As we embark on another year, technology continues to drive advancements across every industry. It can be challenging however to separate out the hype, from those technologies that have real implications, and that can be implemented immediately by businesses. So in this article we’ve decided to examine the key trends that we think are going to have an impact, and analyze how they will do so.
An “iPhone moment” for AI and machine learning
According to Forrester, custom AI software spend will double from $33 billion in 2021 to $64 billion in 2025 and will grow 50% faster than the overall software market. Meanwhile, we’ve seen the public being wowed by tech such as DALL-E and ChatGPT, which have shown just a small glimpse of what the future has in store. ChatGPT has been described as AI’s “iPhone moment” – the point in time, when everyone starts to realize its potential.
In 2023, we can expect to see more AI technology developments that will change the way technology works – for example, even in some of the most traditional software applications, we’re seeing major potential for upheaval. Microsoft’s PowerPoint “Designer” feature for instance is essentially a text to image generator within the ubiquitous presentation tool.
Meanwhile, in industries such as healthcare, we expect to see an increase in AI adoption – for example, in improving the ability of doctors to detect certain illnesses early. Researchers from the Mahmood Lab at Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed an algorithm that can teach itself to learn features that can then be used to find similar cases in large pathology image repositories. This algorithm can help medical professionals diagnose diseases early and find the best possible treatment plan for the patient.
Green technology initiatives come to the fore
Over the past few years, the demand for greener, more sustainable technologies and energy sources has been steadily increasing. We see a couple of angles here. First, greater attention placed by companies on their digital carbon footprint – with a corresponding increase in the maturity of their carbon neutrality roadmaps. And secondly, a broader societal shift towards using and generating renewable energy, in particular spurred by the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in the US – it includes major incentives for electric vehicles, energy efficiency initiatives, and the decarbonization of the economy.
For example, solar energy is now more accessible to the middle classes than ever before. Solar panel energy has grown to 135.7 gigawatts today, which is enough to power 24 million homes in the US. Helping the adoption of solar energy, the prices of solar panel installations have actually dropped by 70% since 2016 – and it’s estimated that by 2030 more than one in seven US homes will have a rooftop solar panel. At Moove It, we have been working closely with one organization that’s making the transition to solar panel energy simpler and more efficient, enabling buildings to become their very own solar power plants.
Metaverse and virtual reality take a back seat to projects that show faster ROI
After the announcement of Facebook’s involvement in the metaverse in 2014, the public became more aware of virtual worlds or “realms” as they are sometimes referred to.
While there is greater public awareness of the technology, for most businesses outside of gaming or retail, there is a lack of clear use cases for the technology, at least in the short term. In the more challenging business environment of 2023, we expect to see such projects either being put on hold or having to demonstrate a clear path to ROI. Priorities will shift to business critical areas, such as security and improving the use of data.
Having said this, we can still expect to see some interesting developments in 2023, particularly in entertainment and retail. We’ve already seen successful examples of immersive entertainment, such as when Ariana Grande held a concert in Fortnite, and we can expect to see other artists try to break into the space. Retailers will continue to experiment with the technology – brands such as Dior, Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Bloomingdales are offering their products in the metaverse, which is allowing them to be known and purchased in the virtual world, similar to the real world.
Data will drive new shopping and ecommerce experiences
We’ve seen companies start to use more complex data analytics and machine learning algorithms to further enhance the digital shopping experience for their users. Stitch Fix for example, is a personalized styling service that sends users clothing recommendations based on their size, interests, and budget. Stitch fix uses AI and machine learning to learn someone’s interests, and to further enhance the personalized styling recommendations, which will come up with an outfit that the user will actually want to wear. Stitch Fix relies heavily on algorithms for their clients interests, their stylists recommendations, and also to keep track of their warehouse inventory.
Related to this, we can expect to see more and more mobile apps take advantage of AI technology. Already with the use of algorithms, chatbots, personalized searches, AI is a major part of everyone’s mobile experience. We can also expect to see more augmented reality technology developed to make shopping for users easier. From Zenni’s 3D virtual try on to Amazon’s AR view for furniture, having AR accessible in mobile devices is extremely useful for users looking to make a quick decision on a purchase.
Mobile payments continue their rise, although fintechs will need to prioritize
The industry analysts at Forrester argued that due to the possible economic downturn in 2023, that we’ll see the comeback of cash, and that consumers will increasingly shift to “buy now, pay later” options, such as with credit cards. While the argument is clear, we don’t fully agree. The ease of convenience of mobile payments, particularly with proximity payments, means a reversal back to cash is unlikely. In addition, the latest economic figures from the US show solid growth in the fourth quarter of 2022, and inflation easing.
The shift to mobile payments isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and we can expect continued investments from financial services firms and fintechs to continue to drive innovation. Similar to our thoughts about the metaverse, much of this investment focus however will go towards modernizing fintech platforms, rather than experimenting with very novel, niche payment experiences.
A challenging year ahead, but still significant opportunities
2023 will be a year full of exciting opportunities for tech-based businesses and technology enthusiasts ahead. If you would like to discuss any of the trends in greater detail, or would like to know how Moove It’s experts can help you navigate the changing landscape, don’t hesitate to let us know!