This post started life as “Tech trends we’re hyped for in 2020”. However, as the PaperCutters who contributed to it discussed this topic, we realized the focus had to change.
You see, we’d had this post planned since the year began. Then COVID-19 hit, delaying its publication. Now that we can finally publish it, due to the ever-shifting landscape we now reside in courtesy of this global pandemic, the concept of looking forward to the future is mired with uncertainty.
But as precarious as our current predicament is, the world will keep spinning (then we can get back to dealing with climate change!). That isn’t to take COVID-19 lightly either. We’re in the middle of a paradigm shift.
Anybody else currently working from home already knows what an important role technology is playing in our lives right now. Even though this blog was originally conceived in the air of anticipation, it now feels more impactful and broader.
So with that in mind, these are the 7 tech trends that will define 2020, according to PaperCutters and in their own words.
IoT (the Internet of Things)
By Snehal Kshirsagar, product engineer
IoT can definitely be classified into the category of mature technologies, as it left its mark in market trends throughout 2019. The devices equipped with voice user interface are spreading rapidly thanks to affordable prices.
Personally, I am looking forward to smart homes in this fast-moving life. I am hoping that we will reach a new stage of IoT, achieving seamless home automation without the need for people to tell the assistants what to do. Imagine you are coming home from a busy day of the work, as I open my door it says to the lights and AC that the door is open and therefore the lights need to turn on and air conditioning starts adjusting the temperature. In this race, why should printing stay on the back foot?
No doubt that IoT has revolutionized the print industry as well. With smart printers in place, printing service providers, such as PaperCut, are getting smart and efficiently saving paper and resources. Technologies like edge node making it maybe a little complicated to set up but way easier to use.
Remote working - part I
By Jason Clarke, product engineer
The brutal-in-your-face-we-told-you-so realization to middle/upper management, that being at your desk does not equate to productivity, is here. Presentee-ism is an archaic farce…
The cost of maintaining legacy applications that require massive on-premise infrastructure is going to be exposed by the now-massive on-premise VPN infrastructure now required. Which then highlights security problems when working from home.
I think getting these legacy applications removed and moved into a web interface is going to be a HUGE priority for many organizations.
Remote working - part II
By Geoff Smith, distinguished product engineer
Certainly 2020 is the year for remote working tools - they have been around for a while, but they are suddenly mainstream and I think there will be an explosion of development in this space.
The big players are all facilitating this by making their tools readily available as a community service. I’m talking about video conferencing (like Zoom), team and task management, self-organization tools, (like Slack) etc.
Remote working - part III
By Aimee Geng, product engineer
Distributed working is very common for software developers, it is extending to all other industries in 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the need for working from home tools as well as data security protocols in those industries will be a high priority, especially in the healthcare area.
Talking with your GP via video chat and having the prescription sent to your email (use PaperCut Scan to Cloud :P) would definitely reduce your risk of getting COVID-19! That’s adequate social distance.
By Danielle Ko, product manager
I’m looking forward to seeing more startup companies pivot quickly and jump onto providing assistance and filling a gap (could be seen as opportunistic, but at the same time I think it’s fascinating how they can go from selling one product to adapting to selling another, just as quick. The need is real, so opportunistic or not - is possibly a matter of perspective).
Examples include alcoholic companies (who are already licensed to purchase ethanol directly) - such as “Bev”, switching to producing hand sanitizer instead to distribute free of charge, to the poor and elderly communities, or larger ones like Tesla who have shifted to manufacturing ventilators.
Another interesting company is MarkForged who is using their 3D printing expertise to produce more masks and other personal protective equipment in the age of COVID-19.
It’s an interesting time, and there is lots to learn from how these companies adapt quickly and provide for communities and people at risk.
Social media video content
By Mikaela Copland, marketing coordinator
While the usual saying ‘content is king’ still rings true, video content is becoming especially prevalent in 2020. Above a king, video content is ‘god’ if you will. Platforms such as Youtube and Snapchat whose whole pitch is to create video content have shifted the way we communicate and consume online content.
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. That’s no surprise with the rise of TikTok - a short-form mobile video platform. Relying solely on 15 seconds to one-minute videos, TikTok received over 700 million downloads globally last year (more than Facebook) and has been rapidly growing since self-isolating practices have been in place.
Businesses are catching up with this trend, with 81% of businesses using video as a marketing tool — up from 63% over the last year. That means we’re employing more videographers or employees are upskilling to use Premier Pro.
Either way, video isn’t going anywhere soon.
And finally, because it shouldn’t be ALL work and no play, I present Sebastian’s tech that’ll define 2020.
Virtual Reality (VR)
By Sebastian Smith, associate product engineer
When you bring up the topic of future technology in video games, it feels like everyone is dead set on the new generation of consoles and their incremental leaps in power. It’s driving me crazy!
It feels like we’re all ignoring the staggering fundamental progress that’s happening in virtual reality. The potential it holds for advances in education and healthcare are unprecedented, but let’s be real – the games are the real news here.
New releases like Half-Life: Alyx and Boneworks are delivering astonishing experiences that are quite literally impossible to replicate on traditional hardware. High-end VR equipment is still a trial to get your hands on in Australia (and at this rate, it looks like it’ll stay that way for the foreseeable future), but when the time comes you can bet I’ll be the first in line.