Technology, as we’re all acutely aware, moves at a rapid pace. What seemed new and innovative a few short years ago has likely been superseded or is no longer considered especially ground breaking in the light of new developments. So, what are likely to be the trends of 2019?
Huge amounts of data is being generated constantly from all types of sources from large computers to smartphone apps and point of sale (POS) systems in various retail locations; it’s set to grow as more data is collected and organizations seek to put it to good use and get it working for them.
Specialist Big Data scientists – who know how to make the numbers meaningful and of constructive use for the organizations collecting it – are already in demand and will become more so as this technology grows.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI is the way a device can effectively mimic human intelligence such as recognizing speech, images and decision making. If you use a digital assistant like Apple’s Siri or the Amazon Alexa, then this is AI in action.
AI is used in other applications to schedule transport such as trains, assist with business decision making and help energy efficiency.
All fields of AI are predicted to grow massively in the coming years with an explosion in the number of jobs and, thus, skilled people required in the areas of programming, support and development.
Related to AI, machine learning is basically the way computers can be programmed to ‘learn’ how to do tasks they weren’t programmed to perform. They learn by forming patterns from data and reacting accordingly.
Machine learning is being used in increasing amounts in areas such as data handling in terms of analytics and mining.
Everyday uses of AI for the average computer or smartphone user would be in areas such as producing search results, real-time ad serving and some internet security tasks.
As with AI, jobs will be increasingly plentiful in machine learning; salaries are already high reflecting the demand for skilled people. There’s a clear need for this technology – and that means a demand for jobs.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Essentially, IoT is the term to describe the way more and more devices are connected, usually via Wi-Fi so they can communicate with one another.
A basic example is the way a home security system can ‘talk’ to the owner’s laptop or smartphone, show images from its cameras and alert the user if needs be.
Other examples already in use are the way IoT enables people to alter their home central heating, or even pre-heat the oven on their way home. Home appliances can communicate alerts, such as a fridge informing its owner there’s no milk and so on.
Businesses and other commercial environments benefit from the IoT through the way data is collected, analyzed and used to speed up areas such as customer care, response to medical emergencies and more. It plays a big role in how driverless cars will function; they’ll use IoT tech to communicate with the roads and other infrastructure to get around.
Innovative products that can deliver this cheaper to continue to make this more mainstream will be well-received in 2019.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
In VR – advanced graphics help create an ‘experience’ by immersing the user in a virtual environment.
In AR – this virtual world is ‘overlaid’ onto reality to enhance their environment.
VR has so far mainly been used in gaming, but it’s finding a use in training such as in simulations to train military personnel to sail ships and fly aircraft.
For AR, in the leisure arena, the popular Pokemon Go is a good example.
Both technologies are likely to grow sharply; along with training applications, they’ll be used to improve the experiences for visitors to some museums and theme parks – and may also enhance marketing with powerful graphical techniques such as the Pepsi bus shelter in London, UK.
As with the technologies above, expertise in VR and AR will lead to many job opportunities as demand intensifies.
The above is by no means an exhaustive run down; there’s plenty more to keep tech commentators and specialist tech news sites busy for some while to come as the pace of tech escalates.