Whoever said that every action attracts an equal and opposite reaction, was damn right. Coronavirus has already thrown one jab at us, and the last thing we can do is throw in the towel. To defeat the pandemic, we must use our leverage – technology.
We must make peace with the fact that working from home will be the new normal for as long as the pandemic persists. And that’s why technologies are important in realizing that. So, how do we shop and make payments, continue learning, seek medical attention, communicate with others, entertain ourselves, and live a normal life without spreading the virus?
The answer lies in 10 innovative technologies helping the environment pass through these tough times. Please read this guide to learn about resources that will help you live a normal life during and after Covid-19.
1. Digital Transactions
Don’t be surprised or feel offended when you walk into a store, and the cashier declines your cash payment. The person-to-person transfer of payments has been identified as a weak link to the transmission of the virus, hence the need to cut it during this time. People are embracing contactless transactions, and it’s for the better good.
And if the cash payments are a must, different governments have put in measures to keep the banknotes as clean as possible. Either way, cards, and e-wallets seem to be the most acceptable means of making payments during the pandemic.
The good news is that the technologies used for digital transactions can make online purchases at any time for any product or service. For example, you can still deposit money and withdraw funds at any time. But the most important thing is to remember about security when transacting, thanks to lightning link you can familiarize yourself with this.
Such companies as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union, Skrill, Stripe, and so on, have made it possible to make digital payments. And thanks to them, we can order anything we want as well as receive money into our accounts without spreading or contracting Coronavirus.
2. Delivery Robots
We’ve talked about ordering and making purchases online. But how do we get the goods delivered to us? This is where robot deliveries come in handy. Most healthcare facilities have already embraced them due to their abilities to perform repetitive jobs in a precise and reliable manner. They’ve displayed great success in handling patients with infectious diseases in and around hospitals.
That’s a clear signal that such technologies and tools can be programmed into logistics systems as well. China and the US delivery companies are at the forefront of exploring robots’ potential in this sector. They’re now being used to pick up goods and drop them off at specific locations, instead of in-person deliveries.
The ultimate goal is limiting further spread of Coronavirus by limiting human contacts. Restaurants, for example, have taken the opportunity to make businesses keeping their doors shut. But since this is still a work-in-progress, it turns out that robots can’t operate without human intervention, and it requires lots of funding to become completely autonomous. But we can still expect that they will be one of the best technologies for remote working.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications technology to diagnose and treat patients. In simple terms, it’s the exchange of medical information via different means such as emails, wireless tools, video calling, chatbots, and wearable devices, among others. This treatment method appeared more than 40 years ago, but thanks to Covid-19, it has become part of the technologies we use every day.
So, what services do telemedicine provide? Patients’ diagnosis mainly occurs through interactive videos, where the doctor can access digital images, monitor vital signals, and note critical data for later review. After monitoring patients at remote locations, the next step is sending the data to a homebound health agency or a testing facility. Patients can then access the test results for such conditions as blood sugar or any other diseases via the Internet or wireless devices.
The only catch is that telemedicine requires some level of digital literacy, and it can be expensive without an insurance cover. Nonetheless, this technology has caused increased healthcare access, reduced costs of constant hospital visits, and increased demand for the services.
Upholding the social distancing rule hasn’t stopped people from bringing the party online. Such social media platforms as Instagram, FaceBook, and TikTok have turned to be the new hubs for live-streaming concerts and DJ mixes. Artists have risen to the occasion to keep their fans entertained with technologies at home. Such devices as noise-canceling headphones and Sonos One have also made it possible to listen to cool music when working from home.
And if you’re more of an adventure than an entertainment person, museums and heritage sites have got you covered. They’ve given you the chance to take virtual tours and enjoy the epic views of their sites at the comfort of your couch.
YouTube and Netflix have also seen an awe-inspiring upsurge in their user numbers. This indicates how technologies changed our lives since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. And it won’t be surprising if the same spirit of online entertainment continues even after the end of the virus.
5. Distance Learning
Covid-19 has affected around 60% of the world’s student population. This results in different governments’ decision to close all learning institutions indefinitely. But thanks to the technologies’ advancement in the past decade, there’s been a smooth transition from the classroom to online learning in most countries.
Virtual tutoring, two-way videos, language apps, and e-learning software have taken the center stage in facilitating education during Covid-19. Preprogrammed robots-teachers have also been great at keeping our children informed while staying safe from the virus.
The most common technologies and solutions for online learning include Zoom, Google Classroom, Thinkific, TalentLMS, and Schoology. They’re the best means for creating and administering online courses, hosting virtual classrooms, assigning homework, and tracking progress. And they seem to be doing it the right way because recent studies indicate that online learning causes faster and easier retention of information.
