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Technologies to Watch in 2019

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By Raghu Das, CEO, IDTechEx

The wearable medical revolution. Wearables were fun until the novelty of wearing them lasted; then, they became a chore to charge and sales slowed. Providers are now switching to wearables with ongoing healthcare value. This is increasingly being supported by changes in regulation allowing data from such devices to provide a valuable stream of medical information.

New form-factors are untethering patients from wired machines, such as heart-rate monitoring skin patches, or overcoming the absurd need to continuously draw blood for glucose testing, thanks to continuous glucose sensors. Preventing and diagnosing quickly at the point of care is the priority of many, including healthcare providers, governments and consumer electronics companies alike.

The automotive ivory tower is beginning to crumble. For decades a few companies have dominated the automotive market. Today they are generally all mis-footed with large amount of capital in the dying technology of internal combustion engines. Pure-play EV companies are racing forward without the ties of old technology legacy. Additionally, software and consumer electronic companies are automating vehicles, resulting in a peak car scenario in 2030.

Geographically, China is vying for global vehicle dominance through shrewd strategies and investments in electric power train vehicles and batteries. There are many opportunities for new enabling materials and components in electric power train vehicles, but the incumbents that blink may go the way of Polaroid.

Bendable Displays have finally become a consumer product. It has not been an easy feat to make multiple layers of sensitive materials work reliably while the whole device is being flexed. The supplier push for such displays is due to the increasing need to differentiate a relatively saturated smart phone and tablet market and enable higher pricing by offering something with added value. The user pull comes from the ideal of having a large display when needed but in a portable format. Many new foldable displays will come to market from 2019 but apps and user interface design now need to catch up.

[Image credit: Andres Urena for Unsplash]

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