Every new year brings a new wave of progress, from game-changing breakthroughs to incremental advancements in a wide range of fields.
CB Insights’ report on 11 Tech Trends to Watch Closely in 2023 highlights some key areas of focus for the tech industry in the coming year.
The report derives its trends from earnings transcripts, media mentions, investment activity, patents, and other sources.
The concept of immortality-as-a-service is an intriguing one that is attracting the interest of venture capitalists and tech companies. With advances in AI and genetics, there is a growing ability to analyze and manipulate data to help people live longer and healthier lives. The potential economic and societal impacts of such a world are significant, with a larger workforce, more consumers, and changes in how people plan their lives.
While immortality may be a stretch, the pursuit of longer and healthier lives is a goal that many tech companies are actively pursuing. The potential rewards for those that succeed are significant, with age-defying consumers providing a lucrative source of recurring revenue. As the population ages and people live longer, there is a growing market for services that help people live longer and healthier lives. The race to provide those services is on, and it will be interesting to see which companies emerge as the leaders in this space.
The secret invasion of super apps
The competition among super app-level platforms is heating up, with tech companies converging on each other’s territory and giving rise to effective super app-level platforms. The battle for dominance is centered around search, as players seek to integrate features ranging from shopping to news feeds to capture more advertising dollars and expand further into the consumer market.
Microsoft is one company that is considering building a super app with its Bing search engine as the backbone. If successful, this move could help Microsoft capture a larger advertising market share and increase its consumer market presence. Other tech companies are also making moves in this space, with some developing their own super apps and others acquiring existing ones.
As more and more companies enter the fray, the competition for consumer attention and advertising dollars will only intensify. The winners in this space will be those that can effectively integrate multiple services into a seamless user experience and provide unique value to their users.
Fintech’s rapid regeneration
Many fintech startups are already pivoting to new areas and rethinking their business models to weather the economic uncertainty ahead. One area of focus is expanding into new verticals such as insurance, wealth management, and real estate. Another strategy is to
cater to enterprises and partner with traditional financial institutions to offer their services to a wider customer base.
As the market tightens, only the most innovative and adaptable fintech startups are likely to survive. But for those that do, there could be a big payoff as traditional financial institutions continue to struggle with outdated technology and regulatory hurdles.
Bots in the house
In addition to simple tasks, Tech leaders and startups are also exploring how robots can provide companionship and emotional support to people living alone or with limited social interaction. These social robots could be particularly beneficial for older adults, children, and people with disabilities or mental health conditions.
However, there are concerns about privacy and security, as well as the potential for these robots to replace human social interaction rather than enhance it. As technology continues to develop, it will be important for companies to consider these ethical and social implications.
The opportunity in the space is already substantial: The consumer robots market is estimated to be worth $22B, per CB Insights’ Industry Analyst Consensus.
Virtual power plants
Virtual power plants (VPPs) are a decentralized energy management system that can aggregate power from a network of distributed energy resources, such as residential solar panels, large-capacity batteries, wind farms, and more. VPPs use a cloud-based system and AI tools to manage the distribution of power based on demand and availability, making grids more resilient. VPPs can reduce reliance on coal and gas, stabilize the grid, and lower energy costs for households.
Interest in startups that support VPP management and energy storage has been increasing steadily among investors, industry leaders, and governments, driving advances and competition in the space. As a result, VPPs are becoming much more common.
Healthcare’s invisibility trick
Ambient health monitoring takes this a step further, by incorporating a range of connected devices into patients’ daily lives. These devices can continuously collect data such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate without requiring active engagement from the patient. This passive approach to healthcare monitoring has the potential to identify health issues earlier and prevent hospitalizations, leading to better health outcomes and cost savings.
The market for ambient health monitoring is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global market for remote patient monitoring and ambient assisted living is projected to reach $238.5 billion by 2028, with ambient assisted living accounting for the majority of that growth. With the rise of wearable technology and the increasing availability of internet of things (IoT) devices, ambient health monitoring is poised to become an increasingly important part of the healthcare landscape.
Smell goes digital
AI is helping to unravel the complexity of smells by analyzing patterns in large datasets of scent molecules and correlating them with human responses. In some cases, AI algorithms have even been used to predict how people will react to a given scent based on their genetic makeup.
Companies are also developing hardware devices that can analyze the chemical makeup of scents and use that information to generate digital scent profiles. These profiles can then be used to reproduce the scent on demand, or to create entirely new scents that match a particular profile. The potential applications of smell tech are vast, and it will be interesting to see how this field develops in the coming years.
Femtech turns to menopause
As women’s healthcare continues to expand, startups are turning their attention to underserved issues like menopause. Despite its significance, women receive little formal education about menopause, making it difficult to identify symptoms and seek support.
However, a growing number of startups are specifically catering to women going through menopause. Medical treatment options for significant menopausal symptoms remain limited.
The bio-based materials boom
Bio-based materials are becoming more popular as companies seek sustainable alternatives to traditional materials. These materials are made from natural sources like mushrooms and seaweed and can offer durability and biodegradability. They are particularly appealing to companies in the CPG and fashion industries who are looking to meet ambitious sustainability goals.
While many companies have set targets for the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, there simply isn’t enough recycled plastic available to meet demand. As a result, more companies are turning to bio-based materials to reduce their reliance on plastic.
India’s tech ascent
India’s tech sector is attracting significant attention from venture capitalists, with both domestic and international firms investing heavily in the country.
The country’s growing tech sector is seen as a key driving force behind these investments, with a number of unicorn companies emerging in recent years. Additionally, India’s digital economy is rapidly expanding, with sectors such as financial services and healthcare leading the way.
Regenerative agtech takes root
As brands and retailers turn to regenerative agriculture, startups offering enabling technology are gaining momentum. These technologies can help farmers implement regenerative practices more effectively and efficiently.
As more brands and retailers commit to regenerative agriculture, the demand for agtech solutions is likely to grow. This presents an opportunity for startups to play a key role in helping farmers transition to more sustainable and regenerative practices.
The technology trends of 2023 are set to be exciting and innovative, with a focus on addressing key societal and environmental challenges. From the emergence of immortality-as-a-service to the growth of regenerative agtech, the potential for technology to make a positive impact on the world is more evident than ever. It is clear that these trends are set to shape the future of various industries, and businesses must keep up with the pace of change to remain competitive. It will be fascinating to see how these trends unfold and develop over the coming years, and what other new technologies will emerge.