Top tech trends on Twitter

What are consumer expectations on the journey to AI, blockchain and beyond?

According to a study of consumer expectations conducted by FleishmanHillard, the top list of tech trends to watch in 2019 includes artificial intelligence (AI), augmented analytics, blockchain, personal data protection, virtual reality (VR), smart fabrics and exoskeletons, and digital twins. These insights will help companies keep up with new consumer demands for technological advancements.


FleishmanHillard, a multinational public relations and digital marketing agency, released its 2019 tech predictions report entitled “Tech Trends 2019: The Fads. The Fears. The Future.” The report features an analysis of more than one billion conversations on Twitter between 2017 and 2018, along with insights fr om technology thought leaders fr om a variety of industries.

2019 will bring a whole new focus on AI, with consumers seeking a more in-depth understanding of its practical value and application potential.

It helps brands understand how people feel about constantly changing technology, address their expectations and plan for the future.

The report predicts that 2019 will bring a whole new focus on AI, with consumers seeking a more in-depth understanding of its practical value and application potential. Conversational AI (chatbots), for example, increased by 54% in Twitter topic volume from 2017 to 2018. Advanced AI technologies will enable more personalised communication between brands and consumers. Based on this, brands that engage in detailed and explanatory conversations and seek to place AI in real-life contexts will be the big winners of the tech race.

Chatbots have a wide variety of applications from assisting with daily tasks to entertainment.

Brands that engage in detailed and explanatory conversations and seek to place AI in real-life contexts will be the big winners of the tech race.

Augmented analytics powered by machine learning is another big AI trend for 2019. By providing greater access to big data insights event for non-experts, it will help companies strengthen their brands and improve efficiency across multiple business areas.

One more major 2019 trend is data protection. According to Elena Fadeeva, President of Orta Communications Group and General Director of FleishmanHillard Vanguard, business and government agree that ethical and privacy frameworks are necessary to bolster public trust in emerging technology. “Another FleishmanHillard’s report revealed that more than 80% of consumers rate data security and protection as “very important” – ahead of healthcare and education in the UK and healthcare and freedom of speech in the U.S.,” commented Elena.

Augmented analytics is among major trends of 2019.

Business and government agree that ethical and privacy frameworks are necessary to bolster public trust in emerging technology.

Blockchain technology is also a top trend of 2019, with the potential to move beyond mining, cryptocurrencies and investment towards the impact on digital transformation. Three major criteria that winners in the blockchain world will need to meet are already in place. First, a laser focus on development and the delivery of tangible products. Second, active partnering with other projects that have complementary strengths and weaknesses. Third, deep dives into key industries, wh ere the team’s solution can alleviate the most pain points and start engaging stakeholders through education.

The analysis shows that discussion volume share for blockchain increased dramatically year-on-year – 24% in 2017 vs 76% in 2018. “This means that the brands who give the mainstream audience much-needed clarity on blockchain will be the ones who gain a march on the competition,” says Sophie Scott, FleishmanHillard’s Global Managing Director for Technology.

E-textile sample processing at KOBAKANT e-textile tailor shop in Berlin, Germany.

The use of e-textiles by fashion designers and manufacturers will transform the way people think about clothing.

2019 will see a surge in interest around edge computing, which refers to decentralised data processing at the edge of the IT network that is done at, or near to, the source of the data. Instead of relying on remote data centres, it streamlines the flow of traffic from IoT devices and provides real-time local data analysis. Spurring all this on is the continued hype and interest in 5G networks, with its volume share of Twitter discussions up from 42% in 2017 to 58% in 2018.

A number of emerging trends will be seen in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), seeking to replace the computer "as a device" with the computer "as an environment’, provide new ways of entertainment and drive demand from new sectors like retail, manufacturing and healthcare.

Military exoskeleton prototype developed by Rostec State Corporation.

Brands are advised to get prepared for the future where any physical asset may have a digital replica.

Solid growth is expected in smart fabrics. The report predicts that the use of e-textiles by fashion designers and manufacturers will transform the way people think about clothing. Only in 2018, the smart fabrics conversation share increased by 11%.

Experts also note that, as discussions around exoskeletons rose by 13% from 2017 to 2018, they will likely make the final step away from science fiction and towards potential implementations. To this effect, it is important to show audiences how exoskeletons can enhance productivity of logistics, manufacturing and warehousing.

Finally, the report anticipates greater attention to quantum computing and digital twins for various objects and processes. Brands are advised to get prepared for the future wh ere any physical asset may have a digital replica.

SIBUR already employs many of these technologies, including AR and VR solutions, IIoT sensors and computer vision. Having successfully completed a number of AI projects, we also use the digital twin technology and are currently testing smart fabrics and exoskeleton applications.


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