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Today, another look at some of the 54 technology trends to watch for the next year — as forecast by consulting firm ABI Research.
Industrial Manufacturing: Manufacturers Begin the Pivot Toward Services
ABI analysts predict that OEMs and industrial manufacturers will begin the transition from offering products to providing services and solutions to their clients — although the report cautions that process won’t happen overnight. Most will begin with relatively simple applications such as asset tracking, then move to more advanced monitoring and, eventually, selling based on how their equipment performs.
Virtualization: Companies Embrace Digital Manufacturing
Industries ranging from aerospace to heavy equipment to medical devices face challenges as the market demands more customization and efficiency. The ABI forecast expects manufacturers to increasingly speed up their responses to those demands using virtualization. The report highlighted a Vietnamese car company that used digital manufacturing to go from a vacant property to production-ready vehicles in just 21 months.
The Internet of Things: The Market for IoT Platforms Won’t Consolidate
More than 100 companies offer device-to-cloud IoT platform services, including giants such as Amazon and Microsoft, leading to years of speculation that the industry was due for a wave of consolidation. Instead, analysts found, the debut of cloud services from tech giants ended up spawning even more cloud services companies. And the report found no reason for that trend to weaken as IoT applications continue to grow.
Machine-to-Machine: 5G IoT Will Only Sustain Few Chip Manufacturers
On the contrary, the ABI report said that only 17 companies emerged as vendors for the chipsets needed to build the Internet of Things, and that currently, just four — HiSilicon, MediaTek, Qualcomm, and RDA — dominate the market for LTE-M and Narrowband-IoT products. The market remains small, but ABI said the supplier partnerships already in place would make it difficult for new rivals to emerge amid the transition to 5G.
Transportation & Logistics: Self-Driving Trucks Aren’t Coming Anytime Soon
Finally, the ABI report cautions readers against getting their hopes up for self-driving technologies — particularly when it comes to trucking. Observers long suspected that heavy-duty trucks would beat passenger cars to use autonomous technology on the nation’s highways, but despite years of successful driverless tests, ABI notes that nothing is in place to address the first- and final-mile requirements for large trucks in primarily urban and suburban environments.
Stay tuned for the fourth and final part of our look at technology trends to watch in 2020.
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