What is disruptive technology?

Disruptive technology, as the name suggests, is an emerging technology that will create a new market and value network, and eventually, disrupt the markets and uses of existing technology. This is a broad term used to describe any new technology that’s overpowering enough to affect the existing technologies.

If you look back, this is not a new concept. When emails became popular, it eventually disrupted the system of letter writing. Likewise, the emergence of cloud changed the way we store data and it eventually caused a decline of the physical storage market. These are all disruptive technologies in their own way.

It’s just that the term “disruptive” is becoming popular now because of our understanding and the way we are embracing technology. Also, these technologies have the power to change the way we live and work.

Let’s now look at a few examples of disruptive technologies.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is a technology that connects our everyday devices like watches and alarm clocks, so we can get more out of them. For example, this technology can power our refrigerators to monitor milk levels and if it goes below a threshold level, it can send a message to our smartphone to order milk right away!

Artificial intelligence

This technology mimics the cognitive powers of the human brain to solve real-time problems. Machines with this artificial intelligence can be programmed to learn from the environment just like how humans do, and based on it, they can make the right decisions and take necessary actions.

This is a truly disruptive technology as it take away the routine jobs that are now being done by humans.

3D printing

Imagine how convenient it would be if you can print a Mercedes sports car right from a printer? Well, that’s exactly what a 3D printer can do for you. We can print buildings, clothes, food, body parts and so much more, which means, almost every traditional industry has a potential to be affected by it.

High speed travel

How convenient it would be if we can travel from Japan to the U.S within minutes? That’s the power of high speed travel. Already, the presence of Hyperloop between Dubai and Abu Dhabi has set an example. If this picks up, then our airplane industry could go out of business soon.


Robotics is another interesting disruptive technology, as these robots could potential change our manufacturing and hospitality industries. In fact, the possibilities for robotics are endless and can extend to other industries as well.

Self-driving cars

Self-driving cars may be a reality sooner than we think. It also means, the existing car and oil industry will be down on its knees when this happens.

In short, disruptive technologies have the power to change the way we live and can have a profound impact on our economies. While they are for the larger good for mankind, this disruption is something that we have to anticipate and take it in our stride.

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