Top tech trends for 2020

As we begin a new decade I wanted to look at what will most likely be the biggest tech trends in 2020, and for the next few years. Getting in early on any new big tech trend can pay off big time.

5G

The 5G boom has only just begun in 2019, and is forecast to gain momentum in 2020/21 and soar by 2022. By 2024, it is expected that 1.5 billion people around the world will be connected to 5G networks. 5G growth is forecast to be a massive 96% CAGR from 2019 to 2025, noting this is coming from a very small base in 2019. To get an idea of the rapid growth, just in October 2019, China launched 5G in 40 cities. Apart from China, 5G services are already being rolled out globally led by South Korea, US, UK, and Australia. Canada and Singapore should see significant 5G growth in 2020. Some leading 5G companies include Huawei Technologies (private) (5G infrastructure, 5G smartphones & modems), Samsung Electronics (OTC: SSNLF) (5G infrastructure, 5G smartphones), Nokia (NYSE: NOK) (5G infrastructure), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) (5G infrastructure), China Tower Corp. (OTC: CHWRF) (the world’s biggest mobile tower company and responsible for much of China’s 5G rollout), Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) (5G smartphone modems), and Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) (5G receiver antennas, filters, 5G power amplifier module).

5G network wireless systems and internet of things with modern city skyline. Smart city and communication network concept.

Mobile payments and ‘Tap & Go’ payments

The global payments market today is still very new and is said to be worth around US$3 trillion in global revenues. In February 2019 PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told CNBC that the digital payments industry may become a $100 trillion market. China has led the way but the US and much of Asia are catching on fast. The mobile payment leaders are currently by far Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) (WeChat Pay) and Alibaba (NASDAQ: BABA) (AliPay), with Paypal (NASDAQ: PYPL) third. The big smartphone companies follow – think Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Pay and Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) Pay. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Pay, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (Android Pay), and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) Pay are also playing catch up. Facebook introduced Facebook Pay on November 12, 2019 but are likely to grow fast given their massive 2.45 billion monthly active users. The credit card companies Visa (NASDAQ: V) and Mastercard (NASDAQ: MA) are still doing well helped by the popular “Tap & Go’ technology using a credit card.

Esports

The booming esports sector driven by millennials (many in China) has been forecast to grow at CAGR of 22.3% to 27.4% over the next few years. In recent years esports competitions have become very popular. Some examples are League of Legends, Dota 2, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), StarCraft, WarCraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Fortnite. Just last year player prize money grew rapidly with the 2019 Dota 2 champions winning more money than top Wimbledon players. Each player won over US$ 3.1m!

Some key names in the sector include Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) (game maker), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) (game maker), Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) (game maker), Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) (game maker/publisher and streaming), Huya (NYSE: HUYA) (streaming), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Twitch (streaming), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) (chips), and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) (chips). The VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) (LN: ESPO) gives a nice broad coverage.

ESports players win US$ 3.1 million each at the Dota 2 championships in 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI basically refers to machines that can learn and hence evolve to become smarter and solve a problem. Some examples include online chatbots, facial and voice recognition, autonomous driving and so on. Many think AI will be the biggest tech trend of the next decade and they could well be right. There are literally thousands of listed companies involved in AI but the big tech companies still dominate. These include Facebook, Alphabet Inc., Amazon, Apple, Samsung Electronics, Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), IBM (NASDAQ: IBM), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and many more.

Conclusion

The advent of 5G will help the 2020s become the decade of data use and greater automation of our world. Established tech trends such as the internet, online shopping, cloud computing (including SaaS) and storage will all grow bigger in the 2020s. Added to this the 2020s will see the evolution of smart cities and smart homes under the umbrella term the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). In the 2020’s the use of robots (or connected devices) and automation will become increasingly common. The use of nanotechnology is a broader trend with some tech involvement. For example, using nanoparticle technology embedded in goods (or their QR code) to detect counterfeit goods using your smartphone. Another is the electrification of the transport sector which will be incorporating things such as smart connected cars and autonomous vehicles.

