• Denise Konkol

What's on the 2019 Horizon for Tech?



It’s human nature – we’re always looking at the next best thing. The wrapping is just torn off the great tech gifts we got for Christmas, and we’re already wondering what we’ll see in the New Year that will impact and transform what we’ve got in our hands.


So we’ve surveyed the various industry experts, and here’s what they predict will be coming in 2019.


Automation

Going beyond self-driving cars, experts see automation apps that will help businesses and individuals to take “mindless, time-consuming tasks” off of their plate, particularly (and almost exclusively) if you have an Android device. Truthfully, phones have already had automated features, like auto shutoff for your wifi when you leave the house. However, apps like Tasker and Llama assist the user with enhanced customization for the phone’s settings and location functions.


AI and Ethics

In addition, AI technologies will become more mainstream, with the partnership of its human counterparts to make sure the balance of power is level and a company does not operate under the mercy of a “Space Odyssey Hal 2000” scenario. In 2018 some companies realized the trouble that could be caused by giving AI too much latitude in decision-making, and 2019 will continue to use it, but with more oversight. For consumers, appliances and robotics will become increasingly intelligent to help alleviate the list of tasks they normally would have to tackle.

Coupled with these trends is a prediction that there will be more responsibility and ethics applied to implementing these technologies. Particular awareness has been raised over how tech has impacted the internet in the past couple of years. According to ZD Net, “More and more tech companies are realizing the order of magnitude that their products have on societal issues like mental health, isolation, cyber-bullying, and suicide.” So, you may notice gaming or other social apps taking a more sensitive tack toward issues and populations than in previous years.


Augmented Reality (AR)

Distinguished from the novelty and “fun” aspect of its VR cousin, experts see the adoption of this AR tech as far more useful. They see its inclusion in in apps for everyday use, like travel/location apps, language tools, and social media. It’s also finding a foothold in training at the workplace. Even the military has eyed launching AR in 2019 to assist troops with situational training.

Of course Google will likely draw the most attention to the largest audiences, with their AR glasses to layer information into whatever you’re viewing. In addition, you’ll be able to integrate it with your phone to video chat with friends, jotting down memos, and snapping photos. The technologies have improved from when Google Glass first hit the market, and the quality and value of the features therefore follow suit. Expect that other brands will also step up their game in the AR glasses market, so consumers will have greater choice and competition as well.

Blockchain

First, a quick history: Blockchain technology celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019, so it’s been around longer than most realize. Initially developed by Ralph Merkel in 1979 in a hierarchy called the Merkel tree, its function was simply to help computers maintain the integrity of data when it was transferred from system to system. In the 1990s the concept was used to create a secure series of connected data records called a blockchain. Now it’s associated with cryptocurrencies as the science allows the secure exchange of data that can be managed without a central authority (like a bank).

Experts see the value in businesses avoiding the “friction” of traditional financial transactions and predict that blockchain technologies will generate $3.1 trillion in value by 2030.

We have to admit, every year is promising, and it’s exciting to look forward to the future to see what will “wow” us next. It truly is a great business to be in, and our role in bringing what the future holds to everyone is one we take seriously. As we head into another new year, we hope to share these discoveries and opportunities with you, and we wish you a happy and prosperous 2019.

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