The world was never prepared for the crisis that we are currently dealing with and the lifestyle of people has changed a lot in the worldwide lockdown situation to thwart the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. As this is one of the biggest crises of the century, we will find a massive paradigm shift in every sector that is associated with our lives and the technology sector is also another sector, which has already been affected by the ongoing lockdown due to COVID-19. But even at the backdrop of this pandemic, the changes will persist and people might start using technology more than before and the way people utilize technology is also going to change in the coming days.
I have already discussed how technology has already been affected due to the ongoing pandemic, but today I will talk about how people will start to change the way they use technology and will be more Technology-dependent at the backdrop of the ongoing situation. Among different changes that will take place at the backdrop of the pandemic, a few will be good for the world of technology while the others will not. I will talk about the most major positive changes that we will see, which include changes in consumer electronics technology, technology in the health sector, and most other fields, technology has some impact.
So, without any further delay, let’s get started with how technology will change our lives at the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
More dependency on the internet for online delivery
There are already some people, who are reluctant to go online for availing online delivery services, like online food delivery and for ordering products online. Among the several reasons why most people don’t want to order online, most people think they will never get the product delivered, or they might get the wrong product delivered to them. But going out shopping is like inviting infections when we should be practising social distancing. So, at this point, and even in the coming days, most people will try to shop online, as that is a safer alternative.
That said, we can see online shopping will also be done by people who are not comfortable shopping online due to several causes. So, in the coming days, we can find more people going online to order everything from products and services to food items and medicines and everything in between. That will at least help people avoid gathering at stores and we can also find the government promoting online shopping and the government can also offer discounts and other benefits if people choose online shopping over regular shopping that is nothing but the big gathering at stores.
Dependency on robotics for health care and others
Even after the lockdown is lifted in several countries, social distancing is something that we will have to follow, even after our life goes back to normal, and till the time we discover a vaccine for the deadly disease. That said, we will start depending upon robots for most things that require, being in close contact with human beings, and the jobs that don’t require any special skills. In the future, the tellers in banks could be replaced by robots, and the same can be seen in hospitals and health care centres for delivering food items to the patients, offering medicines, paramedical activities, and for similar other tasks.
In the beginning, these jobs too might require human intervention, but as the robots will become smarter with time, hardly any human intervention will be required to carry out the simple tasks that don’t require any special skills. We can also find robots in cash counters at grocery stores and supermarkets, and in other places, where the jobs can easily be handled by machines without or with minimum human intervention. This might look like a threat for most, in the first place, but it is all for the safety of our species.
Touchless biometrics to take off
In most offices nowadays, biometrics, especially fingerprint, is the run of the mill mode of biometrics that is used as credentials. Fingerprint readers are cheaper than most other biometric solutions, and that is the reason why it is widely adopted. But, for fingerprint recognition, one has to touch the surface of the sensor. If the fingerprint sensor is touched by an infected person, there is a chance, the whole office will be infected merely from the fingerprint reader, which isn’t something most organizations can afford. Frequent sanitization and deep cleaning of the fingerprint reader isn’t always a great solution either.
An organization can’t urge the employees to wash or sanitize the hands before using the fingerprint scanner every time, as that isn’t feasible. However, the fact that biometrics offer better security than other traditional modes, giving up on biometrics isn’t going to be the solution. That’s why touchless biometrics like iris scanning, voice recognition, and other methods are likely to take off in the coming days. It’s undeniable that there will be complications in the beginning, to replace the existing infrastructure, but this is actually going to happen to cut down on potential infections.
Drone delivery will be the new trend
Delivering items also require the delivery guys to go close to the customers, and at this time, when we have no other option but to practice social distancing, most delivery companies and customers are finding ways to get the deliveries done without being in close contact with the delivery guys. As that isn’t very convenient, companies can start using drones to deliver goods, food items, medicines, and most other things any time soon. Drones can be controlled by something similar to that of air traffic controllers in airports that control the movement of aircraft.
Utilization of drones can not only reduce the chances of infection of person to person diseases like COVID-19, but it can also reduce the overall time of delivery and pickup, and that will eventually be a factor to increase customer satisfaction. As drones can be used for both pickup and delivery of goods, we can get deliveries of essentials and non-essentials even in situations of lockdown, or at other times, when it is dangerous for normal people to go outdoors, like in a situation of apocalypse or so.
More digital and contactless payments
Most of us already use digital modes of payments, but contactless payments using NFC or other technologies aren’t that popular and weren’t that essential. But, in the coming days, we can see a surge in digital payments as most companies and online shopping portals will incentivize digital payment methods over cash on delivery. Amazon has already stopped accepting cash on delivery for orders in India, at the time of writing this story, due to the ongoing pandemic. Most people rely on credit and debit cards for payments at supermarkets and groceries, and the grim reality is, there remains a chance of infection.
The customers will thus, as an alternative, switch to contactless payment methods like Visa Tap to Pay, Samsung Pay, etc. that will not involve handing the card over to the person physically at the cash counter. Presently there are security concerns with a few contactless modes of payments, as the pin is be required only for transactions above a certain value. But as contactless payments will gain popularity all these trivial security issues should be addressed, and contactless payments, hence contactless cards will become more popular among common people.
