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How the Canadian tech landscape is evolving

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If you’re looking to better understand the current Canadian tech landscape, look no further than the recently published Turn and Face the Strange report that sought to answer our broadest what-if questions, using foresight research methods.

This report identified some key trends in areas like AI and NFC and reported on how these technologies and the startups behind them are shaking up the scene.

Artificial Intelligence

It should come as no surprise that the report predicts that artificial intelligence can potentially disrupt every industry in our country. The report suggests that advances in AI could halve the number of human-centric jobs by 2030, which could make retaining human talent a lot more competitive.

The report also predicted that dangerous, routine, or predictive tasks will be among the first to be replaced by AI, but over time as the tech advances, wider ranges of tasks could be impacted as well. Interestingly, the report also noted that new creative uses of AI technology may eventually automate tasks that have heretofore been considered automation-resilient.

Canadian startups such as Ottawa-based Interset, has no issues with these giant leaps in AI, as they are currently harnessing it to improve cybersecurity in the fast-paced banking and finance sectors.

Their platform accurately identifies and detects insider threats as well as threats that are emerging in real time, which allows their platform to connect the dots of a cyber security attack before it happens, and to be able to identify who is involved, how the breach is unfolding, and what assets might be at risk.

Interset’s ubiquity in the sector (their products have been tested and routinely deployed for U.S. intelligence purposes) suggests that Canada’s world-renowned artificial intelligence ecosystem is thriving and growing, and if you want to see how Montreal and Toronto-based startups are staying active, be sure to check this out to learn more about the current tech landscape.

In Montreal, for example, the AI sector continues to explode as the city continues to solidify its reputation as Canada’s hub for all things intelligence-related.

The massively successful Transit mobile app was created in Montreal, and boasts users in every major Canadian city with even a halfway functional transit system.

It should also be noted that the Canadian government selected Montreal as headquarters for the hugely influential supply chain supercluster SCALE AI, while Unity Technologies expanded its operations recently, which is creating over 450 jobs over the next few years in the greater Montreal area.

NFC

Near field communication technology is not new and has been highly secure and highly popular for years.

NFC’s first patent goes all the way back to 1983, and was developed fully in 2002 by Sony and Phillips. But it only gained mainstream popularity in the last decade as the response to IoT allowed businesses to further streamline and accelerate payment processes, particularly in retail.

But NFC is not relegated simply to commercial exchanges. NFC tech also allows for secure two-way exchanges between any number of electronic devices across numerous fields.

Key NFC vendors across the global market include Google, Apple, Samsung, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal, who all offer contactless mobile payment options.

A new MarketsandMarkets report tells us that the overall global NFC market is forecasted to climb to $21 billion by 2020, as adoption of smart devices and the increasing use of e-commerce are changing our purchasing landscape. While NFC is typically used through people’s smart phones, this technology can and might even eventually be implemented surgically, allowing people to pay for their retail items with a literal wave of the hand.

Obviously, the step between smartphones and surgically-enhanced transactions is wearable tech, which continues to build and grow alongside NFC technology itself.

In fact, the Stratford, Ontario-based advertising and marketing startup known as NFC Authority is providing new digital relationships between products and customers through patent-pending product tags that allow today’s consumer the instant gratification of lightning-fast purchases, without the use of a smartphone.

NFC Authority uses anti-counterfeiting technology to reduce the number of links in the exchange chain, freeing up companies to deliver their products to end-users faster than ever, while digitally-securing products from piracy and grey-market exchange.

The Canadian tech landscape continues to explode. If you want to stay connected, check back in regularly for the latest news.

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