Tech in 2019: 5 trends to watch out for
With the new year fast approaching, we have been thinking about some of the ways that technology will shape business in 2019. Here are five trend sto watch out for.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) coming of age
The technology sector has been predicting the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for several years now. We have started to see AI and ML employed in mainstream applications, for example in Personal Assistant apps like Alexa and Siri, as well as in larger scale business deployments such as call centres.
Three converging trends will make 2019 the year that AI and ML come of age:
- The rapid growth of data and the speed with which it is being generated, collected and stored.
- The vast increase in computer processing power, enabling us to exploit larger volumes of data.
- The development in machine learning technology that can analyse complex datasets.
- Augmented Reality (AR) driving everyday application
We are starting to see some spectacular and innovative uses of AR in display advertising, the retail sector, and training and development. If you didn’t see this incredible advertising campaign using a bus shelter then you really should. It marks a milestone in the way that we attract and engage people, and provides a glimpse of the potential of advertising in the future.
There are a number of more immediate, practical applications for AR too. For example, Ikea have launched a mobile app that lets you to arrange and position their furniture virtually, in your home, to see how it looks before you commit to a purchase. And in industry we are seeing how car manufacturers are supporting instruction manuals with innovative and immersive car maintenance smartphone apps and wearable technology.
Expect to see plenty more new AR applications in 2019, whether in-store, at the bus shelter, at museums and visitor attractions, or the next time you are given training.
- Internet of Things (IoT) unlocking Smart City initiatives
Although it may take the rollout of 5G in 2020 and beyond to fully exploit the benefits and potential of Smart Cities, we can expect 2019 to be the year when substantial IoT infrastructure is put in place.
In June, for example, London Mayor Sadiq Khan published his vision to make London the world’s smartest city and launched an initiative to employ technology to tackle some of the capital’s most pressing challenges, including poor air quality, urban design and digital connectivity. The plans include working with Transport for London (TfL) and councils to roll out 4G using public buildings and existing physical infrastructure, and supporting bids for government funding to test 5G connectivity. This infrastructure will enable a new generation of smart technology (such as lamp posts incorporating air quality sensors, publicly-accessible WIFI and electric vehicle charging points).
We can expect to see initiatives like these in many of our towns and cities during 2019 and beyond.
- The digital workplace changing the way we work
As technology has evolved so has the way we work. Travelling to offices for meetings has been replaced by phone and video conferencing. Cloud computing provides easy, secure access to services and resources for workers wherever they need it. Faster and more distributed wifi and mobile networks allow people to communicate and collaborate from anywhere.
In 2019, expect start ups and SMEs to regard remote and flexible working as the default way of working rather than the exception. Recruitment may be a little easier too, because a talented candidate’s location will matter less than it once did.
- Edge Computing or holding out for 5G?
Cloud computing has transformed the way we do business and enabled us to communicate, collaborate and work effectively from any location. But for many IoT applications the data that needs to be uploaded, stored and processed creates lag time and eats up bandwidth.
It is leading the tech industry to look at ways to decentralise the cloud and store and process more data locally. Expect to hear the term ‘Edge Computing’ a lot in 2019 – the principle of processing data near the edge of your network, close to where it is being generated, instead of in the cloud or data centre. It could well be a long-term trend, although if 5G delivers the high speeds and low latency promised, Edge Computing may turn out to be short-lived.
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