3 new technologies that have had enough hype

Have we said enough about driverless cars?

Self-driving cars, Bluetooth headsets and the Internet have all enjoyed a great deal of attention. Perhaps we should move on to something else now.

Each year, US-based technology analysis group Gartner releases its latest “hype cycle”, a picture of where various technologies are on the path from emergence to overhyping to disillusionment to practical use.

If you want to pour a little cold water on a technology, here are three of Gartner’s most promising hype candidates:

Autonomous vehicles

Self-driving cars will probably happen eventually, but plenty of kinks remain to be worked out yet. Notably, today’s self-driving cars are expensive and need extremely detailed and constantly updated maps.

Gartner automotive analyst Thilo Koslowski told The Wall Street Journal that autonomous vehicle developers “will find that the obstacles to overcome are really difficult”.

Wearables

Bluetooth headsets haven’t taken over, Google Glass is off the market for the moment, and even the Apple Watch is no certainty to be a hit. One reason is that people think some of these devices look silly.

Gartner has predicted a big future for wearables that can’t be seen, built into objects such as spectacles and contact lenses.

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Internet of Things

After huge media exposure, the Internet of Things (IoT) has a few problems to overcome. The iotaustralia.org.au website reports Gartner as saying: “End users are not only building proof-of-concept projects, but encountering issues related to immature technologies, ecosystems and standards.”

Not everyone thinks all of these are overhyped. Management consultancy McKinsey released a report in June arguing that the hype around the IoT “may actually understate the full potential”. It argued that the IoT has a total potential economic impact of “US$3.9 trillion to US$11.1 trillion a year by 2025”, in a US$100 trillion world economy.

If that’s not hype, it’s certainly brave.

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October 2015
October 2015

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