Poised to disrupt major industries around the world, these rising global technology trends are set to cause exponential change to the world as we know it.
Halfway into 2020 and it has already been a year full of impact, to say the very least. Digital lifestyles went from choice to necessity when lockdown commenced, with many turning online for a sense of continuity and connection with the rest of the world. Where time otherwise came to a standstill, there was still no slowing down the technological boom.
How does technology help us in our daily lives?
Technological breakthroughs have paved way to inventions ranging from the basic phone and laptop to self-making beds and motorised ice cream cones which – let’s face it – have made being lazy easier than ever. The sheer convenience of technology grants us access to immediate gratification, giving us everything we could possibly need at the tip of our fingers.
These advancements in technology carry with them transformations within the education, communication, healthcare, and entertainment industries. Modern technology has progressed our society in ways beyond imagination – providing a platform to instantly access information, services, and the sale of goods, while also saving lives through innovative security and medical devices.
What is the latest technology?
Global technology trends are expanding from social networking and electronic devices to focus on a fusion of more complex technologies, significantly reshaping the way businesses operate today. The stakes and scope of such transformation will be paramount – affecting global systems of governance, business, and civilisation. In its complexity, the possibilities of technology and systematic innovation are boundless.
The 12 Biggest Global Technology Trends in 2020
Here’s our roundup of the 12 biggest global technology trends this year to keep an eye on.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
“Alexa…play everyone that’s ever played me”. An ever-resourceful tool, the power of artificial intelligence continues to grow, impacting the way we live, work, and play. From spam filters and smart email categorisation to virtual assistants and machine learning algorithms, AI has already changed businesses as we know it – mimicking human intelligence and speeding up processes that help to increase work productivity and efficiency. This automation of simple tasks takes the burden away from performing repetitive, mundane tasks, allowing us time to focus on more meaningful, strategic or creative tasks. As a powerful collaboration tool between human employees and machines, AI continues to supplement upcoming technologies and further propel business operations.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is a vast network of physical objects connected to the Internet that have the ability to gather and communicate data seamlessly among themselves – much like neurons in a giant brain. Today, IoT devices have evolved from smartphones, laptops, and wearables to just about anything that can be fitted with sensors and software to share actionable data over a network. This might include a person with a heart monitor transplant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, or a smart fridge alerting a homeowner to expired food.
In tandem with this industry growth, custom hardware and software development companies have begun to offer their expertise in development, making the advantages of IoT more accessible to businesses. For example, hardware development company Aduk offers end-to-end IoT development and ongoing support for firms with a big vision.
With this exponential growth of IoT devices, we haven’t even begun to comprehend its full potential and benefits. Learn more about the nuances of this technology in our IoT explainer article.
The launch of the much anticipated ‘5G’ technology marked the arrival of fifth-generation mobile broadband services. With speeds and capacities up to 100 times faster than its predecessor, 5G has been hailed by companies and telecom operators as the panacea to all network problems. 5G’s increased speeds and lower latencies (i.e. the time between a button press and the action, or your data arriving with its receiver) makes it possible to control machines over long distances remotely – without any noticeable lag. It’s fair to say that the onset of 5G will totally revolutionise modern industrial processes and applications, opening doors to a new world of business and manufacturing communication.
Interested in learning more about the future of 5G? Click here.
As business needs surpass the limits of cloud computing, the up-and-coming trend to follow today is edge computing. Edge computing brings computation to the source of data instead of a centralised warehouse – significantly reducing the distance and time taken for data to travel from client to server. Fuelled by IoT, edge computing is set to redefine global industries due to its ability to bypass latency and process vast quantities of data from remote locations. The efficiency of edge computing significantly eases management of business operations through unmatched analytical response rates, reduced bandwidth, and elimination of redundant storage. Microsoft is currently leading the industry, having launched their Azure Edge Zones in late March with hopes of helping organisations better address the shift to remote work.
Edtech is undergoing its own technological revolution, maturing to bridge the gap between theory and application through experiential learning technology. With the advent of sophisticated digital technologies, EdTech is empowering educators to expand their reach, while students can learn independently via educational software. As distance-learning technologies develop further, high-quality education will become an increasingly affordable weapon for social equality, making superior education accessible to people of all backgrounds.
Read more about the evolution of EdTech here.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology
Cryptocurrencies used in conjunction with the security of blockchain technology provide an integral, decentralised system to oversee data and conduct secure financial transactions. Widely used in the sphere of start-ups, finance, and other ventures, the technology behind cryptocurrencies continues to drastically change the world. Notably, Facebook is projected to launch its cryptocurrency/blockchain experiment, Libra, later this year, attracting much attention from world governments. Find out everything you need to know about crypto here.
Particularly across the Asia-Pacific region, there’s been an accelerating trend in virtual banks – with the first set of digital banking licenses being handed out in Taiwan, eight being granted in Hong Kong, and 21 pending applications for digital banking licenses in Singapore. As the digitisation of global economies continues and financial services shift online, clients now have the flexibility to manage their accounts and make transactions from just about anywhere, at any time – setting new standards of seamless customer experience.
From identity theft to international security breaches, the advancement of modern technologies inevitably creates new entry points for cyber crime. In its 2019 Global Risk Report, the World Economic Forum listed data breaches and cyber threats as the fourth and fifth most serious risks that businesses around the world are currently facing. The cyber security industry is the emerging tech needed to tackle increasingly sophisticated attacks. Considering the volume of sensitive data and information stored online, major ramifications are at risk – requiring more advanced security to mitigate these unprecedented threats on the landscape.
Want to protect your startup from cyber security risks? Here are 7 things your startup should know about cyber security in 2020.
Driving the movement of change are major players such as Waymo and Tesla, as they continue in their race for autonomous cars. With developing data analytics and technologies, functions behind automated parking, brakes, and other systems are being streamlined to create fully autonomous vehicles. Meanwhile, collaborations between Uber and NASA are at the forefront of producing ‘flying cars’, pushing what once was a mere figment of imagination, to reality.
The pandemic saw the frantic clearing of essentials – toilet paper, canned foods … and Nintendo switches. With sales surpassing 55 million units and new sales records following the viral release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it’s clear that the gaming industry is continuing its upward trajectory. Rapid growth of the gaming industry can be linked to the emergence of cloud technology – allowing players to stream games on remote servers rather than having to download a game onto their system or owning a physical copy. By 2022, Newzoo’s annual Global Market Report estimates that the global games industry will be worth USD 196.0 billion.
Originating from gaming and entertainment industries, the immersive technologies behind virtual and augmented reality have integrated themselves into the realms of education, marketing, and even military training. Manoeuvring the thin line between on-screen and reality, VR and AR is definitely a trend to watch this year – with worldwide spending expected to reach USD 18.8 billion. From navigation and teaching to gaming and online shopping, the possibilities are endless in its reach and impact.
Having been in development for years, quantum computing is maturing to be commercialised – with the capacity to completely alter the way businesses, healthcare, and tech industries operate today. Relying on quantum bits to carry information, quantum computers will be able to process data, identify patterns, and solve problems much faster and more accurately than conventional ones. This has led industry-leaders like Microsoft, IBM, and Google to race in introducing global access. With machine-learning forecasted to be worth over USD 8 billion by 2022, the breakthrough technology of quantum computing is soon to come.