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We are all hearing about the fourth Industrial Revolution, but what exactly is it? If you are a startup or managing business innovation should we care? It’s definitely a topic that has been talked about over the past few years but gained even more prominence
- The first Industrial Revolution was characterised by steam and water.
- The Second Industrial Revolution was the introduction of electricity to mass produce things.
- The third is characterised by the internet, communication technologies, and the digitisation of everything.
- The fourth Industrial Revolution is the concept of blurring the real world with the technological world.
We are witnessing this happening in several areas today. Virtual reality (VR) allows us to transport ourselves to new worlds or consume and interact with information in new ways. Robots and software working alongside humans, nano-bots that could one day be injected into your blood stream to cure you of an illness. 3D printing tools and new limbs. Voice controlling you’re the heating and lighting in your home. IBM Watson uses AI to help a doctor diagnose you. Consider too things such as the internet of everything and big data.
The blurring of technology and innovation into every part of our lives is becoming the norm.
However, the impact that the fourth Industrial Revolution on business innovation will have or the direction it will take are not yet known. But then, do we ever know what a revolution will end up looking like when it has only just started. Never, but we have to accept we are in the middle of it.
A wave of technology is now hurtling into our personal and corporate lives. Few organisations will remain untouched and companies need to incorporate this into their innovation portfolio.
How is the fourth Industrial Revolution going to alter the way you work and live?