“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” — Alan Turing
New years are arbitrary points in time but they present an opportunity to look at where we have come and traverse where we might be going to, especially because we are now pretty much “permaconnected”. Last year, I put together of 50 emerging technology trends to look out for and many seemed to resonate throughout the year. Some are starting to bubble. It’s worth a re-read if you find this list interesting.
This year, I thought I would do the same. I have curated from smarter soothsayers than myself to put together a list of 50 themes. Many of them are technology-led or technology-driven but some are just interesting themes that surprised me a little. This list is not intended to be the obvious business drivers of the year, but things to watch out for that could affect your work or your business. It’s also intended to form a basis for further reading.
There are links to the full reports and articles and I’d urge you to the deep dive on the ones that interest you. I hope you find much in this list that makes you ponder a little. And remember — predictions are just that — a forecast. They may be right, they may be wrong but they are based on someone’s inclination that something might be happening.
(If you like this kind of stuff, you’ll love my free newsletter, Box of Amazing, that I send out every week)
1 — Education in your Pocket
There will be an evolving shift from just accessing information, to accessing tools to using technology on the go to actually learn. Whoever you are, whatever you want to learn, study or revise, there are now tools to be able to learn anything from study and revision tools to large MOOCs to online tutors, all available immediately.
Shelley Osborne, VP Learning, Udemy: “There’s definitely been a significant shift to learners learning on their mobile devices. They’re truly on the go. A lot of our learners are doing it on the commute, on the train into work or on the bus — in that five-minute span. These are behaviors that match what we see in other digital spaces in terms of entertainment consumption, but it’s a new thing in the education space.”
2 — Drone Swarms replace Fireworks
Fireworks have been used for public celebrations for centuries, from Guy Fawkes’ Night, to the Fourth of July, Chinese New Year and Diwali.
Since the time of Elizabeth I, we have come together, sometimes in our thousands, to watch in awe and wonder as the night sky is illuminated by increasingly elaborate, choreographed explosions.
But fireworks come at a cost — financial, human and environmental — which may make their continued use unsustainable. Fortunately, technological innovation is presenting a more benign substitute to pyrotechnics, which will also take entertainment to the next level: drone swarms.
We predict that in 2020, drone swarms will increasingly be used for popular entertainment and son et lumière displays, as their cost continues to fall and technical capabilities rise. Rapidly becoming capable of vastly more intricate and engaging displays than fireworks, drone swarms will eventually replace fireworks altogether.
3 — Digital Perfume
Currently, smell is almost impossible to convey digitally — but this is all expected to change. We may have all but lost our understanding of fragrances. Modern people use deodorant to conceal their body odors, and traffic exhaust fumes in our bustling megacities make us numb to olfactory sensations. We may even think of our noses just as a place to put our glasses, or as a reminder that we have caught a cold.
The experience of watching any type of video would feel more immersive if you could smell the action. In 2030, 56 percent expect to be able to digitally savor all the smells in films they watch. Although there have been attempts to incorporate scent during films as far back as the early 1960s, their failure to gain popularity have likely been due to a lack of effective technology rather than of popular interest.
Given our shallow acquaintance with many of the world’s aromas, it also seems consumers are open for innovation in this field, with 47 percent expecting smell data to be available for companies to use commercially. At least for now, many don’t see the need to keep their digital smell private.
Finally, this technology doesn’t have to cause a stink — we will be able to avoid bad smells whenever we choose, with more than half expecting a device that digitally transforms stinky smells into nice fragrances in their noses. Almost half also expect to be able to control how they smell to others, using digital perfume and deodorants.
4 — Pretend Pork in China
China’s endless food health and safety scandals along with a growing awareness of personal health (supporting the boom in gyms in China) has led many middle-class Chinese to embrace healthier eating choices. Restaurants are adding more vegetarian options, and plant-protein-based meat replacements are gaining traction. In China, which consumes more than 50 percent of pork produced globally and has seen pork prices rise over 100 percent due to disease in the pig population, the need is for pork alternatives, rather than the focus in the US on beef substitutes. As a result, Asian companies such as Green Common from Hong Kong have taken the lead in meeting this demand.
5 — Solar-powered Cars
Another interesting tech trend to anticipate will revolve around solar-powered cars. Many manufacturers are already working towards making solar cars a reality very soon. By allowing the car’s battery to be charged on the move, this could be an absolute game-changer for the EV market. There are already some interesting prototypes currently undergoing testing, and 2020 could see some of them closer to production. Others are attempting to develop solar-powered hybrids too.
