Chief of technology and strategy, APAC at GlobalLogic — helping Fortune 100 firms transform their products.
The last few quarters have been ones with a lot of pandemic-inflicted gloom. They have also been quarters with a lot of new ways of doing things and research becoming mainstream. Specifically, there are quite a few technologies that had been sitting on the tenterhooks that are now fast becoming mainstream. Loosely, these are categorized as the DARQ technologies, and their time is now. They have been rushed into action by the need for more reliable, virtual and immersive experiences in the post-pandemic world.
DARQ technologies stand for Distributed Ledger, Artificial Intelligence, Extended Reality and Quantum Computing — technologies that have been around for a few years in research but are now ready to be built in enterprise-grade software. The most powerful aspect of these is the number of use cases we can build with them in various combinations.
Recently, GE Aviation teamed with Microsoft to use distributed ledger technology to streamline the tracking of aircraft parts. This will not only reduce inefficiencies and make the entire process cost-effective but also timely with reduced losses. Extended reality enabled LEGO Wear to launch a clothing store without any clothes in the actual store (shoppers instead shop virtually). And Volkswagon’s quantum touting application is optimizing traffic management for Lisbon, which is not a very pretty sight for traffic density.
The examples above show the power of the technologies and indicate that these are here to stay and change our lives while they are here. Let’s now look at some very near-term possibilities for DARQ technologies that could be in play.
Imagine a hospital where a doctor consultation goes paperless. With natural language processing (NLP), it is easy to separate the pleasantries from the advice and produce a digital prescription by the time the doctor is done. What makes it more interesting is since the “advice” is already digital, edge technologies could be used to digitally match up the prescription to the patient’s history and flag any contraindications of things that may not work. That would reduce the chances of error significantly.
Covid has turned so many schools virtual that would it be worthwhile to use extended reality technologies to make it even more immersive for students. An interesting example could be for a kid to take a tour of a live brain. Would it be worth their time for students to walk through the auditory canal, marveling at the eardrum to enter the cortex? And from thereon, tug at the medulla and crisscross the cerebrum. Students will have a much better recall in a shorter time as compared to reading aloud the parts of the brain multiple times.
Still in a different world, if the digital displays for the fall collection in the malls somehow track how long your retina stays on which shirt on the screen, they could predict what would sell more and in which locality. This way we would not just be able to predict sales and make production lines more efficient, but we would also route the right collections to the right parts of the world.
These real-life and hypothetical use cases promise to transform not just businesses but also all of our lives. From a technology perspective, they have been feasible for years — they have just escaped being mainstream since we have not needed them “enough.” Stores have not eliminated payment stations since the cost of the possibility of theft still yet outweighed the need for doing away with the queue. They are doing so now since the need for reducing contact and touch outweighs the risk associated with theft.
The world today can be a gloomy place. Yet out of every doom-and-gloom scenario, humankind has come out with new inventions, new possibilities and a better tomorrow. We hope and wish the pandemic gives a lot of these powerful “out”standing technologies the way in and helps them change the world for the better!
Not that they are asking for our permission anymore. They are the DARQ Knights and they are here to rise and conquer our hearts.
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