Technologies that won’t happen in 2020

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With 2019 behind us, predictions abound on the technology advancements and innovations expected in the year ahead. However, ABI Research predicts that several anticipated advancements, including 5G wearables, quantum computing, and self-driving trucks, will NOT happen in the first year of the new decade.

In its ‘54 Technology Trends to Watch in 2020’ whitepaper, ABI Research identified 35 trends that will shape the technology market and 19 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, look less likely to move the needle over the next year.

“After a tumultuous 2019 that was beset by many challenges, both integral to technology markets and derived from global market dynamics, 2020 looks set to be equally challenging,” says Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer at ABI Research. “Knowing what won’t happen in technology in the new year is important for end-users, implementors, and vendors to properly place their investments or focus their strategies.”

What won’t happen in 2020?

5G Wearables: While smartphones will dominate the 5G market in 2020, 5G wearables won’t arrive in 2020, or anytime soon. To bring 5G to wearables, specific 5G chipsets will need to be designed and components will need to be reconfigured to fit in the small form factor. That won’t begin to happen until 2024, at the earliest.

Quantum Computing: Despite claims from Google in achieving quantum supremacy, the tech industry is still far away from the democratization of quantum computing technology. Quantum computing is definitely not even remotely close to the large-scale commercial deployment stage.

Self-Driving Trucks: Despite numerous headlines declaring the arrival of driverless, self-driving, or robot vehicles, very little, if any, driver-free commercial usage is underway beyond closed-course operations in the US.

A Consolidated IoT Platform Market: For many years, there have been predictions that the IoT platform supplier market will begin to consolidate, and it just won’t happen. The simple reason is that there are more than 100 companies that offer device-to-cloud IoT platform services and for every one that is acquired, there are always new ones that come to market.

Edge Will Not Overtake Cloud: The accelerated growth of the edge technology and intelligent device paradigm created one of the largest industry misconceptions: edge technology will cannibalise cloud technology. In fact, in the future, we will see a rapid development of edge-cloud-fog continuum, where technology will complement each other, rather than cross-cannibalise.

8K TVs: Announcements of 8K TVs by major vendors earlier in 2019 attracted much attention and raised many of questions within the industry. The fact is, 8K content is not available and the price of 8K TV sets are exorbitant. The transition from HD to 4K will continue in 2020 with very limited 8K shipments – less than 1 million worldwide.