Jeff Pollock, founder of Pollock Commercial Real Estate Services, and his daughter, Laura; wife, Libby; and son, Adam. That is quite a designation for someone

What are most popular IT technologies?

These 25 tech trends are leading the digital transformation in 2019

The rapid pace of technological progress has led to exciting tech trends that can revolutionize entire industries. And if we have learned anything from recent years, then it is that companies that do not participate in these developments will have difficulty surviving. It is important to collect as much information as possible about the technology that most efficiently speeds up the digital transformation of your company. For that, you need to analyze in particular those technologies that can offer you the greatest competitive advantage.

I have investigated 25 of the most disruptive trends for 2019 and have listed them for you.

Trend 1: The immense potential of Blockchain is becoming increasingly clear

Although it is primarily known as the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the potential of Blockchain is many times greater. Blockchain is essentially a decentralized ledger with unchangeable transactions. It stores data – spread across thousands of computers – without involving third-party validation. All kinds of sectors, such as the financial industry, the real estate sector, healthcare, and the retail trade, can benefit from Blockchain. For example, you can use it to create a cheaper payment system for international money transfers. Experiments are also being carried out in India With a Blockchain-driven land registry system, in which one can record the sale of land using smart contracts. The government in Dubai plans to run various public services on this decentralized ledger technology. Companies can also use Blockchain to raise money with the help of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). This is a crypto version of an IPO, in which investors receive crypto coins instead of shares. As you can see, the potential applications of Blockchain are endless. The expected value of this technology by 2030 and as much as $ 3.1 trillion sums.

Trend 2: Artificial intelligence will continue to do great things in 2019

We are seeing more and more products and services that are driven by artificial intelligence (AI). Many benefits of AI that we benefit from in daily life are made possible by machine learning (ML), a subset of AI. With this tech, you can train machines to constantly learn things, discover patterns in large amounts of data and thereby generate insights and make decisions. All without human intervention. ML is already used in many sectors and the value of this market is expected to rise to $ 8.81 billion in 2022. The applications of ML are very varied and extensive. The self-driving Google car and the online recommendation systems from Amazon and Netflix are great examples of what is possible with machine learning. Artificial intelligence platforms are also expected to have a major impact on big data analysis. They can process data in a very efficient way and generate valuable business intelligence.

Trend 3: Virtual reality – so much more than just gaming technology

Virtual reality (VR) technology has undergone tremendous development in recent years. The tech has shifted from the gaming industry to other sectors, where it has found many different applications. There are very few situations where VR cannot add value. For example, companies such as Osso VR and ImmersiveTouch have developed simulations that allow surgeons with VR headsets to practice surgical procedures. By combining VR with haptic feedback technology, physicians can make even the resistance of tissue to feel, making increasingly effective training methods possible. VR is also popular among scientists. For example, the molecular exploration company Nanome has developed a program that allows users to design and manipulate molecular structures. And for those interested in exploring the universe, SpaceVR is developing “the first virtual reality camera satellite in the world” that allows people to experience the vastness of space. One of the main reasons why VR has still not become mainstream is the cost of the headsets, despite efforts by companies such as Facebook and HTC to develop cheaper models. Yet VR is a promising technology with immense potential, the scope of which we cannot yet imagine.

Trend 4: In the smart workplace of the future, everything and everyone is connected

Our workplaces are becoming smarter spaces where everything and everyone is connected. This development has various reasons, such as the fact that more and more people want to work in an efficient and environmentally-friendly office. An example of how technology can make the workplace more efficient is Honeywell’s Vector Space Sense. With this software, you can see where, when and how spaces in a building are used at a certain moment so that you can better manage space and optimize its use. Siemens is developing a Smart Space solution that should improve the workplace in several ways. For example, algorithms calculate which room has the ideal size for a specific meeting. Moreover, they inform the participants about how to get there. The algorithms also ensure that the lighting and temperature automatically adjust to the preferences of the user (s). These and many other benefits are expected to lead to significant energy savings and more productive employees.

