2019: A bluffers' guide to what might happen in technology
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2019: A bluffers' guide to what might happen in technology

‘Tis the season to be bluffing: every man, woman and their dogs (in the canine media at least) stuff their December drafts folders with predictions as to what will happen in 2019. In the UK at least, this sort of content has tripartite advantages, allowing writers to (a) park some copy for a rainy day (b) enjoy the long shelf life of such pieces and (c) get down to the pub.

In the technology sector it's typical to pick out the zeitgeist-y trends and extrapolate on a theme that they will be, you know, logically a bit bigger next year than this, but that's not really how things go. In tech, like dancing the foxtrot, the cadence is slow-quick-quick-slow but, like a celebrity on Strictly, it will probably be a variation of this, depending on a whole bunch of circumstances.

So, with those provisos in mind, let's have a guess at what might and might not happen next year.

 

Quick

That foxtrot rule suggests the time might have come for 3D printing. The hype for this business was over the top five years ago when I wrote that it was the extruded polymer equivalent of the Emperor's New Clothes. But 2018 saw 52% growth, an increase that was up sharply on the previous two years and a sign that this is a tech moving into the mainstream. That mainstream will include schools, colleges, offices and of course the maker community of CAD/CAM types that need to prototype and visualize for a living. The hobbyist market might be a couple of years further out but the price points, maturity of understanding and supporting ecosystem are now in place.

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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