If achieved, some estimate that the global market for solar-powered EVs could be in the order of $1 Billion in 2020. But, just as it is with every new technology, any models close to the production are incredibly expensive. One example, The Lightyear One, could set you back a whopping $107,000 a unit.
6 — Second Hand become Climate Cool
More people will become increasingly tuned into the runaway cost of new high-end smartphones and the climate impact of making a new one. Extracting precious metals to make the phones has a significant carbon footprint. Though there isn’t a lot of data on the environmental impact of smartphone production, the UN claims that 80 percent of a smartphone’s carbon footprint comes from manufacturing, around four percent from transportation, and 16 percent from a lifetime of use. For climate conscious people, keeping the smartphone you have — or even buying a slightly used one — will be increasingly attractive in 2020.
7 — Walking Barcodes
This trend is about how our bodies are becoming our signature — effectively blending our digital and physical selves. It’s also about how living services — contextually-aware, sophisticated digital services — will segue from the digital world into the real world. Hyper-targeted customer experiences will become the norm in physical environments.
In entertainment, Disney piloted an interactive movie poster with Accenture Interactive. The AI-powered experience used photography and emotion recognition to enable a poster for the movie Dumbo, which could display a version of the movie poster that corresponded with the expression on the face of the person looking at it.
8 — Blockchain kills fake news
By 2023, up to 30% of world news and video content will be authenticated as real by blockchain, countering deep fake technology.
Although fake news has existed for centuries, social media bots have rapidly accelerated the rate at which this deliberate disinformation can be spread. In addition to traditional news stories, technology is being used to create convincing fake audio and video. However, organizations and governments are now turning to technology to help counter fake news, for example, by using blockchain technology to authenticate news photographs and video, as the technology creates an immutable and shared record of content that ideally is viewable to consumers.
9 — A new Digital Currency will become the main global currency
Klaus Schwab: “Over the next decade there’s the potential for an entirely new form of money, “stablecoin.” If achieved, it could help include the world’s unbanked population and ensure a more stable financial system for all. Experimentation with blockchain in financial services has already led to the development of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. But these remain ineffective and have proved prone to major fluctuations and misuse. Moreover, they are still hard to use in daily life, with few retailers accepting them as a form of payment. Libra, proposed by Facebook and backed by a consortium of other firms, conceptually might overcome some of those hurdles: It would be easy to use via a digital wallet on Facebook and would be stabilized by pegging it to a reserve basket of currencies (for more, see the feature story in this issue). But a “gold standard” of digital currencies has not emerged-yet. The real opportunity lies in major guarantors of the financial system, such as central banks and governments, committing to a supranational form of money. Such new currency could facilitate international payments and include those people and small businesses that are currently unbanked in the financial system.
Indeed, the real promise lies not in New York, London, Singapore, or Tokyo, where most people and businesses already have ample ways to conduct business and transfer money. It lies in helping those who are unbanked in countries like India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, or the DRC. A stablecoin could make financial inclusion real. It would represent the new frontier of money. There has not been anything as exciting since Bretton Woods.
10 Computer Vision
As we move through 2020, we’re going to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. It’s fundamental to the way autonomous cars will “see” and navigate their way around danger. Production lines will employ computer vision cameras to watch for defective products or equipment failures, and security cameras will be able to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.
11 Genomics will redefine medicine
I suspect that within about five years it will be possible to make essentially any kind of change or edit to any genome in any celled organism with precision. I think we’re really that close to being able to do that. Now, that’s in the laboratory. It’ll be maybe longer than that before it’s possible to make those kinds of genome edits in organisms in actual patients. The next step will be developing ways to effectively deliver these gene-editing tools. To me, that’s the next horizon.
Jennifer Doudna is a professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley and executive director of the Innovative Genomics Institute. 25 Ideas That Will Shape the 2020s
12 Sustainability Focus will drive Cell Based Meat
We’re in the most innovative cycle in history. There’s a massive amount of capital, and it’s easier now for any good idea to get financing and spread globally fairly quickly. One innovation that’s coming as a result is cell-based meat. In the long term, it’s going to be bigger than plant-based meats, which don’t taste like meat without being extremely processed. But cell-based meat-that is, meat grown from animal cells-could change the entire planet. That trend will break in the next decade. I feel certain it will. Imagine if it’s not only more ethical, or environmentally less harmful, but even cheaper. A different way of procuring animal foods than what we’ve done for all of humanity-that would change everything.
