The outbreak of COVID-19 has turned the whole world upside down, as more than 140 countries are badly affected by this fatal virus. It has claimed umpteen lives in several countries, and no cure or vaccination is out yet that can stop the proliferation of Coronavirus. India is right now going through an immensely grim period of whole country lockdown. No one is allowed to step out of their home until and unless there is some situation of emergency.
COVID-19 definitely has shaken up the medical facilities across the globe. The health care sector around the world has been trying hard to cope-up with the pandemic but in vain. Even the economy is hard hit by this fatal COVID-19. The lockdown across several countries is definitely going to slow down the economy. But one thing that was totally unexpected is the impact of COVID-19 on technology.
Dependence on technology:
People have locked themselves inside their houses. With nowhere to go, they are utilizing technology more than ever. People are going online to communicate with their near and dear ones. Children are taking online lessons because schools and all other academic establishments have been shut down. Even for grocery shopping and medicines, people nowadays are preferring the ecommerce portals. Office goers are working complete shifts from their homes using their laptops. Social media usage too have seen a humongous hike as people have nothing else to keep themselves occupied.
Impact on different spheres of technology:
Till now, there has been no case of internet failures. But with time, a crisis may occur here too. If COVID-19 keeps expanding continuously, then up-gradation of all these software and networks will come to a standstill. Mobile operators may soon put some restrictions in order to reduce the mobility of their staff. Also, there may soon be a shortage of vital equipment. All these will definitely have a profound impact on the world of technology.
In the long run, we can hope for some positivity as people will be well-versed with virtual life. They will choose online shopping over brick and mortar shops. Distance education will get more popular. Services like E-banking and telehealth will get more popular among consumers. Companies will heavily rely upon technologies such as online training and videoconferencing. As a result, technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G, virtual reality, cloud, and entertainment localization, robotics, location technologies, machine learning or ML, augmented or virtual reality, etc. will be high on demand.
Obstacles that might come:
But the matter of concern is that there may not be sufficient infrastructural facilities to support the humongous demand of the 5G network. Already the supply chain is experiencing a bleak period as they used to rely on Chinese manufactures. Also, important conferences like the 3rd Generation Partnership Project cannot be held right now. So there will be a delay in 5G standards too.However, we need to see the silver lining in the dark clouds. This crisis will compel the supply chains to become self-sufficient and robust.
Defence and monitoring technology needs special mentioning:
Another area of technology where we need to focus on is drones and robotics. Drone manufacturing companies can utilize the situation and make it highly profitable. Drones that can disinfect hospitals and other buildings are highly in demand. Robots that are capable of supplying food and medicines to the Coronavirus affected patients are also in high demand. Of late, SMS hospital in Jaipur made headlines as some robots were being sued by the authority to serve the patients with food and medicines. Aerospace and drone companies are likely to acquire huge orders from government agencies. Also, drones meant for inspection, detection, and monitoring are also gaining popularity because these are being deployed to enforce curfews and lockdowns as well as for monitoring of secured facilities.
In a time when everyone is under self-quarantine or lockdown, technology is definitely serving as a vital tool in waging war against COVID-19. It is providing healthcare, education, security, connectivity, entertainment, food facilities, job continuity, and whatnot. Technology, too is unable to avoid the blow of Coronavirus completely. But it is definitely putting up a strong fight and gearing up to overcome the profound impacts of COVID-19.