It is quite likely that you might have heard or read buzzwords like Artificial Intelligence,
Mixed Reality - Virtual and Augmented Reality, Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain. These
emerging technologies are changing the world, as we know it. However, what many people do
not realize-or at least do not ponder about-is how these technologies are influencing us
in our daily life. In this brief article, I will provide a general overview of these technologies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) - The dictionary definition of AI is the theory and
development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence,
such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.
Some real life examples are - Self-driving and Parking Vehicles, Digital Assistants (Amazon
Alexa, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Google Home), Vehicle Recognition Identification
- Traffic Cameras, Robots - iRobot Roomba and Transportation (Uber, Lyft, etc.).
Mixed Reality (Virtual and Augmented Reality) - Virtual and augmented realities
bring elements of the virtual world into the real world, producing new environments and visualizations
where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time thus enhancing our
experience of what we feel, see and hear. Real life examples include flight simulation, pilot
assistance, work place training, architecture and interior home design, gaming, treating
fear of flying, virtual museum visits, virtual field trips and interactive educational content,
Internet of Things (IoT) - IoT is the interconnection of devices embedded in everyday
objects via the Internet thus enabling them to send and receive actionable data. It means
connecting any device with a sensor or an on and off switch to the Internet or to each other.
This includes everything from coffee makers, thermostats, washing machines, lawnmowers, cellphones,
headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else one can think of. It also applies
to components of large equipment; for example an engine of a car or the imaging hardware
of an MRI machine in a doctor's office. Some real life examples are as follows: If the traffic
is heavy, your car might find another route, and send a text message to your office, notifying
them that you might be running late. Your mobile phone's alarm clock wakes up you at 7 a.m.
and simultaneously sends a signal to your coffee maker to start brewing. When your printer
is running low on supplies it will automatically re-order them and similarly, when your refrigerator
knows that you are running low on milk, it will notify you so that you can pick it up while
returning from work.
Blockchain - Blockchain is the digital, distributed, and decentralized ledger responsible
for logging all transactions without the need for any intermediary, such as government or
a bank. It is technically a shared way of authenticating and distributing transactions and
verifying that an action or a transaction has taken place. In general, Blockchain is associated
with the Cryptocurrency but it could be a vote, exchange of information, a document or a
product. From a consumer perspective, it can provide peace of mind through enhanced security
and verification, utilizing distributed network of machines run independently by people.
Some real life examples are as follows:
- Digital voting - It offers the ability to vote digitally with utmost transparency that
authorities would be able to see if something were changed on the network.
- Property Titles - If you are buying or selling land or a house, instead of handling this
on paper, blockchain can store titles on its network, allowing for a transparent
view of this transfer.
- Managing IoT - With billions of devices entering and leaving the network, blockchain
technology could determine the trustworthiness of devices and alert if there is an