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2019 Predictions, A Look Ahead

Posted by Kyle Bernhardy on January 02, 2019
Kyle Bernhardy
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Happy New Year! With 2019 full of possibilities ahead, we wanted to share our thoughts on where we see Technology moving in the upcoming year.  


Smarter Edge

The edge has been limited in functionality and performance mainly due to limited resources on each device.  Sure, most devices are significantly more powerful than the machines that got us to the moon, but modern applications have also become exponentially more resource intensive. Adding with how accessible the cloud is, it is natural to simply send all data up and out.  This centralized solution has a number of gaps.  What if we want immediate alerting for a specific device?  What if we don’t have access to the cloud/server(s)?  What if I don’t need all this data centralized?  From the hardware side, edge devices are becoming smarter and more robust.  A Raspberry Pi can run a streaming media server, perform home automation, and even be transformed into a super computer.  Hardware vendors are seeing the need to add more intelligence to the edge as companies like Google are developing chips to add cognitive computing to edge devices.  Coupled with the ease of developing on these boards, engineers can create decentralized solutions that can handle processing of information as it happens on each device.

Processing on the Edge

With the extra horsepower being engineered for the edge, new solutions can be created to get true real-time events as they happen.  This means that the edge device can run complex algorithms and self-analyze.  When an outlier occurs, an event is recorded and transmitted to alerting channels, and recorded in a data store.  This can also minimize the data footprint of an organizations data store.  Rather than hoarding all of the minutiae like Smaug, organizations can record the data that really matters. 


Wireless providers are announcing rollouts of 5G and with it we are also seeing the positive industrial impacts this will have.  With the pervasiveness of a high quality network, IoT becomes more resilient and more of a mesh to the entire technology stack.  In this scenario I think of edge devices much like roots and leaves of a tree.  This is where the essentials to life are drawn in, processed, and transmitted to the entire structure.  As such, IoT will transform into something more mainstream, similar to the cloud in the last 10+ years.  With robust networking all around us, we will also have stronger processing further enmeshed into our lives and operations, which will take the load off of centralized processing in giant data centers.

Open Source Goes Mainstream

There have been a number of high profile open source acquisitions this past year.  Two of the biggest that come to my mind are Github & Redhat.  On top of that, a number of Open Source based companies have IPO’d in the past year.  All told, 2018 was a big and exciting year for code we see as free, but yet there is money to be had.  This shows that code is a commodity and a valuable one at that.  Code is something we rely on for almost every aspect of our lives and many of the building blocks are engineered and developed by people or small teams in their free time. With big organizations and individual coders alike relying on these building blocks, it creates a strain on these small teams and it will be interesting to see what happens as the monetization of open source becomes more attractive.  On the flip side, open source has been impacting big organizations to become more transparent like Microsoft open sourcing 60,000 patents.  We are seeing the interdependence of Open Source and Big Tech like never before which has allowed for greater innovation and sharing of ideas, as well as large investments in ideas that large companies alone would not have created.
That’s it for what we see in the upcoming year, we hope you have an innovative New Year!

Topics: Edge Computing, IoT, Open Source