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Innovations in technology, consumer electronics, and IT are shaping everyday life and organisational culture – cloud services and mobile applications are commonplace and artificial intelligence is seen by many as the “next big thing”. We have been studying the recent publicity and attended the biggest convention on Consumer Electronics (the CES in Las Vegas) for first-hand impressions. On this basis, we distilled the Key Digital Trends 2019.

The sheer size of the start-up park “Eureka” was impressive – I believe that these young companies will have a substantial impact on the way we will be experiencing digital products.

Dr Michael Kirchhof
Four trends have been showcased prominently on the CES2019, Las Vegas.

When summarising the over 4,000 exhibitors’ latest technology, four key trends surface: While the majority of solutions is cloud-based, several propositions featured an edge-computing element. This was apparent in EdgeAI solutions which shift the computational resources close to the sensors (e.g. cameras). This reduces the pressure on network infrastructure and also addresses security concerns in earlier implementations – large data sets including potentially sensitive information are analysed directly on site instead of being beamed into the cloud. Besides this, voice assistants have been embedded in all kinds of devices as an addition to existing controls. Both trends contribute to the third: Real-time video interpretation for consumers and retailers. Applications demonstrated in Las Vegas included the automatic detection of accidents and other dangerous situations so help can be called immediately to minimise the impact of the event. Last but not least, a myriad of sensors and tools for the detection, measurement, and influence of the human body and mind have been proposed, creating a soon noticeable uptake in Mind & Body Optimisation. We challenged some presenters regarding the scientific basis – and were not always presented with a satisfying answer.

Top 10 Digital Trends

In summary, here is our take on the Top 10 Digital Trends in 2019:

  • In the market already in 2019:
    • 5G and HTTP/3 will help telcos and web-based companies to deliver efficient services in a crowded (mobile) market.
    • Foldable Devices will reach mass market readiness.
    • Voice Assistance will improve and integrated better.
    • Gadgets will become bigger and will change the face of (e)sports and home sports.
  • First (and probably imperfect) products will be launched in 2019 in the following areas:
    • Digital assistants and robotic assistants will enter homes, presumably in elderly and pet care.
    • The boundaries in health will be tackled, first by data transparency and interoperability; then by increased flexibility in regards to the way health services are offered, referred, and consumed.
  • And finally, large corporates will increase their investments in digital:
    • Collective AI which can refer to social norms will be researched with the aim to reduce the complexity.
    • Computation-heavy solutions will become more resilient, e.g. towards unreliable connectivity and incomplete data / sensor readings.
    • Improved batteries and new form factors, combined with mesh networks will allow new mobility concepts – yet the end of the car as we know it is still far away.
    • We expect also that a new corporate social responsibility wave is rolling in, with substantial impact on the gig economy as we know it today.

We hope you are enjoying this short summary – please share your thoughts. Thank you!

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