Opportunities On The Tech Horizon

Cellphones, smart assistants and the Internet of Things (IoT) are practically ancient, as far as tech trends go. What’s ahead and how can these developments impact business in the years to come? Research and advisory firm Gartner has identified five emerging technology trends that may have a transformational impact.

“Technology innovation has become the key to competitive differentiation. The pace of change in technology continues to accelerate as breakthrough technologies are continually challenging even the most innovative business and technology decision makers to keep up,” says Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner. “Technology innovation leaders should use the innovation profiles highlighted in the Hype Cycle to assess the potential business opportunities of emerging technologies.”

Sensing and mobility: By combining sensor technologies with AI, machines are gaining a better understanding of the world around them, enabling mobility and manipulation of objects. Sensing technologies are a core component of the (IoT) and the vast amounts of data collected. Utilizing intelligence enables the ability to gain many types of insights that can be applied to many scenarios. For example, over the next decade AR cloud will create a 3D map of the world, enabling new interaction models and in turn new business models that will monetize physical space.

Augmented human: Augmented human advances enable the creation of cognitive and physical improvements as an integral part of the human body. An example of this is the ability to provide superhuman capabilities such as the creation of limb prosthetics with characteristics that can exceed the highest natural human performance. Emerging technologies focused on extending humans includes biochips, personification, augmented intelligence, emotion AI, immersive workspaces and biotech.

Postclassical compute and comms: For decades, classical core computing, communication and integration technologies have made significant advances largely through improvements in traditional architectures—faster CPUs, denser memory and increasing throughput as predicted by Moore’s Law. The next generations of these technologies adopt entirely new architectures. This category includes not only new approaches, but also incremental improvements that have a potentially dramatic impact. For example, low earth orbit (LEO) satellites can provide global low latency internet connectivity. These constellations of small satellites will enable connectivity for the 48 percent of homes that are currently not connected, providing new opportunities for economic growth for unserved countries and regions.

Digital ecosystems: Digital ecosystems leverage an interdependent group—enterprises, people and things—sharing digital platforms to achieve a mutually beneficial purpose. Digitalization has facilitated the deconstruction of classical value chains, leading to stronger, more flexible and resilient webs of value delivery that are constantly morphing to create new and improved products and services.

Advanced AI and analytics: Advanced analytics comprise the autonomous or semiautonomous examination of data or content using sophisticated techniques and tools, typically beyond those of traditional business intelligence. Burke adds, “The adoption of edge AI is increasing for applications that are latency-sensitive—autonomous navigation, subject to network interruptions—remote monitoring, natural language processing and facial recognition, and/or are data-intensive—and video analytics.”

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