2022: MEGA INNOVATION – ESTIMATING THE BIGGEST TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION IN WORLD HISTORY
A Convergence of Tech
Global investment firm, ARK Invest, is leading a growing sentiment that we are in a unique time in history – witnessing an unprecedented acceleration and overlap of technological breakthroughs.
Right now, there are 5 key areas of technology that are evolving rapidly:
- Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning
- Energy Storage / Battery innovation
- DNA sequencing
- Blockchain technology
The application of this convergence has already begun and will exponentially continue to transform our world. How will it affect you? Let’s look at the following…
- Robot and drone use in dangerous or hard to access locations.
- Digital site mapping, progress checks, and digital twin simulations.
- Space exploration & reusable rockets (everything from building launch sites to terraforming the Moon or Mars).
Getting to work… or not
- Virtual and augmented reality (e.g. working from home on construction site digital twins).
- Electric vehicles.
- Self-driving passenger vehicles (autonomous taxi and bus networks).
- Self-driving freight vehicles (the face of trucking will change drastically).
- Cloud-stored data, digital security, web services, and SaaS (software-as-a-service).
Money, money, money
- Cryptocurrency & digital wallets (how you get paid and pay suppliers will change).
- E-commerce and Fintech innovation.
- Innovations in materials (e.g. concrete) and systems (e.g. 3D printed construction and materials).
- Carbon neutral and carbon negative energy production, materials, and storage.
- Living building materials (micro-organisms living in concrete that self-repair, self-replicates, and absorb harmful toxins from the air).
- Automating rebar prefabrication with robots.
- Bio sciences, healthcare, cell therapy, gene editing and neural linked brain-to-computer integration (the hospitals and research centres being built will change in focus).
Home and Away
- Internet of things (all the physical objects that collect and exchange data on our work and personal preferences).
- Delivery drones (autonomous air travel) and electric vertical take-off (eVTOL) planes.
Even if you aren’t working directly in the above listed fields, they will affect you and your industry. The innovation forced on us by the massive challenges of the COVID pandemic has accelerated the convergence of the 5 technological fields we noted earlier. And it’s happening now!
Time Is Of The Essence
Cathie Wood, the CEO and head of ARK Invest, predicts “We will see more disruption in the next five to 10 years than we have in the history of the world… The convergence of these trends is at a tipping point which will upend many industries.”
And if you don’t believe it will happen that fast, just remember the internet.
The World Wide Web was created in 1989. In 1990 only half of one percent of the world’s population, 2.6 million people, were using the internet.
In 1991 the first web browser was released. By 1995 the internet had 44.4 million users.
Now, there are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. That is 59.5 percent of the world/global population. 92.6% of those users (4.32 billion) accessed the internet on mobile devices.
In order to see how innovation cycles have impacted economies since 1785, consider the infographic below . In 1942, the economist Joseph Schumpeter, pointed out that innovation in disruptive technologies (the railroad and automobile were once ‘disruptive’) is the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”
The redistribution of resources, wealth and energy creates an increase in productivity, growth and higher living standards. Expect and plan for change!
We are at the end of the fifth wave and rising into the sixth wave.
For infrastructure in particular, automation, robotics and clean technology will be obvious areas of change. Predictive analytics and data processing will affect estimators and project managers as more accurate information will be available more quickly, and AI decision-making will influence project outcomes at an unprecedented level.
What Does This Mean For Me?
Be aware of technological trends relating to your industry and be prepared to embrace innovative change. Keep your skills and knowledge as up to date as possible. Be open to new industries, new roles, new products and new suppliers. Budget for technical updates in plant, machinery, software, systems, and other areas affected by the unstoppable tide of innovation. Then hang on and enjoy the ride!
Compared to our grandparents, we are all working much later in life. One advantage that comes with that is exposure to new ideas and technology keeps us relevant and up-to-date.
Focus on the positives, stay open to opportunity, plan for change as best you can, and enjoy the magic of this historic disruptive innovation convergence. Remember, you can always get nostalgic reminiscing about things like dialup internet, fax machines, and telephone books.
What do you predict will happen over the next five to ten years? Send us your thoughts to email@example.com