoughtfully. Overall, AI presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses, and it’s crucial to approach its implementation thoughtfully. While some see potential benefits, others worry about job security. For example, starting out as a copywriter in this space may be challenging, as entry-level positions could be affected. Large companies initially reacted with fear to ChatGPT, but now they are seeking guidance to understand the technology better and implement best practices within their organizations. Building an Inspiring Business Complex business challenges are no match for inspirational leadership. In his chapter of the new book, Brad discusses the challenges and importance of growing a successful company and cultivating a winning culture. He emphasizes the need for a strong team and a solid organizational structure. The concept of “team” is crucial to Brad. He has found that having a cohesive leadership team and solid continuity across all roles in the organization is essential. InspiringApps invests in meeting its team’s needs and involving everyone in decision-making, making it a great place to work and keeping turnover low. Brad also addresses the idea of creating cool stuff for clients versus building a real business. He shares a personal story about being “slapped with a backhanded compliment.” In this experience, Brad came to realize the need for long-term sustainability and formalizing roles for success. InspiringApps is as nimble as a startup but as mature as an enterprise when it comes to app development capabilities. As the company continues to grow, the team recognizes the importance of understanding its strengths and bringing value to clients, whether they are startups or large enterprises. Entrepreneurship & App Development “Despite having many business degrees, I’ve made many business mistakes.” BRAD WEBER, CEO | INSPIRINGAPPS, BOULDER CO Brad shares his experiences and mistakes, hoping that others can learn from them. He believes that learning from both “triumphs and goofs” is valuable. Growing a company is fraught with risk. Cultivating a winning culture requires an employee-based team. A flat org structure will only take you so far. Create cool stuff for clients or build a real business. To get the full story on topics like these, buy the book on Amazon today!
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Meet Gen Alpha—the most globally connected, educated, and largest generation to date. They’re also expected to be the wealthiest generation and to live the longest. Having a deep understanding of this generation’s collective needs and expectations will give you strategic insight into developing digital products for Gen Alpha and gaining more market reach for your app. We’ve written about market considerations for app development, noting the importance of defining your product vision and objectives before launching into any technical work. One of the most critical items to pinpoint is your target user—the person for whom your app solves a problem or meets a need. In this post, we are exploring top considerations when developing apps for Gen Alpha. We’ll also highlight key background and behavioral factors that inform those considerations. Who are Gen Alpha kids? Gen Alphas are currently teenagers or younger. Addressing Gen Alpha’s need for digital technology means creating tailored experiences for a young demographic. Already seen as a generation of brilliant innovators, Gen Alphas are meant for great accomplishments and entrepreneurial endeavors. The Largest Future Generation Generation Alpha is a term coined by demographer Mark McCrindle in 2013. Born in the 21st century from 2010-2025, Gen Alphas are the “children of Millennials.” However, according to McCrindle’s research, Generation Alpha will surpass Millennials in size—numbering more than two billion by 2025—making them the largest generation in history. Educated & Entrepreneurial Gen Alphas like to think out of the box and are technologically savvy. Furthermore, Generation Alpha values social justice and social responsibility. They’re more informed and globally connected. This will result in Gen Alphas starting a business earlier than the generations before them. Device & AI Connected Experiencing a global pandemic has only exacerbated feelings of isolation and numbness surrounding tech. Gen Alphas were thrust into a world of digital technology from their birth—and once COVID hit, Gen Alpha kids turned to their mobile devices for solace and authentic connections. Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly popular with Gen Alphas. Technologies like Siri and Alexa are common household names. How is the digital world shaping Generation Alpha kids? Digital Skills Gen Alphas grew up in an app-first world where technological advancements were integrated into every aspect of their lives. Unlike previous generations, Gen Alpha was immersed in technology from the start. Screentime is at an all-time high. Gen Alphas are creating a massive shift in how they view and interact with the world. Beyond digital natives, Gen Alpha has all the world’s knowledge at their fingertips, in real time. Generation of Consumers According to experts, Gen Alpha will become consumers at a young age. As future consumers across a digital divide, Generation Alphas will expect a flawless, tailored, and straightforward user experience. The Role of Millennial Parents