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The Roaring ’20s Part II

by Rachel Hammermueller, Content Writer and Ailsa Blair, Design Manager

In past years many of our predictions have hit the nail on the head. We predicted 2018 would see the rise of facial recognition software that disrupts the user experience and voice technologies being adopted not solely by millennials, but by your grandparents. In 2019, we guessed an escalation in organic lifestyles and the first most used electric vehicle would be a scooter. At the start of a new decade, we see the first year of the ’20s stoking the fire of ‘futuristic’ technology. We see the introduction of 5G networks accelerating innovation of autonomous vehicles, an increase in digital selling, influenced marketing, investment in robotic technology, and a shift in design thinking. We see the retro becoming the familiar, menus changing, and the re-emergence of lost artists. This year will be a time of transformation. Here are TribalScale’s 2020 predictions:

Travel Industry tapping into digital ways of selling experiences

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Do you often wish you could prepare for your flight before leaving for the airport, right down to the complimentary snack choice? Or if you aren’t sure what you’re going to be craving during your trip, do you wish you could have peace of mind by tracking your bag until it’s safely back in your arms? These are the types of services we expect to see an increase in come 2020. The travel industry will tap further into digital ways of selling experiences. Specifically, we suspect greater investments into digital companies that assist in focusing on ancillary revenue from travelers. Take already the creation of Airbnb Trips in 2016. With a single app customers can book the majority of their travel needs, complete with suggested experiences and travel itineraries. We predict more companies, like airlines and commuter train services, will follow in these footsteps.

Drake isn’t the first celeb to promote cannabis — and he won’t be the last

Since Canada’s legalization of cannabis in 2018, there hasn’t been that big boom of technology and businesses revolving around it as was expected. This is because laws and policy are still being established. For example, there is a Canadian law that restricts cannabis companies from using influencers to sell their products or any kind of endorsement that promotes cannabis use as a glittering lifestyle. There are ways around this, however. Drake has become a co-owner of More Life Growth Company in partnership with Canopy Growth. Technically, no one is paying him to promote their cannabis, since he owns 60% of that company. There are multiple famous names already attaching themselves to the cannabis and CBD marketing venture — Willie Nelson (obviously), Martha Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, and Chelsea Handler to name just a few. It’s safe to expect cannabis companies, especially in Canada where this is a new market, will be brainstorming innovative ways to sell their products to users through influential platforms.

Get used to menus serving food that goes “beyond meat”

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Are you familiar with the beef that farmers have with the Beyond Meat people? It’s because their alternative-meat product has been so successful this past year. Increasingly, grocery chains and independent restaurants are adding similar cuisine to their menus in the wake of the “alt-protein” wave. This movement doesn’t have an end in sight. Beyond Meat plans to develop “up to 30 different plant-based protein options” that are cheaper than traditional meat products. Tyson Foods’ Raised & Rooted line have entered 7,000 stores. Also, with climate change at the forefront of conversation and political platform, topics like farming and beef contributing to carbon monoxide are circulating more than ever. The plant-based alternative meat market will only grow in 2020. As their customer base expands and more people invite environmental decisions into their eating habits, the meat alternative market will be flooded with competition for Beyond Meat, and our menus will see an increase in alternative options for your dinner special.

Safe self-driving cars aren’t as far away as they seem

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2019 saw companies like Tesla and Toyota testing out the future by putting self-driving vehicles on roads. It was a quick glance through the spyglass at where we might be someday. This year will move us closer to that world. Enter the introduction of 5G networks. Not yet widely adopted, Fifth Generation holds the key to the critical advancement of response and safety features in autonomous vehicles. With peak download speeds of over 20,000 megabits per second, self-driving vehicles could potentially mimic human reflexes. Essential responses include making an illegal lane change to avoid a collision or adapt to a current accident through remote pilot programs. Even though 5G has only been rolled out by a handful of companies in small ranges, many are jumping at the chance to be the catalysts of change for everyday society. Volkswagen Group have said they will have a transit system of 35 autonomous shuttles and buses in Qatar’s capital by 2022. Testing will begin in 2020. The adoption of 3G transformed our phones into being our constant companions. With the promise of 5G introduction, urban areas reminiscent of The Jetsons will seem less out of reach.

