We are in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies, and individuals who don't keep up with some of the major tech trends, run the risk of being left behind. I recently came across an article by internationally best-selling author, futurist, and strategic business/technology advisor to governments and companies, Bernard Marr, which looks ahead to some of the imminent technology trends for next year.
He believes that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative tech evolutions of our times. As he highlighted in the book 'Artificial Intelligence in Practice', most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer experience and to streamline their business operations. This will continue in 2020, and while people will increasingly become used to working alongside AI, designing and deploying your own AI-based systems will remain an expensive proposition for most businesses.
Another trend to look out for in 2020 is Extended Reality (XR), a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, which means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset). We have already seen AR used by looking lighting companies – for instance BEKA Schréder’s AR App, but in 2020, expect businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers. It is all quite exciting and we cannot wait to see what next year holds for the lighting industry.
In this issue of Lighting in Design we look at three contemporary architectural homes and how the lighting complements the design of each. Elsewhere, the lighting of Fourways Mall is discussed as well as hazardous area lighting, residential lighting and the latest news and products from South Africa and around the world are showcased.