5. Augmented and virtual reality
What's the difference between augmented and virtual reality? Virtual Reality (VR) is when you are "completely sealed" from the world, whereas for augmented reality (AR), you can actually "see through the real world, but you augment images on top of that," explained Ma.
By 2020, 60 percent of the market will belong to augmented reality, and 75 percent of that will be dedicated to commercial use like military and manufacturing.
AR and VR have the ability to simply and powerfully connect people and 3rd Platform systems - through speech, vision, motion, touch, and beyond. It can be applied across various sectors and there is bound to be plenty of interesting use cases that can tremendously benefit businesses, concluded Ma.
6. Next-generation security
As we move from the 2nd to 3rd Platform, security also evolves, said Ma. The 2nd Platform is very perimeter-based, and this next-generation security refers to better designed security that is able to keep up with the massive scale and expanding scope of the 3rd Platform.
Next-generation security includes validating analytics. According to Ma, buyer behaviour analytics will validate 80 percent of digital transactions in 2020, reducing passwords by 50 percent.
"I know many IT managers are worried about employees violating passwords. Often times, security is at odds with user experience. It's not necessarily that convenient when you increase security. This vision, what we are expecting to see in five years' time, is a win-win situation. Not only can we better authenticate a lot of scenarios, but it also makes it easier for the users too since they don't need to keep their password file sitting on their computer," said Ma.
Accelerating digital transformation
So how does these six key technologies culminate into how businesses operate? These 'innovation accelerators' are critical to transforming businesses - they do not only help to build new businesses, but also makes you more efficient, as well as makes you closer to customers. In other words, it spurs digital transformation.
Delving deeper in the concept of digital transformation, Ma explained that the term refers to the application of 3rd Platform-related technologies to fundamentally change the way something is done," said Ma. "Replacing technology without changing processes or being able to do new things is not transformational."
One example of a company that has successfully digitally transformed itself is Lego. After decades of phenomenal growth, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 2000s, with the rise of video games and other high-tech toys like PlayStation and Xbox.
To bridge this digital gap, Lego created the Mindstorm, a Lego robotics kit that allowed players to build programmable robots using computer software. It was the first time Lego bricks had been integrated with computers, and this formula proved to be an immediate hit.
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