Technology makes lives easier, more convenient, and fun. It performs one other function, though, that may be more important than all the others: it keeps us safe. From the first mechanical alarm system to the high-tech security cameras of today, technology has always played a vital role in keeping people safe.
Here we will discuss some of the underrated technologies that keep us safe in the 21st century. It is likely you are not aware of them. If you are, you may think of them as technology that relates to things other than safety and security.
Even though safety applications may not be the first thing to comes to mind with these technologies, their contribution to improving safety in 2020 is actually quite large. Here are six underrated, modern technologies that fit the bill.
You may only think of GPS technology as the directions on your smartphone that help get you to that new restaurant on time, but it also plays a big role in keeping us safe nowadays. We now use many safety and security applications for GPS that we are just starting to implement.
GPS tracking on everything from cell phones to cars can help parents keep track of their children, find missing persons, and help law enforcement catch criminals. It is also a key component in the development of new technology such as self-driving cars. In time, products like this will help reduce or even eliminate human error and keep people safer while driving.
Data loggers are probably not something you interact with every day personally but anytime you eat fresh produce or frozen food or take a pharmaceutical drug, you can thank data loggers for keeping you safe. These devices use sensors for environmental monitoring and can transmit the data they collect to a cloud-based remote monitoring system. Dickson explains that continuous monitoring through a network of data loggers is a critical aspect of GxP (good practices) in industries that deal with sensitive products.
This applies to industries such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and other similar areas. When certain products are kept at less than ideal temperatures, they can lose their effectiveness or become unsafe to use. Data loggers help keep the integrity of temperature-controlled supply chains so that this doesn’t happen.
You probably only think of cryptocurrency when you think about blockchain (if you think about it at all) but there are many other, practical security uses for this secure, decentralized public ledger. Blockchain provides a way to secure information that is both encrypted and incredibly hard to hack but also public and portable when it needs to be.
One place blockchain is already helping secure our sensitive, personal information is in the healthcare industry. Using blockchain to secure personal medical records, makes it harder for them to be accessed by someone who shouldn’t be accessing them yet. Blockchain also makes it easier to take these records with you from doctor to doctor and share them with authorized personnel. It is the best of both worlds.
This may sound like something out of a science fiction novel but it is current technology that is working to keep us safe every day. This term refers to many security measures that use our unique biological characteristics to authenticate our identity. The most well-known example of this is when you use your fingerprint or face recognition to unlock your phone.
In addition to keeping personal data on your phone safe, biometric authentication is used for many other types of security purposes to keep you physically safe and keep your possessions safe as well. It has been used by airport security and law enforcement for years to verify people’s identity and to identify certain people when necessary. It is also increasingly used in the banking industry to protect your money and make the whole system more fraud-proof.
The internet of things (IoT) is the term used to describe the wide-ranging network of internet-connected devices that are becoming more prevalent in our daily lives all the time. Items that are now commonplace such as smart thermosets, smart lights, and virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa are all part of the IoT. This technology is also playing a big part in keeping our homes and families safer than ever.
IoT home security devices such as smart alarm systems or security camera-enabled doorbells are helping keep us safe. These types of security measures used to be very expensive and complicated to install. Now, with the advent of IoT technology, people can purchase a doorbell camera for $200 or less and set it up themselves. IoT technology has democratized home security.
In 2020, we don’t yet have Robocop or Kit from Nightrider patrolling our streets and fighting crime but robotics is helping to keep us safe in ways you might now be aware. Robotics has advanced to a point where a robot can do more complex activities than ever and even learn as they perform tasks through artificial intelligence.
Advancements in robotics now allow robots to do jobs that are dangerous for human workers. This includes jobs such as dismantling nuclear facilities, commercial welding, inspecting pipelines and fuel tanks, and more. They even help police and firefighters by doing things like dismantling explosives or assessing the structural safety of a burning building. This is a trend that is sure to continue and is a great example of how technology is keeping people out of harm’s way at work.
Technology has always helped keep us safe as a society; in 2020, that is no different. We may be familiar with some of the technologies that provide us with an increased level of safety but, in addition to those, the six technologies above are helping to keep us safe in their own way as well. As technology continues to develop, history shows that sometimes, these underrated technologies become the most important ones of all.