We live in a connected world where connections beyond people to people exist. The number of connections between people, machines, and organizations is increasing. We already have popcorn kiosks that inform you via Twitter once your popcorn is ready. Soon enough, everything around us will alert us through social media platforms.
While the popcorn kiosk might save some people a few minutes a day, there are other applications that can bring a new level of connectivity, productivity and sustainability to our lives. An implant or a wearable medical device that automatically alerts emergency crews will help patients lead more active and productive lives. A connected washing machine or dishwasher can work on schedule when you are not around. Your laundry and dishes can be done when the charge for electricity is low. It would be a maintenance engineer’s dream to receive a message from a turbine that the rotor is vibrating more than usual. It won’t be far into the future when a tap on your phone will bring your car out of the garage, which will then proceed to drive you to office, without incident.
Surprisingly, none of this is as far-fetched as it sounds. A lot of this is already happening. Semi-autonomy already exists. Fully autonomous cars are being tested around the world.
However, there exist enormous technology and social challenges that our connected future will pose. What will be the existential impact of the Internet, Robotics, AI, the Internet of Things, and such, on our lives? What will happen to the millions of people whose jobs could be rendered redundant? Will people be happy to share their ‘data’ with companies that suddenly have a huge bearing on their lives and convenience? Will the digital companies of the future realize that the value of the data they hold places greater responsibility on their shoulders and do more than ever to protect the privacy and security of that data?
Our connected future presents us with an opportunity to address the economic and social gaps of our actions today. We are geared to take ‘connectivity’ to every corner of the world. A good number of people today have access to mobile networks, and the numbers are increasing. Computing power and storage capacity are cheaper than ever. Technology, connectivity, and their benefits are being extended to almost every part of the world. The new century has given us extraordinary new technologies and the perfect potpourri of conditions to transform people’s lives around the world.
I see immense transformational potential in the next decade: from remote healthcare delivery and continuous monitoring to on-demand driverless mobility to buildings that ‘manage’ themselves. I imagine a seamlessly connected world that is capable of real time collaboration and orchestration, with connected people, things and organizations.
We are delighted to have an opportunity to discuss these topics, and more, at the Nasscom Design and Engineering Summit 2016. Do join Karthikeyan Natarajan, Head of Engineering, R&D, Digital & IoT Group, Tech Mahindra for a panel discussion on ‘Look Ma No Hands’ – Autonomous World (Car & Wearables) on 6th October 2016, 12.20 – 13.00. If you cannot join us there, let us know your views here!