Technology continues to evolve at an ever-increasing pace. The internet only made it into our homes in the 1990s and the smartphone has been around just 13 years, but both are now central to how we all live.
Era-defining new technologies are hard to predict, but there is little doubt the next decade will see technology to underpin changes to how we live, how we work, how we play, and everything in-between. As these changes take place, businesses will be impacted and will need to adapt in order to remain competitive and meet the demands of their customers. One example is within the iGaming market, the fierce competition has resulted in online sites doing all they can to attract and retain players. With everything from the option to pay with newly developed cryptocurrency to promotions such as free bingo and no-deposit play. Other businesses are making use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality devices to offer customers new experiences. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends that experts have predicted for this year
Telephone wires were the first technology to connect us all, but those copper lines and the fibre-optic cables that replaced them are soon to be replaced by 5G. Physical fibre-optic lines may still be required in business situations, but for home users they will soon be gone entirely. The 4G technology that most of us use to make calls and use the internet on our smartphones can offer similar speeds to broadband in ideal conditions, but in reality, home WiFi still beats it for most people. However, 5G is faster. Much faster.
While 4G tops out at a theoretical 100 megabits per second (Mbps), 5G can reach a staggering 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). Whilst these speeds are theoretical, 5G is orders of magnitude faster than 4G and that means we will soon see the end of home WiFi, with 5G built into phones, tablets, laptops, and just about everything else.
The idea of cloud gaming has been around for a few years, with firms like Shadow beating Google Stadia to the market. However, for most people the latency of a home internet connection and poor-quality screens on the budget laptops and tablets most people have been using at home has meant that the experience was not ready for prime time. Today, however, even the most basic smartphones and laptops have full HD displays and as internet speeds improve with 5G cloud gaming could becoming a reality for the masses.
No longer will you need to buy the latest games console or graphics card to play next generation video games – with a subscription you can play them on the hardware you already own. The hardware that you already use to surf the web and play some vintage Pac Man, is the same you can use to play the likes of Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
When most people think of the blockchain today, they think of Bitcoin and possibly how the cryptocurrency has become the currency of choice for those looking to buy illegal substances from dark-web marketplaces or pay the ransomeware hackers that have taken over your PC. In reality, however, the blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin is far more important than the currency itself.
Bitcoin is accepted in a wide variety of places and slowly making its way into the mainstream. Companies like Coinbase and BitPay have made it easy for companies of all sizes to accept Bitcoin, and it is now possible to buy everything from pizza to clothes with cryptocurrencies.
Beyond Bitcoin the technology is more interesting, with the blockchain offering a technological solution to trust, transparency, and traceability. Businesses will be able to verify their supply chains, so both they and the end consumers can know what materials were used, where they came from, and who manufactured the end product – giving consumers a real choice as to what business practices they want to support.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) everywhere
People have been talking up the future of artificial intelligence for as long as we’ve had computers, but the next decade should see the technologies adoption throughout a vast range of industries.
Banks and large corporations are already using AI in help-desk situations and self-driving cars are already on our streets. But technology firms are now starting to offer AI-as-a-service, which means that any business large or small can tap into the technology without the traditionally huge start-up costs and technology overheads. Now it is a matter of plug-and-play, and that means we will soon see AI utilised in some novel situations, from smart shopping lists that learn as you buy to helping coach local football teams.
After a year in which Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have filled the headlines, the next decade should be a period in which we all take green initiatives seriously. This means more efficient technologies that can offer the same services but use less energy, a move to renewable fuels, and advances in recycling.
Green technologies have suffered form an image problem for many years. However, renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, and wave are ready for prime-time, electric cars are already seen as more desirable than their gas-guzzling counterparts, and governments are being forced to invest in public transport infrastructure.
Over the next decade every technology is going to need to prove its green credentials, and that will be a revolution.