March 5

2024 Emerging Tech Trends Redefining the Future – Pt. 3

Welcome to Part 3 of this series on the emerging tech trends of 2024! The series continues in Part 4.

As we navigate through the dynamic and ever-changing technological landscape, there will be significant breakthroughs and shifts in tech trends in 2024. In this article we will highlight three key emerging trends poised to fundamentally alter how we interact with both digital and tangible realms. At the forefront, Extended Reality (XR) leads with significant strides in spatial computing, wearable XR technology, and mixed reality applications, setting the stage for more engaging and intuitive user experiences. Simultaneously, advancements in mobile networking technologies via 5G, 5.5G, and the forward-looking progress towards 6G are ushering in a future characterized by incredibly fast, dependable, and widespread internet connectivity. Satellite communications (Satcom) are also making remarkable advances, delivering connectivity solutions that transcend geographical limitations. Collectively, these trends paint a picture of a future where technology is intricately woven into every aspect of our existence, heralding a new era marked by remarkable innovation, enhanced connectivity, and superior user experiences.

XR : The Frontier of Digital Experience

At CES 2024, Extended Reality (XR), Wearable XR, and Spatial computing took center stage, reshaping how users engage with digital environments. Let’s delve into the top trends that are defining this immersive landscape:

  1. Spatial Computing: The Next Frontier
    • Spatial computing integrates computational recognition, interpretation, and manipulation of real-world spaces, enabling devices to perceive, understand, and navigate complex environments. It spans a variety of applications, from augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital content onto the physical world, to virtual reality (VR), creating entirely immersive environments, and mixed reality (MR), which blends the digital and physical. Additionally, it underpins advancements in autonomous vehicles, robotics, and smart environments, facilitating interactions that are more intuitive and aligned with human spatial cognition.
    • To use the Robotics industry as an example: Robotics utilizes spatial computing to enhance robots' understanding and interaction with their three-dimensional environment, enabling them to perform a wide array of tasks more effectively and autonomously. Spatial computing in robotics involves integrating sensors, data processing, and actuation mechanisms to interpret and navigate spaces. This multidisciplinary approach leverages computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and sensor fusion, among other technologies, to achieve spatial awareness and decision-making capabilities. To give a few examples, in robotics spatial mapping is used in:
      • Environmental Mapping and Navigation
      • Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
      • Simulated Training and Virtual Testing
    • With that in mind it shouldn’t surprise anyone that during GTC 2024, 25 robots made it on stage. And during NVidia CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote, Jensen interacted with two Disney BD-X robots Orange and Green demonstrating the capabilities of spatial computing and highlighting the Nvidia Isaac Sim robotics simulator.
    • Spatial computing is poised to reshape industries, entertainment, and daily life by seamlessly integrating digital capabilities into the fabric of our physical reality, promising a future where the boundaries between the digital and the real are increasingly blurred.
  1. Wearable XR Devices: The Future of Immersive Technology
    • In 2024, the XR wearables market is set to redefine human-tech interaction on an unprecedented scale.
    • Devices like Meta Quest 3 and Apple’s Vision Pro are not only transforming gaming but also revolutionizing other sectors:
      • In mental health, VR therapy provides groundbreaking treatments.
      • In education, immersive learning experiences reshape knowledge acquisition.
      • In professional settings these wearables offer real-time data overlays, enhancing decision-making in fields from healthcare to engineering.
  2. Mixed Reality Applications and Games
    • The expansion of Mixed Reality (MR) content in 2024 is redefining digital interaction boundaries.
    • Devices like Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro make MR experiences more accessible and immersive than ever.
    • MR blurs the lines between physical and digital, creating captivating and interactive scenarios for users.
  3. Sensory Innovation: Spatial Audio and Haptic Feedback in XR
    • Extended Reality is set to orchestrate a sensory revolution in 2024.
    • Spatial audio and haptic technologies enhance digital interactions, making them more immersive, natural, and intuitive.

In summary, XR technologies are propelling us into a future where the boundaries between the real and digital worlds dissolve, offering unprecedented experiences and opportunities for innovation.

