Digital transformation is an unstoppable force with new technologies and innovations continuing to affect business processes, customer behavior and the Internet. Whether your company is looking to maximize growth, boost revenue or offer increased value, staying up-to-date with technology trends will impact your strategic ambitions in 2023. As the turn of the year approaches, here are three key areas that will dominate the business landscape and provide the bedrock for next-gen technologies.
Metaverse: From lucrative toys to enterprise tools
Whenever anyone talks about the future, the Metaverse has always been a recurring theme. According to McKinsey, the Metaverse has the potential to generate up to US$5 trillion by 2030. It is a number too large for companies to ignore. So far, the gaming industry is dominating the scene. Fortnite hosted in-game concerts featuring Ariana Grande and Charlie Puth, attracting millions of gamers who purchased digital goods or physical merchandise relating to the event. Luxury brand Gucci also ventured into Roblox by selling virtual handbags in the game.
The rest of the industry, however, is taking it slow but not for long. Many are experimenting with Metaverse’s practicality in customer engagement, business optimization, augmented work experiences, and mixed-reality development. Airplane companies Airbus and Boeing are creating digital twins of their aircraft to improve the safety and quality of new planes. NVIDIA partnered with BMW to enable the car manufacturer to simulate entire factories for better insights into its operations.
Moving forward, the Metaverse will evolve beyond its digital environment. The next iteration of the Metaverse will enter our reality. Instead of wearing headgear or smart glasses, the Metaverse will be projected on the walls of a physical media room. Webcams can automatically recognize real-life movements and express them via avatars in the virtual realm. Furthermore, immersive technology will expand our sensory experiences, more than just visual and auditory. Companies like HaptX are developing haptic gloves to allow users to experience touch, adding another layer of immersion in the digital world.
Adaptive & Generative AI: Where information evolves into intelligence
For the past few years, AI has been on the trending leaderboard. Its flexibility, automation and intelligence continue to enable business transformation. IDC predicts that the worldwide spending on AI-powered offerings will breach the US$500 billion-mark next year. This is all thanks to the ever-expanding zero-code and cloud-based AI offerings, increasing accessibility for businesses to scale effectively and efficiently. Users are also accustomed to having AI handling most of the work from auto-completing text to offering personalized recommendations.
In the coming year, AI will reach new heights. Adaptive AI will see more play in the workforce as it requires minimal human intervention to produce faster and better outcomes. This lies in its ability to automatically alter its code, retrain its model and adapt based on new datasets while still ingesting historical data. With each interaction, experience and observation, adaptive AI can refine chatbot conversations, improve recommendation engines, enrich learning environments and improve even the most granular detail.
Another subset that will see a rise in its popularity is generative AI. Instead of merely learning from existing data, it will create completely new information such as text, images and videos based on what was processed. The content it creates will never be perfect but generative AI offers new opportunities for humans and machines to work together to dynamically impact and influence the final result. Currently, it has more uses in marketing and advertising, crafting personalized banners, audio and video clips to engage potential customers. As generative AI becomes more accessible, its application will extend to other creative industries like art, architecture, design, music and writing.
Superapp: One app to rule them all
Everything started with installable computer software. Then, Apple innovated with downloadable apps to transform a smartphone into the Swiss army knife of the digital realm. This gave birth to multiple thriving app marketplaces where you can download and enjoy games, productivity tools, eBooks, movies and social media – all in one device. However, the next big thing is brewing in application design and development: the Superapp.
As opposed to single-purpose apps, the Superapp merges the features of an app, a platform and a digital ecosystem. China had a head start with WeChat. Developed by Tencent in 2011, this messaging app transformed into a Superapp with the addition of e-commerce, payment gateway, social media, digital wallet and business communication features. With everything under one umbrella, WeChat quickly became an indispensable tool for the entire country where its citizens can work, shop, play and communicate without leaving the app.
Superapp’s strong use cases offer massive opportunities for customers and businesses. It provides a unified experience without having to download additional apps and removes learning curves. In addition, Superapps are incredibly versatile. Developers can further enhance the user experience by integrating mini-apps to provide new capabilities beyond their original functionality. Moving forward, more companies will take the plunge to fuse multiple digital experiences into a single, streamlined Superapp. Others will try to create invaluable mini-apps that can integrate into existing Superapps.
Technology is never dormant. The next breakthrough invention or innovation is always on the horizon. What’s new right now may be primitive tomorrow. The coming year is already bringing in new trends that will transform experiences, optimize business processes and affect the physical world. The only question left to ask is: are we ready for them?