Wiser Technology Advice Blog
- TECHNOLOGY TRENDS FOR 2024
Technology Trends for 2024
Happy New Year! As is my habit, my blog post for January will take a look at the year ahead and what I’m predicting for trends in technology.
Use of generative AI (artificial intelligence) has been popularised by ChatGPT in 2023, and businesses are now seriously considering how to build use of generative AI into their everyday routine work. AI solutions provide opportunities for efficiency in every aspect of industry, from summarising documents in back-office processes, customised experiences for customers for personalised marketing through to tighter supply chain management and predictive maintenance for manufacturers.
In 2023 we saw generative AI beginning to change the nature of work, causing many people to question the security of their jobs. In 2024 there could be increasing levels of fear and distrust of generative AI as people lose their jobs and feel the direct impact of its downsides. This will be a problem in aggressively forward-thinking businesses, the technology sector in the USA in particular.
Here in Australia we are generally more conservative, so we’ll be more likely to adopt AI that requires human input. For example, generative AI used to summarise transcripts of meetings, with a person responsible for finalising the meeting minutes.
Combining AI with automated processes could be the perfect opportunity for vast improvements in efficiency, although I urge caution and human input with AI, it’s not perfect. Some possibilities for AI and automation are understanding and acting on emails, texts, and unstructured data. For example, AI can summarise the unstructured data of a meeting transcript, with the summary then reviewed by the minute taker. AI and automation can also combine to provide intelligent document processing for businesses flooded by documents, for example in financial services and government.
If you want to dive deeper into the risks and rewards associated with AI, I recommend you take a look at my December 2023 blog post: Navigating the frontier of generative AI.
Web 3.0 and blockchain
The craze for generative AI over the last couple of years has taken all the attention away from web 3.0 and blockchain, which I wrote about in my Technology Trends for 2022 blog post. In 2022 marketers had gotten involved and invented the ‘Metaverse’, which has quietly been forgotten. But the underlying technology of web 3.0, blockchain, is still worth watching.
Blockchain Australia hosted an interesting webinar on January 30th, where the guest speakers and panellists discussed the use of blockchain for international trade.
Blockchain is the perfect technology to allow everyone in a supply chain to share information in a secure, trusted environment, doing away with reliance on paper forms. There are moves afoot to have countries in the Commonwealth and the United Nations agree on a modern standard for trade laws that approve the use of digital systems to submit information to governments and regulating bodies.
We’ve already seen fully digital systems become commonplace for banking and finance, let’s hope it doesn’t take too many more years to see this transformation of international trade.
The shift towards use of electric vehicles (EVs) is still gaining momentum, with ideas being explored for the next generation of electric vehicles. An interesting development for sustainability is EV batteries having the capability to store power that’s used in the electricity grid.
On January 24th I attended an AI, Trust, and Sustainability Symposium hosted by Invest SA (the Department for Trade and Innovation) in the new Flinders University building at Festival Plaza. This symposium included a guest speakers and panellists from Lot 14, Blockchain Australia, MIT and Flinders University, discussing the potential of AI to improve sustainability.
Mark Gregory, Vice President at Corporate Service and Chief Operating Officer at Flinders University, spoke about using AI to advance renewable energy and the university’s electric vehicle fleet.
Flinders University is launching 20 vehicle-to-grid chargers designed to export spare battery capacity generated by the university’s growing fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) into the electricity grid at its Bedford Park campus. Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers enable two-way energy flow between the electricity grid and EV batteries, allowing EVs to become mobile batteries that can store and supply energy directly to the grid during periods of high demand.
2024 Consumer Electronics Show
Throughout my 35 years in the technology industry consumers have always been the early adopters of technology, with business leaders following trends set by consumers.
This year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) didn’t disappoint, I’ve included here a selection of innovations from CES 2024 which are worth noting for potential business use.
Everyone’s talking about the transparent TV that was showcased by LG at this year’s CES, because they’re so visually appealing.
Transparent TVs could be an exciting tool for marketers and merchandisers in retail premises, providing exciting ways for customers to visualise products.
Transparent TVs have been a staple of CES for years, but to date have only been demonstration models. This year, however, LG said its transparent TV, the LG Signature OLED T, will be available to purchase sometime in 2024.
