The Biggest Tech Trends of 2019
For the tech industry, 2019 may be more about laying foundation than any historic breakthroughs. But it should be a busy and eventful year, as key new technologies begin finding their way into real, useful applications.
The smartphone will still be our central technology device by the end of next year, but as augmented reality and wearable's progress, we’ll see more and more new patterns in personal computing around the corner. That will be helped along by enabling technologies, which will be expanding by the end of 2020. Also, artificial intelligence will become apart of all kinds of products, allowing gadgets and services to subtly begin to anticipate our wants.
These shifts are already creating opportunity and chances for innovation. Venture capital investments on startup companies are on track to reach $100 billion in 2018, exceeding 2017’s $82 billion in investments. The big question is, which of these opportunity areas will grow in 2019. We asked venture capitalists, tech analysts, and a few entrepreneurs for their thoughts on the subject.
M.G. SIEGLER, GENERAL PARTNER, GOOGLE VENTURES
On startups built on voice platforms: "I continue to be on the lookout for startups in the audible-computing space. The rise of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home in 2018 has these devices in millions of homes already, and this holiday season should only accelerate that trend. I would include Apple’s AirPods in this general space as well. These are not niche products. But the jury is still out—people need to learn to use these devices beyond just listening to music or asking for the weather. I believe they will, especially as young people grow up with them integrated into their lives. It will take time, but I think the groundwork can be laid in 2019."
DAVE WELSH, GROWTH EQUITY LEADER, KKR
On consumer experiences: "Moving beyond commerce, consumers are looking for more than material goods–experiences are the next opportunity for startups. Consumers have more disposable income today, leading to the desire to not just go somewhere, but to experience it like a local or to have a curated tour providing an extra level of depth and fun. This is the next frontier beyond Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft."
MILES CLEMENTS, PARTNER, ACCEL
On cities realizing the opportunity of micromobility: "2018 may well have been the year of the scooter, but their impact on cities and archaic urban infrastructure is just beginning to make a dent. Revenue share agreements with high-growth startups like Bird and Lime provide cities with income streams they’ve never before had exposure to. As municipalities invest those dollars into infrastructure improvement and new commuter options, an ecosystem of tools will emerge for urban planning, transit mapping, and ease of navigation around the modern urban environment."
April 4, 2019