Looking Forward: Technological Developments for 2020

by Leah Nicholson

 

As we enter a new decade, tech’s increasing prevalence in daily life continues to grow, leaving many wondering what new trends are on the horizon. This September, Bernard Marr compiled a list of the seven most significant technological developments that are expected to continue into the upcoming decade. 

 

But the question remains: why these trends? How did they come to be, and is there a reason for their increasing impact on our lives and our future? An examination of this technology’s purpose and creation can provide more insight on just how relevant they are in progressing society. 

 

Artificial Intelligence—as a service 
AI technology continues to grow as we approach the end of the decade, and the growth of companies such as Amazon and Google suggest that it won’t be stopping anytime soon. Artificial technology could take a large step in 2020, increasing in prevalence in service related fields. The only drawback is price; while an intriguing asset for corporations, AI remains an expensive luxury for most, something to look into only after it’s certain it will have a positive influence on profits. All the same, that doesn’t mean we won’t see a boost in people utilizing Alexa and other AI devices as they prove to be a quick and convenient facet of daily life.

5G Data Networks
5G data networks run faster and more smoothly, providing fast internet speed and steady connections. It’s no wonder, then, that they are one of the most expensive networks out there, and most commonly used in small, limited areas. As we enter 2020, however, those limits are more than likely to expand. As internet usage increases not only for the individual, but for different corporations and organizations as well, the demand for a more sufficient network is guaranteed to rise with it. Not only will 5G data networks begin to spread, but the introduction of even faster networking is expected to follow in its wake.

Autonomous Driving
Self-driving vehicles aren’t only in the movies; plenty of automobile companies have invested in creating autonomous cars, trucks, and vans in an effort to bring this concept to reality, having already made progress even in 2019. The new decade promises more research, invention, and experimentation surrounding this idea. Of course, the questions this raises regarding the laws of the road, from speeding tickets to accidents, are sure to inspire no shortage of debate.

Personalized and Predictive Medicine
Technology’s influence spreads far, and the field of medicine and healthcare is no exception. The ability to predict health problems in people before they become physically visible is already being recognized, thanks in no small part to data-recording technology such as smartwatches. Knowing the specific statistics in regards to exercise habits and heart rate will provide healthcare professionals a solid foundation when it comes to treating patients, both mentally and physically.

Computer Vision
Perhaps a more recognizable term for this trend would include facial recognition technology. Computer vision, or technological devices’ abilities to recognize people, objects, or even places from an image, is expected to continue its advancement and its overall usage in 2020. Controversy over the ethics of facial recognition technology is also expected to continue, once again bringing technology into the realms of law and politics. The positive aspects of computer vision, however, could greatly decrease the number of accidents, allowing computers to “see” and recognize danger, and thus navigating away or around it. For good or ill, this trend is sure to remain relevant in the coming years, and even beyond them.

Extended Reality
Extended reality, including but not limited to both virtual and mixed reality devices, have grown in popularity and accessibility over the past few years. The ability to make digital experiences more immersive and realistic is intriguing for a variety of reasons, both to companies and consumers. 2020 could well expand beyond using extended reality just for entertainment purposes, incorporating it into anything from a game of Pokemon Go to employee training procedures and immersive therapy.

Blockchain Technology
When it comes to keeping technological records and statistics, blockchain technology has grown in convenience for many companies. Its ability to record transactions and inventory data is already an accepted necessity, but the security and privacy that comes with it is a particularly appealing aspect. Big and small businesses alike are expected to turn to this method within the next few years, increasing the use and necessity of technology in the market.

 

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