Nowadays, it is amazing the amount of technology available worldwide. There is always something new on the horizon and we are constantly wondering what advanced technologies are coming next. Indeed, the speed at which technology advances and upgrades can seem overwhelming. The boundaries surrounding IT are fading as technology becomes integral to almost every business function and relationship. More and more people as entrepreneurs are trying to leverage the potential of these emerging technologies to reach their target audience in new ways. In that sense, they use key trends that will likely revolutionize enterprise technology in the next months and promise an intelligent future. What are these current technological trends? Let’s study this through a top of today’s unavoidable tech trends!
- IoT (Internet-of-Things) and Smart Home Tech
The revolution of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and resulting interconnectedness of smart home technology has been going on for several years now. In fact, smart home technology has been propelled into the mainstream in the last years. The Smart Home market is growing at an astonishing rate as consumers seek more connected homes.
“The convenience and peace of mind these products offer is proving popular. With Silicon Valley’s tech giants launching competing entertainment products before the end of the year, smart hubs look set to become Christmas 2017’s must-have tech gifts.”, said a member of Maplin, the UK’s number one specialist technology retailer.
However, some problems arise concerning these new technological devices. Part of the problem is too much competition, with not enough collaboration — there are tons of individual appliances and apps on the market, but few solutions to tie everything together into a single, seamless user experience.
Moreover, the IoT and these smart devices could create vulnerabilities. The evolution of the intelligent digital mesh and digital technology platforms means that security has to become fluid and adaptive. Security in the IoT environment is particularly challenging. For example, hackers belonging to a group of researchers working on home security managed to trigger a smart home’s fire alarm and a door pin code recently. Smart homes are vulnerable to attacks because smart appliances have either highly-breachable cybersecurity measures, no cybersecurity measures at all.
Despite this, IoT and Smart Homes have a real potential on the tech market, and as bigger companies like Google, Amazon or Apple are getting involved now, people are expecting major advancements in the coming years.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Advanced Machine Learning
AI and machine learning will increasingly augment and extend virtually every technology enabled service, thing or application. Creating intelligent systems that learn, adapt and potentially act autonomously rather than simply execute predefined instructions is primary battleground for technology vendors through at least 2020.
To be more precise, Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”. For its part, Machine Learning is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves. AI and machine learning include technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing. These technologies can also encompass more advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. Systems can learn and change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs.
For now, we’ve only seen Machine Learning in a limited range of applications so throughout the months and years to come, we can expect to see machine learning updates emerge across the board, entering almost any type of consumer application you can think of.
- Virtual & Augmented Reality
Today, the lines between the digital and physical world continue to blur. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are transforming the way individuals interact with each other and with software systems creating an immersive environment. Over time, AR and VR expand beyond visual immersion to include all human senses.
As companies are always looking to improve these technologies, they are already exploring more immersive and engaging ways to combine the physical world and digital systems. In this sense, they are working on a new mixed reality, more natural, intuitive and intelligent. In fact, mixed reality takes place not only in the physical world or the virtual world, but is a mix of reality and virtual reality, encompassing both augmented reality and augmented virtuality via immersive technology.
We have already seen some major steps forward for AR and VR technology since 2016. For example, Oculus Rift was released and thousands of VR apps and games followed. Concerning AR, Pokémon Go was a huge success with over 100 million downloads. The market is ready for AR and VR and these technologies represent true opportunities to follow.
Automation can be defined as the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance.
Nowadays, we are currently witnessing the “automation revolution” and we will soon see a complete automation of many professions. In fact, advanced technology is enabling the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks. For example, it’s been several years that we have robotic journalists in circulation: the world of journalism is being revolutionized by algorithms that can write news stories.
We can expect that jobs once thought to be inextricably human-operated will finally be subject to this law of automation. Intelligent machines are already being employed in ways we never thought possible a few years ago. In fact, thanks to advancements like deep learning, automation is proving itself more adept than humans at diagnostics and analysis. When automation is combined with machine learning, everything can improve even faster, so the months and years to come have the potential to be some truly landmark moments.
However, there is one area in which the machines do not surpass humans yet and are not competent. In fact, when it comes to creativity, they are woefully inadequate. We build technology to help us on the implementation of our ideas (for the most part). We haven’t yet managed to automate our creativity and critical thinking.
- Everything On-Demand
The On-Demand Economy can be defined as the economic activity created by technology companies that fulfill consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services. This new economy represents the manifestation of years of technological innovation and an evolution in consumer behavior. Thanks to several brands like Uber and the resulting madness of startups built on the basis of “Uberification” of everything, people are getting used to having everything on demand. On-demand apps connect each consumer with service providers. These apps allow people to get rides, food deliveries, places to stay for a night, etc. This new industry satisfies consumers increasing demand for simplicity, efficiency, and convenience.
The On-Demand Economy and the businesses within it are empowering a revolution and this is just the beginning. We can expect this to be developed even further in the years to come. Soon every need we have, every car we take, every purchase we make could be available at the tap of a button.
- Dark analytics
Dark data is data which is acquired through various computer network operations but not used in any manner to derive insights or for decision making. Organizations retain dark data for a multitude of reasons, and it is estimated that most companies are only analyzing 1% of their data. Some organizations believe that dark data could be useful to them in the future, once they have acquired better analytic and business intelligence technology to process the information. Also, the reason that business do not analyse their dark data is because of the amount of resources it would take and the difficulty of having this unstructured data analysed. Many companies in the IT sector are looking at creating “cognitive computer systems” that are able to analyse unstructured dark data. Today, it does exist some advances in computer vision and pattern recognition allowing companies to unlock insights from unstructured data that, until now, have been lost in the dark.
This is a nascent tech trend but needs to be followed carefully as advancements are made and we move towards data that can be fully analyzed.
- Intelligent Things: drones, autonomous vehicles and smart appliances
Intelligent things refer to physical things as robots, drones, autonomous vehicles and smart appliances in general. These Intelligent Things have existed in our imaginations and in science fiction for many years. Today, the models of these things are real and active.
Intelligent Things will continue to develop in the coming years and progress will grow exponentially. In this sense, predictions are that autonomous cars will be the norm by the year 2030. Intelligent Things are coming and fast, even if that may be challenging to imagine. Thanks to the Internet-of-Things (IoT), the past decade have seen an ever-increasing level of connectedness between different devices that we use every day. So, as devices, or things, become more interconnected, they begin to gain access to artificial intelligence (AI) systems. It is in this direction that Intelligent Things are progressing and we have not finished being surprised in the years to come.
The blockchain is defined as a technology of storage and transmission of information, transparent, secure, and functioning without a central control body. By extension, a blockchain is a database that contains the history of all the exchanges made between its users since its creation. This database is secure and distributed: it is shared by its different users, without intermediaries, which allows everyone to check the validity of the chain. Blockchain and distributed-ledger concepts are gaining traction because they promise a model to add trust to untrusted environments and reduce business friction by providing transparent access to the information in the chain. While there is a great deal of interest the majority of blockchain initiatives are in alpha or beta phases and significant technology challenges exist.
To conclude, everyone in the tech industry knows that making predictions about the course of technology’s future is a pointless exercise. Surprises can come from all directions and announced developments rarely release as they’re intended. Still, it can be interesting to think about what’s coming next to prepare a marketing strategy or to start a business on a particular market.