Trend 5: Edge computing: a solution for processing the growing amounts of data

When data from the Internet of Things (IoT) devices are sent over long distances to clouds or other data centers, latency often occurs. With edge computing, you can streamline data traffic from IoT devices and process it closer to the source. This is done through a network of micro data centers instead of clouds. These are often no longer sufficient to directly process the data that we generate. Considering that by 2025 more than 75 billion IoT devices will be in use worldwide and we all generate more and more data, you understand why edge computing is becoming increasingly important. This prompted Intel and Alibaba to launch a Joint Edge Computing Platform that integrates Intel software, hardware and AI technologies with Alibaba Cloud IoT products. The expectation that the value of the edge computing market will reach as much as $ 6.72 billion in 2022 indicates that we will have much more to do with this technology in the future.

Trend 6: Cyber attacks target new smart devices

Cybersecurity is constantly evolving to counter the ever-changing nature of cyber threats. The latest trends in this area relate to the protection of IoT devices, whereby standard security such as firewalls or intrusion detection systems (IDS) are no longer adequate. Network behavior analysis based on deep learning technology is now seen as a possible solution because it can detect suspicious activities faster and prevent them from better. Another option is to introduce virtual private networks that hide the user’s IP address. Hardware authentication protocols and data loss prevention technologies are also becoming increasingly popular. Finally, the growing popularity of the cloud means that this sector must also implement more advanced cybersecurity systems. This is possible, for example, through virtualized firewalls and burglary detection. Overall, the number of cyberattacks is expected to continue to increase in 2019. It is therefore important that both companies and individuals tighten their security measures considerably.

Trend 7: Digital ethics, machines, and morality – the debate continues

More and more attention is being paid to moral dilemmas about artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. An example is the well-known ‘trolley problem’ – a rushing train will kill five railroad workers, but you can save them by converting the points, with ‘only’ one man killed. What are you doing? This will also become an increasingly relevant issue in the future for autonomous vehicles and other machines. Because how does a self-driving car decide on life and death? And who is responsible for the actions of artificially intelligent devices? We will also continue to conduct the debate on privacy and data protection at the macro level. David Cearley, vice president of research firm Gartner, says companies continue should then ask questions such as “are we compliant?” and “are we doing the right things?” The European Commission is arguing for a legal and ethical framework for the use of AI. As digital technologies increasingly infiltrate our lives, the number of discussions about digital ethics will continue to increase.

Trend 8: The race to bring the world’s first quantum computer to the market continues unabated

Over the years, computers have changed from slow, large boxes to super-fast, tiny devices. But even though today’s computers are more powerful than their predecessors, when it comes to extremely complex problems, their computing power is increasingly falling short. This has led researchers and companies to investigate the potential of quantum computing. Unlike traditional computers that use bits to process information (with the numbers 0 and 1), quantum computers use qubits. These can store much more information and perform more complex calculations at a much higher speed. Although this technology is still in its infancy, believes IBM we have much more to do with getting into the foreseeable future. Earlier this year IBM even introduced a quantum computer consisting of 50 qubits. Google followed with the 72-qubits quantum computer system Bristlecone. For the time being these super-fast computers are only suitable for laboratory work and research. For large-scale, mainstream use, much more work needs to be done. But the race to bring the world’s first quantum computer to the market continues unabated.

Trend 9: The emergence of fake content

Have you heard that Obama’s are getting a divorce and that Hillary Clinton has financial ties to IS? In this era of fake news, this kind of fabricated story is popping up everywhere. Although fake news is as old as humanity itself, exponential developments in modern technology have made it easier and faster to create and distribute. Moreover, the technology that makes fake content possible becomes more powerful every day, making it increasingly difficult to distinguish it from fake. With artificial intelligence, you can easily create realistic content from someone who says or does something – what he or she has never said or done. This type of content, also called ‘ deep flakes are made to confuse you, undermine the truth and, for example, to extort companies or individuals. A recent example is actress Emma Watson. She became the victim of deep fakes after someone with fake images made a pornographic video of her. Unfortunately, there are no clear solutions to this problem yet. But developing machine learning in such a way that it can recognize fake content is certainly a step in the right direction.

Trend 10: Companies do everything to get hold of consumer data and our privacy is increasingly at stake

In recent years, privacy-related incidents and security breaches have shown us that our personal information is being leaked, shared and misused at an alarming rate. The scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, the data company that – without permission – had used the data of millions of Facebook users for the Donald Trump campaign, is just one of many examples. And social media giants continue to offer their customers all kinds of ‘legal’ ways to analyze our online behavior. For example, insurance companies can search social media accounts to find evidence for their customers’ insurance claims. In the future, for example, they may blame someone who places a video of reckless driving with a higher insurance premium. Even content that you as a parent post about your children on social media can be collected and used to create personalized advertisements. Our privacy is increasingly at stake and it looks unlikely that this will change in 2019. Regulations such as GDPR could be the first step in giving consumers back control of their data, but we still have a long way to go.

