In December 2016 we saw the long anticipated, first ever UK drone delivery in the UK. The delivery was made in Cambridge on Wednesday by an Amazon drone. The future is here. However, this story is not unique. In the past few weeks, we have seen other news stories that show just how technology is changing simple interactions as part of our daily life. British Aerospace have started trials in autonomous aircraft technology, Amazon have launched their checkout free grocery stores in New York, self-driving cars are coming to UK roads and a teaching surgeon (Dr Shafi Ahmed) has livestreamed an operation using Snapchat spectacles.
Although some of the appropriateness of the technology uses is still being discussed, it is hard to deny that technology is becoming a continual game changer in all industries from consumer based travel and retail to advanced medical training.
Earlier this year, the founder of The World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab, released a book on the subject of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He believes that we currently stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another.
He states that: ‘In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.”
Like the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world.
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.
Digital fabrication technologies, meanwhile, are interacting with the biological world on a daily basis. Engineers, designers, and architects are pioneering and making advances in the relationships between technology, the products we consume, and even the buildings we inhabit.
There are many organisations in Lancashire, that are already taking part in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and perhaps more so than the more talked about city centre agencies, as the really exciting technology is coming from a manufacturing background. This is where the innovative technology is happening, from fabrics with sensors in to provide healthcare data to automated flights, it is all taking place in our county.
Is your business contributing to this new revolution? Please get in touch, we would like to hear more.