5G/5.5G/6G: The Evolution of Mobile Connectivity

Mobile network technology continues to be an emerging trend in 2024, driven by the relentless demand for faster, more reliable, and more pervasive connectivity. This trend is fueled by several key developments and societal shifts, including the continued expansion of 5G networks, increasing demand for digital services, and integration with emerging technologies such as IoT and smart cities. Let's explore 5G, 5.5G, and 6G:

  1. 5G Technology: Enhancing Broadband and Reducing Latency:
    • 5G is the current generation of mobile internet technology and is based on 3GPP release 17.
    • Key features of 5G include:
      • Enhanced Mobile Broadband: 5G significantly boosts the speed and capacity of wireless networks, with peak data rates potentially reaching up to 20 Gbps. This enhancement not only supports higher-quality video streaming and more immersive virtual and augmented reality applications but also accommodates the growing demand for data in urban and densely populated areas.
      • Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications: 5G aims to provide ultra-reliable communication with latency as low as 1 millisecond or less. This is crucial for critical applications that require instantaneous response times, such as remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, and certain industrial automation processes.
      • Massive Machine Type Communications: 5G is designed to support a vast number of connected devices, in the order of millions per square kilometer, facilitating the large-scale deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This capability enables extensive sensor networks, smart city infrastructure, and massive industrial automation.
      • Network Slicing: This feature allows a single physical 5G network to be divided into multiple virtual networks, enabling service providers to allocate a slice of the network tailored to specific requirements. For example, a network slice could be optimized for IoT devices with low data-rate requirements, while another slice could be configured for high-speed mobile broadband.
      • Enhanced Security: 5G introduces improved security measures compared to 4G, including enhanced encryption and more secure identity management and privacy protections. These improvements are critical, given the increased complexity and expanded attack surface associated with the more extensive and varied use cases facilitated by 5G.
      • Flexible and Scalable Architecture: 5G networks utilize a cloud-native, service-based architecture that allows for the flexible deployment of services and applications. This architecture supports the rapid scaling of network resources to meet varying demands, contributing to the overall efficiency and responsiveness of the network.
  1. 5.5G Advancements: AI and Machine Learning in Mobile Networks
  • 5G Advanced was a hot topic at MWC Barcelona 2024. Let’s have a look at 5.5G, the next evolutionary step in mobile communication networks.
  • What is 5.5G?
    • 5.5G, also known as 5G Advanced, is based on 3GPP release 18. This standard is scheduled to be released in June 2024.
    • Release 18 represents a significant leap forward in intelligent network capabilities, emphasizing the crucial role of AI and ML in enhancing network functionalities, efficiency, and service delivery. The focus areas for AI are expected to include, but are not limited to:
    • Network Slicing Optimization
    • Predictive Network Maintenance
    • Enhanced End-to-End Network Automation
    • Advanced Traffic Management and Load Balancing
    • Energy Efficiency
    • Security and Anomaly Detection
    • Quality of Experience Enhancements
    • Integration of Non-Terrestrial Networks
    • Release 18 also comes with enhancements for RAN functionalities, including significant improvements to MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output), enhancements for beam management, and multiple transmission and reception points (mTRP) to support Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication.
  1. 6G Vision: The Next Generation of Ultra-Fast, Low-Latency Networks:
    • 6G is the next frontier, is based on 3GPP release 19. The commercial deployment of 6G networks is likely to start in the 2030s.
    • Anticipated features of 6G include:
      • Real-time Interactions: 6G networks will enable seamless interactions between humans, cyber systems, and physical environments.
      • AI Integration: 6G will natively incorporate artificial intelligence (AI), enhancing network efficiency and user experiences.
      • Global Coverage: 6G aims to provide ubiquitous connectivity across land, air, sea, and space.
      • Ultra-High Data Rates: Faster than 5G, 6G will support applications we can only dream of today.
      • Ultra-Low Latency: Crucial for applications like remote control of machinery and immersive experiences.
      • Massive Connectivity: 6G will handle an unprecedented number of connected devices.
      • Enhanced Positioning Accuracy: Ideal for location-based services and navigation.
      • Aerial Networks: These networks are expected to integrate various types of aerial platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), high-altitude platform stations (HAPS), and satellites, to create a multi-layered communication network. This integration aims to overcome the limitations of terrestrial networks and to provide seamless, high-speed connectivity across diverse environments, including urban, rural, and remote areas.
    • Currently 6G is still in the research and development phase.
  2. Applications and Impact:
    • 6G will unlock transformative innovations:
      • Mixed Reality: More powerful mixed reality headsets, enabling immersive experiences.
      • Self-Driving Cars: Real-time communication for safe autonomous vehicles.
      • Smart Manufacturing: IoT-driven factories with real-time data exchange.
      • Unpiloted Air Taxis: Efficient urban mobility.
    • As 6G evolves, it will cater to the demands of a data-driven, AI-based society, reshaping how we communicate and interact with technology.

