1. Internet of Things (IOT)
One of the biggest tech trends to emerge in recent years is the Internet of Things. Simply put, the Internet of Things (abbreviated IOT) is the idea that all technological devices can be connected to the internet and to each other in an attempt to create the perfect marriage between the physical and digital worlds. How will this impact you? It depends on your industry. For example, for those who work in marketing, advertising, media or business management, IOT could provide a wealth of information on how consumers engage with products by tracking their interactions with digital devices. In turn, this data could be used to optimize marketing campaigns and user experiences.
How it’s affecting industries: The really cool thing about IOT is that it’s not only changing the way we do business but also the business models we use to do it. For example, pay-per-use models are becoming increasingly popular across all industries as new customer data becomes available.
2. Machine learning
Another exciting emerging technology is machine learning, which is essentially a computer’s ability to learn on its own by analyzing data and tracking repeating patterns. For example, social media platforms use machine learning to get a better understanding of how you’re connected with those in your social network. They do this by analyzing your likes, shares and comments and then prioritizing content from your closest connections, serving you that content first.
How it’s affecting industries: In addition to shaping your day-to-day interactions with friends on social media, machine learning is also changing the way companies do business with customers. Companies like Google are using machine learning on mobile devices which can continue learning even when offline. The result? Machine learning is reshaping the way businesses interact with their customers in a big way by helping them anticipate and meet customer needs more easily.
3. Virtual reality (VR)
Remember watching movies about virtual reality and thinking how cool it would be if it was actually like that in real life? Well, it’s about to be. Although VR has been around since the 1950s, until recently the technology wasn’t able to deliver the fully immersive digital experience users have been craving. That’s about to change with recent improvements to both hardware and programming, and the effects are going to be felt across almost every industry from retail to education.
How it’s affecting industries: Virtual reality has been a popular component of video games for several years and this trend is continuing to expand. In addition to video games, VR is likely to affect companies across the board as they adopt the technology to help them engage customers more effectively and optimize their sales and marketing efforts. It’s also a potentially useful tool for learning and is increasingly being adopted by educational organizations.
4. Touch commerce
Being able to buy anything you want with the touch of a finger may have seemed like a fantasy a few years ago, but it’s now a reality. Merging touchscreen technology with one-click shopping, touch commerce allows consumers to buy products easily from their phones. After linking their payment information to a general account and enabling the feature, customers are able to buy everything from clothes to furniture with just a fingerprint.
How it’s affecting industries: This is one of the biggest things to hit eCommerce in recent years with purchases of this type expected to increase by 150% this year alone and retailers in almost every industry anticipating an increase in sales directly related to this new technology.
5. Cognitive Technology
Cognitive technology is in the same vein as machine learning and virtual reality except that it’s a broader concept. For example, the cognitive technology umbrella includes things like natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition. Combined, these different technologies are able to automate and optimize a lot of tasks that were previously done by people, including certain aspects of accounting and analytics.
How it’s affecting industries: Although cognitive technologies have a broad range of applications, one of the industry sectors most affected by this trend initially will be the software sector. Automated analysis of user data and experiences will be particularly useful for software companies hoping to scale.