Trend 1: The incrementing datafication of our lives
From chatting to friends in a messaging app or buying a coffee, to tapping in and out with an Oyster card or streaming music, today virtually everything we do leaves a trail of data breadcrumbs. And this incrementing datafication of our world has led to an unprecedented explosion in data.
Just in the average minute, Facebook receives 900,000 logins, more than 450,000 Tweets are posted, and 156 million emails and 15 million texts are sent. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder we’re essentially doubling the amount of data engendered in the world roughly every two years.
Trend 2: The Cyber World of Things (IoT) and how everyday contrivances are becoming more ‘smart’
The IoT – which encompasses keenly intellective, connected products like perspicacious phones and astute watches –is a major contributing factor in this exponential increase in data. That’s because all these keenly intellective contrivances are perpetually accumulating data, connecting to other contrivances and sharing that data – all without human intervention (your Fit bit synching data to your phone, for instance).
Assuredly anything can be made perspicacious these days. Our cars are becoming increasingly connected; by 2020, a quarter of a billion cars will be hooked up to the Internet. For our homes, there are conspicuous perspicacious products like TVs, and less conspicuous ones, like yoga mats that track your Downward Canine. And, of course, many of us have voice-enabled personal auxiliaries like Alexa – another example of an IoT contrivance.
That’s already an abundance of contrivances, but the IoT is just getting commenced. IHS has prognosticated there’ll be 75 billion connected contrivances by 2020.
Trend 3: Exponential magnification in computing power is fueling massive tech advances
None of this incredible magnification in data, nor the billions of IoT contrivances available, would be possible without the Brobdingnagian leaps in computing power that we’ve made. Between 1975 and 2015, computing power doubled at a rate of every two years, afore slowing to the current rate of approximately every two and a moiety years.
But we’re reaching the constraints of what traditional computing power can handle. Thankfully, on the horizon, we have quantum computing. Probably the most paramount transformation of computing power ever, quantum computing will visually perceive computers become millions of times more expeditious than they are right now. Tech bellwethers are in a race to launch the first commercially viable quantum computer, capable of solving quandaries that today’s computers can’t handle. Capable, even, of solving quandaries that we can’t even imagine yet.
Trend 4: The incredible elevate of artificial perspicacity (AI)
Computers are now able to learn in much the same way as we humans do, and this leap in AI capabilities has been made possible by the massive increases in data and computing puissance. It’s the incredible explosion in data that has sanctioned AI to advance so expeditiously over the last couple of years; the more data an AI system has, the more expeditious it can learn and the more precise it becomes.
This immensely colossal step forward in AI mean computers can now undertake more and more human tasks. In fact, it’s AI that sanctions computers to visually perceive (e.g. facial apperception software), read (e.g. analysing gregarious media messages), heedfully auricular discern (e.g. Alexa standing by to answer your every command), verbalize (e.g. Alexa being able to answer you) and gauge our emotions (e.g. affective computing).
Trend 5: The unceasable freight train that is automation
The more astute machines become, the more they can do for us. That signifies even more processes, decisions, functions and systems can be automated and carried out by algorithms or robots.
Eventually, a wide range of industries and jobs will be impacted by automation. However, for now, the first wave of jobs that machines are taking can be categorized utilizing the four Ds: dull, dirty, perilous and dear. This betokens humans will no longer be needed to do the jobs that machines can do more expeditious, safer, more frugal and more accurately.
Beyond the four Ds, machines, robots and algorithms will supersede – or augment – many human jobs, including professional jobs in fields like law or accounting. From truck drivers to bricklayers to medicos, the list of jobs that are liable to be affected by automation is surprising. One estimate reckons that 47 percent of US jobs are in peril of automation.
Trend 6: 3D printing opens up astounding opportunities for manufacturers (and others)
Cognate to incrementing automation, the invention of 3D printing is disrupting manufacturing, and other industries, in many positive ways. In traditional (subtractive) manufacturing, objects are cut or hollowed out of material, such as metal, utilizing something like a cutting implement. But in 3D printing (additionally kenned as additive manufacturing), the object is engendered by laying down, or integrating, layers of material. The materials utilized in 3D printing can be assuredly anything: plastic, metal, concrete, liquid, powder, even chocolate or human tissue!
With 3D printing, far more involute shapes can be engendered than in traditional manufacturing – and utilizing less material, additionally. It withal sanctions for much more preponderant customization of products, without worrying about economies of scale.
Trend 7: We’re interacting with technology in very different ways
The way we interact with technology has transmuted dramatically in recent years – and is still transmuting. Thanks to perspicacious phones and tablets, we can carry out a gamut of tasks on the move simply by physically contacting a screen. Mobile web utilization has incremented to the point where, in 2016, it overtook web utilization through traditional computers. Google has additionally corroborated that probes on mobile contrivances now outstrip desktop searches.
We’re withal verbalizing with our contrivances, utilizing voice searches via Siri and the like. Estimates suggest that, by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches, and around 30 percent will involve no screen whatsoever. As a result, all kinds of businesses are gradually integrating their products with the relishes of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. For example, Alexa is being integrated into BMWs from 2018.
Virtual authenticity and augmented authenticity represent the next immensely colossal leap in interface innovation, transforming how businesses interact with customers.
Trend 8: Block chains: An invention that could transmute our world
Block chain technology is a very practical solution to the quandary of storing, authenticating and forfending data. Cerebrate of a block chain as a decentralized, profoundly secure database. Or, to get marginally more technical, it’s a distributed, peer-to-peer ledger of records. While nothing is ever consummately ‘hack-proof’, blockchain represents an immensely colossal leap forward compared to our current data security technology as, unlike a centralized database, there’s no one single point of failure.
The records in a block chain are called ‘blocks’ and every block is connected to the anterior block (hence, ‘block’ and ‘chain’). The whole chain is self-managed, which designates there’s no one person or organization in charge of the entire chain. If that sounds familiar, it might be because the virtual currency Bit coin functions on block chain technology.
Financial accommodations, indemnification and healthcare are just some of the sectors where block chains are liable to be heavily adopted. In fact, 90 percent of major European and North American banks are exploring block chain solutions.
Trend 9: Platforms are the way forward for businesses
A platform is essentially a network (digital or physical) that engenders value for participants by facilitating connections and exchanges between people for accommodations, products or information. The platform is infrequently the genuine accommodation provider; instead, it acts as a facilitator for the crowd, making interactions possible, facile, and safe for participants.
Platforms have given elevate to businesses like Airbnb, Uber and Amazon, and are withal the substructure of what Facebook and Twitter do. However, platforms offer magnification opportunities across all kinds of businesses, industries and sectors – not just tech companies. Even long-running businesses with more traditional business models, like Ford, are commencing to develop platform strategies.