Five technologies that will change our lives in five years

A.I., augmented reality and IoT could remake the way enterprises run and people consume

Analysts say a handful of technologies are poised to change our lives by 2021.

While Forrester Research sees 15 emerging technologies that are important right now (see the full list here), five of them could shake things up in a big way for businesses and the public in general, according to Brian Hopkins, an enterprise architecture analyst with Forrester.

Those five: The Internet of Things (IoT), Intelligent agents, artificial intelligence (A.I.), augmented reality (A.R.) and hybrid wireless technology.

“The technologies we selected will have the biggest impact on your ability to win, serve and retain customers whose expectations of service through technology are only going up,” Hopkins wrote in the report. “Our list focuses on those technologies that will have the biggest business impact in the next five years."

Of Forrester’s larger list, which includes the likes of edge computing, security automation and real-time interaction management, the five that Hopkins pulled out to highlight have the greatest potential for disruption.

Hopkins said intelligent agents coupled with A.I. are becoming smart enough to understand users’ behavior, interpret needs and make decisions.

“By 2021, we think that automation, supported by intelligent software agents driven by an evolution in A.I. and cognitive technology will have eliminated a net 6% of U.S. jobs,” wrote Hopkins. “But the loss won't be uniform. There will be an 11% loss of jobs that are vulnerable and a 5% creation of jobs in industries that stand to benefit.”

Another key emerging technology is hybrid wireless technology, like interfaces and software that enable devices to use and translate between different wireless providers, protocols and frequency bands. “By 2021, a virtual network infrastructure will emerge to weave together wireless technologies that globally connect IoT and customer engagement platforms,” Hopkins said.

When it comes to augmented reality, which superimposes a computer-generated image or scene over a view of the real world, Forrester predicts “more play” for A.R. in enterprises during the next several years -- and later for consumers -- than its tech cousin virtual reality.

“By 2021, we will be fully into a transition period between separated and tightly blended physical and digital experiences in our work and lives,” said Hopkins.

As for IoT, it is expected to more fully engage consumers with their products and the companies that make them. “Theses software platforms and solutions act as a bridge between highly specialized sensor and actuator, compute and networking technology for real-world objects and related business software,” wrote Hopkins. “This technology gives firms visibility into and control of customer and operational realities.”

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, called the Forrester list of life-changing, or at least business-changing, emerging technologies pretty complete.

“Robotics could be the only hole I see,” he said. “I believe these technologies could fundamentally change the type of business people are in, change the way services are delivered and purchased, and change the ways businesses interact.”

For example, Moorhead noted that intelligent agents could change the way companies interact with customers.

“Instead of having thousands of customer service agents on the phone or over web chat, companies can have A.I.-enabled chatbots do the same thing,” he explained. “This can lower cost, and even improve customer satisfaction because there's no wait and the answers are accurate.”

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

The purpose of purpose

Everyone knows the 4 P’s of marketing: Price, product, promotion and place. There is now a fifth ‘P’ in the marketing mix.

What does it take to be an innovation leader?

To thrive in an increasingly complex and unpredictable new world, organisations will need to innovate, and leaders will require the necessary skills to do so. Here,

Evette Cordy

Co-founder, Agents of Spring

3 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Social Media is platform where people get connected to each other from the world and share their views and thoughts on any product. Socia...

Tejas Potfode

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

We can't overlook mobile. Each passing day people are on their phones more and more

This Is My South Bay

What the 5G revolution will do to mobile marketing

Read more

An article largely re-purposed from things other people have said 5+ years ago – what's more, they said it better.

hogwash

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

talking about the 4 p's:https://www.tripleclicks.co...

kigoma divin

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Interesting blog, good information is provided regarding Design Thinking For Business Strategy. Was very useful, thanks for sharing the b...

Tanya Sharma

Is design thinking the answer for the next generation of marketing?

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in