Advances in smart technologies not only allow us to improve the digital tools we use in our day-to-day lives: they also lead to progress in the economic, social and cultural spheres.
Very soon, the development and implementation of disciplines such as robotics, artificial intelligence or big data will allow us to achieve so-called “smart connectivity”, a concept that will radically change the products on the market and our own daily lives.
But what exactly is smart connectivity and what is its mission? Which sectors play a more significant role in its development? We explore these issues, currently the focus of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in depth in this article.
What is smart connectivity?
Smart connectivity can be defined as a set of smart technologies that, combined, increase the efficiency and capabilities of areas as diverse as entertainment, transportation, and utilities. The three technologies on which smart connectivity is based are 5G networks, AI (or artificial intelligence) and the connection between digital devices through the IoT (Internet of Things).
The connection between millions of digital technology devices through high-speed networks allows the devices to communicate with each other. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, this will make it possible to automate numerous tasks and coordinate the operation of all technology, generating a wide range of advanced services available to a broad wide audience.
To achieve the goals of smart connectivity, companies must quickly adapt to an increasingly technological environment, in which the boundaries between the physical world and the digital world are increasingly blurred. That’s why it is essential to invest in innovation and in the connection between information technology and the Internet of Things, in order to improve production processes and reduce costs.
The move to fully operational smart connectivity is based on four fundamentals. Each of them is associated with one or more disruptive technologies, which radically change the aspect of the industries in which they intervene and accelerate the digital transformation in which we are already immersed.
Improving connectivity through 5G
Connectivity between the different digital devices will take a giant step forward thanks to 5G. The name of this wireless technology comes from the fact that it is the fifth generation of cellular communications. Its main innovation is its high speed of data transmission: according to the official standard, 5G will be around 20 times faster than the current generation.
Although it is not yet available, its next implementation will increase so-called “digital density”: it will be possible to increase the amount of simultaneous data connections. This will allow more devices to connect and keep the Internet of Things or smart cars active, among other technological devices.
Machine learning through Artificial Intelligence
This increase in digital density thanks to big data, lower computing costs and the improvement of new algorithms for machine learning are just some of the factors that will pave the way for the viability of IA (artificial intelligence). This technological advance will make it possible for the physical world to be represented with greater fidelity in the digital world, interconnecting all technological devices and allowing them to communicate with each other.
Artificial intelligence is the engine that enables data exchange, generating new interactions beyond our current digital communication, as well as allowing the automation of previously manual processes and the reduction of production costs. In addition, machine learning makes it easier to predict demand and customise the operation of the technology based on the needs of each user.
The consolidation of digital trust through the blockchainn
The above improvements won’t be game-changing if users don’t trust the new digital environment that will govern future communications. Fortunately, blockchain technology creates a more secure ecosystem for financial transactions, making the participation of third parties in monetary exchanges unnecessary. In a world where data is increasingly important, the exchange of encrypted information using blockchain can also help protect the privacy of personal data.
However, the advantages offered by this new disruptive technology have to find a complement in the reinforcement of security systems and the development of software more resistant to cyberattacks. As the security of the digital environment strengthens, users will gain more confidence in smart connectivity and advanced services.
Increasing digital well-being through cloud computing and IoT
Digital well-being implies the use of data by the population in a safe and efficient way, which requires an increase in digital storage and transmission. The improvement of cloud computing is key to support an increasing number of devices that are constantly connected to the network.For the Internet of Things to work, all digital devices must integrate these new technologies and, at the same time, the digital environment must be able to support widespread and democratic use of data. The more devices are connected to the cloud, the faster the digital transformation will be achieved, which will allow the development of more agile services that respond to the needs of digital users.
Benefits for companies
Smart connectivity will benefit people’s quality of life, but it will also benefit very different business sectors. The following are just some of the benefits that consolidation of advanced services will offer:
- New business models: New, growing technological areas are investment opportunities. The tools that smart connectivity brings will allow the disruption of already established business models.
- Efficient data transmission: Companies will benefit from leaner and more efficient communication, in constant contact with customers and users.
- Advances in operations security: The reinforcement of digital security systems will lead to more reliable data exchange, guaranteeing the privacy of customers and business actors.
- Cost reduction: Automation of processes through artificial intelligence will make it easier to meet demand and improve workflow by shortening reaction time to unforeseen events.
- Improved customer relationships: Real-time access to company data will improve customer service and more quickly satisfy user requests, predicting user needs based on their profile and behaviour in the digital environment.
User safety, an essential factor
Through support for disruptive technologies, smart connectivity enables the advancement of society and the business world. That’s why it has become one of MWC’s main focuses of interest: the digital transformation of the financial, health, medical, transport and distribution sectors represents one of the biggest changes in digital technology since the advent of large digital platforms, and will contribute to the generation of an entire new and pervasive digital ecosystem.
The advent of smart connectivity presents a huge opportunity for any type of business, and it will set the scene for future business trends. However, it is important to remember that technological advances must be accompanied by strong ethics. If the required security measures are taken and data privacy is respected, advanced services will make it possible to meet the needs of society with greater efficiency, protecting citizens and improving their lives through greater connectivity.