The A to Z of future tech trends

Sunil Rajguru
New Update

If the smartphone was the single biggest game changer in the 2010s, it’s going to be techceleration (technological acceleration) as a result of Covid from hereon. The pandemic era boosted certain technologies and laid others to the wayside. Looking at the A to Z of technologies going forward...


A for AI-ML-DL + Analytics: We have mastered Weak/Shallow AI. The Turing Test is probably irrelevant as certain bots have indeed started fooling humans and confusing them. In one experiment, bots beat boys in getting dates from girls via the screen interface.

In the 2013 movie Her, the protagonist is comfortable spending his life with his AI virtual assistant (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Celebrities like Morgan Freeman, Samuel L Jackson and Amitabh Bachchan are lending their voices to the smart assistant in real life, much like Johansson in reel life. Virtual assistants are getting more control, becoming command centres of homes and offices. One day you too could find them like a reliable companion and confidante.

We are fine tuning General AI, dreaming of Super AI and theorizing the Singularity, where humans could merge with AI. Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow explores a similar concept. Elon Musk’s Neuralink is making this practical. Musk is also associated with OpenAI while Alphabet has DeepMind.


The whole bouquet along with AI transforming the world is: Machine Learning (ML) + Deep Learning (DL) + Natural Language Processing (NLP). Thanks to billions of smartphones, tens of billions of IoT devices, trillions of sensors, digitization, digitalization/digital transformation and the acceleration of everything on the cloud, this humongous data explosion will be able to be crunched and analyzed chiefly through AI.

B for Blockchain: In a world where everyone is losing faith in the media and governments, blockchain is a technology that can bring in empowerment and transparency. In theory blockchain has shown to have great scope in things like digital IDs, digital voting and healthcare. It can transform distributed ledgers in banking and post-Covid, streamline supply chain logistics and management.

IoT networks, the gaming industry and weapons tracking are some of the other areas where the used cases are coming up. This is the least understood technology among the common populace and that’s why you are seeing the rise of startups related to Blockchain-as-a-Service (Baas).


C for Crypto: While cryptocurrency is a subset of blockchain, it has branched out and become a standalone idea as people are losing faith in the entire financial system. While Bitcoin gets the most media coverage, there are many other cryptocurrencies led by Ethereum which are gaining ground.

For those who think it is a passing fad, when 2009 was ushered in, the total value of cryptocurrency was Zero (since it hadn’t been fully created yet). In 2021, the combined value touched $3 trillion, getting into the league of India’s annual GDP. Billionaires, techies, corporations, the common populace… Everyone is jumping on to the bandwagon.

More importantly, this is pushing many governments to go in for a digital currency. The Chinese government came out with the Digital Yuan e-CNY. Chinese ecommerce giant accepted that for its Singles’ Day, which is described as the biggest shopping event in the world. India may have a digital currency of its own as may the UK and people are already calling it Britcoin.


D for Data Centers-Cloud: C for Covid. C for cloud acceleration. No crisis has pushed all businesses and homes towards the cloud like this one. For the first time people are talking of complete digitization and digital transformation and it may happen sooner than you think.

Trillions of GBs of data is zig zagging furiously all across the world through billions of devices via millions of data centers each and every day. It’s not just data but services and all manner of office work and home entertainment. Very soon we are going to live fully in the cloud world. The technology, tools and will is finally here for humankind.

E for ERP-CRM: Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management are going great even though you may not hear much about them. SAP. Oracle. Salesforce. They are all expanding and both these markets individually are in the region of tens of billions of dollars.


F for FinTech: Financial technology is an umbrella term for all the technologies emerging in the financial services sector also including cryptocurrencies and InsurTech (insurance technology). The role of the smartphone is increasing rapidly in the world of FinTech. Commission free trading Robinhood has been in the news for all the right and wrong reasons in the Covid era.

India’s most famous FinTech company is Paytm. It shot to fame during the demonetization crisis and after that flourished during the pandemic era too. So did the government’s UPI or Unified Payments Interface and the likes of BharatPe and PhonePe.

Fintech, crypto and ecommerce all go hand in hand and the entire monetary system is slowly moving online. This is for sheer convenience and the resilience of these systems in the face of natural disasters and pandemics. Amazon Prime-BigBasket along with Swiggy-Zomato have become indispensable and will only get more important as the years pass by.


G for (5)G: Every generation of telephony promises more but none more than 5G. The speeds, reliability and intensity will be unparalleled. They will power entire smart cities with all their components like smart homes, smart utilities and smart traffic networks. Smart factories or Industry 4.0 is heavily dependent on 5G.

H for HealthTech: The Indian healthcare system was in shambles but now some form of upgrade has taken place and we can actually aspire for Universal HealthTechCare. HealthTech is one field that can embrace AI-ML, robotics, IoTs, smartphone apps, VR etc.

I for IoT: Internet of Things devices and sensors are mushrooming like crazy and they are present in every industry and every field. They sit quietly and send valuable data 24X7 to the cloud for it to be analyzed in real time.


