Top Five Technology Game Changers

Spending on personal technologies is massive and expected to grow to $2.7 trillion a year by 2019, according to Gartner. The analyst firm is now forecasting the top five personal technologies that will disrupt business.

Many of the technologies that made the list are also gaining momentum specifically in construction, such as wearables, the IoT (Internet of Things) and AR/VR (augmented/virtual reality), just to name a few.

In fact, Gartner says those tools as well as the next wave of mobile apps will soon have a major impact on business sectors.

More specifically, Gartner forecasts annual sales of wearable devices will exceed $227 million by 2020, up from $88 million this year. Form factors will move from bulky to inconspicuous and usability will improve as devices begin to anticipate user needs and wants.

The top five personal technologies that will disrupt your business in the near future include:

Immersive AR/VR

Device vendors and big platform owners such as Google and Microsoft are investigating how to leverage immersive technologies like AR/VR to expand the experiences associated with existing device categories and find opportunities among new ones. While consumer adoption of VR outpaces enterprise adoption, AR is seeing business adoption first.

Wearable Devices

From head-worn cameras and displays, sensors and activity trackers to smart shoes and socks, wearables are expanding the body’s potential in business. The smartwatch will become mainstream and new solutions and platforms will drive enterprise adoption.

Personal IoT Sensors

By 2021, one million new IoT sensor devices will be purchased every hour of every day. New devices will open up new opportunities for business such as predictive maintenance and support for autonomous "things." Gartner predicts by 2018, six billion connected “things” will be requesting support.

Virtual Personal Assistants and Bots

Mobile app usage is stabilizing. Downloads have plateaued as users stick with tried-and-tested apps. Apps won't vanish anytime soon. However, their interfaces will fade and new interaction techniques will take their place. Apps currently offer siloed interactions, but the next wave will offer an integrated experience.

Future apps will report to users via a VPA (virtual personal assistant) or apps will simply be hidden in the background, and their interfaces will be more seamlessly integrated into an overall flow of content.

The VPA will become the vital link for consumers and later, business users, to simplify access to their apps, data and content. Businesses should evaluate VPAs for their potential to provide better customer experience.

Advanced Camera and Vision Technologies

In 2016 and 2017, Gartner expects cameras to remain a top differentiation priority for smartphone vendors. The incorporation of advanced autofocus, wide-angle lens and above all, multilens capabilities, will be a key trend this year, delivering new experiences.

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