Six dominant trends in 2020

Green technologies, smart factory among key trends - reflection of Hanseatic start-up scene
15 January 2020
Trends 2020

Everything is becoming different as the world changes driven by technological, economic and cultural developments. The Hamburg-based data website Statista has identified the most important trends in 2020 and beyond. Macro trends are medium-term processes of change over a period of ten to 15 years, according to the market researchers. Micro-trends, on the other hand, have a life cycle of three to five years and reflect market behaviour in the form of products, services etc. We reveal which Hamburg-based companies and projects are already devoting themselves to the trends of tomorrow.

1. Data flow control

Data flow control ranks first among the key trends in 2020. Countless opportunities to network and secure information are emerging in the era of digitalization and globalization and forms the backdrop to the Age of Assistance. Home assistants and voice commerce are particularly promising for outsourcing tasks, experts say. Tailored information i.e. contextual tailoring is gaining importance thanks to location-based services such as GPS, RFID, which are particularly relevant for local services, social networks and the entertainment sector.

#smarthome #artificialintelligence ##chatbots #smartsensors #automation #userprofiling

The Hamburg-based start-up Bottalk has developed a tool allowing publishers to convert articles to audio files for release on voice assistants like Alexa oder Google.

Studie von nextMedia Hamburg und Statista
© nextMedia.Hamburg (2018)
Studie von nextMedia Hamburg und Statista

2. Next Nature

The boundaries between nature and technology are becoming increasingly blurred. This trend is noticeable in two micro-trends namely human enhancement and green tech, said Statista. Technological modifications of the human body to improve its physical and mental abilities will become popular. Wearable technologies i.e. accessories or clothing with electrical components or intelligent materials that can track e.g. fitness levels or sleep patterns are used increasingly to this end. Green Tech is gaining importance amid population growth, climate change and a decrease in biological diversity. Microfarms, laboratory-made food and nanotechnology may yet provide solutions to these problems.

#wearabletechnologies #smartmaterial #medical engineering #bioengenieering #nanoengineering

The Hamburg-based company Philips has made a name for itself in the field of medical implants, nano medicine and gene therapy, according to the study. A prototype piece of clothing with sensors is being developed to optimise physical fitness as part of the joint MoGaSens project with the Hamburg Applications company, the University of Hamburg and the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW).

3. Virtual experiences

VR-Lasertag im VRHQ
© Luisa Blotzki/Hamburg News
VR-Lasertag im VRHQ

The global market for augmented and virtual reality will be worth around USD 160 billion in 2023 (2019: probably USD 20.4 billion), the market researchers predict. As a result, the combination of virtual, augmented and mixed reality will lead to a new type of immersive and interactive content (Immersive Content). Global and immersive game technologies and platforms will gain importance which can benefit the healthcare and sales/advertising sectors. The guiding principle here is less technology, more humanity (Empathy Tech). Sensor technologies will complement virtual experiences in future.

#virtualreality #augmentedreality #mixedreality #e-sports #biometricsensors #emotionaldesign

The historic Speicherstadt in Hamburg is home to the Virtual Reality Headquarters Hamburg (VRHQ) including VR Experience Stations. 

Noys VR, for instance, gives visitors an opportunity to experience an interactive and immersive live concert in the virtual space. The city of Hamburg has been hailed as a European hotspot of the games industry thanks to the gamecity:Hamburg initiative and events such as Gamevention.

4. New Work

This year, the typical 9 am to 5 pm job will lose appeal amid digitalisation and globalisation and in favour of more digital nomads and freelancers (Normad Workforce) who work anywhere and are not dependent on a particular location. This trend is changing the demands on companies – from home offices, open-plan offices to job sharing and flexible working hours. Innovations have also become a leading economic paradigm. Setting up one’s own business is becoming the more attractive alternative to traditional entrepreneurial careers. Beta enterprises are thus one of the most disruptive trends in the coming years, according to Statista.

#co-working, Freelance Culture #work-life-blending #startups #unicorns #incubators #acceleratorprograms #prototyping

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has a lively start-up scene with more than 700 fledgling companies. The founders can benefit from numerous support programmes such as the Next Media Accelerator (NMA), Next Commerce Accelerator (NCA), Next Logistics Accelerator (NLA) or Media Lift (nextMedia.Hamburg). More and more co-working spaces including the global Impact Hub, which is dedicated to the U.N.‘s 17 sustainability goals, are being set up in Hamburg.

5. Urban Hubs

Traditional mobility concepts are being overhauled to adapt to the new challenges of crowded cities and high emissions and constitute the fifth trend. There are three components to Advanced Mobility namely icromobility (e-scooters), Mobility as a Service (e.g. MOIA and Uber) and autonomous driving (HEAT project), experts say and expect a so-called rurban revolution. Accordingly, city dwellers will connect more with their surroundings, live hyperlocallly and buy regionally. This will go hand in hand with more initiatives for verdant cities.

#autonomousmobility #e-mobility #intelligenttransportsystems #urbangreening #regionalandlocalproduce

Hamburg is gearing up to host the ITS World Congress from October 11-15, 2021. The congress is considered the world’s largest event for Intelligent Transport Systems with about 15,000 trade visitors.

ITS-Projekt HEAT
© Hamburger Hochbahn AG
ITS-Projekt HEAT

Hamburg intends to position itself as a model city and laboratory of intelligent transport and logistics solutions with around 60 projects.

6. Industry 4.0

Digital transformation in the industrial sector will see a rise in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning and herald a new age of automation, Statista has predicted. The smart factory of the future will have adaptive, networked and automated production. This macro trend has the disruptive potential to revolutionize the entire manufacturing process. As a result, robots will be able to perform not only routine, physical tasks, but tasks that require cognitive skills (Avatar Employees).

#machinelearning #artificalintelligenge #bigdata #3d-printing #automation #stafflessstores

Hamburg News has highlighted AI in a previous series. The expansion of 5G is going ahead in Hamburg and the next generation of mobile phones combined with AI and edge computing might enable reliable communication between machines as well as automated and autonomous production.