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Practical Techie: Ultra-connections, in 5 yrs. all things will connect to most humans

In just a few years there will be almost five billion people connected to the global Web. Objects and humans will share countless types of microelectronic connections. 

Let’s fast forward a bit to 2026. Beyond its too risky to surmise with precision. Shortly, even wine bottles will have track and temperature sensors. So will do groceries, hand tools, vehicles, glasses, keys, clothing, and medications. Advertising, sales, and money transactions will move through millions of individualized mini-channels on the Internet. Manufacturers, sellers, marketers, and buyers will keep in direct, constant contact through the very merchandise that is sold and brought.

Mobile, digital screens will be the first and last object that we look at each day upon waking and retiring to sleep. In fact, we will be staring at them almost all day long.

This will allow businesses to keep their contact channels open 24/7 with their clients through private digital portals, apps, and social platforms plus wall screens spread out all over public venues.   

Consuming news will be a total digital immersion experience. While we brush our teeth, texts and visuals from the most recent events will pass between the glass of the bathroom mirror, the restaurant table, the bus or train stop walls. Even tiny screens on the gas pump, taxi seat dividers, park meters, or drive through food pickup windows while you wait.

ULTRA-CONNECT — Fueled by the ultra-speed WiFi, convergence of social, mobile, cloud, big data, and growing demand for anytime-anywhere access to information, technology is disrupting all areas of the business. Technology is disrupting all areas of enterprise. It is taking place across most geographies. And all industries.  

Enormous opportunities exist for enterprises to take advantage of such ultra-connectivity of objects and people, enabling the capture of vast amounts of information, transform existing products, introduce new types of business and delivery models as commerce enters emerging markets.

Mature markets will benefit most by 2026 in developed countries such as the US, Japan, and China. Germany, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and India are also on the radar for high-tech economic growth.

Following these strong markets will be the United Kingdom, France, and Canada.

In most other countries, the scale of the market, slow technological advancements, and restrictive caps on foreign participation may limit growth opportunities such as in Russia or other centralized economies.

CHALLENGES — Enterprise by 2026 will need to adapt to the evolution of the new digital marketplace, ferocious online competition, changing customer engagement, unprecedented transparency, privacy concerns, and cybersecurity threats.

Rapid digitization and rising connectivity of people, devices, and organizations expand vulnerabilities. As cyber risks increase, organizations will need to put in efforts to secure their digital assets and confidential data.  As cyber threats continue to multiply, it is becoming harder to safeguard data, intellectual property, and personal information. In 2020 no less than 800 million electronic files went under cyberattacks. As things become ever more connected, so will the threats grow.

AUTOMATA — Shoved along by the COVID-19 pandemic, the way that people work changed fast-track in 2020, fueled even more by enabling machines and software to substitute human assembly line work.

Digital and robotic technologies were already augmenting or replacing repetitive work.

In the advanced economies of the future, 47% of manufacturing and service tasks will be automated through computerization.

Transhumans will also change how small business works. A transhuman is someone who has mentally merged with technology and has certain high-tech implants, either wearable or skin deep by injected chips into their skin.

Such bodily devices will keep track of heartbeats, calories, and footsteps. The implication is that businesses will have to adjust to new employment laws. Human charging stations may substitute the water cooler.

But almost all of these super nerds will work remotely, by telecommuting and videoconferencing. In the later future, remote workers will only visit the workplace by hologram.

Most of these “holoployees” will work by contract only. Autonomous vehicles will be roving offices for these highly technified professionals.

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.

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