30 Tech and Industry Trends

Random Observation/Comment #774: Don’t discount your capabilities and expertise as a limiting factor to where you can apply it. We can all leverage our experiences and pivot to new opportunities and niche areas.

Why this List?

This list was inspired by a question from an intern: “if you were just graduating college now, what technologies would you be focused on?” From this question, I realized something very important – I should always be asking myself about new tech trends. If I’m not applying the experience to new technologies that can help people and overlap with my passions, then what am I doing? All professionals should poke around these areas.

As a way to keep up, I recommend watching Two Minute papers on YouTube – what a time to be alive! I also just love reading the latest industry reports applying these new innovations and seeing each area continually compound.

  1. Deep fakes and video AR filters – This is specifically taking live stream video and augmenting the characters base on facial feature mapping and real-time overlays. This can be applied anywhere, but likely will be most impactful in media and entertainment. I’d be super worried about the data we have out there because it can all be easily manipulated with even a single photo being converted into videos. There’s already a counter technology for verifying and indicating deep fakes.
  2. Augmented Reality overlay apps – Apple’s move to AR means we get closer and closer to Black Mirror. I’m so curious to see the next generation of social apps that relieves people from having any long term memory. Phones got rid of our ability to memorize phone numbers. AR devices may get rid of any need for names or historical interactions.
  3. Virtual Reality with socialization – I personally love VR and I think it’s just getting started. There’s a lot of opportunity for added interactions and a new economy. Not sure Meta will be the one to do this correctly, but we’re headed towards Ready Player One game singularity.
  4. Dall-E OpenAI with out-cropping, in-painting, and outpainting – The images created by Dall-E are just incredible. I love the ability to do some in-painting and creating some crazy pieces of work off of other layers. Check out this video. Also, here’s a post on outpainting.
  5. Voice assistants / Natural Language processing – I’m blown away that this has already been solved for by the gathering of data through Siri, Alexa, and google assistant. We’ve even advanced enough to recreate voices from text that follows the proper rhythm and accents. I thought the Mission Impossible Voice modulator technology would be way in the future, but the data we’ve collected using evolving products is incredible.
  6. Robotic process automation tech – As wage increases because of inflation, companies may choose to invest more into the replacement of common services with better systems. This could look like Japanese vending machine futures or more detailed manufacturing efficiencies.
  7. Nuclear fusion and clean energy – A lot of funding is going into cleaner energy solutions. I think we’re less than a lifetime away from solving this with solar or fusion.
  8. Battery tech – There’s no doubt that all of the advancements we have will require better energy storage and longer lasting usage.
  9. Autonomous vehicles – Automated systems with sensors and AI can make decisions based on data collected. I think the assisted driving is already pretty good, but can’t wait for fully driverless taxi ideal. It’ll be a game changer for trucks and logistics.
  10. AI Optimized for Business Assets – I don’t think we’re that far away from a future where AI can provide simple decision making for running an efficient business. If I have a real estate business and I manually optimize the pricing or rental based on other similar listings then your returns would be mid-level. A optimized ecosystem with AI would look at dimensions we can’t even explain. Why is pricing on a random day higher based on historic and regional data? Who knows? I think particularly an investment into these autonomous vehicle assets are really powerful with optimizations on gas and pickup in order to make the asset profitable.
  11. 3D printing (again) – While 3D Printing has helped with faster physical prototyping (see: Unnecessary Inventions), I still don’t think we’ve seen the scaled potential for the hardened materials. I don’t just want cheaper low quality widgets. I want better choices in removing China in the atoms supply chain for particular items that don’t need to be shipped from large factories.
  12. Quantum computing – This is pretty specific at the moment and seems pretty hard to move the needle for general compute. I would put this out there in the 50+ years of development.
  13. Space tech and services – The JWST has not only provided us with more inspirational photos, but also a wealth of data that will propel our understanding of the universe with new hypotheses. I’m excited to see more of the new generation re-engage with space.
