With just a few months to go what future technology should be on your radar and which disruptive tech will be making the headlines in 2020?


As has been the case for a few years, AI, VR and Cryptocurrency are just three of the future technology trends which are expected to continue to contribute to the industry as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand into daily life.

Tech Trends

While Gartner’s Tech Trends for 2020 Report isn’t out yet, a lot of the future technology highlighted in the report for this year has been making the news on an almost daily basis. 

We’ve already seen Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa take over a lot of the minutiae of daily life – setting lights to come on when you get home from work, calendar reminders and the ability to climate control your heating are just a few of the myriad of tasks that can be automated.

A Google Home device on a living room table.

Gartner forecasts that around 20.6 billion connected things will be in action globally by 2020 and investment in IoT technology will top $1.1 trillion by 2023, according to a report from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Driving this growth is Augmented Analytics and VR or other forms of Immersive Experience. All the major cloud vendors, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google, are looking at competing in the market based on their AI capabilities. 

Using Augmented Analytics, such as those provided by Beacon, gives businesses the ability to extract more value out of the growing volume of data received not only from their social media and digital marketing but from all aspects of daily business.

Trendspotting digital future technologies

According to Gartner contributor Christy Pettey: “Three key factors will ultimately enable you to identify the potential impact of a particular technology trend on people, business, IT and the technology market.”

He identifies these as:

  1. New value. Identify clear business opportunities that this future technology trend could help exploit or challenges that it could help solve to produce better business outcomes.
  2. Level of digital disruption. Decide whether adopting this trend would mean changing your organisation’s business model or inventing a new one. 
  3. Type of impact. Investigate whether the trend’s impact will be felt only within your organisation, or whether it will have an external impact on your organisation. 

He adds: “Technology trends can also differ in the global reach of their impact. A trend may affect one or more countries, or may have a big impact on an entire region. The size of a trend’s impact will depend on the social, cultural, geopolitical and economic factors in a particular country or region.”

Analytics and Connectivity

According to an article on Forbes by Daniel Newman, principal analyst of Futurum Research and CEO of Broadsuite Media Group: “Companies that still aren’t investing heavily in analytics by 2020 probably won’t be in business in 2021. There is simply far too much valuable customer data to be collected, processed and turned into insights for any company to remain competitive without making full use of modern analytics tools. 

“Flying blind and following your gut are no longer viable options when every other business is leveraging sophisticated analytics tools to identify problems, opportunities, and solutions.”

Newman also believes 2020 will be the year of 5G. The latest mobile internet connectivity is due to roll out across the UK and companies like EE, Three and O2  have already announced phones and data packages for early adopters.

With 5G capable of download speeds of around 1GBps, the potential for data transfer and reliable smartphone connections opens up AI, IoT and VR to a new world of possibilities.

Running alongside 5G is WiFi6. The Wi-Fi Alliance, the body which certifies Wi-Fi devices, has released a new standard for its wireless LAN (WLAN) technology and some devices are already releasing with it. The Samsung Galaxy Note10 and the Ruckus R750 are the world’s first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 smartphone and access point, respectively

With nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5, the new standard will mean more multiple connections at a time, greater coverage in larger areas, delivering lower latency, enhanced battery life and better performance.

According to Leif-Olof Wallin, an analyst at Gartner, Wi-Fi 6 is mainly “evolutionary” – however, he maintains that it could be “a game-changer” for some use cases. Namely, for situations where many users need to connect to wireless networks, like stadiums, shopping malls, convention centres or airports.

Future Social Media

In 2020 social media will be entering its third decade, and isn’t that a scary thought all on its own. As users have grown up, their demands for what they want on a platform are also changes.

According to Quantumrun: “Future social media users will demand platforms that help them better discover engaging content, while also allowing them to effortlessly share the content and moments that are important to them—but without the stress and self-censorship that comes along with attaining a certain amount of social validation.”

Search Engines are also driving change and, as the demand for accurate news and data becomes louder, it’s possible that SEO and SERPs rankings will begin to be evaluated on their trustworthiness.

A report  Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating the Trustworthiness of Web Sources carried out by researchers at Cornell University back in 2015 looked at this as a mathematical problem which can be solved using new metrics for determining quality of source.

If you asked Google a fact-based question in the last couple of years, then you will have noticed the answer to your query is displayed in a convenient box at the top of your search results. This is part of their Google Knowledge Vault, a vast online collection of factual information it has accumulated from searching the internet.

The answers are pulled in from the Vault. Google has been experimenting with using it to rank search results for health related questions through the use of answers which have been qualified by a team of medical doctors led by its own Dr Kapil Parakh, (M.D., MPH, Ph.D.) to carefully compile, curate, and review this information.

All of the gathered facts represent real-life clinical knowledge from these doctors and high-quality medical sources across the web, and the information has been checked by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy.

If this type of data analytics is extended to other fact-related questions then the future of the internet for helping fight against the “fake news” allegations which dominated the US Presidential Elections may become a thing of the past.

Upcoming Technology in Yorkshire

Here in the Yorkshire region, TechNation’s Entrepreneur Engagement Managers (EEMs) have been working with companies with three key growth programmes –  Rising Stars, Upscale and Future Fifty.

Tech Nation’s listing for upcoming technology in Yorkshire

Leeds also has the fastest scaleup growth in the North with a new national database, Data Commons for UK Tech (launched by Tech Nation and proprietary global database Dealroom) finding that £187million venture capital investment went into Leeds tech companies in 2018.

Here’s just a few to keep an eye on heading into 2020:

Big Change
Location: Leeds 
What they do: Mobile workforce management platform and apps

Location: Leeds
What they do: UK’s largest online pharmacy

Location: Leeds
What they do: Audio note taking software 

Virtual College 
Location: Ilkley
What they do: Online learning platform

Mtech IT Solutions
Location: Leeds
What they do: IT services and development

Location: Harrogate
What they do: Enterprise hardware and equipment

In Conclusion

While it’s impossible to predict exactly what tech will take off in 2020, educated guesses can be provided by looking at what’s been powering development in the last few years. 

Our blog highlights a few key areas we think will continue to push the boundaries for future technology and disruptive tech. What do you think? Why not tweet us your predictions for 2020 and beyond!