We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies and individuals that don’t maintain a number of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Understanding the main element trends will allow people and businesses to organize and grasp opportunities. As a company and technology futurist, it is my job to appear ahead and identify the most crucial trends. In this informative article, I share with you the seven most imminent trends everyone should get ready for in 2020.

AI-as-a-service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the very most transformative tech evolutions of our times. As I highlighted in my book Artificial Intelligence in Practice ‘, most companies have begun to explore how they can use AI to improve the client experience and to streamline their business operations. This will continue in 2020, and while people will increasingly become used to working alongside AIs, designing and deploying our AI-based systems will remain an expensive proposition for many businesses.

For this reason, a lot of the AI applications will continue being done through providers of as-a-service platforms, which allow us to simply feed in our data and purchase the algorithms or compute resources once we use them.

Currently, these platforms, supplied by the kind of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, tend to be somewhat broad in scope, with (often expensive) custom-engineering required to use them to the particular tasks an organization may require. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and an increasing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company may have any excuses left not to make use of AI.

5G data networks

The 5th generation of mobile internet connectivity will probably give us super-fast download and upload speeds along with more stable connections. While 5G mobile data networks became readily available for the very first time in 2019, these were mostly still expensive and limited to functioning in confined areas or major cities. 2020 is probably the year when 5G starts to fly, with cheaper data plans along with significantly improved coverage, and thus anyone can interact with the fun.

Super-fast data networks will not only give us the capacity to stream movies and music at a higher quality when we’re on the move. The significantly increased speeds mean that mobile networks will be usable even compared to the wired networks running into our homes and businesses. Companies must consider the company implications of experiencing super-fast and stable internet access anywhere. The increased bandwidth will enable machines, robots, and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever, resulting in advances in the region of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery.

Autonomous Driving

While we still aren’t at the stage where we could be prepared to routinely travel in, as well as see autonomous vehicles in 2020, they will undoubtedly continue steadily to generate a significant number of excitement.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has said he expects his company to make a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by this season, and the number of cars effective at operating with an inferior degree of autonomy – such for example automated braking and lane-changing – can be an increasingly common sight. In addition to this, other in-car systems not directly attached to driving, such as security and entertainment functions – can be increasingly automated and reliant on data capture and analytics. Google’s sister-company Waymo has just completed a trial of autonomous taxis in California, where it transported significantly more than 6200 people in the very first month.

It won’t just be cars; needless to say – trucking and shipping are becoming more autonomous, and breakthroughs in this space are likely to continue going to the headlines throughout 2020.

With the maturing of autonomous driving technology, we will even increasingly hear regarding the measures which are taken by regulators, legislators, and authorities. Changes to laws, existing infrastructure, and social attitudes are probably be required before autonomous driving becomes a practical reality for most of us. During 2020, it’s likely we will quickly start to see the debate around autonomous driving spread outside of the tech world, as more and more individuals come round to the proven fact that the question is not “if,” but “when,” it can be a reality.

Personalized and predictive medicine

Technology happens to be transforming healthcare at an unprecedented rate. Our ability to adequately capture data from wearable devices such as smartwatches will give us the capacity to increasingly predict and treat health concerns in people even before they experience any symptoms.

In regards to treatment, we will see a lot more personalized approaches. This is also known as precision medicine, allowing doctors to more precisely prescribe medications and apply procedures, as a result of a data-driven comprehension of how effective they’re probably for a particular patient.

Although not a new idea, as a result of recent breakthroughs in technology, especially in the fields of genomics and AI, it is giving us a more significant comprehension of how different people’s bodies are better or worse equipped to fight off specific diseases, along with how they are likely to respond to several types of medication or treatment.

Throughout 2020 we will see new applications of predictive healthcare and the introduction of more personalized and effective treatments to ensure better outcomes for individual patients.

Computer Vision

In computer terms, “vision” involves systems that can identify items, places, objects, or folks from visual images – those collected with a camera or sensor. It’s this technology that enables your smartphone camera to identify which part of the picture it’s capturing is an experience and powers technology such as, for example, Google Image Search.

Even as we undertake 2020, we’re planning to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. It’s fundamental to just how 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 have a way to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.

Computer vision can be enabling face recognition, which we shall hear a great deal about in 2020. We have already seen how useful the technology is in controlling access to your smartphones in case of Apple’s FaceID and how Dubai airport uses it to provide a better customer journey. However, as the use cases will grow in 2020, we may also do have more debates about limiting the use of this technology due to its potential to erode privacy and enable’Big Brother’-like state control.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is just a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies getting used to produce more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it identifies virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) provides a 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, meaning users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (remember to play a holographic piano that you’ve put into your room via an AR headset).

These technologies have been around for a couple of years now but have been mainly confined to the entire world of entertainment – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such for example camera filters and Pokemon Go-style games providing probably the most visible samples of AR.

From 2020 expect all of this to improve as businesses arrive at grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities provided by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality can be increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, along with offering new approaches to interact with customers.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is just a technology trend that I’ve covered extensively this season, and yet you’re still likely to get blank looks if you mention it in the non-tech-savvy company. 2020 could finally be the entire year when that changes, though. Blockchain is essentially an electronic ledger used to record transactions but secured because of encrypted and decentralized nature. During 2019 some commentators started initially to argue that the technology was over-hyped and perhaps never as useful as first thought. However, continued investment by famous brands FedEx, IBM, Walmart, and Mastercard during 2019 will probably start to exhibit real-world results. When they can prove its case, it could quickly lead to an increase in adoption by smaller players.

And if things will plan, 2020 may also see the launch of Facebook’s blockchain-based crypto currently Libra, which will probably create a significant stir.

If you want to record these technologies, simply follow me on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or head to my website for additional in-depth articles on these topics.

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