CTO Predictions: 2020 Technology Trends

This article was first published by ITProPortal on the 12th December 2019. Written by CTO, Peter Barker.

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Reading technology predictions every year can feel repetitive. Particularly when last year's predictions of AI, Blockchain, IoT and flying cars all carry through as they are technology foundations upon which we build. The exciting bit is how we use these foundations to evolve and uncover new opportunities. That’s the innovative inspiration that keeps us reading predictions year after year.

 

Reflecting first on the year gone, did we fulfil the predictions made by most senior technology observers in 2019? Did we finally apply artificial intelligence to our big data effectively? Did the introduction of self-lacing and optimised trainers by Nike result in the breaking of the two-hour Marathon?

 

We certainly made strong progress. AI and machine learning are being applied against many more practical use cases in our everyday lives, from fraud prevention with computer vision to operational efficiencies through increasingly AI driven supply chain and customer demand choreography. Blockchain is rising out of the trough of disillusionment and starting to find relevant applications; some for the good of data democratisation, others just to make the connected world more secure.

But, what should we be looking out for or striving towards in 2020?  Honestly, it is more of the same – just better and more refined. Here’s seven of my 2020 predictions:

  1. Entertainment will be reinvented through enhanced experience-specific service architectures that support better multi-model experience design. Including extended reality and super channel convergence. For example, F1 on Twitch, the leading service and community for multiplayer entertainment with real-time group in-race gaming.
  2. The commoditisation of AI based recommendation engines, such as Netflix’s recommendation engine as a service.
  3. DNA computers, or at least quantum computers, will threaten everything we have (only recently) learnt to trust in cyber security.
  4. More human-aware environments. Highlighted by Japan’s famous robot hotel, Henn-na, who this year laid off half of its robot staff as they created too much work for humans; providing some confidence and consolation to those who are worried about becoming redundant to technology.
  5. Better application of IoT to enhance environments and drive both utility and entertainment experiences will become mainstream
  6. And as sub-part of (5), there will be wider adoption of multi-sensory interfaces which will see the return of MR glasses with integrated voice interfaces as many brands are exploring how voice can work for them; not just through Alexa.
  7. With 2020 being the year of 5G, it will also be the year rich mobile vision and voice interfaces become the norm. The rise of haptic interfaces will start to become less niche as mainstream application stretches out of just entertainment. The blend of human and robotic automation will become more powerful as a result.
  8. Bonus…2021 predictions will be written by AI.

Rufus Leonard

Ever since our founders, Neil and Darrel, started Rufus Leonard 29 years ago, we have been helping businesses create extraordinary experiences for their colleagues and their customers across all touchpoints. We do this with an engineering mindset, which means we’re both visionary thinkers and detailed doers. We believe this holistic approach is critical for success in an increasingly complex world. Our integrated offer enables us to design, build and fine-tune the engines of Extraordinary Brand Experience – Organisational Engagement, Brand Optimisation, Service Design & Build and Technology. Supporting brands like Lloyds Banking Group, British Gas, Reckitt Benckiser, Royal Mail, Stagecoach, BBC and Aggreko.

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