The 2020s will no doubt bring rapid change led by the technology sector.

A few names involved in the tech sector that we follow at InvestorIntel include:

  • Exro Technologies Inc. (CSE: XRO | OTCQB: EXROF) – AI technology that works for generators, electric motors, and also for batteries.
  • Izotropic Corporation (CSE: IZO) – 3D imaging (CT) with a 360 degree view to help detect breast cancer.
  • Moovly Media Inc. (TSXV: MVY | OTCQB: MVVYF) – Provides a cloud-based platform that enables users to create and generate multimedia content.
  • Nano One Materials Corp. (TSXV: NNO) – Using nanotechnology and a scalable industrial process for producing low cost, high performance, battery materials.
  • Siyata Mobile Inc. (TSXV: SIM | OTCQX: SYATF) – A leading global developer and provider of cellular communications systems for enterprise customers, specializing in connected vehicle products for fleets.
  • SmartCool Systems Inc. (TSXV: SSC) – A global clean technology company that uses unique retrofit technologies that can reduce the energy consumption of compressors in air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump systems by up to 40%.



The 5G boom has started

The 5G global rollout has begun and 5G enabled phones are also rolling out now and will continue in 2019 and beyond.

The 5G opportunity is enormous

By 2021, the number of 5G connections is forecast to reach a figure of between 20 million and 100 million. Some estimates put the figure at 200 million.

Allied Market Research states the global 5G infrastructure market is estimated to reach $58 billion by 2025, up from $371 million in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 96%. Spending on 5G mobile infrastructure for 2021 is forecast to be at around US$ 2.3 billion.

Global 5G smartphone shipments to grow from 2 million units in 2019 to an impressive 1.5 billion in 2025

South Korea, USA and China are leading the 5G race

In the race for bragging rights and to use the name “world’s first”, Korea has trumped both the US and China with the first fairly substantial deployments in April 2019. Of course the US has disputed the Korean claims of getting their launch up and running a few hours earlier. In April Verizon said they launched the world’s first 5G phone plan. They plan to launch the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G on May 16 in the USA.

All arguing aside, 5G has arrived, as three South Korean carriers, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus have claimed 86,000 base stations, with 85% coverage in six major cities are now in operation, with tested speeds between 193 to 430 Mbit/s down. In the US, Verizon is arguably the leader with AT&T and T-Mobile close behind.

A worker installing 5G transmitter (smaller but more frequently placed)

5G and the Internet of Things (including autonomous vehicles and smart cities)

You may be asking where is this heading. The 5G umbrella of super fast internet will support the mass uptake of electric and soon autonomous vehicles  (robotaxis, and delivery vehicles). The true smart city will have arrived. Wireless device users in smart 5G cities will be able to connect to a grid through an onboard or mobile device giving up to date news reports, traffic report, automatic rerouting, the weather and accident reports, and maybe order a pizza as they drive home. Furthermore in the future millions upon millions of devices will communicate with each other as described by the “Internet of Things” (IoTs). Mobile app developers will also benefit coming up with the next idea that can be used under 5G technology. 5G could also boost the multi player gaming industry, by bring the latest app driven game away from the home and mobile around the the smart city.

Internet of Things

The initial investment opportunity is with the infrastructure stocks. The next wave which is starting now is with the 5G modem suppliers, then the smartphone sellers, the wireless network providers, and of course the internet content providers (especially the streaming companies).

Seven 5G stocks that will be big players in the 5G boom starting in 2019

  • Nokia and Ericsson – The 5G infrastructure providers should do well early as the telcos spend big on 5G transmitters and other infrastructure.
  • Qualcomm and Skyworks Solutions – The 5G modem and network connection developers (including IoTs) will see a huge pick up in demand for their products.
  • Apple and Samsung Electronics – The 5G enabled smartphone and PC makers such as Apple and Samsung should benefit from a 5G upgrade super cycle. Apple and Samsung will also benefit by providing online services to their huge customer bases.
  • Netflix and other popular streaming companies (Amazon , Disney, and many others such as Momo and YY Inc.) will be big winners. The online entertainment (especially video streaming) companies such as Netflix should get a significant boost as consumers continue to switch out of fixed location/cable/TV to the new mobile 5G enabled entertainment world.

