From advancements in artificial intelligence technologies to 3D printing, 2018 has been a major year in tech. As cutting-edge technologies reach the market and are integrated, business strategies may evolve as well.
To find out what innovations are coming and what’s likely to impact the business sphere, I asked a panel of entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:
With many new applications and innovations at play, what technology do you expect will have the most exciting implication for businesses in the coming year and why?
Their best answers are below:
1. 5G networks
Telecommunications companies began rolling out 5G networks this year. 5G offers faster connectivity at lower latencies and lower power consumption. That means mobile connectivity is faster than most wired broadband in the U.S. I believe it will fuel innovation in the internet of things, smart homes, augmented reality, virtual reality, health care, media, cloud services and more, which will create tremendous business opportunities across many industries. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting
2. Mainstream blockchain apps
I believe that 2019 will be the year when we finally see the first decentralized apps (usually called dApps) go mainstream and have millions of users. I think we’ll also see billion-dollar valuations in many blockchain companies, which even today is still strange and that I believe will become more common in the next few years. I think next year will be exciting for blockchain startups. – Brian Condenanza, Fluo Shoes
3. More AI-enabled platforms for automated work
4. Machine learning for customer service
I’m keeping a close eye on the rapid enhancements in machine learning to help customer service professionals be more effective. With the acquisitions of AI technology companies by big players, this is clearly going to be a very hot topic in tech. – Eng Tan, Simplr
5. 3D printing
I think 3D printing will be a catalyst in American manufacturing. We can start making several small items like toys, logos, gift items and others using 3D printing in our houses. 3D printing makes it easier to make a prototype and test it, instead of spending several thousands of dollars to make a prototype. I see a future where retailers start doing 3D printing for consumers as well. – Piyush Jain, Simpalm
6. New security measures
We’re excited to see an increased emphasis on data security. As data breaches have entered the mainstream news cycle, consumers have developed a greater awareness of how their data is treated, and there is greater corporate responsibility around data privacy. New security tools are emerging on both corporate and consumer sides. We must be cognizant of security risks that come with new technologies. – Zohar Steinberg, Token Payments
7. Augmented reality
I believe the new integrations between augmented reality, retail and mobile phones are going to be incredible. As this technology continues to advance, it’s going to provide businesses with an incredible way to showcase their products. This will only get better as images will be rendered with more realistic environmental lighting effects. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting Inc.
8. More AI solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses
The applications for AI are getting increasingly sophisticated in the marketing space but at this time are largely inaccessible to small- and medium-sized businesses. It will be exciting as these technologies evolve and are built for more extensive use cases. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
9. Wearable tech
I think wearable tech will continue to be one of the most exciting businesses. Whether it’s smartwatches, glasses or even smart clothes, we’re going to see changes in the way we wear and interact with tech. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
10. Optimized communication
Businesses cannot function without communication and connection. With this new wave of faster, better and stronger internet connections, so too will come faster, better and stronger human connections. I’m eager to explore new possibilities for maintaining a connection with my local team, as well as ways to connect with my team abroad. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.