John Mackey is the cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods. 25 Ideas That Will Shape the 2020s
13 Cyber Attack Armageddon
Research by SonicWall has indicated an escalation in the volume of cyber attacks, while also identifying new, targeted cyber-attacks and threat tactics used by cybercriminals. They identified 74,290 never-seen-before attacks this year. These variants were so new, unique and complex that they were without a signature at the time of discovery and included detection of multiple side-channel attacks. As cloud complexity surges, hackers are relying on more targeted attacks, scoping out weak points across a larger attack surface.
Multiexperience replaces technology-literate people with people-literate technology. In this trend, the traditional idea of a computer evolves from a single point of interaction to include multisensory and multitouchpoint interfaces like wearables and advanced computer sensors.
For example, Domino’s Pizza created an experience beyond app-based ordering that includes autonomous vehicles, a pizza tracker and smart speaker communications.
In the future, this trend will become what’s called an ambient experience, but currently multiexperience focuses on immersive experiences that use augmented reality (AR), virtual (VR), mixed reality, multichannel human-machine interfaces and sensing technologies. The combination of these technologies can be used for a simple AR overlay or a fully immersive VR experience.
15 — Thinking Drone Collectives
The British, Chinese, and United States armed forces are testing how interconnected, cooperative drones could be used in military operations. Inspired by a swarm of insects working together, drone swarms could revolutionize future conflicts, whether it be by overwhelming enemy sensors with their numbers or to effectively cover a large area for search-and-rescue missions. The difference between swarms and how drones are used by the military today is that the swarm could organize itself based on the situation and through interactions with each other to accomplish a goal. While this technology is still in the experimentation stage, the reality of a swarm that is smart enough to coordinate its own behavior is moving closer to reality. Aside from the positive benefits of drone swarms to minimize casualties, at least for the offense, and more efficiently achieve a search-and-rescue objective, the thought of machines equipped with weapons to kill being able to “think” for themselves is fodder for nightmares. Despite the negative possibilities, there seems to be little doubt that swarm military technology will eventually be deployed in future conflicts.
16 Coworking 3.0
A new business model emerges where landlords, tenants, and flex space providers work together in partnership to create win-win-win outcomes for all. The siloed conversations driven by the existing model will be replaced by an entirely new collaborative approach to deal making where landlords and flex providers work together to create the “right” spaces for all building tenants and share in the value created by delivering the spaces, experiences, and flexibility that today’s progressive companies demand.
17 Instagram becomes the new QVC
There’s a big shift happening on Instagram — and, no, I’m not talking about your disappearing likes. Instagram has been quietly laying the groundwork to become an online shopping paradise.
One year after introducing Instagram Shopping, which lets businesses link to specific products, the company added Checkout, which lets you buy those products without leaving the app. The company still only lets a handful of brands participate in Checkout — insisting that it’s still “early days” — but the company has been clear that it sees shopping as one of its “big bets” for the future.
And there are signs this effort has been ramping up in recent months. The company added an augmented reality try-on feature, and introduced curated shopping “collections” for the holidays. And with Facebook’s latest arch-nemesis, TikTok, now also delving into the world of e-commerce, you can bet Instagram won’t be far behind.
18 The Beginning of the end of Apps
Having to find and download apps could be the next problem to solve for companies bemused by the investment they’ve put into apps and the competitive nature of the various app stores. Many people believe that making apps accessible from a cloud, or scrapping them all together in favor of Progressive Web Apps, might be more useful and cost-effective for everyone involved.
19 Micromobility Transportation
In 2020, an increase in different micro-mobility transportation methods will be seen, even though the bike-share market crashed in 2018. The crash from China’s large market players, Mobike, Obike, and Ofo, encouraged European and American-based service providers to ratify their market models so that they were not distributing at an aggressive rate. The fallout of the Chinese vendors has also seen an increased number of other forms of transport being used for a service. Micro-mobility methods of transportations, such as e-bikes and scooters, are now being marketed in the European and North American markets especially, and are proving quite successful as providers plan to increase their fleet sizes. In 2020, we will see the improved micro-mobility market with increasingly different modes of transportation being introduced to the market, though the shared bike will still lead.
