This post is part of the “Future of Business” series, which examines how cutting-edge technologies are rapidly reshaping our world, from how businesses run to how we live. “The Future of Business” is sponsored by SAP. More in the series »
Consider how many new technologies have entered our lives in the past five years: smartphones, tablets, Google Glass, 3D printing, drones, self-driving cars, big data, cloud computing.
Some people say new tech will destroy jobs. No doubt that’s true, in part. We just don’t need a lot of typewriter repair people today.
But new tech will also lead to new jobs, some of them incredible to ponder. Want to be a 3D body-part printer? Or an augmented reality architect? These are the job vacancies that will be open tomorrow.
Google Glass is coming, and one of the new things it does is superimpose words and graphics from the Internet onto the real world.
That's called 'augmented reality.' As these devices become mainstream, all kinds of apps for augmented reality become possible: everything from games to work apps.
Someone will need to design them, according to a report from the World Future Society.
The PC and smartphone have already merged into a new device: the tablet and soon all business phones will be smartphones. Next, wearable devices will invade corporate-scale enterprise tech.
Enterprises will need people who can manage these devices, from tracking and securing them, to loading software on them and repairing them, writes Daniel Burrus, CEO of technology market research and forecasting firm Burrus Research.
According to MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the workforce now employs robots and software programs to do the 'middle-skilled' work that humans used to do, like answer phones and answer questions.
The professors say that this is hurting job creation. But Google chairman Eric Schmidt believes the opposite is true. That this will create new job roles where humans work collaboratively with robots to perform tasks.
So, for instance, instead of manually packing boxes, a human will operate robots that will pack five boxes at a time.
Thanks to new technologies like HTML5, 3D content on the Internet will increasingly become the normal way websites are built.
Instead of just pictures and videos, we'll get an immersive experience, virtually walking around. We'll be able to get inside a car or building, press the buttons, etc.
Just like with augmented reality, these websites will need specialists to design them, says Burrus.
This job is happening now. Enterprises are designing their data centres to be replicas of a Google or Amazon cloud, using the same low-cost, high performing technologies (in geek speak: tech like virtualization, big data, analytics).
Someone needs to design these enterprise clouds and make them work as they grow. That would be the enterprise 'Cloud Architect,' reports Network World's Christine Burns.
Scientists can already make replacements for human body parts with 3D printers, some of them made with biological material, and some made with synthetic material.
Eventually, 3D printing will lead to more ways to fix, replace or augment a human body part. It will be someone's job to design and make those parts, the Telegraph's Jessica Winch reports.
It is now possible to add tiny, low-power sensors to any inanimate object and get those objects on the Internet. This is called the Internet of Things, and it will create a whole bunch of new jobs.
People will be needed to design software and tech for these sensors to animate all kinds of things: pill boxes, doors, keys, your dog's collar .. and so on, says Burris.
Haptic technology is another way to describe all the touch-enabled sensors that are trickling into our lives
Imagine touch technology embedded into things well beyond our smartphones and tablets, like gloves that adjust temperature to make your hands feel warm, or museum exhibits that let you feel things behind the glass, according to The Telegraph's Winch.
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