2018 technology trends: Dynamic EMS forecasts a dynamic world
06 February 2018
John Dignan, Managing Director of Dynamic EMS
John Dignan, Managing Director of Dynamic EMS, discusses the trends that he believes will drive technology and innovation throughout 2018.
John Dignan, Managing Director of Dynamic EMS, shares with us his views on the developing and growing markets he believes will impact the scope of services contract electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers offer.
As we transition from 2017 into 2018, our suppliers, customers and associates often ask us directional questions to guide their decision-making process for the year ahead. At Dynamic EMS, we undertake extensive market research and intelligence gathering activities to ensure we remain ahead of the market. For our EMS business, a strategic outlook is vital to allow us to predict sourcing, equipment and skill base requirements to maintain our competitive position.
As I look towards 2018, and even into 2019, the technologies that we are preparing our design, development, manufacturing and distribution teams for are:
• The Internet of Things (IoT) – and the shift towards the Blockchain of Things (BIoT)
• Augmented reality (AR) for entertainment
• Li-Fi technology
• Artificial intelligence (AI)
• MedTech devices
IoT & BIoT: the connected world
For Dynamic EMS, the Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses designing and manufacturing connected devices with smart sensors. This enables our OEM customers’ end users to do things such as asking Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant to turn off their lights or order a pizza.
But blockchain, one of the underlying technologies for the hot cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, can make IoT devices even more useful. It creates a digital record across hundreds or thousands of computers, vastly reducing the risk of hacking.
Combining IoT with blockchain, or BIoT, ushers in a whole host of new services and businesses. For example, BIoT can be used to track shipments of pharmaceuticals, and to create smart cities, in which connected heating systems better control energy use, and connected traffic lights better manage rush hour.
In 2018, companies will begin to use application programming interfaces (APIs), or software used to connect different databases and computer services. Combined with the blockchain Internet of things, it will be as easy to get data from sensors in a warehouse as accessing websites on our smartphones.
All aspects of the payment chain are open to disruption as blockchain speeds up clearing house functions, while smart contracts handle settlements.
In 2018, look for biometrics such as facial recognition, voice ID and fingerprints to help make shopping far quicker, by eliminating the need to swipe a credit card at checkout, for instance.
Instead, you will be able to verify your identity for a merchant scanning your eyes with your smartphone, in what’s known as a retinal payment.
A bold clairvoyant could even predict that some major retailers will hop on the cryptocurrency bandwagon and issue their own secure currency next year.
Augmented reality for entertainment
We kept our eyes fixed firmly on CES (Consumer Electronics Show), where we knew a number of the main AR players would launch their new products and quite simply, have some fun with this emerging technology. The word at CES is that 2018 is the year that we will see an explosion of immersive computing, as it becomes ever more mainstream, on ever more devices. The total spending on AR/VR products and services is projected to climb from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion in 2021, highlighting the rate at which innovation is gathering speed.
Introduction of Li-Fi
Li-Fi, a new light-based wireless connection with data speeds 100 times that of Wi-Fi, will bring high-definition virtual objects into stores. With Li-Fi and AR, consumers can see limitless virtual inventory in store, at scale.
Rise in artificial intelligence
Machines are now able to learn (machine learning or ML) in much the same way as we humans do, and this leap in AI capabilities has been made possible by massive increases in data and computing power. There is no single industry vertical that is not impacted by AI, with all the leading blue-chip players competing to make ML accessible to developers. We saw availability double from 2016 to 2017, as the scope of AI becomes the norm of conventional living.
The medical device industry trends for 2018 are reflective of the breakneck pace of discovery and innovation that has arisen in the life sciences industry over the past few years.
As manufacturers begin to feel the benefits of big data and analytics, artificial intelligence and new digital tools, the medical device industry faces a new wave of opportunity for increased growth.
In order to satisfy market demand and to meet critical regulatory obligations, Dynamic EMS became ISO 13485 certified in November 2017, clearly highlighting our intention to penetrate this evolving market.
It’s hard for us to predict the speed, scale, and scope of how fast these trends will become reality, but I can say with a high degree of confidence, that as Dynamic EMS is an enabler to these forces, we will see increased focus within these segments as 2018 develops.
At Dynamic EMS, we are all incredibly excited to sit at the forefront of innovation and technology – and it’s a privilege to fulfil our OEM customers design for manufacture (DFM) needs to bring innovation to life!
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