It's crazy to think that we've been dealing with the impact of COVID-19 for most of the year. And there's nothing to say we won't be dealing with it for many months to come. But, one of the upsides of this pandemic is that it's given rise to some very interesting trends. And it's given the world of tech the chance to shine. Without these tech innovations, most societies wouldn't be able to function under the current conditions. Here are just some of the tech trends making a difference during COVID-19...
Top 6 tech trends thriving during COVID-19
Digital and contactless payments
This has been huge in the face of coronavirus. Public and communal devices like parking pay stations, turnstiles, fingerprint access points and card machines are constantly sanitised in order to curb the spread of the virus. And, during our day-to-day experiences, we can't help but touch many of these items. So this year, we've seen an impressive rise in contactless payment solutions and digital payment options. Most stores offer the option of tapping or scanning cards without you having to enter a pin. And, some service providers even accept payment via a digital or e-wallet.
Perhaps this was already a trend in other parts of the world, but now it's hit South Africa in a big way. To avoid going out into the COVID-19 fray, many consumers are choosing to stay home. But, they still need access to the basics like groceries, stationery, medicine and warm clothes.
Fortunately, more and more businesses are adapting to meet this need and now offer safe, contactless delivery options. And tech is vital in creating these solutions, from e-commerce apps to GPS location tracking systems. You would never be able to 'add to cart' without the use of innovative technology.
This has become such a big trend that the abbreviation 'wfh' is now seen all over social media. But, in many situations, this option wouldn't be possible if it weren't for advanced tech solutions. Your work and home officeS need to be set up to allow for remote working. This is done through the use of technology like virtual private networks (VPNs), voice over internet protocols (VoIPs), virtual meetings on apps like Zoom, and work collaboration tools like AnyDesk and Slack.
We hear all the time that schools are opening. And then closing again when the COVID-19 threat becomes too great. So online distance learning has become a welcome solution. In order to learn effectively from home, you'll need much the same technology as you would if you were working from home. And a strong Wi-Fi signal is crucial. Some new technologies that are making a difference in online learning include virtual reality and augmented reality. They help give children a more authentic and unique learning experience.
This has made an impressive impact in the production and supply of personal protection equipment (PPE). Many countries have closed their borders and limited import and export operations, which has drastically affected the PPE supply chain. Fortunately, 3D printers can be used to produce these materials quickly and efficiently. But, it's not a faultless plan. Issues with intellectual property can come into play, as well as time-consuming safety and regulation approval checks for specific items like surgical masks.
Drones and robots
It's remarkable how many basic daily tasks rely on human interaction. And, in the face of COVID-19, we've come to avoid these. Industries like food, retail, manufacturing and logistics have been particularly badly affected. So, in some countries, drones and robots have been called in to help with food parcel deliveries and delivering online orders. They've even been used to help keep up with sanitising and disinfecting areas. In some hospitals, robots take medication and meals to COVID-positive patients to help keep nurses and doctors safe. Robotics is now a thing of the present rather than the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we've ever experienced, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Advancements in these technological solutions are important now, and will be key in improving our lives in the future. There may be many more tech trends on the rise, so we'll keep you informed.