What do people who work in the innovation business daily want to see disrupted by tech?
Technological innovation is the bread and butter of our daily work at CRITICAL Software. There’s no doubt that our engineers regularly solve complex problems and doing that requires some of ‘out of the box’ thinking.
Here’s a list of things that people we interviewed at CRITICAL would like to see disrupted by technology in the next twenty years.
A Lighter Life
For Adélia Gonçalves, Software Engineer, more convenience, less baggage and better batteries would be ideal: “I would love to leave home without my wallet with only my lipstick in my pocket. Everything I might need to do would be possible using the retina: payments, opening doors, etc. And mobile phones won’t need to be charged.” Hopefully smartphone creators will bear this common bug-bear in mind!
Perfect Temps and Ents
Can you imagine always feeling like your body is at the most comfortable temperature? What about tech that could protect humans from climate change? Renata Silva, Software Engineer, believes that in the future, tech might offer a solution: “we could wear a kind of transparent, thin, light-weight suit to control our temperature. If we were cold it would warm us, if we were hot it would cool us. This suit would have both automatic and manual controls and could prevent people from suffering when the weather and temperatures change.”
Alongside clothing, Renata would also like to see tech influence entertainment. She predicts one new trend that might bring entertainment closer than ever: “We could have brain implants to watch TV and surf the net directly with our eyes or minds, without the need for screens and other connections.” For viewers, taking this step might demand some courage, but boredom would definitely be a thing of the past!
As a company that’s one step ahead when it comes to a better work-life balance, CRITICAL employees get to enjoy remote working. However, as Ciara Mulkerrins, Marketing Manager, points out, not all companies are ‘with the programme’ yet: “Remote working has become more common but some companies still insist on having face-to-face meetings when they aren’t necessary. Now, sending your employees miles across the country (or world) is fine for some meetings which need that relationship building element, or a personal presentation. However, with good planning and a great team, most meetings can be reduced to video calls, audio calls or even emails. It’s true that the tech already exists to facilitate remote meetings but the hearts and minds of all the business leaders aren’t entirely engaged yet. The tech giants need to refresh or rebrand their tech to capture a huge audience that’s stuck in the dark ages.”
Joana Diz, another of our engineers, pulls our attention close to home. “By looking at our daily life we can analyse and predict the changes that are expected (and need) to happen in the next twenty years. We should expect to have better public transportation and better public services over a longer distance. We should expect to vote without having to go to the polls (which would cause abstention to decrease) and better public infrastructure (meaning the end of accessibility issues for people with mobility problems).
These changes would help ensure that one day, we will all have access to what we need. Also, just as I hope endless waiting lists for operations and other health care problems will cease to be reality, I hope that within twenty years, the production of pollution we currently see – those horrible black columns of smoke – will end.
With tech disruption bringing necessary changes to villages not just big cities, perhaps humanity will remember the benefits of a simpler way of life. Then we could return from the cities and enjoy (and care for) the countryside with a greater awareness of the world. Only great tech and strong will can drive these changes.”
Carlos Manta, Senior Engineer, recalls how organising a group trip would have been easier with better tech: “A few years ago, I organised a trip with friends and it was a demanding task. Planning locations, research activities, booking logistics and arranging for appropriate meeting points could easily take a week. Then, after the trip we shared expenses, photographs, memories and souvenirs. It took ages! Now, with social media and other platforms, planning and sharing a trip might only take up an evening.
I’m also very curious and excited to learn how the world will move in the future. There will no more buying cars, topping up fuel, or planning routes. You will just leave home in the morning, and decide you feel like walking, cycling, or taking a transport to work, options will be available to choose, no planning. And if decide to stop for groceries on the way back home, either a van or a drone will be offered as options at the automated cashier.
A lot of technology will be needed to support these changes – IoT to AI – and I am sure CRITICAL will play a role in the paradigm shift for ‘plan-free’ mobility.”
The Common Good
Project Engineer Ana Rita Silva thinks tech should contribute more to people’s lives: “I think there is a growing need for technology to support communities. Whether it’s in the sphere of health (finding a cure for cancer and other fatal diseases), or at a social level (integrating homeless people and drug addicts into society), it’s time to start looking up from our mobile phones, computers, tablets, social networks, to start looking up from our mobile phones, computers, tablets, social networks...
We need to look around us and raise awareness of these issues that affect us all. I hope to see solutions that can combat desertification and global warming, plus improve how we produce food. One day we could be creating new functional foods that can replace increasingly scarce resources in our world, without harming the environment.”
Luís Neves, Business Development Manager, would like to see changes on two fronts: “In politics, I would like to see a change in the paradigm of governance, based on democratic principles, but also on the effective exploitation of new technologies. I would like to explore what technology can offer in terms of information transparency for government actions and if it can improve the active participation of populations in the subjects that concern us all.
It is becoming increasingly clear that current governance models are outdated and don’t seem to be changing quickly enough to keep up. Imagine the impact of phenomena such as money virtualization, the technological impact on an increasing range of professions, environmental issues and fake news, for example, and you can see that the electronic vote and exposure and desire for transparency of government decisions will soon guide modern societies towards an urgent disruption in this area.
And when it comes to transportation, we usually dream about the famous futuristic teleportation technology shown in Star Trek and films like ‘The Fly’. Although we can already see some interesting changes happening with driverless cars, I would like to see more significant advances on how mobility and transportation are perceived and thought through. If we make use of the latest developments in the field of quantum physics, specifically in the quantum teleportation chapter, it’s easy to bet on a disruption in this domain in the next 20 years.”
Hopefully, technological disruptions in the field of medicine will help us to stay healthier for longer and enjoy a better relationship with medical institutions. Paulo Lourenço, Chief Security Officer, tells us: “I’d like to see technology disrupt healthcare, causing a transition from the current physician-centric approach to a patient-centric approach. This would include better access to (secure) patient data and where necessary, treatments will focus on each person’s DNA. This would improve the chances of recovery from illness since it won’t rely on the blind, blanket application of treatments. Overall, it will lead to more efficient treatments and more positive outcomes.”
For Senior Engineer Carlos Manta, it’s a concern that tech that’s meant to make our lives easier is contributing to our demise: “The same technology that gives us instant contact and cuts our workload is the same technology that makes our lives more sedentary. This is hurting our health and degrading our lifestyle. There are a few ways in which I wish that technology would disrupt this.
Technology already knows a lot about us and I think this might be the area to focus on. If you’ve got it set up, Google warns you before you make a journey that traffic is building up that may cause you to miss an early meeting. It recommends a new route which means you can avoid the delay. Netflix recommends which movies or series you may be interested in, based on what you have been watching. This cuts down on your search time and lets you stream what you want and when from the comfort of your couch.
In the same way, future technology will be able to learn about you and help you make healthier choices. It could remind you which alternatives your friends chose (sports, nutrition, sleeping habits) and encourage you to follow them. It might show you your progress and illustrate future accomplishments which, by following your improved lifestyle, you’ll reach. I am pretty sure that IoT, medical-grade devices and also big data analytics, plus gamification strategies, are fields where CRITICAL will also be contributing.”
Finally, Délio Almeida, Quality Manager, zooms in on tiny tech: “I’d like to see a major technological breakthrough in Nano and genetic medicine, which would help us develop cures for all forms of cancer on a cell-by-cell basis. Disruption at this level would result in a fast and effective treatment, without the hurdles and painful consequences of chemotherapy and current medical practices. This advance would extend human life expectancy, bring more quality of life to millions of people and set the ground-work for the common human ambition of living for hundreds of years.”
Do you agree with our employees? What would you like to see disrupted by technology in the next twenty years?