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The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies and individuals that don’t keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities. As a business and technology futurist, it is my job to look ahead and identify the most important trends. In this 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 most transformative tech evolutions of our times. As I highlighted in my book ‘Artificial Intelligence in Practice’, most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer 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 own AI-based systems will remain an expensive proposition for most businesses.

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

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

Today In: Innovation

5G data networks

The 5th generation of mobile internet connectivity is going to give us super-fast download and upload speeds as well as more stable connections. While 5G mobile data networks became available for the first time in 2019, they were mostly still expensive and limited to functioning in confined areas or major cities. 2020 is likely to be the year when 5G really starts to fly, with more affordable data plans as well as greatly improved coverage, meaning that everyone can join in the fun.

Super-fast data networks will not only give us the ability to stream movies and music at higher quality when we’re on the move. The greatly increased speeds mean that mobile networks will become more usable even than the wired networks running into our homes and businesses. Companies must consider the business implications of having 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, leading to advances in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery. Smart cities

Autonomous Driving

While we still aren’t at the stage where we can expect to routinely travel in, or even see, autonomous vehicles in 2020, they will undoubtedly continue to generate a significant amount of excitement.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has said he expects his company to create a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by this year, and the number of vehicles capable of operating with a lesser degree of autonomy – such as automated braking and lane-changing – will become an increasingly common sight. In addition to this, other in-car systems not directly connected to driving, such as security and entertainment functions – will become 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 more than Xk people.

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

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

Personalized and predictive medicine

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

When it comes to treatment, we will see much more personalized approaches. This is also referred to as precision medicine which allows doctors to more precisely prescribe medicines and apply treatments, thanks to a data-driven understanding of how effective they are likely to be for a specific patient.

Although not a new idea, thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology, especially in the fields of genomics and AI, it is giving us a greater understanding of how different people’s bodies are better or worse equipped to fight off specific diseases, as well as how they are likely to react to different 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 are able to identify items, places, objects or people from visual images – those collected by a camera or sensor. It’s this technology that allows your smartphone camera to recognize which part of the image it’s capturing is a face, and powers technology such as Google Image Search.

As we move through 2020, we’re going to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. It’s fundamental to the way 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 be able to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.

Computer vision is also enabling face recognition, which we will hear a lot about in 2020. We have already seen how useful the technology is in controlling access to our smartphones in the case of Apple’s FaceID and how Dubai airport uses it to provide a smoother customer journey [add link]. However, as the use cases will grow in 2020, we will also have more debates about limiting the use of this technology because of its potential to erode privacy and enable ‘Big Brother’-like state control.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it refers to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully 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, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset).

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

From 2020 expect all of that to change, as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a technology trend that I have covered extensively this year, and yet you’re still likely to get blank looks if you mention in non-tech-savvy company. 2020 could finally be the year when that changes, though. Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger used to record transactions but secured due to its encrypted and decentralized nature. During 2019 some commentators began to argue that the technology was over-hyped and perhaps not as useful as first thought. However, continued investment by the likes of FedEx, IBM, Walmart and Mastercard during 2019 is likely to start to show real-world results, and if they manage to prove its case, could quickly lead to an increase in adoption by smaller players.

And if things are going to plan, 2020 will also see the launch of Facebook’s own blockchain-based crypto currently Libra, which is going to create quite a stir.

If you would like to keep track of these technologies, simply follow me on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or head to my website for many more in-depth articles on these topics.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. Why don’t you connect with Bernard on Twitter (@bernardmarr), LinkedIn (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bernardmarr) or instagram (bernard.marr)?

Source: The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

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Stellar Challenges Swift, XRP Hits Microsoft Outlook, and Bitcoin Bull Says Crypto Set to Rally

IBM’s Stellar-powered global remittance platform now has six banks on board. Today, the tech giant announced World Wire will power payments and foreign exchange services across 72 countries.“World Wire provides a more straight-through model for cross border payments using the Stellar protocol that makes money transfers point-to-point in lieu of the complexities of conventional correspondent banking. It reduces intermediaries and allows users to accelerate settlement time often in seconds by transmitting monetary value in the form of digital assets, commonly known as cryptocurrencies or ‘stablecoins.’ This simplified approach improves operational efficiency and liquidity management, streamlining payment reconciliation and reducing overall transaction costs for financial institutions.”

Source: Stellar Challenges Swift, XRP Hits Microsoft Outlook, and Bitcoin Bull Says Crypto Set to Rally

IBM Signs 6 Banks to Issue Stablecoins and Use Stellar’s XLM Cryptocurrency

Announced Monday, six international banks have signed letters of intent to issue stablecoins, or tokens backed by fiat currency, on World Wire, an IBM payment network that uses the Stellar public blockchain. The network promises to let regulated institutions move value across borders — remittances or foreign exchange — more quickly and cheaply than the legacy correspondent banking system. So far three of the banks have been identified — Philippines-based RCBC, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, and Bank Busan of South Korea — the rest, which are soon to be named, will offer digital versions of euros and Indonesian rupiah, “pending regulatory approvals and other reviews,” IBM said. The network went live Monday, although while the banks await their regulators’ blessings, the one stablecoin running on World Wire at the moment is a previously announced U.S. dollar-backed token created by Stronghold, a startup based in San Francisco.

