1. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Throughout 2017 and 2018, AI and machine learning was becoming more and more ubiquitous in enterprise and cloud applications, helping software solutions make intelligent decisions based on vast amounts of information managed in data centers and the cloud. Advancements in algorithms and capabilities of mobile chips have also made it possible to provide enough computational capacity at the edge and on mobile devices to use pre-trained ML models for a range of tasks, from image processing to reliable face recognition. As vendors are making that compute capacity accessible to app developers, you will find many leading apps in 2019 will offer features leveraging on-device AI capabilities for a wide range of features.
2. Internet of Things (IoT) and Digital Twins
With IoT quickly becoming the leading force for disrupting established business models across a wide range of industries and organizations, it will be relying more and more on the concept of digital twins, virtual models of real world assets, and their relationships with the outside world. Mobile solutions will be key for representing some of these entities, enabling more use cases by bringing computing to the edge, and connecting end users to IoT ecosystems.
4. Augmented Reality and Beacons Technology
With AR finding solid, legitimate use cases in the enterprise — such as workforce training, access to reference materials and troubleshooting tips and tools — and vendors (Apple and Google) doubling down on AR capabilities in their respective platforms, there’s little question in our minds that AR will be an important component of mobile solutions in 2019. With the rise of IoT and leveraging already established Beacons technology for providing location awareness, AR may become an instrumental link in connecting the digital and physical realms.
3. Wearables will be the New Technological Advancement…
.. or not. Wearables have been hyped at least as much as some of the other technologies, if not more, but until recently there hasn’t been much penetration beyond the health and fitness industry. Along with some of the other trends mentioned above (AI, IoT, 5G), the technology continues to offer capabilities not yet fully explored outside of fitness trackers. 2019 may very well be the year when some of those solutions – such as more deeply integrated healthcare solutions, sports training, voice assistants, seamless smart home solutions, intelligent shared / autonomous ride experiences — will gain more traction. And if they don’t, it may be an early indication of the fact that wearables did not live up to the hype.
5. Blockchain Technology
With hype around blockchain subsiding, people are starting to understand what are and are not good use cases for it. And we only talk about blockchain as a data and information management technology here — not its cryptocurrency applications. In 2019, we will start seeing innovative application of the technology in mobile solutions for identity and access management, trusted immutable data collection and retention solutions for healthcare, retail, and other verticals, and trustworthy distributed computing right in the hands of end users.