Technologies are becoming increasingly deeply integrated into our lives, which means it's time to figure out how 5G will affect the Internet of Things, why Big Data needs filters, and why Apple is developing its healthcare division. We will answer these questions in this selection of 2020 technology trends.
This article references CB Insights.
1. Quantum computing
Experts at Venture Beat believe 2020 will be the beginning of the quantum computing era.
Large corporations are paying more and more attention to this technology. IBM announced its first achievements in this field back in 2015. In October 2019, Google declared they had achieved quantum superiority, meaning that in 200 seconds, their computer could solve a task which the fastest modern supercomputer would complete in 10,000 years.
Although some people questioned the company’s achievement, in 2020, we will witness a general-purpose quantum computer that can solve problems that ordinary computers cannot do.
First and foremost, quantum computers will be used for biochemistry purposes in the development of new materials and medication.
2. 5G for smart devices
In 2019, 5G networks were already available in some cities in the USA, China, South Korea, Great Britain, and Germany. The prices in the U.S. started at $50, and at $80 in China.
At the end of October 2019, China, being the market leader, announced its plans to launch 5G throughout the country. By that time, ZTE, Huawei, and Xiaomi were among companies that were already producing smartphones with 5G support.
It is in 2020 that this technology will grow in coverage, and its cost will decrease. 5G expansion will accelerate the adoption of other technologies. And most importantly, it will allow IoT devices to collect and process more information, which will expand their capabilities and applicability.
Thanks to 5G, the development of the Industrial Internet of Things will increase production efficiency, as well as the accuracy and speed of business decisions.
3. Information security
The development of quantum computing will jeopardize information security. It will become easy to crack codes, for example, access any user's email.
However, some startups are already working on post-quantum encryption. One of the promising ones is Crypto Quantique from the UK, who are working in the field of IoT devices protection.
Other areas of the security market include employing AI to automatically respond to threats, as well as countering the use of DeepFake to crack face recognition systems.
4. Virtual Offices and XR in education
As 5G expands and VR glasses and helmets get smaller, the applicability of virtual and augmented reality will expand as well. Together, they are known as extended reality (XR). This year, XR applications will be used in school and vocational education, for example, for the training of surgeons or builders.
According to CB Insights, the development of AR and VR will also popularize virtual offices – spaces for remote employees.
Such solutions are already on the market. Danish startup MeetinVR offers virtual meeting rooms that can host office employees as well as those working remotely.
Another company, Spatial, allows users to hold augmented reality meetings with the avatars of other people and also use the virtual chat room as a monitor.
Google, Apple, and Microsoft are improving virtual reality helmets. Some of them will be used in offices, which will further popularize the technology.
5. Drones for logistics and delivery
5G expansion will affect this industry as well. Amazon already uses drones in its warehouses.
Other major retailers will also be automating internal logistics in 2020. Drones are suitable for inventory procedures and the transportation of goods. Besides warehouse purposes, they will also be used for delivery.
6. Big Data cleansing
Usually, all of the company’s collected data ends up in one storage (the data lake). The AI that is programmed based on such storage is faulty or biased since it often contains a lot of useless data. As a result, many companies do not trust automatic decision-making systems.
To solve this problem, they need filters that discard the “dirty data” before it reaches the storage. Such systems will be in demand in 2020.
7. Personalized medicine and the Internet of Bodies
Fitness bracelets and smartwatches are the primary stage of the IoB (Internet of Bodies) – the IoT sector that includes all the gadgets that connect to the human body.
The second stage includes devices that enter the body: cochlear implants (neuroprosthetics for deaf and audibly-challenged people), pacemakers, and digital pills. At the very top of the range are IoB devices that become one with the person’s body and remain connected to the external system in real time.
In 2020, devices will be able to not only treat the patient but also transmit data about their condition. For example, there will be insulin pumps that measure blood glucose levels and transmit information to the cloud, as well as digital pills for cancer treatment that “talk” with doctors.
Recognizing these market prospects, Google and Microsoft are investing in digital health, while Apple is launching its own research programs. Their results will be available to users in the Research app. Also, the latest-generation Apple Watch already includes features for those with diabetes, as well as ECG devices.
Still, everyone needs to reckon with the challenges related to the IoB, such as a threat to human life and health in the event of a hacker attack, as well as an invasion of privacy (implant recording of ambient sounds).