4 Industries to Watch for Technology Innovation in 2020

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James Hook
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Technology trends are evolving faster than ever. From cryptocurrency to autonomous vehicles, new possibilities for what computers can do for both businesses and consumers are emerging. Some of these trends are well-covered, like artificial intelligence emerging as a way to sift through massive amounts of data to find trends for use across a wide range of industries. 

These trends are snapped up by companies that use technology daily to innovate, such as software development companies and social networking corporations. But there are untapped industries that don’t rely so heavily on technology – yet.

As the Internet and its related technology become ingrained in our daily lives, companies in sectors that have traditionally been technology-free or technology-limited are starting to experiment with its capabilities. For some of these companies, new technology not specifically developed for that specific industry was viewed as inefficient. For others, it was deemed too expensive. But now, with a large number of software developers and entrepreneurs breathing new life into these sectors, stagnating industries are poised to see innovation in 2020. 

Here, you’ll find four industries that are likely to see technology leap forward in 2020.

1. Agriculture

The agriculture industry is ripe for innovation. While we may think of large-scale farms mass-producing crops like corn and wheat in the United States, it’s the 2 million small farms across America small farms that do most of the food production for human consumption. In fact, over 70% of this food comes from these family-owned farms. These farms sorely need productivity boosts – and technology is just starting to provide that. AgTech products are just starting to allow farmers to see increased yields, and experts like the CTO of Internet of Things America Jeff Klaumann believe that these agriculture-based products are necessary to keep the world safe and satisfied in the coming years. These pieces of technology include:

  • Drone surveillance: Agricultural drone companies are using unmanned drones to do everything from thermal imaging of fields to understand where optimal conditions are to targeted pesticide application.
  • Internet of Things: Smart sensors are cheap enough that farmers can distribute multiple sensors to livestock or agricultural fields, getting a continuous stream of data back that informs them on how crops are doing. In 2020, expect to see companies focus on making the data accessible and understandable for farmers.

2. Real Estate

The real estate industry has primarily relied on real estate brokers who know their city well. These brokers can give accurate information to homebuyers – and hopefully, they can sell a property at a profit. But technology is revealing trends that no single person can see. Machine learning is taking over the real estate world by storm. 

Many real estate-associated companies and real estate investment firms are using a machine-learning approach to model exactly how much a property is worth. Some experts believe that using technology to predict property value is one of the most efficient ways that companies can make educated decisions on what properties to invest in. 

As Roy Dekel, CEO of SetSchedule an AI and machine learning software company for real estate professionals points out “It is clear that AI and machine learning technologies are already impacting the real estate industry in a big way. The possibilities of these technologies are mind-blowing and both the homeowner and real estate agent can benefit. “ 

Artificial intelligence is also being used to target the right homebuyers – rather than place untargeted ads on real estate websites, some companies are using consumer data to deliver ads to people who are thinking about purchasing a home in a specific city or location.

3. Synthetic Biology

DNA sequencing has just become affordable for most companies, and those companies are using that sequencing technology’s potential to the fullest. Companies like Gingko Bioworks and Twist Biosciences are engineering organisms to produce molecules and directly editing DNA for use in high-efficiency bioreactors, the creation of nutrient-rich foods, and more. 

These companies are raising serious amounts of capital, and they’re using that valuation to push biology into an era of enhanced customization that can create environmentally-friendly solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. Experts like Dr. Alexander Titus, the Assistant Director for Biotechnology at one of the U.S. government’s research branches, believe that the bio-economy is a technological forefront for the public good in 2020.

4. Finance

Financial technology, more commonly referred to as FinTech, is rapidly changing how we think about fundamental financial practices. Technology companies can use data in such a way that they can target people in different demographics with different products, all helping the companies realize profits and helping the customers with finances. Some of the ways that we might see technology innovating finance in 2020 include:

  • Automated financial advisers: Traditionally, financial guidance has been limited to those with serious amounts of money in the bank. But many companies are developing automated systems to replace those financial advisers. These AI-based models automatically invest your money, advise on your budget, and can even help with tax preparation.
  • Loan services: Loans are mysterious to most people until they need one. Some companies are innovating in this space by creating simple questionnaires and services to help people get loans at lower-than-average interest rates, directly subverting high-profile banks by going directly to consumers.

Technology affects nearly every facet of our daily lives, but some industries have taken longer than others to integrate technology products into their services. As we begin the new decade, these industries are finally looking to innovate. From financial technology companies helping consumers find better investment strategies to the farmers utilizing drones for more efficient crop production, we’ll be sure to see dramatic, industry-wide innovations from this year onward.

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