Trend 11: Augmented reality is gaining momentum

Augmented reality (AR) is a promising technology that is already being used successfully in various industries. In healthcare, AR tools can improve patient outcomes and make medical staff more efficient. For example, the technology company Proximie is developing AR solutions to improve medical training and the California Institute of Technology has released an AR app to help people with visual impairments identify objects. In the military sector, AR-tech soldiers can help with their preparations for military missions. The US military has already 100,000 Microsoft HoloLens headsets with night vision purchased that generate data about the activities of the soldier. AR is also increasingly used in museums. A group of artists recently used an AR app that allows you to completely transform Jackson Pollock’s paintings in the Museum of Modern Arts. Visitors who scan the paintings with the MoMAR Gallery smartphone app can experience these in very special, interactive ways.

Trend 12: Drones are becoming indispensable in more and more sectors

Drone technology was originally only used in the army but has also been finding more and more applications in all sorts of other sectors in recent years. Take the Japanese construction company, Komatsu, for example. Earlier this year they bought 1,000 drones from the well-known drone manufacturer DJI, with which they scan construction sites, identify materials and map (potential) construction areas. Another innovation in drone tech is the mapping of land use. DroneDeploy wants this process through the Live Map, make a mobile tool that generates real-time drone cards a lot easier. What makes drones particularly attractive is that they can, for example, reach disaster areas safely and efficiently. There they can help rescue teams in tracing victims and deliver food and medical devices.

Trend 13: Automation of last-mile deliveries – even faster delivery

Consumers are getting more and more power. They expect speed and convenience, especially when it comes to the delivery of purchased products. To meet these requirements, companies keep coming up with new ways to make their last-mile delivery more efficient and faster. And there is, of course, no better way to do this than with autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicle start-up Nuro works hard to improve last-mile deliveries. The company does this with the development of self-driving electric vehicles that deliver packages, groceries, and meals. Renault has also recently developed a self-driving vehicle, the EZ-PRO. With this, the car manufacturer wants to solve traffic problems in large cities and reduce pollution. Although some believe that these innovations will make human drivers redundant, the BBC reports that these developments will in the future allow people to spend more time on more valuable work.

Trend 14: Can green technology help save our planet?

The biggest problems we face today include pollution and climate change. Unfortunately, this problem is mainly caused by our reckless behavior. To help our planet and ensure that we can live more sustainably in the future, many companies are working on innovative green technologies that can reduce carbon dioxide. The Swiss company Climeworks, for example, has developed a system that can collect carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ambient air. This is then combined with sustainably produced hydrogen (H2) to produce methane fuel that adds virtually no CO2 to the atmosphere. The Climeworks factory in Italy can filter no less than 150 tons of carbon dioxide from the air every year. A group of researchers at the University of Michigan is working on an environmentally friendly fuel made from algae. In addition to being more efficient than our current fossil fuels, this fuel can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent. Indoor, URBAN, and vertical agriculture remain incidentally also gaining popularity. Far fewer pesticides, water, and soil are used with these new farming techniques than with traditional farming methods. And because urban farms grow food closer to the consumer, there is also much less need for transport for this form of fruit and vegetable cultivation. This allows CO2 emissions to be reduced even further.

Trend 15: 3D printing technology is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry

3D printing technology, also known as additive manufacturing, has been around for a long time, but the enormous potential of this technology has only really become visible in recent years. Now more and more companies use 3D printers to make new products. For example, sportswear giant Adidas is planning to launch 100,000 pairs of shoes with 3D-printed midsoles by the end of this year. In the coming years, the company even wants to produce millions of these shoes. Aerospace giant Boeing is also interested in 3D printing technology. For example, the company uses the tech to produce air ducts and footrests and to date, there are 60,000of these 3D-printed components installed in Boeing aircraft. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are experimenting with 3D printing technology to create a soft and stretchable material. This material is better in several respects than the traditional plastic that is normally used in 3D printing. Because it is soft and stretchable, you can make its unique products with various shapes and possibilities.