  14. Education revamp – The current university ecosystem is broken and way too expensive. Why not just create a section of your resume that shows your passion and miscellaneous ways of staying updated or building with the technology? I would rather hire someone fascinated with the industry and practicing through hands-on experimentation than someone with multiple degrees. As we further solve for identity and transferable/provable reputation, we will have a better way to convert passion into productivity for companies/industry advancement.
  15. Insurance revamp – I can’t emphasize how much I hate insurance. It’s something we feel like we should pay for just in case something happens, but usually it doesn’t happen or the replacement fee is better paid than a higher future deductible for the insurance. The tech itself is ancient and purposefully inefficient.
  16. Healthcare revamp – I’m very bullish on better information sharing and collaboration, but I’m just worried about over-sharing and correlation of data leading to weird ad recommendations or putting me in a different risk category based on some obscure algorithm.
  17. Low-code / No-code – Especially with the overlap of AI with natural-language-to-<ANYTHING> then we definitely remove the barrier of having any expertise in technology. If I can convert a requirements document into a product then devs are out of a job. I guess everything just looks like a widget.
  18. Genomics – This is more of an investment category at the moment, but I do think CRISPR enhancements will effectively make the next generation’s lifespan in the 150+ range. It would be interesting to cross 3d printing or farming of organs to this as well. More sci-fi fun like in the film “The Island
  19. Cybersecurity – More of an overlay to everything we do with our devices on the Internet. There’s such a crazy dependency tree for open source software that I wouldn’t be surprised if we are inheriting some activatable trojan backdoors installed by nation states or major bad actors. I think I’m just being paranoid. I guarantee there will always be a job available in this industry.
  20. Predictive Analytics – We all want to apply forecasting to something lucrative like finance. This seems like an application of multiple technologies with a fancy marketing title like “Big Data”. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a new department called “Applied Predictive Analytics”
  21. Zero Knowledge Proofs and Trust tech – ZKPs present the future infrastructure for trusted tech overlaid to the internet. We still heavily trust intermediaries and hierarchical players that provide useful client facing services, but this can all be flattened with the right applied technology and collaboration.
  22. Nano technology – I surprisingly haven’t heard anything lately about nano-tech besides controlling some simple robot the size of an amoeba. I guess we’d first apply this to medicine, but we’re all afraid it gets weaponized.
  23. Edge devices and IOT – Low-cost, real-time, sensor-driven systems connected to the internet with analytics and automation is pretty much what we leverage today. There’s lots of interesting problems in synchronization that I would love to deep dive at a company.
  24. Sustainable consumption – Transform industrial consumption to address environmental risks like climate change. I think tech in this space will have the most impact in the short to middle term.
  25. Wireless connectivity/6G? – low-power low-Earth-orbit satellites for hosting solutions. I think Starlink using SpaceX satellites is incredible for a fully work from home life style. I can live out the back of a camper as a digital nomad.
  26. Digital legal solutions – Wills and Trusts need to be stored securely on a shared network with links to transfer our “digital ghost identity” to our kids. At the very least, I would like an easy way for my daughter and hopefully grandkids to look-up a summary of my life.
  27. Protocol foundations – Open source needs more funding and better incentives for developers to continue building with it. I think foundations following the process of funding from blockchain/cryptocurrency protocols is the right path forward.
  28. Gig economy 2.0 – This probably involves tokenization in some way, but the incentive mechanisms and gamification of changing work and play-to-earn built here are pretty interesting.
  29. Distributed Enterprises – The move of Infura into a Decentralized Infrastructure Network (DIN) is super useful when you think about the ability to democratize the commodities and resources. The incentive mechanisms created for helping run the network makes the network less centralized and built-in high availability features. I think the idea of strict fat protocols and split of responsibility on network, node client, and application provides better scalable structures.
  30. Web3 + Web2.5 = Web5.5 (I’m just being cheeky here) I think this will mostly impact marketing engagement and financial services in the short term. The web3 wallet space probably has the most UX-related collaboration, but it’s also the most saturated. We’ll see adoption of Web3 like the adoption of Electric Vehicles; filled with a lot of headwind from traditional players and slow adoption.

~See Lemons Love Tech