16 Oct 2014

5 Disruptive technologies you need to know about

The rate of technological innovation that is going on at the moment is truly astounding, with disruptors landing on the market at a startling rate.

There are some technologies and innovations that are proving especially disruptive at the moment. The below five tech categories all represent innovations that are making major waves in their respective industries, and are well worth keeping an eye on, as they are only going to become even bigger in the coming years.

Driverless Vehicles

Driving automation is coming leaps and bounds at the moment, with features such as parking assist becoming common place in reasonably-priced vehicles. And, unlike some other areas of innovation in the automotive industry (such as electric cars), driverless technology can work in the Australian market today.

Fleet management organisations will find this technology especially useful in reducing the risk of accidents and driver error, and the potential flow on effect from there into industries such as insurance.

Digital Currency

You’ve likely heard of Bitcoin by now, but if not, it’s a virtual currency that is proving to be a major disruptive force to the finance industry. In fact, it’s the very definition of disruptive, with policy makers and regulation struggling to keep up with its developments.

At the same time, banks and other financial institutions are seeing the opportunity in Bitcoin to create competitive advantage. As a relatively easy way to move money around the globe safely and securely, there is approximately $5 billion worth of Bitcoins in circulation, and this number is only going to increase as more Bitcoins are created and put into circulation.

Drone Delivery

Just recently German postal service, DHL, announced that it would start making drone deliveries, while Amazon and Google continue to test their own. Although it will be some time before these drones can be used in the mainstream (regulatory hurdles, for example, are extensive),they have immediate applications of being able to deliver medicine or other critical supplies safely to remote areas.

As drones continue to develop and a regulatory framework emerges around them, we can expect this technology to be severely disruptive to the logistics and retail industries – both online and off.

3D Printing

3D Printing has been the topic of some controversy, with designs on how to print your own guns popping up online and posing a public security concern. That aside, 3D printers are now starting to lower in price so enthusiasts and consumers can buy into them.

What makes 3D printing so cool is obvious, but it’s going to be a very disruptive technology across a wide range of sectors. Hobby businesses, especially, will need to cope with people printing their own miniatures, toys, and other such collectibles, while 3D printing also opens up all kinds of new promotional opportunities for companies.

Private Enterprise Space Flight

Virgin Galactic wants to start taking tourists into space in 2015. Elon Musk through his company, SpaceX, wants to set up a permanent human colony on Mars. Where once it was Governments making the investments into space exploration, it is now private enterprise with the resources and incentives to do so.

Private enterprise space flight represents the final frontier for commerce, and it’s a true hotbed for innovation. The work and findings of these companies are going to have ramifications that we can’t even predict at the moment.