Not everybody aspires to be a purple-colored Titan sporting an Infinity gauntlet on a rage-spree to destroy half the universe. I still believe that a sizeable chunk of the population wants to run profitable businesses and make their clientele happy. However, be it Thanos or your business, a technological prosthesis would inevitably step up the game. Let’s have a look at the Infinity stones of the Digital Transformation era and analyze how it can be a potential value-add for your business!
Reality Stone grants you dominion over reality itself, you will be able to convert marshmallows into rocks or your boss into a bag of chips.
Digital Reality(DR), a collective term for AR,VR & MR, offers ways to manipulate reality by overlaying information atop our real world. AR/MR does that by projecting virtual-objects like maps, music player,3D models of buildings,cars etc., as holograms right in front of us.
VR, on the other hand, completely immerses us in a virtual environment. By altering reality, DR has immense applications in the B2B & B2C space. DR is already being used in education, healthcare, space, marketing, journalism, travel, real-estate, automotive, retail etc., The total spending in AR/VR alone is expected to reach $160 B by 2021!
Time Stone, as the name implies,lets you control time. You can rewind it, freeze it or create interesting time loops.
Automation powered by digital assistants ($15B mkt. by 2021), bots and robotics cut repetitive tasks and are even getting smart enough to replicate certain human-level tasks. Google Duplex can make appointments on your behalf conversing like a real human! With Alexa skills doubling every-year, manual tasks are getting abstracted at a faster rate.
70% to 80% of rule based business processes can already be automated using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) — $2.9 B market by 2021. Robots have already substituted workforce in factories, warehouses and are on their way to replace chefs, baristas, servants, etc., This market is expected to be around $130 B by 2024 and is heavily backed by conglomerates like Softbank who are willing to commercialize it as fast as they can. U.S alone has invested $732 B in robotics stocks!
Mind Stone can be used to control the minds of others. It can also increase the intelligence of the wielder to a great extent.
Contrary to the popular belief that we are sitting ducks to A.I, I personally believe that it is an inevitable upgrade to humans. One of the major upheavals of this decade is the democratization of A.I which powers adventurous developers/ non-expert users to be it’s direct beneficiaries. The A.I market is estimated to be around $190 B by 2025.
Right from search engines to self-driving cars to ERPs, A.I plays an important role. In order for machines to make intelligent decisions, it needs data. We humans,by virtue of our existence, have created umpteen data-sets. Every single day, the data quality increases with the wide range of wearables and smart-everything approach.
On the Business space, A.I is already employed in conversational ERPs, preventing frauds, providing 24/7 support, enriched insights, cybersecurity etc. ERP powerhouse SAP has already adopted A.I in it’s ERP (S/4 HANA Cloud) & CRM (C/4 HANA) solutions. Salesforce has Einstein & Oracle has Adaptive Intelligent apps to power it’s ERP suite!
Power Stone bestows upon its wielder immense strength and durability. It also amplifies the power of the other Infinity stones!
Right from fitness trackers to large-scale enterprises,everything produces data. It’s quality gets better over time.The sheer breadth of data and the wealth of knowledge it can provide that makes it extremely powerful. Hence the need for Big Data ($66 B market by 2021) to mine that hidden wealth.
The truthfulness and trust factor in data is strengthened by the application of Blockchain — spanning from financial transactions to notarizing documents. Blockchain is expected to provide a value-add of $176 billion by 2025 to businesses.
The Digital Twin concept let’s us create a virtual-replica of a real-world product,process or service. Singapore has it’s own data-rich digital twin which is mainly used for urban planning decisions.I personally believe that Digital Twins would be the norm in the future thus allowing us to obtain ‘perfect information’- to know anything,anywhere & anytime. The underlying IoT market is valued at $560 B by 2022!
The future of ERP is tilting towards effective optimization of business processes and operations using data & analytics. Intelligent/Smart/Bright/Whatever-sounds-ingenius ERPs are on the rise and would greatly influence the $80 B market by 2021. All of the above mentioned pathways lead to the good ol’ saying — “Data is the new oil”!
Space stone,as the name implies,gives you control over space. You can create portals, jump from one part of the universe to the other and travel at extraordinary speeds!
Internet is a powerful medium and it enables the cyberspace. Jio clearly understood that and rolled out a nation-wide ultra-cheap 4G network. It offered better connectivity with free voice calls,100x reduction in per GB data cost. By solving the connectivity part, Jio is becoming the catalyst for Digital Transformation & is expected to be $16 B in 2 to 5 years. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even mentioned that every country needs a Jio! Digital economy has seen a massive surge from the Indian market post-Jio and people are able to access a ton of resources online!
Tesla has similar-yet-bigger plans for providing world-wide ubiquitous internet & has obtained the green signal as well! As of 2018, 958 UAV drones made it to the TIME Magazine’s cover. Drone use cases range from taking selfies to doing CPRs and is expected to be a $50 B market by 2023. Telepresence ($8 B market by 2023) gets a major upgrade — Volumetric 3D capture and could be the most widely used application with Hololens/other reality headsets. It’s the closest alternative to “Beam me up, Scotty” that we got!
Soul stone grants dominion over life & death.It also acts as a gateway to a pocket universe called the soul-world (where trapped souls reside)
Forget soul-trapping, coping up with a tiny cough was a matter of life and death two centuries ago! Luckily, things have changed & healthcare got better.The healthcare wearable market alone has grown 20x over the past 3 years and will be worth $18 B by 2021.
Mobile Healthcare-’mHealth’ apps offer immediate, low-cost & direct care to patients and is expected to be a $50 B market by 2020! Connected health is becoming the norm with 28% of Chinese & 26% of India’s population. Recently, Google & Apple announced few features that ensure you don’t spend too much time on your mobile phone.
A ‘Digital You’ can be created by unlocking your genome which could reveal key insights & predict possible diseases. What’s interesting here is the whopping 10,000x fall in sequencing cost over the past decade!
Some of the notable mentions in this area include the Google Calico Project (reverse aging), Tattoo-Sensors for sugar level monitoring, 3D printed corneas to combat blindness and other interesting sensor-based applications.
I am a huge fan of thought experiments and I believe that you (Yes,you! You right there!) have an unique imagination. What do you think are the potential candidates for these powerful infinity stones?
Please feel free to run this thought experiment with your friends and colleagues and do share your thoughts in the comments section!
📝 Thanks to Mahalakshmi Kannuchamy for patiently editing this article!