BOLD! Tech Trends and Massive Moves by 2020

We can all agree that the consumer electronics industry has changed everything! The proof is in the pudding in a world where people are willing to line up for days, just to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of their favorite device. Perhaps more than ever before, we can also agree that technology has become the catalyst for the next phase of innovation both in our personal lives and in business. The instant connections we can now make with people around the globe would have been impossible just a few years back.

Memeburn is a great source of tech-savvy insight and the article written by Nur Bremmen was especially entertaining and insightful. We decided to go ahead and list a few of these upcoming changes specifically 


Internet of Thingsis simply the connection between tech, humans and everyday business interactions in the modern era. "The opportunity to foster a new set of business and marketing models that give the word “engagement” real value is unprecedented", Bremmen mentions. According to tech research company Gartner, we are in the beginnings of a “Digital Industrial Revolution.” 

  • By 2020, consumer data collected from wearable devices will drive five percent of sales from the Global 1000
  • By 2015, indicating a rise in the number of people looking to get their hands on customer profile data.
  • Wearable computing, or wearables, is quickly moving into mainstream society, led by the growing, multi-billion dollar health and fitness markets (think about the Nike+ Fuelband and the Jawbone Up).
  • Within five years consumer wearables will become more sophisticated, capturing what the user sees, hears or even feels through biorhythmic responses.
  • The technical hurdles that have stalled the adoption of wearables (battery life, augmented reality, chip evolution and bandwidth) are quickly eroding

Opening doors to creative minds determined to exploit this technology for commercial gain as evidenced by sizable investments in wearable technology from Samsung, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Smart Machines: yes, we all can remember those days where teh idea that a "machine" can think for us was so very exciting, yet quite far away! Not so anymore, the emergence of smart machines adds opportunity and perhaps fear as “cognizant and cognitive systems” can help with decision-making. Along with that, also removes the need for humans in some processes. "The capability, reliability and availability of appropriate technology are not the issue. The real issue is the willingness of people to accept both it and increasing removal of manual override options", Brenner continues.

  • Virtual personal assistant usage in business grows more quickly in 2017 and 2018 than iPad usage did in 2010 and 2011.
  • Gartner reckons that smart machines will upend a majority of knowledge workers’ career paths by 2020.
  • By 2024, at least 10% of activities potentially injurious to human life will require mandatory use of a non-overideable “smart system”
  • By 2020, a majority of knowledge worker career paths will be disrupted by smart machines in both positive and negative ways

Deep learning methods, based on deep neural networks, are currently being applied in speech recognition systems as well as some object recognition applications. Quality of life improves when society is able to derive useful information from the copious amounts of unstructured data collecting in the internet. The most important implication of a learning computer is that it expands much less energy to recognise more complex patterns.

3D Printing: where the ability to reshape how physical goods are created, offers us a specific look at how obviously true and disruptive these technologies can be! "We are in the beginnings of a Digital Industrial Revolution that threatens to reshape how physical goods are created and 3D printing is at the heart of it."  according to tech research company Gartner.

  • Near term at least one major western manufacturer will claim to have had intellectual property (IP) stolen for a mainstream product by thieves using 3D printers. 
  • By 2018, 3D printing will result in the loss of at least US$100-billion per year in intellectual property globally

"Bioprinting is the medical application of 3D printers to produce living tissue and organs. The day when 3D bioprinted human organs are readily available is drawing closer. The emergence of 3D bioprinting facilities with the ability to print human organs can leave people wondering what the effect of it will be on society", Brenner asks.

  • Near term the US Food and Drug Administration or comparable agency will introduce guidelines that prohibit the bioprinting of life-saving 3D printed organs and tissues without its prior approval by end of 2015.
  • By 2016, 3D printing of tissues and organs (bioprinting) will cause a global debate about regulating the technology or banning it for both human and non-human use

Digital Business: refers to business created using digital assets and/or capabilities, involving digital products, services and/or customer experiences, and/or conducted through digital channels and communities. Gartner’s digital business predictions focus on the effect digital business will have on labour reductions, on consumer goods revenue, and on use of personal data. While these do not cover the sum total of digital business, they do highlight critical areas of medium to long-term impact.

  • Consumer goods companies that employ crowdsourced solutions in marketing campaigns or new product development will enjoy a 1 per cent revenue boost over non-crowdsourced competitors by 2015.
  • By 2017, more than half of consumer goods manufacturers will receive 75% of their consumer innovation and R&D capabilities from crowdsourced solutions
  • By 2020, digitisation will cause social unrest and a quest for new economic models in several mature economies
  • By 2017, 80% of people will collect, track and barter their personal data for cost savings, convenience and customzation
  •  By 2020, businesses and governments will fail to protect 75% of sensitive data, and declassify and grant broad/public access to it

Digitization means that a lot less labour is required to deliver goods and services and  is fundamentally changing the way we pay for work according to Gartner. Long term,  this makes it impossible for increasingly large groups to participate in the traditional economic system — even at lower prices the research house says. This will lead to more and more people using alternatives such as bartering.

We invite you to read the article by Nur Bremman and to also add to this list something that you think may be missing! Comment below. 

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