Industrial Revolution 5.0?
On September 7, 2020, we celebrate Labor Day and pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. The recognition of Labor Day first occurred on September 5, 1882, about 100 years after the first Industrial Revolution began and about 10 years into our second. Four Industrial Revolutions are recognized.
- 1784– Industrial production using machines powered by water and steam.
- 1870 – Mass production using electricity and assembly lines.
- 1969 – Automation using electronics and computers.
- 2000 – Introduction of connected devices to further the automation process.
- 2020 – Cooperation between man and machine through interactive technologies.
Wait … that’s a list of 5. Huh?
While only four Industrial Revolutions are officially recognized, we are seeing the fifth evolve in front of us. Amazing, and even more amazing is that some of us, of a certain age, have already lived through two, and are now living through a third Industrial Revolution, or evolution, if you will. We have watched the bag phone with its “rubber duck” antenna evolve into a tool even more advanced than Maxwell Smart’s shoe. And to really put our technological advances into perspective, a typical cell phone has more than one million (1,048,576 to be exact) times more memory than the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer had in RAM.
The emerging technologies of this fifth revolution, have recently accelerated in popularity and demand due to the global pandemic. Our need to socially distance WHILE getting the job done has blurred the physical and digital worlds. The Industrial Revolution 5.0 is changing education, health care, networking, how we function in business and as consumers, and even changing our own environmental industry.
Environmental Standards, Inc. recently hosted a webinar Lessons Learned from Virtual Audits. During the presentation, we discussed many of the tools used during our virtual audits and how they succeeded in creating an interactive merge between man and technology, which is the definition of the Industrial Revolution 5.0. These new technologies allow us to virtually be anywhere in the world, conducting audits and sharing our expertise.
If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, it is the high levels of borderless collaboration and collective investment in new technologies. Individuals and organizations are embracing these technologies and using imagination to create limitless applications.
Have a happy and safe Labor Day.