Having officially said goodbye to the 2010s, naturally there has been plenty of speculation for what the next decade will bring.
The 2010s were the decade of the mobile revolution and, despite their small size, screens became a large part of our lives. Smartphones were the first, and only, computer for many people throughout the world, and although they have been experiencing a slump in sales in recent years, it’s apparent that people are using their devices more than ever.
Now, even more machines are connected to the internet than before, revolutionising entire industries. Concepts that previously you’d only envisage in sci-fi films, don’t seem that farfetched these days. Considering the extent, and pace, of change in the 2010s, it’s easy to get carried away with imagining what the next decade could hold, so we’re going to focus on 3 trends which have been gathering traction recently. The question is whether these anticipated trends will indeed live up to their hype, or be looked back on retrospectively as interesting ideas that never really came to fruition – only time will tell!
Virtual & Augmented Reality
When discussing Virtual Reality, the CTO of Epic Games Kim Libreri speculated that “in the next 10 years, the virtual world and the real world will merge into one. You won’t really be able to tell the difference.” While that may initially sound disconcerting, the truth is that many of us have already experienced VR and AR, perhaps without realising it. For instance, you will be using AR when creating your own Bitmoji in Snapchat, or using the IKEA Place app to test out new furniture in your own living room - and that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Although they are still relatively niche, there are big ideas in the pipeline about how VR & AR will transform retail, education, travel and real estate once it’s combined with 5G networks. Pokemon Go is the perfect example of an AR app success story. It was visible everywhere, with hordes of players flocking outside to take part - but where is it now? Whether these AR & VR apps can stand the test of time is the question.
If you’d asked us about AI over a decade ago, we’d have probably started rhyming off the plot to that Steven Spielberg film. Fast forward a few years, and it’s quickly becoming a part of everyday life. Who would have predicted the popularity of owning your own virtual assistant, Alexa?
This helpful voice assistant is thought to be just the beginning of AI-human collaboration, with “AI as a Service” forecasted as becoming the new norm, eventually. One example is that consultation of AI could become mandatory when diagnosing illness, which doesn’t seem that farfetched when you consider that AI recently outperformed doctors at detecting breast cancer.
From AI referees at sports games to robotic delivery services, there are plenty ways that it could fit quite snuggly into our day-to-day lives.
Fingerprint mapping, facial and vocal recognition, and retina scans, are all forms of biometric identifiers. Thanks to smartphones being able to recognise some of these features, biometric technology is now increasingly prevalent and becoming more sophisticated. Biological characteristics are difficult to forge, so this is great news for security. The technology is even being used to tackle election fraud in some countries, as well as assisting autism support workers by using wristband sensors. Yet, the question of ethical practice remains. Many fear that such advancements in biometric technology are bad news for personal privacy, and are concerned that personal data could be gathered without consent.
China has even introduced compulsory face scans for all new mobile users in an attempt to curb the ability to remain anonymous online. Add to that the prospect of facial recognition ticketing systems, and many more predictions on how this technology could be further implemented into our daily lives, we foresee biometrics being a pertinent topic over the next few years.
We’ve only touched upon 3 technology trends, but even so, it’s easy to see why the 2020s are set to be one of the most consequential decades of all time. We are living in an era where the pace of innovation is quicker than ever before, and with an increasingly far-reaching impact. With greater awareness and knowledge of how these technologies could be used to their full advantage for the greater good, being a part of such a significant period of time in history certainly seems like an exciting prospect.
A Bit About Us
This decade is set to be an exciting one at Digitonic. As a company that has a huge focus towards our in-house technology we go into this decade with a huge amount of excitement. Watch this space for announcements about the technology we’ll be bringing in 2020!