There’s really no denying that technology has progressed a fair bit in recent years. In only the past half a decade we’ve gone from welcoming the first smart watch to having AI so seamlessly integrated across domestic homes that the kettle is popped on before we even know we need a brew.


Looking forward into the new year, 2019 only promises to bring with it a host of new additions to our digital world, additions that not only require a new user understanding, but are also encouraging us to reinvent the way we live, think and importantly, work. In fact, whatever industry it is we’re a part of, technology, in all its forms, is having a real input. What’s more, the technology available will also create new commerce opportunities, ultimately expanding market capabilities and consumer interest. It’s therefore vital to get to know these new technologies to put the future of our industries into context.


Internet of Things


First up on the list is Internet of Things. While this sounds like the most vague technological term ever used, it’s actually one of the biggest tech trends currently emerging. Put simply, IOT is the idea that technological devices can be connected to the internet and to each other, bridging the gap between digital and physical worlds. An example of this could be using Amazon’s Echo to pop that aforementioned kettle on, bringing digital use to the physical experience of a cuppa. And as the success of the Amazon’s Echo Dot last winter showed (their bestselling product over last year’s winter season), there is simply no denying that the modern consumer is welcoming domestic IOT with open arms.


What’s more, the great thing about IOT is that it is not only changing the limitations of domestic products, but so too is it changing the way we do business altogether. According to Deloitte, flexible consumption models (or, pay-per-use models) are becoming ever more popular across industries as customer data access changes. In short, IOT is here and bringing with it a host of new commerce and development opportunities.


Machine Learning


Beyond IOT, another technology integrating itself slowly into the fabric of our lives is machine learning. Machine learning is a computer’s ability to learn on its own through the analysis of data and patterns. And as social media platforms like Facebook utilise data carefully, tracking our likes, shares and comments to integrate content prioritisation, the presence of machine learning is already hard to miss.


Beyond shaping our day-to-day lives, machine learning is also changing the way companies are able to do business with customers, such as Google’s learning on mobile devices. Machine learning is therefore reshaping the way businesses interact with their customers by helping them to anticipate and meet customer needs more easily. 2019 is truly ready to be the year that we know the customer better than ourselves.


Virtual Reality

Virtual reality needs no introduction, an age old-concept that’s been exciting kids, grown-ups and just about every sci-fi writer going for literally decades. And whilst VR now feels like it fits more in 1980s predictions of the future than it does it 2019, the best really is yet to come. Despite it existing since the 50s, only now is VR able to deliver the fully-immersive digital experience we’ve been dreaming of and the effects of this are about to be felt across industry, from retail to health and education.


Beyond video games, VR is expected to offer businesses new and innovative ways to engage with their customers, optimising sales and marketing methods. Beyond that, the capabilities of VR in education could be particularly prominent, changing the way we test and develop new skills.


Touch commerce


Another emerging technology that is seemingly hard to escape is touch commerce. Seen in technologies such as Apple Pay, the concept merges the capabilities of touchscreen technology with one-click shopping to create a simple, ‘clickable’ and insanely speedy shopping experience.


The use of this technology is already thriving, implementing its way into just about every smart phone. But the success doesn’t stop there, with purchases of this type expected to increase by 150% this year alone, according to Deloitte. With almost every industry ready to see a dramatic increase in Touch Commerce-related sales over the next year, this is undoubtedly a technology ready to shape the modern world.


Cognitive Technology


Finally, cognitive technology is similar to machine learning and virtual reality except that it’s a broader idea, covering concepts like natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition under one umbrella term. These technologies together are able to automate and optimise tasks so that we don’t have to. Sound’s great, right? And in terms of industry, this kind of tech is already working to improve fields such as accounting, analytics and more. Moreover, Deloitte predicts the software sector will be most affected, with 95% of enterprise software companies projected to adopt these techs by 2020, making 2019 a pretty influential year.


All in all, new and up-coming tech is ready to make its mark across professional industries, from banking and healthcare to eCommerce and education. Through properly understanding the tech scene, we are able to effectively and competitively utilise advancements to better our business.