Millennial parents’ preferences and values heavily influence app development for the Alpha Generation. App developers that understand the importance of creating apps that align with Millennial parents’ desires will be more successful in reaching their Gen Alpha (kid) customers. Millennial parents have safety concerns for their children, and enabling parental control and age restrictions is paramount. Millennials have grown up exploring technology like search engines and social networking apps—they tend to be more hands-on, technologically apt, and overall less trusting compared to Generation Alpha and Generation Z. While Millennial parents are the decision-makers in terms of purchasing decisions, Gen Alphas also strongly influence their parents’ buying decisions. Finding ways of engaging kids and caregivers alike allows for better success of your app. Creating ethical and empowering experiences can help your app gain loyalty from Gen Alphas and their parents. Technical Considerations for Gen Alpha Apps Personalized Experiences Gen Alpha is acclimated to personalized experiences—from targeted ads to personalized content. Developers should consider incorporating personalized features into their app designs. Gen Alphas need to be able to express their individuality and creativity within an app. Developers can use existing tools like Youtube or TikTok to optimize app engagement and reach a specific target audience. Interactive Social Media Campaigns What better way to introduce a new marketing concept than with an experiential and interactive campaign? Experiential marketing provides a memorable experience and helps to reach Generation Alpha kids. Interactive social media campaigns can help developers hit the mark and pique the interest of this user group. Source: Adobe A great example of a creative social media campaign: Apple’s #ShotOniPhone. Apple wanted to show off its new iPhone 13 Pro camera capabilities. Users were encouraged to share their photos on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #ShotOniPhone and #iPhoneMacroChallenge. Judges chose 10 winners, later used in digital campaigns and other marketing efforts. The campaign garnered more than 26 million posts on Instagram from the two hashtags alone. Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed how we interact with technology and is an essential tool in app building for Gen Alpha. Using AI in app development empowers developers to create smarter, more intuitive, personalized applications that enhance user satisfaction. AI can enhance various aspects of an app, such as user experience, personalization, and automation. AI enables apps to learn from user behavior through machine learning algorithms, resulting in intelligent recommendations and tailored content. AI-powered automation can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and optimize app performance by automating repetitive tasks and decision-making. High-Quality Design Following these design principles, developers can create high-quality apps that engage, delight, and captivate Gen Alpha users: Apps for Gen Alpha should be intuitive—simple navigation, a minimalistic design, and gamification features. Incorporate vibrant and captivating visuals, including appealing graphics, illustrations, and animations, to grab and hold their attention. Maintain consistency and simplicity in the design language throughout the app, ensuring a cohesive experience that is easy for young users to understand. Ensure the app is regularly updated and maintained for optimal performance and to address user feedback. Accessibility & Inclusivity Much like Gen Z, Generation Alpha will care deeply about social justice. Billions of Gen Alphas are exploring the technical landscape. Apps have the potential to empower, delight, and transform Gen Alpha kids’ lives. Prioritize accessibility by making the app inclusive for children with diverse abilities, supporting adjustable font sizes, voiceover capabilities, and alternative input methods. Strive for inclusive content representation by featuring diverse characters, stories, and perspectives. By embracing accessibility and inclusivity, app developers can ensure that all Gen Alpha users can fully participate and benefit from the app’s offerings. Screen Time Limits Gen Alpha is a generation flooded with stimuli in daily life. Find ways to bring more harmony and value to Gen Alpha’s lives. Developers should consider ways to limit and monitor screen time in their apps. Implement features encouraging mindfulness, such as reminders to take breaks, guided meditation sessions, or suggestions for offline activities. Develop apps with low screen time usage to avoid overstimulation for this age range. By designing apps with Generation Alpha’s prolific access to technology in mind, developers can help users strike a healthier balance between digital experiences and other aspects of their lives. App Development Empowers Generations Creating apps for the Alpha generation can be rewarding and impactful. As an app development company, we understand that developers who take the time to understand this unique generation can scale their apps to higher heights. Ultimately, it all comes down to the demographic you’re trying to reach with your app. Considering their unique perspectives, you can build technology that invites and inspires an entire generation.
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