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ABI IDs 19 technologies it predicts will be ‘transformative’

November 14, 2018  

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Designed to provide clarity on where businesses need to focus their technological choice, business application relevancy, and investment priority, ABI Research has just released its second annual report: 3 Big Trends Impacting the Most Compelling Transformative Technologies: 19 1-Minute Reads.

“We are at two crossroads,” said Stuart Carlaw, the firm’s chief research officer. “The first is centered around fundamental operational realities that are beginning to take hold in many markets, combined with the notion that traditional methods for alleviating these accumulating pressures are proving to be less than optimal.

The second crossroad is centered around the outlook and fortunes of companies that supply technologies and technology-based services. The rapid growth of many of these companies was built around the consumer market or founded on IT and is now plateauing.”

This 14-page report highlights 19 transformative technologies by focusing on trends and forecasts not only for 2019 but also for 2025.


Transformative technologies relate to the stages of innovation, a concept dating back to the late 1990s, and create deep business changes, not marginal ones, ABI said. As a result, transformative technologies help reshape workforces, identify holes in a market, develop new business models and drive new revenue streams.

“Profits that were traditionally extracted from historical markets have waned, and the promised opportunity derived from future potential markets has yet to arrive,” said Carlaw. “Technology providers are currently striving to bridge this gap, and decisions on technology development investment in relation to vertical market relevancy are new challenges. It’s time to think differently and communicate value differently, from milliseconds of latency to millimeters of tolerance.”

The 19 are: 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure, AI & Machine Learning, AR & Mixed Reality, Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technologies, Digital Security, Handsets & Devices, Intelligent Transportation & eFreight, Location Technologies, M2M, IoT & IoE, Robotics, Automation & Intelligent Systems, Smart Cities & Smart Spaces, Smart Home, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Mobility & Automotive, Smart Retail, Telco Digitization, Video, VR & OTT Wearables, Usables & Expendables, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & Wireless Connectivity

Some trends highlighted in the report include:

*5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure: 5G strategies are progressing from planning to deployment as first networks start to appear.

*AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning: Despite the hype, mass adoption of the purpose-built AI chipset is still a year or two away. In 2019, the industry will see more successful examples of startups applying knowledge management and representation in domains such as finance, sales and marketing, customer care and agriculture.

*AR (Augmented Reality) & Mixed Reality: A growing trend: mobile devices leveraging AR technology holds an increasingly significant portion of mindshare today. Complexity in the consumer AR/Virtual Reality (VR) ecosystem shows no signs of decreasing, presenting both opportunity and obstacles.

*Handsets and Devices: ABI Research believes there will be around 60 million Artificial Intelligence-enabled smartphones in circulation at the end of 2018, and this is expected to grow beyond 1 billion by 2022.

*Smart Manufacturing: Many Smart Manufacturing vendors have started to realize that the open flow and exchange of data between all systems hold the key to truly optimizing production processes and the use of equipment.

*Smart Mobility and Automotive: The race to bring out fully driverless vehicles continues to quicken, with more than 50,000 robotaxis expected on the road in 2025.

*Video, VR (Virtual Reality) and OTT (Over the Top): ABI Research expects the cloud DVR market to generate nearly US$700 million in service revenue in 2023.

The report is available for download at