Updated: Jan 15, 2019
Much has been invested in terms of time, money, and brain-power on cool emerging technologies these days. But, the sad reality is, the hype that some of these cool ideas could bring a grandiose disruption to world economies, with the high hopes that they will bring about new ways of doing things and change our lives forever, has become but a huge frustrations to many. The ability to bridge between vision to actions and vice versa had failed us in many ways and forms. As the Japanese proverb says,
“Vision without action is a day-dream, but actions without a vision is a nightmare”.
There are 3 main important ingredients for a disruptive technology to thrive: 1) Need - the father of innovation, it is the authentic appetite, desire and want for the proposed new technology; 2) Maturity - of the technology and how it connects seamlessly to the needs and wants; 3) Time - for the solution to be accepted in the mainstream and let the laggards finally say, “Eureka!”
As most of these new technologies mature and the human needs and wants evolve, I dare to predict the top 5 that are now ripe for the picking and are the sexiest ones going mainstream in 2019:
1. Talking to intelligent robots - with the proliferation of Analytics and Business Intelligence tools in the mainstream, most executives would opt to obtain information directly from a machine or a robot without the cumbersome process of pivoting tables and manipulating graphs by an Analyst. Natural Language Processing integration with Analytics, will be a top contender as the sexiest new technology toy that most companies and organizations will venture on in 2019.
Hint: Microsoft has recently integrated Cortana with Power BI, so there you go. You can start talking to your Power BI dashboards with the help of Cortana. Likewise, Amelia Virtual Assistant has also been gaining grounds in the mainstream, mostly in bank contact centers, after all, I think that it is less stressful talking to a robot than to a human call center agent because we have less emotional expectations, but mind you, Amelia could actually detect your mood swings too.
2. From wired to wireless - cabling projects are massive endeavors requiring a lot effort and money. Not to mention the increasing demand for more sophisticated WiFi design to bridge the intranet to the internet. Wireless domination is on the rise, with the advent of more sophisticated WiFi technology demand vs supply, the wireless empire is slowly eating-up the territories of the wired.
Hint: Ubiquiti Network on small scale and Cisco Meraki Access Point Bridges for the enterprise will continue their domination on the Point to Point and Point to Multi-point Networking needs and bridging the intranet to the internet.
3. Faster than a speeding bullet, 5G - let’s start from the very beginning, when 1G or the first generation mobile technology was born, this was a major technology disruptor, imagine how you started bringing your phone in your bag, and the ability to call anywhere, of course if you are lucky enough to have a signal. Then came 2G, the era when you were able to actually put phones in your pocket and send SMS (short messaging system) or text messages, remember those good old Motorola‘s and Blackberries? When 3G was launched, it then provided the essential web capabilities on smartphones, although a slow as a donkey, you can browse and google stuff from your phone. Then 4G came along, with its fast-enough bandwidth, it gave rise to the YouTube generations and most IoT solutions we know todate. But, like anything in this world, nothing is sufficient, so the need for speed and reliability is ever growing. Now, introducing 5G, this technology is expected to deliver up to 10 gbps in your phone. Wow! That is like having your own fiber optic cables in your pocket!
Hint: Verizon has been piloting 5G in several key cities in the US, such as Houston, Sacramento, Atlanta, and even the hurricane-devastated Panama City. Let’s take advantage on how we can bridge the intranet with the Internet using the hybrid 5G and WiFi solution.
4. IoT with Human interaction - Internet of Things with Human interaction is the core of it all. The main reason why most people want sensors and controllers in their cars, AC’s, door knobs, garage, lights, speakers, and I’m sure the wives would definitely want to implant an IoT chip in their husband’s brain, is because there is an ever growing need to control and interact without touching a thing. Most of these devices, sensors, and gizmos are designed to even predict and take decisions base on certain parameters one has set.
Hint: Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are now more present at our homes controlling our TV’s, lights, and temperature among other things, but they are slowly slithering with us at the workplace too.
5. Augmented Reality - virtual reality, augmented reality, and holograms are now real. Back in the 80’s, holograms are simply a pigment of ones wild imagination, some might remember the Automann TV series just after Night Rider (the self driving car with AI). Now, these technologies have become mainstream technologies that one can even get married to.
Hint: Just before 2018 ended, Akihiko Kondo, a Japanese school administrator married a cyber celebrity hologram Hatsune Miku. Crazy or not, this just happened.
Although there are 5 core emerging technologies that I predicted to be the most disruptive and sexiest in 2019 to go mainstream, they actually boil down into two main categories: 1) Human-to-machine interacting technologies; 2) Wireless technologies to propel number 1. The direct innovation that these technologies could bring to our lives will be on top of the food chain for most companies.
Our need to interact with the world and the things and beings around us is still the most important aspect of our lives, and it will continue to be.