Green tech set to be leading trend in 2021
Telenor Research points out 5 key areas
As the world continues to be hampered by the pandemic, digitalisation will gather pace with anti-loneliness tech, green tech, user-friendly security solutions, society-as-a-service modes and digital literacy for all becoming key tech trends to watch this year, according to Norwegian telecoms company Telenor.
Bjorn Taale Sandberg, senior vice president and head of Telenor Research, said green tech is the top priority among these five trends as climate change has increasingly affected all lives regardless of the pandemic and both before and after its emergence.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered devices and robots have been created to help reduce environmental impacts and boost productivity in the agricultural sector, he said.
Mr Sandberg said mobile networks, particularly 5G, have become critical infrastructure for digitalisation and economic recovery.
“The pandemic triggered nearly every industry around the globe to adapt to new ways of working and living, at a rate once thought impossible,” said Mr Sandberg.
The first trend concerns tech that can help combat loneliness. He said the pandemic has given rise to growing numbers of people who feel isolated and lonely.
Telenor Research predicts eHealth actors will develop new sets of tools and services related to mental health.
In countries with full 5G implementation, there could be the first use of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology applied in holographic communication tools within the next year, Mr Sandberg said.
A new generation of chatbots, specifically designed to engage and help people who struggle with loneliness, will also be launched.
Referring to green tech, he said AI will be implemented to optimise energy consumption in data centers and mobile base stations. It will help make renewable energy, such as wind power, more predictable, and “smarten up” cities by optimising transport systems and predicting air quality.
The third trend concerns new approaches that help people tackle difficulties in remembering scores of passwords used to log in to tech devices surrounding them.
“We expect to see greater implementation of user-friendly security solutions in 2021,” he said. “Password managers across sectors or iris and fingerprint scanning solutions will be more common, ensuring efficiency, security, and one less pain point for workers.”
The fourth involves society-as-a-service modes that would accommodate people working outside of their offices.
“Workers also expect to find amenities that support and facilitate their digital work style wherever they go, marking the dawn of the society-as-a-service age,” he said.
The final trend is the need to provide digital literacy for all. Lockdowns hampered some people through a global education gap, as some people lacked internet access at home, preventing them from accessing education.
Mr Sandberg said the education sector and ICT actors must join hands to ensure robust and faster networks, supporting “digital literacy for all.”