Five Technology Trends of 2019
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Technology doesn’t exist in isolation anymore. It is today touching the broader sociological and cultural fabric of our society. It is enriching businesses and people alike, even those not involved directly to it. I was a part of the recently-held Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon — one of the mega technology events in the world. It gave me a great sense of things to come and how they will change our lives and existing industries for good. I came across many different aspects of technology and their use cases. Here are the five main trends that would have a bigger impact in the years to come.
WOMEN ON TOP
Women working in tech companies are thriving. 49 percent of such women believe their workplaces are doing enough to ensure gender equality, but only 16 percent feel their governments are doing enough. Despite, a profusion of leadership opportunities in the tech industry, 61 percent of women feel they have more pressure to prove their worth than their male counterparts. While, 37 percent of those questioned feel that women are only offered leadership roles to fill quotas.
ROBOTS GO SOCIAL
The use of robots has become commonplace but social robots that have been created to help humans in a number of ways are just an edge away from big explosive growth. Industrial robots, however, are displacing many human jobs. All this has been made possible by advances in artificial intelligence (AI). There are suggestions that emotional intelligence possessed by social robots in the future will enable them to make a huge difference in the society. Robotics has already significantly contributed to sectors such as retail, healthcare, education, hospitality and others.
AUTO BEYOND TESLA
Technologies like AI and connectivity are in process of making the cars smarter by transforming them. Big auto companies are expanding their processes over and above design and engineering to become technology companies. The cutting-edge cars of the future will give the power to its operators to add new features or purchase upgrades. On the whole, the consumer is likely to move away from car ownership to subscription. Within the next five years the safety designs and monitoring systems will also make the roads a safer place. The global carmaker BYTON is building autonomy and electrification in its first vehicle. The Volkswagen Group in partnership with D-Wave Systems is using quantum computing for new battery technology. Limited edition hyper-cars by Aston Martin would lure many to owner.
It is the funding that fuels innovations in the tech industry but the innovation is outpacing the institutional funding from the look of things. With Saudi and Qatar investments coming under the credibilty radar, it seems likely that new money, particualrly early stage funding, may come more from within the industry in the coming years. On the other hand Unicorns founders are keen to finance their startup peers. Their knowhow of raising several rounds of funds makes them perfect for the job. We may see a different kind of capital play in the year 2019.
CRYPTO FIGHTS BACK
The apparent 'Deal or no Deal' of Crypto currencies in Asia as an acceped unit of exchange has been dillydallying but the summit saw a positive environment for crypto players as the launch of eToroX wallet that will provide new functionalities such as support for new coins and fiat currencies. Luxembourg-based BitStamp is currently the 33rd largest crypto exchange according to its trading volume promoted virtual currencies. At the summit, the first partnership between Stellar Development Foundation and Blockchain was also announced.
(This article was first published in the December issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)