You won’t be surprised to learn that blockchain, still five to ten years from mainstream adoption, nears the peak of the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2016.
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With its ability to store multiple bank transactions in one centralized ledger, accessible by all parties and regulated by a decentralized network, blockchain will have a transformational impact on business. While bitcoin steals the show as the only proven blockchain, the term blockchain has grown to encapsulate nearly two dozen distributed-ledger products with more than two dozen offerings in the market, thus the hype.
Right now, blockchain is gaining traction because it holds the promise to transform industry operating models. It is also one example of an enabling technology of the platform revolution trend, one of the three trends along with transparently immersive experiences and perceptual smart machine age highlighted in the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2016.
The Gartner Hype Cycle is designed to help organizations separate the hype and bold promises of new technology from the technologies that are commercially viable. Depending on individual risk appetite and industry, this cycle enables leaders to become educated about the promise of an emerging technology.
“Enterprise architects who are focused on technology innovation must evaluate these high-level trends and the featured technologies, as well as their potential impact — value and risk — on their businesses,” said Mike Walker, research director at Gartner.
Transparently immersive experiences
With most companies focusing on 3D printing applications in the business world, others are looking ahead even further to 4D printing, where materials are coded with a dynamic capability. Using this new shape-shifting material, a sports apparel company could design an adaptive running shoe with a sole that adjusts to wet pavement versus dry pavement to improve grip. Using the same idea, medical companies could design self-assembling stents to reduce surgery times and improve patient outcome. The building industry could design walls that adjust thickness during the winter to increase insulation.
50% of the transparently immersive experiences technologies are at or over the peak, which means they are headed toward the Trough of Disillusionment.
Along with 4D printing, the transparently immersive experiences trend includes virtual reality, gesture control devices and nanotube technologies, and looks to introduce transparency between people, businesses and things. As technology becomes more adaptive, the lines between these three groups will blur and technology will continue to evolve in the work, home and within interactions.
Transparently immersive experiences are of particular interest because 50% of the technologies are at or over the peak, which means they are headed toward the Trough of Disillusionment.
“We can see how the transparently immersive experience technologies such as affective computing, connected home, augmented reality, virtual reality and the growing human augmentation, are pulling the other trends along the Hype Cycle,” said Mr. Walker.