20 Fintech as a business model
Traditionally, B2C companies either make money selling products to customers or selling advertising-essentially, selling customers to advertisers. B2B companies generally sell products to customers. Already, a number of B2B companies are monetizing via payment processing. In 2020, we expect to see even more B2B and B2C companies in which the primary business model will be white-labeling financial services, providing them to customers for free, and taking a spread on the backend economics. Companies like Lyft and Amazon are likely to join neobanks in offering debit cards and checking accounts. (Uber already has.) And companies that monetize primarily through payments-such as Toast, Eventbrite, and Mindbody-will get into lending and a host of other financial services. “What’s your business model? Fintech.” -Alex Rampell, a16z Fintech General Partner
21 Digital Brand Avatars
The media landscape continues to fragment. Digital channels multiply. One opportunity? In 2020, consumers will pay deeper attention to brands who embody themselves via new virtual characters and avatars, allowing them to inhabit digital channels in richer, more immersive and more human ways. Deep underlying forces are fueling the rise of BRAND AVATARS.
First, a multiplicity of digital channels — TikTok! Fortnite! Alexa! In-store touchscreens! — means new expectations when it comes to the democratized conversation between brands and consumers. Second, consumers are already becoming accustomed to meaningful relationships with AI-fueled entities. Relationships that go way beyond Alexa, order me some washing powder, and that encompass wellbeing, creativity, and even the human need for companionship. Now Amazon are working on a wearable that will understand and respond to the emotions of the user. The rise of these VIRTUAL COMPANIONS is priming consumers to expect branded virtual entities that connect to them on a deeper level.
As customers expect more engaging experiences with brands, that’s turning physical retail locations into another opportunity to deliver those experiences.
From incorporating emerging technologies such as augmented reality to spice up the shopping experience to developing events to support the launch of luxury products, retailers are joining the ranks of brands developing experiences. For example, major brands active in China have begun to discuss “retailtainment,” as SCMP recently noted, to describe that merging of buying, entertainment, and engagement happening both physically and online.
23 Employee AI
AI won’t take your job, but it will change how you work: AI will continue to impact the workplace for years to come. But the fear that humans will lose their jobs to machines is unjustified. Rather, AI will transform the way people work, through automation. New research from the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab shows that AI will increasingly help us with tasks such as scheduling, but will have a less direct impact on jobs that require skills such as design expertise and industrial strategy. Expect workers in 2020 to begin seeing these effects as AI makes its way into workplaces around the world; employers have to start adapting job roles, while employees should focus on expanding their skills.
24 Amazon Africa
Our prediction isn’t that Amazon will enter the market to compete with Jumia and Shoprite. Instead, we predict that Amazon will acquire one or the other, the same way they did with Middle Eastern online retailer Souq, in 2017 (Souq is now Amazon.ae).
And since QZ reported in November that Jumia has had issues maintaining its costly retail network (showing over $1 billion in losses), we think Jumia is the likelier target. Currently, Jumia is valued at $410.94 million, less than one-third of its IPO valuation in April of 2019. That’s nearly $200 million less than the cash value Amazon paid for Souq in 2017. So, could we see Amazon.ng in the future? A phoenix rising from the ashes of an acquired Jumia? We think so.
25 Dark Data Decisions
With the advent of AI, augmented reality, 5G networks and other new, transformative technologies, organizations must prioritize bringing their data to bear. These technologies will drive leading companies to prioritize the proper management and use of all their data. Which brings up an essential problem — companies aren’t doing a good job of that. A 2019 dark data study commissioned by Splunk showed that 55% of an organization’s total data is dark, meaning the organization either doesn’t know the data exists or doesn’t know how to find, analyze and use it. Various published estimates that try to calculate the value of dark data in a particular vertical (the travel industry, for instance, or marketing technology) put the figure in the billions of dollars. Not surprising, when you realize that learning how to use dark data would nearly double the amount of information for the average organization. An interesting finding in Splunk’s dark data report was that respondents in China, a hypercompetitive and fast-changing economy, were the only ones who voiced a strong understanding of dark data, and claimed to be ready to deal with it. The more data you have, and use, the more effective your organization; cutting-edge organizations already know this. When you declare a year of something, you can’t say that every single company will embrace the rallying cry. 2020 will not be every company’s year. of dark data, but every company will need to have a year of dark data, and soon. If it’s not 2020 or 2021, they’ll be playing catchup in 2022 as competitors making better uses of data-fueled technologies find innovative ways to understand their customers and improve products and services.
