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22/03/2019 Communication Science news and articles

A look into today’s innovation in reflection of the future

The modern-day technology already is very complicated, but how much further will innovation go?


Have you ever stopped to think about just how lucky you are living in an era where opportunities are endless? All thanks to informatisation, space-time dimensions don’t seem to hinder our productivity anymore. Whether it be working from home, connecting with relatives from abroad or even paying a surprise visit to someone residing some few continents away from you, we are able to access cross-boundary resources within, what may seem like, a blink of an eye. Here are a few of many innovations that made me stop and ponder about its beneficial implications on present-day society.

In-flight wireless connection
Connectivity and ubiquity are what Wi-Fi is known for as it builds the foundation for informatisation to work. Previously, we may have thought that Wi-Fi’s reach is limited to terrestrial land. In recent years, however, we have seen a new trend of airbuses providing Internet connectivity onboard. Although this might seem to be a predictable innovation, the considerations and implications it tolls on commercial airline businesses is great. It allows for an opportunity to strengthen their revenues.

The Telegraph details on the workings behind in-flight Wi-Fi, “‘Over half of the world’s aircraft will be equipped for in-flight Wi-Fi within the next six years,’ says Inmarsat [a communications firm]. ‘It is set to become a billion-dollar revenue sector by 2020.’”

Travelling on-air will no longer stop you from being connected. Productivity can now be achieved on air as well as land. You can kill time onboard by scrolling through your social media feed, replying back to emails, or even binge-watch some shows when the on-board entertainment fails you.

Public online courses
Renowned educational institutions globally have also reached a milestone of providing high quality, online (university) courses accessible to all. People are increasingly leaning towards this study method as it is not only cheaper but suitable for certain diligent and ambitious individuals. Main benefits of taking e-courses include self-paced learning, comfort, tailored to the study interests of the individual, and it shows persistence to just how hardworking and self-driven you are as a person.

Generally, online courses are also beneficial to improving the educational systems of developing countries. With the right tools and experts, providing online courses targeted at disadvantaged populations could help reduce educational inequality rates. Connectivity traverses and thus eliminate these accessibility and boundary issues, but resources still remain to be a problem.

Where resources do not constrain accessibility, however, we see institutions such as edX on a global scale and Open University of the Netherlands (Open Universiteit) to engage in online learning experiences. This is a case of content first, platform second.

A new smart infrastructure
On a macro scale, we now venture out to interact with, in the words of Jeremy Rifkin, “a new smart infrastructure that converges communication, energy and transportation to manage, power and move economic life.” The social and economic theorist sees a new innovation taking place, particularly the innovation of an era towards the Third Industrial Revolution. This, he said, gives way to a sharing economy whereby every transaction, collaboration, and communication is taking place in the digital space.

This forward-looking roadmap also takes a peak into the idea of circular economy. Circular economy steps away from traditional linear business models, as it targets the reusing of resources up to its full potential. Amsterdam is the global leader in this worldwide attempt, as they are making this method possible for not only sustainability reasons but employment as well. This is achieved by increasing productivity levels overall that would require an increase in labour pool. In particular, 700 additional jobs in the building sector and 1200 additional jobs in the agriculture and food processing industry will be needed.

These innovations centre around communication technologies that is made possible due to the drive of globalisation and its demand for all-around instantaneous connectivity. We now live in an advanced era where it’s no longer just globalisation anymore as it is a combined mix between globalisation, (post-) industrialisation and informatisation. In light of these perspectives, all societal aspects seem to be advancing as well.

Cover: Pixabay / Final editor: Kyle Hassing

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