Source: IBM Signs 6 Banks to Issue Stablecoins and Use Stellar’s XLM Cryptocurrency

IBM Launches Blockchain Platform on Cloud Service in Melbourne

IBM has released its blockchain main net out of its data center located in Melbourne, Australia. This will purportedly allow their customers to run their applications on the company’s cloud, according to an article published on news outlet ZDNet on Feb 11. The IBM platform was built on Hyperledger Fabric. Hyperledger is a project that aims to improve cross-industry blockchain technologies that is hosted by the Linux Foundation…………….

Source: IBM Launches Blockchain Platform on Cloud Service in Melbourne

3 Things IBM Sees In Red Hat That Others Missed – Panos Mourdoukoutas

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Red Hat was up for sale for quite some time, according to some sources. Several potential buyers passed on the opportunity, including Google. But not IBM. IBM paid big bucks for the open source software solutions company. At a price tag of $33 Billion. That makes Red Hat valued at one-third of IBM’s current market cap, and more than twice Big Blue’s cash chest. What did IBM see in Red Hat that others are missing? Simple. A strategic fit that could help the technology giant expand into emerging segments of the IT industry, and turn its fortunes around…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2018/11/03/3-things-ibm-sees-in-red-hat-that-others-missed/#3d745c4924cf

 

 

 

 

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How Augmented Reality is Being Implemented in the Real World – Umeed Kothavala

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Augmented Reality (AR) is the imposing of digitally generated images into a viewer’s real-world surroundings. Unlike Virtual Reality, which creates a completely artificial environment, AR uses the existing environment and overlays it with new information. Augmented reality apps are usually written using special 3D programs which allow developers to superimpose animation in the computer program, to an AR “marker” in the real world. It is now popularly being used by advertisers to create 3D renders of products, such as cars, the inside of buildings, and machinery. This provides consumers with a 360-degree product view.

The term ‘Augmented Reality’ was coined by Boeing researcher Thomas Caudell in 1990, to explain how head-mounted displays of electricians worked during the assembling of complicated wiring. Since then, the technology has been used in CAD programs for aircraft assembly, architecture, digital advertising, simulation, translation, military, and various medical procedures.

Tech giant Google, unveiled Google Glass in 2013, propelling AR to a more wearable interface – glasses. It works by projecting on the user’s lens screen while responding to voice commands, overlaying images, videos, and sounds.

Real-World Examples

AR has proven to be very useful across several industries when tied with location-based technology. Investments in this market continue to grow as several applications, which leverage the power of AR, are now available across different sectors. Its use in marketing is particularly appealing, as more detailed content be put within a traditional 2D advert with very interactive, engaging results with a high possibility of generating viral campaigns. Other fields utilizing AR with commendable results include:

  • Education: Academic publishers are developing applications which embed text, images, videos, and real-world curriculum with classroom lessons.
  • Travel: AR has enabled travellers to access real-time information of historical places and tourist sites, by pointing their camera’s viewfinders to specific subjects.
  • Translation: Globalization has propelled the development of translation applications to interpret text to different languages such as French, Afrikaans, Spanish and many more.
  • Locators: With location applications, users can access information about places near their current location along with user reviews.
  • Gaming: It is being used to develop real-time 3D games, through Unity 3D engines.
  • Defense: Several governments are now implementing AR solutions for their military. The US military has begun to use Google Glass designed for the battlefield. The glasses display virtual icons which are superimposed on a real-world view increasing the soldiers awareness.
  • Automotive: Back in 2013, Volkswagen launched an application for the Audi luxury brand which enabled potential customers to experience AR based car drives through the use of graphics, audio, and videos to enhance real-world vehicle motions.
  • Healthcare: Some optical manufacturers are now using AR to design smart contact lenses which repel optical radiation that could cause poor sight and eye cancer.

Statistics and Projected Growth

The growth and demand of AR applications and platforms in commercial, aviation, defense, and other fields is expected to be worth at least 56.8 billion dollars by 2020 according to a new research report by Markets and Markets.

The presence of several tech giants such as Google, Qualcomm, and Microsoft in the industry will boost AR growth within several geographies. This begins with North America, followed by the European market, due to growth in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Followed by the Asia Pacific region as a result of the growing industrial and manufacturing sectors, especially in China and Japan.

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Industries expected to heavily embrace augmented reality technologies include healthcare, automotive, defense, education, and travel sectors. In fact, high calibre investors are planning to invest in AR startups. Magic Leap, a giant AR startup which designs 2D generated imagery, has received over 590 million dollars in investment funding since 2014.

Threats and Barriers to AR

Although AR seems to have huge market potential, there are specific threats which may restrict its mass adoption:

  • Lack of public or social awareness of mobile AR
  • Lack of profitability for enterprises
  • Huge monopolies within the AR market
  • Limitations in user experience
  • Poor marketing and advertising compared to VR
  • Budget limitations mostly among SME’s
  • Privacy, security issues, and other concerns
  • Poor mobile internet connectivity in emerging markets

With the population of smartphones rising, augmented reality is definitely here to stay. More and more consumers are carrying phones with AR application capabilities. For as long as augmented reality content remains engaging, and innovative while embracing superior user experience, consumers will gravitate towards AR friendly applications.

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