Trend 16: The autonomous revolution in the freight transport sector

Everything around us is becoming increasingly automated and that will be no different in the transport sector in the coming years. Because autonomous technology can make this industry much more efficient, many companies are particularly interested in it. For example, iron mining company Vale plans to replace its traditional truck fleet with autonomous vehicles in early 2019. If everything goes according to plan, there will be 13 driver-less trucks with GPS, radar and artificial intelligence on the Vale mine site in Brazil. These new trucks are estimated to reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent and significantly improve on-site safety. But trucks are not the only means of transport that become autonomous. For example, in Norway the world’s first autonomous shipping company, Masterly, established. This company will start using the autonomous shipping of goods next year, using the autonomous container ship YARA Birkeland.

Trend 17: 5G wireless technology – even faster, even more reliable, even more, possibilities

We are becoming increasingly dependent on wireless communication. And even though smartphones and other wireless technologies reasonably meet our needs and expectations, of course, even faster and more reliably is better. That can be achieved with the fifth generation of wireless technology, also known as 5G. 5G technology offers enormous benefits. In combination with sensor technology, for example, it can cause for efficient communication between autonomous vehicles, so that accidents can be prevented more often. And in the event of serious traffic problems, governments can use 5G to advise alternative routes. 5G can also improve the way we use our mobile phones many times. For example, this tech makes hologram phone calls and live interactive broadcasts possible. The British telecommunications company Vodafone recently showed how such a hologram telephone call with 5G works.

Trend 18: More and more countries are introducing cryptocurrency as legal tender

Since the introduction of Bitcoin almost ten years ago, cryptocurrency has made considerable progress. Governments are also determined to start using this technology. Although Russia was not initially enthusiastic about cryptocurrency, the country has changed its mind. The Russian government has announced that it wants to introduce its virtual state currency – the CryptoRoebel. With this state currency, Russia wants to take the bitcoin out of the sails and drives it towards a national ban on bitcoin trade. The Marshall Islands are also working on their crypto coin, the Sovereign or SOV. The Marshall Islands parliament accepted a bill in March to introduce this national cryptocurrency. The SOV is issued in collaboration with Israeli technology company Neema and acts as a traditional currency used alongside the US dollar. This makes the Marshall Islands the first independent country with cryptocurrency as legal tender. Estonia, Iran, and China are also considering introducing their cryptocurrency.

Trend 19: Basic Income as a solution for the consequences of automation

According to many, self-scanning checkouts that make cashiers unnecessary, robots replacing factory workers and self-driving trucks that put drivers out on the street – that is the future we are going to. The technological revolution not only leads to more efficient companies and new products, but also to the unemployed who are in urgent need of a kind of social safety net. One way to address these challenges is to introduce a universal basic income – a regular amount of money paid out by the state to help citizens meet their basic needs. Entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Elon Musk are enthusiastic proponents and the governments of Canada, Finland, and several other countries have already run pilots to gain a better understanding of the pros and cons. Italy recently a basic income for the poor introduced and continue to experiment more governments around the world with this approach to find solutions to the effects of automation.

Trend 20: Will the IoT finally make fully smart cities possible?

The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue its impressive growth in 2019 years, and the IoT market is expected to reach a value of no less than $ 561.04 billion by 2022. This means that the current number of 3.6 billion IoT devices will grow, which will contribute to further penetration of the IoT market. We will see particularly strong growth in sectors such as the manufacturing industry and healthcare. For example, the number of connected devices in the production sector will double between now and 2020. The IoT has promise to not however completely smart cities create yet fulfilled. But projects like Sidewalk Labs Show in Toronto that we can expect at least some smart neighborhoods. Our cars are also increasingly equipped with IoT systems that, for example, monitor the oil level, fuel consumption, and tire pressure. We can assume that soon every conceivable device will be connected to the internet. And to ensure that we protect ourselves against cyberattacks, we will also need to provide these devices with robust cybersecurity.

