Future Tech Trends

The Biggest Future Tech Trends: 2020 & Beyond

Jessie Bland

08 Oct 2019

We’ve seen seismic change in tech over the past decade, but what will the next ten years hold? At this year’s CCS Insights Predictions event, some of the brightest analyst and tech minds came together to answer just that. Here, we distil down the top five trends setting the tech agenda between 2020 and 2030.

1. The ‘beyond smartphone’ era begins

The mobile phone’s position as the consumer tech epicentre will start to give way to IoT by 2025 and beyond. Despite the Google Glass backlash a few years ago, wearable technology is making a come-back. In fact, by 2025, smart spectacles are set to become a major category. Expect to see more face tech (smart glasses à la Amazon’s Echo Frames), body-worn tech (think Echo Loop, Amazon’s smart ring) and gesture-based technology (such as Google’s Soli sensing technology). Smartphones are often defined by their social alienation. Could wearable, ‘on the go’ tech keep us more connected to the world around us?

2. Techno-nationalism will unsettle traditional business models and drive individualism

Despite increasing global connectivity and commonplace coopetition, over the next ten years we’re going to see exponential segregation. Expect an increase in companies ring-fencing connectivity. In the coming years, CCS Insight predicts Amazon will buy 5G mobile spectrum for its own use and that we’ll see 5G infrastructure deployed by a party other than a telecoms operator. By 2022, borne out of economical shifts and the rise of emerging economies, it’s also forecast that no mobile provider will be able to claim to be truly global. We’ll see this reach fever pitch when it comes to 6G: with countries potentially defining their own standards, rather than as a collective. We’ll even witness consolidation in the cloud. Despite recent fashion, driven by AI, companies will start transitioning from hybrid, multi-cloud to one cloud provider. By 2022, it’s predicted that 40% of companies will have selected a preferred cloud provider.

3. Tech and its double-edge sustainability sword sharpens

The growing dichotomy of tech as both a sustainability problem and sustainability solution shows no signs of slowing. Despite the revolution promised by the likes of 5G and AI, this new tech is going to be held to environmental account in the same way as cloud eventually was, maybe even more so. 5G is known to be high-energy for the operators and it’s expected that in the next few years, we’ll see the emergence of ‘green’ AI as companies grapple with the energy-guzzling nature of AI applications. But it’s not all bad news for tech, by 2029 environmental pressure is likely to mean VR displaces 20% of business travel.

4. Neural disinformation drives increased desire for human truth

As technology better replicates human reasoning, governance is becoming more important. By 2021, algorithmic and anti-bias data auditors are predicted to exist to tackle “pale, male and stale” AI. And with increasing concern about deep fakes – with the first case of voice fraud hitting the headlines recently – we might see watermark technology embedded into smartphone and digital cameras to help with deep fake identification.

5. Amazon wants to own the home – and your neighbourhood

Not satisfied with just making your home smarter, Amazon is setting its sights on becoming your neighbourhood watch too. Recently launching Sidewalk, an outdoor wireless mesh networking system, which uses a low-bandwidth 900MHz spectrum, so you can track pets and devices outside of your home. Want to find out what’s influencing the people making tech purchase decisions? Head over to our latest propriety Harvard Pulse report. Image sourced: Unsplash