Tech fads come in with a bang and fizzle out fairly quickly. Remember Google Glasses, 3D TV or Pokemon Go? Trends, by contrast, refer to the general direction in which something is developing and changing. They tend to have a lingering presence, evolving as they mature. So staying abreast of the latest tech trends isn’t just about today’s buzz; it’s a way of keeping an eye on advancements that will influence the world we live in for years to come.
It’s not surprising that among our top five tech trends picks are AI models such as ChatGPT and Google Bard, which have dominated the limelight over the past few months. Even though these language models deserve every bit of attention they’re getting, it’s easy to forget about the other emerging technologies worth familiarising yourself with. We unpack the top trending technologies to watch over the coming months.
AI language models such as ChatGPT and Google Bard are advancing rapidly, providing new ways to assist with writing, coding, and design. These technologies can write emails, essays and poetry, answer questions, or even generate lines of code based on a prompt. The immediate long-term impact isn’t yet clear, but one thing is certain – it’s a game-changer, up there with the invention of electricity, the telephone or the Internet.
As with all game-changing technologies, the introduction of AI-language models has also sparked public fear. The Internet is flooded with their concerns over being replaced in the workforce, but I stand firm that those who don’t use AI technology to their advantage are the only ones who should be concerned about being replaced. AI is a tool to boost your workflow and turnaround times, and is merely intended to improve, not replace.
Answer Engines are a type of search engine that provides direct answers to user queries, using natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand the user's question and provide a concise and accurate response. Answer engines differ from traditional search engines, which provide a list of web pages that may or may not contain the answer. Answer engines are used in various applications, such as virtual assistants, customer service, and chatbots. By providing direct answers to user queries, answer engines can save users time and effort by finding the information they need and improving customer service efficiency.
Low-code and no-code solutions are gaining popularity, enabling businesses and individuals to create software without extensive coding skills. AI and machine learning can further improve the ease of use by suggesting relevant features based on user behaviour. These solutions democratise software development and make it more accessible to non-technical users, using drag-and-drop interfaces to build custom applications.
At Swipe iX we’ve long since realised the pros of low-code and no-code solutions, recognising that not all software solutions need to be developed from scratch. However, what determines the success of these tools is the experience and know-how of when and where to use them.
Over the years, Swipe iX has applied its low-code and no-code expertise to develop many well-known websites such as TASTE and Food24, but the one project where the quick turnaround time of low-/no-code tools really shone was the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund platform. When South Africa went into full lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Media-owned brand Eat Out, in partnership with Community Chest, wanted to launch a platform where individuals and companies could donate to support restaurants that had reopened their kitchens to either feed the needy in their communities, or supply feeding schemes. Swipe iX jumped at the opportunity to give back to the community and developed an interactive digital platform supporting this initiative. By differentiating between what components of the platform needed to be developed from scratch and which could benefit from low-code and no-code solutions, we were able to take the platform from development to deployment in just a week. Had it not been for our meticulous implementation of various low-code and no-code solutions, this accomplishment would have been a very resource-intensive process.
Super apps combine a range of services, such as e-commerce, messaging, ride-hailing, and more, in one place, relying on AI to offer personalised experiences based on user behaviour. Super apps are often created for customers to consolidate services, features and functions of multiple mobile apps into a single app. These applications are gaining popularity in emerging markets where users prefer to use a single app for multiple needs rather than switching between multiple apps.
A good example of a super app is Discovery Bank. In addition to paying someone, you can buy electricity, play the lotto, pay your speeding fines, and most recently, book an airline ticket.
Swipe iX, has worked on numerous super apps, the most widely known being WeChat. By combining instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment into one centralised application, WeChat quickly gained popularity, connecting over a billion users across the globe to date.
Digital twin technology creates a virtual replica of a physical object, system, or process. These models can then be used to tweak and adjust variables to study the effect on whatever is being twinned – at a fraction of the cost of carrying out experiments in the real world. By simulating production processes or optimising systems, digital twins can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and prevent issues before they occur. For example, Shanghai, a city of 26 million inhabitants, has built a digital twin of the city that models 100 000 elements, from refuse disposal and collection facilities to e-bike charging infrastructure, road traffic, and the size and location of apartment buildings. The digital twin uses data from satellites and drones to construct the living model, which, among other uses, has helped authorities to plan and react in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It can also be used to simulate the effects of natural disasters such as flooding to aid with response planning.
Technology is dynamic, constantly changing and evolving. By keeping up with trends, individuals and businesses alike can gain a competitive advantage, make more informed decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances quicker. Some tech innovations are one-hit wonders, taking the world by storm and disappearing shortly after, but it’s worth noting that the tech advancements of today are the stepping stones for the tech of tomorrow.
Keep an eye on our blog posts and social channels to stay ahead of the curve and find out about emerging technological developments and their successful implementation.