26 AI emotions adverts
By 2024, AI identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see.
With the increasing popularity of sensors that track biometrics and the evolution of artificial emotional intelligence, businesses will be able to detect consumer emotions and use this knowledge to increase sales. Along with environmental and behavior indicators, biometrics enable a deeper level of hyperpersonalization. Brands should be transparent and educate consumers about how their data is being collected and used.
27 The Reality of Extended Reality
Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it refers to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset). These technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment — with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such as camera filters and Pokemon Go-style games providing the most visible examples of AR. From 2020 expect all of that to change, as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers.
28 The 5 Gen Workplace
A five-generation workplace will multiply the demands business leaders face
Today’s businesses will need to quickly adjust their practices and policies to embrace the growing demands of the fast changing workforce. For the first time ever, there are over five generations of professionals in the workplace. The expectations of these professionals are complex and varied. One thing is clear, the needs of the incoming generation, the Gen Z’s, are far more demanding than those of prior generations. These professionals are diverse, they demand to be heard, and they demand flexibility. Businesses that fail to address these needs will lose top talent and their businesses will grow stagnant.
- Michele C. Meyer-Shipp, Principal, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer KPMG LLP
29 Easy Deep faking
In general, adversaries are going to use the best technology to accomplish their goals, so if we think about nation-state actors attempting to manipulate an election, using deepfake video to manipulate an audience makes a lot of sense. Adversaries will try to create wedges and divides in society, or if a cybercriminal can have a CEO make what appears to be a compelling statement that a company missed earnings or that there’s a fatal flaw in a product that’s going to require a massive recall. Such a video can be distributed to manipulate a stock price or enable other financial crimes
30 Delivery drones take off.
Parcel delivery is an industry of enormous economic impact, and yet has evolved relatively slowly over the decades. It can still be frustratingly slow, wasteful, labor-intensive, and expensive. These inefficiencies, combined with recent developments in drone technology, leave the field ripe for disruption. Several companies have recently worked to develop practical delivery drones, which may now be ready to completely transform this industry — and consequently, society as a whole.
31 Hello Halal Fashion
Muslims comprise almost 25 percent of the world’s population and form a significant portion of the global consumer market. They spent an estimated $2.1 trillion in 2017, up from $1.6 trillion in 2012, representing 4.5 percent of the 2017 global consumer market. There is therefore substantial business opportunity in the global halal market, which consists of products that are acceptable according to Islamic law and align with Muslim culture and beliefs. There are six main sectors of this market: food, travel, fashion, media and recreation, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Food is by far the largest segment, accounting for almost 62 percent of the total global halal market (see figure 2). Halal fashion is another fast-growing sector that is rising in popularity against the backdrop of the broader fashion industry’s efforts to appeal to an increasingly diverse consumer base. And in response to Muslims being one of the fastest-growing segments of the global travel industry, the halal tourism sector is thriving as hotels and tour operators race to meet the Muslim traveler’s dietary and religious needs.
32 Predictive justice
Predictive justice has been a hot topic for the legal sector over the past few years, and its importance is gradually increasing. The question “What are my chances of winning?” is systematically raised by clients. Predictive justice claims to provide clients with accurate baseline predictions where possible regarding the success of their disputes. This prediction may include the chances of their success, amount of compensation generally granted, procedural length etc.
33 Voice technologies will infiltrate the office
Voice assistants have established themselves as common place in our personal lives. But 2020 will see an increasing amount of businesses turning to them to improve and personalise the customer experience. This is because, advances in AI-driven technology and natural language processing are enabling voice interactions to be translated into data. This data can be structured so that conversations can be analysed for insights. Next year, organisations will likely begin to embrace conversational analytics to improve their chatbots and voice applications. This will ultimately result in better data-driven decisions and improved business performance. — Alberto Pan, Chief Technical Officer, Denodo
34 Gaming goes Blockchain
Gaming will be the break-out application area in 2020. We already have games like Splinterlands on Steem; CardMaker: NatureTown on NEO; and My Crypto Heros on Ethereum, but no break out games as of yet. Enjin looks like a good bet with distribution through Blockchain KeyStore of the Galaxy S10 and Microsoft Azure Heros using the platform. By the end of 2020 many of the pieces needed for a break-out mainstream game will be there: high-performance platforms; easier to use on and off-ramps for digital assets; and better digital asset storage and distribution tools for gamers. So all that is left is distribution and reaching gamers.