Work from home to be the new paradigm
Most employees in different organizations are working from home for the ongoing lockdown, and also to reduce the chances of infection. If the organizations find it to be a fruitful way to boost the productivity of the employees, the work from home mode will continue even in the coming days. Asking employees to work from home will not only help maintain social distancing in office spaces, but most companies can also cut down on their expenses as they will have to offer fewer services at the office, and the cost of renting big office spaces will also reduce.
By asking certain employees to work from home, the employees will also suffer from less stress associated with travelling long distances to the office, and they will also not feel lethargic about work. Considering everything, all these can eventually boost the productivity of several employees. As employees will have enough time to spend quality time with their family members and do tasks that they love doing, that will also be useful for the overall mental development of the employees, which can again be useful for the employees and the organization in the long run.
Digital education to take a boost
Even though the schools and colleges are closed amidst the lockdown, studying hasn’t stopped yet, and there are numerous teachers, who are conducting classes online for school and college students, and also for students, who are preparing themselves for competitive exams. As social distancing has to be maintained, conducting classes online seems to be the only best option, and we might see new video conferencing apps that will be optimized for online classes. Online courses are already popular among youngsters, and there are a plethora of apps and websites that most students use nowadays.
During this ongoing situation of the pandemic, most students are already opting for online video courses to prepare at the safety of their homes, and keep themselves prepared ahead of time. Those, who never opted for online courses and digital classrooms are not having any option, and they can now comprehend how convenient, online courses and digital classrooms are, and we can see the existing trend even in the coming days when physical classes can’t be held for a number of unavoidable circumstances like natural calamities or so. Through digital classrooms, the cost associated with setting up a physical classroom can also be saved, which could, in turn, be used to provide more quality education to enthusiastic students.
Entertainment to go online
Going out for a movie with friends and family members is one of the happiest things ever. But when we have to practice social distancing, going out for a movie might not be that fun even in the post-COVID-19 era. The reason is, there will be fear of infection for not being able to maintain social distancing. But we already have other modes to entertain ourselves, and when it comes to watching movies, we can count on video-on-demand services. But the excitement of watching a movie in a theatre with our dear ones is unbeatable.
That is the reason, we are getting a number of useful apps that can help us watch the same movie or video with our friends and family members, like Netflix Party, and in the coming days, we can even find most movies will be released online in several video-on-demand platforms to keep the audience safe at homes. Besides TV shows we can also see web shows to earn more popularity as people will shift towards the online mode of entertainment and that will motivate more content creators to push more web shows.
More electric vehicles to ply on streets
In our country India, the population is one big problem and maintaining social distancing is thus, something, which is next to impossible in most circumstances. But, in order to keep ourselves safe, we will have to practice social distancing and, practising social distancing while travelling in public transport is literally impossible. It might not be possible for every citizen in India to afford a private vehicle, but most people will still opt for private vehicles to commute from one place to the other. That said, we can see a spike in the sale of private vehicles in the coming days at least by middle-class people.
But, with rising demand in private vehicles, there will also be a stern spike in the pollution that also needs to be addressed at the same time to keep the environment safe and healthy. The best way to deal with pollution due to vehicles is to promote the use of e-vehicles, as electric vehicles leave a lower carbon footprint compared to that of vehicles that are driven by fossil fuel. So, this can be the right time for most electric vehicle manufacturers to boost production and it is also the time, most people will ponder on purchasing electric vehicles. Boosting the manufacturing might not be possible at this period of lockdown, but it is definitely possible once things start going normal.
Video conferencing with doctors
The healthcare system in India really needs a lot of improvements, and it is quite evident from the scenario that we are observing currently. Even after making the healthcare system better than it is at present, we might find people communicating with their doctors through video conferencing as that will keep both the doctors and the patients safe from any kind of infections that might arise sitting at the waiting room or by coming in physical contact with the doctors. At the same time, doctors can also keep themselves safe if they are treating certain patients with infectious diseases that are contagious in nature. Furthermore, this can also help the patient maintain social distancing and patients with serious medical complications who cannot go out can also get treatment at the same time.
Even today, there are a number of apps through which we can book appointments with doctors and communicate with them through video conferencing. In the coming days, we can see more such services sprouting. Even though there will be circumstances, when the patients will have to book physical appointments with doctors in case of hospital admission or other problems, but that can at least be limited only to certain patients who need special care. At the time of treatment online, the patient can also send the necessary reports and other documents through email or other portals, which can also help a doctor treat the patient with more precision.
The world of technology might not look completely different form as it is presently, but there is no doubt, there will be massive changes in the way people use technology in their lives. The citizens will start depending more on technology as the COVID-19 pandemic has taught people the importance of technology in our lives and how essential it could be to keep ourselves safe at home in different circumstances when going outdoors can be a threat to our life.
So that was all about the changes that we might observe in the world of technology at the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic situation. Do you know any other way, technology will change our life after this pandemic? Feel free to comment on your views below.