7 Top Technology Trends of 2019
Technology has one unique characteristic – Making people embrace it anyhow. The innovation curve seems to have more inclination towards the early adopters who are curious to find the next big thing. Especially the Top Technology Trends of 2019.
Maybe the biggest contributor to this factor is the emergence of GenZ.
To understand how brands must respond to them – we analyzed social conversations from 2018. While the main themes continued to be Blockchain, AI ethics and augmented reality, we focussed on qualitative research.
This article highlights some of the major trends we foresee for 2019 and what we learned, and helps brands understand how they might join, participate in and influence the debate around them.
From a surge in interest around edge computing to a continued focus on the need for brands to ensure they are delivering technology for good, the responses are much like technology itself – sometimes surprising, sometimes challenging, and always thought-provoking.
1. Immersive Reality Experiences will shape 2019
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) – new and enhanced solutions are working to replace the ‘computer as a device’ with ‘the computer as an environment’. Our research certainly identifies a number of emerging trends here.
Volumetric Display (holographic and highly multiview displays, like in Star Wars) saw a couple of spikes of interest on Twitter in 2018, particularly around aerial and mechanical displays.
Similarly, entertainment-driven VR and AR will continue to rise, while we predict increasing demand from new sectors like retail, manufacturing and healthcare, this makes it one of the Top Technology Trends of 2019
2. Technology Regulation is now an agreed mandate
Business and government have finally agreed that ethical and privacy frameworks are necessary both to bolster public trust in emerging technology and to ensure this technology can reach its full potential.
Our research reveals that more than 86% of consumers rate data security and protection as ‘very important’ – ahead of healthcare and education in Canada and healthcare and freedom of speech in the US.
Against all this, responsible data protection measures will surely – and rightly – continue to be one of the Top Technology Trends of 2019
3. Blockchain Revolution moving beyond mining and investment
The social conversation around Blockchain has been driven by cryptocurrency and led by consumers, but things are set to change in 2019. Our research shows that the discussion volume share for Blockchain has increased dramatically year-on-year – 24% in 2017 vs 76% in 2018 – and the opportunity for deeper, more forward-looking conversation is growing apace.
Debate is already starting to move beyond mining and investment, towards Blockchain’s potential impact on issues like smart cities and digital transformation.
The narrative online will also likely evolve from being hyper-focused on what’s happening today, towards thought leadership that gives a better sense of the technology’s medium- to long-term potential.
The brands who give the mainstream audience much-needed clarity on all this will be the ones who gain a march on the competition.
4. Artificial Intelligence and on-demand on demand application
Expect the conversation around AI to narrow in 2019; shifting from broad definition to nuance and detail. Our research reveals people now demand in-depth information on specific areas such as smart robotics and machine learning.
Conversational AI (computers that people can interact with simply by having a conversation), for example, increased 54% in Twitter topic volume from 2017 to 2018. Based on this, brands that engage in detailed and explanatory conversations, who seek to place AI in real-life contexts, will be 2019’s big winners.
Focussing on specificity will make your brand also trend with the Top Technology Trends of 2019
5. Wearable Tech beyond mere healthcare
For the 2019 fashion season, say hello to smart fabrics and e-textiles – the smart fabrics conversation has already increased 11% over the past 12 months and audiences should expect even more next year as brands experiment with what the term ‘wearable’ really means.
From the outside in; conversation around exoskeletons rose 13% from 2017 to 2018, and in 2019, the discussion will take the final step away from science fiction and towards potential implementations.
Brands can gain real share by showing audiences what this means in real life, particularly in the enhanced productivity of logistics, warehousing and manufacturing.
6. Augmented Analytics and real-time usage
Augmented analytics focuses on AI’s potential to enhance human intelligence rather than replace it. Essentially, by automating the process of data preparation, insight generation and visualisation, nonexperts can have greater access to big data insights than ever before.
Our research points to this hitting the mainstream in 2019. In a conversation driven by brands, but steered by the consumer, people want to understand both what augmented analytics means by itself, and what it means against other big trends.
7. The emergence of Edge Computing
Edge computing refers to data processing that’s done at, or near to, the source of the data. Instead of relying on the cloud at one of a dozen remote data centers, it streamlines the flow of traffic from IoT devices and provides real-time local data analysis.
Our research showed that although there were no real trending or surging topics in this space, the most prolific edge conversations were about cloud computing, big data, IoT/IIoT, edge devices, and machine learning.
In 2019, these conversations will only increase – watch out for cloud and edge working together rather than competing for investment, as well as AI providing greater compute capabilities at the edge. Spurring all this on is the continued hype and interest in 5G networks; our analysis shows the 5G conversation increased in volume share from 42% in 2017 to 58% in 2018.
Our research shows that these ideas are yet to penetrate the mainstream; it hasn’t really trended yet on Twitter, and the debate has been driven solely by key moments such as industry studies, predictive articles, and corporate announcements.
But as the technology starts to be applied in more sophisticated and varied ways, there will be a strong opportunity for brands to take a leadership position – make sure you’re ready.