With 2019 coming to an end, the beginning of a new decade promises real change in the tech industry. New technologies are set to enter the market, transforming the daily lives of consumers, while ideas that have been surfacing for a while are finally set to become the norm.
Since April 2019, Prevayl® has enjoyed huge growth as a business, adding leading experts from the fields of engineering, fashion, health-tech and intellectual property to our team. We caught up with them to understand their predictions for the year ahead.
Adam Crofts, CEO
One of the biggest trends for 2020 is set to be increased consumer desire to take ownership of their own health. No longer will people be happy to rely on an external assessment or interpretation.
Personal health data is fundamental to this change. When users can interact, curate and evaluate their own health data they can make the right decisions that will benefit them in the long run. We will then get to the stage when each person will have their own pre-emptive health insights to signpost them away from illness.
Noel Hamill, Chief Commercial Officer
Robotics. We’re already seeing day to day usage in Amazon warehouses for example. I can imagine more robotics coming into the home and performing menial tasks.
I also see the likes of artificial intelligence and machine working impacting the healthcare industry. Robotics will be involved in medical operations, with the ability to scan medical records and predict whether people would have any kind of future diseases. That’s very exciting.
Bella Hepworth, Apparel Design Director
In 2020, we’ll see more and more brands looking at sustainability and increased initiatives around this, following on from the likes of Adidas’ recycled plastic shoes earlier this year. I expect to see more innovation around sustainable materials with existing materials re-engineered to be more high-tech substitutes. R&D will be heavily focused on materials in 2020.
We also need to be wary of ‘greenwashing’, with so many brands jumping on the bandwagon of sustainability and creating content that makes it look like they are going the extra mile, but rarely doing so in reality. This leads onto the potential need for more self-regulation of the industry.
Education for consumers around sustainability continues to be extremely important as recent studies suggest it still isn’t a priority for many customers when they choose where to spend their money.
Tahir Mahmood, Director of Engineering
Robotics is set to change completely. Where once robots were primarily used to perform work that was too hard, dangerous or repetitive for humans, we’re now set to see human-robot interaction and cooperation, as the demand for robots to work with humans or to be controlled intuitively grows.
This covers a range of scenarios from robotics working interactively with humans in industrial manufacturing, robotic appliances designed to care for and help the elderly, and even autonomous robots in space or underwater.
Georgia Castleman, Marketing Communications Director
Biometric research is set to become integral for brands.
The right use of biometric data provides detailed audience insights, as well as patterns of user behaviour in relation to buying decisions, content, and online and offline experiences.
Biometrics can be used to track and measure a wide variety of different physical responses from users that are closely aligned with your target audience. When brands have that data it can be used to guide their future marketing, brand, and business strategies.
Martin Ashby, Operations Director
2020 will see a growing interest from individuals in taking control of their wellbeing, resulting in demand for insight that reports on mental and physical health and offers advice on how to manage or improve it.
Additionally this will fuel a distrust of global food manufacturers, with more people taking control of what they eat. This could take the form of consumers insisting on knowing where their food comes from and how it was grown, clearer guidelines on the impact food will have on their body, or more actionable health data on labelling such as calories also shown as the equivalent duration of cardio exercise that would be required to burn them off.
In the medical world, there is likely to be a continuing shift from treatment to prevention. This will include GPs providing prescriptions for exercise or meditation as opposed to treatment using medication.
Sam Bird, Director of Intellectual Property
There are likely to be tussles over whether an AI can be a legal inventor of a patent. The Artificial Inventor Project is fighting for the rights of AI inventors. 2020 could potentially see a legal conclusion to this issue.
We’ll also see the implementation of the unitary patent system in Europe, but questions remain as to whether the UK will be able to take part in this project due to Brexit.
There may also be an increase in claims for employee compensation for the benefits of patents following the Shanks v Unilever ruling at the UK Supreme Court in 2019.
Michael John Lynch, Director of Electronics
Smart technology is becoming the norm for consumers.
We’ve recently seen the news that Ikea has invested in a dedicated business unit for smart home tech. While the Ikea target audience was never a tech-first audience, this recognition illustrates the importance of smart tech for the everyday consumer and their continuing expectations around it.
While these expectations in the home increase, we’re also set to see consumer frustration and apathy towards the need to have multiple contracts with various content providers, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify for example. Could this open the door for aggregators to enter the market?
We’ll be catching up with the team again in early 2020, to showcase what the year ahead holds for Prevayl.