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Transformative Technologies

Throughout the years, the technology industry has both enabled and benefited from digitisation.  Although this is not new, the latest wave of transformative technologies promises to significantly impact the world. Bill Morelli from IHS Markit takes time to provide us with an overview of these transformative technologies.


Taking a glance at what 2018 has to offer in the world of technology, IHS Markit has identified eight transformative technologies that deserve particular attention:

-     AI

-     IoT

-     Cloud

-     Connectivity

-     Blockchain

-     Machine Vision

-     Ubiquitous Video

-     Robots & Drones


Understanding the opportunities and impacts of transformative technologies in today’s world starts with recognizing that the pace of development has accelerated, as Ian Weightman, Senior Vice President, Technology at IHS Markit, informs us.


“Digital disruption is overturning virtually every market, forcing companies to be ready to shift identities and strategies rapidly.”


Granted, whilst AI, IoT, Machine Vision, Robotics, and the Cloud may not necessarily be new technologies, they are coming together in new and powerful ways and fundamentally changing businesses, fuelling innovation and creating both threats and opportunities for all. Having an open, ecosystem-led approach to developing and implementing these technologies helps bridge the historical, structural silos between different vertical industries.


Transformative technologies allow there to be shifts in how enterprises function, as well as how individuals live everyday life. As technologies become smarter and more sophisticated, alongside ever evolving markets, transformation begins in new industries. The rate these technologies have taken hold has grown rapidly in recent years, as Luca De Ambroggi, Director, IHS Markit Automotive Electronics and Semiconductors Research and Analysis explains.

“As a matter of fact, all major players in the automotive space are in agreement that AI (under different forms: machine learning, neural Net, deep learning), is a must have technology, beyond traditional algorithms to reach full autonomy.


“Along the automotive supply chain, the companies that are, and will continue, investing in AI applied to the car industry will have an impressive advantage over the competition in the future, especially considering the complexity of the technology when applied to running vehicles. Suppliers like NVIDIA and Intel/MobilEye are leading the way in this market.”


Moving onto Artificial Intelligence (AI). This refers to the body of science, algorithms, and machines able to perform some version of learning and independent problem solving, relying on sufficiently advanced software and hardware components. Within the AI field of study, are other sub-branches of computer science.


“As networks become simultaneously softwarised and virtualised, whilst at the same time need to evolve to support 5G’s many topological structures, network operators will need to adopt AI-based approaches to manage the perpetually changing complexity in order to even begin to understand their own products” Dan Warren, Head of 5G Research at Samsung R&D Institute

As for the Internet of Things (IoT), this is a conceptual framework for enabling connectivity and embedded intelligence in devices. IHS Markit has identified four stages of IoT adoption and implementation:

1) Connect—embedding connectivity and processing capabilities into devices;


2) Collect—adding sensors and storage that enables devices to gather data on their surrounding environment;


3) Compute—processing and analysing large amounts of data generated by IoT devices; and


4) Create—monetising the IoT or creating unique solutions through access to transformational data.


Another transformation we must be aware of, is Cloud computing. It is an information technology (IT) paradigm that enables providers to offer widespread access to shared pools of configurable resources—such as computer networks, servers, storage, applications, and services—which can be quickly and dynamically provisioned involving little to no management effort, often over the internet. Resources provided as a cloud service can be public or private, and are usually billed based upon consumption.


Connectivity refers to the ability to link and communicate with other people, devices, computer systems, software, or the internet. This includes both wired and wireless technologies utilising point-to-point, broadcast, and mesh topologies, among others.


Ubiquitous Video refers to the ability to capture, create, consume, and distribute video content almost anywhere. The explosive growth of video services has been driven by multiple factors, including the high penetration of camera-enabled mobile phones and commoditization, which have enabled displays of various sizes and shapes to be placed in almost any location with a range of wired and wireless connectivity options.

Taking time to provide her thoughts, is Maria Rua Aguete, Executive Director – Media, Service Providers & Platforms, technology expertise from IHS Markit. “Programmatic video and better techniques to personalize content will create new opportunities for media companies in 2018. This is enabled by advanced machine learning which has transformed the way consumers interact with content within the media landscape. Companies like Netflix and Spotify have pioneered techniques such as cluster analysis to better understand media consumption, using bespoke algorithms enables more accurate content recommendations as well as the ability to predict which content should be produced, such as the hit drama ‘Stranger Things’. Companies that have invested in these technologies now have a marked competitive advantage, and companies that have not are scrambling to catch up.”


Computer vision is the application of technology to extract information from digital images and videos, with the goal of automating tasks that human eyes do today. Specific tasks that are necessary include image acquisition, processing, analysing, and understanding, to allow for decisions/actions to be taken by the system, device, or robot. Machine vision, traditionally found in industrial manufacturing, is generally considered to be a sub-set of computer vision and is also referred to as embedded vision.


Robots and drones are autonomous or semi-autonomous machines that are capable of completing complex, often repetitive actions. Robots may be fixed or mobile, however they are typically land-based, while drones are commonly viewed as aerial and include fixed-wing, rotor-based, airships, and balloons


Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger technology utilizing cryptography and timestamps to provide a permanent record of various types of transactions and interaction. Blockchain is the underlying technology enabling Bitcoin, and it is currently being considered for a wide range of applications across many vertical markets.


Looking ahead, these eight significant transformative technologies, even though they may not be significant now, will make a mark within their respected industries throughout this year. Learn more in the latest 8 in 2018 Transformative Technology whitepaper found here.


Company: IHS Markit

Website: technology.ihs.com