Your face playing a role in the expansion of smart cities

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A term we will hear more of in 2020 is “smart cities”. These innovative city models push past the boundaries of innovation, connectivity, and data collection to optimize services and resources to make urban areas work super efficiently. A significant feature to operating smart cities is facial recognition technology and surveillance. We predict there will be significant development and further implementation of this technology in 2020. We as a society are currently figuring out new ways to use facial recognition to improve our lives. This software boasts the possibility of expediting the recovery of missing persons or identify human trafficking activities. There is also fear that data leaks from this software could compromise people’s privacy. In May, San Francisco banned facial recognition technology because of civil rights concerns and fears of profiling in law enforcement. This was followed by similar bans in towns in California and Massachusetts. Now, SF is amending this ban to accommodate IPhones that use this tech as an unlocking feature. It’s obvious that the conversation on how to adopt this helpful but invasive technology into our societies will continue. Component’s research report on the facial recognition market shows that it’s expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2019 to $7.0 billion in 2024 in the U.S. The implementation of this technology will only expand as innovators drum up more ways to use it in society.

In with the new, keeping the old

Courtesy of Julian Reinhart @

Like today’s fashion, we’re seeing an increase in the desire of nostalgia driven things. Yes, we may want new technology offering convenience at our fingertips, but that doesn’t stop us from incorporating retro-obsession into our tech purchases. We predict the increase in connecting old products with new, faster technology. Take Polaroid as an example. At CES 2019, TribalScale was impressed by their immersive experience at the event, promoting new products like the instant camera with Bluetooth-capable technology. These new cameras fit in your bar purse or jeans pocket. You can upload your 90’s filtered photos to Instagram and have print outs to tape to your bathroom mirror. Pairing visually retro items with new apps and connectivity uses modern technology to satisfy that nostalgic feeling.

Frank Ocean and Adele come out of their caves

Call it a conspiracy theory, but there are four years between Frank Ocean’s 2012 and 2016 award winning and critically acclaimed albums Channel Orange and Blonde / Endless. So 2020 is a natural follow up. There were also four years between Adele’s 21 and 25, both are chart-topping albums. Coincidence? I think not. We may complain that we have to wait for greatness, but these two have had four solid years to create more magic. With the recent release of a new single from Frank we believe the time is upon us. 2020 will be a return year for quiet musicians.

Is your surgeon a robot?

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It’s no secret that AI and robots are quietly working among us in today’s society. Thankfully, not as creepy as the ones in I, Robot. Instead, robotic technology is making substantial strides in multiple industries. We expect to see expansion of robotics in the healthcare industry. Specifically, increase success in remote surgery. In 2018, the first percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure was successfully controlled from approximately 20 miles away using vascular robotics. Many Asian countries have been developing and using robotic machines featuring cameras and mechanical arms. Although expensive, we think more hospitals will invest deeper in this technology in 2020 — especially in hospitals with a lack of surgeons where robotics can make difficult multi-person surgeries a possibility.

AI will find a home in the business world

Artificial intelligence is also moving its way into the business world, and we see no signs of this stopping. PWC predicts that by 2030, AI will add $15.7 trillion to the world economy. AI is already used in all types of industries. Chatbots for online service to increase customer satisfaction, data analytics to prevent fraudulent behaviour on credit cards, or conducting employee training scenarios are just a handful of examples. In 2020, we will see this usage expand in areas like data analysis and protection on blockchains, improving user experience to outsell competitors, and creating immersive experiences on company apps and webpages.

Accessible and universal design will be a focus in software development

Over 15% of people in the world manage physical, developmental or cognitive disabilities on a daily basis. Universal design is the idea that there are many ways for people to complete tasks, and users see, hear, move and think in extremely different ways. The idea of equitable use means that users should be able to access your software (and successfully complete their tasks) no matter their limitations. We predict that as companies focus more on accessibility in 2020 (thanks to the AODA, ADA and CCPA), they’ll see the greater value in universal design from an idea’s infancy or a product’s creation. Therefore, instead of tackling the old inaccessible code as an accessibility after-thought, companies will start to realize that they can save time and money by conducting the necessary discovery research and hiring the right people to work on universally designed software.

Rachel is the Content Writer here at TribalScale. She works to write alluring content that reflects the focus, goals, and values of our workplace. When she’s not writing about tech or culture, she often has her nose in a book or is re-watching British TV shows.

TribalScale is a global innovation firm that helps enterprises adapt and thrive in the digital era. We transform teams and processes, build best-in-class digital products, and create disruptive startups. Learn more about us on our website. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook!



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TribalScale Inc.

TribalScale Inc.

A digital innovation firm with a mission to right the future.