Images on the glass panel look like they’re 3-D, even though they’re not, because there's six inches of space between the glass and the wall behind it, so your brain is tricked into filling in the gaps.
Bone conduction headphones
Bone conduction headphones are the leading edge in headphone technology and the latest release by Mojawa now boasts a built-in AI trainer. This style of headphone is a great innovation for safety of runners, cyclists and swimmers, they send audio vibrations along your bones to your ears through tiny transducers, rather than covering your ears, leaving your ears open and free so you can hear sounds around you such as traffic and other pedestrians.
Headphones that allow you to hear audio input while still being able to be aware of your surroundings could be a great way to communicate with floor staff, for example in retail premises where they need to stay alert to customers calling for assistance.
Smart ring designed for women
Wearable technology has had potential for aged care uses for many years, but many products to date have been unappealing to people who should wear them.
The Evie smart ring aims to overcome this barrier to adoption, it is designed specifically for women and non-intrusive to wear.
It has trackers for activity, sleep, menstrual cycle, mood, activity levels, blood oxygen, and heart health. The AI that comes with this ring analyses its data to provide insights on health impacts, such as noting that the days you log more steps than average, and days your mood is higher.
GyroGlove for Parkinsons sufferers
Wearable technology to help people with Parkinsons is a lovely way to give back some independence to people suffering with this disease.
The GyroGlove has a large gyroscopic motor that sits on the back of the glove, so it rests on the back of the hand and that’s attached to a battery pack. There is no complicated AI, the gyroscope simply works to keep itself upright. A tremor would send it toppling over to one side or the other, so it counters the tremors to keep itself upright. This is enough to allow Parkinson’s sufferers to write with a pen, make a cup of coffee, eat something using an implement, or button their shirt.
Solar power station
Portable power banks that can be charged using solar cells are a boon for people visiting and working in the remotest regions of Australia.
The portable power bank and solar charger demonstrated by Anker is the latest in this range and has a battery rated at 768Wh or 1200W, with surge protection up to 1600W for more demanding devices temporarily like mini fridges or microwaves. It has eight power ports, including three 120V and 240V AC outlets, two USB-C and two USB-A ports and one DC port. The 300W solar input takes a few hours to charge the battery, which is rated for 3,000 recharge cycles. Anker provides a 5-year warranty and claims the battery has a 10-year lifespan, even with daily use.
And last but not least, we’re still talking about the possibilities of flying cars and CES 2024 featured displays from the burgeoning electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) industry.
Helix’s personal vertical take-off and landing aircraft is light enough and speed-limited enough to fall just below the threshold for requiring a pilot’s licence to operate in the US. These single person ultra-light flyers could appeal to early adopters that wish to use them in rural and remote regions of Australia, flying over private land that’s in unregulated airspace.
What’s your strategy for 2024 and beyond?
Are you planning on adopting new technology in your business this year? I hope I’ve inspired you to plan your broader technology strategy for 2024 and beyond!
If you feel overwhelmed by technology, with over 30 years of experience in the information technology industry, and many years of experience on boards of directors, I am perfectly placed to guide you through what’s best for your business when it comes to strategic planning.
If you’d like to talk further about anything I’ve written about, get in contact with me today, I’m always happy to meet and have a chat over a coffee – in person or online, whatever you’re more comfortable with.
5 Trends for 2024, December 2023, IBM, available at https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/institute-business-value/en-us/report/business-trends-2024
CES 2024: all the latest news and reviews from this year's huge tech event 11 Jan 2024, TechRadar, available at https://www.techradar.com/tech-events/ces-2024#section-ces-2024-dates-and-hours
Navigating the frontier of generative AI, 10 Dec 2023, Sonya Weiser, Wiser Technology Advice, available at https://www.wisertechnologyadvice.com.au/wiser-technology-advice-blog/navigating-the-frontier-of-generative-ai
Top three AI and automation trends that will reshape Australia in 2024, 12 Dec 2023, Lee Hawksley, ITBrief, available at: https://itbrief.com.au/story/top-three-ai-and-automation-trends-that-will-reshape-australia-in-2024