Guest post: Disruptive technology, what is it and what about the future?

Guest post, written by Diane Douglas from Vigiles Group.

Disruptive technology is an innovation that displaces current technology, shaking up the marketplace and industry. The technology once tried and tested then becomes a main stream technology. Can you think of anything over the past 30 years that has disrupted technology? Let us look at a few examples:

The Personal Computer

This changed our working environment completely replacing those office based typing pools and making it possible to work from home. The laptop means that the number of home workers is estimated to be around 300 million across the globe. The UK has by all accounts 4.2 million according to this article from 2015.


Invented back in 1972 and commercially viable from the 1990’s our main way of communicating has replaced letter-writing and disrupted the postal and greeting card industries. The email does have many advantages in being an instant form of communication, although sometimes you do wish the inbox wasn’t so full.

Mobile phones

The introduction of the mobile phone made it possible for people to call us from anywhere and disrupted the telecoms industry. The mobile phone has since been disrupted by the smartphone which also changed our habits with GPS, calculators, music, cameras and videos. Those that mocked those large mobile phones of the early 1980’s surely own a smartphone now. They have become an extension of our person and we never leave home without it. There are an estimated 2.7 billion smartphones in the world, used by a third of the population. If you like statistics this article is great.

Cloud computing

This has been a hugely disruptive technology in the business world, displacing many systems located in-house or provided as a traditionally hosted service. A must for the home worker. Email, Accountancy packages, photo storage, file sharing are some of the examples of cloud based computing

Social networking

There isn’t much we do not know about social networking, it has had a significant impact on the way we communicate. It has disrupted telephone, email, instant messaging and event planning. On a personal level who doesn’t have a Facebook account?

These technologies have changed the way we see and interact with the world. We expect things to be instant, but as our lives are busier, meaning time is limited, this can only be a good thing depending on your perspective

What does 2017 hold in store?

As the world of technology is becoming an even more inventive, fast-paced environment there will be further groundbreaking innovations that will shake up the world we live in.


Believe it or not, some 30-50,000 people worldwide have under the skin implants. These implants work via RFID (radio frequency identification) and can be used to store all kinds of data, from personal ID to bitcoins. Have a look at this article for more information.

Robots as Co-workers

It may seem like science fiction, but robots are starting to be employed for an increasing range of job roles well beyond the production line.

With advanced robotics increasing, we will the see the rise of sobots. There are social robots who can read emotions and talk which are being used as digital assistants.

Increase of 3D printing

From a novelty to everyday use in manufacturing. This is a logical step considering the investment and the potential worth of this technology. Big winners will be the construction industry who will be able to build in months what could have taken years.

Self-driving vehicles

This is already being tested and has proved to be a minor success with a few setbacks. How we as humans relate to this technology could be pivotal. The mindset of not being in control of the vehicle could be a major stumbling block. This video showcases this, so time will tell here.

Virtual reality, Augmented reality and mixed reality

Once a gamers only concept this technology is starting to prove its worth and can only bolster its reputation by moving into the commercial world. Investment in AR and VR has increased dramatically. Globally in 2015 $700 million was invested but one company alone spent $800 million in 2016. Retailers, the medical world and industry have started to embrace this tech with a new-found passion.

So, sit back and watch this space, 2017 should be an exciting year for technological advancement.


A bit about Vigiles Group

Vigiles vision is to bring technology and people together for the good. Our core mission is one of comment to build a strong and sustainable safety culture. People First safety always.

By blending innovation and creativity Vigiles specialise in the creative application of pioneering and engaging Augmented, Virtual, 360 video and mixed reality technology into accessible mobile experiences designed for employee safety, student learning and fun.

Vigiles reality mobile apps offer a differentiated view on common problems and are a game changer for safety learning and employee engagement.

For more information please contact Chief Tech curator Diane Douglas


Twitter: @vigilesGroup

Tel: 07936392810