The Future of Tech in 2019: AI, VR and Blockchain

March 8, 2019 | 3 minute read
Neil Cattermull
Director – Frontier Technologies
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Over the past few months, most large vendors have published their visions of technical advances for 2019 and beyond. Although it can be a tough call to predict how technology will advance, some future predictions do actually come true—but nearly always with a twist.

With this in mind, I put forward a couple of predictions myself, including:

  • AI emerges with valid business models for adoption.
  • Blockchain starts to become mainstream, not for its association with cryptocurrencies but for data management and security via private chains.
  • Cybersecurity hits the headlines with deeper meaning for the board-level executive’s agenda.

With all of this said, what are the main takeaways for 2019? Well, I’ve had the pleasure discussing these topics in-depth with many CXOs at large technology companies within the industry, and here are some of the accumulated findings.

Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

First on the list is AR/VR models. Yes, VR has been around for some time—in fact, so has AR—but now we are seeing more use cases, more early adopters, and more validity that it is not just a fad or a nice-to-have initiative.  

Bringing content to life will be a massive leap forward in AR this year. Immersive and true visual articulation of simulations, objects, and experiences will be more prevalent. A good example of this would be the “virtual dressing room” for clothing retailers, which allows consumers to augment the clothes they like within a represented virtual mirror. Then shoppers can pay for items through their smart devices and have them delivered the next day, or even same-day in some circumstances. This is a reality now and will become much larger when high street retailers take the digital transformation plunge. This is just one future use of immersive technology.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)—Of Course!

Next up is the rise of the AI “digital shop assistant,” aka chatbots or digital assistants. It’s sometimes said that physical retailers will experience death by a 1,000 paper cuts, and digital assistants may be one of those paper cuts—but first they will need to become more of a reality with the help of AI. The whole AI arena is massive—far too large a subject to discuss in brief—but with major advances this year, structuring data to make it AI/machine learning-ready will accelerate business initiatives enormously. If digital transformation wasn’t on the board’s agenda before, it certainly is now!

Blockchain for the Enterprise

IoT and big data initiatives are now entrenched within modern enterprises, and blockchain is following suit.

Sadly, blockchain as a concept gained a stigma due to its association with cryptocurrency. This has scared most analysts away from commenting on genuine non-crypto use cases for blockchain, but they are catching on to the many ways blockchain benefit businesses.

Private blockchains are of immense value for enterprises and side chains for supply chain management, document management, data security principles (especially with PII and GDPR initiatives), and IoT device state management. Organisations must be careful when choosing blockchain partners, though, due to the nature of the implementation; badly configured and mismanaged environments can be the death of any organisation moving to this technical infrastructure, and choosing the right provider with the high skills needed is critical.

The Journey to Digital Transformation

Why might these three predictions come true? The high street is changing to a more digital and cost-effective experience that is staffed by chatbots and digital assistants, underpinned by technology that not only speeds the transactions but ensures that they are immutable and secure. All three predictions can be applied to any business and not just the retail example outlined.

Wherever you are on your digital transformation journey, there’s one thing I am sure of: You will be using one, if not all, of these technical advancements in the future, so choose wisely!

Learn more about Emerging Technologies at Oracle OpenWorld Singapore

To learn more about transformative emerging technologies, register to attend Oracle OpenWorld Singapore, March 26-27.  You might be interested in the session, "The Next Big Things in Cloud Session" with Oracle VP of Cloud, Ashish Mohindroo on March 26th at 1:50pm.


Author: Guest author: Neil Cattermull, industry analyst, The Future as a Service

Neil Cattermull

Director – Frontier Technologies

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