Breaking News

4 emerging technologies to watch in 2021 and beyond

In today's fast-paced digital world, the most impactful technologies and trends are rapidly evolving and have the potential to disrupt and transform business markets. Gartner has identified 23 technologies on Gartner's Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2021, which will have broad influence across industries, organizations, and consumer interactions.

Some of these technologies, like advanced virtual assistants, are just around the corner. Others, including the AR cloud, are further away. In general, these technologies align with three themes:

Interfaces and experiences: technologies that are fundamentally changing the way we interact with the world.
Business enablers: technologies that impact companies by changing practices, processes, methods, models, or functions.
Productivity Revolution: The confluence of multiple technologies and trends that help organizations quickly, accurately and in greater volume to classify, predict and solve problems that humans cannot.
Product leaders must explore these critical emerging technologies now to remain competitive, capitalize on market opportunities, and differentiate their offerings. These are four of the key technologies from the Gartner 2021 Emerging Technologies Impact Radar that could impact existing products and markets in the coming years.

Advanced virtual assistants

Time to market: 1-3 years.

Advanced virtual assistants, sometimes called AI conversational agents, process human input to deliver predictions and decisions. They are powered by a combination of conversational user interface, natural language processing (NLP), and semantic and deep learning techniques such as deep neural networks (DNN), prediction models, decision support, and personalization.

Estimated time-to-market is driven by expansion from current limited-feature virtual assistants (which have been around for years) to advanced virtual assistants that target a multitude of jobs and functions; the latter will drive the expansion of AI conversational agents into all spheres of consumer life, business interactions and operations.

The potential for impact of advanced virtual assistants is high because the technology can be used in almost all vertical segments and almost all disciplines; This has the potential to transform the nature of how an application is used for the workforce and how consumers interact with devices and the IoT (Internet of Things) while improving customer experience and engagement.

Transformer-based language models

Time to market: 1-3 years.

Transformer-based language models are DNNs that process words as sequences in a sentence; This approach preserves the context or meaning of surrounding terms and also substantially improves translation, transcription, and natural language generation. Transformer-based language models are trained on huge data sets of billions of sentences.

Time to market depends on the effectiveness of the training tools, the efficiency of the run time, and the ease of implementation. Models, like GPT-3, have the ability to generate paragraphs of text that are indistinguishable from those written by a well-educated human.

The potential for impact of transformer-based language models is very high because they are displacing recurrent neural network (RNN) systems at a surprising rate. In addition, the new tools offer substantial improvements in advanced text analysis and all related applications, such as conversational user interfaces, intelligent virtual assistants, and automated text generation.

Business capabilities packed

Time to market: 3-6 years.

Composable enables business organizations to create custom application experiences from the application components they have purchased or built. To support a composable business, technology providers must deliver packaged business capabilities, which represent a well-defined set of features that are identifiable by a business user.

The arrival time in the market is driven by the high number of vendors who have modified their offerings. That being said, despite this progress, younger providers and providers transitioning from older technologies still find themselves in the early stages of adopting APIs.

The impact capacity of packaged business capabilities is moderate as the technology typically represents a re-packaging of existing capabilities, but the widespread implementation of a composable business will change the way traditional providers market, sell, and distribute their solutions.

AR Cloud

Time to market: 6-8 years

AR Cloud enables the integration of the physical and digital world by delivering consistent, collaborative and relevant digital content across people, objects and locations to provide users with information and services directly connected to every aspect of their physical environment.

For example, anyone can get fares, routes, schedules and routing information about public transportation based on their context (personal status, geographic location, calendar appointment, travel preferences, etc.), just a bus or bus station. "Seeing" your phone, tablet, or head-mounted display (HMD). Further information can be crowdsourced, such as how often the bus has been lying in recent weeks.

Market timing depends on many, underlying elements such as edge networking, high bandwidth and low latency communication, standardized tools, and content types for publishing on the AR cloud. The management and distribution of content, and interactivity are also important factors to ensure a seamless and ubiquitous experience.

The potential impact of AR Cloud is immense because it will change how people interact with the world around them. AR Cloud will provide a digital abstraction layer for people, places and things and its impact will extend to businesses, consumer applications, and every industry, regardless of geography; This will enable new experiences and, in turn, new business models and ways to interact and monetize the physical world.


Tuong Huy Nguyen Gartner, Inc. Is a senior principal analyst at and is part of Gartner's emerging technologies and trends team, where he conducts research on immersive technologies, computer vision, and human-machine interfaces. Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on how technology service providers accelerate growth, drive product innovation, and leverage emerging technologies at the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference 2021, to be held in the US, approximately July 20–21.

No comments