What is the 4th Industrial Revolution?

We are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and it is estimated to have 10 times the impact of the 3rd Industrial or Internet Revolution. Can you imagine?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is marked by the advancements of 5G wireless networks, artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), nanotechnology, and more and blurs the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres1.

The previous industrial revolutions empowered corporations and created efficiencies by introducing mechanical and steam production equipment (1784), then electricity to power mass production (1870), and then the internet provided much-needed automation (1969). Today, the Digital or Fourth Industrial Generation is automating complex tasks –  both human and mechanical – far beyond the walls of a corporation. This revolution spans socio-economic, industry, government, and individuals and is creating 10 times the societal impact of the internet revolution. Where previous revolutions focused on scalable efficiencies – the digital revolution focuses on scalable adaptability.

And it’s happening now – all over the world and around the corner. In every aspect of our society. To how we communicate with each other, how we shop and transport ourselves, to the buildings where we work and live. It is not like the linear rollout of broadband where rural societies grabbed the last mile at the end of the adoption curve. Innovators and progressive leaders are seizing opportunities to transform end users experiences no matter their demographics. See how  Little Vermont Uses Big Data to Predict Bridge Repairs and Traffic Jams. In the article, the state CIO who is also the secretary for the state Agency of Digital Services says “The use of big data by the Center for Digital Services will prepare the state for the kinds of next-generation transportation technologies such as autonomous driving.”

At LEDG, we spend time talking with architects, engineers, and building owners about occupant and user demands and how responsive, immersive digital experiences are expected – everywhere. These digital experiences – whether at work or play – is the Fourth Industrial Revolution in motion.

More on this later as we dive deeper into this topic in upcoming posts.

  1. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means and how to respond”.World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2018-03-20.