One smallcap stock we follow at InvestorIntel also stands to benefit. Siyata Mobile Inc. (TSXV: SIM | OTCQX: SYATF) is ahead of the game in offering specialist hands free devices in the fleet management industry. Siyata Mobile is already developing a 5G dedicated “in-vehicle” smartphone for commercial fleets and vehicles. Their devices use push to talk connectivity apps on their devices allowing for greater concentration on the road.

The global 5G trend is likely to be the hottest tech trend in 2019 and 2020. Companies like Qualcomm are already seeing gains of over 30% in the past few months. The 5G story is just beginning with so many investment opportunities out there and many more to come. Don’t miss this one.




2018 was a big year for tech, so what’s in store for 2019?

Technology innovation is moving so fast you can be forgiven for thinking it’s moving too fast. What was predicted one year ago to be the next big thing may have already been replaced with the latest and greatest concept.

2018 was a big year for innovation in technology with that trend expected to continue in 2019. For entrepreneurs this presents a challenge as not all new technology ends up catching on, so it’s important to be careful with R&D dollars and investments. Remember technology is a tool to enable business to run more efficiently and more economically.

Big technology trends in 2019

Three big trends for 2019 evolve around 5G, the Internet of Things (IoTs), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Many other new technology trends will be enabled under these umbrellas accelerating research and development (R&D) in blockchain, mobile app development, autonomous vehicles, data analytics, smart cities and buildings, and ideas yet to be thought of.

5G is the next generation of radio access (wireless) networks delivering predicted speeds of up to 100 times faster than 4G. 5G is starting to be rolled out now in selected capital cities around the globe. Many new smartphones in 2019 will offer 5G connectivity and hence incredible online performance.

The Internet of Things will involve all things being connected online, and will be supported by 5G networks. For example a motion sensor in your home will inform your smartphone of a possible intruder, or you can remotely turn on your washing machine from work.

Artificial Intelligence is a general term for machine learning. We already see this with online “bots”, some personal robots or assistants (Amazon “Echo” etc), and with the way big companies such as Facebook use their “like” system for targeted advertising. Of course this is just the very beginning of AI, and it will perhaps be the biggest technology trend of the next decade.

Blockchain is a secure decentralized digital ledger that can’t be altered. It’s possible that in the future every recorded piece of digital data can be stored this way. It can mean all transactions an individual or a company makes can be recorded. Looking ahead it is quite likely we will follow China’s lead and use our smartphone to simply purchase all our goods wherever we go. A cashless society recorded on the blockchain.

A brief look at a few of the innovative technology related companies we follow at Investorintel

Cobalt Blockchain Inc. (TSXV: COBC) is working with partners to develop a blockchain-based reporting platform to provide greater certainty of provenance and further assurance that all minerals (notably cobalt) procured are ethically sourced.

Global Blockchain Technologies (CSE:BLOC) “BLOC” is an investment company that provides investors access to a mixture of assets in the blockchain space, strategically chosen to balance stability and growth. BLOC invests in new markets enabled by blockchain technology. On December 17, 2018, BLOC made a key acquisition by acquiring 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of X2 Games. BLOC and X2 Games have initiated a comprehensive strategy to optimize BLOC’s assets towards gaming, eSports, and AI. BLOC’s assets will be leveraged to support X2’s pursuit of disruptive gaming interfaces.

Global Cannabis Applications Corp. (CSE: APP | OTCQB: FUAPF) designs, develops, markets, and acquires data technologies for the cannabis industry by applying artificial intelligence, blockchain, and crypto-currency to improve cannabis health sciences. The Company mission is to build a technology-enabled community to improve health and wellness.

