As people who read about, access and build new technology every day, tech leaders aren’t impressed by just anything. When a new technology makes a tech leader sit up and take notice, even non-experts know it must be a game-changer.
So what newer technologies have made tech leaders say, “Wow!”? Below, 16 industry leaders from Forbes Technology Council share the tech advancements they’ve been most impressed by over the last three years.
1. 5G Technology
For me, the most impressive piece of tech to hit the market recently is 5G. Being able to move that much data at such a high rate of speed takes mobile devices from useful tools to essential tools that can go anywhere with a relatively high degree of communications security. The speed at which carriers were able to bring it to market was also impressive, in my view. – Change Walls, Customers Bancorp
2. Conversational AI
I am most impressed with the developments in conversational artificial intelligence. It’s impressive because it’s likely to be the single most powerful interface for getting value from the mountains of data we have amassed over the last decade or so. – Mark Cameron, W3.Digital
3. Collaboration Platforms
This might be a surprise, but given the amount of learning we have had in the last year due to the pandemic, I think the rise of collaboration platforms for business and consumers—such as Zoom, Teams and even TikTok—has been the most impressive development over the last year. Simplifying collaboration during the pandemic and making sure that the technology could scale toward consumers of all ages has been critical. – Michael Adler, N-able
Clubhouse will be a powerful force in years to come. They’ve reinvented audio through a social network context that provides direct access to world leaders and visionaries. GaryVee’s core business strategy is to create content but sell “access.” Clubhouse is the ultimate vehicle to provide and monetize access for creators. – Tobyn Sowden, Redbrick
5. Digital Wallets
Digital wallets have made my personal and business life so much easier—whether it is for safe international transactions, crypto or simply when I forget to take my physical wallet to the grocery store but am still able to make the transaction happen. Digital wallets offer a reduction in fraud, safer financial transactions and ease of use for the win. – Ramesh Prabagaran, Prosimo.io
6. Health Wearables
Among the impressive pieces of tech I’ve seen in the last few years are health wearables. Products such as the Apple Watch S4 (introduced in late 2018), which included tech such as ECG monitoring, changed narratives from operational to inspirational. Helping those with minor to severe chronic illnesses to monitor and take control of their health has been a great step in mainstream consumer technology. – Amelia Quan, RollKall Technologies
7. Nonfungible Tokens
Nonfungible tokens and the use of blockchain for authentication are impressive developments. Everything from artwork to news articles to financial transactions can now be authenticated and tracked online by anyone. This changes the way we think about security and authentication—not only of financial transactions but also just about any trade. – Frederick John, Diebold Nixdorf
8. Robot Technology
Boston Dynamics’ robot technology is truly impressive. Each generation of their robot has wowed me—they look like they’re coming from the future. The most exciting thing about Boston Dynamics is that they are building a technology that will liberate humans from heavy tasks and dangerous working areas as well as handle many other functions that are beyond human beings’ capabilities. With such outcomes, we can imagine many other possible uses for robots in our lives. – Luke Han, Kyligence Inc.
9. Mixed-Reality Technology
I have been most impressed by mixed-reality technology and HoloLens goggles. For example, with this solution we can improve the work and efficiency of chemical laboratories, examine the quality of the work performed by the operator, and ensure the entire event is safe and complies with appropriate standards—all thanks to an external auditor who can remotely supervise the entire procedure. – Robert Strzelecki, TenderHut
10. Programmatic Data Labeling
I have been impressed with programmatic data labeling such as Snorkel AI. It reduces the time, cost and friction of labeling training data so you can more easily build and scale AI models to deploy more meaningful applications. Incorporating human judgment into the AI process through subject-matter experts becomes more efficient and scalable and can lead to more ethical, responsible outcomes. – Andy Bane, Element Analytics
11. Automated Market Makers
This may be in the weeds a bit, but as a market structure geek—somebody who gets excited by many aspects of marketplace and exchange building—the development of automated market makers (AMM) within the broader world of decentralized finance (DeFi) is pretty eye-opening. Programmable incentives and smart contracts are opening a new world of liquidity provision. – Jeromee Johnson, The earth
12. Language Translation Earbuds
Language translation earbuds are still nascent but show some great promise. Imagine having the ability to understand almost everyone. This would make travel a great deal more enjoyable—it will be fun to be able to communicate natively with others from a different culture. – Thomas Helfrich, System Soft Technologies
13. Passwordless Authentication
Today, people have reached a state of password fatigue due to the sheer number of passwords that they need to manage. What once served as a barrier between bad actors and users is now a bridge for creating security loopholes. However, advanced biometrics will enable passwordless authentication to evolve into a key security asset to seamlessly manage logins. – Arun Singh, Ilantus Technologies
14. Palm Vein Scanning
Palm vein scanning provides a biometric ID that is more accurate than an iris and can’t be easily utilized to track people in the way some biometrics can be. This technology would allow people to feel more secure in tying important parts of their everyday life—from retail purchases and loyalty programs to bank verifications and contracts—to a truly unique part of themselves that is always available. – Abhinai srivastava, Mashgin, Inc.
15. Semi-Autonomous Driving Powered By Edge Computing
Edge computing will enable all sorts of impressive new technologies—one of them being semi-autonomous driving. Many carmakers today are creating software that assesses and reacts to different risks. Edge computing will help make semi-autonomous driving viable because it enables lower-latency experiences. To be safe, vehicles must respond almost instantaneously to surrounding factors such as stop signs. – Maddison Long, CloudOps
16. Quantum Computing And CRISPR
I’ve been particularly impressed with the combination of quantum computing and CRISPR—“clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”—which is a genetic slicing technique used to alter DNA sequences. These breakthroughs can eliminate genetic disorders and cut down the development time of drugs to treat diseases. – Dave Priscak, ON Semiconductor
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