Blockchain technology is older than many people think. It really sprung on the scene as a critical element of cryptocurrencies. Once cryptocurrencies began to grow and mature, the value of blockchain technology became evident. At that point, blockchain technology separated from its parent (cryptocurrency) took its own path along the technology lifecycle. It rapidly moved out of the basic research stage and into the applied research stage and jumped into the very early stage of product development and evolution. That is where blockchain technology stands today.
In simple terms, blockchain technology is defined as a decentralized, distributed ledger that can be used to record and document multiple aspects of digital assets, their use, interactions and their transactions. A blockchain is a shared, trusted, ledger, directory and/or transactional database of a network that is public or private. It is often used as a log of database(s) that can keep track of all changes and/or transactions taking place. It is cryptographically secured and is currently being integrated with quantum key encryption technology to increase its integrity.
INSIGHT: Recently, a blockchain webinar was delivered for professionals. During the question and answer period, a question was posed about a particular piece of blockchain functionality. The answer made it clear, they were not aware of that capability/application that is projected to be a substantial part of the global market. This is a clear illustration of how fast blockchain technology is advancing.
Markets and Markets projects that the global blockchain technology will hit $3.0 billion USD in 2020 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 67.3% in the next 5 years. That puts the 2025 global market value at $39.7 billion! Another HOT emerging technology to say the least! Some of the more common application areas are listed below:
There are many more applications, but that should give you a feel for just how broad the blockchain application space is at this time. The projected rapid growth and impact of blockchain technology has forward thinking business leaders as well as a few government regulators beginning to take steps and prepare for what is likely to come. So, the question we should be asking ourselves is, how prepared are we? Please go to the link below and answer my poll on blockchain! I am hoping the structure of the polling answers should help frame your thinking about this subject matter.
POLL LINK: https://www.projectmanagement.com/polls/656257/Please-estimate-your-organizations-current-blockchain-technology-capabilities-
Another technology breakthrough just made the news. It is another one of those technologies you have to read the article two or three times to make sure you got it right. Near mid-August, ScienceDaily.com published a release by Washington University in St. Louis. Their release stated, "Red bricks -- some of the world's cheapest and most familiar building materials -- can be converted into energy storage units that can be charged to hold electricity, like a battery, according to new research." They went on and divulged their 'proof-of-concept' that demonstrated a green LED being lighted by the energy stored in the brick. They also wrote, "In this work, we have developed a coating of the conducting polymer PEDOT, which is comprised of nanofibers that penetrate the inner porous network of a brick; a polymer coating remains trapped in a brick and serves as an ion sponge that stores and conducts electricity," D'Arcy said. Another important aspect of the brick/battery, it can charge to 3 volts in 10 seconds. Talk about emerging technologies that alter our existing mental models – this is one of the tops. Do you think that type of creativity can be the product of a course? If you haven’t already taken a moment, please complete my poll.
The article also said that when you connect 50 bricks of the treated bricks, it would enable emergency lighting for five hours. Ok, so I did a bit of digging and found the typical number of bricks on the average house would be around 1,850 individual bricks. Using their data that means those emergency lights could be powered for over 180 hours. Please keep in mind this technology is in its very early stages of development. As it moves from the lab into commercial products, the efficiency will likely increase. This is another one of those emerging technologies that will be a bit disruptive. Think about how this could impact the construction industry - more brick structures and all the efforts to retrofit existing brick structures.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation, creation, production and manufacturing of materials and or extremely small devices at the scale of atoms or small groups of atoms. Nanotechnology taps into the really strange properties and attributes of physics. Yes, once again, like quantum technology the weird world of physics. Nanotechnology emerged way back in the 1980s. It came to light shortly after the scanning tunneling microscope came into being and enabled nanotechnology research and development. The subject matter became quite popular when thought-leaders began to theorize its potential applications. It began to grow in public awareness in the early 2000s after the technology accelerated and a number of real-world uses came about. Today, the technology is advancing and beginning to mature with a number of players in this field. Market estimates, like most emerging technologies are quite broad. Most believe the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is in the double digits at least through 2025. The global market estimates have been put as high as nearly $100 billion USD by then.
Arguably the largest segment of the nanotechnology market is in nano-materials. Industry analysis shows applications of this segment include construction materials, materials for 3D printers, healthcare materials, layers of graphene, nano-rods, nano-wires and military products. For a bit closer look at an application, consider the use of nano-materials in the oil and gas extraction efforts. There are nanotechnology-enabled gas lift valves that are used in offshore operations and nano-particles are used to detect oil pipeline fractures. It is even being used in food processing as a protective barrier and mask different tastes/flavors. So, as you can see from use in food to use in pharmaceuticals to the creation of military goods, nanotechnology has quite a span of applications. Now consider the nanotechnology and biotechnology have started working together, the overall application is quite large. (Biotechnology will be the subject of an upcoming blog.)
INSIGHT: While researching this blog I came across a few nanotechnology project manager positions that were available. Once again with the double digit CAGR, there are a number of project management positions that are likely to spring up and be available in the next few years.
There are several nanotechnology introductory courses available out on YouTube for any of you that may like to venture into this field or expand your professional expertise. After all, with the projected growth, the use of nanotechnology and its numerous applications are likely to become a part of many projects.
PLEASE participate in my nanotechnology poll: https://www.projectmanagement.com/polls/645327/How-comfortable-are-you-with-your-current-level-of-nanotechnology-knowledge-and-its-business-impact-
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Another amazing piece of emerging technology came into public view a couple days ago. It falls into the category of wearable technology and has brought a WOW response when I have discussed this in my briefing. It is a pair of SMART gloves created by the innovative minds at UCLA. What makes these gloves so SMART? Well, it is the sensors that are in the fingers of the gloves. The position of the fingers is continuously monitored by the sensors and interpreted and then translated from sign language the position of the fingers represents into speech in real-time. Of course, leverages the smart phone for the delivery. Did that get a WOW out of you?
Think of the value the commercialization of this technological breakthrough brings with it. This substantially breaks down many of the challenges of communicating with the hearing impaired. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports there are 466 million people in the world with a disabling hearing loss. That represents over 5% of the world's population. Of that 466 million there are 34 million of these people who are children. They went on to project that if proper action is taken there will be nearly 630 million people with disabling hearing loss by 2030.
For more information please see the following link. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200629120201.htm