Internet of Things Inc. (TSXV: ITT) operate as an Internet of Things technology accelerator and industry investment acquisition company. In other words they buy up early stage promising IoTs companies.

NanoSphere Health Sciences Inc. (CSE: NSHS) do not technically fit into this category but they are doing some good things with bio tech. One of their great products is the only patented nano-particle delivery system to transport the highest level of therapeutic agents directly to the bloodstream, therefore removing the need for needles.

Siyata Mobile Inc. (TSXV: SIM | OTCQX: SYATF) provide an all in one 4G device that reduces clutter on company fleet dashboards. The tablet style device runs mobile apps that eliminate the use for a cell phone, a 2 way radio communications device, or even a GPS navigation system. Siyata plan to be first to market with a 5G dedicated in-vehicle device.

By no means is this a complete list but rather a brief look at some key 2019 technology trends, many of which will be showcased at the upcoming Cantech Investment Conference in Toronto Canada, January 29-30, 2019. InvestorIntel will be attending as a media partner, so we hope to see you there.




Is it time to consider adding some tech stocks?

Technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of society, and change is happening faster than ever before. The recent tech stock correction offers investors a good chance to enter the tech space at much fairer valuations.

Five key areas for technology growth expected in the next 5 years include:

1) 5G

5G is the latest trend in mobile phone networks. 5G stands for fifth-generation wireless cellular technology. It is reported that it will be up to 100x faster than 4G.  5G will lead to several disruptions as there will no longer be a significant need for home based landline or cable internet. 5G will allow consumers to access the internet wherever they go and will mean downloading a movie can be done in just 1 second.

Key beneficiaries of 5G will be all those involved in the mobile phone industry (5G infrastructure providers, 5G chip makers, wireless network providers, app makers, and content providers). Expect a very large increase in the amount of data transmitted over wireless systems as well as a greater need for data storage. The global rollout of 5G has already begun and is spreading rapidly globally. The arrival and rapid growth of 5G will be perhaps the biggest tech theme for 2019.

Speed comparisons 1G to 5G

2) Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

There are currently 5 levels of autonomous vehicles (AVs). The highest level is level 5 which requires no human being in the vehicle. Alphabet Google (via their subsidiary Waymo) is leading the way having rolled out fully autonomous vehicles (level 5) in Phoenix Arizona in November 2018. The big goal here for most companies is to have robo-taxi (electric vehicle) fleets disrupting the taxi industry. Transport as a Service (TaaS) will start to grow in 2019, and will be potentially a huge growth area the next decade, provided the technology proves totally successful and legislative change follows.

Autonomous Vehicles

3) Artificial Intelligence (“machine learning”)/ Data analytics

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. Examples of AI are competing at a high level in strategic game systems such as chess, computers successfully understanding human speech, chat bots, Facebook learning what you like, self-driving cars, and interpreting/analyzing complex data. In 2018 only about 1% of all data created was analyzed meaning there is a huge growth potential ahead. The market for Artificial Intelligence is projected to hit $36 billion by 2025, from just $643 million in 2016. Investors can expect to see big growth from this are in the next 5 years.

Global Artificial Intelligence revenue forecast 2016 to 2025

4) The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoTs) is defined as “the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” Essentially it is machines talking to other machines. This is a very broad area but can be broken down to three sub areas – Industrial, office and home. An example in the home is having a “smart home” where all your devices can be controlled by an app on your smartphone (or other device) both at home or remotely. Another example is smart energy devices that improve energy efficiency saving money and reducing CO2 emissions. This is a massive area with huge growth potential the next 5 years.

IoTs

5) Data storage (“the cloud”)

Data storage at data centres (“the cloud”) is not new, as it has been a boom for cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (“AWSs”) the past several years. What will be new is the advent of 5G creating much more data transmitted at super speeds. This should lead to a further growth burst for the cloud data providers, as well as the companies that build and supply the data centre infrastructure.

Cloud data storage

As we head into 2019 the above five tech trends will have a significant impact on our world. Investors that position themselves ahead of these trends can do very well, as history has shown time and time again.