Here’s what our expectations are for tech trends next year.
Boy has this year gone by so fast! But then again, don’t we always say that every year? Next week’s already going to be December, which means Christmas will shortly follow and then it’s New Year’s where all of us will struggle with writing down the date for the first two months. “Oh not again, it’s 2019, not 2018, I keep forgetting!”
Now we know very well, that with each passing year, something new always comes out – whether it’s the iPhone or a new piece of technology, we can pretty much bet our boots that some sort of tech-related advancement will be made and shared with the world. And at the rate the world’s going at the moment, that predictions become easier to make. So here are our expectations for the coming year:
1. AI & autonomous robots
Recently, we’ve been seeing big strides in this area, particularly due to the first robot citizen Sophia who is currently three years old. Over the course of these three years, Sophia has made significant improvement, especially when it comes to understanding nuances and not only be able to understand human emotion, but also express it through her facial features. But what are some of the benefits that a humanoid robot like Sophia can bring? Take a look at the video below:
The difference between AI and autonomous robots is that, unlike AI, these robots are not machine learning, i.e. they do not work and react as humans do. However, they are nonetheless capable of performing behaviors or tasks with a high degree of autonomy, i.e. without the need for supervision. For this reason, autonomous robotics is considered to be a subfield of artificial intelligence as well as robots and information engineering. According to Gartner.com, a global research and advisory firm, as of currently, autonomous robots like the Knightscope K5 robots are being used by big companies like Microsoft and Uber to “patrol parking lots and large outdoor areas to predict and prevent crime.”
These AI-driven robots are one out of five examples of “autonomous things” that are mentioned in Gartner’s Top 10 strategic technologies for 2019, and are described as having the “potential to drive significant disruption and deliver opportunity over the next five years.”
2. Immersive technologies
We’ve been hearing about VR and AR a lot in the past year, so much so that it’s difficult to come across a person who doesn’t have a faint idea of at least one of them.
The great thing about these two similar technologies is that they can be used across various markets and industries.
The majority of people think that VR and AR are mostly for entertainment purposes such as to enhance gaming experiences, especially VR. In fact, Virtual Reality has been an important milestone in the world of gaming, with many software developers working hard on releasing better games across all devices, be it mobile, pc, or tablet, as well as big tech companies working hard on improving VR devices such as the VR headset. Even in industries like the online gambling market have started to invest in creating VR games. One such example is Microgaming that first announced their plans to bring virtual reality to online casinos back in 2016.
But games aside, VR and AR have a much wider range of purpose especially in the field of healthcare. For starters, nurses, doctors and especially surgeons in training would greatly benefit from these technologies as they would be able to practice handling or operating on patients in a highly simulated – and risk-free – environment. The opportunities for training don’t stop there – these technologies can help train pilots, improve safety on construction sites, and it might also potentially help astronauts cope with the journey to Mars. Other areas that can benefit highly from VR and AR technologies include education, marketing, and even rehabilitation after an injury. These are just some of the areas where VR and AR technologies can make a significant impact, so we’re expecting to see more industries taking on these approaches in 2019.
When we talk about Blockchain, most of the time we think about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and although blockchain was indeed created to support cryptocurrencies, this is only one of the many uses of Blockchain technology. Just like in the case of VR and AR, there is a lot of misunderstanding around blockchain, or lack of knowledge perhaps, which creates some confusion amongst the general public.
And that is that people think that just as cryptocurrencies cannot exist without blockchain, so can’t blockchain exist without cryptocurrencies, and this is far from the truth. Whilst the first assumption is true, the latter is certainly not. Blockchain has managed to outgrow cryptocurrencies and is steadily on its way to moving to other ventures. One way in which Blockchain is headed is being connected with IoT devices. These two combined can open up a world of possibilities, or better yet, using proper terminology, these two combined can create a lot of “use cases”. Check out the video below for an example of this:
Another area where blockchain technology is expected to be adopted is within the government. The fact that blockchain can hold large quantities of data that is almost always available anywhere in the world at any time while being mostly hack-proof, makes it highly attractive to authorities. The only issue with this is that it is certainly no small task. In fact, this kind of change, albeit very useful, would need to be slowly introduced over the years. However, our gut feeling is that this process might just about start next year.
And there you have it, our top expectations for tech trends in 2019. Have we missed anything? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!