If you have been following the emerging tech trends such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and cloud, you probably appreciate that new technologies are altering how people interact and work. The technologies are powering a digitally empowered network (call it a mesh) of people, devices, content, services and things that have assured the term intelligent digital mesh. Notably, the technology is evolving so fast and forcing people and businesses to change how they operate. You cannot be left behind! In this post, I bring you the top ten trending technologies that you need to know about in 2019.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is one of the biggest tech trends in the market today. To put it simply, IoT is the idea that tech devices can operate connected to each other to create the perfect interlink between the digital and physical worlds. This is especially crucial for firms and people operating in the media and marketing niches because IoT helps track consumers to determine how the targeted audience is interacting with services or products. The data collected from the end user devices can help to optimize customer experience and marketing campaigns.
Today, many people are already using the Internet of things (IoT) and reaping its benefits. For example, if you forget to lock the door, it is possible to lock it remotely without physically going back. Besides, people can also track their fitness levels or monitor workouts using smart devices like Fitbit and phones. This is not all. People no longer need to keep the number of their taxi drivers. Getting a taxi is as simple as dialing a taxi-hailing app such as Uber. Because of its wide application, IoT is expected to continue trending in the coming years.
Digital Twin is a virtual replica of a physical product, service, process, or system. It serves as a link between the digital and physical world through the use of sensors to gather important data in real-time. Then, the data is used to generate a duplicate of the real product or process so that it can be analyzed further, manipulated or optimized. Digital Twin is also described using terms such as hybrid twin technology, virtual prototyping, and digital asset management.
In the past, Digital Twin technology was used to enhance the performance of single assets such as jet turbines and wind turbines. As Digital Twin technology advances, it allows users to connect to multiple assets or entire organizations. By combining more assets, processes and devices, Digital Twin is becoming very useful in solving complex operational problems that would otherwise take a lot of time to complete.
Some of the industries using Digital Twin technology include healthcare and real estates. For example, the technology is used in healthcare to clone hospitals, doctors, hospital administration, and nurses in order to generate real-time workflows and patient health. This can help to reduce emergency room wait times, cut operational costs, and enhance efficiency in saving lives.
In the real estate niche, Digital Twin allows building operators to pool together previously unconnected systems such as HVAC and security in order to get new insights, monitor processes, and optimize workflows. The technology is also being used to give occupants more control over own workplaces and operating conditions.
Today, the market is shifting from the old model where developers had to partner with data scientists when creating AI-based applications. Instead, the system has shifted to new a model where developers can easily operate on their own using predefined models. Developers are now using an advanced network of algorithms and tools that facilitate easy integration of AI-capabilities into their applications. This is the reason why AI has become the new norm in most applications and devices such as smartphones, banking, and cars.
Another level considered a great opportunity for professional application is in data automation and testing functionalities. It is estimated that by 2022, about 40% of most new application projects will include AI specialists in their teams.
Ultimately, advanced AI developments are expected to give in to automation of functional as well as non-functional applications. This will usher a new age where even non-professionals will be able to easily apply AI-driven tools to work and find solutions.
Although many people largely associate blockchain with cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, it helps to provide enhanced security and operations in many ways. In its simplest term, blockchain is an endless link of data (distributed ledger) that allows users to only add data but not alter/ take away. Not being able to alter the details is what makes blockchain to be highly secure. Blockchain is helping to reshape industries by enhancing trust, increasing transparency and reducing friction in business ecosystems.
It is also important to note that blockchains are driven by consensus. This means that there is no single entity that can claim control over data stored in a specific public ledger. In the past, people used to trust banks, governments, and clearing houses to secure data flow and run financial transactions. The centralized systems came with numerous delays, especially when doing international transactions. When you embrace blockchain, there is no need to trust a third party to oversee, validate, or complete transactions.
Blockchain technology offers an alternative trust model so that no centralized authority is needed for arbitration. Despite the impressive and proven efficiency of blockchain technology, its application is still at infancy and poorly understood. This is the case especially when it comes to complex elements such as consensus algorithms and mining that support the complex scenarios.
Many blockchain projects today only use a few attributes of blockchain technology. These solutions/ projects are applied mainly as a means of increasing business efficiency through process automation or records digitization. Blockchain makes it easy to share info with known entities and increasing capabilities for tracking physical assets.
While the current applications of blockchain technology miss the holistic value, it is causing huge disruption in the way businesses operate. For example, the efficiency of blockchain systems that makes it easy to cut times used to send funds across the globe from days to seconds could prompt radical shifts in business and financial organizations.
These are things such as robots, autonomous vehicles, and drones that utilize AI to run functions that were previously done manually. Note that the automation surpasses the simple robotics commonly offered by rigid programming models. Instead, autonomous things rely on AI to deliver functionalities and behaviors that interact naturally with people and immediate environments.