This will be accelerated by the ability for gamers to earn credits that can be used in and possibly across games by renting out their GPU and CPU hardware to run computational and rendering tasks which is why we recently began advising Cudo.
35 The beginning of the end of Cookies
Since the mid-1990s, the cookie has been used to track online behaviour. Websites use their own first-party cookies to improve the site visitation experience, for example by storing your log-in data or saving items in your shopping cart.
While third-party cookies are used across the industry for tracking purposes: to deliver targeted digital marketing, ad frequency capping, and to assess ad exposure and marketing performance. The advertising industry has become heavily reliant on cookies to activate and assess online campaigns.
But in a world where data privacy and transparency concerns continue to intensify, and the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) influence spreads outside of Europe, technology providers like Apple, Google and Mozilla Firefox are moving to allow users to block third-party cookies in their browsers.
But in a world where data privacy and transparency concerns continue to intensify, and the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) influence spreads outside of Europe, technology providers like Apple, Google and Mozilla Firefox are moving to allow users to block third-party cookies in their browsers.
Our Getting Media Right 2019 study shows that nearly 65% of marketers are concerned about providing impactful measurement in a post-cookie world. However, large portions of the industry — nearly half of agencies and three-quarters of brands — have not begun to prepare for any changes.
Looking ahead to 2020, our prediction is that although cookies will start to crumble, they will not disappear completely for some time. Advertisers will be faced with a new “mixed economy” — although those that do not start to prepare for such changes could be left in the dark.
36 Your Digital Twin Leads your Life for you
Say hello to your digital twin: a virtual version of you built from your digital footprint. This virtual ‘you’ can live out possible futures for you, so you don’t have to make any changes in real life until you’re sure which path to take.
Your digital doppelganger will give you the chance to test the impact of major or minor life decisions — whether it’s about your next career step, or how your diet will affect your health in six months time — and anticipate problems before making any changes In Real Life.
In 2020, we predict that human digital twins will enter the consumer market. Soon, we will be able to test, model and predict the impact of various choices on our future using our very own digital replicas to inform decisions we make in the real world.
37 Behavioural Biometrics
The use of facial recognition technologies for surveillance received considerable public attention in 2019. High-profile examples included legal action against use on the King’s Cross development in London, while protesters in Hong Kong donned face masks and wielded lasers to counter this sort of monitoring. Despite privacy concerns and both formal and informal attempts to curtail the power of surveillance, ever more intrusive technologies are being developed. Many of these cannot be easily countered, or might even be more widely deployed, if facial recognition were to become more heavily regulated.
One of these developing technologies is behavioural biometrics, which can identify people by how they do things, rather than what they look like. This includes gait recognition that singles people out by the way they walk. Already police in China are conducting trials, but they are not the only ones interested in taking surveillance to the next level.
38 Human Augmentation
Human augmentation can be defined as a process by which a person’s physical and cognitive ability is strengthened. Once implanted in a human being, it will enable the person to execute tasks that were earlier impossible for him.
For instance, miners use wearables to enhance their safety. Then the cases of human augmentation in soldiers are a highly anticipated topic and are running silently by the armed forces of many countries, as per reports. The augmentation humans will not only enhance the physical endurance of a person but also, it will enhance the human’s ability to think and decide better. To put it simply, we can say that human augmentation does hold substantial potential in the future of technology.
39 5G Data decision
5G will change how we handle data…”With its lower latency and faster speeds, 5G is set to deliver the greatest wave of innovation since the advent of the internet. It will add trillions to the global economy with new products, services, and even new business models and industries. The impact this will have on our society will be unprecedented — from the explosion of different form factors of devices to the changes to how we view and receive data and the undoubted strides forward in cloud computing in the form of edge computing. The mainstream use of IoT devices in smart cities and autonomous vehicles combined with 5G will enrich our lives and require a next generation of infrastructure.” — Gordon McKenna, CTO of public cloud, Ensono
Joseph Huang, CEO, StartX: We’re expecting medical device and biotech innovation to see increased attention, together with sustained interest in machine learning and AI in the coming year. My dark horse candidate for 2020? Biosensing. Imagine wearables measuring your temperature to predict that you’re catching a cold before you have one and then matching you with a distributed online pharmacy that delivers medicine straight to your door. Many exciting things coming in this sector.