In summary, 5G, 5.5G and 6G promise remarkable advancements, from faster speeds to revolutionary applications, ushering in a new era of connectivity and technological possibilities.

Satcom: Global Connectivity Redefined

Satellite communications (Satcom) are becoming increasingly important in our global communication infrastructure for several reasons: global connectivity, disaster resilience, increasing demand for data services worldwide, and support for IoT and M2M applications. Let's delve into Satcom and its significance as an emerging trend in 2024.:

  1. What is Satcom?
    • Satcom, short for satellite communication, refers to the transmission of data, voice, and video signals via artificial satellites orbiting our planet.
    • These satellites act as relay stations, connecting users across vast distances, regardless of geographical barriers.
    • Satcom plays a pivotal role in global connectivity, enabling seamless communication for various applications.
  2. Satcom Satellite Communications (Satcom) in 2024: Achieving Global Reach:
    • Global Coverage: Satellites in geostationary or low Earth orbit (LEO) provide coverage across oceans, deserts, mountains, and remote regions.
    • Ubiquitous Connectivity: Satcom ensures that even in areas lacking terrestrial infrastructure (such as rural or maritime zones), communication remains possible.
    • Reliability: Satellites are resilient to natural disasters, making them a dependable communication medium.
    • Low Latency: While traditional geostationary satellites introduce some latency due to their high altitude, newer LEO constellations (like Starlink and Kuiper) promise reduced latency.
    • Applications:
      • Telecommunications: Satcom facilitates long-distance phone calls, internet access, and messaging.
      • Broadcasting: TV, radio, and news channels rely on satellite links for global distribution.
      • Navigation: GPS and other global navigation systems utilize satellite signals.
      • Emergency Services: During disasters, Satcom ensures uninterrupted communication for rescue operations.
      • Aerospace and Defense: Military communication, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
      • Maritime and Aviation: Satcom keeps ships, airplanes, and passengers connected.
      • Internet of Things (IoT): Satellites enable IoT devices in remote areas.
      • Scientific Research: Satellites collect data for climate monitoring, Earth observation, and space exploration.
  3. Emerging Trends in 2024:
    • LEO Satellite Mega-Constellations: Companies like SpaceX, Amazon, and OneWeb are deploying vast constellations of low Earth orbit satellites. These constellations promise global coverage, high-speed internet, and reduced latency.
    • 5G Integration: Satcom complements 5G networks, extending connectivity to underserved regions.
    • Inter-Satellite Links: Satellites communicate with each other, forming dynamic networks for seamless data relay.
    • Quantum Satellites: Quantum communication via satellites ensures secure, unhackable transmissions.
    • Space Tourism: As space tourism grows, Satcom will play a crucial role in passenger communication during orbital flights.
    • Environmental Monitoring: Satellites monitor climate change, deforestation, and natural disasters.
    • Satellite-Based Augmented Reality: Imagine AR experiences beamed from space!

In summary, Satcom is the invisible thread connecting our world, bridging gaps, and enabling global communication across vast distances. Its evolution in 2024 promises exciting possibilities for our interconnected future.

Conclusion : A Future Shaped by Technological Convergence

In conclusion, as we survey the expansive landscape of technological innovation shaping up in 2024, it's evident that we are on the brink of a paradigm shift across multiple fronts. The emergence of Extended Reality (XR), with its cutting-edge developments in spatial computing, wearable technology, and mixed reality, is poised to create unprecedented immersive experiences that blur the lines between the physical and digital realms. Meanwhile, the rapid progression in mobile network technologies, moving from 5G through to the nascent stages of 6G, promises to deliver internet connectivity that is not just faster but more reliable and widespread than ever before. Meanwhile, Satcom advancements ensure global connectivity, overcoming geographical barriers and enabling a myriad of applications from telecommunications to scientific research. Together, these trends not only herald a new era of innovation and connectivity but also open up unprecedented opportunities for enhancing daily life, driving industrial efficiencies, and expanding the horizons of human knowledge and interaction. As we look ahead, it is clear that these technologies will continue to evolve, further blurring the lines between the digital and the physical and propelling us toward a future where technology is an intrinsic part of every facet of our existence.

Watch the full replay of our event 2024 Emerging Trends for more about the latest on tech in 2024 and beyond!


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