2019 tech trends to look out for
2018 came with its share of tech trends. From the rise of the smart speaker, to the unexpected resurgence in SMS popularity, to the crooked rush of (non-existent) ‘GDPR-compliant software’.
Now, it’s time to look ahead and speculate on the tech trends that could dominate 2019. Will this be the year we nail teleportation? Maybe we will be projecting holograms before the year is out. Is this the year that we abolish cash and pay with our fingerprints?
From the obvious to the obscure, here are the 2019 tech trends we think will be making headlines.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Perhaps the most obvious of the 2019 tech trends on this list, artificial intelligence will continue its rapid ascent in 2019. In fact, AI underpins or relates to most of the other 2019 tech trends on this list.
That’s because artificial intelligence is stealthily converging into the products and the technology we use daily. Look at the enormous boom in the Internet of Things, and the steady (but rather stunning) advancements in existing software and bots. AI-infusion is everywhere.
In fact, we’re approaching a point where AI will cease to be a trend in the ‘cool’ sense of the word. We’re not there yet, but AI is on its way to becoming just one more consistent, commonplace strand in the fabric of our lives. Soon, AI will be as ubiquitous as the internet, or as electricity, or as the wheel.
So, we can safely predict that AI will continue to saturate – and smarten – the world around us in 2019.
Robotic process automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation is the new buzzword in tech. Although it refers to a long-existing technology (good old rule-based automation), its rapid acceptance and popularity is only newly on the rise.
Computers and machines are becoming capable of automating more tasks and functions every day. RPA is spreading in every industry, every line of work, every field and every job category. It doesn’t matter if you work in a factory or an office; as an admin assistant or as a manager — robotic process automation is increasingly likely to disrupt your working life.
The disruptive nature of RPA makes it one of the key 2019 tech trends to look out for. Just be wary that it doesn’t mean that a shiny robot team will be gracing your office anytime soon. Rather, software applications with robotic precision will be helping out with your workload.
Smart speakers and voice recognition
Alexa and Google Home grew in popularity exponentially over the last year, and they’re showing no signs of stopping.
The evolution of smart speaker technology is certainly another of the 2019 tech trends to look forward to. Smart speakers will grow in ability alongside artificial intelligence. Plus, smart assistants will become available in more places. For example, Samsung is working on a smart speaker assistant that operates within a car.
Smart speakers also provide a vessel for another of the 2019 tech trends to look out for: voice as an interface. That is, the ability to interact with technology simply by talking to it. We predict that voice recognition and interactivity will grow in popularity, becoming a common way to interact with our devices.
Somewhat related to smart speakers, smart homes are also looking to earn a place on the list of 2019 tech trends.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has helped us make our home devices smarter. We can control our heating, lights — even our teapots — remotely, or via our smart speakers.
And in 2019, smart homes will be getting even smarter. With greater compatibility and connectivity, different brands will be able to communicate and work together. This would mean that we wouldn’t have to have a garage door made by the same people that manufactured the thermostat to get the two to communicate. (Unless we want to, that is.)
5G hype started to brew in 2018. This is one of the 2019 tech trends that looks likely to explode imminently, as we draw closer to the projected release of a 5G network.
The change from 4G to 5G might seem like a change from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 7. It’s newer and a bit faster, but it doesn’t feel like a huge deal.
The hype behind the 5G network, however, is that it will provide a reliable way to connect devices and things, as well as people. It’s expected to be instrumental to furthering the age of automation and supporting the tech needed for smart homes.
Tech like smartwatches and health apps has led to health-related technology becoming another of the 2019 tech trends to watch out for.
The range of technology that allows people to monitor their health is becoming more readily available, more diverse. From tracking your heart rate to encouraging a more active lifestyle, health-related tech is expanding in its adoption and ability.
Then there’s the potential use of AI to help with diagnosis and prescriptions. As AI improves, it’s possible that the tech could be an invaluable tool for healthcare professionals.
Augmented reality (AR)
Likewise, AR is going to grow in use and function in 2019. Augmented reality refers to the superimposing of virtual images over our view of the world.
As one of the 2019 tech trends, it could become common for support teams to use AR to guide confused customers. Or for customers test out how a piece of furniture looks in their home before they buy. Restaurants could soon be using AR to show customers what menu items will look like on their plate.
Anticipating 2019 tech trends
Of course, the future is uncertain. There could all sorts of other tech trends and inventions in 2019. Maybe this is the year we will finally get those flying cars or hoverboards we’ve been dreaming of? However, the growth in technologies popular in 2018 suggests that this year is going to be an exciting one for the tech industry.
So, whether 2019 brings us smarter speakers and augmented reality or flying cars, there’s a lot to look out for in the tech scene of 2019.