Trend 21: AI and 3D imaging give sales of e-commerce companies a boost

In an online market where competition is becoming increasingly fierce, e-commerce companies must increasingly use technology to impress their customers. One of the technologies that we will see more often in e-commerce in the future is 3D product imaging. This technology allows customers to zoom in on a product, rotate the item and view it from different angles. E-commerce companies that have implemented this tech, such as TSUM, report a 40 percent increase in their conversion. Online fashion retailers like Yoox have AI tools developed that analyze social media content, customer feedback, online magazines, and own sales data. With this information, they can advise their customers on certain clothing. The Indian e-commerce site Myntra takes a similar approach. According to Ananth Narayanan, the CEO of the company, the sale of shirts with KI-generated designs has doubled. Artificial intelligence will also play an essential role in other e-commerce segments in the coming years. Chatbots, for example, is already an important part of customer service and KI-driven analytics and ad-delivery systems enable companies to reach customers more efficiently than ever.

Trend 22: The market for wearables is expanding far beyond the health and fitness sector

The worldwide sale of wearables is growing by an average of 20 percent per year and this market will have a value of no less than $ 29 billion in 2022. Brands such as Apple, Fitbit, Jawbone, and Xiaomi are a few of the most important players in this sector and fitness trackers and smartwatches are still the most popular. Portable technology is also gaining ground in the construction sector. For example, there is a lot of demand for cooling vests, smart safety helmets and Microsoft HoloLens technology that makes the work of construction workers more efficient and safer. Physical work will also be less demanding in the future than before. For example, LG has the CLOi SuitBot exoskeleton designed to make it easier to lift heavy objects. Even life insurance companies like John Hancock use wearables. For example, they determine the level of insurance premiums with the data generated by health and fitness trackers. Policyholders who exercise regularly and eat healthy, for example, are rewarded with lower premiums, gift vouchers, and other benefits.

Trend 23: Digital twins provide insight into their physical counterparts

By creating digital twins of a physical object and dynamically adjusting them using real-time data, engineers can better monitor and analyze the performance of objects such as cars, buildings, and even jet engines. Digital twin technology is, therefore, an important tool with which engineers can develop ways to improve products and test ‘what if’ scenarios. This technology is even used by NASA and the US Air Force to create a new generation of vehicles. Investment management firm Goldman Sachs also uses digital twin-tech. They have the technology included in their series The Outsiders as a trend that “condition of the contemporary investment universe on the edge”. Gartner predicts that “by 2021 half of the large industrial companies will use digital twins, increasing the effectiveness of these organizations by 10%”.

Trend 24: Organizations increasingly use technology to protect the environment

Current efforts to reduce global warming are not delivering the desired results. It is therefore unlikely that we will be able to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, as proposed in the Paris Agreement. This has led many organizations to rely on technology. The Environmental Defense Fund, an NGO, wants to launch a satellite to measure the amount of methane released into the atmosphere by the oil and gas industry. Methane is one of the most important man-made greenhouse gases. This data is then used to develop emission reduction strategies. Google Maps Street View cars will be coming soon equipped with Aclima’s air quality sensors that measure and map carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in cities. Companies such as the Iceland-based Carbon Recycling International (CRI) even have a way found to convert carbon dioxide into methanol, which is then sold on the European fuel market. And Volkswagen wants to invest more than € 40 billion in electrification and e-mobility. These initiatives paint a picture of a global economy that increasingly focuses on environmental technology to protect our planet; a trend that is expected to continue well beyond 2019.

Trend 25: We are seeing robots in more and more sectors

2019 is expected to be a great year for commercial robots. Several robotics companies have already scaled up their production and many others report breakthroughs in research. Boston Dynamics, a robotics company owned by the technology company Softbank, plans to about 1,000 four-legged robots Spot Mini next year produce. These machines can be used for, among other things, elderly care, parcel delivery, construction, and security. Agility Robotics dragged $ 8 million on investments to continue the development of the two-legged robot Cassie. Among other things, this robot could help people with paraplegia. And researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a bipedal robot that can on uneven and rough terrain locomotion. Thanks to this capacity, these machines are extremely suitable for applications in space exploration and assistance during (natural) disasters. Research and innovation continue undisturbed and we expect that we will encounter these and similar robots in more and more sectors in the coming years.

Being technologically ‘vigilant’ is no longer optional in the world of tomorrow

The rapid pace of technological development has led to a proliferation of disruptive innovations that bring about major changes. To initiate and guide digital transformation, it is important to observe, evaluate and acknowledge the potential behind emerging technological trends. Being technologically ‘vigilant’ is no longer optional in today’s and tomorrow’s world – it is increasingly becoming a prerequisite to take governments and companies to the next level.