There are two categories of new technology: sustaining technology and disruptive technology. Sustaining technology constitutes incremental changes and improvement to existing technology while disruptive technology displaces existing technology and may even create a new industry. Disruptive technologies are unique in a few ways:
- They are unpolished, unrefined, and rough around the edges. Disruptive technologies often have performance problems since they are in an early iterative stage.
- They have a small, niche audience. Disruptive technologies are created to fill a narrow slice of the market that is unaddressed by existing technologies. Disruptive technologies are initially considered inferior to the existing technologies.
- They may not have a proven application or business use when initially launched.
One of the aims of Wake County’s Innovation Team is to vet, prototype and launch disruptive technologies to help solve business problems.
Initially, the Innovation Team will be taking a closer look at beacons and how they may help with land development activities and facilitate caring for the homeless population. We also plan to research several other disruptive technologies:
3D printing: incorporated into over 51% of American manufacturing processes
Personal assistants: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning like Alexa and Siri
Blockchain technology/cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar; peer to peer electronic cash systems without third-party intermediaries like banks.
IoT (Internet of Things): Nest, Apple Watch, FitBit. Data Analytics will leverage the abundance of data gathered via these devices.