Tim Mercer, CEO of Vapour Cloud, was recently asked to provide his tech predictions for 2019. Here are his top 5…
1. The year that people start to really understand IoT
Like many strands of tech innovation, the Internet of Things has been talked about for some time, but how many people truly understand what it means? The sheer scope of what is possible with IoT means the majority of individuals – certainly outside of the industry – think it is too difficult to comprehend, when actually the premise is quite simple. It is the clever deployment of tech to make something better!
2. The role of 5G
In 2019, thanks to advancements in 5G, I therefore think we’ll start to see a real emergence of mainstream IoT in businesses large and small. We’ll also see the development of smart cities, which will bring IoT capabilities even further into the public eye and really accelerate its use. As cities become even more connected, we’ll always be ‘online’ if needed.
2019 will definitely be the year of trialling 5G and we’ll see a difference in services being moved over from traditional copper ADSL, because of speed. This isn’t to say 5G will take over from fibre, as the SLA will be poor in comparison and there may be latency issues too. However, as a back-up line, 5G will become the norm.
3. Autonomous transport
These two things combined mean autonomous cars and buses will take a step forward. How we get on public transport, how we pay, where the transport stops, and so on, will all become powered by 5G and IoT. Exactly how far transport autonomy will go is – as yet – unknown, but I think we’ll see some big changes in 2019.
4. The year of the video
Vapour has invested significantly in video this year, and not just because our developers love it. WebRTC-powered video has transformed how we communicate in our personal lives, yet a huge gap has remained in the business space. Until now. We’ve worked hard to roll out a suite of secure, recordable, easy and free-to-use video solutions that will introduce a raft of cost saving, convenience and customer experience benefits for the sectors they’ve been designed for.
The use of video in healthcare for example, is undeniably powerful. We only need to look to the states and the role it plays there, to see how comparatively archaic our healthcare comms infrastructure is in the UK. I hope TeleDOC will change that – the fact that we’re already in talks with Government ministers about its potential, hopefully indicates just how exciting this innovation really is.
5. AI for all
Like IoT, AI has fascinated – and baffled – many potential customers. They’ve become fixated with artificial intelligence being akin to what you see in the movies, and of course, given what I’ve said about autonomous cars, AI’s capabilities are pretty mindboggling! However, the use of AI – machines – should actually be considered the latest phase in the industrial revolution! Yes, it’s incredible what’s possible with technology, but we’ve been astounded for decades as to what machines can do and how their deployment can change our lives.
More savvy business owners are waking up to this and implementing their own nuggets of AI in the workplace. From chat bots to simple automation workflows, AI is a vast landscape, can be cost-effective, and needn’t be feared. The only limitation really is imagination!