Telenor Research, the corporate unit for scientific research of Telenor Group, has recently identified five technology trends that will shape 2021.
The sixth edition of "Tech Trends" by the Telenor Research team, highlighted: the emergence of innovative technologies addressing remote education and work, rising data security concerns, increased usage of environmentally-friendly solutions, and combating loneliness.
Grameenphone recently unveiled the research findings at an interactive event at GP House on Monday, read a press release.
Telenor Research predicts the emergence of new technology to aid remote learning and changes to the virtual education ecosystem in 2021. As working from home is already the new normal, organisations will now focus on building the capacity to use new digital tools, upskilling and data and cybersecurity.
Ensuring mental well-being using advanced technologies – like augmented reality, virtual reality and advanced artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbots – for those experiencing prolonged isolation will also come into play.
AI will also be implemented to optimise energy consumption. It will help make renewable energy – such as wind power – more predictable, and "smarten" cities by optimising transport as well as predicting the overall quality of environment and life.
"The pandemic has triggered us, and nearly every industry around the globe, to adapt at a rate once thought impossible. The past year has proved that digitalisation will be key to tackling major societal issues and to facilitate new ways of working and living in 2021," said Bjørn Table Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research, who virtually presented the keynote speech during the session.
Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Shyam Sunder Sikder attended the occasion as the chief guest and said the technology trends that are being forecasted will play a crucial role in guiding innovators, enterprises and experts in creating solutions that matter to citizens.
Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone said, "We have experienced a massive shift in our behaviors, minimising the physical and virtual world's boundaries."
"These tech projections show technology and connectivity will play a pivotal role in: ensuring our mental well-being, modernising the education system to becoming a knowledge-based economy, promoting green-tech agendas, and keeping us safe in online space towards a better Bangladesh," Azman added.
Anir Chowdhury, policy advisor of a2i; Sonia Bashir Kabir, founder of SBK Tech Ventures and SBK Foundation; and Dr Mehtab Khanam, counselling Psychology, University of Dhaka, also took part in the panel discussion.
Trend 1: Tech supplements touch to tackle mental health maladies
A new generation of chatbots, specifically designed to engage and help people who struggle with loneliness, will be launched. Drawing on AI, these personalised digital helpers will: respond to questions, initiate calls, offer entertainment, and conduct enriching activities that enhance feelings of being connected.
Trend 2: A digital spring for green tech
In cities all over the globe, artificial intelligence will be implemented to optimise energy consumption in data centres and mobile base stations. It will help make renewable energy – such as wind power – more predictable, and "smarten" cities by optimising transport and predicting air quality.
Mechanical weeding, with machine vision, will streamline the use of pesticides – thus reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
Trend 3: Password panic emerges as symptom of cyber security challenges
As employees waste precious time struggling to remember their login details, 2021 is expected to see greater implementation of user-friendly security solutions. Password managers across sectors – or iris and fingerprint scanning solutions – will be more common, ensuring efficiency, security and one less pain point for workers.
Trend 4: Society-as-a-service offers much-needed flexibility
In 2021, to ensure the necessary competence for the future way of work, managers will increase the upskilling of employees in cyber security, digital hygiene and the use of digital tools and technologies.
Trend 5: Mind the education gap
In 2021, we expect to see an escalating number of new and creative methods of remote, digital learning to emerge from the rapidly advancing virtual learning sphere. Those equipped with network access and internet-capable devices will be able to take part in this digital leap and reap the rewards. However, the unconnected will lose ground.