Research firm IHS Markit has revealed top 8 transformative technologies to watch out this year.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI has matured to the point where it is being used as a competitive differentiator in several industries, particularly in the smartphone, automotive and medical markets. Also, optimization for on-device versus cloud-based solutions is becoming an area of focus.
Cloud AI has more computing power to analyze data as it utilizes deep learning algorithms, but there are potential issues around privacy, latency and stability. On-device AI, meanwhile, can help offset those dangers to some degree. For instance, smartphone users who deploy the built-in AI of their phones are able to store data locally and thus safeguard their privacy.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The installed base of IoT devices will rise to 73 billion in 2025. Accelerating IoT growth in 2018 and movement through a four-stage IoT evolution — “Connect, Collect, Compute and Create” — will be the confluence of enhanced connectivity options with edge computing and cloud analytics.
Enhancements in IoT connectivity, such as low-power wireless access (LPWA) will drive growth in IoT market. Technologies adjacent to the IoT will become increasingly sophisticated. Machine video and ubiquitous video will empower new types of visual analytics. AI, the cloud and virtualization will help develop critical insights sourced from data at the so-called “edge” of computing networks. Applying AI techniques to data will drive monetization in the form of cost savings, greater efficiencies and a transition from product- to service-centric business models.
Cloud and virtualization
Cloud services will pave the way for technologically immature companies to utilize machine learning (ML) and AI, radically transforming their usage and understanding of data.
As the first 5G commercial deployments emerge, the story will focus on connectivity. However, the path to full 5G adoption and deployment is complicated, with new opportunities and challenges alike in store for mobile network operators, infrastructure providers, device manufacturers and end users.
The use of screens and cameras across multiple consumer- and enterprise-device categories, along with increasingly advanced broadcast, fixed and mobile data networks, is powering an explosion in video consumption, creation, distribution and data traffic. Video content is increasingly expanding beyond entertainment into industrial applications for medical, education, security and remote controls, as well as digital signage.
The increasing importance of computer vision is directly tied to the mega-trend of digitization that has been playing out in the industrial, enterprise and consumer segments. The proliferation of image sensors, as well as improvements in image processing and analysis, are enabling a range of applications and use cases including industrial robots, drone applications, intelligent transportation systems, high-quality surveillance, and medical and automotive.
Robots and drones
The market for robots and drones will grow to $3.9 billion in 2018. The underpinnings of the story, however, lie in the disruptive potential of robots and drones to transform long-standing business models in manufacturing and industry, impacting critical areas such as logistics, material picking and handling, navigational autonomy and delivery.
Blockchain enables decentralized transactions and is the underlying technology for digital currency such as bitcoin and ether. Blockchain-based services beyond financial services are already being developed and deployed and will continue to ramp in 2018. These include: the use of blockchain to improve advertising measurement and combat ad fraud; blockchain-based systems for distributing music royalty payments; and solutions to better track and manage electronics supply chains.