4 NEW TECH TRENDS to Watch in 2019

Google Home on Inmediatum desk

We have observed several exciting innovations over the last couple of years. The pace which digital solutions emerge quickens and big tech giants are more competitive than ever. What will be the big winners for business in 2019? We selected 4 new tech trends to watch which offer adopters a competitive advantage today.

Blockchain

Blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention. While initially created for Bitcoin, the tech community has found many different ways to leverage the technology. It has progressed to the point where companies and even governments are seeking to deploy blockchain to enhance security and lower transaction costs.

The first step towards profiting from blockchain is to understand what opportunities it offers. Think of an NFL Football team and how they sell tickets online. The credit card companies take a substantial cut for processing the transaction. With blockchain, not only can the Football company owner save on credit card fees, it can move the whole ticketing process to the blockchain. The record of the ticket sale can be executed similarly to a bitcoin monetary transaction. It is a unique and independently verifiable.

FREE

The key for businesses to recognize is that the transactions are free. Blockchain designed to transfer and store money can also replace all processes and business models which rely on requiring a small fee per purchase. This technology promises to be profitable for those who use it efficiently and appropriately.

Understanding, expertise and an active development community are still obstacles. However big players are looking to profit by offering Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) model. BaaS will be the growth driver in 2019. Many services are provided on cloud technology, and blockchain is no exception. This is confirmed by the fact that Intel, Microsoft, and Amazon are already offering blockchain-like services.

It is expected that more enterprise technology leaders and consulting firms to recognize the potential in blockchain tech this year. With the help from the BaaS offerings, more capital will flow into blockchain investments this year.

Microsoft HoloLens by Jorge Figueroa licensed with Creative Commons

Augmented Reality
HoloLens by Microsoft

Getting humans to interact with each other in the digital world is a positive thing. That is one of the side benefits of this tech trend. According to Gartner, these immersive platforms are changing the way we engineer solutions, due to the proliferation augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) systems.

Companies are already using this concept. Take the idea of remote assistance as an example. Rather than having a staff of experts traveling the world, companies save by configuring an AR solution. A specialist works with somebody in a remote factory to get a piece of equipment back online. This technology is also about shifting away from working with individual subject matter experts and their fragmented devices to a more inclusive and robust experience. Another way to describe it is, using technology to combine features extracted from different modalities (text, audio, video, etc.).

MULTIMODAL

A more open multimodal experience will connect people with the digital world. The idea is to build a solution network. This includes traditional computing devices, wearables, automobiles, environmental sensors, and consumer appliances. Humans augment their data input with advanced computer senses, such as heat, humidity, and radar sensors. In effect, by connecting humans with these devices, their physical environment is enhanced by the digital one. The existing hardware and software systems already developed are there for business leaders to explore.

  • Microsoft has led the charge by already launching HoloLens 2, focusing on enterprise manufacturing.
  • Tesla has patented its own AR-glasses for employees.
    The product is able to display the necessary instructions for assembling parts and provide communication between workers and managers.
  • Telemedicine is actively developing a system where patients get medical advice without visiting a clinic directly.
  • Surgeons use AR-glasses for gaining super-abilities of X-ray vision in real time. Engineers can simulate fabrication updates with gestures and learn the results on the fly.

From here, the number of devices contributing to mixed reality solutions will significantly increase. These are not mere gadgets. Instead, they are the tools for businesses to profit from. Join the race in 2019 while you have time.

SMART Speakers

Analysts predict the global market for smart speakers in 2019 to take a sharp upturn. According to a Deloitte forecast, smart speakers will be the fasting growing revenue source in 2019. Trend data from 2018 supports this, showing approximately 98 million smart speakers sold globally. This amounted to 4.3 billion dollars. The 2019 figures are expected to increase to 164 million units and around $ 7 billion in revenue, respectively.

All types of organizations are studying at the opportunities that this specific technology segment is offering.

  • Integrated marketing services
  • Assisted voice shopping
  • Automation of food ordering
  • A wider range of customer service installations
  • Media broadcasting and event announcements

Some of the more well-known examples of smart assistant implementations include:
H & M Home launching an app that works in combination with Google Assistant. It furnishes guidance on the design of rooms and helps to find suitable products in the company catalog.
Domino’s Pizza app has the Google voice assistant remember the customer’s last order, speeding up the next order. Fashion retailers Asos and Argos retail chains launched online shopping services for reserving product using the Google Home.

People are talented, and it won’t be long before all types of innovative uses are designed and implemented. The challenge for business leaders is to keep their IT teams ahead of the competition.

Chatbots

Chatbots are the new tech rage, where marketing firms and company sales departments can’t stop talking about them. They promise of doing more work at a much lower cost compared to adding additional human employees. Is it more hype or should business leaders be paying attention?

The consensus seems to be there is real value offered by chatbots. This is because we live a world where nearly all customers expect an immediate response from companies. While they are not yet as sophisticated as a real human, chatbots are always listening and reply immediately. Moreover, chatbot intelligence is on the rise, and already the top platforms simulate realistic conversations.

STRONG LIKABILITY FACTOR

Because of their successful adoption by the end user, more and more bots are advancing with artificial intelligence technologies, and 80% of businesses are planning to deploy some type of chatbot by 2020. According to Gartner’s forecast, by 2020 organizations will successfully capture 85% of customer contact with technology.

Trends can we expect in 2019 in the field of chatbots.

  • Stronger integration with Artificial Intelligence
  • Broader and deeper adoption by Fortune 500, not just in the retail sector
  • Richer and more human-like experiences
  • Convenient virtual assistance

More customer engagements with be with these chatbots. They will inform the customer, request information as needed, understand a broader vocabulary. Eventually, they will easily conduct full-fledged dialogues that will be difficult to distinguish from human interaction.

Benefits of using chatbots that business won’t ignore in 2019.

  • 24/7 online support
  • Responds to FAQs
  • Customer complaint resolution
  • Opportunity for instant feedback
  • Friendly and convenient marketing

According to Juniper Research, chatbots are expected to help cut business costs by 8 billion dollars by the year 2022! There is no need to wait. Any organization can start investing in chatbot tech now and start saving in 2019.

Summary

Technology doesn’t have to solve all of life’s problems, but it often provides one key thing. Hope for a more prosperous future. These are 4 technologies that have the power and means to revolutionize the way we live and how businesses operate in 2019. Embrace one or all of these technologies, follow proven models and partner with a strategic vendor. See your company grow accordingly.

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