October 31, 2018

What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed the technology landscape vastly change and adapt to meet new business and consumer demands. However, it’s no longer about meeting demands, but instead anticipating and staying ahead of them. It’s no doubt that we have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a term first coined by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

To better understand where the industry is heading, we must first understand what the Fourth Industrial Revolution is.

What is The Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution at its core is a digital revolution. The lines between physical and digital are beginning to blur as more immersive technologies emerge in every sector including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and more. Not too long ago, these technologies were just an idea, but now they are being implemented into our everyday lives because the power of 5G networking.

As we exit the Third Revolution, which evolved into the digitalization of the first personal computer and the internet, we must remember each builds off the next. As we continue to build upon the Fourth Industrial Revolution, consumers will begin to see 5G emerge as the technology powering our connected devices (smart cities, virtual assistants, robotics) and ultimately improving the quality of life and making the way we live, work, play “smarter,” by automating every portion of our lives from autonomous vehicles to Amazon Alexa.

One example of the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be seen through the lens of the virtual reality (VR) industry. VR, a technology that’s recently seen mainstream adoption across consumer and enterprise markets, was once an immature market. Now, new technologies have propelled it to the forefront of emerging tech. For instance, Verizon Ventures portfolio company The VOID, an entertainment company that allows consumers to immerse in a virtual world with friends and family recently announced partnerships with entertainment giants, providing fans a fun way to engage with Hollywood franchises outside of the theatre in interactive experiences. As 5G becomes more realistic, these types of experiences will only become more immersive and provide richer detail for the consumer.

Raising the Next Wave of Innovative Companies
Why is the Fourth Industrial Revolution important to Verizon Ventures? We look for startups building products for the future, who are able to stay ahead of the game and are innovating with 5G. Our portfolio as well as all entrepreneurs out there working to solve problems of tomorrow are leading the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,impacting society for the better. These trends are important to track. Take a look at our conversation with Playsight, an esports organization connecting the next generation of athletes at the highschool level. As the esports industry continues to take off (where Crunchbase reported the market grew by 102 percent), 5G is making it possible to connect a wide range of persona’s together to compete and making online gaming more realistic.

Additionally, we see the impact of 5G with our portfolio company Edgybees, in which the organization leverages augmented reality (AR) technology used by emergency responders to orient themselves in confusing environments and track evolving circumstances. Having a quick and responsive network is imperative in these scenarios and is changing the way we respond to medical and dangerous situations.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and through 5G networking improving the way we live. Tune into our blog later for more on the Revolution.

Tags: Andrew Der , 5G , Fourth Industrial Revolution , 4IR