As futurists, it is our responsibility to look ahead each year and cover the emerging tech trends that will shape our digital world in 2023.
What technology are garnering the greatest traction? What are the most essential trends that company executives should be aware of?
Here are the 10 tech trends to watch in 2023:
1. Web3 developments
Blockchain technology will expand rapidly in 2023 as firms build more decentralised products and services.
For example, we presently store everything on the cloud; but, if we decentralise data storage and encrypt that data using blockchain, our information will not only be secure, but we will also have new ways to access and analyse it.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will become increasingly useful and practical in the following year. NFT concert tickets, for example, may offer access to backstage experiences and artefacts. NFTs can be the keys we use to interact with many of the digital things and services we buy, or they can be contracts we enter into with third parties.
2.Merging the Digital and Physical Worlds
The construction of a connection between the digital and physical worlds is now taking place, and this trend is projected to continue in 2023. This fusion is made up of two parts: digital twin technology and 3D printing.
Digital twins are virtual representations of real-world processes, activities, or products that may be used to test creative ideas in a safe digital environment. Designers and engineers are using digital twins to replicate physical items within virtual settings, allowing them to test in any scenario without paying the massive costs of real-world research. In 2023, we will see even more digital twins, from industries to machinery, autos to precision healthcare.
Engineers may make changes and adjustments to components in the virtual world before generating them in the real world with 3D printing technology.
Formula 1 teams, for example, now collect data from sensors as well as race track temperatures and weather variables during races to analyse how vehicles change throughout races. The sensor data is then relayed to digital twins of the engines and automotive components, and scenarios are run to make design changes on the fly. The teams 3D print automotive parts based on the results of their testing.
There is now a global competition to create large-scale quantum computers.
Quantum computing, which uses subatomic particles to develop new methods of processing and storing information, is a technical breakthrough that is expected to offer computers that are a trillion times faster than the fastest conventional processors now available.
The risk of quantum computing is that it will render our current encryption techniques obsolete; that is, any nation that develops quantum computing on a big scale would be able to crack the encryption of other nations, corporations, security systems, and other systems. This is a trend to watch in 2023, as countries including the United States, United Kingdom, China, and Russia spend extensively in developing quantum computing technology.
4.Metaverse Aspects Will Be Realized
Although I loathe the term “metaverse,” it has become a catch-all for a more immersive internet in which we will be able to work, play, and communicate on a continuous platform. Experts predict that by 2030, the metaverse will have contributed $5 trillion to the global economy, and that 2023 will be the year that determines the metaverse’s direction for the next decade.
The technology for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will advance further. One thing to keep an eye on is the work environment in the metaverse; I believe that by 2023, we’ll have more immersive meeting rooms where we can talk, cooperate, and co-create. Indeed, Microsoft and Nvidia are already developing digital metaverse platforms.
Avatar technology will also get more advanced in the following year. An avatar — the presence we project in the metaverse as we engage with other users — may look exactly like us, and motion capture could even allow our avatars to mimic our specific body language and gestures.
Additional developments in AI-enabled autonomous avatars that can act as our representatives in the metaverse even when we are not logged in are also possible.
Companies are already using metaverse technologies for training and onboarding, such as AR and VR, and this trend is projected to accelerate in 2023. Accenture has already built a metaverse environment called the Nth Floor. This virtual environment contains replicas of real-world Accenture workplaces, allowing potential hires and current employees to perform HR-related tasks without visiting a physical office.
5. Nature is getting more modifiable.
We will be able to alter things, plants, and perhaps humans in the future. Because to nanotechnology, we will be able to create materials with completely new qualities, such as water resistance and self-healing capabilities.
Although CRISPR-Cas9 has been available for a few years, gene editing technology will speed in 2023, providing humans greater capacity to “edit nature” by changing DNA.
Gene editing is comparable to word processing in that it allows you to remove certain words and replace them with others — but it can only be done with genes. Gene editing may be used to correct DNA mutations, alleviate food allergies, enhance crop health, and even modify human characteristics like eye and hair colour.
6. AI can be found everywhere
By 2023, artificial intelligence will be a reality in businesses. No-code AI, with its simple drag-and-drop interfaces, will enable any company to use its potential to create more intelligent goods and services.
This is already occurring in the retail industry. Stitch Fix uses AI-enabled algorithms to offer clothing to its customers based on their sizes and likes. In 2023, contactless, self-driving shopping and delivery will be popular. AI will make it easier for customers to pay for and get goods and services.
AI will also improve almost every job in every industry’s business processes. More retailers will use artificial intelligence (AI) to manage and automate the complex inventory management processes that take place behind the scenes, leading to the adoption of convenience trends such as buy-online-pickup-at-curbside (BOPAC), buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), and buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS).
AI will also be the driving force behind the most recent autonomous delivery attempts that shops are experimenting with and deploying, and an increasing number of retail employees will need to become acclimated to working alongside robots to fulfil their tasks.
7. Robots Will Be More Like Humans
By 2023, robots will resemble humans in appearance and capability. In the real world, these robots will work as event greeters, bartenders, concierges, and senior companions. Furthermore, they will do challenging tasks in warehouses and factories while collaborating with people in production and logistics.
One company is hard at work producing a human-like robot for use in our homes. Elon Musk demonstrated two Optimus humanoid robot prototypes during Tesla AI Day in September 2022, indicating that the company will be ready to accept orders within the next 3 to 5 years. The robot can do simple tasks like carrying goods and watering plants, implying that we may soon have “robot butlers” to help us around the house.
8. Advances in Green Technology
Reduced carbon emissions are one of the most challenging issues the world is now facing in order to confront the climate disaster.
In 2023, expect more progress in green hydrogen, a new clean-burning energy source with near-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Shell and RWE, two of Europe’s largest energy companies, are constructing the first big green pipeline from North Sea wind farms.
There will also be breakthroughs in the design of decentralised power systems. This type of distributed energy generation consists of a network of small power producers and storage units located in communities or individual residences, allowing them to provide electricity even when the main grid is down. Our energy system is now dominated by huge gas and energy companies, but decentralised energy initiatives have the potential to democratise power while simultaneously lowering global carbon emissions.
9.Environmentally Friendly Technology
Finally, in 2023, we will see a push toward more environmentally friendly technology. Many (if not most) of us are addicted to technology, such as cellphones, tablets, and laptop computers, but where do the parts for our cherished gadgets originate from? People will be more worried about where rare earth components for goods such as computer chips are sourced and how they are consumed.
We also utilise cloud services such as Netflix and Spotify, which continue to operate in vast data centres that consume massive quantities of power.
Customers will expect that the products and services they purchase be energy efficient and backed by more sustainable technology in 2023, resulting in a continued push toward more transparent supply chains.
10.Development of Autonomous Systems
Business executives will continue to push for autonomous systems, particularly in distribution and logistics. Many industries and warehouses have attained partial or total autonomy.
In 2023, we’ll see even more self-driving trucks, ships, and delivery robots, as well as many more warehouses and factories adopting autonomous technology.
Ocado, a British online supermarket that advertises itself as “the world’s largest dedicated online grocery shop,” sorts, lifts, and transports things in its highly automated facilities employing thousands of autonomous robots. The warehouse also makes use of artificial intelligence to keep the most popular items within easy reach of the robots. The self-driving technology that drives Ocado’s successful facilities is now being brought to other grocery stores by the firm.