Gartner Inc. has announced the technology trends for this year in its annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, revealing three distinct areas that are poised to be of the highest priority for organisations facing rapidly accelerating digital business innovation: transparently immersive experiences, the perceptual smart machine age and platform revolution.

Gartner "distills insights from more than 2,000 technologies into a succinct set of must-know emerging technologies and trends that will have the single greatest impact on an organization's strategic planning," according to its press release. "This Hype Cycle specifically focuses on the set of technologies that is showing promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years," announced Mike J. Walker, research director at Gartner.

Strategic areas

Gartner explained its report provides a cross-industry perspective on the technologies and trends that business strategists and R&D leaders should consider in developing emerging-technology portfolios.

  • Transparently immersive experiences: Technology will continue to become more human-centric to the point where it will introduce transparency among people, businesses and things. This relationship will become much more entwined as the evolution of technology becomes more adaptive, contextual and fluid within the workplace, at home, and interacting with businesses and other people.

Critical technologies to be considered include: 4D printing, brain-computer interface, Human Augmentation, volumetric displays, Affective Computing, connected home, nanotube electronics, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and gesture control devices.

 

  • The perceptual smart machine age: Gartner believes smart machine technologies will be most disruptive over the next 10 years due to radical computational power, near-endless amounts of data and advances in deep neural networks.

Gartner said enterprises should consider the following technologies: smart dust, machine learning, virtual personal assistants, cognitive expert advisors, smart data discovery, smart workspace, conversational UI, smart robots, commercial UAVs, autonomous vehicles, natural-language question answering, personal analytics, enterprise taxonomy and ontology management, data broker PaaS (dbrPaaS) and context brokering.

 

  • The platform revolution: Emerging technologies are revolutionizing the concepts of how platforms are defined and used, observed Gartner. The shift from technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms is laying the foundations for entirely new business models that are forming the bridge between humans and technology.

Key platform-enabling technologies to track include neuromorphic hardware, quantum computing, blockchain, IoT platform, software-defined security and software-defined anything (SDx).

Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies __Figure 1: __Gartner's hype cycle of expectations versus time to adoption of technologies. Source: Gartner Inc.