Five technology trends to watch in 2020

The world of technology isn’t a place that can be defined by a single storyline, says Sandberg

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic credit:

A HOST of new technology solutions, trends and big technology conversations will make for a paradoxical and exciting 2020. In the last decade, mobile service providers, device makers and Internet companies had built a virtual second world for users.

But at the start of this new decade, people are expected to reflect more on digital reality, said Telenor Research.

“We are having a common technological epiphany, a kind of digital realisation. People are waking up and examining how and where technologies — including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and new network innovations — will best and most securely connect them with the people and things that matter most.

The world of technology isn’t a place that can be defined by a single storyline. It’s our job to understand the larger, sometimes contradicting contexts we live in,” said Bjørn Taale Sandberg (picture), head of Telenor Research.

Here are the five trends that will define 2020:

Green Gets Mean

Green innovations go beyond the hype and get real with reusable shopping bags, plastic straw bans and “flight shaming”.

“We will see green innovations using combinations of IoT, big data and AI tech to measure consumption, reduce demand and significantly reduce carbon footprints while cutting costs and building new revenue streams,” he said in a statement recently.

The telecommunication industry said firmness in green initiatives can drive real change by encouraging their equipment vendors, IoT hardware and mobile phone manufacturers to commit to higher climate ambitions using recycled raw materials, responsible minerals provisioning, renewable power, new modes of transportation and sustainable packaging.

The IoB

Telenor Research said people are connecting their bodies through a host of monitors that measure blood pressure, blood oxygen, activity, heart rate, arrhythmia and even snoring.

2020 will see the first application that goes beyond just monitoring and into actual auto-interventions.

One example is insulin pumps where a large community of patients and health advocates have pushed the frontier for a long time, which resulted in the first commercial systems closing the loop between reading blood sugar and delivering insulin to the body.

Although it is still far from commercialisation, there are diseases and conditions that are costly and care-intensive where the “Internet of Bodies (IoB)” will have great potential.

Tech-arranged ‘Marriages’ Sandberg believes that 5G, IoT and AI will spur industry collaborations that share competence and co-create world-changing platforms starting this decade.

These innovations include network- slicing, where business-critical systems can run unencumbered over the mobile Internet.

With lower latency and a vastly higher number of IoT devices out in the world, emergency, e-health, logistics, security systems and remote investigations will be enabled by quality networks that allow remote investigations using video, drones and sensors that securely transmit data.

Build Your Own Network

Tech companies and governments are collecting and analysing data about communication patterns and Internet usage to create new products, services and offerings, and even surveillance systems. As a result, more users are taking steps to protect their communications.

In addition to fully encrypted apps, apps that use mesh or peer-to-peer technology are expected to increase in popularity as the technology for creating networks without centralised infrastructure improves, according to Telenor Research.

The group also stated that mesh apps can be valuable in situations where regular networks are not available, such as in the wilderness and in cases of network outages.

‘Dirty Data’ is the New ‘Fake News’

“Dirty data” is a term that in 2020 may go as mainstream as “fake news”. As data-driven decision-making from AI or ML become more common, it will be subject to more public scrutiny.

The fear in everyone’s mind is whether the data’s sets and processes are inaccurate, biased or even compromised which can have legal consequences.

The European Union and the data science community are completely aware of this challenge and are working hard into finding solutions.

Sandberg said the question is whether practitioners will manage to keep pace as new data are generated at astonishing speed.