9 Technology Trends to Look Out for in 2020

If you have been living under a rock this past 2019, then let me just bring you up to date with some things. We are now amidst the 4th industrial revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever! In fact, companies and individuals that don’t keep up with some of the major trends run the risk of being left behind. Scary right?

Therefore, understanding the technology trends in 2020 will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities lying ahead.

1. Mobile Commerce

How many of y’all would go out for lunch without even bringing your wallet out with you?

I will admit that I am likely to do just that! With Apple Pay, Google Wallet, DBS PayLah!, and many other online payment methods, we have the ability to pay for products in brick and mortar stores just by scanning a QR code! What’s more is that more and more hawker centres are now also pasting up their own QR codes for customers to simply scan and pay. Gone are the days that you would need to worry about the hawker uncle touching your food with the same hand he uses to count your change!

And we can definitely expect a lot more of this in 2020 – welcome to a cashless world!

2. AI-as-a-Service

If you have heard of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), let me just casually bring to you version 2.0 – AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS).

Computers are becoming smarter and smarter as the days go by, in fact, they are even able to learn about the world in the exact same way or even better than humans can! This means that through Artificial Intelligence (AI), computers will be able to start doing more complex human tasks at lightning speeds.

AI-as-a-Service combines the SaaS business model with AI services, that could potentially help bring AI to the masses without a heavy price tag. In fact, some AI provider platforms are already offering services such as processing intensive GPU workloads because of this. For example, Google, Amazon and Microsoft already offer machine-learning solutions and training materials for AIaaS. Moreover, we will potentially see a wider adoption and growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services. This means that no company will have any excuses left NOT to use AI to improve their customer experience and streamline their business operations.

One frightening proposition however is the fact that in the next decade, we might even likely start seeing AIs learning and growing smarter without any human intervention at all! Imagine a world controlled by machines alone!

3. 5G Data Networks

So you want to rewatch Avengers: Endgame again, but its 5GB and will take a long time to download. Now, what if I told you that you will be able to download that 5GB movie in 3.6 seconds?

This is what 5G technology is promising once it hits the market. Get ready for it to become the driving factor in wireless technology growth in 2020!

This is great because you are now able to browse faster, and download faster. You can even get TV on your mobile phone, or conduct video conference calls among many other benefits! In fact, you’ll get faster internet speed, higher-capacity, and lower latency. And what’s more is that you’ll no longer have to deal with the network provider telling you there’s congestion on the network. Gone are the days that you will need to worry about the number of devices you can support with the connection. The possibilities are in fact mind-boggling when you think about the possibilities 5G has to offer!

TLDR? Basically, 5G networks don’t just mean your phone will get faster – it means everything will get faster.

4. Automation

If you are unsure what Automation encapsulates, let me refresh your memory. Automation essentially incorporates technologies like cloud computing, updated robotics, big data, etc. And whether you are a software company, bank, manufacturer, etc., automation ultimately decreases one’s human effort while maximizes the profit potential.

I mean, more and more brick-and-motar stores are incorporating automation into their daily functions. If you are a koi or macs lover, I am sure you would have noticed that now, orders are being taken by a machine, and not humans anymore! Yet, imagine a few years down the road what will it be like if you enter a koi or macs store, and having your entire order fulfilled by machines alone – from the ordering to preparing to collection. The possibilities are endless!

5. Autonomous Driving

And of course with automation and 5G, comes autonomous driving, which are driverless cars that will be able to get real-time data about the entire city.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has even said that he expects his company to create a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by this year, and the number of vehicles capable of operating with a lesser degree of autonomy – such as automated braking and lane-changing – will become an increasingly common sight.

Yet, it won’t just be cars, of course – trucking and shipping are becoming more autonomous, and breakthroughs in this space are likely to continue to hit the headlines throughout 2020.

6. Computer Vision

In computer terms, “vision” involves systems that are able to identify items, places, objects or people from visual images – those collected by a camera or sensor. It’s this technology that allows your smartphone camera to recognize which part of the image it’s capturing is a face, and powers technology such as Google Image Search.

As we move through 2020, we are going to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. This is in fact fundamental to the way autonomous cars will “see” and navigate their way around danger. Production lines will also employ computer vision cameras to watch for defective products or equipment failures, and security cameras will be able to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.

Computer vision is also enabling face recognition, which we will potentially hear a lot about in 2020. Remember Apple’s FaceID?

7. Voice Technology

“Alexa, please call Johnny.”

I am sure you have met my friends Alexa and Siri? Well, let me just tell you that there might be many more Alexa and Siris in the future – I might even make friends with a David, Argentina, Kavolsky, the list goes on.

Basically, technological trends in 2020 will incorporate a lot of voice, with potentials of even widening the scope of voice commands.

In fact, in the near future, we will most likely see a situation where any smart device around us will operate on voice command. And together with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, the possibilities are endless.

8. Extended Reality

“So I have heard of Virtual Reality, but what is Extended Reality?”

Well, extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it refers to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.

Let’s break it down:

  1. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world

  2. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat or Instagram filters)

  3. Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset)

In actuality, these technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment.

However, from 2020, you should expect all of that to change, as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers. Won’t that be cool?

9. Blockchain Technology

Ah, blockchain, the underlying technology of everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency. Confused?

Well, blockchain is a technology that will allow technology to communicate securely, and verifiably, all the while doing a great job of preventing malicious acts during data transfer.