From the Blog

Explore the Innovations Set to Disrupt Their Industries

Posted on July 23, 2019

5G is just the tip of the iceberg – learn about the technology expected to revamp healthcare, transportation, tourism and more.

Innovation is often incremental in nature. But every so often, an invention or discovery unsettles entire industries and changes life as we know it. The discovery of fire, Gutenberg’s printing press, Bell’s telephone, the internet.

Disruptive innovators are difficult to predict, and the next few decades will deliver on ideas we haven’t even begun to imagine – many propelled forward by the promise of 5G technology.

Take a look at what’s brewing across different industries and what historical innovations rocked the status quo.


The speed of progress has rapidly made cars lighter, faster, smarter, safer, more efficient and much more complex. They can even warn you should you start to drift or nod off. Fasten your seatbelts, because the next wave will likely involve artificial intelligence, voice connectivity, biometrics and, of course, electrification and self-driving capabilities. The connected car of the future will optimize operations and maintenance, while delivering convenience and comfort.

Historic game changers:

  • Wheel, 3,500 BC
  • Ford assembly line, 1913
  • Three-point safety belts, 1959
  • Hybrids, 1997
  • On-demand car sharing, 2009


Healthcare has a history of disruption, but the future will involve artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, precision medicines, nanotechnology, 3D printing, as well as re-coding and editing genes. Data will help medical professionals make smarter care decisions and make health records much more accessible. AI, for example, will help tailor treatment to a patient’s unique genetics, lifestyle and family history. Predictive technologies could offer insights into global health patterns and possible preventive measures.

Historic game changers:

  • Surgical handwashing, 1867
  • X-rays, 1880s
  • Penicillin, 1928
  • Gene editing, 1972
  • Sequencing DNA, 2000


The majority of those surveyed by GE believe the energy sector can benefit from a spark of innovation (61%). Within two decades, new energy sources could power the global economy, including fuel cells; modular nuclear-fission reactors; and even nuclear fusion. As dependence on fossil fuels wanes, renewables and modular, grid-scale storage are likely to become more competitive. In the near future, off-grid energy and smart energy grids could add efficiency and greater access to power.

Historic game changers:

  • Battery, 1800
  • Nuclear fission, 1930s
  • Solar energy, 1970s
  • Smart energy grids, 2003
  • Smart energy storage, 2015


Hotels and tourist destinations will offer immersive, virtual reality experiences and curated packages as competition from aggregators like and Airbnb heats up. Picture virtually exploring neighborhoods in your destination before you arrive and tours, dining and activities tailored to your interests. Digital empires like Amazon and Google are monetizing customer profiles, and hotel brands may seek to keep pace to ensure the loyalty they’ve enjoyed in the past.

Historic game changers:

  • Steam engine, 18th century
  • Jet, 1958
  • 9/11, 2001
  • Mobile booking, 2008
  • Sharing economy, 2008


Personalization, convenience and price continue to drive brand loyalty. Consumers are also looking for speedy fulfillment, think curbside service, in-store pickup and same-day delivery. Retailers will offer self-checkout devices to circumvent long lines; touchscreen fitting-room mirrors that offer immediate help; augmented reality and other options. Like hotels, it’s about creating a user-friendly, personalized experience that engages the ideal shopper on and offline – identified through data mining, of course.

Historic game changers:

  • Department stores, 1890
  • Big-box retail, 1962
  • Bar code, 1974
  • E-commerce, 1991
  • Omni-channel, 2013

Financial Services

FinTech is bridging the gap between the under-banked and the rest of the world, extending access to credit far and wide. Expect financial institutions to become even more agile, collaborative and transparent as the digitally savvy customer seeks an integrated, seamless experience when conducting financial transactions – including a plethora of payment options (e.g., Blockchain, direct and mobile). All of this is driving investment in more robust security (e.g., biometrics and artificial intelligence to help identify fraud).

Historic game changers:

  • Credit card, 1950s
  • Magnetic stripe, 1960s
  • Mobile payments/digital wallets, 1998
  • Mobile banking, 1999
  • Cryptocurrency, 2008

Media & Entertainment

Subscription to over-the-top (OTT) video services is driving trends in the pay-TV landscape, while super-platforms, like Google and YouTube, are enabling user-generated content and saturating the media space via a variety of devices. IT and data collection and analysis will drive the next evolution of personalized content and consumption.

Historic game changers:

  • Printing press, 1440
  • TV, 1934
  • Internet, early 1990s
  • Streaming, 1999
  • Social media, 2004


More than ever, communications service providers (CSPs) need to turn to technological innovations, such as cognitive computing to augment human expertise. They’ll also expand cloud capabilities, data analytics, mobility and network virtualization to become digital service providers. One day, Li-Fi may replace the ubiquitous Wi-Fi, transmitting through household LED lightbulbs, providing internet users with more efficient connections – up to 100x faster than what we have now.

Historic game changers:

  • Telephone, 1876
  • Modem, 1959
  • Email, 1971
  • Mobile phone, 1979
  • Smartphones, 2007

Learn more about the future of mobile technology at

Sources: Macquarie Group; Raymond James, Investment Strategy Quarterly, “Byte-Size Economy”; GE Global Innovation Barometer 2018; Wikipedia;;;; tribalscale; World Economic Forum;;; CMO by Adobe;;;