If you have been keeping up with the latest and most exciting tech trends, you must be aware of the impact emerging technologies are having in changing the way we work and interact with others. Technologies like machine learning and touch commerce are gaining in popularity across each industry segment from banking to healthcare. Technology is fundamentally changing and improving the way we conduct business and enabling technology to be an integral aspect of our everyday lives.

Let’s look at five exciting technology trends that are growing in popularity and applications across several industries:

1. Internet of Things (IoT)

This technology is considered to be among the biggest tech trends to emerge in the past few years. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that all technological devices can be interconnected to each other via the internet, creating a perfect partnership between the physical and digital worlds. How does it work in industries? Well, that depends on the industry. For instance, in the marketing, advertising, media and business management segments, IoT can be leveraged to provide vast quantities of information regarding customer engagement with products by monitoring their interactions with digital devices. This data can then be utilized to improve and optimize marketing campaigns and user experiences.

How it’s affecting industries: The amazing thing about IoT is that, in addition to changing the way we conduct business, it has also changed the business models we use to do it. For instance, the popularity of pay-per-use models has exploded and been adopted across all industries as new customer data becomes readily available.
2. Machine learning

Machine learning can be broadly defined as a computer’s ability to learn on its own through data analysis and detecting repeating patterns to derive insights. For instance, social media platforms utilize machine learning to gain a better understanding of how we are connected to our peers and others in our social network. This is accomplished by analyzing your social media activity including the likes, shares and comments you receive or make and then prioritizing content from your closest connections, featuring that content to you first.

How it’s affecting industries: In addition to influencing our social media content, machine learning is also changing the way companies conduct business with their customers. Several companies are leveraging machine learning on mobile devices to learn more about their users even when they are offline. The result? Machine learning is restructuring and reshaping the manner in which businesses interact with their customers in a major way by helping them predict and satisfy customer demands more easily.
3. Virtual reality (VR)

We all have seen virtual reality being shown in movies and wondering how amazing it would be to actually immerse ourselves in a fantasy world of our choosing. Well, we no longer have to wonder. Although the technology behind virtual reality has been around since the 1950s, it wasn’t until quite recently that the technology was developed to become capable of delivering a fully immersive digital experience for users. With growing advancements in both the technology’s hardware and programming, its potential and popularity among the general public make it a promising and exciting tool to be leveraged across all industries from retail to education.

How it’s affecting industries: Virtual reality has been synonymous with the video game industry for years now, and the trend is only going to expand further. In addition to video games, VR technology is going to make an impact on several different industry segments as well, as they look to implement the technology to enable them to engage with the customer base more effectively and optimize their sales and marketing efforts. Also, the technology can also be used as an effective learning tool and increasingly being integrated by education institutions.
4. Touch commerce

Purchasing anything we want simply with the touch of a finger might have been included in the sci-fi section of books just a couple of years ago, but now, it is very much a part of our everyday reality. Merging touchscreen technology with one-click shopping, touch commerce enables consumers to purchase products easily from their phones or any other smart devices. Simply linking our payment information to a general account and activating the feature, allows customers to purchase anything from clothes to groceries with just a quick scan of our fingerprint.

How it’s affecting industries: This technology is one of the biggest things to change the eCommerce landscape in recent years, with purchases of this type expected to grow by 150% in this year alone. Retailers across almost every industry are anticipating a growth in their sales directly related to this new technology.
5. Cognitive Technology

Cognitive technology shares many similarities with machine learning and virtual reality, except that it is a much broader concept. For instance, the cognitive technology umbrella deals with natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition. When these technologies are combined, they can automate and optimize several tasks that were previously executed by people, including certain parts of accounting and analytics.

How it’s affecting industries: Even though cognitive technologies can be applied in several different ways, one of the industry segments most affected by this trend initially will be the software sector. Automated analysis of user data and experiences will be particularly meaningful and vital for software companies that are looking to scale.

Due to these emerging technologies fundamentally changing professional industries such as banking, eCommerce, healthcare and education, staying updated on their trends and trajectory will position you to have a better understanding of your chosen industry and pave the way for becoming a more competitive candidate. Potentially and most importantly, the knowledge of these technologies might be able to help you open new doors and find opportunities in your field and others.