What’s new in 2019? At first glance it might not seem terribly exciting: this year will see (much) smarter devices, faster wireless speeds and a wider acceptance of tools like blockchain — all technology you’ve read about before. But look a little closer at this year’s trends and you’ll see real progress.
2019 may be the year that some technologies we’ve been hearing about for a while will finally start changing the way we do business. Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, is trending in a number of ways, from data analysis to autonomous devices, like drones and actual real robots.
What technology should your business prioritize as you head into this year? As you’ll see, that will depend on your industry, but here is a brief outline of the emerging trends:
- AI and autonomous devices
- AI in healthcare
- AI-driven development
Let's get into the list.
AI and autonomous devices
Artificial intelligence isn’t new. It’s been around for a while but it didn’t immediately live up to the promises made about it. Now however, AI is starting to come into its own. It’s slowly been entering our lives, our homes and our workplaces. 2019 may be the year AI takes a bigger role at work, particularly in specific industries. Autonomous devices — like drones, vehicles and yes, robots — are entering the mainstream this year, according to Gartner, and they’re more than simple automated devices. These autonomous devices can make decisions and interact with people as well as other AI devices. These devices will be able to do human tasks — such as a robot that roams grocery store aisles looking for spills. Such a device might alert a human worker to come mop up a spill or even alert a second robot to come and clean up. In other cases, drones may make intelligent deliveries, evaluate inventories in warehouses or help farmers understand when it’s time to harvest crops.
AI in healthcare
People are already investing in wearable technology for fitness and weight loss. 2019 may be the year that AI goes medical in a big way. Vic Gundotra, the CEO of AliveCor, quoted in Fast Company, says he expects to see more consumer devices that measure things like heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels. He also expects that doctors — who may be getting calls from worried patients about alerts from their devices — will need help analyzing all that data. That’s where AI will be able to come in, sifting through patient data so that doctors can see the relevant information about each patient’s health. AI may also help in the back office, sifting through administrative records to reduce healthcare costs for patients and providers.
DevOps and Agile approaches to application development favor automation in testing, so it’s no surprise that AI is being applied to development as well. Using AI-driven automated testing tools, developers can build and execute tests so that developers aren’t individually testing applications. AI-driven development is on the rise this year. Gartner suggests that by 2022, at least 40 percent of new application development projects will have AI co-developers on their team.
A few years ago, blockchain was the subject of breathless articles and applauded as the solution to everything. But recently the hype has died down somewhat and the technology — a shared, distributed ledger — has started to grow up a little. Although blockchain is still new, organizations are exploring its use. Financial institutions have been starting to implement blockchain technology and some governments are using it as well for records; Dubai has promised that it will be the first government running on blockchain by 2020. Blockchain isn’t fully mature but if your company is interested in a shared database, this is the year to start thinking about how blockchain can be used by your company.
5G — the fastest wireless yet — is on the way this year! The fifth generation of wireless promises speeds of 20Gb per second, low lag time and the ability to support many more devices per meter than 4G. All of these factors make 5G a game-changer for businesses that rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) or use streaming video. While some 5G networks have already been turned on but the ramp-up to full 5G wireless is going to be pretty slow, as both the market and the available technology catches up. In fact, we’re probably not going to be at peak 5G until 2020, so 2019 is the year to update your devices upgrade your IoT and possibly buy antennas — 5G might be fast but it’s got a shorter range.
Preparing for this year’s technology trends
New technology can be overwhelming — especially if you’re not sure whether certain technology will work for your organization or industry.
If you’re not sure how to prepare for 2019’s tech trends, it may be time to call in help. Omni is a boutique technology consulting company in Wisconsin, specializing in emerging technologies. Omni’s technology consultants can help you and your team understand, prepare for and implement the latest technology.
Ready to learn more?