These technology trends will impact the retail industry – Future Today Institute report

Read more
These technology trends will impact the retail industry – Future Today Institute report

For the 17th time, the Future Today Institute has published its Tech Trends Report. The main thesis of this year’s edition is that we have entered a technological supercycle that is bringing far-reaching changes. These are manifesting themselves through various trends, such as the development of artificial intelligence and biotechnology. In this post, we outline which ones will affect the retail industry.

Impact of technology trends on the retail industry

The authors of the 2024 Tech Trends Report have listed more than a dozen trends. These include artificial intelligence (AI), generative AI, bioengineering, generative bio, computing architecture, AR/ VR/ XR and synthetic media, metaverse, web3 infrastructure, mobility, robots and drones, climate and green tech, and quantum.

These trends detailed by the Future Today Institute will affect all industries. However, this impact will not happen at the same time for all of them. To put it another way, the impact of a particular trend may be relevant to different industries over a different time frame – it could be the near future, but it could also be a longer period of time. And what will this look like for the retail industry?

Near-term relevance:

  • artificial intelligence,
  • generative artificial intelligence,
  • AR/ VR/ XR and synthetic media,
  • mobility,
  • robots and drones,
  • climate improvement and green technologies.

Long-term relevance:

  • generative biology,
  • computational architecture,
  • quantum physics.

 And between them, in the “medium” timeframe, there are:

  • bioengineering,
  • metaverse,
  • web3 infrastructure.

What is ahead of us soon – under the influence of AI

The impact of artificial intelligence on various areas of life, including commerce, is becoming increasingly apparent. Faced with the current economic situation, companies see AI as the key to growth, accelerating the deployment of solutions and technologies based on it, even if it involves cutting some jobs.

AI is making its way into business:

  • Programming with AI: Tools like Copilot and Code Llama streamline and simplify software development with automatic code completion and intelligent debugging.
  • Language models – from advantage to standard: The development of large language models will make them no longer a differentiator for companies. The key to success will be the ability to use them in products and to ensure the right distribution channels.
  • The battle of the giants: Microsoft is investing in AI (OpenAI for Bing) to compete with Google in the search engine space. Other technology companies are making similar moves. Mergers and acquisitions can also be expected.

AI is changing the way we interact with technologies:

  • Interfaces of the future: Natural language interfaces will replace traditional, graphical ones, enabling intuitive communication with devices.
  • New devices: Wearables and devices with built-in AI will become popular.
  • Computer learns human: AI will reverse the previous rules of computer interaction. It will be the machine that learns about humans – not the other way around – adapting to their needs.

Artificial intelligence is not just the future, but already the present. It is influencing commerce, changing the face of programming and revolutionizing the way we use technology. Companies and consumers need to be ready for these changes in order to take full advantage of AI’s potential.

The metaverse and the new reality – what may await us a little later

With galloping technological development, new and innovative ways of interacting with the environment are emerging. One of them is the Metaverse – the concept of a virtual world, combining reality with its digital incarnation – which is still looking for its niche. And while the mass consumer may still not be ready for virtual worlds, companies are already recognizing their potential.

Metaverse for Business:

  • Branded virtual worlds: Companies can start creating their own Metaverse, focused on specific customer needs. This is an opportunity to deliver unique experiences and build loyalty.
  • Opening up new creative opportunities: AI-based tools will make it easier to design virtual worlds even for those without programming skills.
  • Hands-free systems: Gesture and voice control will gain popularity, streamlining work in many industries.

Automation of the Future:

  • Virtual Agents: Warehouse and robot management can be entrusted to virtual agents, minimizing the need for human intervention.
  • New Employee Skills: Automation will require employee retraining in handling new technologies.
  • Personalized Deliveries: Thanks to automation, courier companies will be able to offer customers personalized delivery options.

Technologies like the Metaverse and artificial intelligence will revolutionize retail. Companies that leverage their potential will gain a competitive edge by offering customers innovative solutions and personalized experiences.

On what we will wait longer – a revolution in computing architecture

Artificial intelligence will not only change the way we use computers, but will also affect their design. With the help of AI, engineers will design energy-efficient architectures inspired by the human brain. Computers will learn to interact with humans in a more natural and intuitive way, and thus better interact with people and respond to their needs.

AI will drive the development of devices that go beyond the traditional laptop-keyboard-mouse setup. Intuitive communication methods, such as speech and gesture recognition, will become the norm. The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, in which employees use their personal devices for work tasks, will become more widespread. Powerful portable gaming devices will also become popular among non-gamers, and companies will need to adapt their software to integrate with these types of devices. We can also expect a proliferation of specialized devices dedicated to specific AI applications, such as AI-powered cameras.

Also growing in popularity will be RISC-V technologies, which allow custom hardware solutions to be created without licensing fees. Their open nature and versatility allow the creation of unique technology solutions for various industries, including, of course, retail.

The 2024 Tech Trends Report is available for download here.

Do you need a reliable IT services provider?

Then, you are in the right place. We would be happy to talk to you about your next project.