41 Talking to your Car
A built-in assistant in a car becomes the rule. Assistant gives additional control when your eye set on the road and hands are on the wheel. It is significant that the best part of carmakers will follow the Mercedes’ path — naming their assistant after the brand’s name. And it totally makes sense — you probably want to talk to your car while sitting in it, instead of addressing Alexa or Google Assistant. The key benefit with the in-car assistants — they should be available and helpful even when there are no internet or GPS connection, in case the car owner got lost or had an accident.
42 The End of Plastic Money
Many predict the end of cash but there are several reasons why notes and coins will still be around in 2030. Conversely, plastic cards could die out as smartphones and other electronic devices make physical cards obsolete.
43 The return of the pirate and piracy
Netflix, Disney, Apple, Hulu, HBO, and even CBS all have their own streaming services. And they each cost anywhere from $5 to more than $15 a month. With each putting out “must-see” TV, the cost along with a requisite Internet connection will become too much for some cord cutters. Expect many more people to return to a bad habit from the past: piracy. 2020 will see an uptick in “sharing” of copyrighted TV shows as consumers get streaming subscription fatigue.
Bananamilk becomes the next plant based milk. In our search for the next milk to add to the non- dairy, dairy-free, dairy equivalent, everyone follows Korea and Banana prices go up. “Not to be confused with banana-flavored milk, Mooala Bananamilk is actually a non-dairy beverage made with a real banana base. In fact, it’s made with bananas, sunflower seeds, and not much else. This rather virtuous drink is free of carrageenan, preservatives, and top allergens. And the Original flavor is even made without added sweeteners.” And, yes, it tastes like bananas.
Not to be confused with banana-flavored milk, Mooala Bananamilk is actually a non-dairy beverage made with a real banana base. In fact, it’s made with bananas, sunflower seeds, and not much else. This rather virtuous drink is free of carrageenan, preservatives, and top allergens. And the Original flavor is even made without added sweeteners.
45 Tech Players become real Banking players
Matt Harris: “I think this is inevitable. Tech companies, large and small, will be looking to incorporate payments, lending and insurance in their business models in the coming years, and the smartest and most capable banks will want to be part of that movement. I do think this raises the stakes for pure fintech startups.”
46 Rental Returns
Rental is becoming an alternative to purchase in some categories, notably apparel and accessories. Instead of one-off rental (like tuxedos and ball gowns), new models are based on subscription rental that lets customers rent a set number of items each month. There are lots of new offerings, for example Rent The Runway, Parcel22, and Nuuly (from Urban Outfitters). There are also peer-to-peer versions like Hurr and By Rotation, where you rent directly from other members. Rental is also moving into other categories with companies like Ikea and Lego either trialling or discussing it.
47 Startups start Distributed
Distributed becomes the norm. Most startups will be distributed (have several offices) before they reach 50 employees. Across our portfolio, we’re seeing this. High costs of living plus modern collaboration tools, changing preferences, and startup success in other geographies push this trend into the mainstream.
48 Edging Forward with Edge
Edge computing is also poised to explode in 2020 and beyond. Industries will be able to speed up digital transformation efforts with the use of edge computing — a system where information processing and content collection and delivery are located near the sources of the information, resulting in reduced latency.
The boom in Internet of Things devices will help push edge computing into the mainstream, due to the need to process data emanating from a growing number of IoT sensors. As a direct result of this growth — and the faster processing that comes with it — we can expect to see more smart spaces and smart applications in industries like finance, healthcare, retail, agriculture, and more.
49 Dark Delivery Kitchens
Much debate surrounds this quick-growing format. Is it the restaurant of the future or a glorified commissary? Do these nonrestaurant restaurants have staying power? And what are we supposed to even call them? Dark, cloud, headless, virtual, hidden, ghost? 2020 will give us a better handle on this segment’s defining characteristics and who the important players are. We’ll also drop some of the many names attached to theses venues and get a clearer understanding of who’s positioned to take ownership of this nascent operating space. Whether that’s restaurant chains, third parties or potential interlopers such as grocers or e-commerce, the coming year will see some clear leadership emerge.
50 Cognitive skills for robots.
Robots are spreading more and more from the manufacturing floors into spaces occupied by humans. There is a need for robots in such environments to be able to adapt to new tasks through capabilities such as increased comprehension of the environments within which they’re situated. We predict that recent breakthroughs in large-scale simulations, deep reinforcement learning, and computer vision, collectively will bring forth a basic level of cognitive abilities to robots that will lead to significant improvements in robotic applications over the next few years.
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