The growth of autonomous things is going to make people and enterprises to shift from common stand-alone intelligent things to a multiplicity of collaborative intelligent things that have devices operating together with or without human input. Think of a drone surveying a large wheat plantation and it notes that it is ready for harvest. It could immediately dispatch a harvester to clear the field.
In industrial systems, robotics could be set to run entire production lines. A winery can automate its system so that wine packaging starts automatically when the alcohol level reaches a specific point. Note that this involves a full array of automated events such as weighing, packaging, and labeling.
Augmented analytics is one of the niches of augmented intelligence that utilizes machine learning (ML) to change how analytics content is generated, used. and shared. This technology is advancing fast and its adoption is becoming crucial especially in data collection, preparation, management, and applications.
Augmented analytics are being embedded into business applications to inform decisions at different levels of management and automation. For example, HR, finance, marketing and asset management departments can apply augmented analytics to help optimize decisions about their staff or production within specific contexts. This means that businesses will now eliminate the need for hiring expert data analysts because the process is automated, faster and highly efficient.
One impact of augmented analytics is the possible emergence of new capabilities that allow users with job descriptions outside statistics and analytics to easily extract predictive insights from such data. This is what has resulted in the fast growth of citizen data scientists compared to the expert data scientists in the US.
Quantum Computing (QC)
Quantum Computing (QC) is a non-classical form of computing that runs on quantum state mainly of subatomic particles such as ions and electrons. These particles are used to represent information and are referred to as quantum bits (qubits). Because they use parallel execution of quantum computers, it implies that quantum computing is a great solution where problems that the traditional algorithms would take long to solve. Automotive, pharmaceutical, insurance and finance are some of the industries that are relying on the advancement in QC.
Take the example of the pharmaceutical industry. QC is being applied to model molecular interaction at different atomic levels to develop new cancer-treating drugs. In other cases, QC is being considered as a better method of accelerating and accurately predicting proteins interaction in order to craft new pharmaceutical strategies.
One of the emerging technologies in the past was cloud computing. However, it has now become the mainstream technology with major players like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS (Amazon Web Service) dominating the bulk of the market. But the use of cloud computing is still growing rapidly as businesses shift to cloud-based solutions. Despite this, it is the Edge Computing that is gaining even faster popularity.
As the quantity of data that people and businesses have to deal with grows, the shortcomings of cloud computing such as latency have become apparent. Now, Edge computing has come to fill this gap. It is a technology designed to help process data on edge. This means that processing of time-sensitive data can be done faster with or without connection to centralized locations. In such situations, Edge computing becomes like mini data centers.
Edge computing is going to increase rapidly as the Internet of Things (IoT) devices increase. It is estimated that the Edge computing market will hit a high of $6.2 billion by 2022.
Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology that immerses the user in a virtual environment. Although VR has mainly been applied in games such as Pokemon Go, it has become an important technology especially in training such as VirtualShip. This is a simulation tool that is largely used to train captains for the US Navy, Coast Guards. and Army.
Virtual reality has opened numerous opportunities in marketing, training, entertainment and even in rehabilitation after injuries. For example, it can be used to train doctors on how to do surgery, enhance theme parks, or even advance marketing as it is happening with the Pepsi Max Bus. The Pepsi Max Bus combines the DOOH platform with cutting-edge technology to revolutionize how people see city streets.
Over the years, the concept of an office has been evolving. Smart Space is a technology that enables people to work better, faster, and smarter. It is a workplace where the latest technology such as sensors, beacons, and mobile applications assist people to improve their operational efficiency.
The technology uses advanced sensors that help people to improve their communication. For example, it is easy to know if a person is in a building at any moment or if the conference room is booked. Many businesses prefer the smart spaces for easy tracking of staff using facial trackers and monitoring visitors for enhanced security. This is why smart spaces are referred to as the offices of the future.
Many businesses prefer smart spaces to address problems such as absenteeism. Because the spaces are carefully designed with heating, lighting, ventilation, and water, employees find it easy to execute their duties. People using Smart Space indicate that they are motivated to go to their work every day because of enhanced comfort.
Today, new technologies are emerging and evolving rather fast. Call it supersonic speed. However, the above ten technology trends are the most notable because of their diverse application, efficiency, or high potential. If you have an enterprise, these trends are especially critical because they affect different areas that could either directly or indirectly impact your business. Besides, you need to understand and use them to gain a competitive advantage over competitors.
As an individual, these trends are also important because they define how you get services from both businesses and government departments or the devices to acquire. They could also inform your career niche. Therefore, you cannot be left behind orienting yourself to them for success.