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Tuesday 25 June 2019


Hype for blockchain and flying cars passes peak

Written by Hannah McGrath

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and flying cars are among this year’s top technology trends, according to a new study, which also revealed that the hype around blockchain is cooling as its enters mainstream use.

The annual trends survey conducted by research firm Gartner, which tracks where tech trends are on the ‘hype cycle’ in their journey from next big thing to mainstream usage has determined that distributed ledger technology (DLT) and driverless technology have passed the peak ‘hype’ phase of inflated expectations.

These two technologies are instead heading towards the survey’s ‘trough of disillusionment’, with industry and consumers adopting more realistic attitudes to their potential applications.

The research suggested that while blockchain is likely to reach its “plateau of productivity” point within the next five to 10 years, it will take longer than a decade for autonomous driving to enter the mainstream market in the way that smartphone technology has taken root.

The research firm analysed more than 2,000 technologies and selected the 35 emerging trends most likely to play a critical role in enabling companies to survive disruption and connect to business ecosystems in the future.

The study revealed the five trends most likely to “blur the lines between humans and machines” in the coming years.

These include: democratized AI using open source technology such as autonomous mobile robots, conversational AI platforms and flying autonomous vehicles; digitalised ecosystems including DLT and internet of things (IoT) platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa.

Also included were do-it-yourself biohacking like biochips and artificial tissue generation; transparently immersive experiences such as 4D printing and connected homes; and ubiquitous infrastructure such as 5G, carbon nano-tubing and quantum computing.

Mike J. Walker, research vice president at Gartner, predicted that business and technology leaders would continue to face rapidly accelerating technology innovation that will impact the way they engage with their workforce, collaborate with partners and create products for their customers.

“Blockchain and IoT platforms have crossed the peak by now, and we believe that they will reach maturity in the next five to 10 years,” he said.

Augmented reality (AR) and visual immersion technologies such as Facebook’s Oculus and Samsung’s virtual reality headsets have now reached the ‘trough of disillusionment’.

The research concluded that the most over-hyped technology of 2018 is digital-twins, which creates a digital copy of a physical object that updates in real time.

Walker also suggested that industry could expect to see IoT devices such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Siri become the norm within the next two to five years.

Reflecting on the results of this year’s hype cycle report, Walker said: “CIOs and technology leaders should always be scanning the market along with assessing and piloting emerging technologies to identify new business opportunities with high impact potential and strategic relevance for their business.”

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