Trying to predict the future is a touchy subject. Technology is changing so rapidly in today’s climate that it’s getting more challenging every day to envision what things will be like two, five or even 10 years into the future.
While it is apparent that we probably won’t see flying cars for at least another decade, that still leaves a lot of the tech spectrum up to interpretation. Artificial intelligence, for example, is already doing some incredible things in the current market. It’s almost impossible to predict how it will apply even just five years from now.
That said, there are enough resources to predict, with relative certainty, what will happen over the next year or so. Here are some of the most prevalent technology predictions for 2020, which is right around the corner.
5G Will Revolutionize Wireless Data Experiences
Over the last year or so, discussions have centered on the adoption of the latest mobile connectivity standard: 5G, or the fifth generation of wireless technology. When it drops, it will bring increased reliability, faster connection speeds and much lower latency levels.
All that, coupled with the growing use of wireless-dependent technologies like IoT, cloud computing, machine learning and AI, to name a few, make it easy to see why 5G already has such a strong presence.
As it starts to roll out around the world, the technology will revolutionize the way we — as a society — experience wireless solutions. A whole wave of new tools will come online.
Devices that already exist will see incredible upgrades, and just about every internet-ready platform will be available remotely, with always-on access. Everything from HVAC to power control systems and manufacturing automation platforms will get enhanced, far beyond what’s currently imaginable.
Security Challenges Will Grow Exponentially
Of course, the rise of 5G and our growing dependence on connected, internet-enabled technologies means security concerns will balloon exponentially.
As new platforms and systems come online, more and more facets of ordinary life will be vulnerable to digital attacks. To protect ourselves, collectively, we will need to come up with more advanced and more capable security solutions, both in the corporate and personal realms of technology.
Imagine hackers taking down a central IoT server, which serves as a hub for many in-home and at-work technology solutions. Cybercriminals can disable anything from smart thermostats to work terminals in an instant, bringing the entire world to a complete halt. Compromising smart thermostats at the server level can hinder local operations, too. For example, a hack could render your smart home devices impossible to use or alter, leaving you in a hot, uncomfortable situation because the AC is not working.
Cybersecurity makes up the foundation of every successful and reliable internet-ready technology.
IoT Will Spread Its Wings
If you feel like you can see the limitations of IoT technology in the current world, guess again. Wait until 5G and similar wireless technologies explode, and bring about revolutionary changes to the world of connected devices. 5G will be 20 times faster, with 120 times less latency than 4G.
One of the top future technology predictions for 2020 is that the Internet of Things will become faster, stronger and more present than anything you could ever imagine.
While this may not necessarily come full circle in the year to come, we will start to see the rise of this movement. That’s because currently, IoT has limitations caused by existing wireless solutions, mainly Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 4G LTE.
5G will completely unchain or unleash IoT solutions, introducing an entirely new channel of opportunities. Suddenly, you can have connected and smart devices in a field or situation that would have never been possible before. Expect things like smart packaging and supply chain solutions, real-time fleet updates — including more than just GPS — and much, much more.
AI Will Permeate Everything
If you had asked anyone 10 years ago if they’d want to use an AI voice assistant as a practical and helpful tool in their life, you would have likely heard a “no.” After all, the concept of AI at that time was somewhat limited.
Today, voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant have helped 111.8 million people in the U.S. alone, at least monthly, over the last year.
Now, imagine how the technology applies in other fields. AI can play a role in cybersecurity, active monitoring, real-time customer interactions, basic or rote workplace tasks, facial recognition, vehicle controls or driverless vehicles, advanced robotics and much more.
AI has become the go-to for many modern solutions, and that’s going to expand even more throughout 2020.
What Else May Come to Pass?
Here are some more predictions for the coming year:
- Quantum computing will continue to become more prominent, thanks to its unfathomable processing power.
- Consumers will demand data and platform governance, taking control of their data.
- Smart cities will not only grow to be more accepted, but smaller municipalities will also begin to explore related technologies.
- Human and body augmentation will rise as technologies enhance physical, sensory or cognitive experiences.
- Organizations will innovate using the blockchain.
- AR and VR experiences will become more widespread, merging the physical and digital worlds.
One thing is sure: Technology is at the heart of our evolution and will form the foundation of most changes happening over the coming year.