So, what does this mean for the future of learning? While some technological news warns that it would lead to poor user experience, others believe that this is the beginning of a new model of learning that will result in sustained growth. But what’s a guarantee, is that a combo of traditional offline learning and online learning will take education to greater heights.
Covid-19 has caused an unprecedented disruption of food production, processing, and storage, as well as supply and delivery. Governments are also working 24/7 to prevent a looming food shortage. The only leverage is using agricultural technology to improve the yields to fill the gap between demand and supply.
An excellent example of Agritech is the use of drones to help in productivity. The unmanned aerial vehicle is used to monitor and increase crop production. Also, drones are the best technologies for helping the environment by reducing organic pollution. As they monitor the plants’ health, they pinpoint the damaged areas, thus enabling the farmers to only spray chemicals in targeted ways. Drones can also be preset to administer specific amounts of chemicals to the targeted areas at the perfect altitude, thus avoiding overspraying.
Drone technologies evolution is a fast-paced process, and very soon, it will have the capacity to handle every farm process, including monitoring, chemical administration, data collecting, and even harvesting. In the meantime, harvesting has already been made easier through the use of robots, and we can expect more improvement for the technologies in the future.
7. 5G Internet
The 5th generation network couldn’t come at a better time. Even though we’re all aware of the technologies’ news about the 5G Cold War between China and the US, that hasn’t stopped the high-speed network from helping combat Covid-19. Giant phone brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus have already embraced the technology though they still don’t have access to all the markets due to restrictive jurisdictions.
But what’s the link between the 5G Internet and the fight against Coronavirus pandemic? With the high-speed network, doctors can collect high-quality and accurate data that help in analysis, telemedicine, medication, and surgical intervention. 5G also enhances the use of robots in handling patients with infectious diseases.
Apart from providing high-speed Internet to help doctors fight Covid-19, 5G also makes it possible to stream quality videos and videos from different entertainment sites. It will also enable the further development and completion of upcoming innovations like Autonomous Cars, AI, IoT, Virtual and Augmented Reality; all of which are technologies of the future.
Very soon, the 5G Internet will become part of the technologies you can’t live without, and who knows, maybe it’ll keep us working from home even beyond the pandemic. Overall, it’s an amazing technology that will change our lives for the better good.
8. Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is the use of technology to make three-dimensional objects from digital files. It could be used to manufacture consumer products, dental products, industrial goods, prototypes, prosthetics, and so on. And now that Covid has disrupted the normal supply chain and foreign trades, most countries have adopted the technology in producing personal protective equipment.
There are numerous 3D modelling software and tools that facilitate manufacturing. They’re highly versatile in production; one printer can manufacture different materials at one-go. Moreover, all the production take place on-site, thus saving time and resources.
But there are a few catches; printing patent-protected objects may cause intellectual property disputes. Also, you must seek regulatory approvals before printing medical equipment like surgical masks. This may cause production delays. Lastly, there may be disagreements about patent protection under different regimes. For instance, how will trade volumes affect the product? And who would take liability in case of product flaws?
9. Internet of Things
Simply put, IoT is the interconnection of devices with the ability to send and receive data without any human intervention. By connecting these devices to an automated system, they’re able to gather information, analyze, and trigger actions that can help solve a problem.
Hospitals are an example of the beneficiaries of IoT technology during this Coronavirus period. The devices are not only connected but also positioned at strategic locations. As such, they help pinpoint any errors or change requirements during treatment.
In general, IoT grants us the opportunity to improve whatever we do, save time, resources, and energy. This is bound to get even better in the future as companies are eager to incorporate IoT, AI, and machine learning into their production systems. The only major concern is the privacy of the transmitted data. Anything on the Internet is susceptible to hacking, and IoT is no exception.
10. Smart Gadgets and Apps
The innovation of smartphone apps that can help track Covid-infected patients is one of the technologies we use every day. The apps use high-speed networks and use targeted areas to collect data and analyze outcomes.
Aside from helping fight the virus, smart gadgets are also the facilitators of the technologies you use every day. This is evidently displayed in the way we book rides, order meals, send money, pay bills, and engage friends, and so on. Smartphones have, therefore, become a part of our livelihoods and one of the best inventions in the techno world.
The Coronavirus pandemic has shown us that technologies global preparedness is no longer a choice, but a necessity. We have to live our lives and conduct our businesses even if it means doing it from our homes.
And once we defeat the pandemic, the battle doesn’t end there – we have to gear up our technologies degree to prepare for future pandemics proactively. But for now, these ten techs have done a great job keeping us safe as the health professionals do all they can to keep the epidemic under control.
Do you think these are technologies that will change the world even after coronavirus? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Ellen Royce is a passionate tech-enthusiast. Her undying love for tech is always inspired by the urge to make the world a better place. During her free time, she loves sipping coffee while researching her next project. She also makes time to talk to schoolchildren about how technologies are vital in the present and the future.