It’s always a good idea to stay on top of technology trends. Here we highlight several of the biggest technology trends for 2019 and beyond that will affect the world in the next years. Topics include Smart Apps, Autonomous Vehicles, Virtual Reality (VR)Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Things, and more.
More autonomous vehicles on limited, well-defined and controlled roadways. The use of autonomous vehicles in controlled settings (i.e. in tourism, transport and logistics) is a rapidly growing area of intelligent things.
Semi-autonomous vehicles will dominate in the next years. During this time, manufacturers will test technologies and the non-technology issues such as regulations, legal issues and cultural acceptance will be defined. Tesla is expected to unveil a new semi truck in November 2017. The electric semi truck will be equipped with Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system, which provides automatic steering, braking, and lane changes on highway roads.
Of course, Tesla’s not the only carmaker pursuing autonomous driving technology. General Motors had produced 130 fully autonomous cars on a regular vehicle production line. Also Bestmile, an innovative Swiss company developing technology for urban mobility. BestMile provides a fleet management platform designed to operate and optimize any fleet of autonomous vehicles. The driverless car market is expected to be worth $77 billion by 2035, and with the pace of innovation among Tesla, GM, Bestmile and others already picking up.
More intelligent things will work together powered by the internet. Intelligent things are physical things that use AI to deliver advanced behaviors and interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people. AI is driving advances for new intelligent things (such as robots, autonomous vehicles and drones) and delivering enhanced capability to many existing things (such as Internet of Things [IoT] connected consumer and industrial systems).
Over the last few years, the Internet of Things rapidly became a huge gate between the reality and the digital world, making inevitable changes in both industrial and consumer sectors. The smart home area transforms into the smart city with a huge variety of standalone products and closed ecosystems created by such leading consumer tech giants as LG.
Connected and self-driving cars have always been a part of the Internet of Things, and this year all major car manufacturers continuously introduce new automotive IoT solutions. Manufacturing giants like Bosch focus on performance improvement and human safety care, reshaping the standards of doing business. Healthcare and retail are two more major followers of the Internet of Things trends. Both aim for automation of operations, provision of personalized experience to customers, and overall transformation of the ways they operate.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Go Mainstream
More applications and content for VR and AR will appear. VR and AR is going to grow fast among consumers next year thanks to Apple and Google’s recent push to make the technology mainstream. Also companies like Advir.co is innovating this space offering a marketplace to bring advertising into VR and AR.
It will change the way how people perceive and interact with the digital world and will increase productivity. There is no homogenous market and it is still very fragmented. At zdnet.com they point out that the next years will bring real business value outside of the entertainment and gaming spaces. Companies need to examine where VR and AR can be applied to make the organization more productive to create a real business benefit.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Systems that learn and act autonomously will evolve. The ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will be a major success factor. Companies need to invest in skills, processes and tools and adapt fast in this space. China will take a leading role in AI by 2030. The AI market will reach over $9 billion USD by 2020.
Apps will have an advanced level of AI. These smart apps will create a more efficient use for people and have the potential to transform the nature of work and the structure of the workplace. Apps and services will incorporate some level of AI and machine learning. AI will be used to add business value in the form of advanced analytics, intelligent processes and advanced user experiences.
The potential of AI to transform customer experiences, disrupt and create new business models, and change the nature of decision making has, to large extent, been realized and implemented in enterprise applications. In fact, a Gartner report suggests that about 40 percent of enterprises (out of the surveyed set) have already implemented AI technologies, while almost 60 percent are collecting information and conducting due diligence to implement similar solutions
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are used together with many technologies to enable dynamic self-education of a system. Data science already brings business impact, being applied in B2B software for a variety of industries, for example, in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system development. A 2017 Gartner survey showed that 59% of companies were gathering information to build their AI strategy, with the rest piloting or adopting AI technologies. It is time for business owners to decide whether they are going to keep up with the competition by the end of 2018.
Between Augmented, Mixed, and Virtual Realities
Augmented, mixed, and virtual reality are still mostly embraced by the entertainment sphere; however, the appearance of Microsoft HoloLens compelled many manufacturers to explore the opportunities that augmented reality can offer to industry.
This article at forbes.com mentions that augmented reality can be used for assembling complex manufactured products and supporting equipment maintenance, giving a previously unheard-of ability to control and manage machinery by a simple touch on an AR display.
Mixed reality will be another focus over the next few years with its ability to immerse the user and real-world objects into the digital world, still maintaining their presence in the physical world. With emerging toolkits—such as ARKit for iOS and ARCore for Android—we can expect 2018 to be crucial for both AR and MR software development. Enterprises and emerging companies should watch these technology trends not to miss the right time to apply innovation before it loses its competitive power.
Blockchain is evolving from a digital currency infrastructure into a platform for digital transformation. Blockchain brings a radical change from current centralized transactions to a decentralized world and is the foundation of disruptive digital business for both established enterprises and startups.
Blockchains originally focused on the financial services industry and mainly cryptocurrencies but will expand rapidly in other fields in the next years. Potential applications are in government, healthcare, manufacturing, media distribution, identity verification and supply chain.
Cutting through the hype around it, blockchain still can be considered as a promising solution to security-based products for banking, healthcare and education sectors, although compelling examples are yet to appear. The blockchain technology still needs to grow and become more regulated before it will be widely adopted by major business domains; however, it is already a trend to watch in 2018.