According to research firm IDC, the world is fast approaching the next wave of digital innovation. Much sooner than you may think, passwords will become a relic of our insecure past and bespoke products will be within the reach of anyone regardless of their tax bracket. In this VIDEO, Crawford del Prete, Executive Vice President Worldwide Research Products and Chief Research Officer at IDC, shares predictions that portend radical changes in how business operates and people live every day.

  • Hyper-effective Security: By 2020, 70 percent of mobile consumers will access their devices biometrically. IDC said this will reduce password memorization by 50 percent. Consider how much time this will free up for activities infinitely more valuable than changing and remembering passwords and worrying about data breaches.
  • 3-D Printing: By 2020, additive manufacturing technologies will enable produce-on-demand scenarios for more than ten percent of all consumer product purchases. And, over one-third of these products will be completely customized to match the buyer’s needs and price sensitivity. Move over Savile Row, there’s a new consumer in charge.
  • Self-driving Cars: By 2020, 30 percent of new cars will have a self-driving mode. Pioneered by Google, self-driving cars are showing up on everyone’s wish list including former partner Uber which just announced a new strategic partnership with Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Internet of Things: By 2020 consumers will interact with over 150 sensor-enabled devices every day (think: connected cars, building, homes and wearables), and 25 percent will be disposable. Here is my take on wearables summarizing perspectives from experts on a recent SAP’s Coffee Break with Game-Changers radio broadcast.
  • Cognitive systems (smart machines) that observe, learn and offer suggestions to people: By 2020, 60 percent of device interactions will be passive, allowing people to use information from intelligent systems and machine learning.

Of course when it comes to technology innovations it’s impossible to gauge the accuracy of any predictions and the impact on consumers. The way I see it, I have five years to plan how I’ll use all the time I’ll gain once I no longer have to worry about changing passwords, paying attention to the road when I’m driving, or wasting hours trolling the virtual or physical worlds to find the exact product I want. The real beauty of technology innovations like cloud, big data, analytics, and social is in how they change lives in expected and surprising ways.

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