J for Jobs of the future: They were talking about it but the change has already come. They gave permission to robotaxis (driverless taxis) and autonomous delivery vehicles. AI is supplanting many jobs which humans can do and the role of the data scientist will get more intense as we move forward.

K for K-12 and beyond: Online education has changed the way we operate and will be great to reduce costs, cater to a wide range of students and to those in remote areas. However children require socializing, sports, making friends, extra-curricular activities, team building and getting a taste of the real world in a controlled setting. It’s about having fun.

That’s why hybrid education is the way forward since it has so many benefits. The student will need the flexibility to work from either home or school or maybe like WFA (Work From Anywhere) you will have EFA (Education From Anywhere). VR glasses and the concept of a metaverse could take it to a totally new level.

L for Low code-No code: These let non-programmers create application software through the GUI (graphical user interface), hence democratizing coding thereby enhancing the pool of individuals that can do that. Of course it helps programmers too.

M for Metaverse: While a lot of people ridiculed Facebook for going Meta, Morgan Stanley called the metaverse the “next big investment theme”, declaring: It can fundamentally change the medium through which we socialize with others. NVidia started talking about something it described as the “HTML of 3D” or Universal Scene Description or USD to power the metaverse.

Disney, which championed the multiverse in its Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, is also planning to come out with its own metaverse. UniversalTencent CEO Tony Ma weighed in: Anything that makes the virtual world more real and the real world more rich with virtual experiences can become part of the metaverse.

In other words the concept of Meta is going to be a big success and it will change society and business in ways that we cannot even imagine.

N for Nanotech: Nanotechnology was a slow moving field which showed great promise, but during the Covid era, it was initially used to make PPE kits. Nanomedicine involves targeted drug delivery and is being experimented in cancer-AIDS research and even something like tissue engineering. Nanoparticles

are used in imaging and sensing. In general, nanodevices, nanoelectronics, carbon nanotubes are some futuristic applications.

O for OTT: Maybe it’s time to call it something else. Initially it referred to devices that went “over the top” of cable TV boxes to give content. But now “Streaming” has supplanted cable TV and even the theatre to emerge the undisputed emperor.

While Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney + (they tied up with Hotstar in India) are the Top 3, it is quite encouraging that so many regional players are doing well. Going forward we will have a hybrid entertainment system where the virtual will clearly dominate.

P for Power: Power generation is getting more and more smart. The production, distribution and regulation of all kinds of energy is being handled by the computer. While this is increasing efficiency, the system is also more open to hacking and ransomware attacks.

Q for Quantum computing: This form of computing promises to break Moores’ Law forever and nobody really knows how far it will go. First Google and then the Chinese achieved quantum supremacy. Now IBM has crossed the 100 qubit mark thanks to its new processor and is eyeing 1000 qubits.

R for Robotics: There has been a prejudice against robots but that seems to be vanishing thanks to the conditions that came from the pandemic and the need for no touch solutions. They are being used in hospitals, retail and factories.

S for Security: Cybersecurity will become even bigger as we are entering into an era of 100% digitalization or digital transformation and digitization. If all the work is being done digitally via some device or the other, then there are unlimited entry points for hackers to target and cybersecurity has to become all-pervasive.

T for Three D Printing: 3D printing promised to take any material and print everything that was made by the human race. Now it's finally delivering on the goods. There’s “plant-based meat” that is coming out of a 3D solution. A Dior concept store was printed in 5 days flat. From metal 3D printing, to those with pellets, it’s all happening.

U for Unmanned Vehicles: Driverless vehicles for transportation, taxiing and deliveries. Everyone is doing research into them. They could replace all the drivers of the world who may have to seek new ways of employment. Then there are drones that can do almost anything from delivery to surveillance in any remote corner of the globe.

V for Virtual events: The events industry was hit hard by the pandemic. But soon virtual events took over. From simple ones like webinars to extravagant ones that lasted all day. Virtual concerts have also taken off as we are entering a hybrid world of events and entertainment.

W for WFA: First you worked from the office. Then there was the Work From Home (WFH) option, but now you need flexibility to Work From Anywhere even as the global mobile workforce is in the region of 2 billion. We finally have the broadband, collaboration tools, acceptance and will to do so.

X for XR: In the beginning we had Virtual Reality (VR). Then Augmented Reality (AR) where the real world is enhanced by VR. Finally we had Mixed Reality (MR), the merger of the real and virtual worlds. To avoid confusion people are calling all this XR or extended reality.

Y for (Gen) Y: Millennials (Generation Y) have dominated the scene, but now Gen Z is taking over and the new technological changes will be done around them. They may become the inheritors of the metaverse.

Z for Zero-energy building: Climate change. Global warming. Low energy footprint. While one option is to replace fossil fuels with renewables, another option could be to come out with buildings that have an extremely low energy consumption and that’s where technology is stepping in.

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