The year 2020 was a challenge for all of us. The world experienced not only a pandemic, but in addition to that, a rapid change in our daily life, our society, our workplace. The world needed to adjust and evolve to try and keep life, work and industries going. But these rapid changes lead to a positive trend in the fields of research, technology and innovations. Tech trends are an uprising topic, many magazines report about it, eg. BBC, Forbes or Gartner. Here are our tech trends we want to talk about, especially the third trend is important to us, since we take part in creating and developing this trend ourselfs. So here are our 3 technological trends of the year 2021.
The first interesting trend or rather innovation are autonomous echolocation drones. The concept of these drones is based on sound, called echo. Like bats, these drones use the returning echo, which they previously generated using several microphones and a speaker. This makes it possible to use the echo to measure the relative distance of objects in the environment. An algorithm then calculates which objects are relevant based on the information from the echo. This allows the drones to detect the obstacles and avoid them independently, even at night. Until now, drones have been controlled with the help of satellites, cameras and so-called “light detection and ranging” radars. This is an optical distance and speed measurement system that is susceptible to interference, for example in fog or tunnels.
Another trend which gained greater importance in 2021 is the so-called circular economy instead of a linear one. The aim is not to consume resources but to recycle and reuse them, to redefine growth and to focus on a positive society-wide benefit. It consists of three key points: the generation of waste and pollution should be optimized away as far as possible, secondly, the reuse of materials and building materials and thirdly, the maintenance and restoration of natural systems. In other words, sustainable business models. The circular economy distinguishes between biological cycles for consumer products by e.g. composting and technical cycles for consumer products, by restoring them for example. The aim is to achieve holistic solutions, as in the case of a platform or sharing economy, for example and thereby achieve environmental and societal benefits.
Voice user interfaces
This trend has been discussed for some time and is already affecting us today: voice user interfaces (UI). This means that there is an interaction between systems and our voice as an instruction. This interaction is based purely on speech, without the use of other motor skills. This is an advantage in view of the fact that for example our society is getting older and older and that even at an advanced age people still want to use technical services and benefits and can do so through UI.
But there are even more benefits that this trend has to offer. Speech recognition and analysis offers huge potential that we should be exploiting right now – for the benefit of society. Speech as an object of interaction is increasingly being integrated into our everyday lives through various applications. It is such a user-friendly tool with great potential – especially in healthcare. Here you can read more about how we use speech as a biomarker in our applications.