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Speculation about what will be the next top trend fuels markets, and tech is one sector that has been subject to more speculation than most.

Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019 provides businesses with the tech trends they should explore. It also gives us an idea of what tech should be on our radar this year.

So, what technology is expected to make an impact this year?

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI continues to be a major theme, driving the use of autonomous things and automating many of the basic mundane tasks performed by humans. Gartner expects a “shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a swarm of collaborative intelligent things, with multiple devices working together.”

ASX-listed software company LiveTiles (ASX:LVT) is already driving this trend with its intelligent workplace software which incorporates AI-powered bots.

Its software is used by around 600 organisations and is built on the Microsoft Sharepoint platform. It helps organisations improve access to information and the flow of information between employees, improving productivity and efficiencies.

Gartner also expects that AI-driven tools will lead to a new age of the “citizen application developer”, where non-professionals will be able to use AI-driven tools to automatically generate new solutions.

Edge computing

In edge computing, the computation or data processing is performed on the same device that collected the data, as opposed to sending that data back to a central hub or cloud environment for processing. This method improves latency and reduces the traffic being sent to and from the cloud or central hub. It is therefore low power and has the potential to significantly advance multiple sectors.

Specilaised AI chips with this processing power will bring edge computing to the mainstream. BrainChip (ASX:BRN) are developing an AI chip that mimics the human brain: its AkidaTM Neuromorphic System-on-Chip (NSoc) is the first time a spiking neural network (SNN) will be available on something as small as a chip.

Its technology is expected to rapidly advance low-power applications such as such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles, drones, vision-guided robotics, surveillance and machine vision systems.

Blockchain

Initially associated with the volatile crypto-currency sector and initial currency offerings (ICOs), Blockchain is making a name for itself as the technology solution to many of the world’s problems, from tracking where our food comes from, sharing solar power and even securing the voting in elections.

Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger. It is being used in multiple industries to increase transparency and drive trust between parties.

Many transactions we execute are logged only with one party. For example, if you make a financial transaction your bank stores that information – not you, the customer.

Blockchain provides a centralised ledger that would also record this transaction providing an alternative log of the transaction, enhancing the ability to share information and improving the tracking and tracing of digital transactions.

Supply chain integrity and blockchain company Security Matters (ASX:SMX) is using blockchain technology as part of its authentication, tracking and tracing supply chain solution.

Its technology permanently “marks” any object with a chemical-based “barcode” system, along with a unique “reader” to identify the codes. It then uses a blockchain record to store the data.

Smart Spaces

You may have heard of smart cities, and this year we move onto smart spaces. Similar to smart cities, but on a smaller scale, a smart space is a digitally connected space which, through connected devices, creates an intelligent environment.

A smart space aims to create an interactive experience for the user. In the case of ASX-listed IoT company Buddy Platform (ASX:BUD), it is helping users to better understand how they use the space. This could be anything from the amount of energy they use to how they use this energy.

Gartner believes that “the market is entering a period of accelerated delivery of robust smart spaces with technology becoming an integral part of our daily lives.”

These are just some of the trends Gartner has identified. Others include digital ethics and privacy, quantum computing and digital twins. To read more about these the full report from Gartner is available here.

Star Investing has a commercial partnership with some companies mentioned in this article. This content does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.