We are approaching fall and the year will soon come to an end – just as technological trends come and go. Come 2020, some of today’s trends may fade away, while some other trends that went unnoticed until now could jump into the spotlight. It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen. However, we bet that the following five technologies are worth watching out in 2020 and beyond:
Blockchain is a secure digital ledger that records transactions between users. It was created as a way for users to track Bitcoin transactions and has morphed to include a wide range of transactions being recorded on it.
Due to its decentralized nature, Blockchain is secure and provides a record that cannot be modified or lost. Multiple nodes from users across the world work together to store data in blocks on the shared albeit encrypted ledger.
Cryptocurrencies seem to not be slowing down or going away despite the crash that occurred late last year. They seem to have rebounded and now more companies are forming around them. Many startups are also using the Blockchain for much more than it was intended for and coming up with product ideas related to it.
Entire programming languages and frameworks have been created for the Ethereum network related to app deployment and Smart Contracts (encrypted agreements of sorts). An example of such a language is Solidity with Solc (Solidity Compiler). It allows for the creation of smart contracts utilizing the Blockchain to encrypt them.
For companies and startups wanting to jump on the hottest tech with longevity, Blockchain consulting is never a bad idea. Learning about crypto currencies, artificial intelligence software implementations, mobile app integrations, and such practices are guaranteed to pay off in the long run. Blockchain development is a field that should see huge growth in the coming future.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has seen some huge strides during the last couple of years and will continue to evolve. Machine learning, a subset of AI, has been responsible for improving voice recognition technologies, like that of Apple Siri, and for powering intelligent chatbots that interact with customers worldwide.
Deep Learning is another part of AI that has seen big advances lately. This technology is being used to analyze hard-to quantify-data, like social media posts, to give companies insights about it. The power of deep learning resides in that it can mimic the way a human brain works, so the potential uses are countless.
As AI continues to improve and evolve with better algorithms and more information available, we will see huge innovations across industries. Self-driving cars will become a reality in the coming years, although it may not necessarily be next year. More companies will find ways to take advantage of AI and even use aspects of it in software.
- Mobile App Development
Mobile apps continue to improve and catch up to their desktop counterparts. More and more users are relying on touchscreen devices like tablets for both content creation and content consumption and this trend will continue. Bring your own devices (BYOD) will continue to be popular amongst companies that want to breed creativity within their teams and offer flexibility for remote workers.
Due to this fact, we should see some interesting software on mobile devices in the coming year. Before the end of the year, we will see Photoshop hit the iPad and potentially other consumer tablets and this will be the full version of the software and not the gimped mobile variant that has been available until now. We will also see the iPadOS 13 get released with more desktop OS-like features and the division between desktop and mobile software will continue to blur.
Phones will continue to improve their software as camera systems and hardware improve. This brings us to AR, which is analyzed below, a mobile-focused trend that will continue to improve as mobile cameras improve.
- VR / AR Tech
Virtual reality (VR) alongside augmented reality (AR) are two technologies that are similar yet worlds apart at the same time. They were included together in this section because their advancements are related to one another.
VR is about putting on a device and being transported into a completely different, digital reality. Many games are using it to take a player inside the most varied worlds, while travel software uses it to virtually transport people to a location on the other side of the world.
AR is about using cameras, particularly on mobile devices, to add digital imagery into real-world objects. For instance, it can take the background inside a bookstore and add little creatures jumping on shelves. This is done after users open the AR apps and use their device’s camera to map the surrounding area.
The camera systems function as a virtual lens through which digital and physical reality merge. As camera mapping improves and mobile hardware becomes more tailored, AR will continue to show advances. It is being used at museums to give visitors more information or even guided tours on objects they see in front of them.
Both of these technologies can be complementary in nature because of the similarities they share and both can influence software design in a similar way. Some companies like Microsoft, with its HoloLens glasses, are even relying on peripherals, as VR does with head-mounted displays, for added effect.
However, there are also clear differences between these technologies and the way developers have to look at them for software design. VR will continue to be high budget and more aimed at entire room setups vs. AR, which will continue to focus on mobile users and apps that will continue to improve and offer interesting experiences to mobile users.
This was a toss-up as Fintech was also considered. However, HealthTech won out due to how many users worldwide are jumping on the bandwagon with Apple Watches and other wearables. Many of these gadgets will continue to see technological strides in hardware development and software in the form of health apps.
It is not just individual users but the entire health industry that is seeing advancements and will continue to do so in the future related to HealthTech. This will only continue to grow as more physician offices become modernized and digitized around the world.
Technology can help us monitor our well being more efficiently, but it can give us clear insight without having to book appointments constantly into our overall state of health. We can use wearables, for instance, to gain insight into our sleeping patterns, diet, or vitals. We can automatically contact our physicians for advice with the use of apps when we see strange health symptoms. These examples and more are just starting to arise and this field should see huge growth in the coming year.
These five technologies are examples of how far tech has gone in the last couple of years and will continue to do so in 2020. These technologies should all provide a glimpse of what startups and companies are focusing on. Many of these technologies are also being combined with interesting ideas emerging like mobile apps that use AI algorithms for voice recognition.
Other technologies that have been around for a while, like the cloud, are also worth noting. Some of these, however, have already seen their peak and are ubiquitous today. It will be the combination of these established technologies with the examples above that should be interesting.
A post by Maciej Duraj